31 December 2008

Happy New Year from Glendale, AZ

We were so happy to be settled into our new rental house in Glendale, AZ for New Year's eve. Here is a photo of the dogs with Diva in front and the others snuggled in their Bowser Bed.

Being new to the area, we didn't have an opportunity to research parties or dinners. So we spent a quiet evening in our new house, surrounded by our dogs, and enjoying the warmer weather than at home. I guess we were more tired from our long drive than we anticipated because we fell asleep before midnight. Michael roused me just as AZ was ringing in the New Year with a repeat of Times Square celebrating 2 hours earlier. We had bought a bottle of bubbly but it would have gone to waste so decided to keep it for another occasion.

It was both a happy and sad occasion. We were happy to be in a warm climate, happy to be together but sad to be away from our good friends Colleen & Raynal with whom we have celebrated many a new year and also sad because Dec. 31 was the birthday of our beloved Sasha from our very first Vizsla litter born in 1992 whom we lost in January 2008.

Anyway, a belated Happy New Year & all the best in 2009 from Sylvia, Michael & the Varazs Vizslas.

30 December 2008

Voyage to Arizona

High winds and major rain and t-storms originating from the US mid-west had us adjust our itinerary when we departed Moffat, Ontario for Arizona on Dec. 27, 2008. We headed more directly south to Indiana instead of going west to Chicago. As a result, we were fortunate to avoid almost all of the heavy rain, severe thunder storms & high winds that affected several states & Ontario. But the drive through Indiana was very boring - it's very flat, mainly farmland & there were miles & miles of it. T he section of Illinois we drove through was much the same. Oh, I forgot to mention that much of these states were under water due to the rapidly melting snow & heavy rains. There were mini lakes everywhere. Most of the central & mid-west US is pretty uninteresting geographically if you're sticking to the Interstates to get somewhere which we are doing.

Missouri was a little more interesting because of rolling hills & trees. Below, the famous arch in St. Louis and a photo of Busch stadium.

Then Oklahoma was flat again, and mostly farmland. We crossed the entire state of OK from 1 side to another.

Just when we didn't think it could get any flatter, it did in the Texas Panhandle. Boy, it's as flat as I remember Saskatchewan to be. You can see for hundreds of miles in the Texas Panhandle, except there is nothing to see! - apart from windmill farms and vast herds of cattle. What I learned is that the Texas Panhandle has been identified as one of the fastest-growing wind-power-producing regions in the nation over the past decade because of its strong, steady winds. Pretty exciting stuff - not!

Welcome to New Mexico
Once we hit the western part of the Texas panhandle and then into New Mexico, the geography finally started to get more interesting with buttes, mesas, rock formations, mountains, canyons, etc. And there was also some snow.

In Albuquerque we found a brand new, very nice pet friendly hotel, La Quinta Inn Suites. It was the nicest accommodation of our entire trip. The hotel has a lovely enclosed courtyard specifically to run dogs leash free. It's small but it was better than nothing after our dogs had endured 3 days in crates in the car without any walks/runs. Unfortunately, despite the signs, the doggy do bags provided for dog owners, people at this hotel still didn't clean up after their pets!!! I spent time and effort cleaning up after a lot of pet owners, on their behalf. Grrrrr.

Traffic was light on our trip, even in rush hour in major cities like Tulsa & Albuquerque. Traffic in these cities is nothing like Toronto rush hour which last 18 hours/day, 7 days a week. It's awful driving the greater Toronto area at any time of the day now. I hate it.

Our most exciting "events" on the trip were a possible sighting of a bald eagle (or maybe it was a vulture) and a red-tailed hawk carrying a rabbit, flying low over the highway right in front of us. Other than that, it was just millions of acres of land, water, trees, farms, cattle & cars.

As to Tyro and his travel anxiety? Well, a few drops of Lavendar oil were good for about 3 or 4 hours. He never dropped his head or closed his eyes the entire time in the van; nor did he sleep at all. After the 2nd day, I put in a donut bed in his crate, hoping he would at least rest his head. He sort of did, but still didn't close his eyes. At least he didn't pant for the most part. Needless to say once we got settled into the hotel at night, he was out cold. It obviously wasn't great for him, but at least he wasn't so stressed that it was terrible. He 'endured' it.

Welcome to Arizona!
Dec. 30th, 6:30 pm - we finally rolled up to our new temporary digs in Glendale. AZ. It took us the better part of 4 days to reach our destination safely and without incident. We are so looking forward to our sojourn.

I'm slowly catching up on our blog stories and there will be more about our life here in AZ soon.

21 December 2008

Finding a pet friendly rental home

Having decided to venture to Arizona meant finding a pet-friendly rental home that would accept 4 Vizslas. Yikes! I know it's hard finding places that will accept animals because there are a lot of irresponsible pet owners out there. I found that most landlords only accept 2 (small) dogs. I had 4 Vizslas I wanted to bring. Would I find the perfect place?

I found a few websites for rental homes but many restricted the number and size of dogs they would accept. Interestingly, when I was able to talk to prospective landlords on the phone and told them that our dogs are show dogs and that they train and compete in obedience events, and they travel with me to hotels & so have to be well behaved - which is all true - that made a big difference. Landlords generally became more open to hosting us and our dogs. Of course, they had to accept my word on face value but it did ease some initial potential resistances. I wanted to be honest with these people about our dogs but I also didn't want to be turned down.

In the end, I found a great pet friendly home in Glendale AZ. It even has a pet door. My dogs are not used to a pet door and quite frankly, I prefer to supervise their coming and going because I want to teach my dogs not to go through a door without permission. I need to know what they are doing outdoors, especially because this home has a pool. I don't have a high opinion of pet doors. I lump them in with Flexis. (I've got my flame suit on, just in case.) I also watch what my dogs do outdoors. I don't want them eating stuff they shouldn't and I also don't want them barking unwarranted. My dogs aren't used to living in a city so I wasn't sure what to expect. It will all be a new experience for all of us. Can't wait to get to Arizona!

20 December 2008

Tyro's travel anxiety

Having made the decision to spend January and February in Arizona and buying a new van, the plan included driving, rather than flying, and it also meant taking our dogs with us. However, we deliberated leaving Tyro behind with my good friend Joan White. Joan has dogsat Tyro several times. The reason for our indecision is that Tyro is not a good traveller. He wasn't always that way. For the first year of his life, he was fine in a car. Tyro and Sasha always went together in the car for their swims at Luv My K9's. But it was after we lost our Sasha that Tyro began to get anxious in a moving vehicle. He's fine when it's stopped but the motion now upsets him and after about 5 minutes sometimes, he starts to pant.

But two months is a long time to be separated and I knew it would be hard for Joan to give him up when we return. However, traveling for 4 days straight, about 9 hours/day over 2000 miles is a long time for a dog that is anxious. I had to find a solution. Rescue Remedy didn't work for him, nor did a prescription anti nausea medication. I had read in Dogs in Canada magazine about the therapeutic effects of lavender oil. The scent has a calming effect which may aid in relaxation and the reduction of anxiety. Also, lavender can be used to prepare for meditation because it balances mind and body, promoting a sense of stillness, according to Wikipedia. So I experimented with it on short trips. It worked! I couldn't believe it. A couple drops of lavender oil virtually stopped Tyro's panting. But, would it reduce his anxiety enough for 4 days of traveling? More in another post.

19 December 2008

New Vizslimo

Much of late November and December was spent looking for a new van. We had decided to venture to Arizona in search of better weather for January and February. Our (now former) 2000 Toyota Sienna racked up almost 240,000 km in the 6 years we had owned it; much of that mileage was traveling to/from dog shows. We didn't think this van would make it to and from Arizona from Ontario, Canada - the round trip is 7,200 KM or 4,470 miles - plus all the driving while in Arizona.

Like many dog-owning humans, we make many purchase decisions to accommodate our four-legged family companions. I go to a lot of dog shows and trials with multiple dogs so our vehicle has to have a lot of space to carry all the dog equipment.

It was a great time to buy a car because of the worsening economy. We decided to stick with the Toyota Sienna although we were tempted by the Honda Odyssey which has very good ratings and reviews. But the newer Siennas have a bit more cargo space than the Odysseys and we needed every extra inch of space we could get for this trip. Having traveled with dogs before, I know that their crates and other stuff take up most of the cargo area, living little extra for humans' luggage.

In the end, we got a good deal on a very low mileage, 2006 Sienna that was imported into Ontario from Florida. The body was rust-free as it hadn't been exposed to winter salt. It also has lots of features our old van didn't have, including stow-n-go rear seats, an automatic side door (that's really neat), and side windows that open - a real plus when you own dogs. Corrine Sellars who owns Milo, sent me this neat website http://www.dogcars.com/ to help you select a vehicle for dogs. The latest model got the paws up. I am thrilled with our new "Vizslimo".

18 December 2008

Puppy update - Quest and Piper, Dec. '08

Here are some recent shots of Quest and Piper from our last litter born June 16, 2008. Quest is still looking thin from some bug that he contracted but he's putting on weight again. These photos were taken at our last puppy class in mid-December.

I visited Piper and her family just before Christmas. Her owners, Cynthia & Greg, took these lovely shots of her with her holiday bells on. Piper is a very pretty girl, nice and compact, with lots of growing still to do.

16 December 2008

Chloe is a senior Vizsla

Chloe (Varazs Chloe's Spring Cantata) is out of our June 1997 litter. She will be turning 12 in June of 2009. Her owner, Lana Pavelick of Winnipeg Manitoba, sent me this recent photo of Chloe at Christmas time. I love the senior dogs. Chloe is just as pretty with white hair on her face as she was when she was younger. Thanks Lana for sending me this beautiful picture of Chloe.

15 December 2008

Kaiser takes Best of Breed!

On December 12 and 13, I had the priviledge of showing Blackbullet Jumpn Crackerjack aka "Kaiser", bred by Sherryanne Farr and Wes Daniels of Alberta Canada, at the Orangeville dog show in Ontario, Canada. Kaiser is actually 'family' to my dogs. His dad is Am/Can/Int'l CH Kizmar Touch of Evil JH, RA "Hudson" who sired our 2006 litter with CH Ferngold Varazs Innovation etc. "Nova". But Kaiser is also closely related to our dogs on his mom's side as he is a son of CH Blackbullet Varazs Legacy NAVHDA NA "Jewel" who is a daughter of CH Varazs On Point At Blackbullet "Amber", whom I sent to Sherryanne almost 11 years ago to become her foundation Vizsla bitch.

Kaiser's lovely family recently moved from Alberta to Ottawa, Ontario. Sherryanne asked if I would handle him as he still needs several points to finish his Cdn championship. I agreed and finally had the opportunity to meet Kaiser and his owner, Carey in December. Carey had done a fabulous job training him for the show ring so he was a delight to handle and he also has a fabulous temperament, just like his half-brother, Tyro, who is one of my dogs sired by CH Kizmar Touch of Evil JH, RA "Hudson".

There was only 1 other Vizsla entered on Saturday and Sunday and it was a champion. For Kaiser to pick up a point, he had to beat this Champion and take Best of Breed. Fortunately, that's what happened both days and so we added 2 more points to his tally. I think Kaiser is up to 5 points now. Next spring/summer, Carey and her husband will make the trek south from Ottawa for more dog shows and hopefully, we'll finish his championship.

7 December 2008

Lloyd's Ball(s)

On December 7, Lloyd's owners threw a party for him. The theme was "It's a Ball' to 'celebrate' his neuter surgery since Lloyd wasn't going to be used for breeding. Lloyd (CH Varazs Nyar Cigany) was born June 17, 2006 and is out of our Nova-Hudson breeding. The party was a fun idea, particularly as it was nearing the holiday season, and guests were encouraged to bring food items that were balls like meat balls, melon balls, etc. As it was so close to Christmas, candy prevailed as the foodstuff of preference to bring so needless to say, Kristi and Mike probably didn't need to buy anything sweet for the holidays. Lloyd's Christmas presents included a 'chuck-it' and door bells to ring when he needs to go (from his breeder mom) and a Bowser's Bed from his human grandparents.

Here's Lloyd.

"How come I'm here, and everyone else is indoors partying?"

The colours of Vizsla.

6 December 2008

VSO Booster show, Dec. 6, 2008

On December 6, 2008 I went to watch the Vizsla Society of Ontario's Vizsla Booster (supported entry) show. I was particularly curious to see the entries and what the judge would pick. The judge was Carmen Haller, a former Vizsla owner/handler whose dog, CH Vizsta's Royal Pacesetter
set many records in Canada in the late 1980's and early 1990's.

Entered were 2 puppies, Reese and Dexter, that are half-brothers to my Miska-Ozzie litter, Ozzie (CH Hubertus Quality Control) an import from Australia being the sire of these puppies that were born 10 days before Miska's litter. Reese and Dexter just turned 6 months old and this was their first show; they were in the 6 to 9 month class. Carmen picked Reese as the winner of this class and then she picked him as her Winners' Dog and also Best of Opposite Sex over a male Special for 3 points! A very nice win for this young puppy at his very first show.

Here's a photo of Reese:

Here's a photo of Dexter:

For her Best of Breed and Group 4th, Carmen picked CH Gardenway Lienroc Beatrice an English import whose sire is Hungargunn Bear Itn Mind (Yogi), a very famous Vizsla in Australia and England. Carmen appeared to like the bone and substance of her BOB and WD/BOS.

And I was also delighted to see 11-year old CH Gardenway Celtic Breeze entered as a Veteran. Bree is the mother of my Nova and grandmother to my Miska and great-grand dam to our June 2008 litter. She was handled by Jr Handler, Erin Wilkes, Eileen Wilke's daughter.

5 December 2008

Susan Garrett's Puppy Camp, November 2008

I'm sure you're wondering what the heck happened to me & my dogs for the past 6 weeks? Well, lots; too much in fact which is why I didn't have time to update my blog.

At the end of November 2008, Diva and I were fortunate to attend a 3-day Puppy Camp at Susan Garrett's Say Yes training facility. This is the second time I've been. Two years ago I took Tyro when he was a puppy. The great thing about Susan's workshops is that she is always learning and passing on her new knowledge, experiences, and ideas to others. Although there was lots of information that was 'old hat' for me, it was still a good review and refresher. Much of her theory is based on operant conditioning and the work of Bill Bailey whose DVD's I bought a year ago from Clean Run. And Susan really emphasizes motivation and building a relationship with your dog. "Work is play and play is work." is one her well-known phrases that I have memorized to heart.

Of course, for Diva who wasn't quite 6 months of age, the workshop experience was all new. Much of the first day was spent in the classroom but days 2 and 3 were a lot of activity with handlers and their dogs. You'd think that 3 solid days would be enough time to cover everything, watch Susan demo, and practice lots but it wasn't. We really could have used 2 more days but since this camp is for puppies, the puppies were quite exhausted at the end of it, as were many humans. Nevertheless, I found it very energizing and worth while and was so glad I had the opportunity to attend. After training with Susan and her assistants, the one thing I will say is that it makes it impossible for me to go back to training with 'traditional' trainers but perhaps more about that in a future post.

4 December 2008

Susan Garrett's Blog

Susan Garrett has a Blog and I'm going to add it to my "Other Woof Stuff" list on my Blog but just want to draw your attention to it with this post. Here's the link. http://susangarrett.wordpress.com/

For those who aren't familiar with Susan Garrett, she's one of the world's foremost dog trainers & agility competitors and she happens to live in Ontario, Canada - about 45 minutes from where I live (I am so lucky!!). When I attend classes, workshops, camps at her school, I have to sign a waiver saying that I will absolutely NOT use any force or corrections - verbal or physical - on my dogs or I will be kicked out (those are my words but that is the gist of her waiver). The use of NO FORCE / CORRECTIONS is the important point in her training program because it means you have to think about how to set your dog up for learning and success. It also means that there is no "one way" or a single method to train your dog because she by and large uses shaping - which I have also adopted for my dogs.

Here's a link to a post she wrote about the Puppy Camp that Diva and I attended in November 2008.

25 November 2008

Gunner - Mr Black

On November 23/08, we joined Eileen Wilkes who is Nova's breeder and the owner of Bowsers Beds, and other Vizsla owners, for a walk. Joining us was Gunner and his humans. Gunner was Mr Black from our June 2009 breeding between Miska (Am/Cdn CH Varazs Kiralyi Kedvesem Am/Cn CD, FD, JH, Am RE, Cdn RA, NAVHDA NA Prize III, CGN) and Ozzie (CH Hubertus Quality Control FDJ). Mr Black was the fearless puppy who was so curious to meet our older males, Chili and Tyro. Chili didn't feel the same way and was quite scared of the puppies. Anyway, Gunner is turning out to be a very nice looking boy!

23 November 2008

More rally-o news!

It was another great weekend for 2 dogs out of our kennel. Milo (pictured right) and his owner Corrine Sellars, earned 2 legs towards their CARO Rally excellent title on Nov. 23/08. In their second trial, they earned a 3rd place with a score of 192/200! Were it not for a minor handler error (arrgggghhh!) in their third trial, they would have finished their title. Darn. But all in all, a tail wagging great weekend for this pair and an excellent year overall in 2008 with 3 new titles and 2/3 towards their 4th. Great going Milo the Magnificent & Corrine!!!

And on the same day, Shandy and her owner Chrissie Diron, earned the final leg of their CKC rally novice title to add [another[ RN (Rally Novice title) to their registered name. This was their 3rd title in 2008. Fanastic work Shandy and Chrissie!

I am very proud of the accomplishments of my the dogs coming out of our breeding program and thrilled for their owners. Shandy and Milo - you're awesome pawsomes!

16 November 2008

2008 VCA Nationals, Arizona

We had a very brief trip to Arizona in November, partly to see the 2008 Vizsla Nationals (held in Tucson) and partly to look at real estate rentals. I enjoyed the dog show much more than looking at real estate, but 4.5 days down there weren't enough to do either justice.

I had a chance to saw the veterans sweeps and watched a 15.5 yr old veteran female (CH Equinox Sassafras MH CD NA) in the 12 years and older class which brought me to tears in reminder of my beloved Sasha who died on January 22, 2008 in his 16th year. In the photo below, she is pictured at the L. She had some difficulty gaiting around the ring but at that age, it's not surprising. She's deaf now and couldn't hear the cheers and applause for her but relished, I am sure, all the attention and pats she received before and after going in the ring. The veterans classes are always my favourites at a national speciality show and how wonderful it was to see several quite old Vizslas in the ring.

I also had an opportunity to see in the flesh a descendant from my kennel. Mr Fritz (CH Red Dawn Mr Fritz JH) an almost 3-year old male Vizsla bred by Pamela Lambros is out of our Sara (Am. Ch Varazs Sara's Full of Grace MH) who is a daughter of our Abby (Am/Can CH Varazs Abracadbra TT). Fritz's sire is Am CH Copperfield Mik Ket Szazcsok JH). Fritz is a beautiful male with a dark, rich coat. His face really reminds me of Abby. Fritz is turning heads in California and the national specialty judge, James Reynolds of Ontario Canada, pulled him out for his final cut of about 12 dogs for Best of Breed. Quite an accomplishment for a young dog and we are very proud of him, his breeder Pam Lambros, and his handler. Well done!

Sadly, we had to depart for home before Best of Breed judging because of work commitments but we once again, enjoyed our limited time at a national specialty show. Congratulations to all the class placements, class winners and other winners and also a big, huge THANK you to all those who played a part in organizing/hosting the Nationals. Without your hard work, we wouldn't have a show to attend each year! Well, I already have my hotel room booked for 2009. See you in Charlotte, North Carolina in October 2009!!!!

5 November 2008

History unfolds before our eyes

Either way the American election went - Republicans or Democrats - history was unfolding last night before our eyes and I found that exciting. Of course we live through events each day but we don't often know in advance that they will be or become historical. This election was either going to vote in its first president of colour or its first female VP. Now we can all say that we were alive when, in this case, the United States elected its first African-American president. Congratulations to president-elect Obama. As a Canadian, my hopes are that you can truly make a positive difference to the US and to the world. You certainly have a monumental task ahead of you and I pray that you can perform this task with all the exceptional skills and support from others that needed for the job.

3 November 2008

Mr. Bob & his Magic Ride

Bob (Varazs Summer Solstice) born August 22, 1995 is the inspiration and model for a children's book called, Mr. Bob's Magic Ride in the Sky, written and sketched by his owner, Karen Johnston. It was published in 2002. The book is now sold out although there are some used copies still available. I thought it would be nice to repeat the promotional information about the book and especially about Bob since he recently turned 13.

Reprinted from Chapters.Indigo.ca:

From the Publisher

"You don''t have to call him Mr. Bob, some people just call him Bob the Dog. But no matter what you call him, you''ll want to join him in his magical ride in the sky. Mr. Bob loves to spend his days watching the world around him. He loves to wonder what it must be like to be one of the other animals that he sees and how the world must look to them. One day, Mr. Bob makes some new winged friends who carry him into the sky to see what the world a
round him looks like from up above. Young readers will love this sweet tale about he amazingly detailed pencil illustrations that accompany it."

From the Jacket

"Meet. Bob.

Bob the dog to some,

Mr. Bob to others.

Here is his story and the tale of how his dream took flight.

Bob had a dream. He dreamed of flying. And one day, with the magical help of some friendly birds, his dream came true."

"Through incredibly detailed illustrations, the story of a dog with a dream takes shape. Karen Johnston has captured the essence of an endearing canine as he stares out the window of his home, gazes out of the car, always looking up at the sky. Both children and adults will be captivated by the artwork and enchanting tale of this wistful dog."

"About the Author

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Karen Johnston attended the Ontario College of Art before becoming a graphic artist and art director. When she became a stay-at-home mother, she dreamed of writing and illustrating a children''s book. When she is not drawing, she creates mosaic frames and clocks. She has lived in Nova Scotia for the past six years but has recently moved back to Ontario. Karen loves taking long walks with her husband Doug, daughters, and her two Viszlas, Bob and Rita."

Recently I wrote that Bob turned a lucky 13 years old and I asked Karen to send me some photos since I haven't seen Bob since he attended Sasha's 12th birthday party 3 years ago. Bob has become much whiter but is still as sweet and handsome as ever.

2 November 2008

Roundworms rob toddler of his sight

During a recent routine visit to my veterinarian, I read an extremely disturbing article about a toddler in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada who has lost his vision and some mobility due to roundworms from raccoons, an animal found throughout southern Canada and the United States. Here is a link to the story about the toddler. http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/445081 All I can say is 'how absolutely awful' for him and agree that no one deserves what he is now suffering from because of parasites from the raccoon species. Here's a link with information about Baylisascaris (raccoon) Infection from the Center for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/baylisascaris/default.htm

My vet has recently attended some meetings with local pediatricians and veterinarians about the spread of parasites in Canada due to global warming. More and more children and pets are being infected by parasites. Of course there are different sources of parasites but raccoons are ubiquitous in these parts, especially in cities; even in rural areas, the number 1 road-kill critter on country roads is the raccoon. They are smart and sort of cute but they carry diseases. My veterinarian is now recommending more frequent worming of all of our dogs and we shall be carrying out a more rigorous protocol to protect both them and us humans in the household. I thought it would be very useful to spread information about raccoon roundworms to my Blog readers, especially if you have dogs and children.

31 October 2008

The Great Vizsla Pumpkin

Hallowe'en Greetings from the Varazs Vizslas!

[Photos courtesy of Corrine Sellars.]

Milo the pumpkin

Miska the princess, Sasha the ghost, & Milo the great pumpkin

30 October 2008

Hunting instinct lands Miska in trouble

Sometimes it's a mixed blessing owning hunting dogs when what they hunt can cause injuries or sometimes worse. Miska has very strong instincts for hunting both feather and fur. We don't get much wild upland game where we live so most 'hunting' around here is for fur. When I say 'hunting', I am not carrying a gun to shoot game with; Miska just hunts naturally whenever we head outdoors.

Yesterday while out walking along our usual trail in our neighbouring conservation area, Miska found a creature in the woods. I usually know when she's hot on the scent of something because often she barks at it, usually because it's up a tree. In this case, it was on the ground. I could see her and Nova working as a team to corner it. It was big and dark and ambling along the ground. Fortunately Tyro and Diva didn't join in when they heard me shouting 'leave it!' at the top of my lungs. My shouts turned to screams, however, when neither Miska nor Nova paid any attention to me. When they get so excited and aroused by the hunt, I'm sure they don't hear me at all because they are so focused on the prey.

At first I thought it was a raccoon, then I thought it was a skunk and because the dogs were so close to the creature, I was certain they had been sprayed. But I couldn't smell any skunk odor. Finally Miska backed off and away and then I saw her face - she had a muzzle full of porcupine quills. Boy, she got it good. Obviously, she had tried to bite the porkie. Nova was spared. Of course, it had to be the one occasion when I didn't have my cell phone with me and we had quite a long walk back to the house. Poor Miska kept trying to paw her face. I tried to carry her for a few yards but an extra 43 pounds of weight was very difficult to hoist for long. Needless to say, I was so relieved but so exhausted to get her home. My vet was closed for the evening and doesn't provide 24 hour emergency service so I phoned around to find a clinic that was open after 6 pm. Fortunately I did, only five minutes drive away, and so a short while later, she was recovering and sleeping off the sedative and I was $110 poorer. Ouch - those quills really, really hurt when being pulled out which is why they need to be sedated. She had a few in her mouth but most were around her muzzle; maybe about 40-50 quills. It could have been a lot worse. Will that teach her a lesson? From what I've heard of other people's experiences with their dogs, not likely.

The photo at R is of Miska's brother, Vadasz taken in April 2008 with a number of quills in his body. Most likely he had found a dead porcupine and rolled on it because of where the quills were situated. They were also quite soft and easy to extract.

Then on today's walk, Miska found half a body of a squirrel. That wasn't something she killed and ate; probably leftover kill from a fox or coyote. Being the ultimate retriever that she is, she always brings these things to me. Oh happy day- NOT! Fortunately I had a bag to dispose of the carcass and a treat to give her. Sometimes I wish she didn't like to hunt quite so much.

26 October 2008

Nova's grandkids turn 4

Happy Birthday to Nova's grandkids: Rodaidh, Okos, Drake, Genmai, Ramses, Polo and Pia who turned 4 years old on October 23. The mom of these Vizslas is Nova's daughter Shandy (CH Varazs Artemis Vizsandy CD, AGN, AGI, RA (CARO), CGN) who is a sister to our Miska. Most of these Vizslas live on the west coast of Canada and so we haven't met any of them in the flesh. But best wishes for many, many more birthdays to come and lots of wiggles and licks from the Varazs Vizsla clan here in Ontario.

25 October 2008

Autumn colours

This autumn in southern Ontario, Canada has been spectacular for its colours; some have said this season has been one of the best in many years probably because we've had a lot of sunshine. The colours don't last long as the deciduous leaves start to drop and the hard work of raking and blowing has been underway for the past 2 weeks. But I managed to take a number of pictures which are displayed in the photo album below that I hope you'll enjoy. Many of the photos are of our property or close by where we live.

One of my favourite 'autumn' photos is of my first Vizsla lying atop a pile of leaves. This is Csarda (1977 - 1991) taken in 1978 when he was about 16 months old. (No digital cameras back then so this was scanned from a printed photograph and may be a bit grainy.)

Vizslas blend in so much with the autumn leaves that now I usually put their hunting collars on when we go for a walk so they are more visible. This is Miss Diva kinda looking like a little pumpkin with her orange collar.

23 October 2008

Vizslas to be featured on Animal Planet!

I just received an email from Grace Suriel of Animal Planet Digital Media telling me that Vizslas are among the 5 breeds to be featured in this Saturday's (Oct. 25) episode of Dogs 101

Click on the link below to find out what dates and times the program airs & you can also get a reminder email sent to you. Don't miss it! And spread the word!


How Dogs Drink

Most of you probably know how dogs lap liquids but if you don't, you'll learn how from this Discovery Channel video clip. It's over 4 minutes so takes a while to download, even with hi-speed Internet. If you want to FF to the part about how dogs drink, it starts at around 2 min. 25 seconds. Neat to see in slow-motion. Thanks to my friend Chrissie Diron for sending me this link.

20 October 2008

Our American Vizsla relative

This past weekend, south of the border - in the US, that is - one of our American Vizsla relatives finished his AKC Championship title. CH Red Dawn Mr Fritz is a son of Sara (CH Varazs Sara's Full of Grace MH). Sara lives in California and is out of our 2001 breeding between Am/Can CH Varazs Abracadbra (Abby) and Am CH Voros Vadasz Cyrus Barat MH. Three of Sara's kids from two breedings are now American Champions. Well done Sara and congratulations to Pam Lambros, Mr Fritz's breeder and to Mr. Fritz's family!

CH Varazs Sara's Full of Grace MH (above) winning
Best of Opposite at the 2004 Vizsla Club of N. California Specialty show

Am/Can CH Varazs Abracadabra TT (above)
BOS winner at Vizsla Canada's national specialty show (1999)

18 October 2008

Milo earns his 10th title!

Today Milo earned his Rally Advanced title from the Cdn Association of Rally Obedience (CARO). It was 3 years since legs 1 and 2 were achieved! Milo completed Leg 1 in Sept. '05 with a 1st place & score of 190; Leg 2 in Nov. '05: 1st with 190; and finally Leg 3 in Oct. '08: 3rd with 186. To earn the "cum laude", the team's average score must be between 180 and 189; their average was 188.7. So he gets to add CL for 'cum laude' after the RA - therefore RACL. Yes, Vizslas are smart; this just confirms it!

This is Corrine and Milo's 10th title. Milo is officially known as Varazs Mokany Ficko FDJ, RN (CARO), RN (AKC), RACL (CARO), AgNJ, AGN, SSGDC, SADC, CL1-R, CGN. Way to go team! If you need a guide to these titles, look below.

Translation of Titles:
FDJ - Field Dog Jr (hunting)
RN - Rally Novice
RACL - Rally Advanced Cum Laude
AgNJ - Agility Novice Jumpers with weaves
AGN - Agility Novice (Standard)
CL1-R (Standard Agility title in the Canine Performance Events org.)
SADC - Special Agility Dog of Canada (Agility Assoc. of Canada)
SSGDC - Special Starters Games Dog of Canada (Agility Assoc. of Canada)

16 October 2008

Final decision

After weeks and weeks of deliberation, I've finally decided on which puppy I'm going to keep!

Both of them!

Diva (above) stacked at 17 weeks

Quest (above) stacked at 17 weeks

But only Diva will live with us. Quest will now live with his canine Uncle Vadasz and Gary Krammer in Toronto, Ontario. It was a very hard decision since Quest is such a sweet Vizsla and reminds me a lot in looks of his great uncle, Jazz and in personality, of his grandfather, Sasha and I already miss him terribly. In some ways, that's why I didn't want to have him live with us as he would probably remind me too much of Sasha whom I still grieve for and miss dearly. But I will own Quest and handle him in conformation and perhaps field and rally and so it's the best of all worlds for me, Diva, Quest, Gary and Vadasz. And Vadasz will now have a canine companion at home to play with.

Quest going home with Gary & Vadasz