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".

Internet Housekeeping

UGH. What a mess - and such tedious work. Almost as bad as real housework (yuk). Earlier this year I bought more domain names and then got a reseller account with my webhost (United Hosting) since it would end up being cheaper for having multiple domains. Well...I had been ranked so high in Google and other search engines with the domain - that now I'm really having to work to get the others up there!

So much of today has been spent creating accounts within the Google webmaster tools, submitting URLs and creating Google sitemaps for the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site ( and the Borzoi Central web site ( Also started work with my kinda-new site for highlighting my web-work since I've begun to get more and more interested parties interested in hiring me for webdesign services - so the Design by Gryffyn site is now on its own domain and recently updated.

Saw something about Google-stats (urchin) that I need to delve into a bit as well. Although United does provide analysis software as well.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Well Here Goes

Well....I've finally gone and done a blogging-blogger. I use a Perl blogging program on my kennel site (Gryffyn's Aeyrie) to post show news and such about our dogs that are out working for a living, but I don't really add a lot of personal chatter. So you get the personal chatter here!

Although considering how far behind I am on posting news on my site....I am not sure if I will be able to keep up with this one! Oh well...I guess we will see!!