Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WWJD - A Bit of Humor

On one of the various Yahoo groups I am on, someone provided a link to a podcast of a sermon from their church (part of it dealt with not succumbing to the animal rights agenda but also treating animals ethically and with kindness). The sermon was titled "What Would Jesus Drive". Another list member responded with the following which gave me the biggest smile I have had in a while:

I am thinking that Jesus would drive the first car mentioned in the bible, which would be a Plymouth. For it says in Genesis that the Lord drove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden in a Fury.

Now there's some wit!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Site Updates at Gryffyn's Aeyrie

Been spending part of the holiday taking pictures, editing pictures and getting them uploaded to the Gryffyn's Aeyrie site. There have been several other updates as well not posted to the blog - so check it all out through the updates page at

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Ho-Ho 2008

[ click to enlarge! ]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gettin' Edu-ma-cated

I was once told that I had a "curious mind". I am not sure if the person meant I tend to be inquisitive, or that they could not grasp how my brain functioned. I am always trying to learn one thing or another, and can tend to take on projects more for the learning experience(s) than any display of altruism. I like to try new things, although I can be impatient if I am not picking up on things quick enough for my personal preference.

When I get frustrated having problems learning a new program or procedure I try to find a step-by-step book to help. Sometimes I will take a class. Thankfully my job allows so much per year for professional development. So now....I am developing and spending three days at a training center for various Adobe products, enrolled in their Photoshop class. I've used Paint Shop Pro since when I was self-teaching myself all those years ago, it had the easiest learning curve and was also easiest on my budget. PSP's company was bought out by Corel some time ago (not sure what version they are on now, last I saw was 10 but I was still using version 7 since I got along with it!) and it seems my needs (and that of my employer) have progressed. So...just like switching to Dreamweaver from Front Page, I am now making the switch to Photoshop.

But I needed a little spoon-feeding of it since doing what I thought were the more simple things in PSP, I still haven't figured out in PS.

I also enrolled in an online course through the local community college to learn Adobe's Fireworks, another graphics program focused on the creation of images for the web. I paid for this one myself, since the other class pretty much spent my budget for the year. But I'm learning a LOT!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Picture Updates

Over the past couple months I have added BUNCHES of pictures to the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site - show pix and various candids and puppy pictures. The latest photos were some stacks of J/T taken while we were attending the ASFA regional invitational on Thanksgiving weekend (including the lovely face shot to the left). Photos from the LSBC specialty show, puppy updates, even the 2007 Silkenfest photos that I recently (finally) ordered from Shot on Site (just kept putting it off - since I knew I was going to be ordering waaaaaay too much!).

So check out the updates page for a listing of updates with direct links to the goodies.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Be Afraid....Very Afraid

The following email is a great example of the biggest problem regarding legislating the breeding/care of dogs - its enforcement by overzealous animal control officers, who may be card-carrying PeTA and/or HSUS fans (or fanatics).
Dear Friends and fellow dog fanciers,

I have sent the complaint below to the following individuals. I consider this to be a learning experience for myself and anyone who owns and loves dogs. Please feel free to forward this message to your friends, family and fellow dog owners. If you are as outraged as I am after reading this, I encourage you to voice your displeasure. Again, cross posting and forwarding is highly encouraged. Feel free to CC me if you like, should you decide to email any city officials. Thank you all so much for your support and suggestions so far. I am staying strong and counting my blessings.

Thea Charrette

Mayor John Insalaco
Phone: (480) 982-8002
Fax: (480) 982-7018

Chief of Police Jerald Monahan
Phone: (480) 982-8260
Fax: (480) 474-5489
EMAIL: jmonahan@ajcity. net

Community Relations Manager, Mr. Pat Brenner
Phone: (480) 474-5080
Fax: (480) 474-5110
EMAIL: pbrenner@ajcity. net

City Manager, Mr. George Hoffman
EMAIL: citymanager@

County Manager Mr. Terry Doolittle
EMAIL: terry.doolittle@
pinalcounty. gov

Dear Sirs,
On November 9, 2008, Animal Control Officer Debra Sullivan came to my home within the city limits of Apache Junction. The following is as brief a description as possible of my interaction with her on that day and subsequent days. In my opinion and the opinion of legal counsel as well as the Legislative Director of my purebred dog parent club, Officer Sullivan has abused her power, exceeded her authority and harassed me. She has, by way of fear tactics and intimidation, deprived me of my
legitimate service animal. She has caused me severe mental distress. Pain from my physical disability has greatly worsened since I am without my service animal.

A brief description of me: I am a 42 year old, physically disabled woman. I have never been in any sort of trouble. I work full time as a social worker in addition to volunteering my services as an experienced Level 3 Advocate to families with children with severe disabilities. For 10+ years I have been involved in purebred dog sports, both in AKC conformation and the sport of Schutzhund. I am the Education Chairperson for a local Doberman Pinscher Specialty Club. I also serve on the Board of Directors for this large and very active club. I could not serve in any of these capacities if I were an irresponsible dog owner, "back yard breeder" or "puppy mill" as Officer Sullivan suggests. As a member of the purebred dog community, my peers and mentors scrutinize me. I welcome watchful eyes as well as constructive criticism.

In my life I have planned, produced and raised 1 (ONE) litter of purebred Doberman Pinschers. I assure you that no expense of time, money or emotion was spared in
reference to the health and well-being of the puppies and the parents. The puppies not meant for conformation or working dog sport have been placed on strict spay and neuter contracts. Both the sire and dam were extensively health tested and temperament tested. The sire of the litter is an AKC Champion, the dam, an International Champion. They are 3.5 and 4.5 years old, respectively.

It is my position that Officer Sullivan has allowed her personal opinions and beliefs to overshadow her duties to the City of Apache Junction and it's citizen's. Her comments and name-calling appear very much so aligned with animal rights extremist groups that ultimately want to deprive American Citizens of their right to own companion and service animals. I wish for this communication to be considered a formal complaint.

Further consultation with legal counsel will determine my plan of action. I hope to settle this issue in a timely fashion, with an outcome that we can all agree upon.

Thea Charrette
PO Box 475
Apache Junction, AZ 85217
(602) 705-9747 mobile
tcharrette@msn. com

The officer arrived at my gate and inquired about my litter of 6 approximately 10 wk old puppies eating and playing out of doors in their shaded 8' by 24' chain link area. The animal control officer gave me an ultimatum: let her on my property or she was going to get a search warrant. Initially, I refused and she called another police officer to the property. Before the second officer arrived, I allowed her in my gate. Officer Sullivan's first complaint was that the puppies were not kept on cement. Their substrate was pea gravel/packed dirt and cement pavers-as per my mentor and breeder education classes I have attended.

At the time they were eating and had a fresh bucket of bottled water. Puppies ears were taped up in cups, 6 days post crop as is considered common and humane practice. She told me that cropping was cruel and unnecessary. I told her that I exhibit Dobermans in AKC conformation events. She informed me that Dobermans can be shown with their ears intact. I did not argue but did wonder (to myself) the last time she may have invested the time, resources and commitment necessary to earn a Doberman Championship. She wanted to know why the puppies were not wearing Elizabethan collars to prevent them from getting dirty and scratching themselves. No knowledgeable veterinarian will utilize an "E" collar after ear cropping. Cups were dingy, however no one was scratching and they were not experiencing any discomfort. Although Officer Sullivan was standing approximately 6 feet away from the puppies, she said the puppies ears were infected. Officer Sullivan then spoke very loud and angrily at me. She said I was nothing but a puppy mill and a back yard breeder. By her words and
actions, she led me to believe that I had done something terribly illegal.

She proceeded to tell me that she was confiscating the puppies and began walking toward their play area. I asked (begged) what I could to to prevent that action? She said I would be required to take the puppies to the vet of her choice to have the sutures removed ASAP and to verify the condition of the puppies. The officer said she would most likely meet me at the vets office. Furthermore the officer said that all of the puppies would be placed in homes with the help of a rescue and under her direct supervision/ approval. I explained that some of the puppies were already spoken for. She said it did not matter and that I had to do it her way or she would take the puppies immediately. I felt I had no other alternative than to agree to her terms.

(During the night I had a change of heart. While it was still dark, I loaded all of the puppies in my vehicle and drove around until I could get an appointment with my vet. A technician at MY vet's office removed the sutures. The vet examined the puppies and wrote a letter indicating they were happy, healthy, normal puppies in good weight with no abnormalities. My invoice shows 6 suture removals and no prescribed antibiotics. ) Officer Sullivan threatened to remove every dog from my property if I refused to show her the dogs in my home. I allowed her inside my home. My house was less than perfect. I work full time, advocate for children with disabilities, train dogs and devote myself to Doberman/dog related activities; an immaculate home is not on my list of priorities. She was extremely critical. To make things worse, I delivered a rescue dog 130 miles away the day before. When I returned home the kitchen was flooded from a broken pipe. The kitchen was very cluttered as I had to remove everything from a long bank of cupboards and place the items on the kitchen counter.

She told me I should not be breeding Dobermans as they have health and temperament problems. I assured her that both the sire and dam of the litter earned their Working Aptitude Certificates from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America and that both were extensively health tested (eyes, hips, elbows, heart, liver function, thyroid and vWD testing). She responded by saying that none of that matters - there are too many dogs in the world.

Here is her list of complaints in regards to the adult dogs:
1) Crates too small. The rescue gals have the typical crate that we see Dobermans in at shows. Their previous crates allowed them to get up, turn around, stand, stretch and lie down fully. My male is in a Great Dane size crate. She told me that all the crates needed to be about that size and I have upgraded their crates.
2) Some crates are covered. She said this is inhumane as the dog is in the dark. (Remember, these are sheets covering the crates-not heavy blankets.
3) We have too many dogs. We have (or had) six adults, including a rescue Malamute and our Champion males sister, who through no fault of her breeder suffered a traumatic brain injury as a young puppy. She looked at this dog which was treated for seizures and bouts of valley fever. I admitted that she was indeed losing her quality of life. She strongly suggested euthanasia and informed me that she was certified to perform the procedure. I told her I would take care of it on my own. The officer said she wanted proof that I did so humanely. I attempted to schedule an appointment with a nearby vet the next day but he was unavailable. So, I took my happy and special girl to animal control on Tuesday to be put to sleep (prematurely in my opinion and
certainly NOT on my terms). The young man that performed the procedure was very kind. He saw to it that "Precious" was warm, clean and kept her dignity. He allowed me to lie on the floor to hold and comfort her as she passed, although she did not cross willingly or easily. I took her body to the animal mortuary in Apache Junction to be cremated. She will come home in a little box in a few days. (The Malamute I took to a no-kill shelter. I feel she went from being the best friend and truly gentle playmate of our delayed girl Doberman to a statistic. I am heartbroken and so ashamed, I have never turned an animal into a shelter.)
4) Officer Sullivan looked at the dam of my litter and asked me how many litters I would "force the bitch to have". I explained that this would be her only litter as I felt I had two very nice show/working puppies and that breeding the bitch again would be unnecessary. She told me that I need to have the bitch spayed.
5) She looked at my AKC Champion male. She said she wouldn't know a show dog from any other dog but that he did indeed look like a show dog. I showed her his Doberman Digest pages and cover, photos, awards, etc. She got on her knees (in his face) to pet him and agreed that he was beautiful and very sweet. She told me that she's sure I breed him often. I told her that he is 3.5 years old, this is the only litter he has ever sired, despite his pedigree and that I am extremely conservative in reference to breeding him or any animal. She insisted that I must breed him often as "he is a beautiful stud" and suggested that I probably get a lot of money for studding him. I told her those types of things can be verified via the AKC website and DobeQuest. She said I probably breed him to unregistered bitches and that he should be neutered.

That night I took my male to a friend for safe keeping. I miss him dearly and feel like a part of me is missing. This dog is not just an AKC Champion, he is my service animal. I have all of the necessary documentation from my family physician that indicates a medical need for a service animal. I have never abused the privilege of having a service animal. I am petrified that Animal Control would confiscate him and turn him over to a rescue.

I spoke with the officer on Monday. I told her that the puppies are no longer on the premises and they have been placed into responsible homes of my choice. She said I must tell her where they are. I refused. Officer Sullivan threatened me by saying that she would have to cite me for selling puppies without a business license. I have not received a single dollar for any of the puppies. Officer Sullivan informed me that I had 7 "bark complaints" in the past 6 or 7 weeks. I asked her why I was not notified of this problem before. She stated that they have been out to my property before but I did not answer the door. I asked why I was not notified by mail. She did not answer me.

On Tuesday I provided officer Sullivan with the following:
The letter from my veterinarian and my invoice.
My males Dobequest information.
The Doberman Pinscher Club of America "DPCA" code of ethics.
The completed interactive form on litter costs from the DPCA website.
Several pages from the DPCA public ed. site.
A copy of the 7 page puppy questionnaire I utilize as a screening tool.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Watch Your Language!

This is an excellent "rambling" from Charlotte McGowan on the importance of language when referring to animals and protecting our rights to own dogs and other animals. Have you been taken in by an animal rights-derived phrase???

Indie Pix of Duri's Mob

We took individual pictures of Duri's pups and they now have their own page on the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site at

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Pups Have Arrived

Sometime between 11pm Thursday and 1am Friday, Duri began delivering her puppies! In total, there were 13 (5 boys and 8 girls), although 1 little girl (#10) was stillborn. All in various shades of red or gold, some brindle, some not. After pup #11, she was taken to the vet as we thought she was finished and wanted to be sure - x-ray revealed the final 2 and a shot of oxytocin brought them into the world (one on the way home). I will take individual shots later, but for's a picture of the crew!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Look Out! She's Gonna Blow!

3 days before her due date - she looks like she is about to explode!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Did It Myself!

This past weekend Jill went to Mexico for her son Phillip's christening. David wasn't headed to the Houston shows either and we had 2 Borzoi breed judges - a rare occurrence! Even rarer - there was also a third on the panel who had not originally been assigned to judge Borzoi, but was when Saturday's judge couldn't make it.

I went ahead and entered Solo and showed him myself. Well....on Saturday we won Best of Breed (the judge was Ron Spritzer who had bred Borzoi years ago. I opted to take a picture so that I had actual photographic proof that I could get my own special out of the breed.

So I was REALLY a wreck when it came to showing in the Group. At least I had the same judge, who had said I had done a fine job of handling when we were taking that picture and I had joked about my abilities (or the lack of them). The group was packed with some heavy-hitter handlers too - so I wasn't feeling overly optimistic about my chances at ALL! At least I was standing next to a friend with her Irish Wolfhound who had originally not wanted to bother with the groups - hers had been the only entry there. I had told her...if I can show mine, you can show yours!

OMG - Solo got a Group 2!! Can't wait for the picture of that one - I did it all by myself .

Nox was reserve both days, defeating older bitches too. She was a bit fazed by the first day's "enthusiastic" exam and backed off a bit on Sunday, but settled in once Sunday's judge saw she was a bit apprehensive and went over her very gently and slowly, saving checking her mouth for last.

To top it off, Victor took what we thought were completely hopeless boys to the lure coursing that weekend...and came back with 3 newly minted Junior Coursers. There's hope!! They had such short attention spans in various practice sessions previously - he said they all did nicely! J/T, Buster and Wulfie are now AKC JCs. J/T also ran in the trial on Sunday and did well, although he's still trying to figure out where all his legs are.

All in all, quite a nice weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2008 Race Nationals (LGRA/NOTRA)

Our local club, GIT (Gazehounds in Texas) hosted the 2008 OB LGRA/NOTRA nationals (straight- and oval-racing) this past weekend at WindyGlen in Boswell, OK. Victor had gone up Friday mid-day, and I went up after getting home from work and ex'ing and feeding the rest of our crew, and giving Arthur a bath so he could look all fancy for his appearance in the Legends event. Nothing like driving around at midnight in the middle of nowhere on super-dark country road on Hallow's Eve! It was a bit spooky, and on at least one occasion I thought I had missed the turn - it looked completely different in the dark!

We had set the Zoibus up for camping, and even splurged on a plug-in so we could have a/c if we needed it (we did!) and I was quite content to pass out on the air mattress up on the platform - it seemed like I had just settled in when the alarm clock buzzed at 530am. Yuk! I had two Monster energy drinks before noon - I needed an intravenous caffeine set-up though! I had volunteered to work the boards, in addition to having handled the formatting of the race catalog and any advertisements, and of course, we had the girls to run. Nox had a few meets under her, but this was Pumpkin's first official meet after having had training practices with sister Nox at the last WindyGlen meet. Also along were Buster, for some socialization, and Magik, whose ear hematoma had burst earlier in the week and we were treating it (antibiotics and 'drainage maintenance').

Victor walking Buster in the way-too-early morn

In the first program on Saturday, Nox came in 2nd and Pumpkin 4th. In the pictures, you could see Pumpkin contemplating the box a bit - she had pretty much been introduced to it that morning as Victor hadn't practiced her on Friday afternoon during the scheduled time. Thankfully she wasn't too completely fazed by it. Both girls finished 4th in the 2nd program (Nox had moved up to a higher race), and then in the 3rd program, darned if Nox didn't decide to try and get Pumpkin to play about halfway down the track. So much for being able to run the sibs together! At least Pumpkin kept on going and she got the Turtle award for the day (with a new toy).

For me, the highlight of the day was the Legends program. I had entered Arthur, so folks could see that the #1 racing Borzoi waaaaay back from 2000 is still up and around with a bit of get-up-n-GO! Check out the pictures in the online album - the ol' man can still kick up a dirt trail, he's not just loping easy down the track, hes still diggin' in at 10 1/2 years of age. Although he did learn that he can't stop and fling himself down on the squawker like he used to. But he'll still pick it up after having his muzzle removed - and be really proud of it too!

Saturday after the racing (we finished early thanks to everyone's hard work and efficiency), I attempted a brief nap before the FEAST that arrived. Fabulous slabs of medium rare prime rib, baked potatoes, salad, brownies...I gorged myself. Haven't had beef that good in a while. We also sat and chatted with some folk for a while before finally wandering back to the van to crash. We also got an extra hour of sleep (although it never seems enough to me) thanks to turning the clocks back that night!

On Sunday, Magik ended up being recruited to run in place of Pumpkin since we figured it wouldn't be a good idea to let the sibs run together again - which was unavoidable as both were NOTRA FTEs. The night before we asked a friend of ours if she could pick up some knee-highs at the Hugo Walmart to try and hold down Magik's ear so that it wouldn't bother her by flopping around. It worked - but the visual was hysterical. I don't think Magik was particularly amused - but she always looks pouty.

Magik shows fine form for a Veteran racer, despite the funny headgear

In the first race program, Nox ended up being the cream in the oreo cookie between one dog fouling another - after holding her own between them for a while, she stopped at the backstretch and came back the other way. It was disappointing, especially considering that she had not shown this tendency in the practices she had - we hoped it was just that she couldn't handle whatever behavior that resulted in a foul on another racer and just left its proximity - so we left her in for the 2nd program. The 2nd and 3rd programs she did well, finishing each race without incident...although we did have an interesting occurence. At the end of the 3rd program, as she was closing in on the finish line, her head was lifted and she seemed a bit distracted. My heart sank and I prayed she would cross the finish (she was several lengths in front) - which she did, and then squatted almost immediately after the finish line. You can find the answer to her mysterious distraction HERE - she was taking care of business while...taking care of business. Dan Gauss (Shot on Site) caught the moment in several frames. We were laughing hysterically when we first noticed this while going through all the photos and making our choices to take home. Nox's DNF precluded her from getting any points, but we're still proud of our girl.

Magik came away with the Best Veteran Award (and the Turtle) and got some nice bling for her trouble and Nox and Pumpkin got some nice runs in and we've got our fingers crossed for the future.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Duri's Packin'!

We pulled an x-ray on Duri to count skulls/spines on the pups contributing to the massive expansion of her belly. The vet did two films - 1 showing 10-11 pups, the second showing 11-12. WOW!

We will be getting her whelping area set up this week - she's due around the 15th, but with that many on the way, she might decide to pop early. Although her last brood was delivered right on time.

Fingers crossed for an easy, problem-free delivery!

Monday, October 27, 2008

LSBC's First Specialty Show

Ten years ago tomorrow, the organizational meeting of the Lone Star Borzoi Club took place. The past ten years has seen LOTS of hard work, including fun matches, A-matches (for licensing requirements), a handling seminar, ASFA lure trials, the hosting of several BCOA trophy supported entries, an auction to raise funds for a rescue or 22 Borzoi near Houston, TX, and assisting in the hosting of the 2005 BCOA National Specialty Show (in Mesquite). In February of this year, LSBC received licensed status from AKC and this past Saturday was the club's first Specialty Show. It was held in conjunction with the all-breed cluster hosted by the Travis County Kennel Club.

Our dogs managed to earn us some nice bling - trophies created by Redbird Adams, Royale Russian Hounds, including original artworks. Royal Russian is part of the foundation behind our friend Sara's Chataqua kennels, which is part of the foundation behind Gryffyn's Aeyrie. Here's a brief rundown of how our guys did...

Sassi - Best of Opposite Sex
Solo - Award of Merit
J/T - Best Bred-by Exhibitor
Burni - Best Veteran in Sweepstakes
J/T - Best of Opposite Sex in Puppy Sweepstakes

Nox won her 12-18 month class; Faina was 3rd in a large Bred-by Class and won her Sweeps class; Burni made the cut in Best of Breed, then became invisible, but showed fabulously for an approaching 8-year old. For the life of me I cannot remember how Nox and Pumpkin did in their Sweepstakes classes! We were so busy juggling dogs and trying to keep up!

Can't wait for the pictures!

Duri's Expecting

Duri's breeding to Achilles has taken! Her pregnancy is confirmed via a relaxin test, so we hope to be welcoming puppies in mid-November!

We will take an x-ray the weekend before in order to get a count and will post once we know it. Her first litter gave us some exciting youngsters - so we are hoping for more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lotsa Nerve (HSUS Holds Out Its Hand, Again)

A fundraising plea from HSUS' "Whining Wayne (Pacelle)" was recently shared on a pet laws list I am a member of. Here is a portion of the text:

I just got this message from Jennifer Fearing, the YES! on Prop 2 campaign manager, who’s working around the clock to get Proposition 2 passed. And, to be perfectly honest, we’re facing a severe shortage of funds to keep our TV ads on the air next week.

Read her message to me below and then please, give whatever you can to help us finish this fight.


It's a darn shame that "truth in advertising" apparently doesn't hold true for fundraising by these types of organizations. HSUS has over $100 million in its coffers and they're saying they can't afford some TV time??

If you believe that...I have a lovely beachfront home available for sale in Kansas!

Want to get more informed about HSUS and other animal rights terrorist orgs, check out the newly updated "Seven Things You Didn't Know" at the CCF web site and the information on HSUS at the ActivistCash web site.

Dont' let yourself get swindled!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Hope for the Field

Last weekend Victor went down to Hutto for the Alamo Area Whippet Club's coursing trials - they held both ASFA and AKC events each day. Peepers had already gotten a JC leg earlier this year and she finished up her Junior Courser title on Sunday, so she's now WindnSatin Peek-a-Boo, JC! I'm so happy she's decided she will make turns - she used to blow off a course after the first or second turn!

On Saturday, Nox started off gangbusters...but Victor said the lure op was getting the lure too far out and he finally dumped her at a sharp turn about 2/3 of the way through the course. She didn't get passed. On Sunday she did get her first hopefully she will wrap that up next time.

Pumpkin declined - she's all about the LGRA lure and did well at the NOTRA practices we had...but she didn't want to play this time around. Shugah hit the first turn and then her ADD kicked in - hopefully the light bulb will turn on, although she is amazingly empty-headed, especially for a girl! I expect it of the boys - but not the girls!

Speaking of the boys, we are going to need to start practicing some of them and see where their heads are at in relation to field events. So J/T, Wulfie, Buster and Lars may be heading to some local practices here soon!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Title and New Beginnings

Solo had been entered at the Fort Smith, AR shows this past weekend. After a series of minor mishaps combined with the nasty weather Saturday morning (and the show committee debating on whether to cancel Saturday's show), Jill made the decision to come home after having been on the road for 3 weeks.

Well, we took our lemons and made lemonade...and took Solo along to WindyGlen for the NOTRA meet after having spent a nice Saturday there. And today, Solo earned his needed point to finished his Oval Racing Champion title!

Also, his daughter Nox (out of Duri) had nice practices the previous Saturday at the GIT meet and ran on the following Sunday in her first meet and earned her first point. Saturday at Windyglen she earned a bit more towards her GRC. Peepers (bred by Mary Childs and Susan V) also practiced and ran the previous week and ran Saturday as well and earned her first GRC point, but we're going back to some training for her, as she had a bit too much interest in one of her yardmates (Demi) - although the second program's finish was beautiful with her and Nox running shoulder-to-shoulder and heads straight while crossing the finish.

Pumpkin (Nox's sister) practiced during the GIT weekend and showed more promise than ever, so we had her along this weekend as well and on Sunday she learned to run with a muzzle on and we also did a test run with her sister Nox (to see if they would play nice with each other, which they did) and today, she and Nox were introduced to the oval (practice) and did very well.

So we're excited to have some new, young racers to work with in the coming months!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Book Nook - The Innocent Man / Sharp Objects / Blood Memory

Sharing some more books that I enjoyed recently...

I've found one really nice side effect from carpooling these days - I can read!! Lately there just hasn't been enough time to enjoy books, so my payoff for having to stay anywhere from 30-60 minutes later than my schedule (now that "summer hours" are over) while waiting for Victor, is that I can read in the car (once I get past my chauffeur's "gun it-then-brake" method of [rush hour] driving which can give me killer carsickness). I also tend to work on various contract projects while at the office that extra bit.

I zipped through this one, beginning during my shift as a mid-track foul judge at GIT's race meet (to pass the time between races). Mesmerizing, and also a bit frightening, when considering the outright deviousness of law enforcement (both police and lawyers) and the ultimate injustices perpetrated upon a once-hailed school athlete and a passing friend of his. The escalating inhumane treatment of an obviously mentally ill man further adds to the sadistic behavior of not only the prison guards, but all the way up to those litigating the case against their chosen suspect.

I snagged this book thanks to a Barnes and Noble gift card and a sale they were having on trade paperbacks (of which the Grisham novel above was also from). Chosen because it involved a damaged main character (a newshound who was a cutter) thrown into the midst of smalltown murders. This was another book that I was able to breeze through fairly quickly, keeping me interested enough to stay up a bit later than the norm. This was a debut novel and I look forward to more from this author (Gillian Flynn).

Oh my - this was a VERY rewarding impulse buy from our trip to Costco to pick up a big load of dog kibble. I always find it super-hard to get by their book tables, and this one caught my eye. It's a thick sucker too - 800 pages - but still a fast read. Like "Sharp Objects" this is another dysfunctional family, another damaged protagonist, another small town, and more gruesome murders to solve, although the main character in this one is an alcoholic with impulse control "issues" and is involved in forensics (and not a reporter). There's some interesting plot twists and the ideas on repressed memory were interesting. I think I am going to have to pick up Iles' first novel featuring Cat Ferry!

Now I am well into yet another book - will post about it upon its finish. It's not even a bloody crime book either . I think dog lovers will want to check it out!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Words to Add to Your Vocabulary

Got one of those viral emails sent to spread a little good cheer. Although the introductory premise is incorrect (the "Mensa Invitational" is apparently imaginary, although the Washington Post has something called the "Style Invitational", check out this link for an intro). The idea - take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are the results...

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

7. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

10. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's, like, a serious bummer.

11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

12. Glibido: All talk and no action.

13. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

14. Arachnoleptic fit(n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

And the #1 pick:
17. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

I do believe that some of these I need to use!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Where's Mine??

Ya know, the more I think about it, the madder I get! Where's my great big debt-erasing handout from the federal government?? The less-than-great decisions I've made in life are nothing compared to the fat cat moneygrubbers that are asking for a bailout from Uncle Sam!

I keep chipping away at my credit card bills (not to mention the gas cards) and paying my debts. I give up a LOT of other extras so that I can participate in the dog hobby that has become the main portion of my life, day in and day out. I have cut out attendance at several show clusters or performance events that I normally attended thanks to the high price of travel and trying to stay afloat. We are in dire need of a new automobile but cannot even begin to budget for it right now - a '93 gas-sucking Suburban that's about to kill off its second transmission and whose brakes are grinding badly; the 2000 Astro with 193K miles on it that couldn't pass inspection last week and is now in the shop likely needing a catalytic converter, among other things; the mother-in-law's "not-so-Grand Am" with a leak in the intake manifold and is now completely dead; and then the Sprinter that runs on the ever-more expensive diesel fuel and doesn't really fit in either of our job's parking lots.

So handing out big money to HUGE corporate businesses that made bad business decisions (while maintaining golden parachutes for the higher ups) kinda chaps me.

Next thing you know, Exxon will be knocking on the government handout door because they don't think they're making enough money, although it feels like financial rape every time I pull up to a gas pump.

I think the following letter from Michael Moore pretty much sums up how I'm feeling at the moment!! Here's an excerpt - the link to the full text follows:

Let me cut to the chase. The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this. Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies -- who must soon vacate the White House -- are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab. They are swiping as much of the silverware as they can on their way out the door.

Link to the full article:

Late Weekend Update

Two more pups left the nest this past weekend - "Scooter", now known as "Griffie" from Duncan/Josi's litter left for WI with his new family, the Olsens. They are soft sculpture artists and showed me some pictures of lovely Borzoi creations! So lifelike! And they used Borzoi hair brushings to complete the detail - it was beautiful.

"Beast" (Isaak/Serena) is now known as "Ajax" and left with the Lynn and Doyle Wall Saturday evening. He will be co-owned with Mary, who has VooDoo from us (and we have Peepers from her!) and is currently keeping Kandi's daughter Blondie company down in Cypress, TX.

"Mo" is still hanging out here with our definite keepers, Shadow and Fanci (Isaak/Serena) and Sunni and Lola (Duncan/Josi). There's just something about him that makes me not want to let go of him just yet! Smudge is also still here as I await hearing from who I thought was going to be adopting her.

As to out other activities - Gazehounds in Texas (GIT) had their first race meet of the season (LGRA) just down the road in McKinney! We took some youngsters to practice and then Sunday worked with Peepers and Nox on box training, and entered them in the Sunday meet. I was pleasantly surprised that Nox wouldn't back off when things got tight, and she had some nice push throughs when things got tight. I guess her stubborn streak may pay off! Peepers is fearful of strange dogs, so we had a nice crowd for her to work her issues out with since the other two dogs that were running don't give off aggressive vibes, and one of them makes Solo look very serious as he is yet another friendly goober. In the third program she did get the courage to pass him and come in third (behind the meet winner and Nox).

We also had some promising practices with Pumpkin and Shugah, although Azchyl, who had seemed so promising back in the spring, was not very excited in anything at all. Hopefully, it was just a result of the pushing-90 degree temps.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New PeTA Stats has posted the information regarding PeTA's "shelter" statistics for the year 2007. Good news is - their death rate decreased from the prior year. The BAD news - 90.1% of their intakes were euthanized (you know, KILLED). Actual numbers...1,815 out of 1,997.

Considering that PeTA's grifting methods brought in over $30 million during 2007 - you would think they would have been able to save a majority of the animals brought to their "shelter". noted that neighboring shelter Virginia Beach SPCA was able to adopt out (nee, SAVE) almost 70% of its animals...and did so with a much, MUCH smaller budget than the ne'er-do-wells at PeTA.

Check out the full report posted at

And if you're wondering why I use the lower-case "e" in PeTA? Well...the "e" is supposed to stand for "ethical"...and ethics is one thing that PeTA does NOT have.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Catching Up

The past week has been something of a whirlwind. On the way back from the CO roadtrip for Duri's tryst with Achilles, my back called it quits. BIG time. Each successive gas or potty stop it became progressively harder for me to get out of the car, much less walk. Thank goodness Duri was kindly very well behaved and never tried to bolt from the backseat - she just calmly watched me struggle and didn't offer any trouble. During my ultra-brief stay in CO we did manage two breedings - so here's hoping for some lovely pups to arrive in mid-November.

Much of last week was spent in a daze thanks to muscle relaxants and pain killers and I finally got back to more normal functioning on Thursday, although sitting in a chair was not enjoyable at all (I had worked from home Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday, then took a day off after my doctor's appointment Wednesday morning). I managed to get caught up with various web projects Sunday and most of my ISWS Registrar duties, and we did get some cute candids of the K- and L-Band litters, who spent both days outside. Also got some new stacked pictures.

"Beta" (the irish-marked black boy) and "Anti-Mo" (our name for the little boy that almost looks like "mo") leave for their new homes this week with 515am drop-offs at the airport (separate days) - so I know I'll be early to work 2 days! Scooter (aka "Duncan Jr.") also has a new home that we're working on travel arrangements for. So the wee beasties are gradually leaving the nest! Perri (Harper/Ginger) hitched a ride with Jill to the Atlanta shows where his new family picked him up - causing Borzoi fanciers, and an Iggy fancier, to turn their heads with admiration!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Interesting Definition of "PC"

'Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.'

~2007 winning entry from an annual contest at Texas A&M University

HSUS Scheisters

Check out the latest from Nathan Winograd on the unethical practices and showboating practiced by the H$U$:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

CO Here We Come [Again]!

Duri came into season last weekend. It would have been nice for her to do that just prior to our trip to Longmont, CO for the specialty the other weekend so I wouldn't have to jaunt my not-so-jolly and tired self back up there so soon...but we'll make do. Last night she started getting vocal...I do believe that she's in standing heat today, so hopefully a Saturday afternoon arrival will bear fruit. Her mother had long, receptive heats (5-7 days). Duri's first breeding experience, she was too busy fussing about "oh! you want to be on top!" so I'm sure how long her fertile portion of her heat actually lasted.

I plan on getting some nice pictures of the sire this weekend as well, and then will update my Puppies page at the Gryffyn's Aeyrie site with all the info. I am pretty excited about this breeding too. Duri will be 8 years old this coming December and she gave me several very promising pups in her breeding to Solo.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

From Hell to Heaven (or close to it!)

I managed to survive "Hell Week"! Hoorah! And all the work resulted in some nice wins in both Silken Windhounds and Borzoi - so much the better!

At the inaugural Southern Silken Specialties in Georgia, Gabe was Reserve Winners Dog and Best Bred-By Exhibitor on Saturday and his uncle Tyler was Best Opposite Sex. Luna was Reserve Winners Bitch. At the Saturday specialty (the ISWS qualifier), Gabe was Winners Dog and then went on to win Best in Specialty Show!! He was also once again Best Bred-By. Luna was again Reserve Winners Bitch. For his trouble, Gabe got a lovely biothane sighthound collar - even more exciting, it looks like the collar's designer/creator will be getting one of our puppies!

Victor and Gabe on their big day

On Monday at the Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club specialty show, Nox went on to win Best in Sweepstakes and her brother Sasha (who lives in CO with Sylvia Sieverding) was Best Opposite in Sweeps! This was our second year in a row to win BISweeps - last fall it was Lars who took the honors. Faina won the Bred-By Exhibitor class and went on to Reserve Winners Bitch. Sasha won the 9-12 Puppy Dog class and then went Reserve Winners Dog. Solo won an Award of Merit. All in all a nice day!

RLynn and Solo, Award of Merit, RMBC Fall 2008

We also got to meet with our friends and extended family at both events. The Lockards brought Kenny to visit and show, and the Turnell's brought Bailey (Arthur/Miss T) and his little girlie friend they got from Sara. She's a petite little thing and cute as a button! There's never enough time to visit it seems like!

It took a couple days to recover from the trip, with my back acting up as well as an episode of costochondritis from sleeping (likely twisted) on a hard bed at KOA. But I still had a great time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hell Week??

"Hell" meaning way too busy for our own good, not bad news. Goodness there's just too much on our plates for the moment! Mostly because we are getting ready for 2 specialties that we will be tackling Labor Day weekend that are in opposite directions (Borzoi in CO and Silkens in GA) - and trying to prepare for them is a daunting task!

I had to go and pick up Solo who returned from shows in Topeka and Kansas City (with 5 BOB wins under his paw) that he attended with David. During that same errand I dropped off a newly bathed and groomed and a bit overwhelmed Wulf who will head to the Monroe, LA show cluster with Jill. Looks like little Wulf will be attending the Atlanta shows with papa Solo as well, and then a trip to NY.

We have LOTS of dogs to groom and earlier this week I tackled the task of brushing out what's left of J/T's coat (yay for puppy coat blow...NOT!) and then had to attempt to carve out Sassi's coat. Goodness, it's amazing what can happen in a year off! Even though she's in a state of blown coat (her topline is all shed out) she is still a very hairy beast. I managed to get her ears trimmed up along with those darned furry feet of hers and her tuck up. She's still hairier than several of the boys here and she's already rolling out her new hair. Looks like her kids here (J/T and Shugah) will also be the type to recover from coat blows quickly. Here's hoping!

Last weekend we worked on leash-breaking Ginger's hellion children - Perry took to it the best, with Pryss less so, and Darkun disagreeing mightily. In the end we managed to be able to get them to trot by our side. Hopefully they will keep this knowledge through the Silken specialty (where Perry will meet his new family and half-sister GoGo). Also getting another session on the lead was J/T who had a downright fit the first time around. He's much better and I hope he does not embarrass me outright with a public tantrum in CO.

Tonight we give the first round of vaccines to Josi and Serena's crew and begin Silken bathing. Victor is taking 8 with him to show at the GA specialty - Tyler, Gabe, Goth, Darkun, Luna, Trouble, Pryss and Kandi. Perry is also going and I think Susan may show him as well. Traveling with him will be our friend Vickie with her girl Sylvi (Bruce/Luna)...and Bitsy may be going to her new home as well!

Tomorrow night I will brush out and trim up Sassi's hairy half-brother Deckard and maybe bathe him. He poofs up after a bath and blow-dry so maybe by the time of the specialty his hair will have relaxed. Faina and Solo are still in good shape trim-wise after Fai's trip to Canada and Solo's midwest sojourn (since I tend to trim much less than David and Jill!) So that leaves the three young heathens in the girlie yard - Shugah, Nox and Pumpkin (2 of which hang out in the wading pool).

Add to all the doggie-duties - the vans have to be loaded for bear as well!

Victor leaves Friday morning, and I figure I'm leaving either Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Goodness, after all this work I hope we have some sort of success at these events ! At least we'll have fun!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


This past Saturday we were blessed with a milder day than we've had in a while with a wee bit of cloud cover. It was almost comfortable outside before noon!

Serena and Josi's pups were introduced to the world outdoors...and each other - we weaned Serena's crew, so they will now live together for a while. They also got to meet Ginger's pups, Goth and QiQi as we let them out of the puppy pen to take advantage of exercise in the full yard.

We took new shots of Darkun, Pryss and Perry (Harper/Ginger) - they're in that leggy, uneven stage, but they still look pretty decent. Darkun's coloring has become richer and more vibrant - it will be interesting to see where he finally ends up.

The Duncan/Josi crew turned 6 weeks old the previous Thursday (14th) - they didn't crouch as much this time around for their photo session. Yay!

my fave girl - Smudge

This was the first stacked session for Serena's kids and they behaved pretty nicely! The worst, of course, was the smallest - she sure packs a lot of attitude into her little body. Some of them are getting call being the tiny girl who is now called "Bitsy" any time we picked her up we would coo "look at the itsy bitsy puppy" . The blueish spotted girl has been dubbed "Smudge" because of the muddy markings around her upper lip, and the lighter sabled self brindle boy has now been named "Mo", because the coloring and markings on his face is like a mosaic. One of the boys also has been christened with his formal name...from a Led Zeppelin was only natural that he be named Gryffyn's Aeyrie Black Dog .

Links to the updated pages are at

There's also a new shot of Goth - also in a leggy stage, but definitely in
need of a new picture.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So What's the Difference??

A disturbing article made the rounds on some of my chat lists yesterday which brought tears to my eye. I cannot imagine myself shooting dogs that I do not want to provide minor medical care for. Even though dogs are, for all practical and legal purposes, considered property - I do not find such actions to be ethical. This case, involving Amish commercial breeders, I find tragic.

So much of the recent punitive and overbearing legislation trying to outlaw dog/pet breeding and the keeping of sexually intact animals is the result of attempting to "legislate ethics". As a result...ethical breeders are the ones being harmed the most...not commercial breeders...not irresponsible dog owners. So various animal rights groups are able to get these types of laws passed through local and state government - and they keep knocking on the federal government's door as well!

But animal rights groups aren't really about helping animals - they are about harming the human animal. They hate people, and they don't particularly care for animals either. Witness PeTA's euthanization rate - 97% for 2007. Whose employees/followers dumped the bodies of freshly killed pets, who they had promised the people they took them from that they would find homes for them and almost immediately put the final needle into them once they were in their killing van. They didn't care about those animals - they treated them like garbage.

Now...most folks would comment on the commercial breeders' actions mentioned above with something like..."well, what can you expect from puppy millers after all." is another example of a mass slaughter performed by a "humane" shelter that was too lazy to take care of a health issue at their facility, as reported by No-Kill advocate and "Redemption" author, Nathan Winograd - check out this story. Oh...and by the way...this is a "HSUS Partner Shelter" - and they killed over twice as many pets as the Zimmermans in one day. Different method, but the same result.

They are no better in my eyes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Series Discovery

New to me at least...I've been out of the loop a bit when it comes to various book releases considering I used to work at a bookstore (ages ago). While shopping at Costco picking up a heavy load of kibble for the crew, I made the mistake of wandering by the books area. This does not a "quick errand" make! I am a horribly addicted bibliophile, and with 2 piles of books at least 2 feet high on my nightstand, I should really plow through those before snagging new material...but who has the time?! Having ADD does NOT help in this regard either - as I usually have 3-5 pieces of reading I try to get through - but every once in a while, I have one that takes precedence above all other reading choices...and New Moon was one of those! I couldn't dream of picking up anything else until I finished it! It's a "creature feature" - vampires and werewolves walk among the relatively "normal" people. It's classified as a "young adult" fiction choice - but it's not written in a "see Dick run" style at all. It was an enjoyable read for sure!

Of course...the bad news for me? This was Book 2 in a series - the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. So now I've got to get the first book, as well as books 3 and 4.

Need to get the first book, Twilight , fast. It is coming soon to the theaters! The young actor who played Cedric in the Harry Potter films is cast as the lead.

Happy Birthday...!

Solo at 6 weeks of age my sweet sweet clown, aka "UberGoober", "Goobus Maximumus" and all-around sweetheart...Solo!

Four years ago today, the "Ka-Doodle" (his parents being Kalipso and Doodle) was delivered into the world, a singleton pup who commanded attention once he realized he had an audience. He has been a joy to share life with and a whole lotta fun!

BIF DC Gryffyn's It's All About Me, SC FCh

Solo showing in the Hound Group, July 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Site Creation

Another niche-type site. Lotsa gadgets to shop for! Also has a "Deal of the Day" promo item. I also tried an RSS feed program to spotlight tech/gadget news and reviews by

So check out Techno Toybox :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Faina's Trippin'!

Road-Trippin' that is! Faina went on a looooooong journey to Canada to be shown by Jill on one of her annual international excursions. Since she is the only Borzoi entered in the shows, I am not really expecting to get back a Canadian champion as she will have to do it all through placements in the Hound group. The GOOD news is - she is actually up to 5 points having been awarded a Group 2 and a Group 3!!!

Jill says that Faina is living up to her name (Goody Two Shoes) and is behaving well and taking it all in stride. Looks like I will be getting back a well-traveled and nicely polished show dog upon their return!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wonders Never Cease

And not the good kind of wonderment either! The last week or so's news headlines have left me shaking my head.

First off was the Google alert I received which sent me along to an online news article regarding two Borzoi that escaped their yard and attacked and killed a small dog belonging to a neighbor. This is a nightmare for Borzoi owners - and containment is key for our dogs. They were bred to chase and catch game - so yes, one needs to be careful around small, furry pets and one needs to watch one's fences for any repair needs. Unfortunately, upon further inspection of the story one can find events which could have precluded this unfortunate event...

(1) The dogs had escaped before and killed a dog earlier in the year. So were extra steps taken to try and prevent further escapes after the original? If not, why? I am terrified of my dogs getting out of the yard, not only for the safety of smaller animals (although the dogs running loose in our neighborhood tend to be of the large variety) but for the safety of my own dogs. We live close to busy roads - the last thing I want my dog to be is a road pie.
(2) The dog that was killed in the latest attack was also loose. Its owners left it in the yard as they ran away screaming. Hello - let's just add to the hysteria in the air. Screaming just upsets all involved and sets everyone, including animals, on edge. That's not going to help. Why did they not pick up their dog? Peek-a-poos aren't that heavy.
(3) The Borzoi were obviously not bloodthirsty threats to people. A stranger had caught the pair and put them in his backyard and called a number he had gotten from the dog's collar tag. They sound like a controllable couple to me.

Because of these events, it is likely that the dogs could be declared dangerous - and rightly so in this case. But it's sad for the Borzoi breed - these are quite charming and funny, as well as beautiful, dogs. But irresponsibility in keeping them properly (or any dog, for that matter) can bring trouble for all, not just one's neighbor. In today's heated climate against dogs and dog ownership, to have my breed placed on a "dangerous dog" list because of people's irresponsibility, causing them to fall victim to obscene insurance rates and BSL legislation is unacceptable.

I have always stood behind the phrase "punish the deed and not the breed" when it comes to fighting BSL legislation. This event brings that motto even closer to home.

The next headline comes courtesy of Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 2 month old infant was left in a swing chair unattended (mother and grandmother were too busy to attend him because they were....sleeping). Unattended, that is, except for a 2 month old lab puppy and an elderly Pug. (Latest news article HERE) This is such a sad situation resulting in not only a dead child, but the puppy as well as it was put down. The poor thing was just a-waggin' its tail as the AC officer loaded him into the truck - it wasn't a vicious was just a baby itself, with super-sharp puppy teeth and claws. Lord knows I've been left with marks from playing with rowdy puppies - they don't have to be mean to mark you up at that age! If it hadn't been this incident, the poor child would have likely died from another common parenting "skill" - that of being left alone in a vehicle in the heat of summer - yet another common headline that has been all over the news as of late.

What confounds me is that local and state (and then we had the federal PAWS legislation) governments are wanting to pass all sorts of restrictions on animal breeding and husbandry for an activity that the IRS insists is just a hobby, yet they want to legislate it out the wazoo, if not make it illegal to have a pet with all the body parts it was born with...but yet any yahoo can contribute to the human gene pool, no licensing (or apparently knowledge or responsibility) required.

Also...can some explain why the AR nuts claim how cruel and unusual it is to dock a tail, crop ears or even remove dewclaws on a puppy - yet preach and lobby for the more intrusive and risky surgeries required to spay and neuter pets!? They're all about ripping out uterus's and tearing off testicles (and the younger the better) but don't dare crop that tail at 3 days!

Monday, July 28, 2008

WooHoo for Ember

Ember was a hard one for me to let go, with her charming grin and (over)enthusiastic nature. But there are no regrets for having sent her to our friend Alison of Tangaloor Silkens way up in Washington. This weekend Ember made us all very proud by snagging two 5-point majors at the Rarities shows up in Portland, OR to complete the requirements for both her Rarities and ISWS Championships! I had the pleasure of watching her take WB at the BooFest specialty in October of last year and was so happy to see her thriving in Alison's care. She is the 4th ISWS champion of our breeding in limited showing (Tyler, Ginger, Brewer and now Ember - and we have a 5th in all fours' mother Josi from Kristull). Hugs and hoots from afar - way to go guys!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

And Yet Another...

I've been having too much fun learning the BANS software for creating niche sites - and already earned a commission on one the second day it was up! I thought this would be a fun way to get a little bit of passively earned pocket money as well as play with new designs and ideas using CSS coding. Below is a screenshot of my latest - Borzoi Bazaar.

Another huge help was being introduced to Hostgator for web hosting services. Unlimited domains on one account at one monthly rate. I've been moving several of my sites off my current host for sheer financial reasons, although I will still maintain my account there on a much-reduced package because it's going to be too much hassle to move the email services and all the stuff I've archived on the mailservers.

Site Update - Gryffyn's Aeyrie

Uploaded LOTS and LOTS of new pictures to the Gryffyn's Aeyrie site. I already received the pictures for Shugah's first show weekend and several others. There are also some candid photo updates of Josi and Serena's litters - but we will be trying to take some indie shots this weekend. List of updates with links can be found HERE.

Peaceful Puppy Moments

Of course with all the craziness and chaos that is our lives here at Gryffyn's Aeyrie, there is a balm to soothe the frazzled soul.

"Puppy TV" - otherwise known as sitting and watching our puppies while they are still in their "larval stage". That is really when it's the easiest, since mom's doing most of the work keeping them clean and fed. We can sit back and gaze at the little pink noses and wee pink feet that burst with color after they have had their fill at the "milk bar". Watching them twitch while they sleep the sound slumber of the innocent, and yawn as they begin to awaken. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Eat.

I think that's what I am going to try and do this weekend. Housekeeping be damned.

The pups pictured above are from our L-Band litter. Not quite 2 weeks of age when the photo was taken. The colors are just turning more and more exotic. The pups pictured below are from the K-Band litter. They are getting more and more active and their personalities are beginning to come out.

Putting It to Bed (More Like a Nap!)

Looks like another catalog cycle is coming to an end at work. I will be sending off all 367 pages to the campus printshop, along with the cover design I managed to create. I wanted to be a little bit more adventurous this time around and it got good reviews. A little bit of retro, a touch of grunge, and utilized the new wordmark and tagline that has been going out on some of the promotional material. The sketch is the architect's rendering of the new dorm building.

Of course, I got word earlier this week that the next cycle, to produce the supplement (which is only published online) will begin...the third week of September. At least it's not as in-depth as when we are also doing a printed version! In the meantime I'll be editing the online version to reflect that "General Studies" has now become "Interdisciplinary Studies"!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another New Site

OK - another favorite artist, and another site. Online at

Bringing Home the Silver

I had a nice surprise awaiting me in the mail today - from AKC of all places. There was a shiny new silver on gold medallion! On the back it says Breeder-Owner 5 Champions. Here is the explanation from AKC's web site:

These Special Medallions are in recognition of each individual's valuable contribution to the sport of purebred dogs, who as the breeder-owner-handler of five (Silver) or ten (Gold) different dogs that have become champions of record and received an original Bred-By Medallion through their participation in AKC Events.

The dogs I finished exclusively from the Bred-By Exhibitor classes are:
  • Am. Can. CH Gryffyns Once N Future King, JC SGRC (Arthur)
  • Am. Can. Mex. CH Gryffyn's Aeyrie Caliburn, JC
  • (Burni)
  • CH Gryffyn's Aeyrie Anduril, JC (Duri)
  • SBIS Am. Can. CH Gryffyn's Aeyrie Alegria, SC LCM (Sassi)
  • Am. DC Can. CH Gryffyn's It's All About Me, SC FCh (Solo)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Real Wayne Pacelle Legacy

Nathan Winograd has written quite the informative essay on the true colors of HSUS and its "pimp", Wayne Pacelle. It's truly disgusting how they've pulled the wool over the eyes of Americans while they chip away at our rights to enjoy our animals by using ill-gotten (by deception) donations to further punitive laws aimed at ending any type of animal usage...and this includes the keeping of pets! See the light at this post on the No-Kill Blog.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Site Creation

I been a fan of Alphonse (Alfons) Mucha's art for several years now. So I had fun designing this site while also learning a new program. An eternal student of the web!

Check it out live at

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Serena Has Eight Lovelies

Serena (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Witchy Woman) began labor Friday morning a bit after 5. Victor stayed home from the office to be her whelperhelper and they made a great team! She has presented us with 8 pups (5 boys, 3 girls) sired by Isaak (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Wicked Game).

For those at Silkenfest - Serena was the black (brindle) bitch I showed in the Open class and Isaak was the microscopic self cream sable boy I showed in Open. Both carry the saddle pattern. Serena is from the breeding of Ivanhoe and Jett (Kristull Jetsetter) and Isaak is from Appley/Firebug.

I am not sure of the colors at this time - it's an interesting bunch! There are two self sabled brindles - one looks to be the shade of Darkun from Ginger's last litter and the other is lighter/bluer.

2 dark dark selfs - hard to see if their bodies are brindled at the moment although the larger boy looks to have some dark tan areas above his paws - so possibly a black/tan brindle. Two spotteds, one with a blueish tint to it, and sabled since there are eye pips - unsure at this time if they're brindle. An irish-marked black (brindle?) without a full collar, and then a heavily spotted sabled blue brindle (again, eye pips).

Serena is being a fabulous first-time mom - hurrah! There are a few group shots at

I also took some indie shots of the Duncan/Josi pups that are a week old. They can be found at
They are constantly at the milk bar and look like absolute hulking giants next to Serena's brood.

Also, today Elf's sister Azshera arrived to be bred as she has just come into heat. Will be firming up her choice of beau in the next couple days.

Monday, July 7, 2008

We're On a Shugah High!

This past weekend was the Lone Star Classic series of dog shows in Dallas, Texas - and it was also Shugah and Nox's ring debuts. On Friday, we ended up with the entire bitch entry (of 3) as the other one entered was absent - so we were at least guaranteed a point on one of our girls! Shugah came away as Winners Bitch for her first point at her first show! Nox took Reserve over half-sis Faina. Deckard was Reserve Winners Dog in a major entry.


Saturday brought more excitement despite the fact that I was a bit peeved with myself as I had mixed up the judges. I had thought Saturday's judge was on Sunday and vice versa, and so had not entered my black dogs on Sunday, having never seen the judge I thought was assigned that day put up a heavily colored dark Borzoi before. So here I was with my two black dogs showing to the judge I thought I was avoiding. My goodness - how I did enjoy in being proved wrong! Deckard won the Bred By Exhibitor class and went on to win Winners Dog for a 3-point major! You could have knocked me over with a feather! Shugah won the Bred By bitch class, over a lovely mature bitch, and then was awarded Winners Bitch! To top it off, she took Best of Winners so she also got a major towards her championship!


On Sunday Shugah's little winning streak came to an end in Winners Bitch, and she came away the Reserve winner. We're so proud of how well the girls did on their ring debuts - no little puppy tantrums, and they didn't mind the echoes nor the crowds of strange people and dogs. The fact that Shugah got some points to boot was icing on the cake! Solo won Best of Breed on Sunday against some nice competition, and then made the cut in the Hound Group in even more spectacular company, including the most gorgeous Scottish Deerhound that just floated around the ring and was exquisite standing.

There were animal rights activists picketing outside the show as well. We were lucky and didn't meet up with any of them, although some folks had their cars keyed. Classy, huh? More proof that the wackos aren't so much about loving animals as they are about hating people. Security was obviously present and the show hosting clubs made sure that the folks inside were taken care of and left alone by the raging wackos that are unable to see the truth about how involved the dog fancy is with their dogs.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
--Roger Caras.

Ready For My Close-Up!

I received a great gift yesterday at the shows. Frank Young (Royal Sooner Borzoi) handed me a large photo and asked if the dog in it was mine - it certainly was! A friend of his is an amateur photographer and snapped a ringside photo of ubergoober Solo going nose-to-nose with a TV cameraman. It's just the cutest photo and really shows what a ham that boy can be. Thanks again to Frank and his friend (whose name I don't have with me since the card is in Victor's wallet)!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Arrivals

This morning saw three new arrivals come to Gryffyn's Aeyrie. Josi gave us two boys and a girl sired by Duncan. The pups are helping themselves to long sessions at the milk bar and Josi is, as always, an exquisite mother.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Nox and Shugah Get Edu-ma-cated

This past Saturday we took Nox and Shugah to handling class in Garland. David (who handles Solo on occasion when Jill isn't available) has discontinued classes, and it was so difficult for us to get to them anyway since they were on a weeknight and over an hour away :( So we tried another class for the first time since we're in town more often thanks to less trips out of town to show.

We were a bit apprehensive since we hadn't done much with the girls other than take them to visit at occasional field trials, and Shugah had only gone once! So neither really had show-level leashbreaking. Thought it might be nice for them to get some class experience since they are entered in their first show on July 4th!

When we arrived an earlier class was still in progress - full of plenty of interesting new breeds that the girls had never been exposed to. Borzoi can be notoriously "breedist" - recognizing the sighthound type and being wary of the others. At the first show of this year, we had a heckuva time walking Buster and Wulfie through a group of Bulldogs awaiting at ringside! They did not want to be anywhere near the "alien doggies"! Nox and Shugah didn't even look twice (and even touched nosies with some) at the Pug, Bulldog, Dachshunds, Irish Setter, BIG Irish Wolfhound, or even the Husky. So within 5 minutes of our arrival we were already doing better than expected .

Both girls were a bit hesitant about the rubber mat flooring. They behaved better on lead than expected, especially since it was a bit more restrained than the "walk about on a long, loose lead in the middle of the field" method that they were familiar with. They both behaved excellent on the stacked exam, although both tend to post slightly out of fussiness about being made to stand still a certain way. A stranger's approach didn't bother them in the least, and they didn't break their stack either. Woohoo!

We might just survive the Dallas shows!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Out Into the Big World (Kinda)

With the almost oppressive heat that has descended upon North Texas, Ginger's pups that remain here have been kept inside longer than our personal preference for optimum growth (much less, life experiences). We settled for a compromise and a few days ago started putting the rowdy trio into the puppy pen in the evening and they stay out the night with adopted brother Goth and surrogate sis Qiqi, along with Missi. Pryss, Darkun and Perry get to raise some cain throughout the night with their new buds and after we bring them in in the morning, they're a bit too tired to trash their kitchen area while we're away at work for the day. Perry will head to his new home (with half-sister GoGo) in Florida at the end of August!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bend Over, Dallas Dog Owners

Received today from the RPOA (Responsible Pet Owners' Alliance):

Martin Kralik has given RPOA permission to forward his message below to our subscribers. Dallas Democracy in action -- NOT! Those of you who've experienced the same treatment elsewhere can empathize. Permission to crosspost.

What was supposed to happen:

* 144 speakers - some for and some opposed - were supposed to be given 3 minutes each to speak to the city council before the vote on the new animal ordinances. Also, a majority of 19 more speakers, listed regarding the animal ordinance, were supposed to be given 3 minutes each to speak after the vote. I have the lists.

What actually happened:

* Upon seeing the council chambers full of passionate people, Mayor Leppert
decided to limit each side to 15 minutes total (that's five 3-minute speeches) and said those 'against' should go first. He gave us 2 minutes to organize since the agenda-sequence-of-speakers, at that point, was thrown out. This gave the other side 'for the ordinances' 15+ minutes to organize. Speakers who had worked long and hard to shoehorn their speeches into 2-3 minutes in reality only got 30 seconds to one minute to make their point. Then, any others who had not spoken were given 30 seconds to say something limited to one point. Those speaking for the ordinance were routinely given more time before they were cut off.

* Then each council member spoke:

1. Elba Garcia, of course nattered on the longest about how all were in agreement that they had to do something now and they must pass the ordinances.

2. Rasansky -he's totally for the ordinances - saying the 'Breeders' had to step up and pay.

3. Leppert blindly followed Elba

4. Neumann said he was for it but asked the city Secretary to define the plan of implementation i.e., pass the ordinance and then define the plan. yeah that makes sense???

5. Kadane pointed out they had no plan and didn't know the cost - they should continue the nite raids and get the loose dogs off the street but hold off and re-analyze/define a better set of ordinances after more research.

6. Caraway and his constituents want the loose dogs off the streets now.

7. Ron Natinsky - Questioned Forest Turner (Animal Control) at length about how did they arrive at 360,000+/- dogs in Dallas, 50,000+/- of which are licensed now, leaving how many of the roughly 310,000 are loose roaming dogs?, and how many are pets? They have no idea. Specifically if Dallas covers roughly 385 square miles, distributing the 310,000 across 385 square miles would be roughly 800 - almost 1000 dogs per square mile (simple math). He asked Forest whether he saw anything close to 800 animals when they recently went on their nite raid to catch loose dogs. They caught 22 and 40 or so got away - No where near 800 seen. GOOD ARGUMENT! Ron suggested since they don't know what they are doing, that they pass the 'tether/vicious' dog amendments and throw out the mandatory sterilization/limits/breeder registration till later. After Ron passed out an adjusted ordinance to the members with these changes made, Elba complained about being given only 3 minutes to consider the changes and refused to even look at it - so much for working together as a real council.

8. The adjusted ordinance from Natinsky was quickly rejected by a majority vote.

9. Back to the new ordinances(whatever version they had today) - final vote was Kadane, Natinsky and Angela Hunt voted against, and the rest voted to pass the new ordinances.

I am outraged at how easily the mayor, knowing full well how passionate people were about this, threw us under the bus and went on with his agenda.

My speech - 2 minutes long - which I did not get a chance to make, follows -
* My name is Martin Kralik and I've lived in Preston Hollow in north Dallas for 23 years. I'm a law abiding citizen. I have been a responsible pet owner all my life, and I'm involved in rescue.

* I'm trying to stay in Dallas but you will drive me out with these new ordinances, for which I was given NO representation on the Shelter Committee.

* Why have there been NO REAL public hearings on this? Why are there NO responsible pet owners on the animal commission? The entire Dallas community of some of the most reputable breeders in the nation, and very knowledgeable fanciers and members of dog owners' organizations who call Dallas home, has been shut out and ignored by your animal commission.

* The proposed ordinances ignore the main problems (as stated by several council members) of roaming aggressive loose animals, and an underfunded Animal Control Department i.e. 8 trucks to cover 385 square miles and many unfilled staff vacancies???

* Beside ignoring the main problem of loose animals, the new ordinances mandate that I be subjected to UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEARCHES AND SEIZURES in my home.

* I think it is outrageous that Dallas wants to TAX/PUNISH me with fees/taxes/fines/procedures because the city is not willing to enforce existing laws on the relatively few irresponsible people who actually cause the loose dog problems.

* Many City Council members and your animal committee chairman admit all these mandatory sterilization/limits/registration/micro chipping procedures will NOT correct the Dallas loose animal problem.

* Regarding the problem of Dallas' overcrowded animal shelters, many states including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and Connecticut have a huge pet shortage and are importing thousands of dogs from many states to supply adoptable pets. You could empty the Dallas shelter and start over! Has anyone even checked this out??? The answer is no, and it reflects the mismanagement of the shelter program.

* I urge you to reject these ordinances and give representation to the vast community of responsible pet owners in creating equitable solutions to Dallas' animal problems.

I still go back to there have been NO REAL public hearings on this.

I think a large part of the Dallas dog/cat community has no idea that now if they want an intact animal for any reason, the registration/breeders license they are required by law to buy, authorizes the city to conduct unannounced unconstitutional searches and seizures IN YOUR HOME. (How will this work with the Castle Doctrine?)

Where can we go from here?
I'm ready to fight.
Martin Kralik
Dallas resident