Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Look for My Web Services Site (Design by Gryffyn)

It was high time for a redesign for my web design site, especially since while looking for new employment some companies were asking for a link to a portfolio. Talk about lighting a fire!

The site is pure CSS layout and is in a textured style which I seem to lean towards. At some point I am going to have to explore more of the Web 2.0 type of design and get some practice at it.

In the meantime, I am pretty pleased with the dramatic facelift to Design by Gryffyn.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gabe Does Good

Lynn showing Gabe at Silkenfest 2009

We are very excited to announce that we have a new homebred ISWS Champion to brag about! ISWS CH Gryffyn's Games Without Frontiers, aka "Gabe."

Gabe already had his ISWS qualifying major - two of them, actually. The first he won when we attended the regional BooFest specialty in California a few years ago, judged by Cyndi Dell of Morgandell Borzoi. Gabe won the Bred-By Exhibitor class then went on to win Winners Dog (also taking Best BBE in Specialty). Definitely worth the long, long drive to the west coast (in addition to getting to meet up with several good friends that either live in the area, or also made the drive)! His other major win was when Victor hauled dogs to the first southern regional specialties in GA in 2008 while I attended the Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club specialty in Longmont, CO. Gabe not only won Winners Dog and Best BBE, but went on to win Best in Specialty Show!!

This weekend we actually had Rarities/North American Kennel Club shows over in Azle, about an hour away. Several metroplex-area Silken owners made entries, including Vicki with Sylvi (from our H-band litter) and Enzo (from the L-band litter). At the first show Gabe finished his Rarities championship and sealed his ISWS championship as well.

Sylvi (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Sylvan Song) finished her Rarities championship as well!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

BooFest 2009

I wasn't fortunate to be able to attend BooFest in person this time around, but it looks as though there was still a touch of success for Gryffyn's Aeyrie - thanks to Tyler's progeny from his breeding to Cinder and Blondie, from Kandi's breeding to Dan. I was so excited when Joyce asked to use Tyler for a breeding, and to Duncan's sister too. Kandi's pups are also maturing soooo nicely that I am contemplating a repeat, although she has a finicky heat cycle. I am even more thrilled to hear news of their successes. Both specialties were judged by AKC judges as well - such great PR for the Silkens.

The first specialty show was judged by Diane Young McCormack, who chose Tyler's son Blaze (Talisman of Beaux-Arts) for Best in Specialty Show. Siblings Dresden (Talisman of Merovingian) and Ilsa (Talisman of Art Nouveau) were Winners Dog and an Award of Merit respectively. Kandi's daughter Blondie (WindNSatin Creme Brulee) was Winners Bitch/Best of Winners AND Best of Opposite (over specials) to her cousin. Dresden also took the Best Bred-By Exhibitor award. Mama Cinder was Best Brood Bitch.

The second show was judged by Betty Stites (who I have fond memories of her finishing Doodle's AKC championship). Ms. Stites also chose Blaze for SBIS honors! Ilsa and Dresden both received Awards of Merit and mother Cinder again Best Brood Bitch.

I so wish I could have come and visited and seen it all. Maybe next year!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The 2009 Running Season Begins With a Bang


J/T with the day's judge, Tom Golcher, Zoiboyz

On September 19th the running season got back into swing here in Texas and we attended the local RR trial. J/T needed three singles to finish his AKC field championship, so when he won Best of Breed for 2 points, we decided to let him run for Best in Field since there was 3 points available. We thought....what the heck, it would give him what he needed if he pulled it off. I was quite dismayed when he drew a track greyhound bitch that I've seen run and win BIF before. I figured we didn't have a prayer at that point.

OMG - he put in the best run I've ever seen him do, staying close to her while
maintaining nice follow - except for the big cheat straightaway they both did at the start, where I was pleasantly surprised she didn't leave him yards and yards behind. Towards the end of the course it dipped a bit out of site, I was so happy to see J/T appear just before the grey-girl (and on course) - he was really working it!

I was thrilled that he was awarded BEST IN FIELD (a Whippet and Rhodesian Ridgeback were also running), and won his third major, becoming BIF DC Gryffyn's Aeyrie Bringin' Sexy Back, SC!

This makes the third homebred AKC Dual Champion for me (and 4th for Victor) and the 7th for us to have had the pleasure to have in our lives here. I think this makes him the next youngest Borzoi to achieve this...the youngest being our Kalipso from Nadine at Rising Star.

Hopefully we will have more on the way, as Nawti, Sparkk, Ray, Shayde (Tim's girl) and Ozzy (all Duri's pups from her breeding to Achilles) have had some promising practice runs.

Follett's Marvelous Medieval Sagas

One evening while accompanying Victor on a run to Costco to pick up dog food I wandered, as I usually do, over towards their book area. My eyes caught sight of a lovely book cover - I tend to be attracted to the illuminated style, and the cover completely drew me in. I read the book's description and was completely hooked on the idea that I must take it home and crack the cover immediately. This heavy tome was actually the second of the series, I was later to learn, but no matter - it had me in its grasp. The book in question was Ken Follett's World Without End. I was mildly familiar with the name, having worked in bookstores at various periods of my life, and associated it with espionage and not period fiction.

The interwoven stories of the citizens of Kingsbridge, from childhood on, pull the reader in and makes them interested in the fates of the characters, and one can become emotionally attached to perceived injustices or those instances of good fortune. I absolutely could not put the book down and was thankful for the carpooling Victor and I have been doing as it allowed me to get valuable reading time in during the tedious work commute (an otherwise miserable experience in the overcrowded, dismal concrete jungle that is the Dallas metroplex).

Once I finished World I was on the hunt for its predecessor, Pillars of the Earth, hoping to find it on Costco's book tables as well and getting a good deal. But that was not to be, and needing a "fix," I ordered it through Amazon. I was NOT disappointed! Once again I became mesmerized by the intertwined stories revolving around the building of a new cathedral in the town of Kingsbridge. Heartbreaking and uplifting and at times maddening, once again the reader becomes involved with the well-fleshed-out characters. Both books also brought new insights into how things worked during those times - politics, self interest and promotion, injustices wrought by the wealthy (nothing new there!) and the reality of daily life amidst the differing classes and the clergy.

I was excited to learn that Pillars is currently in production for a miniseries (oh how I would rather a big screen affair - but this will do). More information on the film may be found here. For more on Ken Follett and his work, visit this site.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Great Loss - Two Dog Breeder Champions Have Gone

Serious dog hobbyists/breeders have lost two hard-working champions for the rights to own and breed our dogs. This is such a hard blow in these times where responsible and dedicated breeders are under attack from wealthy "animal rights" (human hate) organizations such as HSUS and PeTA.

Walter Bebout was the director of AKC Government Relations, and although he retired last year, he continued to work on legislative issues affecting dog ownership. He also educated dog fanciers about the importance of keeping informed about legislation that would affect them and how to get involved in protecting their rights to own and breed dogs. Walter was scheduled to judge Best in Show this past Friday at a show cluster in Kansas. While en route to the show, a young driver crossed the highway median and struck his car head on. Walter did not survive.

A few days later, John Yates, founder of the American Sporting Dog Alliance (http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org/) died during surgery to remove a cancerous lung. He was a seemingly tireless advocate for the right to own, breed and hunt with dogs. He sent out regular missives to those on his mailing lists wishing to keep up-to-date on legislative issues affecting those rights and even would personally appear to speak on behalf of dog fanciers confronted with draconian legislation in their state. Some of his writings can currently be found at http://eaglerock814.bravejournal.com/

Rest well Walter and John. You will be terribly missed as we continue into battle once again.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sassi's Litter Has Arrived

This past weekend Sassi gave birth to her pups sired by Anne Midgarden's boy Matrix (Ch. Teine Unstable Force, SC). 5 boys and 1 girl in tricolor and sabled red or gold.

Sadly we lost one of the boys - he wasn't thriving and upon closer examination was found to have a cleft palate. That was my first experience with such an anomaly, and hopefully the last. It is so sad to lose one, no matter how young.

Now, almost a week later, the remaining pups are plump little milk-suckers and Sassi is being a super mom.

Individual photos are posted in their online photo gallery at the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site and will be updated once their eyes open and as they grow.

Still contemplating a theme, although at this time I am leaning heavily on warrior names (always wanted a girl named Boudicca!).

Monday, September 14, 2009

LSBC's First Independent Specialty Show

The Lone Star Borzoi Club hosted its first independent specialty show on August 22, 2009 and we were fortunate enough to win some of the lovely, handmade trophies! For us, Duri (Ch. Gryffyn's Aeyrie Anduril, JC) was the star of the show, coming away with an Award of Merit and Best Veteran in Show. Her kids also did well!



Duri's brother Burni (Am. Can. Mex. Ch. Gryffyn's Aeyrie Caliburn, JC) also did well, winning Best Veteran in Sweepstakes and winning his regular veterans (7-10 years of age) class.

Burni's Best in Veteran Sweepstakes

Duri's son Vlad (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Revelation), owned by Rebecca Neal, came away with Best Puppy in Show, Reserve Winners Dog as well as Best Opposite in Puppy Sweepstakes. Rebecca was so sweet to give me the rocking borzoi trophy that he won too - it's absolutely GORGEOUS - you can see it in the picture. He also won a wooden Borzoi pull toy that was Rebecca's favorite. Brothers Ozzy and Ray were 2nd and 3rd in the 6-9 Puppy Dog class and 4th and 3rd in their Sweeps class.

Vlad - Best Puppy in Show
Vlad's Sweeps win

Vlad's sister Nawti (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Ultimate Sin) won the 9-12 Month Puppy Bitch class and went on to take Best Opposite Sex Puppy. Sisters Shayde (Gryffyn's Waiting for Darkness) and Lump (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Here For You) took 3rd and 4th in the class. Lump had won the Sweeps class, with Shayde taking 2nd. Thanks to one of those "puppy moments," living up to her moniker, Nawti was 4th - glad she straightened it all out in time for the regular classes .

Nawti goes BOS Puppy to her brother

Duri's daughter from her first litter (sired by Solo), Nox (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Nox, SC) took second in a nice sized Bred-by Exhibitor class. All in all we had a successful, bling-filled day. I only wish that Solo had gotten a piece of it...but there will be another day, another specialty. Fingers crossed!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Danu Has Left Us

We had planned on taking her in on Sunday when the clinic opened at 1 for our final goodbyes. She had not done well since a preliminary diagnosis of pancreatic exocrine neoplasia (exocrine tumors - extremely poor prognosis, especially for an 11.5 year old Borzoi). Bloodwork revealed increased pancreatic and kidney values, but a very normal WBC count. The ultrasound to verify was obscenely expensive ($600, including a $139 fee just for the "privilege" of walking through the specialist's front door) for the poorest of odds, so after her Wednesday appointment, we had brought her home to be comfortable until it was time.

I went to check on her and noticed her breathing was labored, and although her eyes were open, she seemed unaware. I went and sat next to her and talked to her and held her paw or kept my hand on her shoulder or behind her head. I guess I was there about 15 minutes, and then she went still.

She was a good girl, although most folks did not know her. She had a couple points towards her championship. While we were at the Reno national, she managed to somehow almost sever part of her tail which we had to amputate upon our return (she was at home while we were away) - so she had a bit less than half a tail. She was funny and happy and never seemed to have a bad day until earlier this week.

I will miss her little happy dance at the back door, and her impish nature, and her habit of planting her front feet down then looking up at the sky, and a jig and another look, and a little wag from her cropped tail.

IABCA Ch. Gryffyns The Last Enchantment
March 28, 1998 - August 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BCOA 2010 Site

Finished the design for BCOA's 2010 National Specialty web site! There is still content wanting for it - but it is ready for it when it comes!

The theme is "Run for the Roses" - so I found some nice roses to include in the layout.

Site is now live at http://www.borzoiclubofamerica.org/2010/

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh My, Omaha

Once again I made the trek to Omaha for their BCOA Trophy Supported Entries, spending twice as much time on the road than if I had chosen to head down to the big Houston cluster that is always too hot, too crowded and too stifling. Although missing Houston means missing seeing my dad and a visit to Mike McCartney's booth to get a fun caricature of one of the crew to commemorate their year. Accompanying me on my trip were Faina, a gangly and hairless Ozzy, and ol' man Burni (who was absolutely thrilled to get to come play).

Saturday was pretty uneventful with Faina having the best day by going second in her class. On Sunday, Burni was Best Veteran in Sweepstakes, defeating a bitch I admire greatly who had a wonderful racing career and did well in conformation as well.

Best Veteran in Sweeps
Judge: Shirley McFadden, Svora

Faina again took second in the Bred-By Exhibitor Bitch class, but Burni made me smile even more this time though. He was so psyched to be in the ring again, smiling the whole way around and I was having problems keeping up with him as he was really moving out. He just got better and better. It was a fabulous feeling for him to go Best Opposite to the currently ranked (all-breed) #1 Borzoi, especially with such other nice quality males in the ring, including a recent BCOA National Specialty AOM winner and other regularly campaigned, successful dogs. Not bad for an 8 1/2 year old !

Best Opposite Sex
Judge: Prudence Hlatky, Soyara

Silken Pups Galore!

It didn't turn how we originally planned, but we will certainly make the best of our overabundance of puppies (soon to be poopies) here at the moment.

We were so certain that Kandi had not been bred. She came into season Friday a week prior to Silkenfest. We had planned to pick up Bruce (her intended) at Silkenfest and bring him home for the tryst - but Kandi thought otherwise. Due to some good luck, Chuck was in TX and we met that weekend for Kandi to head to KY with him.

I was dismayed to hear that neither Kandi nor Bruce showed much interest in each other. She had had a super-short cycle when at Mary's for her breeding with Dan when she was leased - so we figured we had missed the window. Francie kept them penned together during her stay and when we picked her up at Silkenfest, we did bring home Bruce for another try. She wasn't even swollen!

Trouble had come into season the Friday we were in MO for the show. We started noodling over that idea, and since it looked hopeless with Kandi, we opted for a breeding with Bruce and Trouble after a phone call to Chris.

Kandi didn't even really look preggers until the weekend prior to delivery, other than she had seemed to have a bit of extra hair. But her tuck-up disappeared
suddenly while we were in Texarkana for shows!

On the morning of June 19 she delivered 4 pups with no issues (she'd had primary inertia her first litter and a c-section) during delivery. She's being a wonderful mother and very attentive to her brood. Two boys and two girls - all extreme white, one little boy just has a speck of color on his right ear - the one with the most color is a wee female clone of papa Bruce.

Trouble's litter (her first) arrived on July 5 - 3 boys and 2 girls, all spotted gold brindles, although 1 girl has heavy striping which makes her look silvery, and 1 boy has hardly any and almost looks like a clear gold.

Pictures of Kandi's pups at 4 weeks:
http://www.gryffynsaeyrie.com/silken-m.html (the litter's page)
and more photos in the online album at

Trouble's pups at 2 weeks with freshly opened eyes:
and their online gallery at

Local Humane - Common Misconceptions About HSUS

There are common misconceptions about your local humane society and its relation with the Humane Society of the United States - and this website helps to alleviate the confusion.

Disclaimer from the site: "The point of this site is not to pass judgment on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), or any humane society for that matter. Rather, the intent behind this site is to clarify a few common misconceptions held by the public at large about HSUS and its relation to local humane societies. The resulting effect, if there is any, of such clarification is not intended to be malicious. We're simply writing what is true. Think of it like a fact check for humane societies.

Like all information you come across though, don't simply take our word for it. If the points we raise interest you, try contacting your local humane society for validation and/or additional information."

Learn more at http://localhumane.org/

Friday, May 29, 2009

Meet Mongo

I know I know...it's not a Borzoi, nor is it a Silken. Mongo is a six month old Manchester Terrier that comes to us from a friend we met while attending a Thanksgiving celebration at Jill's home (Jill handles our Borzoi specials and occasional class entry). AJ offered Mongo to me and I took him up on it (after Victor's ok) since I love his mama Dawn.

I couldn't tell you a thing about his lines other than he is down from CL Eudy's last big special and some of his other Manchesters. I don't figure we will get heavily involved with the breed other to enjoy the little man and show him. If I ever decide to go the judging route he would count as another breed...but I'm on the fence about all that kind of stuff. I have enjoyed the judging Sweeps classes but don't know how far I would pursue a judging "career."

So far, AJ has been proved right in that Mongo seems more houndy than terrier, although he is super secure of himself and hasn't hesitated to go up to all the strange dogs at the house fearlessly. He is a bit more hesitant about Monkee now that she read him the riot act last night - but he certainly doesn't cower around her...just avoids her haughtily. He is also a first rate snuggler.

And yes...that's a cast on his rear leg. Properly fitting into our latest "bad luck blast," while in the car traveling to another friend's work, where we were to pick him up after our return from Michigan, he became entangled in a seat belt and broke his leg just above the growth plate. Prognosis is good, and the procedure thankfully not as expensive as Arthur's earlier this year - the vet figured on 4 weeks to heal. Mongo is still quite nimble despite the cast - although it's humorous to watch him strut about with it. Yes, he struts.

Mongo meets Tyler

BCOA 2009 and the MBC Specialty

It's six days past....and I am still not completely recovered (although that may be due to other factors from this week...more later). After missing the California event, I was chomping at the bit to be at Nationals again, and it was great to see folks that I pretty much only see at Nationals. The hotel and grounds were FABULOUS and the large ring next to the river set a charming stage despite the long, downhill walk to it (again...more later). We found a great spot to park the Zoibus which allowed us to set up a double-size ex-pen to potty the dogs on a grassy median right beside it. This enormously cut the amount of time to ex and feed our critters during the stay. Solo and Sassi got to hang in the room while we were there, and the weather pretty much cooperated with the youngsters that stayed cozy in the van.

Due to time constraints and also not having much to run, we skipped the racing and coursing events - we certainly hope to have entries in 2010 for them! This being the case, our first event was the Futurity, where Ozzy took a 4th placement in the 6-9 Puppy Dog class.

The next day in Sweeps, diminutive Sparkk took 2nd in a large 6-9 Puppy Bitch class, which thrilled us to no end, especially since she looked practically microscopic in size next to the other entries. She sure had the attitude and showiness of a BIG dog though! Burni then provided us with much excitement by winning his 8-9 Veteran Sweepstakes class, not showing his age one bit.

Ozzy on the move

We had a touch more excitement in the Regular Classes, beginning with the 6-9 Month Puppy Dogs. The entries present for the class totaled 12 and Ozzy took 3rd place and his brother Vlad (owned by Rebecca Neal) was 4th. Interestingly, 2 other sibs from a friend's litter were 1st/2nd and are somewhat closely related to the OZZlings. In the Bred By Exhibitor Bitch class, Faina and Pumpkin both made the cut, but in the end left without a ribbon, as did Solo and Sassi in the Best of Breed class. Certainly better than being dismissed right off the bat, so we were happy for that!

Solo in BOB

Sassi in BOB

The day after the conclusion of the BCOA National was the Midwest Borzoi Club regional specialty show. I was pretty much beat from the days previous and my ankles were having an uproar, but we labored on! In the Sweepstakes classes, Ozzy was 3rd in 6-9 Month Puppy Dog and Burni was Best of Opposite Sex in Veteran Sweeps. In the regular classes, Ozzy took 2nd and little (microscopic) Sparkk WON her 6-9 Month Puppy Bitch class! Burni went on to win his Veterans class as well.

Lynn showing Sparkk


We had a wonderful time, a touch of success, and good times catching up with people we don't get to see often. Looking forward to next year in Kentucky!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

7 Things You Didn't Know About the Humane Society

Yup - the truth is getting out there. The following link is from a blog on the CattleGrower.com web site.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Three's a Charm (SilkenFest 2009)

We had an unbelievable Silken Windhound Nationals experience this year - I am completely floored! In addition to our show ring experiences, we got to meet up with several folks who have dogs from us (both Silken and Borzoi) and see how our pups have grown - and some were being shown as well. Nice to see our dogs in the ring with someone else handling them!

Nan brought out Andres (Solo/Duri; borzoi) - he has forgotten he is a dog as he is the only one and doesn't see much in the way of dogs (except the occasional "ankle biter") out his way. But he is a stunning adolescent male with coat so shiny it's almost blinding. Deb and her daughter also brought Mukki (Bruce/Luna; silken) along for a visit - he grew into such a lovely boy with luscious coat and a grin for everyone. Also got to see Voodoo (now with the Peffers) and her mother Jett (VooDoo's mother, with Ahryn); Kandi's 2 daughters (Blondie and Oreo) from her leased breeding; Tim and Vicki Frey had Sylvi (Bruce/Luna) and Enzo (Isaak/Serena) along to show and their sibling Ajax was also there with Lynn Wall; and Tripp with Pam all the way from CT (and boy was that WORTH it!) - I did not have near enough time to visit with everyone as much as I wanted to - not even Pat Shaw who was so kind as to put us and our crew up at her home for the weekend!

On Saturday we took care of some health testing on several dogs and then began visiting with folks. Victor was at the SLASH LGRA meet with Nox since we decided to take advantage of it being at the same location. It paid off as she won the meet and earned 2 GRC/NRC points! We also had the huge shrimp boil (and pig out) - tables lined up with brown paper and the menfolk dumping fresh from the pot corn, potatoes, shrimp and sausage among the various trays of fresh fruit available for desert and strategically placed bottles of cocktail sauce and squeezy butter. We opened up the sangria that Nan had brought and shared amongst several folks in our vicinity.

Sunday was the day of the showing festivities and started off with Puppy Sweepstakes. Shadow won his class (9-12) with brother Enzo taking third. Goth and Pryss both won their classes and Fanci and Darkun both took 4th in their classes. Kandi's daughter Blondie also won her class. Pryss then went on to win Best in Sweepstakes and Goth took Best Opposite in Sweeps!!

The Regular classes had some nice surprises for us as well. In the 9-12 month puppy dog class, the three brothers, Shadow, Ajax and Enzo took 2nd through 4th places respectively. Gabe won the Bred-By Exhibitor dog class and Tripp won the Open dog class, with his almost 9 year old great-grandpa Ivanhoe taking 2nd to him. Tripp then went on to take Winners Dog and Gabe got Reserve. Fanci was 4th in the 9-12 puppy bitch class and Blondie was 3rd (I was so thrilled to see how she and her sister Oreo have turned out, although poor Oreo managed to cut her pad and was slightly off - but they are stunning youngsters). Pryss won the 12-18 Month class and Maverick's daughter Storm (bred by Lori at Elessar) was 3rd. A naughty Missi was 3rd in the Novice class and still got compliments despite her bratty behavior. Radar shown by a friend for her new owner, Mary) was 2nd in the class and I overheard the judge comment that she was a beautiful bitch, but a lunatic (I 100% agree - she has always been a hard one to work with!!). In the Bred By bitch class Luna was 2nd and Kandi 3rd. Our most amazing class performance was Trouble winning the largest class there - Open Bitch (11 entries). I don't think anyone recognized her since she was behaving so well! Siren, on the other hand, declined to participate and Victor couldn't even get her out from under the tent - she sat her hiney down and outright refused. Sylvi and VooDoo were also there but unfortunately didn't get placements. In the end, Trouble won Reserve Winners Bitch!

By the time Best of Breed came around, I thought I was going to fall over from all the dogs we had shown. Tyler was on "autopilot" though - and I just let out his lead and held on to the very end as he zipped around the ring like a Brittany and pretty much showed himself while I huffed and puffed behind him. I am still on cloud nine - as Tyler earned his third national specialty win! He has now won the two highest entries of Silkenfest (2009 and 2007) in addition to the 2006 show. This also finished his ISWS Grand Champion title!

A nice finish for this year's Silkenfest was Ivanhoe winning the inaugural Stud Dog class, represented by Tyler, Kandi and VooDoo. He sure gave the youngsters a run for it in the classes as well. He just needs a qualifying specialty win to complete his ISWS title - but we figure it will be hard as he lost some teeth when he broke his lower jaw a few years ago.

Needless to say - we floated home!

Monday, April 6, 2009

HSUS' "Whiney Wayne" Spreads More Manure

An interesting article was posted to one of the pet law lists I am on, and I got pretty disgusted at Wayne Pacelle spreading more crap defending the false conception of HSUS (whose true goal is eliminating animal breeding and ownership entirely).

The HSUS said Kunzleman's comments are an unfair representation of the work done by the HSUS. The organization uses its money to contribute to animal shelters in ways that are not represented in specific dollar amounts awarded to shelters, said HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle.

"We offer continuing education for shelter directors, and we offer a number of education opportunities and help shelters improve, and none of those efforts are represented in direct donations to shelters," Pacelle said.


What Pacelle has failed to include in his statement (lie by omission?) is that shelter directors PAY for "continuing education." It is not donated. "Education opportunities" to help shelters improve - those are paid for as well, not donated. Under the guise of "consulting fees" such as the thousands charged to the Lied shelter in Nevada some years ago. They charged almost $23K for a review of San Luis Obispo County (CA) Animal Services in 2008. NOT DONATED. With the millions upon millions of dollars taken in with various "pity this and that" campaigns, you would think they could spare donating that consulting fee so as not to cause more financial hardship on already strapped shelters.

They even offer a 108-page report for purchase on their website (see it here). What is advocated inside it? How-to's on getting restrictive legislation passed against dog fanciers such as mandatory spay/neuter; and mandatory breeder permits/licensing and other breeding restrictions.

I guess I could give Whiney Wayne credit for telling a smidgen of truth when he says "none of those efforts are represented in direct donations to shelters." Exactly. They are not donations to shelters - they are payments from shelters to HSUS. That is what HSUS LOVES more than anything else - money.

The article can be found at http://www.chillicothegazette.com/article/20090405/NEWS01/904050313

I am certainly not a fan of pet store puppies - but I also realize that serious dog fanciers/hobbyists can not fill the desires of everyone who wants to bring a puppy into their home - there are just too many JQP's that want tiny toy dogs or the more popular breeds.

Unfortunately some folks are also not willing to undergo the scrutiny of responsible hobby breeders who want to make sure that the pups from their home go to a "forever home" where they will be well cared for their entire (and hopefully long) lives. Or they are not patient enough and want instant gratification - something a pet store seems to have in constant supply.

As a footnote...what do HSUS consultants advise when faced with a newborn litter of pups from a pit bull? Kill them. What did they advise the Lied shelter to do when animals at the overcrowded shelter may have been exposed to disease? Kill them (instead of donating some of their millions to help them). Oh...and they also disallowed purebred rescue groups to pull dogs and thereby relieve some of the burden on the shelter. What did they advise when faced with the seized Vick dogs and experienced pit bull rescues were volunteering their services?

Kill them.

Please don't send these shysters any more $ and see them for what they truly are. A menace.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Catalog Ad for SilkenFest

Pretty happy with today's work, considering I feel like I am suffering from a creative block - likely from the sinus block I am experiencing, as it seems I caught the creepin' crud during the flight back from D.C.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lola and Beta

Lola (Duncan/Josi) left for CT on the 12th to become a part of the McCormick clan along with Beta (Isaak/Serena). I've gotten lots of Beta updates from Martha, so it was easy to send Lola up there after she had inquired about her - and I thought she and Beta would be great together.

Lola was her brother Sunni's favorite chew toy - but she wasn't cut out for it, being a very submissive girl. Hearing about Beta and his play style with the Bernese Mountain Dogs he shares the home with, and seeing a little video of it, I hoped his sunny outlook would help bring out Lola's personality.

Martha sent along a little video that shows that Beta and Lola are quite the cute couple and my hopes are coming to fruition - Beta is a great playmate, and Lola is interacting great with him.

Beta also had a little photo and modeling session for the In the Company of Dogs catalog and is currently featured in the image rotation on their web site's front page!

Lola also attended some shows the weekend after her arrival and did very well walking amongst the crowd and receiving attention from folks she didn't know. I look forward to more stories and pictures of her and Beta's adventures!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Well That Was Quick!

Well...it seems like we had barely gotten started...and now he's FINISHED!!

J/T won Best of Winners both days for two 4-point majors at the Wichita Falls shows this past weekend and completed his AKC conformation championship! His first points (and major) were earned the 2nd day of the Nolan River shows the first weekend of January; then WD both days at Fort Bend (BOW on Sunday) and WD both days in San Marcos a couple weekends ago (BOW on Sunday)...and now this! His only other shows (if memory serves) were the 2 specialties he attended as a super-gangly youngster (RMBC on Labor Day and LSBC the weekend before Halloween).

To say he has blossomed in the last couple months is an understatement!

You can see his page on our website at http://www.gryffynsaeyrie.com/jt.htm

Can't wait to see his pictures from the last two show weekends.

I guess the rest of the year will be spent working towards his various performance titles since he is pointed in AKC lure coursing, ASFA, LGRA and NOTRA!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Some Knuckle Dragging Humor

On one of the chat lists I am on, there were comments made about the recent passing of a federal law prohibiting the interstate commerce of primates. Why oh why, when our economy is in the crapper, are our federal legislators making monkeys of themselves? Why should they care about this type of issue at this time?!

Another person on that list expressed the sentiment that I will expand upon here...with the passage of this one, it's going to be mighty difficult for politicians to get to their DC offices if chimps can't travel across state lines!!

Your tax $$ at work (not!)

Gosh - I can't wait to see what federal (or state, or local) travesty our politicians will come up with next to control dog breeders while the economy keeps making that great sucking sound.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Beta Hams It Up

Little Beta (Isaak/Serena), who lives with Martha in CT, was invited to a photo shoot for a dog products catalog. Martha sent some emails about the experience and has allowed me to post them here. I am so proud that he was such a good little ambassador for Silkens and for Gryffyn's Aeyrie. I get "Beta Stories" and photos regularly, so I get to experience vicariously his antics.

Below is a picture of Beta modeling one of Martha's biothane collar creations. Check out her website to see more of them!


He was so well-behaved and such a hit they ended up asking us to stay for the whole day and using him for three products instead of one. He got to spend the day lying on a luxurious dog bed in the main house, rather than crated like the ‘heathen’ dogs and he even joined us all for lunch. Once he realized what was expected of him was to just lay there (on a fluffy throw, or in front of an ornate dog gate), and get praised for looking at us when we told him to, he was totally into it. He was still posing when the cameras were put away, and we had to remove him from the overstuffed antique couch, where I guess he thought he was staying for the night—which by the way, would have been fine with the owner of the estate!

They got some really nice pictures—cute shots with ears up, as well as very elegant shots with the “Sighthound” gaze. They are going to send me a CD with all the pictures and I’ll post them to the photos section when I get it.

There was an AKC breed judge there who totally fell in love with him and was watching for us to arrive. When she found out a Silken Windhound was coming to the photo shoot, she looked up the breed standards and history and she was duly impressed with Beta.

We had to make a stop at a Borzoi breeder vet on the way to the shoot this am. He has wanted to see Beta since he arrived here in September. When we got there he was in surgery, but ungloved and ungowned to come out and stack Beta and go over him. He was duly impressed, as well.

It was a great day for the little Silken Windhound boy.

The last shot they did on the antique couch was of him lying on a big fur throw the color of a fox/rabbit. Long haired, very realistic. When I brought him into the room and he saw it, his ears went straight up and I thought, "Ut-oh, he's going to kill the product--the very expensive product," but when he felt how comfortable it was to lay on, he just stretched out and lounged.

He had to be carried back and forth through the house all day because of the high polish on the floors, and 'placed' into position so as not to disturb the set-up. Hope he doesn't expect that treatment at home!

I got a call from the photographer's assistant last night thanking me and telling me how much they liked him and what a cooperative model he was. Can't tell him, though, seems like the experience has already gone to his head--I caught him posing on the bed signing autographs for the Berners this am!! LOL!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some Recent Successes

The past couple show weekends have been good to us. At the Fort Bend Shows in mid-January J/T was Winners Dog both days (with a Best of Winners on Sunday) and Solo was BOB both days. The joy was dampened a bit by the overworked Astro van's fuel pump dying about a mile from the show site on Sunday. Since my would-be rescuer (my dad) was with me...I was feeling pretty darned stuck! Thanks to a fellow Borzoi-fancier, Krista Hunt, we got back to Dad's house after the van was picked up by AAA. Krista was so kind (thank you thank you THANK YOU!) to drive us across town to northwest Houston from Richmond (south west of Houston).

J/T is Best of Winners at Fort Bend KC's Sunday show; Judge Clyde Morris

At the AAWC AKC lure trials the following weekend, J/T was 2nd on Saturday for 1 point and on Sunday won the Open stake and BOB for a 3 point major. We tried running Buster again - but he is still afraid of the other dogs after the collision he experienced the last time out. I guess the boy is going to need some time. At least his brother Wulfie is showing some promise.

At the San Marcos shows just this past weekend, J/T was Winners Dog both days and again Best of Winners on the second day. Solo was Best of Breed both days and also took a Group 2 on Saturday! The girls (Faina and Bugg) didn't fare so well - I had really hoped to get that last 2 singles on Bugg.

I also received word from Sylvia that Sasha (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Sonorus, Solo ex. Duri) was Winners Dog at the Friday RMBC trophy supported entry in Denver. Sasha also won Best Opposite Puppy in Sweepstakes at the RMBC Specialty Show the next day (same as the last RMBC Specialty Sweeps, when he was defeated by sister Nox) and also was Reserve Winners on Monday (to the father of Sassi's litter, Glaze).

Monday, February 16, 2009


Thank goodness I at least have somewhere to start after over 6 years of dealing with the chronic fatigue, which in the last year began to include chronic pain. Not to mention an increasing frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.

I went in to the doctor's office Monday a week ago and talked with a new fellow at the clinic. This guy had also helped me when I fell in the yard and twisted my knee and exacerbated the back issues. I liked him then, and I like him even more now!

He requested more blood testing, but chose some panels that had not been done before. He also was not dismissive when I asked for something on Vitamin D after Rebecca had suggested it to me.

He also gave me some sample meds to try for the migraines. Since I had been fighting one since 4 that morning, and it felt like it was trying to come on strong again around 6 that evening, I tried a Treximet. BAD IDEA! It felt like I had set my head on fire!! The back of my head and neck just started to throb with jabbing pain, and my lower jaw started to feel tight. Worst feeling EVER! I rolled up a heating pad and laid my head on it and waited for it to pass - it took almost an hour. I would have just preferred the migraine. When I spoke to the assistant at the clinic Friday about test results, I related my experience to her and he has now called in a scrip for Midrin. Here's hoping it helps on the next migraine event.

Thyroid results are not yet back, but some others are...

  • Of the two panels for Vitamin D - one came back low.

  • Elevated WBC (white blood cell) count - indicating infection somewhere

  • Also, some inflammatory markers indicating autoimmune disease issues came back elevated.

So....today I managed to make an appointment with a rheumatologist. The bad news is that the first appointment available for new patients is March 17 (I took it, of course). The good news - maybe I can get some definitive answers now - hallelujah!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Website Redesign - ISWS

Years ago I had done the ISWS (International Silken Windhound Society) web site - and now I have re-done it! A CSS table-less layout with some updated graphics and a more aesthetic appeal. The organization has grown during the past few years adding various programs so we needed to update the navigation a bit and I also added an area for "quick links" at the bottom to expedite finding various forms and policies and other more popular areas of the site. The index page is a different layout than the rest of the site.

I will eventually add more images so that the picture on the index page and the picture at the top right of the other pages will rotate automatically.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gimme a Break...But Not That Kind!! (Arthur)

Arthur is due to turn 11 years old this coming March. He is pictured to the left at the 2008 LGRA/NOTRA National Race Meet after participating in the Legends program. On Tuesday, Arthur managed to break his left rear leg just below the knee. We have no idea how he managed this feat - whether he ran into something, or slipped on the slick ground (he and half-brother Burni do not go out slowly), or if he managed to hit a hole or uneven spot in the yard just right. But, regardless of how he managed it, he certainly busted himself up.

We were already getting iced in and since Arthur seemed otherwise normal, not shocky, and eating and drinking, we decided to wait until our vet opened in the morning. It ended up being delayed thanks to the ice storm - the clinic didn't open until noon. Arthur laid on the couch and shared bites of cinnamon toast. The University wasn't opening until 1 pm (they later opted to close for the entire day) and Victor had called in and worked from home later in the evening - so we attempted to wait patiently until the time to head for the clinic.

Dr. Lindsley wanted to knock Arthur out to take the x-rays so we left him there (he was not that pleased about it). The report we received later was disheartening - it was bad enough that she asked if I even wanted him woke up from the anesthesia - as she knows how bad it's been for us lately. But, that was not an option. He was too bright and his normal, happy, mama's boy even while hurting. He had broken both the tibia and fibula just below the knee joint. She said this can absolutely only be handled by a specialist and that it was going to involve a lot of pins and plating, and, of course $$. So...off to the next clinic.

The specialist was not as taken aback as our regular vet, but as he said, he works with it every day. He said on a scale of 10, this was a 8.5-9 but that it was certainly fixable. From the x-ray and type of break (very clean & sharp edges) it did not seem to indicate brittle or unhealthy bone at this time. He also did not think that Arthur had blown out the knee or involved ligaments since it was so close to the joint. We went through a health and surgical history - I didn't realize that pretty
much the only things he has seen the vet for since his "toe incident" ages upon ages ago, was for rabies shots and prostate exams, with the exception of a recent trip for a stubborn ear infection. The vet was encouraged by his activity level for his age, and the fact that he was still "up" and acting normally despite the injury (not depressed). He said there was always a possibility that this was cancer related, but it doesn't seem obvious at the moment - and he was optimistic about fixing the leg.
So I just flat told him what I had between my CareCredit and Visa balance and he thought it was doable. Since I haven't heard of bone cancer in Arthur's immediate pedigree, I opted to have them do surgery to repair his leg. I had contemplated amputation, thinking this would be over $5-6K to even attempt repair, but since the estimate was quite a bit under that...I decided to attempt the fix. If for some reason the bone appears unhealthy when they go in, we would discuss amputation.

I picked up Arthur this evening from the clinic. They showed me his post-op x-rays - what a jumble! The fibula (I think that's right - the smaller bone) is actually still broken as it is encased in a mass of muscle. Since, according to the vet, the muscle was all healthy and in good tone, they are leaving it to heal on its own since it is not a weight-bearing bone.

There sure was lots of metal in that x-ray too! If I'd been thinking I would have snapped a shot with my phone. Haven't seen any of the metal yet as it's wrapped up, but I will be changing the wrap tomorrow evening. He was happy to see me, but seemed almost frantic and panting heavily...I was upset because it's the first time that he has really looked....old.

He went for walkies when we got home - he had peed a bit when I was trying to get him out of the van so I figured he needed to empty out before coming in. It was apparently too much because about halfway to the door after taking care of business, he pretty much collapsed into a sit then laid down. Before I got too frantic, he got back up and we made it to the living room. He drank a bunch of water, and then I got worried about that since he was starting to seem tight in the flank, but when I put pressure there, he burped and it faded. I popped a Gas-X into him to make myself
feel better because by this time I was about to stroke out!

He is now ensconced in our bedroom in an expen - we figured that even with the cats present, it would be quieter for him than in a living room full of rowdy girls. At one point when we had left him alone in the living room (the house divas were all in the yard) he climbed on the couch, which is NOT allowed per vet's instructions. He hasn't seemed too excited or perturbed by the cats, even when CC stuck her paw through the bars and tried to touch his face (she's a bit too social). I can tell that he's tired of just lying on his right side, and he gets uncomfortable when he wants to move, and you can see him shifting...and then he'll just sigh and lie back down. He has an antibiotic and some pain meds. I can see the bruising around his hock just underneath the wrap. I am just dumbfounded on how he did this to himself!

His appearance is not enhanced by his military haircut up to his hip and over the left flank. He also has lovely razor rash along his sheath (it looks like a wine birthmark!) and his now overly visible dangly bits also got burned. Lovely. I am stressed and scared and oh so hopeful that he heals well. They did take a sample to send for testing to see if there were any signs of cancer. Fingers crossed.

Our vet is coming Monday for our yearly "rabies roundup". I guess Arthur is getting out of a prostate exam for now! She will check Kal out to see how he's progressing. Hopefully we will just keep on giving him time with no special procedures...maybe he will go through another round of steroids, and that's likely the best we can afford now.

What a gamut of emotions this has been - stressed, frightened, wondering if it will turn to devastation, then a touch of relief. I really feel like I need to find a dark corner, collapse in a heap and just cry for a while.

For now, I will just deal with the new discovery that when he is exhausted...Arthur snores.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kalipso - Hard Knocks

Kal, in his prime on the field

A couple Sundays ago, while running and rough-housing in the backyard, Kalipso (BIF DC Rising Star Kalipso, FCh SC) apparently got run into the fence. I say "apparently" since it was not witnessed - but there were 2 scrapes in the middle of his face that
could have been caused from him hitting the woven wire horse fencing, and he was found lying about 10 feet from the mid-yard fence.

He could not stand up, and no response to pinching on his rear feet and his front legs were stiff. The only thing moving was his head and neck, as he looked around in wonderment.

At the ER they were able to get a deep pain response in all 4 feet and his front legs had lessened their stiffness. The vet also checked reflexes and he displayed a response in all 4 legs - and they were able to get him sitting up, and he tried to stand albeit standing lasted about half a second.

They started Kal on big doses of steroids and planned to keep him overnight. By that afternoon, he would stand without assistance but still needed some assistance getting about, and his feet would knuckle over on occasion.

Monday morning was a consult with a neurologist. He thought that there was no trauma to the vertebrae and that Kal had suffered a spinal shock due to some sort of trauma. The prognosis is optimistic, but he's not out of the woods.

Within a couple days Kal was walking without needing sling support either front or rear - although he was very wobbly. When done with his business in the yard he would head straight for the door and sometimes it could be hard to keep up with him! Thankfully he has maintained his sunny attitude the entire time - I've always loved his personality and temperament.

visiting after working the runway

Ages ago Gekko, a Chinese Crested, blew two disks while in her crate (invertebral disk disease). We came home from lure coursing, and when we took her out to potty, her rear end just fell over. That one required surgery to put her back together - she's still going strong too.

Kal seems to be continuing to progress in baby steps - although he still looks like a drunken Borzoi when stepping out to do his business in the yard (on lead, of course). He will lift his leg to pee and it seems as though he is able to keep it raised for longer periods each time. He also has begun doing the "tough man" routine after a pee or poop, scratching his feet on the ground while looking at the young boys in the middle yard. He has gone through all the steroids prescribed and will get a check-up next week so the vet can see his progress.

Fingers crossed that he manages to fully recover.

The "OZZlings" - 10 weeks

10 week stacked pictures are posted on the litter's page at

There are also some candids taken this past Saturday of the little heathens running about and chasing a lure toy. I do mean heathens! I gave them a nice new stuffy Saturday morning, and within 15 minutes (if not less) it was completely destroyed. Fluffy bits everywhere! Annihilation!

Candid pictures start at http://www.gryffynsaeyrie.com/gallery/achilles-duri?page=8 in the online photo album.

I've also received several new pictures from owners that I am working on editing and uploading, and J/T's win picture for his first points/major is also now online at http://www.gryffynsaeyrie.com/gallery/jt/jt_nolanriver2009

The updates will be listed with direct links at http://www.gryffynsaeyrie.com/updates.htm

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Most Excellent Quote

Perhaps you have heard of the recent EPA debacle, likely spurred from some sort of anti-animal-usage fanatic...a tax on the methane generated by livestock - blaming it for global warming, with some scientists claiming it's worse than the carbon dioxide generated from autos and factories. The "cow tax"...aka "fart tax."

Some estimates place a cost of $175 per animal for a "methane permit." The domino effect of this would be obscene prices for beef products - which likely will generate a roar of approval from the likes of PeTA and HSUS. Talk about a lot of hot air!

A Saginaw rancher, Pete Bonds, gave the following statement which sums it up in a most perfect manner:

"If you've ever been in a room full of vegetarians, a lot of methane is being produced," he said. "I'm wondering if they're going to start putting a permitting process on them."

Good on ya Pete!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Nice Start for the Year

We had a nice start to the year this weekend - guess the black-eyed peas consumed during our New Year's dinner helped!

We took four dogs to the CERF clinic at the Nolan River KC shows this past Saturday - two Borzoi (Solo and Bugg) and two Silkens (Gabe and his sister Siren) and after a two hour wait (UGH) they all passed with flying colors.

As to the showing...Faina and Nox didn't embarrass us (hoorah!), and traded placements in the Bred-by class between the two days (they were the only two bitches entered in that particular class), and J/T (Sassi's son) was reserve to the major the first day and on Sunday won Winners Dog for his first points, and then got the crossover major (WD on the first day finished his championship, so the dog major broke on Sunday as he had moved up to Specials) by going Best of Winners. So we are quite pleased with our weekend (even though Solo had taken the weekend off)!!