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 ( 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

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!