30 December 2010

Snow in Phoenix!

Well, we and the dogs are trying to escape winter weather by staying in Arizona. But a storm from California has brought cold, and wild weather to AZ, including high winds, cold temps, hail, thunder storms, rain AND hail and snow showers!  Snow in the Phoenix-area is very rare but we got some today!!  Brrrr!

Miska is a Grandmother!

Miska is a new Grandmother to 5 girls and 3 boys born December 15/10 to Jewel, the mom (Ch. Blackbullet Varazs Legacy NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize ll) bred by Sherryanne Farr and Wes Daniels of Blackbullet Reg'd kennel in Alberta, Canada. The father is "Blaze" (Varazs Kedves Quasar NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize III) who is Miska's son born June 16, 2008.

Pups have been doing well although Jewel has been having a very rough time after the whelping.  There are always risks to the mom (dam) of any litter as well as to the new whelps and it's easy to forget this sometimes. Our biggest hope is that Jewel stays on the road to a full recovery and good health. In the meantime, they have been getting a lot of extra care and tube feeding by breeders Sherryanne and Wes.  Thanks to Sherryanne for the photos of Miska's grand-kids.

Dec 17 evening
Jewel with her babies on Dec. 17

WAlking playing Dec 29 2 weeks old
2 weeks old, Dec. 29/10

29 December 2010

Best in Show Veteran!

As well as written critiques provided by each judge, the IABCA does run group and best in show competitions. Diva took two Group 2nds & and a Group 3rd. Veterans such as Miska were judged for a Best in Show Veteran competition and Miska took a Reserve Best in Show Veteran on Saturday, Dec. 11 won two all-breed Best in Show Veteran competitions on Sunday Dec. 12.

Miska with her Reserve & Best in Show Veteran rosettes!

2 New International Champions!

Both Miska and her daughter, Diva, strutted their stuff at a recent International All Breed Canine Association (IABCA) all breed dog show in Tucson AZ on Dec. 11-12 and each earned an International Champion (UCI CB) title.  This type of organization is quite different from the Cdn or American Kennel Clubs because the shows are not competition-based. Each dog is judged against the breed standard.  Each judge gives each dog a written critique encompassing 12 different parts of a dog's body and movement. If a dog does well (gets the top score at each show), an adult dog can earn an International Title in three shows. Group and BIS competitions do not affect title points and missing a group or a BIS has no effect on title standings and points.

Both Miska and Diva accumulated four V-1 ratings which is equivalent to "Very Excellent" (the top rating for adult class) although only 3 are needed for an International Title.

Proud Vizsla mum with Diva (L) and Miska (R)

Miska (L) and Diva (R) posing with their IABCA medallions

27 December 2010

Hike at Sedona AZ

Yesterday we took my step-daughter & our 3 Vizslas, Miska, Tyro & Diva for a drive and hike to Sedona AZ.  Sedona is re-known for its beautiful red rock formations and definitely worth a visit.  The hike we took was a fairly easy hike along Boynton Canyon.  The rocks were spectactular!  Unfortunately it was very overcast so the red colours were muted.

27 November 2010

Ruby1 Reunion!

Not since I put little Ruby1 (so called #1 because another owner of one of our puppies named their Vizsla Ruby so to distinguish them, I refer to them as Ruby1, born June 26, 2003 and Ruby2, born June 17, 2006) on an airplane to her new home in British Columbia almost 7.5 years ago, had I seen her. BTW, her registered name is Varazs Kiralyi Rubicund. So I was delighted to receive an email from Ruby1's owner to say they had moved to Toronto which is a heck of a lot closer to me than Vancouver, BC!  So a reunion was in the works. We also got together with Ruby's grandmother, Bree owned by Eileen Wilkes, her sister Miska and brother Vadasz as well as a niece (Diva) and nephew (Quest) as well as 2 more of Eileen's dogs.  We had lovely weather in late November so the walk was very pleasant.  It was lovely to see Ruby again and I must say, she looked incredibly young!! Barely or no white hairs on her face, unlike her sister Miska & brother Vadasz.

L-R  Ruby, grandma Bree & sister Miska
The entire gang

14 November 2010

Mr. CD

It's been over 2 years since I last earned an obedience title on one of my dogs. This weekend, it was Tyro's turn to complete his Companion Dog (CD) title.  Not quite a month ago, Tyro earned his first two legs and this weekend at the Georgina Kennel & Obedience Club's obedience trials, he earned his 3rd and final CD leg with a score of 190.5/200 and a 4th place on the Saturday - accomplishing this title in 3 straight trials! 

Since I had entered him in 2 trials this weekend, we returned on Sunday for a 'bonus' run.  And it was a really nice one!  Tyro earned 194.5 in Novice A and with that score, he placed 1st in his class!  Now his official name is CH Varazs Napkelte Tyrone CD, Am/Can RN, Am/Can RA, Am RE, CGN.  And topping off Tyro's Terrific Weekend, he earned two legs (with very good scores) towards his CKC Rally Excellent title on Friday.  Woo hoo Tyro!!!! Mama, Nova,(CH Ferngold Varazs Innovation Am/Can CD, Can RN, Am RE, FDJ CGN) would have been so proud! I know your daddy Hudson (Am/Can/Int CH Kizmar Touch of Evil JH RA) is.

Tyro with his 1st & 4th place rosettes (CD)

12 November 2010

Gypsy wins Amateur Shooting Dog class!

Gypsy who is a granddaughter of our Sasha (Am/Can CH Varazs Kiraly Sassy Sasha Am/Can CD, Am/Can CDX, FDJ, RN, RA, RE, RAE, TT, CGC, CGN)won the Amateur Shooting Dog class at a recent Field Trial in British Columbia. Gypsy was handled by her owner, Susan Scobie (both pictured below). There were 11 starters in this class so that certainly gave Gypsy some points towards a Field Champion title. Way to go Gypsy & Sue! Sasha would be sooo proud of his granddaughter! (Photos courtesy of Susan Scobie, Gypsy's breeder/owner.)

Gypsy on point

Sue and Gypsy

11 November 2010

Lest We Forget

Today, November 11, is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans' Day in the US.  A day, none of us should ignore or forget.  We remember all those men, women and many dogs, who sacrificed their lives for us to provide freedom. Let us never forget.

8 November 2010

Careful what you reinforce!

From the moment I decided to keep Miska, I knew I wanted her to love retrieving as I intended to do obedience and field work with her. I didn't want to use force to make her fetch and I certainly didn't want any field trainer using the ear pinch or toe pinch to get her to fetch birds,

So from the time she was a puppy, I just encouraged her to pick up things, bring them to me, and then rewarded her.  As Susan Garrett drummed into my head (or I drummed it in), "Reinforcement builds behaviour."  I now add to that, "and punishment does not!!'.  However, you have to be careful what you reinforce because sometimes the behaviour can get a little "out of hand".  At least Miska always brings me what she fetches - because that's what I reward her for even if I don't always want what she retrieves or finds outdoors.

Here's the Pepto Bismal mom. I need another tablet.

Mom, I think you need to brush your hair.

Wine server, at your disposal
Dad, do you want your sandal?

No Miska, you CANNOT fetch the lobster!

Fetching empty bowls is a useful occupation & I get paid for it!

My mom wants to know where the rest of the deer is.

Mom, don't you know there's a market for deer antlers?
Dad, did you want your sandal?

Occasionally I'll fetch toys altho I don't get paid to do it.

OK - fetching a bird is in my genes.

This squirrel was a Christmas present for my humans!

How 'bout a partially chewed deer leg mom?

These next two photos are courtesy of Corrine Sellars who has dog-sat Miska on several occasions.

I want to change the TV to Animal Planet

Is this my tip? A lousy 5 bucks??

2 November 2010

Master Champion!

New CARO* Master Champion!!

Milo (from our 2002 litter between Charlie & Tasha) and his devoted owner, Corrine Sellars, celebrated on Saturday October 30 after they completed his CARO* Rally Gold title and this also resulted in him earning his Master Champion title as well!!! Milo can now add the title CRMCH (CARO Rally Master Champion) to the front of his name and CRG (CARO Rally Gold) to the end of his name. Milo and Corrine have now earned an amazing total of 28 titles!!!!!

Below, Corrine accepts Milo's rosette from the Judge

When I sold Milo to Corrine, she was extremely worried about my requirement to earn 1 title with him (or return him).  Well, Corrine, not only did you meet that expectation, you FAR exceeded it!  I'm so proud of both of you and know how much you love Milo and vice versa.  THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for giving Milo such an interesting life and for doing all you have done for him.  Not only have you earned more titles than I have on any of my dogs but more than any other owner! And you did it in field, obedience, rally obedience and agility proving how versatile Milo is. You make a breeder thrilled to breed dogs and to place them with people like you.

Earlier this year - earning his Silver title

* Cdn Assoc. of Rally Obedience

1 November 2010

Hallowe'en 2010

Hallowe'en 2010

"Milo" - Mr Pumpkin

Pirate "Tyro"

Miss Merlot 2010 - "Miska" as a Bunch of Grapes
Thanks to the Doggie Stylish Blog for both the idea and pattern for creating the Bunch of Grapes. Miska was a huge hit at the Monster Match (fun rally and obedience match) at Companion Dog Training on October 31.  Below is her dress rehearsal for moving in the costume.

30 October 2010


Happy Howl-owe'en from the Varazs Vizslas!

Diva picking out a pumpkin
L-R Miska, Sasha & Milo (2005; courtesy of C. Sellars)

29 October 2010

mosaicworks.ca: Our Girl Rita is 14 today!

mosaicworks.ca: Our Girl Rita is 14 today!

Rita is a Vizsla I imported from the United States in January 1997 from Joy Lyons of Lyons Vizslas in Florida. After a couple of months, it became obvious that she had a severe case of entropian so I couldn't use her in my breeding program. I placed her with Karen Johnston & Doug Wheeler who also owned another one of my Vizslas, Varazs Summer Solstice (Bob). On October 28, 2919 Rita celebrated her 14th Birthday. We visited Rita and Bob in August 2009, just before Bob's 14th birthday. He died just short of 14 so it's wonderful that Rita made it to 14. She lived a charmed life, having almost perished after being impaled by a stick very close to her heart many years ago.

Here's Rita 'flirting' with our Tyro back in 2009.

NOT lost in translation

No matter what language you read or speak, these signs are pretty universal.  I spotted these on our recent trips to Israel.

28 October 2010

Spot the Grouse

A lonely grouse wandered through our garden the other day & stopped for lunch - eating berries from our burning bush. Had I not spotted movement, I would never have noticed this guy because it is so well camoflauged.  Our dogs were indoors at the time so didn't have an opportunity to bring home dinner.  I'm sure it would have been a very tasty meal!

26 October 2010

The irony & the agony

If you've read my Blog, you'll know that Miska recently competed in 2 Open trials, neither of which she passed. However, today at class in a trial 'run-through' and 2 weeks ago doing the same thing at class at Companion Dog Training, Miska aced things. We were also judged by Marie Sawford (the school's owner & head instructor) who herself is a CKC-approved obedience/rally judge. Scores of 195 and 197 from Marie. Here's the proof.

Come on Miska! What gives??? Why do you pass with flying colours at a 'mock' trial but blow the real thing? You like to spend my money??!

24 October 2010

Travelling with Man's Best Friend

Do you travel with your dogs in your car or van?  If you own a dog, of course you do! Otherwise, how would you get your best friend to the vet or the groomer or to training or to a dog show?  But, is your dog loose in your vehicle or stowed safely in a crate?  Ever watched videos or TVC commercials of test dummies in supervised vehicle crashes?  If yes, then you know what happens to humans even when they are restrained by seat belts and protected now by airbags.

Traveling with Man's Best Friend loose - or worse, loose or tied up by its collar in the open cab of a truck (I want to shoot people who do this) -  inside a vehicle is dangerous to the dog and ALSO extremely dangerous to the driver and any passengers.

I just came across a very revealing article, the link for which is found below. PLEASE read it and if you don't restrain your canine properly and safely before reading this, then you don't deserve to be owned by a dog.  This explains why I now specifically put into my sales agreements a requirement that the owner always travels with his/her Vizsla in a crate or restrained by a secure harness. Even if you use a safety harness, you'd better check whether it will withstand high force.  Please don't risk your dog's life when traveling! Protect your furry buddies!


23 October 2010

Miska in Open

Miska (DOB: June 26, 2003) recently competed in her first Open (CDX) obedience trials at the London Canine Assoc. trials.  As for me, I haven't competed in Open since Feb. 2002, when I was competing with my Vizsla Keira (DOB: June 5, 1997).  Keira was a fabulous working dog and just aced obedience and agility.  Anyway, I have wanted to return to Open. Miska and I have been training rather intensively for the past few months. In particular, I've focussed on her heeling and her motivation / speed in the ring with the help of Marie Sawford's expertise at Companion Dog Training. This has really paid off and now Miska gives me great  - not perfect but significantly improved - attention while heeling.  And most importantly, she enjoys being in the ring even though she'd really rather be outdoors hunting.

Miska -posing with her dumbbell

Retrieve over the High Jump

My initial plan was not to do her first two Open trials in a single day but that's the way the entries and schedule went. I had hoped for at least 1 Q (qualifying score) but that didn't happen either.  Here's my post mortem of her performances.

Trial 1
V good heeling; only lost 2.5 marks! I gave her a verbal command for the Drop on Recall & she didn't hear me so that was an automatic Fail.  Lost 1 mark for a poor sit in front & poor finish on the retrieve on flat. 1/2 mark lost on her retrieve over the high jump for a crooked sit in front. Then the biggest faux pas - she walked over the broad jump.  Oh brother! And then just as I returned to her on the long sit, she stood.  Oh well. We still had another trial later in the afternoon.

Miska was doing better in the first four exercises. So far, so good. I gave her a hand signal for the drop & she dropped this time. Up until the broad jump, we were qualifying. Then she walked over it again.  AAAAArrrrrgggghhhh - despite the fact that I had brought my jumps to the trial and she practiced cleanly outdoors.  Hmmmm.  And then in the long sit, she went down.  Well, it was a very long day.  I had risen at 5:30 AM & Miska was awakened at 6:15 as we had a really early start to drive to the show.  She's 7 years old and hasn't competed in obedience trials (and never 2 in one day) for a long, long time. So chalk the going down in the long sit up to fatigue?? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Despite the NQ's,  I was really pleased with Miska's heeling and her motivation in the ring. She appeared genuinely happy to be competing even though I'm sure she would rather have been hunting.  So, I'm working the broad jump & her fronts in the next few weeks until our next trials, mid-November.

Quest's 3 pt major

Here's the photo of Quest earning his first 3 point major win at the Finger Lakes Kennel Club show at Romulus, NY on Oct. 3, 2010. Quest was handled by his breeder/owner, Sylvia Dorosh. The judge was Mrs. Carol Esterkin (absent from photo) from Tarzana, California.

Cdn CH Varazs Kedves Quester winning his first major.