31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all my readers, followers and puppy owners for a happy, successful and fun-filled 2012!
Below is a photo of Quest and Vadasz, two male dogs I bred who belong to Gary Krammer.  The photo was taken by Gary on Dec. 31/11.

L-R: Quest (3.5 yr) & Vadasz (8.5 yr)

And on this last day of the year, I always remember our beloved Sasha my all-time favourite Vizsla who was born Dec. 31, 1992. He is dad to Vadasz, pictured above. Words just can't describe how wonderful and loving Sasha was. He would have been 19 years old today. I still miss him so much.

25 December 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Hannukah!

Merry Christmas & Happy Hannukah

We've had a very busy 5 weeks since coming to Arizona but I hope to be blogging again soon.

It never feels like Christmas without snow but I understand much of Canada is experiencing a green Christmas this year so I would be feeling the same way there as I am here.  Today the dogs got a walk in the desert.  They didn't range too far and pretty much avoided all the cacti except for a few small pieces which I successfully extracted.  This is usually as winter as it gets in the Phoenix area although we have actually had snow before - but not this year (so far).

Diva by a blossoming shrub - yes, it's Dec. 25

Miska, looking dapper in the desert

Miska, Tyro & Diva against the desert backdrop

Miska relaxing with her BFF

16 November 2011

Poppy pin mystery


potential disaster.

This past Friday, Remembrance Day, was the last time I remember seeing my poppy in the house.  It fell off once and Tyro 'found' it and so I grabbed it from his mouth and stupidly put it back on my vest.  After that, I don't know what became of it.  I searched high and low inside and outside and never found it.   After a panicky call to the vet, he told me to bulk all 3 dogs up with plenty of bran as it would most likely pass.  "Are you kidding me?", I asked.  "Pass a 2 inch stick pin?  You're joking?"  "No", he replied, he'd seen far 'worse' things and all manner of things pass through dogs.
So they got lots of bran for several days.  No dog was showing any signs of distress or upset bowels or passing blood and I was checking what came out their back ends except for the first day when I was sure I was going to find the poppy somewhere in the house.  However, today while at the vets for other things, I decided to get some peace of mind and x-rayed 2 of the 3 dogs most likely to ingest something like that.  Nothing, nada, zip.  What a relief!  And I will never, never, ever, ever wear a poppy around my dogs again.  So let this be a lesson to the rest of the world!  Learn from my stupidity!!

15 November 2011

Bath time!

Owning hunting dogs can be a mixed blessing at times.  The other day just as we were almost home from a long walk/run in the woods, Miska and Diva disappeared into heavy brush and wetlands,  I could hear them barking and by their bark, I knew they had cornered or treed some type of animal.  However, they weren't responding to my frantic calls, screams and whistles to come so I had no choice but to try to track them down.  Unfortunately where they were was extremely wet and so heavy I could barely crawl through the downed trees and heavy cover; plus it was wet, soggy and very soft underneath and all I had on were running shoes, not boots.  Thankfully, at long last they reappeared, soaking wet and totally covered in mud from their nose to their tails.

L-R: Miska & her daughter Diva

13 November 2011

Love the letter Q

I love the letter Q. Why?

Because in dog-competition-speak, it means a qualifying score. It probably means the same thing in human-competitions too but instead of a P = Pass, we use Q and NQ if our dog did Not Qualify. Anyway, at the Poodle Club of Canada's all breed rally and obedience trials on Friday and Saturday, we got a few Q's! Tyro finished his CKC Rally Excellent title with a 93/100 so he's now officially known as CH Varazs Napkelte Tyrone AKC/CKC CD, AKC/CKC RE, CGN. (Only the highest levels of titles are shown in his official name.)
Miska also got Q's in both Rally Excellent and Advanced classes to earn her third RAE leg in Canada (7 more Q's to go for her title).  And she had great scores - 100 / 100 in Excellent with 2nd place on time and 99 / 100 in Advanced with a 4th place, again on time - she was the fastest dog with a score of 99.

Miska with her 2nd & 4th place rosettes for rally excellent & rally advanced.
The sweetest Q came the next day (Saturday) when Miska competed in Open obedience.  After a heartbreaking NQ in the morning trial when she failed to drop on the Drop on Recall exercise (there is no forgiveness; if they fail to drop, it's an automatic fail regardless of how well they do in the rest of the exercises and she had done the rest really well), she finally Q'd in the afternoon trial!! And not only that, her score of 193 was good enough for First Place or High in Class!!  Rather than giving her a hand signal for her drop on recall in the afternoon, I gave her a verbal command and she followed suit and did it!  Her nemesis of late has been the broad jump when sometimes she walks through it rather than jumping over it but she did it flawlessly in both trials.  It helps that the Cdn Kennel Club's rules allow veterans to jump lower heights so she only had to jump 16" for the high jump and 32"for the broad jump exercise.  This means there is less space between boards in the broad jump. 

But it's never over until it's over and she still had to perform the 3 minute out-of-sight long sit and long down before we knew whether she qualified.  Boy those long stays seem to last forever at that point when you've qualified up to that point.   Before the long stay exercises, I promised her a Big Mac steak if she qualified.  Did she understand?  I dunno but it worked and I gave her some steak for supper as her just reward.

Miska with her High in Class (1st place) rosette in Open A
Miska's well deserved steak!

6 November 2011

Varazs Vizsla mini-reunion

L-R: Ruby, Tyro, Diva, Miska. Quest, Vadasz, Piper, Bodi
Today a number of Varazs-bred dogs gathered together at Burns Conservation area just down the road from our house for a walk and mini-reunion. We had representation from 4 litters:

  1. Miska and Vadasz from our Nova-Sasha litter born 2003; 
  2. Lloyd, Ruby and Tyro from our Nova-Hudson litter born 2006;
  3. PiperQuest and Diva from our Miska-Ozzie litter born 2008
  4. Bodi from our Miska-Brick litter born 2011
We could not have asked for better weather.  While it started off rather chilly (6C), by the end of our walk through the woods it had warmed up to our forecast high of 13 deg. C, with glorious sun and no wind.  A near-perfect day for this time of year!  And since my birthday is tomorrow, it was a great birthday present to see my 'grand-furkids', a couple of which I hadn't seen in several years.  THANK YOU for making my birthday so special!!

L-R: Ruby, Tyro, Diva & Miska
Lloyd with his family
L-R: Quest, Tyro, Diva, Miska & Vadasz

8-year old littermates, Vadasz (L) & Miska

5 November 2011

Bad dogs or bad owner?

Hubs is away and so I decided to give the dogs a little more freedom in the house so instead of being crated at night, they have been sleeping in my office on Bowser Beds.  And occasionally while I run errands or go to work out at the gym, I have left them loose in the house instead of crating them.  I am rethinking the latter part of the strategy now!

After our long walk in the woods with Bodi earlier today, my 3 Vizslas were plenty tired out (or so I thought).  I left them loose late this aft while I went to exercise at the gym but made sure all the freshly baked dog cookies I'd made in the morning were set well back out of their reach.  After about 2.5 hr, I returned home to find this:

Shredded plastic bags and flour were everywhere and the dog cookie recipe book was found on the floor.  Obviously I had left this stuff, neatly packed away in another bag on the counter, waaayy too close to the edge.  The dog cookies hadn't been touched because none of the dogs is able to jump right up onto the counters and none is able to reach that far back where the cookies were cooling but one Vizsla DID reach the bag containing some whole wheat flour, wheatgerm, oatmeal and garlic powder used for baking their cookies.

By the time I returned home from the gym and shopping, it was almost 7 pm and I was cold and hungry and the LAST thing I wanted to do was clean up this big mess.  So I kinda lost it.  I did what I am NOT supposed to do - I yelled at the dogs for making the mess - long after it was done.  I yelled at everyone even though I know it wasn't Tyro who was responsible and I am 95% certain it wasn't Diva who pulled the stuff off the counter.  Well, that leaves only MISKA.  And I am 99.9% sure it was she because I do catch her cruising counters and she hasn't had the same intense 'It's Yer Choice" [Susan Garrett] training as the other 2 have.

Miska trying to look innocent with "evidence" (shredded plastic) on the Bowser Bed
And what exactly is that hanging out of your mouth Diva?
I suspect  know Miska was the culprit and Diva joined in because they were doing a lot of lip licking after I returned home.  Tyro was trying to stay right out of the picture.  So I 'punished' them ALL by making them wait a LONG time for their dinner although I threatened them by saying they would go completely hungry tonight. (That was just to make me feel better.)   I made my dinner first and lingered over it, cleaned up the kitchen, and only then did I get around to getting theirs ready.  By then, Miska had disappeared to the family room - probably with an upset tummy from eating the raw oatmeal, wheatgerm and flour,  So in fact Miska didn't have any supper but Diva and Tyro did get theirs.

OF COURSE IT'S MY FAULT!!  I KNOW THAT!!!  I left out something that I didn't think would tempt an 8-year-old Vizsla and being a dog, she took advantage of the situation as she was hungry and couldn't reach the cheese biscuits I'd made her!!  BUT I'M HUMAN! I MAKE MISTAKES TOO!   So I will punish myself by admitting on this Blog that I was a BAD, BAD OWNER.

PS - what I was really more upset about was that I was going to make more homemade dog cookies tonight for the Varazs Vizsla  meet-up tomorrow and so that's obviously out of the picture because that was all the flour and oats I had.  Oh well, the dogs will have to make do with what I made Friday night and Saturday morning.  They won't know the difference but I will.

Beautiful fall day

Bodi (from our May 31, 2011 litter) came to visit today for a "pawdicure" and then a long walk in the woods. The air was very, very chilly but the sun was shining brilliantly. Following our returning, we took pictures of the 4 dogs in our garden - after Miska went on a beautiful, classic point.  What was she pointing?  Diva who seemed to be on point.

Miska in a classic point with Tyro behind her

Diva, Miska, Tyro & Bodi

Handsome Vizslas! Uncle Tyro and nephew Bodi

4 November 2011

Shower door shower

The other morning I was rudely awakened by the sound of a very loud crash from our ensuite bathroom.  I couldn't figure out what the hell had happened so quickly got up to explore but couldn't open the door to the bathroom. So I called Hubs who had already arisen and was somewhere else in the house and he was able to enter from our walk-in closet.  What had happened stunned and shocked us.  One panel of our double glass shower door had completely shattered on its own and glass was everywhere!

Left panel shattered

Glass on the shower floor
Thank goodness no humans or dogs were in the shower at the time of this spontaneous explosion of glass because it would have been one very nasty and bloody scene. (OK, it's tempered glass but still, there were lots of sharp-edged pieces.)  In fact, it was only about 2 days before this had happened that I had just showered all 3 of the dogs (at once) in the shower.  Can you imagine trying to deal with 12 paws, 2 bare feet, multiple bodies and limbs and all this glass?????   I don't even want to begin to imagine the horror scene.  I am just so grateful Hubs wasn't in the shower at the time (because he uses this one all the time whereas I use another bathroom in the house) because he is on a blood thinner.  That would have required a call to 911.  Very scary stuff.

Diva in the shower on a previous occasion

New home, new name

Mr Black - 15 days old
Well, after a couple of months of searching, the male puppy born May 31, 2011 known as Mr Black (aka  Tunder) has found his new forever home.   And he now has a new name - Charlie.   Interestingly, the pups in this litter were given more "people" names as call names than any other litter we've produced!  We have Elsie, Stella, William and now Charlie.  No doubt Freud would have a field day with this!

4 weeks & 2 days old
Almost 5 months

Charlie with his new hu-mom
And Charlie now lives with a kitten - named  . . . Pete!
Pete relaxes while Charly chews
Parting with a five-month old, adorable, loving, smart puppy was definitely hard.  The longer a pup / dog stays with me, the bigger the bond we develop and the more love is exchanged and Tunder / Charlie had really bonded with me.  And it sure wasn't hard to love this puppy because he has such a sweet temperament and is such a 'softie', as most of the boys are in the Vizsla breed.

Why didn't I keep him? Well, if it were solely my decision, I most likely would have because I have wanted a really nice male to show in conformation for years and years.  However, I have another better half who gets more stressed with multiple dogs in the house than I do and I have to consider his feelings.  As we know, marriage is all about compromise and one partner can't always have her own way all the time.  Darn!!
Mr Black stacked at 8 weeks
Plus the reality is, with us traveling back and forth between two homes in two countries is harder with 4 dogs rather than 3.  Well, what's one more when you have already have 3?  It's simply a lot more dog stuff, especially crates, to transport in our van and to shlep into/out of hotels and some of the hotel rooms barely have room for 3 crates, let alone 4.  Hubs already complains that our van is filled mainly with dog stuff when we drive back and forth to AZ, and he's right!!  And when we travel without dogs - which we want to do a lot more of - boarding 4 dogs becomes very expensive or trying to find places where our dogs can stay is far more difficult. The boarding kennel I use in Arizona costs about the same price per night for 3 pooches as an expensive hotel room costs for us and that sure adds up!!  And I don't like to impose on my dog-owning friends and clients too often by asking them to look after our dogs while we're away.

They say as you age you should downsize and I guess that's what I'm starting to do with dogs by not adding any more to our menagerie.

So (Tunder) Charlie, I know you will be loved, cherished, adored and well-taken care of  by your new family and you'll be the star attraction in your house - well, at least when Pete the cat isn't upstaging you. But I sure miss you!!!

3 November 2011

Staying warm

A dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do.

Here's a very heart warming (pun intended!) video that I want to share.  I like this dog's approach. He (or she?) is one smart cookie.

My dogs, on the other hand, simply curl up as close as possible to the front of an electric heater to keep warm or snuggle together in a bed or on top of each other or atop a human's lap. Any way - a lot of BTU's are generated and even I  value my dogs as non-electric blankets when I need warming up.

Tyro, Tunder & Miska

Tyro & Tunder 


31 October 2011

Monster Match

This was my second time entering my dogs at the annual Hallowe'en Monster Match at Companion Dog Training where I take my dogs for competitive obedience and agility training while in Canada.  I entered Miska and Tyro in rally-obedience (excellent) and Miska in Open obedience.

Miska getting ready to do the heeling pattern in Open.
Last year Miska went as a bunch of grapes but this year I didn't have time to make any creative costumes so my good friend and fellow Vizsla owner, Corrine Sellars, loaned me some stuff. This year the dogs dressed up as marathon runners.  I tried to dress Tunder up in a cheerleader's costume but he kept tripping over the skirt part so I removed it & left only a lei around his neck. Sheesh - the things we do to our dogs!!! No wonder they sometimes turn around and bite us!!

Tunder, Miska, Tyro

28 October 2011

Disappearing puppyhood

Tunder (aka Mr Black) who was born May 31, 2011 is growing up - fast!  Just seems whenever I look at him that he's added another pound or two. My prediction is that he will be a very good looking male with a gorgeous head.  He's already got a wonderful temperament so no worries in that department. Anyway, it won't be long before he's all grown up.  These photos were taken in the last week when he was 21 weeks of age or 5 months old.

Tunder at class with his bro, Bodi in the distance
Tunder, big sis Diva & Uncle Tyro

Tunder - nice, nature stack

Tunder with Uncle Tyro, mom Miska & big sis Diva

Tunder's face & head at 21 weeks

27 October 2011

Flying nun ears

Unfortunately I am old enough to remember the TV series called The Flying Nun which starred Sally Fields. The series originally ran on ABC from September 7, 1967 to September 18, 1970.  Besides the comedic nature of the program, the most memorable thing about it was the habit worn by Sister Bertille (played by Sally) and specifically the heavily starched headpiece called a cornette seen in the photo below. These cornettes were especially popular in the 15th to 17th centuries and also worn by married women of the urban middle class and adopted by the Daughters of Charity nuns and worn until the mid-60's. The ends of the cornette were either turned up or down.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:S%C5%93ur_Jean_Gabriel_Batke.jpg
Anyway, the whole point of this post is that sometimes when our Miska holds her ears up really high as in these photos, she reminded me of The Flying Nun. And so I was surprised and delighted to see her daughter, Stella, born May 31, 2011 exhibiting the same trait and ability.  I call them their Flying Nun ears.

Miska as a young puppy; the tongue  just makes this photo even funnier.

Miska (L) with her brother Hudson, 5 months old
5 mo-old Stella, Miska's daughter

Miska about 1.5 yr of age