August 17, 2009
When both Jane and I are out of bed a 5AM; even the hounds know something is up. Everyone was feed and we were on the road by 6:30 with Jewel, Windy and Willow. The destination was a SHOT practice to certify the three girls and their brothers, Zorro, Cimarron and Chazz.
Fortunately, the weather was with us and it was not too hot and the air was moving.
Dennis Dunham brought his bitch Beryl with him and we ran her with Cimarron. Cimarron is quite a character. At home he causes all kinds of mischief. On the field he is focused and the lure and proved it. He glanced at Beryl once but just kept running hard after the lure. We gave him another run later with his sister Jewel. In each case he led almost all the way but knew he was not alone. He only cared about the lure. At the end of the run with Jewel, he dove for the lure. Very impressive!
Zorro ran with Roberta Cook’s Sonny and also stuck with the lure, having a nice run. Later, we ran Windy with Zorro and well, bitches mature a bit quicker than the boys and unfortunately, it showed in this run. Windy was much focused and ran very hard.
Willow did a nice job in her second run, both runs by herself. She is looking good as a runner.
The final results, Cimarron and Windy are extremely focused runners at this early stage in their career. Jewel, Willow, and Zorro are showing good promise. Chazz has a little maturing to do and Jill will keep working with him.
Stay tuned for more this fall!
August 27, 2008
So the puppies are growing and developing and having new experiences. Naturally, they are cute, some more so than others. You are all probably wondering which the cutest etc. Well it all depends on the moment. They are also becoming in monsters in a cute way, following us around the yard as we clean up and grabbing our ankles, pant legs or shoes.
For big activities recently, the puppies took their first ride in the van. Thursday, August 21, we loaded them all up and took them to see Dr. Etta to get their first round of shots and a quick check up. The official report is that all are doing well!
Perhaps the most interesting part of the trip was the excellent behavior of all the pups. Nobody got too upset; nobody threw-up, or made any type of mess. It was a very pleasant trip. Reo even went to sleep in the vet’s office while waiting for Dr. Etta to come into the room!
The puppies are also getting trips out into the “big yard” now. We have let them loose twice out there. This is almost an acre fenced yard, part covered with grass, part in tall trees. All the guys have gone exploring the area pretty well. They have not fully reached all the limits yet but have covered much of it. Most pups remain with the pack, playing with each other and exploring.
Angel also enjoys playing. She tries to teach them to race around the yard. Unfortunately, it is mostly a demonstration of running. A few pups will try to chase her a little bit but they are not quite ready for that yet. Last night, after she did her running demonstration, Angel decided to play with Willow. Angel charges and places her mouth over the puppy. The puppies are a bit overwhelmed, but Angel seems to know exactly what she is doing and the puppies are not afraid or hurt.
Returning the puppies to the puppy yard is a lot of fun. Last night we spent about twenty minutes in the big yard, and started calling: “Puppy, Puppy, puppy, puppy!” It is amazing how well they respond and how fast they coming running back up the lawn to return their puppy yard. Then we have the tail count. Last night the count was still ten.
July 10, 2008
Angel decided that yesterday, July 8th (my sister-in-laws birthday) was the day to have her puppies. At 3 pm her water broke and the first was born about 5:30 pm-a breech birth-what an exciting way to start!
She had one about each hour after that with a 2 ½ hour break around midnight. The last one appeared at 2:30 am-all are doing great as is Angel. She had her after whelping visit to our Vet this morning-Angel had retained two placentas so we wanted them out of her,plus she had a check up as did the pups.
The remainder of today, Peter and I have been catching up on our sleep-taking turns on puppy watching. Angel has them well organized-they are all nursing well and exploring Angels body-over her back up her neck and all around her head. Angel is very worn out too-she had a huge nap this afternoon while the kids napped and ate.
The run down:
1.male,white with pale gold and silver spots
2. male, red/sabled,IM with white collar judges side
3. female,pale gold/white, IM-Barhats color
4. male, pale gold/white, IM-Barhats color-we have a brace with these two.
5. female, black/brindle,white paws and chest
6. male, black/tan with black mask,white paws-another possible brace
7.female,red brindle,IM-like Angel
8.male,pale gold/white and silver overlay-looks like Bitsy from Angels first litter
9. female,pale gold/white and silver overlay-as above and another possible brace.
10. female,white with dark red brindle spots
So we started with spots and ended with spots.
The litter is definitely a mixture of both Mom and Dad. All have very nice markings-evenly spaced,etc and a wonderful array of colors and patterns.
We will put up more photos in the gallery section on our website,possible tonight or tomorrow and that will be the place to check for updates on the litter. We should have 5 puppies available but that will all be sorted out as we watch them grow.
Now the fun begins.
May 30, 2008
Yes, Zarja is now living with us and stealing steaks off the kitchen counter!
Zarja moved in last fall, early October as I recall. She got along well the rest of the pack and had no problems with acceptance. We had five other Borzois in the pack.
Jane spoke to Anna Midgarden concerning borrowing a dog to run in lure field trials. While our Borzois are quite athletic, none perform in the lure trials. They perform better in the open field, but nearest hunting in the open field is a three day drive! Jane wanted a hound to run more locally in the lure trials. Zarja performed well for Anna and Zarja had her championships in the lure events.
Jane is away this weekend with Zarja at our National lure coursing event!
Frankly, the last thing I wanted was another hound in the house but I am just the husband and kennel worker. After Zarja stole the second steak off the kitchen counter; I all but demanded Jane return Zarja to Anna.
That all changed last February when we took Zarja out west. She won both days. The judge breeds all kinds of mixed breed hounds to hunt but was very impressed with Zarja. He suggested that we breed her to a greyhound! He thought she was one the best running Borzoi he had seen in sometime. I can not wait until I can travel west again this fall and run her again.
Zarja loves to jog and go for walks. Sleeping in the house on a good cushion is very important. She can be quite lazy. Zarja is the only Borzoi we have ever had that acts like she is starving all the time. Most of our hounds lie down on their beds and wait patiently as the meals are prepared. Jane can not prepare the meals with out Zarja poking at her and stomping her feet. Zarja does everything with great passion!
May 9, 2008
Jane’s Sojourn West
As I write, Jane should be about…oh…heading east and entering Arkansas on I-40. I anticipate her return on Sunday. Angel is her co-pilot which is not saying much. Angel is a good traveler. She sleeps well and knows all the routines for sleeping in hotels and getting walks at rest areas along the interstates. But Angel is not good for conversation.
Hopefully, Angel is not alone. We hope she is carrying Barhat puppies that should be due just after July 4th.
Barhat is a Russian import owned by Carol Enz. We’ve meet Barhat several times on our trips out West. Barhat performed well when we have seen him in the field working. That is a critical criterion. Our goal is to breed high performing Borzoi, and we believe Barhat will help us greatly in that pursuit!
But it is not just a matter of performance. We are also striving to produce Borzoi that meet the breed standard and are good examples of the breed. I also like Borzoi that are fun, like people, and are good ambassadors for the breed. It just makes life with them so much easier and fun
Life with Zarja
One day, Jane decided we needed a new hound to run at ASFA field trials; that would run well and clean. We are quite well pleased with physical ability of our hounds, and have plenty of evidence that they can run with any Borzoi kennel in the country. But the plastic lure is not as interesting as it needs to be for them to run clean.
A few weeks later, she came home with Zarja, on “loan” from our friend Anne Midgarden. This was cool; after all, she was on “loan” and temporary and would not count as we bred another litter. I have a magic number of hounds I like to have around the house before it seems like we are full time taking care of hounds and not having enough fun with any of them. Of course, I knew that once under our roof, Zarja would be a family member no matter how much I tried to think of her as “temporary.”
Zarja moved right in and got along with everybody in the kennel just fine. Angel, our dominant bitch, accepted with out much notice and Zarja wisely did not challenge Angel’s authority. Jane took Zarja to a field trial and was pleased with Zarja’s initial performance.
But then Zarja got a little flaky with the running at the field trials. Jane suspected Zarja was coming in season. We were assured that Zarja only came in season once a year. Then the boys, Tuxx and Blazer showed a special interest in her like she was coming in season. No, Zarja only came in season once a year we were assured again; the boys were just being boys.
Well, Zarja was in season within the week and hence could not be entered in the trials.
Zarja had a few bad habits that would require some training. Zarja was a pleasant house pet, and very much preferred to be in the house sleeping on a soft bed. She would carry on outside, barking a whining to coming in every evening as it got dark. This had to stop.
Zarja was a gate crasher! Go to open a gate and she would be preparing to charge through at high speed! All our other hounds were trained to wait until there name was called before coming through the gate. She has learned the correct behavior after some training.
Zarja is also a “counter surfer.” After getting a couple of my steaks that were being defrosted on the kitchen counter, I was prepared to ship her back in a box! I am not sure we have had much success on this issue other than that we modified our behaviors.
Zarja went to Colony Williamsburg with us on Christmas even for a social visit. Zarja enjoyed herself tremendously, meeting all the people. One makes very slow progress strolling through an area with a friendly Borzoi. Everybody wants to meet them and Zarja was very pleased to meet everyone.
Zarja is now a permanent member of the family. Zarja earned that right on our last trip out West. The judge was very impressed and suggested we breed her to a greyhound to create some great runners! She was one of the best running Borzoi he had seen. Zarja frequently ran to the far end of the field in her pursuits.
This is one of my major goals in breeding; to produce hounds of great, demonstrated physical ability. Zarja showed great intensity and earned a place in our kennel.
December 4, 2007
It is amazing how easy life is when you have great running hounds! You just go to the field and they run clean and hard and well. That is the way it should be. But then it would not be special.
On the other hand, when you go through the frustration of hounds that provide challenges, lure coursing can be quite difficult and you understand that the field champion title does have very significant meaning.
This past weekend, we finally certified Blazer on Saturday and ran him in competition on Sunday at Tristate. It all went very simple. He just went out and ran well, as we expected he would. He is over two years old so is reasonably mature. He is not the dominant the male around the kennel. His brother Tuxx is. Blazer tends to be a bit mellower so that concern was not an issue.
Actually, the bigger concern with Blazer is that a plastic lure is only so interesting because he has had experiences with squawkers and more interesting coursing than plastic. But right now running is fun to him so we will have some fun!
March 1, 2007
Traveling with hounds has a few interesting challenges. There is nothing like traveling with the experienced old war horses that know all the routines and just “get it.” I wish I was traveling with Lady and Nugget. Those two old girls traveled every weekend and on other vacations for years. Lady recognized signs like “Red Roof” and “Motel 6”
A friend asked today, “Well, how does it work traveling with all those dogs? Is it better or worse than traveling with my wife and two daughters? I have to stop every…”
“Well, yes, I suspect it is.” I replied, “If you are traveling with experienced hounds that is. But this trip I had two rooky bitches that did not know the routine”
The routine is that if we stop and daddy gets you out of the van, you had better take advantage and do whatever you have to right away. It will be a few hours before daddy gives you your next chance!
When taking a day trip, the hounds never really learn. Many bitches will wait twelve hours to get home. How comfortable that is I can not guess. But a week trip requires the hounds to finally give in to the urge.
Even the dogs, when young, do not have the confidence to go anywhere, anytime, on anything vertical. Once mature, the dogs are usually pretty quick. Tuxx and Blazer have this all figured out. They compete to see who can mark the most vertical whatever they can find.
But the bitches have to be in the mood! Thelma and Louise have traveled overnight with us on several trips. But no long drives without a fenced yard for a break. They had to learn how to go on a two day drive and sleep in a different hotel room each night for a week. They are well housebroken having spent many a night in the house.
By the end of our one week hound vacation, the bitches now seem to have figured all this out. Jane and I just got back from a half way across the country trip with four hounds (Blazer, Tuxx, Thelma and Louise). I felt like all I did was drive and walk hounds. And that pretty much sums up the trip…
November 20, 2006
October promised to be a busy month for showing with 2 weekends of good entries for Borzoi, so we were looking forward to bringing out one of our youngsters. As previously noted, we had been getting Blazer ready for showing, so were especially anticipating these shows.
The week before the first shows, Blazer was bitten by something that was making his muzzle swell up very quickly and of course it all flared up over the weekend. After several trips to the Vet and the emergency Vet over the weekend, it was decided that he had been bitten by a spider and he was getting antibiotics and warm compresses.
He was oozing blood from his muzzle and this quicly turned into a very raw looking area the size of a silver dollar. It was so nasty looking that I took him back to our Vet for an inspection. She determined that the bite was definitely from a spider because of the pit in the center of the wound so she gave us a medication called “Tripzyme” which we applied twice a day to the area. It is a very thick liquid which clears out the dead cells and promotes quick healing-it was amazing how fast the area began to heal. The other important thing to do with a wound like this was to scub the area often so that no scabbing or granular areas developed which could become infected and cause it to spread.
Of course, we had Blazer entered in several shows and his muzzle was nasty looking but we attended the shows and actually showed him so that we would not break the major on one day and kept the points at 2 for the next day.
By the following weekend, the wound was healed over but still not pretty but Blazer did manage to be named BOS in the Sweeps held at the PVBC supported entry show.
It is now 5 weeks since he was bitten and the wound is pretty well healed, the hair on his muzzle has grown back but he may have a small scar there but it is hardly noticeable.
Check the photo gallery- I have posted some photos of his face during this ordeal.
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The weekend of Oct 21/22,2006 I attended the shows in Cumberland, MD with friend, Jill Woith along with her boy, CH Phoenixx Song of Solomon,JC and our pup, Phoenixx Golden Trail Blazer. We were there to honor the memory of Donna Maharan,who had been the show chair for these shows for several years and who was tragically murdered in Nov. of 2005.
Solomon was being shown for the first time as a Champion and at the Saturday show, under judge Terry Stacey, Solomon was chosen as BOS to Rose as BOB. Rose is currently the number 1 conformation Borzoi in the US.