Monday, December 31, 2007

New Site Design

Latest project was the redesign and updating of ISWS's Silkenfest web site. Pretty happy with the results - just need to figure out how to fix the header so that it acts like a framed page and stays fixed on the screen when scrolling down. The former design had utilized frames and I wanted to get away from that.

Noodling on a redesign for the ISWS site as well since there's been plenty of growth since the original. This time around I am going to work on mapping out the navigation first then the layout. Likely similar colors and layout, but heavily updated coding and arrangement. We'll see what happens!

ECards Are Back!

I used to have a really nice E-Card program at the Borzoi Central web site. When I moved to a new server after getting a reseller account with my web host (made hosting for all my various domains much more affordable) the script would no longer work despite being the same domain name and all. Instead of providing support for the script or allowing a re-install, the script's creator insisted that I would have to shell out $250 for the new, updated program and that they no longer supported the other (interesting since there was no effort in installing it other than providing a download link). So I had to ask myself...why am I going to pay $250 for a program that one day they will decide they no longer want to "support" and insist you pay an exorbitant amount for the updated version. Considering I had already paid around $150 for the previous version, and that I provided the service at absolutely no charge on the site, I could not justify further expenditure. So...that said...beware of ECardMax unless you get thrills by flushing money...because eventually, they will pull the rug out from under you.

So Borzoi Central has been lacking in an ecards program for a while and I occasionally would do a little googling to see if I could find a comparable script. Finally, a month ago, I found something that looked promising. I came upon Maian Script World that had several different PHP scripts to choose from, including an ecard system. I was thrilled to see it was PHP - the former having been CGI driven. I finally had a chance to install it on the site and got some of my pictures uploaded for use. The only thing it lacks from the earlier script is the Java effects - otherwise it trumps the expensive program in spades. Hoorah!

In the future I will be checking out the other Maian scripts such as the blog and the recipe exchange. In the meantime, I will work on getting more and more pictures uploaded for the ecards, and the graphic icons created. So far - the program has received several nice reviews from users.

Coursing Bits

Victor went down to Richmond (TX) for the AHCGH AKC trials this past weekend. Boudie had come back for a running season visit a couple weekends ago and apparently was rarin' to go - his return to the field heralded by winning a 5-point major towards his LCX title at Saturday's trial. Victor said he was in fine form and some fabulous pictures taken by Dan Gauss showing his elasticity. He is an amazingly flexible dog. Unfortunately he introduced his foot to a cluster of stickers during prelims on Sunday which affected his run tremendously - and although he turned in a nice Finals run, it just wasn't going to be enough. Solo more than made up for it by turning in two lovely runs and coming away with his first coursing major! Victor forfeited BOB with next weekend's AKC trial in mind - although it could get a bit nutty attempting to juggle showing Solo and running him on the same day. I guess we can only wait and see what the day brings us!

Catching Up

The holidaze and the accompanying chaos that it brings, has made me somewhat remiss in posting. I hope everyone had a wonderful and joyous Christmas! Victor and I drove down to Houston to visit my father and some of the wonderful in-laws from his second marriage. I am so thankful that they keep in contact with him after Margaret's passing earlier this year. I did reminisce a bit with Dad about some of our past Christmas's when Mom was alive - especially our "tradition" of opening up a nice yummy box of Chocolate Covered Cherry candies each Christmas eve. Houston is about 4 1/2 hours away, and we didn't have a petsitter - so it was something of a "drive-by Christmas". We only got to spend about 4 hours down there, but had a wonderful meal and good company.

As to doggie news - Ginger came into heat (she's in Washington to be bred) and was bred to Harper about the time we were munching on the Christmas ham. Also, the litter Tyler sired was whelped in California, with the result being 1 girl and 4 boys. All boys are chinchilla colored too, a favorite for me. Mom is our Duncan's sister Cinder. I can't wait to see how the little darlings turn out! You can see current pictures on their page in the Talisman Hounds web site.

We also managed to get more pictures of our pups playing out in the yard - both Duri's litter and Sassi's.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Solo's Eukanuba Win Pic

He just looks absolutely delicious. I sure wish the photographer's settings for contrast/lighting had been better - I've done no adjusting to the photo at all - it came exactly like that. A glaring white flash of Borzoi bod. But other than that - it's the best darned win picture I've gotten of him. His first major pic - His finishing photo - sucky pic. His first group placement - sucky pic. So - I can live with this picture, 'cos he looks NICE!

Site Redesign

Well I completed a re-design at my "normal" job today. Here's a screenshot.

It can be so hard to deal with "dry" content - so I figured I would liven it up slightly with more eye candy than it had before. Here's the link.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Forever Borzoi

I got word yesterday that my story submitted for inclusion in the Forever Borzoi book has made the cut! I wrote about what a huge turn (for the better) my life took when I brought Nikki into my home and heart. I had two stories included in the Being Borzoi publication - that publication won an award too! It's a great collection of stories about living with and sharing one's life with Borzoi from various individuals. My stories were about Miss T's adventure when she got loose in the "wilds" of Lancaster, TX and our searching for her with a Bloodhound, and her recovery; and a story about Burni's interesting ex-pen habit we discovered at a show. I had also submitted several photographs so I will be interested to see how the publication turns out!

In the meantime, check out their web site, and consider purchasing one of the books! They donate a portion to NBRF or the CHF Donor Advised Fund (depending on which book you purchase).

Friday, December 7, 2007


Yesterday morning...early early yesterday morning...I took Lumos (Solo/Duri) to the airport for her to begin her journey to her new home up in Oregon. I groggily arrived at Continental at a quarter after 5, parked the van, and took her traveling crate into the office and came back out to get her and her traveling papers. By the time I got back out, someone had parked to the right of me (super-close I might add) and had just opened their door into the side of my van. I was even less impressed when they promptly went to the back of their sedan...and opened their TRUNK! Filled with tiny crates all set up for traveling (little bags of food taped to the top)...and pulled out one with a puppy inside of it!


I carried Lumos inside and set her up, much to her chagrin, in her crate and awaited my turn in line. The fellow parked next to me came in - he pulled out a little parti-dappled dachshund pup and proceeded to dress it up in a little bandana. The counter guy was talking to him as he made copies and then went out to get a cart for the folks that were ahead of me and who also had a large crate. He apparently had seen this guy on many occasions for shipping pups. They began discussing his Christmas "business" and he mentioned that it was way down.

After getting Lumos set up for her day's adventure, I got back in the van to head to work. I noted the license plate on the sedan - Oklahoma. So that meant a minimum of 2 hours away. I am left thinking, if someone constantly had puppies available to ship and could refer to it as "business", why on earth didn't they have a proper vehicle to bring their "commodity" down to the airport for shipping?! With all the pseudo-SUVs out there, they don't even need a van - use a Honda Element, or that cool HHR vehicle. Our Astro van has been a wonderful vehicle - but I would much prefer being able to toodle to work in a Mini Cooper or something else smaller and sportier instead of being in the "soccer mom" category with a minivan! So I was pretty much disgusted at the thought of this fellow hauling puppies in the trunk of his car for the rest of the day.

On a good note, Lumos' flight was uneventful and she arrived safe and sound in Portland (albeit a bit messy) and is now with her new family.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Annual "Rabies Round-Up"

Yesterday we had what I've come to call our "rabies round-up". Our vet comes to the house and gives the majority of our dogs their annual rabies vaccination (some of them, due to their birthday or when they arrived here, get their vaccine near summertime). We also do any exams on those dogs I would like checked - Arthur and Perci were just overjoyed at their prostate exams (not!). Flareon got her stitches removed from her surgery a couple weeks ago (all pathology came back benign - hurrah!) and Lars got looked at for limping (left shoulder - muscle strain/pull).

This time around I also opened up my box of microchips and we chipped several of the Borzoi and Silkens. I have a HUGE fear of needles - they have to practically hold me down to do any bloodwork on me - and I project that fear to the idea of inserting that big bore needle into one of my dogs. Just can't do it - although I give vaccines to the dogs regularly (the combo shots, not the rabies vac).

Now I will likely be in need of medical attention once I get the bill!! Ouch - that hurts!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Eukanuba '07 - A Touch of Success

Solo attended the 2007 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Show in Long Beach, CA this past weekend. He was dual qualified, having finished from the Bred-By Exhibitor classes, as well as ranking in the Top 25 at the time of the deadline (he was at #4). Sassi had also received an invite from her ranking - but was in no condition to attend thanks to her fancy whelping haircut.

I didn't have the vacation time to spare, so we managed to hitch him a ride and flew Jill out there to show him. Maybe next year I will be able to attend and compete in the Bred-By competition (the invite for that lasts for 2 years).

Super pleased that our "lil boy" won an Award of Merit under judge Dr. Robert Indeglia! There is a candid picture taken during his photo session for the AOM online HERE.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Field Trials ("trial" being the key word!)

After a week full of very mild winter weather - a cold front decided to sweep through in time for our field events. ICK. The Lone Star Borzoi Club's ASFA trial was the Friday after Thanksgiving. It was overcast but in the mid to high 30s, with a brisk north wind to top it off - at least it was dry. Nothing like trying to do paperwork while it keeps attempting to escape the table (I had on my Field Trial Secretary hat). I was also very rusty since I had managed to avoid performing in the FTS capacity for a while - but I pretty much just got stuck with it this time around. Got through the trial ok - but it remains to be seen as to whether or not I survive getting the trial records ready to mail in to ASFA. At this trial we only ran Magik - the ever-creative Magik, who is still in disagreement with the course designers. She tends to be a better 2nd day runner - so we were hoping for a less Picasso-esque performance at the next day's Regional. We did bring the Monkee-kids for practice - Wulf, Buster and Faina all turned in promising runs, with Wulf showing the most interest in killing the bags at the end. Peepers was a huge disappointment - I was expecting much more after Victor told me how well she did at earlier practices. She failed a certification - and had a pooper of a practice run after that - quitting after the first turn. Harli was a mess too - and then we had to catch her. She has apparently been speaking to the Pharaoh Hounds about how to avoid being caught after a run.

Saturday morning arrived much too did the rain. And roll call - an hour earlier than the day previous. We had 3 entries for the day - Solo, Monkee, and Magik. We weren't really expecting anything all that competitive from the girls - but Solo was another story. Despite a nice performance from him in an attempt to win a trophy for the bench champions (it was our region's invitational trial) - he received some dreary results to go hand in hand with a dreary day. It's a bit upsetting to see a dog that did not finish the course in finals before I had already picked up my runner in the course, score higher than one that did. Granted it was due to a tumble about 3/4 of the way through, but still, it took a long time to get to the finish, and not in working style. But oh well - there's always next year (or maybe when Solo's a veteran ).

Sunday I opted for a day at home while Victor attended the trial. I had had enough of the cold and wet (I don't like to be cold, nor do I like to be wet...both - forget it!) He just took the ever-creative Monkee (she and Magik share their opinion of course designers) - and she opted to go back to her enormously creative state, although she had shown an inclination to follow much more than usual at the Regionals.

Our Thanksgiving

We had a somewhat untraditional terms of the food at least. Certainly we thought of those things for which to be thankful for, of which, despite any daily grumblings, are a-plenty. We were tied close to home for the holiday since our club (Lone Star Borzoi Club) was hosting a lure trial the next day and there were other trials the rest of the weekend, including the ASFA Regional Invitational. After ticking through the logistics - it just wasn't feasible to leave town for the day.

Not being much of a homemaker or cook (I'm an "open-box-add-water" kinda gal) I could not bring myself to cook a turkey for just Victor and myself. Since we had a huge package of stew meat in the freezer, the day before feast day I googled up a recipe for a Spicy Beef Curry Stew. I didn't exactly follow the directions to a "t" - except for the spices used, and they were multiplied to fit with the quantity of beef (4.3 lbs - I said it was a HUGE package!). I set everything up the night before and through the night the house filled up with exotic spicy scents.

Towards lunchtime I just threw some sweet potatoes into the oven to bake while Victor and I took to the yard to attempt some photo updates. We brought out the lure toy for the Spells pups to play with. Ascensio, Nox, "Whitey", and Boy #2 are really wanting the "bunny" - closely followed by Pest and Monkee's daughter Faina. QiQi also got into the midst of things - although we hadn't been able to get her interested in a race practice at the beginning of the month when we attended GIT's LGRA meet.

After the hour-long (or more) photo session, we returned into the cozy temps of the house for our late holiday lunch. We ordered "Evan Almighty" on pay-per-view as our entertainment. That was about as close to a holiday movie as we could get - and I couldn't talk Victor into watching "Mr. Brooks", and teased him with the idea of ordering "Hostel" (no thank you!). The stew turned out pretty darned good and the meat was falling apart in the slow cooker. We topped it off with a low carb, crustless pumpkin cheesecake.

We then prepped for the trial the next day - but definitely an easygoing and somewhat relaxing day. Thank goodness for that ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Special Delivery

Solo got a lovely little delivery in the mail - an invite to WESTMINSTER! As of October 31 he stands at #4 in the breed rankings, so he is guaranteed entry at the Garden if I send it on in. Which I did today! I am so excited that our "Ubergoober" has done so well his first year out as a special - and so young too! He just loves to show and meet folks! I figured this isn't going to happen to me that what the heck....we're gonna go again this time! We had already made ground transportation arrangements for him - and now I will be making flight arrangements for me. The last thing I need to do is drive around in a downtown setting - I would likely get arrested! I just hate downtown environments and cannot understand how folks can live like bees in a honeycomb with not a blade of grass in sight!

Looks like Sara may come with me so we can see Solo strut it out at the Garden. I am excited, nervous...and actually quite frightened of being completely overwhelmed being in that atmosphere.

Flareon Under the Knife

Flareon had to go in for surgery this morning. For a while now she has had what we "affectionately" called...."the BOOB". It had first come up shortly before her pregnancy, and we (and the vet) took it for a lipoma on one of her breasts. She had her pups, and that particular breast was functioning fine in terms of the milk department - but when the milk bar went away after Lars and Zander were weaned..."the boob" remained. A dangly item which looked odd when we put racing silks on her. It seemed that one thing after another (financially) kept us from getting her in for its removal, the last event being the death of the Astro van's transmission. Nothing like driving a conspicuous, over-sized, bright blue van (aka the Zoibus) to work on a daily basis.

We finally got to take her in today for her "breast reduction surgery" (one must keep a sense of humor at times) and also opted for them to remove a little black mole on her left hip that made me a bit nervous. When we were searching for that mole, we came across what I originally thought was a callous from her choice of wanting to lay on the tile entry in the house. I got a call at work from Heather (the tech who petsits for us) saying that Dr. Lindsley was concerned about that "bump" and that she wanted to know if I would like it taken off. After learning that I had never given a vaccine in that area - they opted for sending it to a histopath for a diagnosis. It was hard as a rock. So I am a bit worried about that outcome - hopefully I will know something soon and it won't be a cause for further concern.

As to "the BOOB" - was a lipoma. A big'un too and all contained on the outside with no "issues"...and apparently a brief source of entertainment at the clinic after its removal. No lasting effects or malignancy - hurrah!

Flareon is now resting [un]comfortably in the living room, dressed in an old McLane t-shirt (I guess it serves a better purpose than burning it as I curse that company) to keep any drippage off the carpet and/or couch. She has started to stiffen up now that the day has worn on and she's obviously not feeling her best. She's had her pain meds for the day - but something tells me we are going to get the drama routine in the morning, although she's normally a very stoic girl.

Cute Puppy Fix!

Victor gets a smooch from Sassi's daughter after her photo session

Took the 5-week-old stack pix of Sassi's pups - what a batch of stubborn little heathens they are! They wanna be seen - but they have issues with behaving! Into everything - nothing is safe!

The new pictures are posted in their online album HERE.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Victory in the Hound Group!

The BCOA Trophy Supported Entry at the Cypress Creek Kennel Club all-breed dog show was a stellar event for us. The trophies created by Margaret Lucia were absolutely wonderful - and I was thrilled that the results allowed us to bring some of them home!

Bugg, seemingly always odd-Borzoi-out (the judges either give her the class, or completely ignore her, it seems), came away with her first points by being awarded Winners Bitch! Bonus - bling! A lovely etched glass piece!

Arthur was the only veteran entered (at 9 1/2 years of age) - so his wins were by default...but not the compliments. His efforts were rewarded with an etched treat jar and vase (Sweeps and Regular classes).

Then there was Solo - last, but certainly NOT least! Solo went Best of Breed in excellent company. I could really appreciate many of his competitors. Our breed judging was scheduled at the beginning of the day...and we ended up being the last group scheduled - so that made for a looooong day, which was eased by a group of us visiting a favored Mexican restaurant (Los Cucos) down the road for lots of good food (and drink!). The wait was certainly worth it as Solo WON the Hound Group! Such a thrill to see him do it! The judge was Prof. Doug Taylor - who finished Sassi's championship (with a Major from Bred-By), as well as having awarded Duri a major (again from Bred-By).

The highlight (for me at least) in the BIS competition was watching Solo react to the Pekingese there. He was first in line, and the Peke was last. He did fine after the first go-round because Jeanie (who was handling him since David's Sharpei, Lashes, had also won her group) was keeping him occupied with tasty items from her pocket we had warned her that he might find the Peke an enticing "toy"). But on the last go round when she came to the end of the line, there were the ears. He had sighted the Peke! He was all about it, and it finally took off to do its last little go-round and Solo got back to business after a little pinch on the head. But it was so funny. David did win Best in Show with Lashes - she's already broken the record for Shar-pei BISs, but it's great to see her get more as she's a nice girl and just wags and wags her tail in the ring.

Here's hoping all our pictures turn out nicely!

Friday, November 2, 2007


Duri's and Sassi's litters are doing great. I've posted pictures online at the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site.

Duri's litter at 8 weeks of age - HERE (starting from the last picture on the page)

Pumpkin and a brother

Sassi's litter at 2 weeks of age - HERE (starting from the last picture on the page)

little boy 3

Web Site Update - Kyrov Borzoi

Amy's site for Kyrov Borzoi has received a "facelift". Many of the original graphics are still being utilized - but it has had the frames layout removed and instead utilized a CSS layout - although tables were still utilized within the content area. It certainly "freshened"up the site's look.

Take a look HERE.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Web Site Update - Glacier Kennels

Updated the web site for Glacier Kennels today. Lisa had GREAT success with 2 pups from her Wire-Haired Pointing Griffon litter at the national specialty, along with some other wins, and her Borzoi Jewel also added a nice win to her credit at a Canadian Gazehound specialty show. She's also got plans for a future litter. Check is out at

California and Bust

It was a loooooooooooong drive to Antioch, California in order to attend an ISWS Regional Specialty (BooFest!), which I've been to twice previously. It's been held every other year - but may soon become an annual event. The main purpose for going was for Tyler, because of an interpretation on the poorly written show rules regarding the attainment of an ISWS Grand Champion I needed to go where the dogs were. I also had several others in attendance - Luna, Trouble, Gabe, Luna's daughter Missi, and Ginger (who was being dropped off for a friend to take home for a bit in order to be bred to one of her males).

Tyler came away empty-pawed, but I can't complain too badly. Gabe won the Bred-By Exhibitor Dog class, then went on to win Winners Dog/Best of Winners and Best Bred-By in Show! This gives him his ISWS-qualifying win towards his ISWS championship...which is fabulous! Although it does mean I will need to get him to some Rarities shows now in order to work on getting more points! Ember, who now lives with Alison of Tangaloor Silkens, won Winners Bitch from the Open class! Then Missi won Best Puppy in Show despite her very rotten behavior. She's certainly lovely - but she's also an electric-red, first class BRAT.

Tyler did get a little something while he was there - he had several trysts with his "intended", Cinder, who conveniently was in standing heat during our visit. So hopefully we will have news from Joyce that pups will be coming in late December. Cinder is our Duncan's sister and has that same, effortless, ground-covering stride. Her first litter has a great depth of quality and beautiful type, so I have high hopes since we will be getting a pup. Joyce was kind enough to put up me and the critters during our brief stay. The dogs enjoyed the romp through the landscaped and hilly yard, and Tyler....well....enjoyed his romp.

The drive itself was relatively uneventful, although in Mojave they had closed the freeway for a bit due to super-high winds which made it dangerous for high profile vehicles (and the Zoibus certainly qualifies for that!). On Friday night I decided to find a hotel to crash at, and came upon the Canyon Inn (somewhere between Flagstaff and Williams, AZ). It's fun to find a place to stay that's not the usual franchise and has its own "personality" - and this place sure fit the bill. The lady that checked me in was very friendly too. Good thing I chose a hotel, since it hit below freezing that night - and I was warm and cozy. It wasn't an expensive stay, they gave me a little goody bag and biscuits for the dog, and they even had free wireless internet. I must figure on staying there again.

On the way home, east of Henrietta, on a lonely (not to mention dark) 2-lane road, the Zoibus blew out its left rear tire. I didn't have good cell phone reception, but managed to get hold of AAA to ask for a truck to come out. It was getting chilly, I could hardly see, and I could hear coyotes. It too over 3 and a half hours to get a truck to me - thanks to a series of miscommunications - and I was a wreck by the time they got there thanks to the poor phone reception and wondering how long I would be stuck. Don't particularly remember the rest of the drive home since I was too tired. Thank goodness there wasn't any cars parked on the shoulder, since I tested the rumble strips on several occasions - those parts I do remember. Ended up taking a day off from work in order to sleep off the adrenalin hangover.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sassi Pup Pix

Got some pictures taken and uploaded of the pups on their first day.

Sassi is being a wonderful mother and the pups are lil' chubsters - always at the milk bar.

Their online gallery is here on the Gryffyn's Aeyrie site.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sassi Delivers!

About 2 hours after I returned home from the TTKC shows in Canton, Sassi went into labor. She delivered 5 lovely pups - 4 boys and a girl! Two of the boys are cream spotted and the rest are red sable spotted. Hope to post pictures on the web site soon - will update with a post here!

A Weekend to Remember!

The Tyler Texas Kennel Club dog shows ended up being mighty successful for us! Moose, seemingly holding the title of "Reserve King" won Winners Dog both days and finished his AKC championship! So he's now officially CH Gryffyn-Wyvern's Speak O'T'Devil, JC! Lars actually got Reserve Winners on Saturday, winning over an older entry with much more coat than he (since he's growing out after his puppy coat blow).

Solo won Best of Breed both days and really put the icing on the cake by winning a Group 3 on Saturday (under Borzoi breeder/judge Dan Dowling, Ajjarda Borzoi - also the class judge) and then taking a Group 2 on Sunday under an Argentinian judge who had more really nice things to say about him. He said he thought that Solo was even better than dogs he had judged in the breed's home country of Russia! The show site was as wonderful as always - plenty of room and not having to park in the next county from the show building.

I am so proud of our boys!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Spells Pups - 5 Week Photos

Attempted some 5-week stacked photos of the "Spells" puppies and came out with some nice ones - one of our better sessions! I am thrilled that the little girl I've had my eye on since day 1 - the fiery redhead - is looking quite nice structurally as well. She has been christened "Pumpkin" as a nickname. Couldn't help myself when someone referred to her coloring as similar to a pumpkin! You can see the new stack pix starting at the bottom of this page of our web site.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Puppy Pics

Took some new pictures of our Spells Litter the other day now that their eyes are open and they have graduated from the "larval stage". They're quite the active bunch and very very mobile! They are started on mush, and the one at the food trough from beginning to end is the little spotted brindle girl - she is ALL about the food! Their photo album is online [ HERE ]. Here's a picture of the little boy I have got my eye on.

I also followed around in the yard the "Boogie Baby" pups that remain here (Wulf, Buster and Faina) and took some candid shots of them. Managed to get some nice shots of the little heathens and their pages are updated on our website and there are links from their individual pages to their online albums. Below is a picture of Wulf checking out the flora along the fence.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Po' Critter

Critter did not enjoy his visit to the vet last week...he has come back somewhat less of what he left with. He got neutered. We neutered him since we did not want to deal with marking and we also already had 3 female cats. Although I breed dogs, I do not wish to take on the breeding of cats, and certainly not mongrel kitties. Also...after much contemplation...he got de-clawed as well. I am not a fan of declawing - but it became a necessary evil. Every once in a while his almost-feral nature kicks in and he decides it's time to climb the $200 business suit hanging from the top of the door (among other clothing); the bedcovers; or even Victor's leg. Not a good thing. We had not even planned on keeping this cat - we had hoped to find him a home while he was a little thing. He and his two siblings had been basically dumped by a friend's house, and the kitties kept getting closer and closer to the fence...and some sighthounds wanting a bit of messy entertainment.

Critter's situation managed to refresh my thinking on so much of the "nanny laws" that cities, counties, states, and even the federal government is wanting to impose on pet owners and breeders. It's a bunch of bunk! Sure someone bred these kittens, or they were from feral cats - you can NOT control feral cat breeding through mandatory spay/neuter laws. A well-organized trap-and-spay/neuter-release program would help solve that - since feral cats can be hard to adapt to home living. They can help with controlling pests in their area - so let them live out their lives but sterilized. They can be vaccinated against rabies when they are trapped as well. If a person was actually responsible for what resulted in these kittens' births...then where the heck are they? Or their owners? It's a lack of responsibility - mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) won't affect them either - because they won't care!!

Who does MSN ultimately have an affect on - responsible hobby breeders such as myself and those within my circle of doggy friends! Those folks who take breeding dogs seriously, as well as the placement of their puppies. Those who have contracts specifying that the animal they have placed should come back to them if for some reason the new owners can no longer keep it - NEVER to a shelter or rescue.

There have even been anti-declawing laws passed so that you cannot have the procedure done on your feline. This can well end up with more animals being turned into a shelter if a cat (such as Critter) is particularly destructive. For myself - I am not the biggest fan of declawing either, but there are times it is necessary - and it should be a choice for pet owners. After all....pets in reality and in a legal sense are property. Certainly a special kind of property for people like myself - but property nonetheless, and one which we should take responsibility for and make our own decisions regarding it.

As frustrating as my Critter can be at times...I do like the little fella. And despite his having to undergo those procedures last week...he is still better off than his little siblings. May they rest in peace.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Peeping Pups and the Pregnant Princess

All of Duri's pups now have their eyes wide open, taking in their little world. Duri has proven to be an excellent mother - beyond our wildest dreams. It makes it so much easier. Of course, with open eyes, comes increased mobility - and these kids are truckin' all over the place! The little brindle spotted girl was a slow start and we fed her every 2 hours for several days - soon she was getting better results at the milk bar and keeping good weight, and now she's almost indistinguishable in condition from the others. Will take more pictures in a bit since they're not so "larval" - there's only so much one can do picturewise when they're just little Borzoi grubs.

This past weekend we took Sassi to the vet for a blood draw to run a relaxin test to see if her breeding had taken. It sure did!! So we are in for some hard work - her pups will be due in mid-October and we will go through yet another cycle of sleepless nights and constant vigilance. It's always worth it...but during the cycle we can become so exhausted since we both work full time. But watching the pups grow and develop is its own reward. It's a good kind of tired!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

From Dream to Reality

My trip to the Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club's Fall Specialty in Longmont, CO ended up leaving my cup overflowing with good fortune! The Lockard family (who had Sassi's brother Rali and now have Peanut from Solo and Monkee's litter) helped me out greatly, with a place to crash for the night and good company, along with the dogs getting a good romp in the yard after their long journey. Paige showed 3 of our guys (Moose, Peepers and Solo) at the show, Leslie took pictures, and Stephen was Sassi's saviour towards the conclusion of the breed judging when I was able to catch his eye and get him to bring a spray bottle to try and cool off Sassi.

Sassi and Lynn in the ring
Lars behaved like a little gentleman in his Sweeps class. I was a bit disappointed that he had turned a year old the day before the specialty and would appear quite scrawny in comparison to his competition . Peepers was less than cooperative with Paige in her Sweeps class and seemed to have a time limit for trotting around the ring. What a thrill to have Lars go Best in Sweeps!

Lars then went on to win his 12-18 class - so I was very proud of him. His mother is our performance girl Flareon, and his father is Duri's brother Burni who thrilled me a few years ago by going BOW at RMBC. Moose behaved well for Paige in Open and was just out of the ribbons - while Peepers continued her "precocious ways" in her 6-9 class. Arthur, always happy for a trip with "mom" showed well for me in Veterans and I was so happy to have him take the class. I recognized one of his competitors (Dalton), who I had admired some years ago at RMBC and just thought was gorgeous. The
specials class was nerve-wracking for me. Paige was showing Solo for me, and Pam Leichtnam was kind enough to take in Arthur while I showed his daughter Sassi, who has been my RMBC "bridesmaid", taking an AOM the year that Kalen Dumke judged (also finishing Sassi's sister Magik there), and BOS under Pat Ellis.

Paige with Solo
This specialty, Sassi was a bridesmaid no longer....I cannot express how thrilled I am that she was awarded BEST IN SPECIALTY SHOW! Always a dream, and now a reality. I did not even see Arthur win his Award of Merit. I found out about that while awaiting pictures and Pam asked me if I wanted his ribbon for his picture!

There was a newspaper photographer there who was taking lots of pictures, but apparently liked Arthur a lot. Someone pointed him to me as Arthur's owner and he came and talked to me, got my name and all and was asking questions about Arthur and where we're from. He gave me his card and I called the paper on the way home and asked for 2 copies to be sent to me - and was so surprised to see a nice little write-up and lovely picture on the front page!

Arthur on the front page
So we have had an amazing weekend...welcoming our next generation and having a most memorable RMBC that we will likely never come close to experiencing again!

the Arrival!

I am oh-so-late in updating things here thanks to being on the road (and offline) and ill and exhausted since my return. Ugh. But we have plenty of FABULOUS news to share! First is the blessed arrival of 9 puppies (4 boys, 5 girls) via natural delivery beginning around 2 pm on Sunday, September 2.

the pups on day 3
I had left for Colorado that morning and Victor handled the whelping, phoning me at each arrival (when he could - there were times I was in one of those wonderful cellular black holes of nowhere). There were 11 pups total, but 2 were stillborn. The theme for the litter is Harry Potter Spells - since after several failed attempts to get Duri bred, it was almost magickal when she became pregnant this time around!

Their page on the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site is located here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Puppy Prepping

Last night once we both got home from work, we began prepping the kitchen area for whelping. Normally we are earlier in this, but we have something of a conflict with Monkee's pups that remain here (Buster, Wulf and Faina). It has been way too hot (and humid) for them to live outside 24/7 in the puppy pen! We have been trying to acclimatize them with longer and longer periods out in the yard when we are home - and they had gobs of outdoor time this past weekend - but there's just no way they are ready to be out all day. We finally settled on moving Buster and Wulf (BIG boys) to the ex-en in the dog room with some of the Silken girls who are in for various reasons (Ginger, Trouble, and Kandi). Faina (with QiQi) moved into Duri's old crate in the dog room after she was ensconced in her new area in the kitchen. Here's hoping they don't make too much of a mess today while we are at work! The boys have actually been lifting their legs since 10 weeks of age (my - are they going to be handfuls once they're grown!) - so I am hoping they don't somehow manage to pee on Moose since his crate is next to them. He needs to be ready for his trip to Colorado for the specialty on Labor Day!

Duri also got her "maternity cut" last night. I took the clippers (with a 1" guide on the blade) to her "britches" and belly and tail so the newborn pups wouldn't get tangled in her coat. We also started taking her temperature since with so many on board, I wonder if she may actually go into labor this weekend as opposed to the 6th (which is 63 days from the breeding). I showed Victor how to read the old mercury thermometer so he can monitor her while I make my brief trip to Colorado.

To brighten the day, here's a picture of little Faina jumping through the high grass. She's such a cute little girl - but looks like she will be hell on toys. Hopefully that bodes well for her future playing running games.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Preparing for the Invasion

My oh my - we are going to be invaded in early September! Duri went to the vet today to have an x-ray taken to count puppies so that we can be better informed as to what to expect to arrive! We knew she was getting bigger and bigger - but to actually see it in black and white (pun intended!) was certainly a rush. We have count of definitely 9, probably 10. Prior to this, my larget litter was Nikki's first, back in 1995, when she delivered 9 pups (one of which we lost a few days later). So we have got a job ahead of us!

Of course I will be super pleased to have pups from her, this having been our 4th attempt to get pups from her. It's great to know that she will make a contribution to our plans here, providing more Nikki grandchildren (and Nigel great-grandchildren)! The next day or so will be spent contacting those folks who have inquired about Duri-pups, some who have waited for a couple of years. I had tentative plans to use a Harry Potter Spells theme for this litter - since, with the difficulty we had - it seems a magickal event!

Friday, August 24, 2007

New Web Site

Well I finally started to make use of another one of the domain names in my I put up something of an abbreviated site highlighting our Silkens, with pointers to the main Gryffyn's Aeyrie site for further details. It was pretty much an excuse both to try and drive more traffic to the G-A site, and to play with another design.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Fence Me In - Please!

We watched the house behind our property with its "For Sale" sign out front for quite a while. We were a bit worried - as one never knows about new neighbors vs. dogs. The previous neighbor who moved in after a long advertisement was pretty easy-going and seemed to like the dogs - who would occasionally high-tail it out to the shared fenceline and visit at times. Or stare at the stray cat. The dogs who remain outside during the day in various fenced areas of our 2 acre backyard are quite visible - so it would be no great surprise to house hunters that they would have several 4-leggeds as potential neighbors.

Then one day, the realty sign disappeared. Uh-oh - here goes!

Well, while mowing the yard this past weekend, Victor met our new neighbor and reported back that he's a nice fella. He also asked if it would be ok if he used our existing fenceposts (currently set-up with 6-foot "no-climb" wire, to put up a privacy fence against it. Wahoo! I have been wanting to completely fence the yard with wooden stockade for a while now - it already has it along the fencing just beside the road (we are on a corner lot). We just can't budget for it at this time. The dogs are visible from the road along a portion of the back fence - so this is great.

Now if our side neighbor only began to desire a lovely wooden fence as well!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Farewell Wee One

Today's dreary weather (more thunderstorms interspersed throughout the day) seemed absolutely sunny compared to the sight that awaited me when I arrived home from work - our approaching-ancient Brussels Griffon, Heather, had passed away during the day. Heather was a rescue - so perhaps she was actually ancient instead of just approaching it. The more I think about it - the more I wonder if she may have personally known Noah. I had been curious about Brussels since seeing them at shows when I first began exhibiting Borzoi. Their little faces reminded me of the 1950s Wolfman I would catch glimpses of when staying up late at night in my high school years sneaking peeks at forbidden horror movies.

Heather was already an adult when she came to live with me. She used to have a torrid love affair with my male Borzoi Nigel - and he certainly thought she was the bee's knees. It was fascinating, in a train wreck kinda way, to watch them flirt and coo over each other. Heather would circle around his front legs, brushing up against him at times like a cat, her nubby tail going back and forth, and her head turned up towards him, sometimes licking at the air as if to say "C'mon big boy!"

The first signs of her aging were her eyes - clouding up and eventually getting a blueish cast. Then she started to lose a bit of her hearing - then pretty much all of it. A few years ago our vet's diagnosed an inoperable mass in her chest cavity - but she seemed comfortable enough. She had also started to accumulate a bit of fluid in her chest, so Lasix was prescribed. She looked like hell - but she was still truckin' along and cleaned up her dish every night. The senility seemed to set in, and she lost more of her sight, occasionally becoming lost in the yard when out to potty - just 10 feet from the door. But her bowl was always licked clean and she would at times, bark her displeasure at whatever unforgivable sound she may have heard.

Yesterday, the food was untouched. We talked about her options and if it was time to go ahead and assist her passing with a visit to the vet, since she no longer seemed to really be "there". I opted to wait another day...just in case she was having an "off day". But no...she was ready...and she took matters into her own little paws.

I guess we were thankful for the recent storms in that the ground was soft. Victor dug a hole in one of the little landscaped areas and she was laid to rest this evening. Now back with her beloved Nigel.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Few Web Updates

This morning while walking down the driveway to try to spot a fat cottontail that Victor had seen when he went out to feed the horses, I came upon a sparkling, dewey spiderweb. Feeling the moment, I went and retrieved my Rebel from the kitchen counter where I had left it after taking new pictures of the "Boogie Babies" that remain here. I then promptly learned that it is a pain to attempt to take a picture of an arachnid's homey creation because the camera will not focus on its delicate filaments - but instead (in this case) the crape myrtle behind it. After a few failed attempts, I resorted to placing my hand in front of it and swiftly removing it as I snapped the shot - hoping autofocus wouldn't adjust again. I managed a few neat-o shots. I do have an album of non-dog-related shots on the Gryffyn's Aeyrie website that you can view here.

We also managed to update pictures of some of the dogs on our web site. Fawn (formerly known as "Pockets") was at the house visiting for a few days, so we took some nice new pictures. Also updated ones for Peepers, Zander as well as shots sent to us of Axl and Tripp. There is a list of updates with direct links here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Potter Time

This weekend we got to be quaint and act like "normal" folks since we had no doggie events to attend (having missed entering the Longview shows before the limit was reached). Since the numbers are historically small we figured it was no great loss anyway.

Saturday I spent the day off. REALLY off. I had my nose in the most recent Harry Potter saga and am currently halfway through the tome. Even though I've already taken in the summary posted at Wikipedia - I just couldn't wait since Amazon fell down on the job getting the book to me close to its release date.

On Sunday, we opted to take in a movie for once! We were certainly overdue for one - and our natural choice was moviedom's latest Harry Potter saga. We even went overboard by heading to the Studio Movie Grill so that we could eat way too much food and take in some cocktails as well - it you can call a 20 oz. mixer titled "Miami Viced Tea" as well as a huge goblet containing a frozen Mudslide "cocktails". And they don't skimp on the liquor either! The movie was MARVELOUS although a bit too condensed - they really could have added another hour to it without it becoming excruciating - there's a lot to tell in this installment. I guess I can understand why many Potter-people are disappointed with this one - the story gets darker as it moves along in each book - so surely they would realize the movies will too! I think some people are expecting the shiny, happy wonderment of the first book/movie to continue throughout the entire series. I also think they just can't believe that the young stars of this story are growing up...especially the lead, Daniel Radcliffe who has branched out into more serious projects during his breaks from Potter-work.

Amidst all this, we did manage to get some updated pictures of some of the crew here, which I hope to post soon on the site. New pix include Fawn (formerly known as Pockets) spent several days with us while her 'mom' Susan travelled - so we got some nice shots of her; Zander, who will be heading to BC, Canada soon, and is now in the midst of a coat change and has oodles more black tipping; and Peepers, who is quite the elegant little black whirlwind, who still does not appreciate the ability to stand still and stacked! Much too serious work for her!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Web Site - SCBC

I recently completed the redesign of the site for the South Central Bloodhound Club, a breed specialty club and rescue serving several states.

You can check their site out here.

Beware This Dog - the HSUS

Yes - I said beware of the HSUS. Beware of their fundraising tactics. HSUS is becoming more and more anti-breeder....even they become more and more like PeTA. I have even seen them referred to as "PeTA in a suit". They have a cleaner, slicker image than PeTA - but they are just as dangerous to dog breeders and pet owners - they are leaning more towards an animal rights agenda, as opposed to animal *welfare*.

Their latest cash cow - the Michael Vick indictment for conspiracy and accusations of dog fighting, and the seizure of his dogs, allegedly used in a dog fighting ring. I say "allegedly" since one is supposed to be considered innocent before proven guilty. I certainly suspect him of it personally - he's not exactly an innocent character based on past actions - and I've seen his kennel web site. HSUS is using this latest media blitz to line their coffers. They say it will be used to help in their campaign against animal fighting. That's what they SAY. Yah.....riiiiiiiight.

In their original plea for donations - they implied that they were directly involved in caring for Vick's dogs that were seized and needed money for that "care". The web site page has since changed, although one was found in the Google cache and a screenshot is available here. They have since been reported to the FBI for fraudulent solicitation.

When Katrina devastated the southern gulf coast, HSUS moved in and bullied private rescue groups who were present and working to assist pets and their owners who had been affected by the floods and other damage from the storms. They flooded the internet with requests for donations to "help these hurricane victims". They raked in millions. There has been no accounting for the almost $20 million that was raised for the Katrina pets by the HSUS in that fundraising scheme. The HSUS is currently under investigation by the Louisiana Attorney General for their handling of that situation and misuse of collected funds.

HSUS doesn't even operate a shelter! They DO have corporate offices in D.C. where they happily process their donations (obtained through false pretenses, it would seem) and work with lobbyists to get legislation passed that would eliminate dog of the first steps in eliminating the ownership of animals as pets. PeTA at least has a shelter - although according to published stats they kill 83% of the animals their shelter takes in. Although keep in mind that apparently not all of the animals they pick up even make it to their shelter! Some are killed in the back of their van and dumped in the trash bins of local businesses! Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Don't Litter", which of course is used by animal rights organizations to discourage breeding of animals!

If you are still contemplating writing that check in response to a fundraising plea from the HSUS, take into account the following quotes from Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS:

"I don't have a hands-on fondness for animals...To this day I don't feel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them and I'm kind to them, but there's no special bond between me and other animals." quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 251.

"We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." quoted in Animal People, May, 1993.

When asked if he envisioned a future without pets: "If I had my personal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don't want to see another dog or cat born." Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.

I know I am putting my pen and checkbook away!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Few Tidbits

Uploaded many many new pictures and some other updates to the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site. A list of updates with direct links can be found here. Included in the new pictures is this fun picture of Missi, Isaak and Junior having a three-way tug-o-war.

As for this past weekend - our efforts in both Houston and Omaha were for naught. C'est la vie! At least the company and social events in Omaha were very enjoyable. Solo performed well for Jill in Houston...but I pretty much got what I expected from the judging panel (that would be....nothing) since the Reliant shows (and the majority of their judging panel) have just gotten to be nowhere near worth the effort to attend anymore. Although I certainly miss seeing some of the good people that attend as they live in the area.

I've received some fabulous updates from a few of our extended family members! Sharon wrote:

Just wanted to let you know that Layla passed her skills class to become a therapet. She has her temperment test to pass now. Not worried about that, though. Winni and Andy just passed thier CGC and now move on to thier skills class. They are doing so great! The instructors tell me that they will all be great therapets.

Layla and Andy are sired by Tyler. Their mother is Winni. Sharon's doing great work with them!

Pam, who has Tripp from our Bruce/Luna breeding sent me the following update:
The UKC club I belong to had shows last weekend and we threw together an impromptu puppy- match. We opened it to all breeds and had 13 entries. Mr. Tripp went Best Puppy in Show!!

I've been babysitting an italian greyhound for two weeks and Saturday night, Tripp apparently claimed him as his own. He walked up to him and lifted his leg on the poor iggy's head!

Apparently he's also quite the hunter and is a menace to wandering and inattentive birds. Could really use him for the grackles around here! Although Demi's been working on that for us! Sounds like he can be a little jealous of other puppies too - poor Iggy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

ALERT - Virus Warning

This virus is called Worm Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from any of your colleagues, your boss, or anyone else via any means DO NOT TOUCH IT. This virus will wipe out your private life completely.

If you should come into contact with WORK, put your jacket on and take two good friends to the nearest grocery store. Purchase the antidote known as Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) or Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

You should forward this warning to your best drinking friends. If you do not have
best drinking friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.

UGH - I am sooooooo infected!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Quotes for Today

Seen on a bumper sticker while driving back from San Antonio yesterday afternoon:

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

This one had me in stitches - it was in an article about reversible birth control for dogs.
"You always run into people who have an emotional attachment to their dog's
testicles," said Dr. Marty Becker, a veterinarian working in Idaho. They think it's their dog's God-given right to have his hairy jewel bag with all the goodies in it."

Now there's a visual I didn't need...."hairy jewel bag"? Oh my! But....he does speak the truth!

Full article online here

Friday, July 13, 2007

Don't Eat It! Thanks Steve!

For the somewhat easily amused - this guy is hilarious, and crazy. I secretly wonder if he participated in or created the Fear Factor "eating challenges" that were beyond nasty.

He's pretty humorous writing about this form of self-torture in his blog:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Victory in CA!!

Hip hip hurrah! Ass. (you know....short for "ASSemblyman"....yah, riiiiight) "Lightbulb" Levine has withdrawn, for the time being, the travesty known to dog fanciers as the "Pet Extinction Act" (which he calls the "Healthy Pets Act"). Good riddance to bad rubbish - now throw Levine in the bin too!! Better yet - neuter him! We don't need him adding to our gene pool - he has a lousy temperament!

I am not even in California (although dogs of my breeding reside there) and got fired up about this bill. Its passage would have had far-reaching effects through the nation, and I've heard hints that similar legislation will be introduced to the Texas legislature in the near future. Here's hoping that's strictly rumor! Being a member on the pet-law list ( - get on board if you want to be kept informed!!), I hear all sorts of horror stories about abuse of the law by animal control officers, as well as the propaganda spewed by the PeTA and HSUS - whose goal is to end the owning of pets in any way, shape or form. I also get to see success stories as well as see folks in action and get advice on how to act and protect my rights as a dog owner, breeder and exhibitor. I saw the initial push to contact CVMA-member vets and watched as those vets come out and speak against the CVMA who had originally put itself on the support list for AB 1634. More and more spoke out against the organization of which they were members. And success was acheived when CVMA removed itself from the support list for the bill and officially announced itself as "neutral". I believe this ended up being the death knell for Levine's "piece of work".

So three cheers for the hard-working good guys who helped get this flushed! Hip hip hurrah.

And here's my fave poster from the whole debacle. Goodness does it get its point across!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Site Update - Ayrshire Scots

Got some updates from Cliff which are now incorporated into the Ayrshire Scots web site. Lots of new pictures in the Gallery, as well as some new items on the News page. Check it out at

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Talk About Fireworks!

Well....Solo has finally ventured into the realm of true "studhood". He has (finally) physically covered a bitch <vbg>. We had done an AI with Monkee, because I wanted to be assured of pups, and we couldn't get him interested in hopping on top. He would flirt and flirt and flirt....then come over to me as if to ask "did I do it?"

Last night I turned him and Duri out in the yard to let them play and flirt. I actually had to go and retrieve them from the far corner so I could continue on with the rest of the evening's duties - but I considered it a good sign! Especially since Duri wasn't chewing on his head when he actually mounted! So we tried in the living room this afternoon...a whole lotta work (on their parts), and flirting, and drooling, and panting. Nothing. So we put them up for a while to let them cool down while we did other things around here. We postponed Solo's trip to Jill's tonight so we could try again. He has shows Friday through Sunday, and I'm going out of town Friday morning - so it was now or never!

Brought them back out for another try this evening - and it looked like it was going to be a repeat of the matinee. So much so that Victor went outside to handle watering the dogs in the yards. Well....Solo finally managed to hit the mark (or fall in <vbg> - she's not a dainty girl)!! I couldn't help but giggle that right afterward, the sound of fireworks came from down the street and then the dogs in the house setting off into a group howl after they tied. Ta-da!

Holidaze - How We Spent the 4th

We spent the day attempting to take care of things around the disaster we call home. Victor picked up some supplies at Home Depot to fix our dryer vent. For whatever reason, the Silkens in the yard by the house/driveway think that the outside vent was put there for their own enjoyment. The latest play session(s) once again obliterated the outside cover, then the removal of the hose and various other parts through the hole. They also managed to remove a big chunk of the inside drywall. The end result was a fine entryway for flies and mosquitoes to come in at their leisure. So at least it's plugged up for now! Hopefully it will last a good long time, considering the sauna I walked into this morning while checking on laundry.

Speaking of saunas - once again the a/c has gone out in the Sprinter, yet again causing me to cuss various converters (ok....THE converter), and now once-reliable mechanics. Timing is really bad too - as I am supposed to leave for Colorado Friday morning for a series of Rarities shows (as well as delivering some Borzoi to their new homes). So we will be attempting to cram 6 Silkens and the additional passengers into the Astro van for this trip. Thanks goodness it's the Silkens and not Borzoi!

Of course we were prepping for my trip as well. Tomorrow night will be bath night for everyone to try and get them spiffed up for the show. It's an ISWS Specialty Show at one of the shows - so I'm hoping to snag a needed ISWS win on one of my guys to put towards their ISWS championship. Taking Gabe, Trouble, Kandi, Luna, Ginger, and, of course, Tyler.

Also spent a good bit of time cleaning and disinfecting the kitchen where the pups are stationed. Steam-cleaned their area (and the rest of the floors afterward) and then went over it with Lysol. We switched out ex-pens as well so we could clean the old one. Of course, the one day we really wanted it to rain some (since the old pen is stationed in the yard) didn't. We really wanted the pen to get a soaking after spraying it down with Lysol. Oh well...maybe tomorrow!

Also working on getting my new laptop set up. I've been installing programs throughout the day, and setting up the extensions in the Firefox browser (after I installed the browser itself) and in the Dreamweaver program. I just had to bite the bullet last night and pick it up at Sam's Club. Another Vaio with more capability than the previous one...but cheaper. Wasn't too thrilled with the Vista OS being on it....but looks like it will do. So far everything installed on it without issue, including my pedigree software - we shall see. Now maybe I can get some things done around here as far as computer work!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New Site Design - BCOA 2008

Have pretty much completed the design for the BCOA's 2008 National Specialty Show and it's now viewable online at This one was certainly an experience in CSS with a fixed header and footer and 2-3 columns on the pages.

Great Analogy Fable

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

"What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house - like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember - when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.

We are all involved in this journey called Life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.


Do you still believe that PETA and other animal rights groups' activities won't affect you? There is a mousetrap in the house!

Borzoi Central Updates

Trying to catch up posting various proposed legislation information on the Borzoi Central Forums. There has been such a steady rise in laws that affect pet owners and in many instances removes our rights as property owners. Although most folks like myself do feel they're a special kind of property, but property nonetheless.

New items posted include Dover, DE; Ohio (SB 173); and Lawton, OK (Advertising Permit).

Also posted updates for CA's AB 1634 and District of Columbia.

Also posted several new events to the Events Calendar (mostly in the month of July).

New link for the Sighthound Mall Yahoo group posted in Hound Clothing and Market - Arts links pages.

New links on the Health page - canine autoimmune thyroiditis, vaccination protocol, feeding sighthounds,

New link added to the Jewelry page (a GORGEOUS brooch/pendant of a running Borzoi - the detail is exquisite!).

Monday, July 2, 2007

OKC Finale and Puppy Party

The OKC show cluster ended with a sputter for us although Sassi took Best Opposite with Victor handling her. With an 8 am ringtime it meant Victor could get an earlier start home after visiting with his friends up there.

For the weekend I hadn't managed to be very productive at all - unless you call catching up on all the SYTYCD episodes that were tivo'd [sigh]. Couldn't hold a thought for more than a few seconds so did not catch up on any needed work, much less any cleaning. Yay for chronic fatigue!

That afternoon Missi, Isaak and Junior got quickie-baths as we were heading over to the Frey's to meet up with them and Sylvi. Took plenty of pictures, including some stacked shots and hope to get them edited and posted soon. Also have pictures from my friend Joyce from the Silkenfest specialty back in May I need to get posted.

No rest for the wicked!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bookends in OKC!

There were 6 specials (4/2) present and accounted for at the show, in addition to double digits in class dogs. Solo once again took Best of Breed with Sassi making it a matching set by going Best of Opposite Sex. Poor naked (nekkid!) Bugg did not fare well in the classes though. When we were grooming her last night, we were pondering the question....."what is is about show entry that makes her coat go away??"

I've been spending my day alone by attempting to do laundry and catching up on some web work as well as some items for the ISWS registry. Also attempting to catch up on all the tivo'd episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance"...a guilty pleasure.

Of course, web work would be hastened if our satellite was functioning properly. Apparently yesterday evening Direcway/Hughes had some sort of outtage and we're one of the lucky ones to be affected. Of course, while trying to figure all this out and calling support, I learned that we are also one of the lucky ones to deal with outsourced help to India, as I could barely understand the fellow I was talking to, with a heavy accent....and he must have been overdosing on caffeine because he spoke a mile a minute. If he thought that could make the call go faster....he was wrong!

Then of course....there's the rain. Again, and again, ad infitum.

Some Sassi and Solo Tidbits

Just got an email asking for pictures of Sassi and Solo to post on the Borzoi Canada web site. Looks like they ended up in the Top 10 for 2006 after only 9 shows last summer (I never could find a place to see how they ranked for the year)! Although it was an extraordinary 9 - with Sassi getting two Group 2s and Solo getting a Group 1 and 2 (and both earned their Canadian championships as well).

On a more depressing note....during the Hound Group exhibition Friday at OKC, Jill was showing Solo to Dr. Smith and his first question was "where is your bitch?" He actually remembered Sassi from last September and was looking forward to seeing her again and said he would have given it to her again! I am just stunned that he remembered our girl! Of course - that silly freckled face can become stuck in one's head!

Waiting to hear how everyone fared today at the shows. Today's groups will be filmed for the Eukanuba series to be televised later on - so here's hoping Sassi or Solo makes it through. Sassi was in it last year - but it was so heavily trimmed we didn't get to see much other than her entry into the ring, and then standing as the judge walked by, ignoring her .

Friday, June 29, 2007

California Heat

Hottest topic in CA (for the dog fancy at least) is the proposed legislation from "Lightbulb" Levine - AB 1634, the "Healthy Pets Act" aka the "Pet Extinction Act". One link to gather more information at (besides the previously referred is . There is plenty of information as to the procession of this disastrous legislation with regular updates and tips on what to do in order to protect your rights as a dog/pet owner.

Just say NO to mutts without nuts

Now...I'm all for spay/neuter if that's what one wishes to do. But do not mandate the process - it should be a CHOICE NOT LAW.

And speaking of updates - the latest horrid rendition of the bill may be found online by following this link. Read it and weep - then write.

Go Solo!

Solo and Sassi are up at the OKC show cluster. Yesterday was a bust but today Solo won the breed! The entry was 4-2-4-2 and Jill said all the specials showed up - I think that's the largest specials entry I have seen in a while! Not sure about all the class dogs though.

Although we REALLY wanted Sassi to take the breed today as the Hound Group judge (Dr. Harry Smith, Jr.) had awarded the "Sass-master" a group 1 last September. Oh well...can't have everything!


My head hurts after banging it constantly against the wall trying to figure out how to work with a custom template for this blog. Oh well - this is it....for now!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cute Fix for the Day

Vicki sent me several pictures of Sylvi the other day. Need to work on getting them edited and added to her online album, but thought this one was cute enough to share asap. Sylvi is from our H-Litter (Luna bred to Bruce) born in December 2006. She's certainly turning out to be a beautiful Silken!

Redesign - Texas Dogs Online

Wahoo! Just uploaded the redesign for Texas Dogs Online which is something of a portal site for Texas dog fanciers. I kept getting stalled by taking on new contract work (my sites have been sitting in the backseat for a while lately) - so I am thrilled to finally get this one online! I still have some tweaking to do - the listings for dog breeders, clubs, and rescues are being run from .csv files with a Perl search script. Need to buy the full version of the script as I may be able to do more with the templates and listing headings. Also still need to change over the calendar's layout.

Trying to add more affiliate links to hopefully bring in a bit of $$ to help offset server costs. To top it off - currently the site is ranked #1 in several search engines - including Google and Yahoo!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Link and a Bit More

Posted a new link for a sighthound (performance) club Borzoi Central's Performance Page - Bluegrass Coursing Club (in Kentucky, of course!)

Also - almost finished with the redesign of Texas Dogs Online. The databases handling the club, rescue and breeder listings will need a bit of minor tweaking in the near future - but need to gather the $$ to purchase the pro version of the script that runs them.'s raining again. We are going to just float away :(

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Kodi

Got a nice note from Richard who has Kodi from my very first litter. Kodi turned twelve years old yesterday! That's fabulous for a male Borzoi! Big hugs and birthday wishes for him!

Weekend in Little Rock

Took a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas this weekend for shows and to meet up with some friends. Stayed at Rebecca's place in Benton, about a half-hour away (longer if you're behind grey hair and a cap on a 2-lane) from the show. Sandra, Suzanne, Josie and Deb also came down, and Rebecca's brother Tim. All in all - super company!

Sadly, one of our hoped-for accomplishments for the weekend did not pan out - we did not bring back a new champion as we had hoped for. The best that Moose did was Reserve Winners Dog on Sunday. Saturday he didn't even get that. Solo was ignored in BOB too - so much for entering dogs under Mr. Davis ever again, unless they're with a handler! That was about our 3rd or 4th try under him and the modus operandi looks to be the same each time. He was kinda cranky too - but so was I, considering I was on medication for back issues.

Considering that the good company I was in suffered the same fate at the show that day...we stopped at the liquor store on the way back to Rebecca's and picked up some "mood-boosters". Sandra and I were quite delighted at the packaged frozen margaritas and daiquiris that were next to the register. Just open the top and enjoy your nice adult slurpee - woohoo!! After partaking of some libations, we played with the 10-week old pups and took stacked pictures of them for further analysis so folks could make informed choices.

The evening was a true treat. I had heard stories from them of this particular restaurant they visited when attending this show cluster - so I was eagerly awaiting to see if it lived up to its hype. Well it DID! Gaucho's Grill in Little Rock is AMAZING! Here is a description:

People come to Gaucho's for Churrascaria. Churrascaria is a 300-year-old tradition stemming from Brazil where ranchers BBQ large portions of marinated beef, pork and poultry on skewers over an open fire pit. Gaucho's celebrates this tradition in Little Rock by carving 14 varieties of skewered meat table side.

At Gaucho's, waiters circle around offering various meats to the table and it's all you can eat. You don't have to wait long for the dishes to come around. Choices include top sirloin, sirloin tip, pork loin, pork ribs, fillet mignon, meatballs, sausage, lamb and chicken.

We GORGED on way too much flesh - and the grilled pineapple....[drools]. Next year, even if the judges suck, I may have to go back just for the company and another Churrascaria dining experience!

Sunday morning came around. Rebecca's goat Sparky began the day by being castrated before he became a full-fledged billy (smelly smelly). The pups got tested for lure keenness. The darned roaming kittens that had been plaguing Rebecca's dogs decided that in the yard was as good as out - they must have a death wish! I grudgingly decided to "rescue" the friendliest before he became a Borzoi snack.

It was then time to head back to the show. Today's judge (Weiss) had given Solo Best of Breed from the Bred-by-Exhibitor class, and then BOB when David took him to an Oklahoma show. So I was hoping he would again be able to find the big goober in the line-up. Was a bit worried when he didn't find Moose for Winners Dog, although he did choose a lovely bitch I admire for Winners Bitch. He DID award Solo BOB and in a rare stroke of luck, the Hound Group started about 20 minutes after we finished up breed judging (usually on a Sunday or last day of a show cluster, Hounds end up being the last group, it seems, if we win breed). Nothing in group, but at least the judge was pleasant to show to and didn't make me a nervous wreck. There's a reason I usually have a handler on my specials!

We loaded up, went back to Rebecca's and picked up the kitten, currently dubbed "Critter". Unfortunately, once again the Sprinter's a/c has gone out. Don't know what it is about anything that involves a hose, or a wire, that made the van's converter completely inept at his task :( This problem stems from whatever "rigging" (and I use the term lightly) is connected to the compressor to steer the air flow to both [factory-installed] front and the conversion-installed rear air conditioners. Well it leaks....constantly....and we're sinking more and more $$ to fix it. The Sprinter is useless without a/c. Generator would not start - the switch is dead. And it would seem that the supposedly super-duper batteries that run all the conversion-installed electrics have only lasted 4-5 months and are not recharging when the engine is running. Hooray.

Nothing like a 5 hour trip in Texas in June with no a/c! Managed to race home with no harm to the boys (and this includes the kitten) - but I was all manner of 'icky' upon arriving at home. One would think that so many years in Texas (like....since birth) would have me much more accustomed to the heat and humidity - not!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cuteness Fix for Today

Got a BUNCH of pictures sent to me from Tia's "mom" - will be posting several choices from them, plus other pix from "extended family," to the Gryffyn's Aeyrie site likely next week. But I decided to attempt to choose one and post here because she's just way too cute. Overdose on cute.

Tia is from our "I-Litter," (Appley / Firebug) and is formally known as Gryffyn's Aeyrie New Sensation - she lives in Kentucky with the Goodnight family.

Results are in!

Got the certificates from OFA for the dogs I had heart exams done at Silkenfest in May! Demi (borzoi), Trouble, Kandi and Luna (silkens) all passed and are now "cardiac-certified" by OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Inc.). Don't have the certificates from CERF yet, but Kandi, Luna, Trouble and Demi all passed their eye exams as well and are listed in the CERF database at

Rain Rain, Go Away

The timing is great for the opening of Evan Almighty - North Texas is going to float away. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO sick of the rain! We have had drought conditions for the past few years - so I guess this is a perfect example of getting what one wishes for! We have had more rain this month (twice as much actually) than the whole of last summer (and probably the one before it - but Mr. Weatherman did not mention those statistics). We haven't even been able to mow the backyard for weeks because on the weekends when DH Victor is at home, it rains so much there's standing water and no way to mow. And he gets home too late on weekdays to do it. Finally got bits done the other week (we had grass above the knees) but still didn't get to finish. Although the sidewalk to the front door actually got the hedges trimmed, poison ivy removed, and some tree branches taken off so folks can actually get to the front door. Since we come in through the garage on another side of the house and never use the front door - we didn't notice how overgrown it had become - whoops!

So Gryffyn's Aeyrie has become Mud Central....perhaps even "Waterworld". The outside dogs are getting miserable. We've got some shavings to put in the shelters. Had to bring in the Silken pups from their pens though - it was underwater for the most part.

Housecleaning? Forget it! No point in even attempting to mop the floor - why waste the time when it will get re-dirtied the first time someone walks in from the yard (since the utility room with the dog food is on the other side of it). Much less the mud and bits the housedogs are dragging through after going outside to do their business.

Then there's the morning and evening rush hours during the drive to the old "Ball and chain" called employment. In this damned town (that would be the general Dallas area), if a black cloud passes that even suggests rain, folks drop 20 mph and start crawling on the freeway. There are times I can really relate to road rage incidents!

I will have to look on the bright side though - at least we will likely not have all the huge cracks in the ground all over the yard - the ones inches wide and so deep we can't see the bottom. I am still astounded that no one (dogs or people) has busted a leg running pellmell through the yard (or in my case, walking - I just don't "pellmell" anymore these days) in previous years. And usually by now our grass has turned brown!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Picture of Copper

Nice surprise in my email box today - Pam sent me a photo of Copper ( known as Tripp...but I just can't shake the puppy name we christened him with!) from his debut at a fun match. Copper/Tripp is a Silken Windhound puppy from our December litter out of our sweet Luna. I am going to email her and see how he was received by the AKC folks there.

He's growing up wonderfully!!

Some Link Updates

Trying to catch up on adding links I have saved from various list posts and managed to get several entered at Notable items include:

On the performance page:

  • Anne Midgarden's study on the conformation of Borzoi as it relates to speed
  • Sighthound Racing Online - internet mag for amateur dog racing enthusiasts (as in LGRA and NOTRA events for Borzoi fanciers)
On the Health links page I added a link to the online Merck Veterinary Manual and to a veterinary resource page authored at Cornell University

The most changes came to the Issues page - which lists items related to pet law. This area has grown monumentally because of 'animal rights' (as opposed to welfare) wackos who are trying to eliminate the ownership of any and all pets. One of the more notable links is to PATHWAI, which stands for "People Against Treating Humans Worse than Animals, International". Also added is a link to PetPAC, which is a political action committee spearheaded by Borzoi fancier Bill Hemby (who is, BTW, a super guy I had the pleasure of meeting at the 2006 BCOA National Specialty in Washington). Many of the other new links on the page are the result of the AB 1634 mis-labeled the "Healthy Pets Act" - dog fanciers (and other serious pet owners) know it as the "Pet Extinction Act".