31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of my puppy buyers, past and present and to all my Blog followers and visitors!  May you have a wonderful 2013 filled with love, happiness, prosperity and good health.  And if you're a dog - lots of treats, pats, walks, runs and qualifying scores and titles!

Each year on this day, I always remember our first litter as it was born on December 31, 1992.  It produced my 'heart' dog - Sasha who was with me for over 15 years.  He would have been 20 years old today.   He and his brothers Jiggs, Jazz, Marco and sisters Zoe and Kat are still deeply missed by their owners.  Happy Birthday Sasha!

Sasha at 14 years old 

Mom Nekah with her six babies.

L-R Sasha, sire Buster and Jiggs


30 December 2012

Awesome year for my V's

In terms of accomplishments with all 3 of my Vizslas, 2012 was one the best EVER!  In total, they (and I) earned 21 new titles in four different canine organizations.

At 9.5 years of age, Miska (Int'l BIS/RBIS (Veteran) AKC/CKC/Int'l/UKC CH Varazs Kiralyi Kedvesem FD, NAVHDA NA Prize III, JH, AKC/CKC CDX, AKC/CKC RE, AKC RAE, AgNS, AgNJS, NJP, URO2, CGN, CGC, TDI) is not slowing down – in fact she’s speeding up!  Her year was outstanding with a total of 10 new titles plus legs towards 6 more! AND, she was # 3 Vizsla in obedience in Canada (CKC) in 2011 and currently sits in #1 spot for 2012.  Miska has earned a total of 28 titles in her lifetime, not including her International Best in Show awards. To earn 10 in one year accounts for 36% of all her titles!

Miska has proven herself and the breed, time and time again, that she lives up to the moniker of a Versatile Vizsla excelling in obedience, rally, field, conformation and agility.  (Next year, I will apply in Miska's name for the Vizsla Society of Ontario's Tibor Reiter trophy for versatility. She certainly is deserving of it. I applied for the trophy in the name of her mom, CH Ferngold Varazs Innovation Am/Can CD, Can/AM RA, Am RE, Am RAE, FDJ, JH, CGN, "Nova", for the year 2012.  Nova just missed out in 2011 so I am hoping she will be the top Vizsla for 2012. The trophy - if Nova earns it - would be awarded posthumously. Keeping my fingers crossed!  Miska's sire, Sasha, earned the Tibor trophy in 2007.)

Miska - 10 NEW TITLES in 2012!

Miska's New Titles!
1.    Therapy Dog International (TDI)
American Kennel Club (AKC) titles:
2. Canine Good Citizen (CGC)
3. Companion Dog Excellent (CDX)
4.  Novice Jumpers Preferred (NJP)
5.  Novice Agility Preferred (NAP)
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) titles
6. Agility Novice Jumpers Selected (AGNJS)
7. Agility Novice Selected (AGNS)
8. Companion Dog Excellent (CDX)
United Kennel Club (UKC) titles
9. Rally Level 1 (URO1)
10. Rally Level 2 (URO2)

PLUS . . .
4 UKC High in Trials (Rally and Obedience)
1 UKC Group 3rd - Gun Dog Group
2 CKC Intermediate Agility Selected legs
2 UKC Companion Dog legs
1 UKC Rally Level 3 leg
1 AKC Novice Agility FAST Preferred leg
1 AKC Open Agility Preferred leg
1 AKC Open Agility Jumpers Preferred leg

#3 Vizsla in obedience in Canada for 2011
#1 Vizsla in obedience in Canada for 2012


Despite having bilateral elbow dysplasia, Tyro (CH Varazs Napkelte Tyrone CD Am/Can RE, Am RAE, URO2, CGN, CGC) is very active and loves to compete. In 2012 he earned 4 new titles.  Although the number of titles pales a little with Miska, his AKC Rally-Obedience title required him to compete in a LOT of trials.  Amazingly, he earned this title in just two (very long weekends), earning 20 qualifying scores in a row.  Anyone who has worked on an RAE title knows how hard it can be and how long it can take.  At 6.5 years of age Tyro appears to be pain free of elbow dysplasia.  I don't train or compete with him in field or agility, two sports which would put tremendous stress on his elbows.  However, he is terrific in rally and obedience and continues to compete in both. Once he turns 7, he will be able to compete as a senior in CKC obedience which means he can jump a much lower jump height in the Open class (2 jumps).

Tyro's New Titles!
1. Canine Good Citizen (CGC),
2. Rally Advanced-Excellent (RAE )
3. Rally Level 1
4. Rally Level 2


Diva (CKC/Int'l/UKC CH Varazs Kedves Quickstep FDJ JH NA AgNJ AGI CGN CGC) is primarily my agility dog although I want to earn more hunting titles and some obedience and rally titles with her too.  She loves agility and can be quite fast (although not as fast as Border Collies and some of those other crazy breeds in agility, thank goodness, because I wouldn't be able to keep up with her at my age!).  I am still working on her focus and control which is why she didn't earn as many legs and titles this year as I had hoped.  At 4.5 years, she is still a young dog.  I was  pleased with her performances this year and we had a lot of fun competing although she had a lot more fun at times going off and doing her own thing on the agility courses!!

Diva's New Titles!
1. Agility Novice (AGN)
 2. Agility Intermediate (AGI)
3. Agility Novice Jumpers (AGNJ) 
4. Canine Good Citizen (CGC)
5. Novice Agility Standard (NA)
6. Novice Agility Jumpers (NAJ)
7. Rally Novice 1 (URO1)

28 December 2012

New Vizsla star in heaven

 Heaven has a new Vizsla angel / star.

CH Varazs Tobias Barat FDJ - "Toby"

February 21, 2001 - December 21, 2012

Loved, cherished and now greatly missed by Kris Begic and his family. 

What we have once enjoyed
we can never lose;
All that we love deeply,
becomes a part of us.

-Helen Keller


R.I.P. Toby



25 December 2012

Christmas walk 2012

Today the dogs got two walks - part of their Christmas "gifts". The first was what I considered a 'stroll' since we were accompanied by their hu-dad who doesn't power walk like I do.  But it was really nice - for me - to have human company which I rarely have on my dog walks in Arizona.  And hu-dad got to see parts of town he's never seen before.

The second walk was far more 'serious' we covered a lot more territory in the same amount of time. I decided to venture into the desert with the dogs on a trail we haven't been on since we first moved here.  I recall our first walk with the dogs on this trail since it was cut short by Tyro encountering a wicked Cholla cactus on his head. This time, there was no misadventure like that, thank goodness.  The mountain behind us is Daisy Mountain.  Today it was overcast all day (very unusual for AZ) and also quite cold.

Diva, Tyro & Miska

24 December 2012

Happy Holidays!

from the Varazs Permanent Reg'd Vizslas 

18 December 2012

R.I.P. Yogi

Sh Ch/Aust Ch. Hungargunn Bear It'n Mind 
December 22, 2002 - December , 2012
Yogi with handler John Thirlwell winning Crufts in 2010

The Vizsla world was very saddened to learn that Yogi aka Sh Ch/Aust Ch. Hungargunn Bear It'n Mind just passed away. Yogi was a male Hungarian Vizsla who was the Best in Show at Crufts in 2010. He is the first Vizsla to have ever won this prestigious show.  Sadly, he passed away just 2 weeks short of his tenth birthday, having apparently been treated for some type of cancer on his spleen (possibly hemangiosarcoma which is commonly found on the spleen although I cannot confirm that).  Because of who he was and the number of progeny he had, this was one dog that I wanted to have lived a very long and healthy life but long it was not to be, unfortunately.

Yogi is the record holder for Best in Show victories at all breed shows in the UK, breaking the record in 2010 which had previously stood for eighty years.  He is (was) the winningest Vizsla in the world.  Somewhat controversially, he sired 79 litters (more than 500 puppies) after moving to England where he was shown heavily from dog Australia where he was bred.

He was a lovely masculine Vizsla, beautifully balanced with fantastic movement and good bone.  The way a Vizsla should be!

Rest in Peace Yogi. Your spirit and physique live on in many, many of your offspring.

For more about Yogi, please visit:



10 December 2012


Tyro's head. 

These photos of Tyro were taken November 28, 2012.

This one below is a particularly beautiful one of Tyro (IMO) because of the angle.

8 December 2012


Freshly baked peanut butter cookies - for the dogs, of course!!  This will last them about a week and a half.  Yummy!!

4 December 2012

2011 Top Obedience Award

Congratulations to Miska (and me of course!) for earning a Top Obedience Dog Award in Canada for 2011.  She was #3 in obedience in the Vizsla breed.  Only six Vizslas competed in either/both Open (Companion Dog Excellent) or Utility (UD) to earn points in 2011.  That's very few but still, Miska earned enough points when competing in Open to earn her this spot in history.  The award came from Dogs in Canada.  (PS, it unofficial, but Miska is #1 Vizsla for 2012.)  Miska's daddy, Sasha, was #5 Vizsla in 1998 and #3 in 1999 so she is merely following in his pawsteps.

26 November 2012

Kurgo post-script

So far, Kurgo hasn't published my negative review of their collaps-a-bowl BUT I did receive a very positive email response yesterday. 

"Kurgo does offer a lifetime warranty against manufacturers defects and having viewed the attached photos this would certainly be covered."

So they will be sending me a replacement bowl.  It will be interesting to see how long it lasts. 

In the meantime, I went ahead and ordered another Dexas bowl directly from the Dexas website.  FREE shipping and NO sales tax.  Can't beat that!!

25 November 2012

NOT impressed with Kurgo!

Two - 2! - weeks ago, I purchased a Kurgo collaps-a-bowl.  In only two - count 'em - 2 weeks and with minimal usage, it has now developed a large split along the bottom fold rendering it totally useless.  And each time I had to use it on yesterday's walk, the split just got bigger and bigger.

Readers may recall my post about the Dexas collapsible bowl.  Well after 8 months of use, it's proved to be exceptionally durable. So why did I buy a Kurgo bowl?  Well, unfortunately, I left my Dexas bowl back in Canada and the only collapsible bowl I could readily find in a store was the Kurgo. 

I left a negative review of the Kurgo collaps-a-bowl on their website.  I wonder if they'll publish it. (Only highly positive reviews currently appear.)  In the meantime, I've also sent an email to Kurgo voicing my extreme dissatisfaction with their product.  Wonder if they will reply.

So, two BIG THUMBS UP to Dexas collapsible bowls & two big thumbs DOWN to Kurgo.  I'm going back to DEXAS!!!

22 November 2012

Happy US Thanksgiving!

Miska, Tyro and Diva think there's nothing better than a post-walk nap on US Thanksgiving Day. (Well, a romp in our woods back home would be - in their opinion - a heck of a lot better but that ain't happenin' in AZ.) To our friends back in Canada, the temperature reached about 80 F today.

Tyro who likes it half in and half out


14 November 2012

F.A.S.T. is fun!

My two Vizslas and I competed in our first F.A.S.T. class in AKC agility this past weekend.  Unfortunately, the Cdn Kennel Club doesn't offer this class.  Frankly, I had never heard of FAST until this fall.  This class was introduced by the AKC in 2007 but since I have only started competing in agility this year (2012) after a long hiatus, I am not familiar with all the changes made in recent years. After watching people compete in F.A.S.T. at Wine Circuit in Romulus, NY in September,  it looked like a lot of fun and so I entered both Miska and Diva at trials in Tempe, AZ without knowing a thing about the rules!!!  

Here's a synopsis of what FAST is all about which I gleaned off the Internet.

F.A.S.T. (fifteen and send time) is a newer addition to AKC agility.  There are 15 obstacles - hence "fifteen" in the acronym. In this class, you make up your own course. Each obstacle is assigned points, based on the approach and the amount of time it would take to complete. In every F.A.S.T. class, there is a "bonus," which is a taped off area in which you must send your dog on to the obstacles inside the tape. Depending on the level that you're competing at, the distance may range from five to twenty feet. To qualify in any level of F.A.S.T., dog and handler teams must complete the bonus. Besides the bonus, though, teams are free to make up their own course, as long as they get enough points under the course time to qualify.  There is a time limit and points are deducted for each second you're on the course after the horn blows.  The maximum number of points you can earn in a course is 80 and there are minimums depending on what level you're competing at: Novice minimum 50 pts to Q; Open minimum 55pts; Excellent minimum 60 pts. 

Here was our course.  In the send area which is the area in the top R corner of the map which is cordoned off, I had to send the dog through the tunnel and then onto the teeter without stepping over the line which you can see on the map. We needed 50 points to qualify.

Somewhat to my surprise and delight, reliable, 'old' Miska did the send perfectly!!  The map below shows the route I took with her.  She doesn't work as well at a distance so that's why I said I was surprised that she did the send successfully.  The course time was 35 seconds and the horn blew while we were still on the course so we had to run like crazy to cross the finish line.  Miska accumulated a total of 72 points (the max is 80) but lost 6 due to being overtime.  Her final points after the time deduction was 66 points and we got a Q(ualifying score).  Yippee!! This was my first FAST Q ever!

I followed the same (or similar) course with Diva.  But when we reached the send section, she took the Frame instead of the tunnel. I tried 3 times - unsuccessfully - to get her into that darn tunnel. At that point the horn blew indicating we were out of time and so she didn't qualify.  And she was the one I was certain would succeed!  Just goes to show how wrong I can be about my dogs at times!

Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun doing this class and can't wait to do it again!

11 November 2012

Tortoise and hare (sorta)

Everyone knows the fable of the tortoise and the hare by Aesop in which the tortoise wins the race after being challenged by the hare.  Well, this weekend, I sorta had a kind of tortoise and hare situation in agility trials in Arizona between 9-year old Miska and her 4-year old daughter, Diva.  Diva, the younger, faster Vizsla didn't do as well overall as her older, sometimes slower mother Miska.  By at the end of the weekend, each brought home a new title but Miska brought home more qualifying scores and more rosettes in AKC (American Kennel Club) agility than Diva!  And because Miska didn't have so many wrong courses than Diva, her times were often much faster than Diva proving that in agility, accuracy is often better and worth more than speed!

Miska - total score 4:
  1. 1 new title - Novice Standard Preferred (NAP) (score of 100 & First place)
  2. 1 Q in Novice FAST Preferred (score of 66 & First Place)
  3. 1 Q in Open Jumpers Preferred (score of 95 & Second)
  4. 1 Q in Open Standard Preferred (score of 90 & Second)

Miska with the weekend's rosettes.

Miska's two Firsts (blue) and two Second (red) place rosettes. Her new title rosette is in the centre.
 Diva - score of 2:

  1. 1 new title in Novice Agility Jumpers (NAJ) (score of 90 & Second place)
  2. 1 Q in Novice Standard (score of 90 & 3rd)

Diva's rosettes

6 November 2012

Older sisters

These two lovely lady Vizslas are Miska's older half-sisters.  They share the same father - our wonderful Sasha (BPIG* Am/Can CH Varazs Kiraly Sassy Sasha Am/Can CDX, FDJ, RE, RAE, TT, CGC, CGN).  They are: Mila (L) aka M-OTCH Szuni's Shooting Star UD FDX TD AGI AGDC AADC CGC and Kosmo (R) aka CH Szuni's Rising Star FD ADC CGC.  These girls turned 13 on July 25 and this photo was taken this fall.  Thanks to breeder Susan Scobie of Szuni Reg'd Vizslas for sharing this photo with me.

L-R: Mila and Kosmo

4 November 2012

Contact conundrum

Dog agility courses utilize obstacles that have prescribed standards in order to assure safety and basic uniformity.  One set of obstacles includes contact equipment: a dog walk, A-frame, teeter-totter or see-saw and a pause table. Dogs must maneuver these pieces of equipment in a prescribed manner. For the dog walk, A-frame, teeter-totter, the dog must move from one end to the other end of the equipment and must touch within the yellow "contact' zone on the 'down' part of the obstacle.  With the teeter-totter, the dog must tilt the board and remain on it until it hits the ground.  If the dog jumps or flies off the A-frame, dog-walk or teeter, it's an automatic failure.

Last week I entered Miska in two Intermediate (= Open in AKC) standard trials, expecting her to easily pass and earn her title.  That didn't happen because of the contacts.  This video shows Miska in Trial 1 refusing to go over the dog walk and jumping off the teeter.  This really surprised me since earlier in the day at training, she had done them both successfully. Likewise a few days prior to this trial in run-throughs in much more difficult courses.

In Trial 2, Miska was far, far worse when I thought she would be better.  I got her to the top of the dog walk, but then she started to cower and refused to go across it .She was terrified.  I simply could not coax her across the top  board.  The judge finally asked me to lift her off so she wouldn't fall off.  I had never, ever seen Miska like that.  She was absolutely terrified to cross the dog walk. Needless to say, she did not pass either trial and so didn't complete her title. Although I was very disappointed, I was more concerned about our future participation in agility.

At the end of the trial, I was able to take Miska on the course and coaxed her with food over the dog walk and teeter-totter.  After several sessions with positive reinforcement, she was happily completing those obstacles successfully.

I still wasn't sure what caused her to initially refuse to do these obstacles. There were major differences between the trial setting and where we train.
  • At this trial, the contacts were rubberized but Miska has been on rubberized equipment before.
  • It was indoors when we have been raining outdoors.  However, Miska has trialed at this location before and been successful once before.
Four days after this unsuccessful trial, we went back to agility training (outdoors) on non-rubberized equipment.  It was cold and  windy in advance of Hurricane Sandy but at least the rain held off.  I thought about passing on the class because of the weather but decided to venture out in order to get Miska back up on the contact equipment, especially the dog walk and teeter.  Well, she was terrific!  In fact, she kept wanting to take the dog walk when I wanted her to enter a tunnel.  So she had no problems at our training site, which uses non-rubberized equipment.  This made me more perplexed as to why she had earlier refused to do them at the trial.

One possible explanation given by our trainer at Companion Dog Training is that the building structure could have made Miska feel crowded on the dog walk because it was set up close to a wall. That might explain the dog walk but not the teeter which was in the middle of the course.  In thinking back on things, Miska and I competed indoors at this location one other time. She passed the first run but not the second. I now think it's the building that is affecting her.  We train outdoors and rarely run agility indoors.  In obedience we always talk about training in different locations and the same, I guess, can be said of agility.  It's just a lot harder to do since the sport of agility requires a lot of equipment that needs to be set up.

Our next trials will be outdoors for some time so I'll see how Miska does.  

2 November 2012

More UKC photos

Thanks to Corrine Sellars who owns Bodi aka BIS (UKC), CKC/UKC CH Varazs Mokany Kiralyi Orban FDJ JH URO1 CGN NAVHDA NA PZ I for taking these two photos at this past weekend's United Kennel Club shows and trials in Rockton, ON.  That's Bodi's mom, Miska (Int'l BIS/RBIS (Veteran) AKC/CKC/Int'l/UKC CH Varazs Kiralyi Kedvesem FD, NAVHDA NA Prize III, JH, AKC/CKC CDX, AKC/CKC RE, AKC RAE, AgNS, AgNJS, NJP, URO2, CGN, CGC, TDI) in the top photo getting her High in Trial rosette with Miska's very thrilled hu-mom and breeder. The judge is Isobel Hutton of Brampton, ON.

Happy hu-mom receiving Miska's 3rd High in Trial

Line-up of UKC Top Dog Award Recipients. Miska on the L in the middle of the V's

30 October 2012

UKC photos

When I saw the United Kennel Club's High in Trial rosettes hanging on the wall in the obedience/rally building, I really, really wanted to have one. Is that wrong??

Miska came very close on Saturday to earning one with her score of 100 in Rally but she was beaten in score time by a Corgi mix who moved much faster around the ring.  The Corgi team won two of these tosettes on Saturday.  All I wanted was one but Miska delighted me by earning two in the two obedience trials on Sunday.  They are HUGE! Bigger and taller than Miska but just the right colour for a Vizsla, don't you think?
2X High in Trial

Miska's handler & hu-mom, Isobel Hutton (judge) and Miska

Miska's Total Dog rosette (the black, red & white one) and her Group 3rd (on the right).

L-R: Miska & Tyro - new RO2 title; Diva - new RO1 title

29 October 2012


What A Week!

As weeks go in the life of dogs, this was one incredibly busy and very successful week for Varazs-bred Vizslas!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012
  • Miska completed her Cdn Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title. That was her 26th title!
  • Miska's daughter, Stella (2011 litter) finished her Rally Novice (RN) title in the Cdn Association of Rally Obedience with a score of 190 / 200.  

Sunday, October 21
  • Miska earned her (and mine) highest score ever in obedience with a 197 / 200 in Open and a 2nd place.  That put her in #1 position for a Vizsla in Obedience in Canada for 2012 according to Canuckdogs.com.  Woo-hoo!!

Thursday, October 25
  • Diva, Miska's daughter from our 2008 litter, completed her Cdn Agility Intermediate title with a first place and the only dog to qualify in her height division.  This was my first Intermediate agility title ever - so another first (for me).

Saturday, October 27
  • Another of Miska's offspring, Bodi (also from our 2011 litter) was Best Male and Best of Winners completing his United Kennel Club (UKC) Championship. This is Bodi's 7th title and he's only 17 months old!
  • Tyro earned the second and third legs of his UKC Rally Level 2 (URO2) title with two fourth placements. This is his 14th title.
  • Miska also completed her UKC rally URO2 title (her 27th title) with two perfect (100 / 100) scores and a second and first place.
  • Diva earned two legs towards her rally URO1 title with two first place finishes.
  • Stella earned her first two conformation points taking Winners Bitch and Best of Winners.

Sunday, October 28
  • Miska earned her first two legs towards the UKC novice obedience title and finished in first place in both trials AND earned not one, but TWO High In Trials!  Her first score was a 194.5 and her second a 197/200!  Awesome work Miska!
  • Diva completed her rally URO1 title (her 10th title).
  • Miska took Best of Breed and a Group 3rd in UKC conformation in show #1. 
  • Miska earned a UKC Total Dog award for earning wins in both conformation and performance wins.
  • In UKC show #2, Bodi took Best of Breed over his mom and two other Vizslas.
That amounted to five completed titles in one week on my dogs and two titles on Miska's kids.

Congratulations and big thanks to the owners of Stella and Bodi and kudos to my three dogs for their wonderful accomplishments! 

24 October 2012

Autumn colours

Perhaps one reason I love the fall so much are the colours, which remind me of the rust gold hue of my breed, the Vizsla.  Our Japanese maple always looks so spectacular at this time of the year and so do my dogs, posed in front of the tree in our garden last week (October 2012).

Miska and Tyro

Miska, Tyro, Diva

21 October 2012

Highest score e v v v er!!!

Who?   Miska
What?  Score of 197/200 in Open B
When?  October 21, 2012

Did I earn that??
One day after finishing her Cdn Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title, Miska did a brilliant job in the Open B class under Judge Paul Townsend, scoring 197 out of 200. This is the highest score EVER that one of my dogs has earned in formal obedience competitions and the highest ever in the Open class for my dogs.  Years ago, my Vizsla Keira earned a 196 in Novice in the US and a 195 in Open twelve years ago.  Today Miska did a fantastic job and broke a long-held record by 2 points.  What a terrific weekend - well, except for the speeding ticket this morning.  Seriously officer, don't you know that punishment, i.e., fines, doesn't change human behaviour permanently?  We need to have a serious talk about that.


20 October 2012

Redeemed with a CDX!

Miska redeemed herself today after yesterday's roll in the smelly crud by earning her final Open leg for her Canadian Companion Dog Excellent title (CDX).  Woo-hoo!!!
Breeder mom, Miska & Judge Cheryl Bishop

Miska's reward - Hamburger

Yumm!! I deserve this!

All I wanted was a pass or Q (qualifying score). The minimum to pass is 170 but she did very well with a score of 193.5 and I was thrilled.  Were it not for the fact that some of Canada's top handlers and dogs were in the same class/ring with us, she would have had a placement but it's very tough to compete against these other dogs, some of which had come straight out of the Utility ring with high 190's. So way to go Miska!  It's been a long journey but worth it.

PS, she was "tied" for 5th place overall in the class.

Stinky pointer

Look carefully at this photo. The first is easy to spot.

  1. Smelly crud on Miska's collar. Pee-yoo!! It's either skunk or raccoon poop that she's rolled in. Definitely needed a bath after this walk in the woods!

2.  The second is not so easy to spot. It's a baby garter snake that Miska is pointing.  It's located bBetween the two young saplings and it's a black and yellow 'thread'.  That's the snake that she smelled - a garter snake.  She held that point a LONG time.

18 October 2012

Toby - time flies!

Toby, 12 years 5 months old

Toby (Ch. Varazs Tobias Barat FDJ) is from our 2001 litter between our Abby and Cyrus (Am CH Voros Vadasz Cyrus Barat MH ROM).  He turned 12 years old in February and his owner, Kris, sent me this photo of Toby taken this summer (2012).  I haven't seen Toby since he and Kris moved out to British Columbia several years ago.  I handled Toby to his Championship.  He's a wonderful dog with a great temperament.

Toby has had some mast cell tumours which have been diligently removed and another was recently found on his ear flap with another lump found near his anus.  Kris called me this week to discuss the situation and was fearing the worst.  A couple of days ago, Kris got great news as an x-ray showed no signs of cancer internally - in fact the vet was very impressed with how things looked internally - we should all be so lucky!! And the lump near his anus is benign.  Both lumps will be removed next week; unfortunately part of Toby's ear flap has to be removed in order to get clean margins around the mast cell tumor site.  Kris isn't very happy about this but I tried to help him put things in perspective.  Toby is a good age for a Vizsla and while he won't look as handsome with part of an ear, his quality of life is  very good and if the vet is right, he should be around for a while longer. And it won't interfere with his abilities or movement. Removing part of an ear flap is not as drastic as, say, amputating a limb which is what I had to do with one of my Vizslas.  That was really tough.  But as they say, "God gave dogs 3 legs and an extra."  God gave us two ears too; maybe one is an extra.
Toby at around 10 days of age

6 months old
3 months old

I urged Kris to have Toby participate in the pilot research project on Mast Cell Tumours in Vizslas and he has agreed.  These are the most common type of tumours in dogs according to some statisticians and they were worrisome enough for the Vizsla Club of America to initiate a pilot research project into this cancer.  A few of the dogs I've owned and bred have had them but since this is a brand new project, we didn't have an opportunity to participate.  It's hoped that one day, the gene for this disease will be mapped.

Thanks Kris for being another great owner of a Varazs-bred dog! And here's to Toby and to several more years of being a terrific Vizsla companion to Kris and his 7-year old son who both love Toby dearly.