31 August 2010

Northern Biscuit Bakery

I've been buying Northern Biscuits for my Vizslas for years. They get 12 paws up from our 3 Vizslas!  Not only are they proudly Canadian-made ("O Canada, we stand on guard for thee") but more importantly, they are "functional treats baked without preservatives or artificial ingredients" according to their website and "ideal snacks as part of a HOLISTIC diet".  My dogs love these cookies.  I love them because I know what goes into them; I trust the company (very important these days!) and I know they use human-grade quality ingredients.

Since multiple dogs share our house and we often have quadruped Vizsla visitors (relatives and friends), the large bulk boxes (4 KG) are what I usually purchase.  Yesterday I opened up the latest box of beef liver flavoured treats I bought from Ren's Pet Depot (Aberfoyle, ON store).  I must admit, I was rather surprised at what I saw and felt.
  1. The cookies weren't enclosed in plastic.
  2. There were lots of broken pieces.
  3. They weren't as hard-baked as the ones I've bought in the past.
  4. They were more floury and felt a little dampish.
For that reason, I didn't give any to my dogs. I intended to return them to Rens but knew the probability of finding my receipt was slim although they could probably look my purchases up in their system.  Instead, I went to the Northern Biscuit website at http://www.northernbiscuit.ca/ and clicked on the "Contact Info" link.  I telephoned the company and - hold onto your hats now - I reached a human being immediately!!!  That in itself was a miracle after having recently dealt with another Canadian superglomerate company whose name shall remain anonymous but begins with B and ends with L and has 4 letters and specializes in telecommunications and whose dealings are enough to drive you to imitating the spectacular finish in "Thelma & Louise".  No prizes for guessing that company.

Anyway, I explained the situation to the very nice gentleman on the telephone. He knew immediately what the situation was - the box shouldn't have been made available for sale to the public. He said the cookies were perfectly OK to serve to my dogs but the reason they aren't supposed to be sold is because many were broken and perhaps it was because they were trying out a new recipe. As an example, he explained they were trying grain-free but finding the mixture wasn't binding well at first so the cookies weren't perfect but certainly edible. But the second I told him they weren't enclosed in plastic, he knew what was up.  It meant they were intended for shelters, humane societies, trade shows etc.  rather than for commercial sale. He also explained that the company doesn't like to waste food and that's why they make their perfectly acceptable 'duds' available to needy organizations.

So he said another bulk box would be on its way to me for my dogs. He asked the name of my dog and I said, "I have 3 of them".  "Who's Top Dog?", he asked.  "Miska is!". So the box will be addressed to Miska but she has to share the contents with her half-brother Tyro and her daughter Diva and any other Vizsla relative or friend which visits before the cookies run out.

All I can say is, "What a GREAT company Northern Biscuits" is!!! They care about their customers - the quadrupeds that eat their biscuits and the bipeds that buy them.  I'm sorry I didn't get the name of this nice man.  (Maybe he was the CEO!!)  Of course, if their replacement cookies don't arrive, I may have to change my tune but I'm singing their praises right now.  "O Canada!" I am so grateful for the Northern Biscuit Bakery!

PS - I now haul 2-3 four Kilo boxes of Northern Biscuits to Arizona since I can't buy them there.  Definitely beats anything I can buy down there.

22 August 2010

Group 2nd for Quest

CH Varazs Kedves Quester handled by breeder Sylvia Dorosh
In only his second weekend out as a "Special" (all my dogs are special of course; this term means a Champion in dog show language), Quest (Ch Varazs Kedves Quester) achieved far more than I had ever expected! In addition to taking 5 out of 6 Best of Breeds, he placed 2nd in the Sporting Group under Judge Harry Tast of Finland at the St. Catharines dog show in Beamsville, ON on Saturday August 21/10. This placement catapulted him from nowhere to somewhere, i.e., 8th place for Vizslas in Canada in 2010 according to www.canuckdogs.com. (With his Best of Breed wins, he's closer to being in 5th place right now but the count isn't exact.)  Being from Finland and doing a lot of judging in Europe, Mr Tast has seen a lot of true Hungarian Vizslas.  Mr Tast complimented me on Quest by saying, "Now that's a Hungarian Vizsla."

Mr Tast also liked Quest's sister, Diva (Varazs Kedves Quickstep FDJ) giving her Winners Bitch, Best of Opposite over a Specials (champion) bitch for a 2 point win and Best Bred by in Breed (a special category offered by the club on Saturday.)  Thank you to Mr Tast for a wonderful day!

21 August 2010

Age is just a number!

We're sooooo proud of Sasha's daughter Mila ( M-OTCH Szuni's Shooting Star CD CDX UD FDJ FD FDX TD AGN AGI AGDC AADC CGC.  At the "young" age of 11 dog years, Mila burned up the agility course at the AAC's (Agility Assoc. of Canada) 2010 Nationals held in Calgary, AB on August 7 & 8, 2010. Don't let the white on Mila fool you! She's still capable of showing up the younger dogs.  Her owner, Susan Scobie, of Vancouver, BC took the trip to the Natinals "just to have fun on a final agility fling”.  Well, the event turned into a bigger ribbon haul than ever expected!  

On Sat, in their 3 runs, Mila placed 5, 6, and 37 out of 45 dogs in the Double Drop Veteran group.  On Sunday, they placed 2, 3 and 13th!  Mila & Sue's overall placing was #7 which got them to the foot of the podium.  Below Susan's sister helps with all the rosettes this dream team won.

 In Susan's words, "Mila, what a dog – and isn’t she just the cutest?   Being on her team has been such a blast for the past 11 years!  Thanks yet again, Mila!" And of course, we can't be any prouder because she's one of our beloved Sasha's kids. I know he's wagging his tail furiously in doggie heaven, thrilled with her latest accomplishment.  HUGE congratulations to Susan and especially MILA!!!