Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Koontz on Sharing One's Life With Dogs

Dogs' lives are short, too short, but you know that going in. You know the pain is coming, you're going to lose a dog, and there's going to be great anguish, so you live fully in the moment with her, never fail to share her joy or delight in her innocence, because you can't support the illusion that a dog can be your lifelong companion. There's such beauty in the hard honesty of that, in accepting and giving love while always aware it comes with an unbearable price. Maybe loving dogs is a way we do penance for all the other illusions we allow ourselves and for the mistakes we make because of those illusions.

-Dean Koontz
The Darkest Evening of the Year

So true, so true.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ain't That Grand

I am thrilled to report that our Borzoi boy Solo has added another title to his repertoire. He is now an AKC GRAND CHAMPION!

He is also the FIRST AKC Dual Champion Borzoi  to achieve the Grand title.

BIF Grand Ch. DC Gryffyn's It's All About Me, SC SOR GRC ORC FCh

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hard Times - Burni-Man and Ivan-da-Ho

Victor and I figured that 2010 would be a hard year to get through - since we have several elderly dogs residing here, it is inevitable that there would be times of sorrow and tears. Unfortunately we had two boys that we did not foresee losing anytime soon, which make the tears flow even harder. One of the greatest burdens of a dog-lover is that of having to say goodbye.

Ivanhoe leaning on Lynn
Ivanhoe was an expert leaner

Ivanhoe had been diagnosed with a spinal injury earlier in the year. He was put on a steroid regimen and limited activity in the hopes that it would remedy the situation and he could regain full use of his left rear leg. After several months, the treatment proved ineffective, although at first it looked as though we may have some success, especially when the hyperaesthesia ceased and he seemed otherwise comfortable.

But then his condition deteriorated and Ivan was euthanized on the morning of July 17. His spinal injury had become too great to bear and he completely lost use of both hind legs. The steroid regimen therapy just could not do enough for him. He would have been 10 years old this month.

I regret that I was not brave enough to accompany him. I made the appointment for when I would not be there and was out of town and Victor took him in and stayed with him. I could not bear to say goodbye to another special boy this year.

BIS RBIS Rarities IABCA Ch. Kristull Ivanhoe
August 10, 2000 - July 17, 2010

We have some lovely descendants here carrying on his beauty, both inside
and out - some of whom assisted him in winning the inaugural Stud Dog
class at Silkenfest in 2009.

Ivan's page on the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site

Farewell Ivan-da-ho - I wish we could have done more.

Burni showing at the May 2009 Midwest Borzoi Club Specialty

Burni had been diagnosed the other week with possible cancer that had spread to the lungs. He had developed fluid in the chest cavity - although not a pyo- or chylothorax. The specialist thought there were metastatic cells in the fluid as well. A sonogram showed the heart in good condition, although some small dark areas in the lungs. That was when the $$ ran out - and that was with the doctor not charging me to draw and analyze the fluid.

Burni came home and seemed to rally briefly, but then his condition deteriorated. Victor took him in the morning - once again, I was too much of a weenie to go in.

Burni was the last Nikki son we had here. All that is now left is her daughter Duri. I had planned a breeding with Burni that never got consummated - so it's back to square one for Bugg. The only dog down from Burni (or Flareon) that we have here is Lars. I wanted more (and prettier). :(

Burni had some nice highlights in his time in the ring: Best in Sweeps at a BCOA TSE, judge Kanne Bowers - he got his first major that next day at the tender age of 9 months; WD/BOW at the RMBC specialty years ago under Karen Dumke; finished both his Canadian and Mexican championships with group placements; Award of Merit at the BCOA Specialty (July 2003); Best in Vet Sweeps at LSBC's first and second specialty shows; Best Opp in Vet Sweeps at the May 2009 MBC Specialty.

But most of all - he won my heart.

Am. Can. Mex. Ch. Gryffyn's Aeyrie Caliburn, JC
December 22, 2000 - August 28, 2010

Burni's page on the Gryffyn's Aeyrie web site

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Could It Be....?

Recently there was media coverage regarding a grizzly bear attack in Yellowstone National Park. The bear was captured and killed the next day and a posthumous exam performed to help give insight into its behavior. Of note was its extremely poor body condition - it was very thin. The investigative team determined that the bear's vegetarian diet (of approximately two years) combined with a parasite load contributed not only to its poor physical condition, but to the predatory behavior which culminated in the attack.

A bear specialist is quoted as saying:

“She obviously was hurting for higher value foods. What caused her mentally to do that, we don’t know. There are a lot of bears that are nutritionally challenged at times that don’t exhibit that type of behavior.”

Which brings to mind the following this what is wrong with animal rights fanatics? Are their vegetarian or vegan diets resulting in aggression towards those of us who enjoy our animals, their raising, breeding and training as well as the daily interaction? Is it the lack of "higher value foods" that causes their almost savage attempts to rend apart the animal-owner bond that we enjoy and the endless pursuit of eliminating pets or any animal usage from the earth?

Thankfully, grizzly attacks are rare.

Unfortunately, the attacks of the animal rights fanatics are not, and well on the increase.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In the Garden of Remembrance

I decided to play along and participate in an online photo contest that is being put on by a published of various web design and programming books (SitePoint). They recently released a book on digital photography (geared towards web usage) that I would like to get, and it is offered as a daily prize. So what the heck - may as well try the contest! The first assignment was to photograph either a grouping of office supplies or a fast food restaurant. I opted for the latter since I don't really have any office supplies lying about, except some dusty rubberbands and some hair-entwined paperclips. So I had to make myself leave the comfy confines of the house and ventured down to the generic part of town where all the fast food joints are.

On the way back, I decided to swing by the old cemetary since for ages I have told myself that I wanted to go and take some photos there since there are some interesting old monuments and statuary there. I barely scratched the surface and will return in the future - here are some of the photos from today's visit...

BTW, this is the Pecan Grove cemetary in McKinney, TX - one of the oldest cemetaries in North Texas, located on property granted by the Republic of Texas in 1845.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pupdate: Tyler-Myla Pups Nearing 3 Months of Age

3 of the pups say HI to Bekka and Boo through the fence

Got some snaps of these kids yesterday at just short of their 3 month "birthday" - stacks and candids of them out in the yard.

They were quite bold about being introduced to the yard - usually we have to carry pups to the back door and these wee beasties followed us out, ready for new adventure. Of course, being greeted by triple digit temps was not the preferred plan - but they still hit the ground running!

Myla's owner Rick will be here later this week to pick up Myla and choose pups!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Surprised? ran this advertisement in the April 1 edition of the USA Today paper. Kudos to them on working to expose the truth behind HSUS and its actions and agenda.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Requiem for the King

He fought a good fight, but we had to say goodbye.

He was my first champion to finish exclusively from the BBE classes, my first Canadian champion, and my first GRC/SGRC, in addition to being the #1 LGRA Borzoi in 2000. He ran a lap in the Legends portion of the LGRA Nationals a little over a year ago - the photos show him still kicking up a dirt trail at over 10 1/2 years of age. He was also a son of my beloved Nikki, my first Borzoi, who passed a little over a month before her 14th birthday. He still has 3 siblings alive - brothers Merlyn and Lance and sister Gwyn. He has given me some wonderful children who remain here (Sassi, Magik and Deckard) and grandchildren (J/T, Shugah, and our recent Warriors litter).

He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in March of last year after a leg break. The experiences surrounding that event beginning in January and going until May brought way too much drama and stress and much too long to detail, and culminated in the amputation of his left rear leg. It gave us 10 more months with him and until recently he would zip along in the yard to do his business and would go over and visit his "grandkids" over in their pen. Funny enough he didn't visit the Silken pups - just his daughter Sassi's.

Arthur taking an Award of Merit at the Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club specialty show
Arthur taking an Award of Merit at the Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club specialty show - Judge: Jon Steele, Auroral Borzoi

He would have been 12 years of age before the end of this month. I am despondent that I will no longer see him grin or get to give him a hug - he was a most special boy.

Am. Can. IABCA Ch. Gryffyn's Once N Future King, JC SGRC
3/21/1998 - 3/9/2010

It's never long enough.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Points, Last Points

The Guadalupe Dog Fanciers' Association show this year marked an end and a beginning for a couple of our hounds. We only attended Saturday's show as we had an LSBC meeting to attend there as well.

Ozzy (Gryffyn's Aeyrie Hellraiser) won the Bred-by Exhibitor class and went on to claim his first point by taking Winners Dog.

This was Lump's (Ozzy's sister, Gryffyn's Aeyrie Here For You) first show and she was entered in BBE as well. She won the class and I handed her to my friend Laurie for the Winner's class as my next charge was the only Open Bitch entry.

My next charge was none other than Bugg (Avalon Solstrom) - who absolutely loathes the show scene. She is a funny little bitch - always excited to go on a road trip, yippy skippy at the door with a grin on her face - but upon arrival at the show site, you can see her face fall when she's pulled out of the van. Oh...a show...great. The change in demeanor is humorously obvious.

Bugg had two 5-point major wins from breeder-judges. They could see past her pouty facade and note what an honest little bitch she was. The all-breed judges or those coming from outside the Borzoi (or sighthound) world could never seem to get past her sullen ring attitude. It had seemed we had been searching for her final two singles for eons. I had promised her that if she put aside her pissy self for the duration of her ringtime and finished, that I would never make her step into a showring again!

So there we are in the line-up for Winners Bitch. The judge (Murrel Purkhiser) kept looking at the promising young Lump. So I would push-push-push Bugg and make eye contact - everything except yell out "pick this bitch!" in desperation. We went trotting around the ring for another go-round and hallelujah if she didn't point to Bugg, awarding those longed-for points and finishing her championship. I am surprised I didn't howl with relief!

While taking our win pictures, she did mention to me how much she liked Lump. Something to file away for future entries as I figure Lump may be a hard one to finish as well - and not because of a lousy ring attitude (which the judge did recognize, she told me). Lump is going to be a BIG, rangy, bitch when she grows up - some judges prefer a more petite, cutesy bitch.

Speaking of win photos - that is the one item marring this show experience for me. I always get photos for the first point(s) and the last - and at this show I had both! The photographer (Garden Studio) declined to send me their photos as I had not yet paid for a photo WHICH THEY HAD NOT EVEN SENT ME! The last time they held photos for prepayment - I received the most AWFUL win pictures ever. I requested a proof of some sort so that I could be sure I was getting a quality photo (which in the past, from them, I usually had). The request (email and a phone message) went unheeded. Then, to top it off, they sent me another bill for the photo - except now they tacked on late charges! I was certainly not going to pay an exorbitant sum for a photo I had not seen and had requested some sort of preview of before payment - before it had reached the status of being late. The lateness was their own damned fault for refusing to answer, or even acknowledge, my previous request. After receiving their latest bill, I again contacted them with my previous request. It again went unanswered. Although they're great at sending out bills still requesting payment, and late charges - for a photo I've never seen despite multiple requests. I am upset that I have no photos to celebrate the beginning of Ozzy's ring career and the end of Bugg's.

Garden Studio Photography - this finger's for you! Try replying to your customers on occasion instead of ignoring them and charging them for what amounts to your incompetence at customer service.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gryffyn's Winter Garden

I don't remember it snowing this much, but for the last few years it seems we get at least one snowfall. This time it's a doozy! The neighborhood has been transformed into a winter wonderland covered in cottony white with crystalline accents - it just does not seem like the Dallas metro concrete jungle. We got double-digit inches of the fluffy white stuff.

looking out into the front yard

the front door is in there somewhere

It really brings out the "frisky" in our Borzoi - and some of the more adventurous Silkens. Old, fat Firebug was even getting into the spirit of things - which greatly surprised us! Of course - she is *very* well insulated - so likely was very comfy in the chilly temps.
Firebug runs circles around Kandi

Pumpkin looking for more playmates

While it looks so inviting and entertaining a few days it will turn into a nightmare of slush and mud and goo. Oh well...we will enjoy it while we can!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pumpkin Pumps Us Up!

The first show of the year was that hosted by the Nolan River Kennel Club in Glen Rose, TX. This year members of the Lone Star Borzoi Club hosted a BCOA Trophy Supported Entry in conjunction with the Saturday show. In the Sweepstakes classes, Ozzy and Ray placed second and third, respectively. Their mother Duri was entered in the Veteran Sweeps and placed Best Opp to Kalipso's brother Kazimir, who we had here for several months some years ago. Kaz now lives with our friend Tim in Boyd, TX. In the Regular classes, Ozzy came away with a 4th placement in a very large Bred-By class; Faina won the Bred-By class on the girls' side, with Pumpkin taking second to her. Duri again came away with Best Opp Veteran.


At the Sunday show Ozzy placed 2nd and Ray 4th in another large BBE class. Faina was 3rd in he BBE class - and Pumpkin won the BBE bitch class. Pumpkin then went on to take Winners Bitch and Best Opposite Sex (over 4 bitch specials) for a 4 point major! Our little fireball is finally filling out and maturing - she is certainly enjoying getting to go our and showoff too!