This page was last updated September 30, 2009
This page will be updated
monthly......well, we hope monthly. It will have show results,
Wow, where did the summer go??? Seems like it was just yesterday that the weather was unbearably hot, and now it's flannel shirts when I get up in the morning. Must be I lost track of time somewhere amidst the canning extravaganza! This is definitely the year of the pickle! I think I'm going to have all my friends send me addressed, pre-paid boxes, and I'll send them all a few jars of dills and bread n' butters!!! Here's what I've been doing for the last month!
I did manage to get to the Sunny Hill trial in August, just for a day trip. I had to deliver a couple of canaries to a friend, and also get Dorothy and the "remaining" Wizard on their way to their new homes. They both did very well in their ring debut; Scarecrow (aka Uncle Sam) was Reserve 4-6 Dog Pup and Dorothy was Best 4-6 Puppy. I got to show Pretty for Jill and Heath on Saturday......it was like slipping into an old comfortable shoe. She was Working champion and Masquerade was Reserve. On Sunday Pretty sat out and Masquerade took top honors in the Working division.
It was the Masquerade and Dorothy show again over Labor Day weekend; Masquerade was Working Terrier Champion both days at Northgate in New Jersey, while Dorothy was in Georgia going Best 4-6 Month puppy both days! So between mom and daughter, they pretty much had the East Coast covered! Here's a shot of Dorothy at the Georgia show.........she is just a breathtaking puppy! Hard to fault this one!
The Bugsy-Bear puppies are an awesome bunch! (see them on the right). Great personalities, tons of drive and focus, and for having the "ugly sister" as their mother, they sure look pretty good at this point! The dog pup reminds me so much of Bear; his personality is to die for. Someone needs to slap me for even thinking about keeping a dog pup! The little tri bitch is quite a looker as well. I've decided that I just have to put Red to Bear as well after looking at this bunch. It's exciting to think about what the "pretty sister" might be able to produce with Bear!
Phoenix will soon be headed to his new home in Maryland with Sally Gay of Easton Point Jack Russells. He still has one remaining task here with me, and that's to breed Ironspring Trill, who belongs to Bill O'Brien and Rhonda Hermance. Trill however, seems to have her legs crossed, so we're all waiting patiently for her to break. As with Pretty and Masquerade, Phoenix is fairly close by when I want to use him, and best of all, he will get a chance to hunt. It's a good feeling knowing all of these guys are in great hunting homes.
So, with the end of the summer officially here, I'm going to try and get as much hunting in as I possibly can before the groundhogs go to bed for the winter. I'll head to Virginia after Nationals and we'll terrorize them down there for a bit as well. Then it's back home to get ready for the long upstate New York winters. With fewer dogs to take care of, foxhunting is definitely on my winter agenda this year!
JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, 2007.......until WHO KNOWS?
By now, just about everyone is probably wondering WHY it's been well over 3 months since the last update. Where do I start, how do I try to explain? Ok........I'm no spring chicken, and for those of you who go back that far and can relate, the first thing that comes to my mind as a "preface" to this little announcement of sorts, is a line from one of the greatest Dead songs ever, "Truckin'".
What a long, strange trip it's been..........
I've been a "breeder" for almost 40 years, whelping out my first litter of puppies when I was a junior in high school. For the last 20 years, my passion has been these little white dogs, and it always will be. I've run the gamut, from our first "sorta" correct terrier, who wasn't anything much to look at, but hunted like hell and had a temperament that to this day is un-matched, and taught me so much, to better terriers, who could still hunt every bit as well as old d-Con, but looked a whole lot better. Got into the trial scene, where I did everything with them...........racing, g-t-g, conformation, and whatever else I could put them to. And I've had a pretty good run. A couple of National champions along the way, more Family class wins than I think I can count; which, by the way, I'm more proud of than any other accomplishment, and "one or two" racing and g-tg championships to boot. And a few bronze medallion bitches thrown in for good measure. I've had a fabulous time with these terriers, and have so many wonderful memories and friendships because of them.
The hunting aspect of this breed has always been the focal point for me; still is, and always will be; I was so fortunate early on when I first got into serious earthwork to have started out with the "crème de la crème" in the hunting world. While I might not have realized it then, because I was still wet behind the ears, I was being taught by "the best". Teddy Moritz, Linda Cowasjee, Andy Burigo, Jose Rico, Carol Philhower, Joan LaPlace, Charlie Sauter.............and countless others who have been there from the get-go, and to this day, are still the standard by which hunting is set~~particularly Teddy. What I have learned from them I can't even begin to explain. But I'll be forever grateful for them sharing their knowledge and experience with me. There is nothing in this world as rewarding as watching these little white dogs do what they were bred to do! Because of the knowledge that they all freely and willingly gave me, I'm now able to do in the field what I do with my terriers. And while I'll always walk in their shadows, I'll do it proudly. When it comes to mentors, for sure I selected from the "top shelf". Sometimes, you just luck out.
Lately, for me at least, and perhaps it's just because I'm old and jaded, the atmosphere at the trials just isn't what it used to be, and I was finding it increasingly more and more difficult to have a good time. Having spent many, many years in the kennel club, I was enamored with the relaxed, informal and friendly atmosphere here when I first started showing, and for me, it was a refreshing change of pace. And I truly did enjoy it so much. But as of late, that seems to have changed quite a bit, and there are times when I'm left scratching my head, wondering why that same friendly, informal atmosphere is no longer anywhere to be found. It's always been about the these little white hunting dogs........or it should be, in my opinion. Nowadays it's more about ribbons than anything else. In the field, at the end of the day, it's not someone's subjective opinion that matters, but what your terriers did or didn't do.
So, after Nationals last year and the thrill of taking Pretty to a National championship, I came home and had to really do some serious soul-searching. (maybe my tent being blown away on Friday was a "sign"???) I just wanted to take a step back, get back into some other things that I haven't had time for in years and years because I was constantly on the road heading to a dog show somewhere, and really just do what it is I love to do with these dogs, and that's HUNT. Yet I had some pretty nice terriers that really still had better things to do than just hang around here and gather dust.
In my area, the holes are SMALL............and anything over 12 inches, or even a bit smaller, has a tough time getting to the groundhogs as quickly as they need to. (why do you think Teddy abandoned the Russells early on in favor of the mini Dachshunds???) I have two awesome little hole dogs, Twiglet and Bugsy, who are both only 10 1/2". Even though Phoenix, Masquerade and Pretty are awesome in the field, they just can't get there as quickly as the wee ones. Consequently, I found myself hunting just the hole dogs as a team with Bear and my old lurcher bitch as the locating/draw dog duo, and the rest of the terriers hardly ever hit the ground. Why try to let a 12" or 13" bitch try to stuff herself down a hole when a 10 1/2" bitch can do it way more quickly??? That's a no-brainer.
But, to let two bitches of Pretty and Masquerade's caliber sit around doing nothing when they both are at the pinnacle of their careers didn't make any sense either. Phoenix, because of his coat, is just too much to keep groomed for the show ring, but certainly he is capable of siring some very nice puppies. So I made the really tough decision to place them with someone else where they'd be hunted and shown, as opposed to keeping them here and doing not much of anything with them. Pretty and Masquerade are both with Jill Goodman and Heath Ogburn in Maryland; here's a link to their website: http://www.musclerussell.com I hunted with Heath and Jill recently and they have access to land that is teeming with quarry! You can bronze a terrier on just one farm! And their holes are much bigger. Both girls are in heaven as they get out pretty much every weekend in the field, and they'll also get to the trials as well. I feel very good about where these girls are; Jill and Heath have a beautiful set-up and devote every waking moment to their terriers. They're in very good hands. I'll take some puppies back from both bitches at some point; both Pretty and Masquerade had lovely bitch pups in these last litters. Pretty's bitch pup is awesome; here and here are a couple of shots of her. And "Dorothy" is no slouch either!
I haven't placed Phoenix as yet; ideally I'd like to do the same with him as with the girls; place him where he's not too far away, as I do want to retain stud rights on him, and would like to see him go to a hunting home. His coat is just too much to keep up with, at least in my opinion. It's much easier to just give him a buzz cut with the clippers! He will pretty consistently downsize his puppies, and fortunately, they don't all end up with his plethora of coat! Check the Available page for more photos and information.
So, I've got all my old coots here with me, and the two little hole dogs. I'm keeping Reflection's bitch pup by Phoenix; her name is Spawn. I'm just IN LOVE with her personality and attitude! And after what I went through trying to keep her alive after she was whelped, I was already hopelessly attached to her anyway. She too is going to be tiny, and looks to have a ton of prey drive at this point. Just ask the chipmunk that lost half his tail to her when she was only about 6 1/2 weeks old!!! I bred Bugsy to Bear, hoping for another bunch of awesome hunters; I was worried that Bear might be finished as a sire because of his age, but Bugsy gave me 3 girls and a boy, so I guess Bear is still kicking! Poor little Bugsy couldn't even get the two white bitch pups out by herself, their heads were so big! Here's a shot of the Bear cubs at two weeks.
At this point, any updates will probably be more hunting related than anything else, although there will be an occasional puppy or litter coming back from bitches who I co-own with other breeders. Summer is in full swing, and within another month I'll be in the kitchen canning from dawn until dusk, trying to keep up with everything coming out of the garden. Breeding season is over for the canaries, but I still have about 15 birds, so cage cleaning is a big part of my life as well! But, when it all shakes out, cleaning bird cages is WAY easier than setting up tents and ex-pens! I've become rather fond of quiet weekends at home or out hunting with friends.........instead of on the road, and almost always missing "cliffhanger Fridays" on GH!!! Maybe, just maybe, I can get a few more years out of my old Tahoe at this rate!
I'm not quite done yet, but I'm taking one hell of a sabbatical!!!
JANUARY - MARCH, 2007
So much for me being ready for spring! Guess THAT didn't happen! On January 15th, the worst ice storm in memory hit the Northeast. We've had bad ones before, but this was the mother of all ice storms. Conveniently (for him!) Paul had left the morning of the storm for a veterinary convention in Florida, so he got to dance around the Magic Kingdom while I was back here, without power for over 36 hours, trying to keep myself, the dogs and the canaries from freezing to death. Generators are a good and wonderful thing, but they still need to be fed every 4 hours around the clock. You haven't lived until you get to trudge outside at 2 in the morning and gas up generators. Without falling on the ice and killing yourself. Finally, power crews from all over the Northeast were brought in, and as usual, we were about the last to have power restored almost 3 days later. You can see are a few photos of my "winter wonderland" on the right. Stunning to look at, but cleaning up the damage was unreal. Most of it is still out there, waiting for the last of the winter snows to melt.
It didn't get better either. We got a huge snowstorm about a month later that dumped almost 3 feet on us. But, look on the bright side, at least we don't live near Watertown, on the TugHill plateau, where they got almost 11 feet before it finally stopped. Living here in the Northeast is always a challenge during the winter months. But why anyone in their right mind would live on the fringe of a Great Lake is beyond me! There's snow...........then there's lake-effect snow!!!
Spring finally seems to have arrived though, despite some record-low temps for the month of March. Can't remember when I saw temps of almost 10 below in the month of March. I have this overwhelming desire to pack the dogs up and drive to Pennsylvania and murder that stupid groundhog in his sleep! Would be the very last time he saw his (or anyone else's) shadow!!!
Baby season is now in full-swing. They're coming out my ears. Mostly of the feathered variety though. I spend more time these days tending to the canaries than I do taking care of the dogs! I see a greenhouse and aviary in my future.........
It's so much fun watching the chicks hatch and grow. A couple of shots of a recent clutch can be seen on the right, as you can see, there are a couple of "Sow's Ear" birds in the mix! Already some of the first babies are twittering, and listening closely as their fathers teach them how to sing. While cage cleanup is laborious, the floors under the cages stay pretty clean, thanks to the terrier cleanup crew!
There are some babies of the canine sort as well. Masquerade whelped her litter on March 27th..........3 boys and 1 girl. She was bred to Oz, so of course this bunch has been dubbed "Dorothy & The Wizards"! My only dilemma here is trying to sort out who is the Scarecrow, who might be the Tin Man, and just who is the Cowardly Lion! Dorothy I can always put in pigtails..........but the rest of them will have to follow the Yellow Brick Road. With these very distinctive markings, there should be no problems sorting them out!
Reflection and Pretty were both bred to Phoenix, and are both in whelp. Poor Phoenix was definitely getting a workout! He had no sooner finished with his own bitches, when Bill & Rhonda's bitch, Ironspring Trill, came in and he had to accommodate her. Then, the following week, he flew to Colorado to "vacation" with Bob & Susie Mullins, as their bitch Mandy has unusual heat cycles and I decided it might be easier to send the stud dog to the bitch. So, the little man is currently enjoying the weather west of the Rockies for a bit. Since all that's going on back here presently is mud season, he might just stay out there for awhile and enjoy life, and take in a terrier trial. He had no sooner arrived when Shelley Taylor's bitch Tart broke, so she had to be sent to Denver instead of getting to experience the great white north. Which probably worked out well, since we had had yet another cold snap that week, and the temps back here the day she was shipped were well below zero! Shelley was lucky that he was west of the Mississippi when Tart finally decided to uncross her legs!!!
I shipped him out in full winter coat, as the temps here were pretty low, but Susie just had this burning desire to strip him down to underwear. I told her to knock herself out, since all I had planned to do was give him a buzz-cut with the clippers. On the right is a shot of him in their back yard on squirrel watch shortly after being stripped "nekked as a jaybird". As usual, he's working undercover as a Dalmation; it's incredibly easy to infiltrate the Jack Russell ranks virtually un-noticed wearing this clever disguise.
Other than waiting for puppies, the big activity here right now is spreading straw over the ever-increasing mud wallow that is my front yard. The dogs have to be dunked and towel-dried before getting in the dining room door, and despite all efforts to clean them up, I still feel like I'm sleeping at the beach each night when I crawl into bed. Ugh. And we haven't even gotten to the "April showers" portion of the season yet. Soon, it HAS to get better!
Well, this is going to be short and sweet! Not much happening at all, save for the holidays and all the preparation involved with them. I think I set a record this year for how quickly the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers were used up. I was making turkey soup less than a week later!!! It was a bit different with the Christmas ham though......I didn't get to the lentil soup phase until almost 2 weeks afterward. But there was no way one speck of an Oscar's ham was going to waste!
All that can be heard this time of year is the sound of coats growing! Don't know why the dogs feel as though they need winter coats; so far the weather has been so ridiculously mild that even the plants and critters are confused. The terriers must know something however........Bear looks like a yak, and Phoenix is so hairy that he was mistaken for a Westie last week when someone came to visit with the dogs! Both Bear and Phoenix have a pair of clippers in their future......it's just too difficult to hand-strip them any longer. Maybe that's why I got back into breeding my canaries.......there's SO MUCH LESS grooming involved!!
The Moth puppies all went to their new homes; Pickle and Rebel are with Shelley Taylor, and Vinnie is living with Toni Kosderka. I'm looking forward to watching these kids grow up. Have to admit though, that I sure don't envy Shelley...........she's going to be spending more time on coats than a professional groomer! In fact, after a few months of keeping up with those coats, she will be a professional groomer! Ha ha.
It seems like all the bitches have their legs crossed........both Masquerade and Reflection were due in over a month ago; usually both girls are always right on time. Masquerade might have just broken; with her frustrating silent heats it's hard to tell. Reflection however, is still holding out. Other people are seeing the same thing though..........quite possibly the unusual weather has something to do with it as well.
So, unless I can manage to sneak away for a bit and do some winter hunting, there's not much on the agenda now other than waiting for puppies to arrive and cleaning canary cages!!! Don't know about anyone else, but I'm ready for spring!
Time flies when you're having fun, huh? The Northgate trial seems like it was an eon ago, and about the only thing I can remember about the trial was Ernesto.......nothing like showing dogs in a hurricane! Only die-hard terrier people would be stupid enough to put up tents and race in the middle of a hurricane..........but we did. Plenty of people lost tents, and if it weren't for the generosity of Doug and Sue Tack going the extra mile to rent a huge tent for the conformation ring, we would have had to show in it as well. Sunday was much better, and the sun came out, but plenty of people still got stuck in the mud, including those who had 4 wheel drive!!! Here's a shot of Doug having to pull a big SUV out of the quagmire that used to be his field! As for the race track, we never lost our sense of humor........check out June Linstrum, our Racing Nazi, all decked out quite appropriately for the weather conditions!
The remainder of September was spent trying to finish off canning up what was left in the garden, and of course trying to keep ahead of coats as the fall weather started to move in. I sure hope the rate of coat growth on the terriers isn't an indicator of the winter to come..........if so, we might be in trouble. It was next to impossible to keep ahead of coats! Now, the wooly bears say it's going to be a fairly mild winter; guess we'll see who's right before too long!
October started off with yet another disaster with Moth, who is Pretty's littermate. She had been bred back to Sparky again in early August, but about a month into her pregnancy, she had to be treated for lyme disease. Moth was so bad that she was nearly paralyzed behind; but within 2 days of being put on antibiotics, she was back to her old self. The question was what, if any, effects would the medications have on the puppies. She whelped out another "herd" of 8 puppies on October 5th, and once again, they were a very consistent lot. Everyone was fine until we did tails and dews at 5 days, and that evening they started to crash and burn. One by one they broke with raging diarrhea, and the poor babies did nothing but cry non-stop. It was horrible. We started them on clavamox and kaopectate, trying to cover all the bases, but still ended up losing 3 of them. We sent tissue samples off from the first puppy that died, and it came back an intercoccal bacteria, which "can be fatal to neonates". Yep........I'd say so! But the clavamox and kaopectate kicked in and the remaining 5 seem to be doing quite well. The little tan & white bitch, who is already free-stacking and is my favorite, has enough coat to keep 3 professional groomers busy! Still, this poor Moth seems to have a black cloud hanging over her head that just won't go away!
After one last racing warm-up at the Farmcliff fun day, it was time to start packing for Nationals. We arrived early on Thursday, and had the entire afternoon to leisurely set up tents, tables, etc. Boy, was that a huge mistake! On Friday afternoon as the rain cleared and the cold front moved through, the winds kicked up and basically everyone who had a tent set up lost it. Except I lost TWO tents!!!! The "cheapo" one initially seemed to just have flesh wounds, and I was able to limp through the rest of the weekend with it, but by Sunday morning it was pretty obvious that it too was trashed. Oddly enough, I don't think anyone got any photos of the "tent graveyard". Fortunately, I have all winter to save up for a new one...........
It got better though! Saturday dawned clear and sunny, and it didn't take long for the field to dry up. I had no puppies to show, so the morning was refreshingly relaxing and easy! Mike was busy preparing the prosciutto and melon slices for breakfast, and I got the meatballs and sauce going so we'd have hot meatball sandwiches for lunch. By the time the working classes got underway, everyone's appetites had been satisfied. Of course, it looked a bit like a cafeteria line under the tent, but so what? Everyone managed to pin in the working classes~~ even little Twiglet who refused to let John laugh her out of the ring because she's so little! Her "big" sister Red Riot was second in the under rough working class, and Twiggy squeaked in a 4th. Phoenix, also pinned 4th in his working dog class. Masquerade won the Bred by Exhibitor Working Bitch class, and even old coot Riot managed to pin 2nd in the Veteran Working Bitch class. But, standing 2nd in her class to the Reserve National Champion certainly wasn't too shabby for a 10 year old! But it was Miss Pretty whose day it was to shine; she had just gotten her certificate on October 10th.........talk about the 11th hour! She won the over rough/broken working bitch class and went on to be Best Working Bitch and then was crowned the 2006 Working Terrier Champion! Such a thrill for any terrier, but it's especially sweet when a bitch can beat the dogs. (When utilized properly, sometimes a little "foreign blood" isn't all that bad!!!) I have been so smitten with this last daughter of Revlon's from the get-go; like her mom, she never had an ugly day, but this spring, she literally blossomed into a truly breathtaking bitch who has had an outstanding season. And she certainly ended it on a high note!!! I was on cloud 9 for quite some time......not sure I've come down yet. Thus far, Pretty sure seems to be living up to her namesake!
Both Bear and Riot turned in respectable performances in the family classes on Sunday morning; Bear was 3rd in Stud Dog and Riot was 2nd in Brood Bitch (look to right). The really old coot Revlon won the Generations class, which was pretty cool! She then had to hurry up and get over to ring 2, where she helped Gregory Tack win the Child Handler class!!! And believe me, for the "Princess" to leave the comfort and warmth of her seat in the front of the truck that early in the morning and have to put her feet into the cold, wet grass is going above and beyond!!!! In her opinion, at least. While I had nothing of my own in the open classes, I did show a couple of dogs for other people. After being in the "class from hell" for what seemed like all day, it was such a delight to watch Jerrilynn Cloud and her little bitch Karenia win the biggest class of the weekend! I wasn't sure John was going to survive the bear-hug he got from Jerrilynn and be able to judge the rest of his classes! Here are a couple of shots of one very happy gal and her terrier!!!!
After Nationals we headed back to Virginia to do some hunting. Linda had promised the groundhogs that we'd come to entertain them. Monday started off great.........we hunted a new property with lots of holes, and managed to get two chucks in pretty short order with little Twiglet. (she might get laughed out of the conformation ring, but NO ONE laughs at her in the field!!!) From there we went to Troia's place, which is loaded with chucks, but they're always deep and for whatever reason, we never manage to get to them. In fact, as we passed through the gates to the field, I vaguely remember mentioning something to that effect to Charlie and Melissa Sellers, who had come back with us to hunt. We spotted one above ground who just stood there, sticking his tongue out at us, and sure enough, we didn't get him. Isn't that always the way? We moved on to another sette, and their bitch Lil went in, bayed very briefly, and went quiet. We tried marking her, but she was pretty busy moving around. She finally settled into one spot, and we had her marked at over 10 feet down. Ugh. No baying, no nothing. Charlie tried repeatedly to call her out.........no deal. We marked her several more times..........same spot, no movement, no noise. Then we tried the "leave 'em and they'll come out once they realize they're alone" tactic.........went back to the house for a bit where we could still see the field, had a cup of tea to warm up. Still nothing. At this point we all pretty much agreed that the bitch was probably stuck, so back out we went. Cell phones were a-blazing as we tried our best to scare up a backhoe in the surrounding area.........there wasn't one to be had in Middleburg, Upperville, Manassas, or ANYWHERE. So, we had to do it the old-fashioned way. There were enough of us so we could spell each other off..........Linda, myself, Ann Shepard, Elizabeth, Charlie and Melissa, but thankfully, Dessi was also with us to do the lion's share of the digging.......otherwise, I think we'd still be there. I've seen "proper English holes" before, but this was ridiculous! Hell, we could have buried a horse in that hole!!! (And there were two right there in the field pestering the crap out of us that almost qualified!) We had to make several "steps" down in, and it finally got to the point where all Dessi could do was take a bunch of dirt with the PHD's, hand them up to one of us up on top, then we'd empty them and send them back down again. It was slow, tedious work, but finally paid off almost 11 feet later when we broke through to Lil. Everything had been totally quiet all the time we were digging..........and yes, I do think there were a few worried people there working.........but the second Dessi broke through to Lil she started whining. The soil was pretty heavy with clay; I tend to think that Lil had started to dig and ended up backfilling on herself, and there was so much pressure from the soil that she couldn't make any noise. She was pretty cold and limp as Dessi pulled her out, so I'm not sure how much more time we had. I know we were running out of daylight. But, all's well that ends well...........we warmed her up, gave her fluids and Nutri-Cal, flushed her eyes and put her on a heating pad, and she perked up pretty quickly. Her only "battle scar" was a decent sized lump on the bridge of her nose......possibly from trying so hard to get herself un-stuck. Charlie and Melissa headed back for Nebraska early Tuesday morning..........not sure if they'll ever come hunting with us again!
We got two more in short order again on Tuesday morning, again, with the Twigmeister...........she just slips in, starts baying, we drop a hole, and that's the end of the story. After Bear gets his jollies from drawing, I guess I should add. Ahh, but there's nothing quite like the joy of drive-by hunting in Northern Virginia!!! Spoils one for anything else!
We were so close to the upcoming Washington International Horse Show that Ann and I couldn't resist staying another couple of days to race the terriers. On Thursday night we did overs...........I had Bear and Ann had Lucy. Bear easily won the practice round, but on the first hurdle run, he DQ'd himself by going around a hurdle (no fencing at this event.........no muzzles, no anything. Just raw racing!) The frustrating part was that even going around a hurdle, he STILL managed to finish lengths ahead of the rest of the pack!!! But, Ann's Lucy was second and collected a tidy sum of cash! Friday they did the unders, and back we went with Riot, Banjo and Linda's Riot daughter, Revenge........who had never raced, but managed to hold her own against a bunch of seasoned veterans! Fortunately Riot and Banjo were in different heats, so that took a little pressure off. Riot ended up winning the whole thing........Banjo had won the practice round and her heat, but somehow must have gotten turned around in the box on the final, as she just "disappeared" off the radar screen! So it was Riot's night to shine, and collect the cash and a certificate for one of those spiffy coats! I was tempted to stay for Saturday night as well, but had such a miserable cold that I just couldn't do it. So on Saturday morning, we both packed up and hit the road for the long drive home.
So, 2006 Nationals is now just a cluster of (mostly!) happy memories, and the holidays are rapidly approaching. Time to start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner, what to do for Christmas and New Years, and hope that Santa will bring me a new EZ Up.............
Summer is flying by........hard to believe that it's almost over. Seems like after all of the soaking rains early on in the season, summer has just barely arrived. The garden tells me otherwise though; it's tough to try and keep up with the canning and still try to get dogs stripped out for Nationals, all at the same time!
Phoenix is done, and I've now moved on to the "semi-annual stripping of Bear"...........which is more time-consuming than a pilgrimage to Mecca!
The Tri-State open trial was fantastic, as usual. Great judges, great atmosphere, great food. It got off to a bit of a rocky start though, when my truck tried to die on Friday night; fortunately I was able to find a garage that replaced the alternator at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, in the middle of NOWHERE. A mere $350 later I was good to go! But I sure wasn't complaining.......they got me in immediately, made sure the dogs were comfortable while they worked on the truck, and it was finished by 9:30!!! I got back to the trial in time to run both my dogs in hurdles!
I didn't really show all that much, but Riot was under senior racing champion both days; Bear was over senior champion on Saturday and reserve to Willy on Sunday. (man, this is really becoming redundant!!!) Masquerade was Best Working Bitch and Reserve Working Terrier on Saturday. Riot won the veteran class both days. And little Twiglet pinned second both days in her working bitch class! All 10 1/2 inches of her. But by far the best class of the weekend was the lurcher class on Saturday! Not only did Teddy Moritz (look right) bring Celtic, but Shawn O'Neil came as well with one of his lurchers. Believe it or not, there were enough adults in the class to make a cut! And the best part was that each and every lurcher in that class was a Celtic offspring! Lynne Lozano won the class with Seeker (look to right), Celtic was 2nd, and Looker (look to right) was 3rd. Here's (look to right) a shot of the awesome line-up. It was really a thrill to see such a nice bunch of working lurchers.
Mascara was able to show in the family class on Saturday, as Lara Forchuk from Manitoba, who has one of her puppies, showed up "unexpectedly", as she and her husband were back in this neck of the woods hunting with Ken James, and they decided to show up at the trial on a whim. It was like "moldy-oldies" week, with Teddy, Shawn, Ken, Janet Sutcliffe, Carol Philhower (who was judging g-t-g) and John Broadhurst. Really neat to have a bunch of the old-time hunting people be able to get together again. Not only did Mascara win brood bitch, but she went on to win Best Family as well. Look to the right of a shot of the very, very tight group!
On Monday after the trial, we all met Shawn in Pine Island to hunt. Mandy Johnson and her husband Scott were back for their annual vacation here in Saratoga so they could play the ponies, and we also had Mark Gwilt, the foreign judge, come along with us to hunt. And Jose met all of us so we had a working judge should we need one. Turned out to be a wise decision too, as little Red Riot ended up underground for well over 2 hours, in what turned into the dig from hell!!! She worked the chuck initially for about 30 minutes, and he was ALMOST ready to bolt, but just wouldn't come out of the hole, no matter how long we waited.........standing there with Bear and Looker ready and waiting. Finally, after about 20 minutes of a Mexican stand-off, we decided to try and put Bear in really quick, and maybe he could snatch it. Handler error.......the chuck was able to pop back in around a tight turn, (which is why Red couldn't get to him.....) and then the next 2 hours were spent dropping 4 holes........each and every one of them almost 5 feet deep, in really hard soil, to finally get to this thing that Shawn had declared the "master of backfilling". When we finally did get to it, there was a huge rock that we just couldn't budge, and of course it was behind and around the corner........poor Bear tried his best to draw it (look to right), but each time he'd tug, he'd smash his head against the rock. Finally, after about 20 minutes of trying, Bear had done enough damage so we were able to pull him and one of Shawn's lurchers ( look to right) was able to get in and draw it out. But not before poor Mark, who is NOT accustomed to our heat and humidity over here, almost went down for the count.........along with Bear! We went through every bottle of water and sparkling water in the cooler, to the point where I was draining the ice water out of the cooler for everyone. But, we got Mr. Chuckles, and it was pretty obvious that this one had been around for a while..........it was way bigger than little Red, who never left the earth for almost 2 1/2 hours! She earned her well-deserved NHC. Poor Scott had blisters all over his hands from digging, but was pretty happy nonetheless. This was his and Mandy's first hunting certificate, and the first one is always pretty special. Here is a of the beaming group afterward, and a shot of the entire rag-tag gang after we got back to the vehicles for some lunch and refreshments! It was a really fun day with some great hunting people.
Barely back from Tri-State and Catcher delivered her litter of "Rustler" puppies on August 12th. Surprisingly, they look pretty big, considering that their sire is a "tiny" Jack Russell! Three boys and three girls.............and one of the bitch pups is all white!!!! Needless to say, she's the one I'll be looking to keep; but that decision will be based on who has the best nose............so these puppies are going to have to pass the "trailing and locating" class before I make any decisions at all! There's a brindle male who is just stunning; the rest are merles, like Catcher, with the exception of the white bitch. Their heads are huge compared to Catcher's other puppies, and they look to have quite a bit of bone as well. Could be quite an interesting and useful cross. But only time will tell how this group matures. Here's a shot of them at 9 days.
With summer quickly drawing to a close, it's off to Northgate over Labor Day weekend to show naked dogs, then get the rest of the garden squared away and prepare for Nationals, which will be here before I'm ready! I may not even get time to do an update before then........in another 3 weeks, I'll be spending every waking minute trying to keep ahead of a litter of lurcher puppies! Thank heavens they can stay outside this time of year!
I've resigned myself to the fact that there just isn't time to do monthly updates any more! So.......picking up where I left off. The Yankee trial was another good one; Riot was the under senior racing champion both days; Bear was over senior champion on Saturday, and Reserve to Willy (what else is new.....) on Sunday. The girls also did well in the conformation ring; Masquerade was Reserve Working Champion on Saturday and won the show on Sunday.......Riot was Best Veteran on Saturday in Ring 2.........but by winning that class, she knocked her good buddy Banjo out of the competition for Veteran High Point terrier.........so on Sunday, Riot sat out the conformation class and Banjo snagged the Veteran High Point award! Hey, what are friends for?
On Sunday Lynne Lozano was able to make the trial and the little Sparky-Moth pup, Lost Acres Eternal Flame, breezed right through her first time in the ring and had no problem winning Best 4-6 Puppy. Here she is strutting her stuff.
The Rescue trial in Maryland in June was nothing short of awesome for everyone. We sat out the racing on this one, and I can't tell you how wonderful it was to be able to "sleep in" until 6 each morning, get up, do dogs, shower, have a leisurely breakfast, and arrive at the trial site at a decent hour in the same set of clothes that I planned on showing in! I could get used to this! Little Flame was Reserve 4-6 Puppy on Saturday, more than likely because the grass was so high in the ring that she rather looked more like a bunny rabbit than a terrier when she moved.........after the 4-6 classes were finished Dessi requested that they get out and mow the grass so he could properly evaluate movement. Things improved considerably after the grass was a manageable height, and on Sunday Flame captured Best 4-6 Month Puppy. Masquerade had a repeat performance of Yankee, going Reserve Working on Saturday and winning the show on Sunday. Pretty however, was the shining star, winning Open Champion both days amidst tough competition. Classes were huge and the quality was excellent, but Pretty is now fully mature and has blossomed into a breathtaking bitch.
The end of June we headed to the Mid-America trial in Nebraska; with temperatures during the summer being what they are, I could only take one dog as a carry-on; Masquerade broke so Pretty won by default. She once again captured Open Champion honors on Saturday, and at the end of the day, they held a "Best In Trial" competition between best open, best working and best colored, and she snagged that as well. Not only did she get by an awesome working bitch, but also beat out two outstanding colored dogs. Gunner and Chili are both outstanding terriers; it was an honor to be in the ring with dogs of that caliber. In fact, Gunner is lined up right now to be the stud dog of choice for Rose when she comes in next. I'm really looking forward to that cross.
Little Carly won her class on Saturday and was 3rd on Sunday; Kathy of course was thrilled.
I judged racing both days at the Nebraska trial; overall things went quite well after we got the glitches worked out on Saturday, and now that the club members have a handle on how we run racing as efficiently as we do back here, I think they'll be able to breeze right through their racing each trial. With Darlene McInnes running the board, and Kathy Cook and I at the other end, we managed to finish up at 9:50 on Sunday morning............much to the delight of all the conformation people who were able to pack up at a decent hour on Sunday afternoon.
We went back to Frank's house on Monday to see if perhaps there was another turkey vulture chick in the closet upstairs; much to my dismay there was not. But it wasn't a wasted trip entirely; Melissa & Charlie Sellers' bitch "Secret Weapon" found an opossum in the roof of the front porch of the old abandoned house; he ended up bailing out of the roof as Secret Weapon started to get closer to him, looking a bit like Mark Spitz doing a dive at the Olympics, and bolted under the floor of the porch. It didn't take the terriers long to find him, but did take me a bit longer to pull up floorboards one by one to get to the terriers and the now very dead opossum. Little Carly got some good schooling under her belt, and Pretty was tickled pink to be in on the action. See pictures on right.
Probably the most "unusual" event of June is the upcoming litter of puppies. All of these years I have "toyed" with the idea of breeding Bear to Catcher.........I've always considered Bear my "other lurcher" anyway; he's my locator dog and my draw dog, and he and Catcher really are responsible for about 95% of the quarry. Both dogs have noses that cannot be beat. They're both pretty old now, and I have to face the fact that either one of them are going to be hunting with me for too many more years. And what I'm going to do without their noses I don't know. Catcher will mark a hole for me every bit as well as Bear or any other terrier.........she's a lovely combination of the best of both sight and scent. So I took the plunge and did it! Don't EVEN ASK how I did it!!! Believe me, I should have videotaped the entire extravaganza! I have this huge lurcher bitch on the ground to the side of the steps of the front porch.......have Bear on the bottom step so he's up high enough.........Paul all the while is grumbling that it's "anatomically impossible" for this much smaller terrier to tie with this big lurcher bitch. We tried initially on a Sunday, and no go. On Monday Paul brings home all the AI equipment, and we're out on the steps again the following morning.........gameplan is to get Bear collected after he mounts the bitch. Ok, fine.........I'm trying to get to that point, when all of a sudden I realize that he's actually tying with her!!!! I'm yelling at Paul to hold that bitch still and don't let her move!!!! when he promptly announces that he has to get in the shower or he's going to be late for work! (he hates it when I'm right!) So here I am, holding this lurcher, trying to prop Bear up with my shoulder to keep him from falling off, and the poor dog is wondering just what he's gotten himself into! So was I............
At any rate, we've palped her and she's definitely in whelp. What I'll end up with is really anyone's guess..........more than likely a smaller, more compact lurcher that hopefully can be a great draw dog and fast enough to get them when they bolt. More importantly, if I can get something with the incredible noses that both parents have, I'll be a happy camper indeed. Now I just need to figure out what to call them............can't decide if they should be "Lurchettes" or "Rustlers"!!! Ha ha.
And, there is also some bad news to start off the month of July with, unfortunately. At the end of June, I got a call from Lynne telling me that there was something wrong with Flame........she was lame behind and seemed to be in quite a bit of pain. Lynne has so much going on with their upcoming move and their house on the market, that she couldn't make it up here with the puppy, so had to take her to the local vet down where she's located. To make a long story short, she went through 3 veterinarians and no definite diagnosis, before finally watching this puppy deteriorate to the point where she barely had any rear end left at all.........then fortunately, got her in to be seen by an excellent neurologist and also an orthopedist. Flame has been diagnosed with discospondylitis, which is a pretty severe spinal infection. It's caused by an infection that starts somewhere else in the body, then becomes systemic and settles into the soft tissues adjacent to the vertebrae. It could be any number of things.......an abscessed tooth, a bladder or urinary tract infection.......but once it gets into the spine, you're in trouble. Flame is on heavy-duty antibiotics, and at this point they're waiting for the results on the cultures to see if she needs to be switched to something other than what she's on now. My guess is that because of her rocky start in life, she more than likely has an immune system that's less than what it should be, and that might have contributed to her not being able to fight off the initial infection. The neurologist has given a pretty optimistic prognosis for recovery..........I sure hope he's right, because she's such a lovely puppy and it's just awful to see her in such pain and barely able to climb the stairs. But, she's a fighter, and has been from the get-go.........she needs to stay as tough as she's always been and beat this one too. She might be tough, but I don't think she's out of the woods quite yet.
So, with the summer already more than half over, we're all thrilled to be getting out to hunt. We've found a new farm down near Millbrook that looks like it will keep us in groundhogs for the entire season! I've been out once with Carol Philhower, and the chucks were everywhere! We only managed to get one though, as they haven't done the second cutting yet, and the grass is so deep that even the lurchers can't see them when they bolt. One actually went about 20 feet up a tree and sat there with this incredibly smug look on his face. He must have known that I had no bullets for the little pistol I carry in my pack. That's ok.......as soon as they hay those fields, I'm going back with my lurcher team from hell, and it's gonna be payback time! He who laughs last.........