Sunday, 21 June 2009

Did a couple of dog shows this weekend.  Just had Jynx entered in Deerhounds--she showed well, but didn't win--and also showed Isabella one day, ditto.  Always a little disappointing when you don't win, but it can't be a bad day when you get to take the right dogs home at the end.


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

I fielded a couple of calls recently from a family looking for an adult Deerhound.  The family had been Irish Wolfhound owners in the past, but couldn't find an appropriate Wolfhound, and found the Deerhound appealing.

Placing adult dogs is a tricky thing.  Most of our dogs have lived their whole lives with us, either from birth or from early puppyhood.  One exception is Sox, who came to us a few months short of her fifth birthday, and has stayed.  Sox has worked out extremely well; she gets along okay with the other house dogs, and she absolutely adores my husband Charlie.  She doesn't really like hanging out with the main body of the pack, in the kitchen, but she doesn't have to, so that's okay.

We've only ever placed one dog who had started his life with us.  Inigo spent a little more than a year with us, finishing his championship.  Some good friends of ours unfortunately lost their Deerhound to Lyme disease (nephritis), and were looking for a Deerhound puppy.  I suggested that they might think of an adult, since they also had a year-old child, and they took Inigo for a trial visit.  Inigo had been my pick puppy in the litter from very early on, and it was very hard for me to think of giving him up.  But he didn't seem happy.  When the leashes came out, and all the other dogs would gather around me, hoping to be chosen to go, Inigo would dash out the back door.  At the same time, he often slept with me on the bed.  And once I rounded him up and got a collar and leash on him, he would ride quietly in the car, and seemed to enjoy the show ring.  He turned out to be the perfect dog for this family, and they adore him.  But for more than a year, I couldn't go to visit them.  If he was overjoyed to see me, I would feel guilty about letting him go, but if he wasn't, I would be hurt.  But eventually I did go to visit, and it was perfect.  He was happy enough to see me, but it was clear that he was their dog now.

We've also placed a couple of dogs who came back to us at mid-life.  But those dogs generally came from more ordinary, one or two dog households, and so were a bit easier to place.  Also they did not have the lifelong bond with us, nor we with them.

But for the family that called recently, I didn't have an appropriate dog.  Oh, Charlie and I know that we have too many dogs, and there are a couple that have no real place in our breeding program.  But what this family needs is a young-ish, trained dog, on the quiet side.  And we tend to keep more active, outgoing dogs.  The few quiet dogs that we keep are usually exceptional show prospects that will play a big role in our breeding program.  And since we don't breed our dogs very early (many of our dogs have their first--or only--litter at four), they aren't generally available for adoption.


Monday, 15 June 2009

Went to the Topsfield MA shows over the weekend, with Jynx entered on Saturday and Sunday.  Sunday I also had Roxy entered as a veteran, and I also had Isabella entered for the first time.  (Well, technically, I had entered Isabella in Springfield back in April, but I didn't have my head on when I did so, and somehow managed to enter her as a Scottish Deerhound.)  It wasn't Isabella's first show; co-owner and co-breeder Sue had shown her while I was at the Deerhound National, but it was the first time I would be showing her.

With Topsfield being four hours from home, and just an overnight, I decided to camp at the show.  Just four dogs (I brought Rain for company), there was plenty of room in the van.  Unfortunately, there was also plenty of room for mosquitos.  Note to self: pack bug repellent!

All in all, a decent weekend.  Steve and Naomi were there with Mo (Memsie's brother), and Faelan, their puppy from Linda Madden.  Both boys had won their classes at the National, and Mo had taken a nice major in Delaware over a supported entry weekend, so I had hopes that Mo might pick up another major (we had majors in dogs both days).  It didn't happen, but other good things did happen.  Saturday, Anne Alie's Fergus got the major (I think he is an English import), and Sunday it was Mike & Pam's (I know they told me their last name, but ...) Archie (bred by Miranda Levin) taking the points.  And especially exciting, Scott Snow's Symphony (7 years old, bred by Susan Trow) went Best of Winners both days to get the cross-over points.  She had earned a major at the same show weekend two years ago; obviously it is a good luck show for Scott. Best of Breed both days (and Friday, as well) was Gayle Bontecou's Gayleward's Jaraluv Nike, with Cliff Steele handling.  Jynx was Best of Opposite Sex both days.  Oh, well.  She did just have a litter four months ago, and she isn't completely back to form.  Roxy was the only veteran Deerhound entered, so she was Best of Breed Veteran by default.

Saturday, I got to spend time with Charm, one of the Hallie-Inigo pups, and her owner, Denise, who has become a good friend.  Charm lived up to her name, and was, well, perfectly charming!  Those pups will be hit the shows in August, and I'm very much looking forward to it!

Isabella made the weekend worthwhile, though.  The entry in Whippets was small: 0-2-1-1 (which means no class dogs, 2 class bitches, a dog special and a bitch special--and, to translate the dog-show-speak, a class dog (or bitch) is one who is working towards becoming a champion, while a special is a finished champion that is competing more for national rankings, where the objective is to win Best of Breed, and then perhaps a group placement or even Best in Show.).  Isabella won her class, but since she was the only dog entered in her class, this was not a particularly exciting achievement.  She then went on to beat the Open bitch to take Winners--and her first point!  Then, much to my surprise, she beat the two specials (both professionally handled!) to win Best of Breed under Judy Webb!  Not bad for an 8-month-old puppy!  

Of course, this morning, while I was upstairs getting dressed, she jumped up on the kitchen counter, took the sink strainers out of the sink and out to the yard, and also took all the pens, a pair of needlenose pliers, and heaven only knows what else outside as well.  We'll be finding bits for the next week or two.

Kibby's pups will be two weeks old tomorrow.  Friday night I had noticed that Banger had "glims"--his eyes were just starting to open and you could see a bit of shine in the crease.  Last night the first thing I checked when I got home was the puppies, and I was disappointed to see that while they all have both eyes at least partially open, none has completely opened both baby blues.  Even though adult Deerhounds will have brown eyes--usually dark brown--the pup's eyes are blue for the first several weeks after they open.