Monthly Archives: April 2015

Another new Blyss day,or I should be lonely because Jelly is away

Today, I woke up to a new week.   However, it has a different feel from the days of last week.  In one way, I am happier because the intense volatility of  the significant relationship in my life has settled into a pleasing point along the happiness continuum of my mind.  I am truly grateful that I am with someone  I can truly trust and love.  Also, I have some free time because Jelly is away with her co-breeder and handler, N3, about whom I have written previously.   She is handling Jelly in local area shows for me.  In mid-May, we will be traveling together to Huron, Ohio to the Borzoi Club of America’s (BCOA) Annual National Specialty Show and N3 will be handling Jelly for me there, too, in the Best of Breed class.  I will be especially proud that day to be sitting ring side knowing that it is Jelly’s turn to participate in this prestigious show.

However, I want to use this time well that Jelly is away to catch up on things that I have let slide.  It’s easy to do that when you have dogs around because their needs are so immediate.  You can say I have only one dog, Jelly, however I have been spending time with her breeder and owner of her dam, N24.  When I am at her home, I get to enjoy time with not only Jelly but Jelly’s beautiful dam, her dam’s littermate, and two six-month old very promising puppies.  Being in the company of so many beautiful, sweet borzoi imparts such joy to me.  N24 will be showing these puppies beginning this week and they will be shown at the BCOA Specialty Show in Ohio.  In addition to taking Jelly there, we will have the two puppies as well.   The litter is Futurity nominated so will be in the ring for the very first class, Tuesday afternoon.  I am so excited about going and being there it makes me breathless.

I am not endowed with sufficient funds necessary to campaign these dogs as they deserve to be.  However, the future is before me and I like to think that anything can happen and a situation can change.  Perhaps I can co-own one of these puppies, and together N24 and I can campaign them.  There might be a way.  I feel optimistic.  I feel a great swell in my heart for them whenever I see them, spend time with them or watch them play together.   My Jelly plays with them endlessly as if she were the ever-patient, all loving dam.  You do not see that much canine compassion to that degree for another bitch’s puppies, even one’s own puppies, very often.  In my own Mikhailya litter, Mikhailya was through with her puppies when she weaned them, although she always loved and recognized them.  It was our beloved Blyss Paris who took right over to raise them, and eventually be the teacher and companion Tresor so badly needed.  I see Jelly doing that with N24’s puppies, and it is a beautiful thing to watch.  N24 and I can watch the play and banter all day.  She is very lucky to have these two developing borzoi from her litter and I wish her all the best of luck for success.  I think they are both outstanding.  The photo below shows us relaxing together at her home admiring Jelly.

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More Blyss Reality Checks: False Friends

Nobody likes to be attacked, especially by people close to them, such as friends, family, lovers or co-workers.  And for myself, it is especially painful to be attacked over something I wrote on Byss Blog or Blyss Blog Encore because I write so honestly and make myself vulnerable.   And it is a very rare incident, happening only one other time before today.  It was by a woman who had a lovely Majenkir borzoi whom I had befriended, been very kind to and always would have always been there for her.

There seems to be no end to the permutations of friends’ malevolencies.    In my case, it began with my own mother, who could not help herself from ripping up her young.  It was sad to experience that for so long, since she only died very recently.  Yet she began a pattern that others so easily slipped into and I let them, and it never stops.

There is one thing I must always remember.  People behave badly.  They do the wrong things.  They inflict emotional pain in the process and do not care about it one bit.  It makes them feel good in so doing so they do it again.

When I enter into these relationships they are so happy and full of promise yet in a short time fighting over misunderstandings begin and emotions turn raw.  I have surrounded myself with my beautiful borzoi as a buffer and a distraction from it, as I have currently done.  I am grateful for Jelly for her love and beauty, and her breeder,N24, for her generosity of spirit toward me.  Other breeders, too numerous to mention here, have lavished me with support and kindness.  Thinking of them should be my new focus, not relationship disappointments.

I reacted strongly to my mother’s recent passing away.  It made me emotionally very ill and I foresaw my own imminent passing.  I received treatment for this condition at the time but wonder now, why – what was the point?  I should have been left to fate and perhaps died.  But people meddled and pulled me through a dark tunnel only to emerge for more of the same betrayal from weak imitations of her acts, painful nonetheless.  So as the friends whittle away in number, my grasp on Jelly and my borzoi friends strengthens and I am grateful for them.  I owe it to Jelly and my good friends in the borzoi breed to rally myself and be strong against the attacks of others who want to criticize and tear me down.

The rhythm of a new Blyss day

I will say my life has a certain rhythm, or perhaps it is a “schedule” that makes it feel as if I have one, by which I live and determines what I do and when.  It is so important that I squeeze everything I must do into the schedule for the day and the calendar for the week or month, either one.  And who is the guardian or keeper of this circadian rhythm, one may ask???  It is certainly not me.  I can procrastinate and make excuses for putting things off.  It is Miss Jelly herself.  All she has to do is throw me a sideward glance and that says it all: the command is delivered!

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There you have it!  The look is the command.

Many fun things ensue because of it.  First, there are long walks in fields off leash.  Jelly enjoys them immensely.  She is obedient and comes on recall.  She does not bother other people or their dogs, causing me distress or discord.    Whatever we do it is fun.  However, after 4:00 PM, she knows that is the hour when I am to stop all activity of mine and take her into Watchung Reservation to the Scouting Field and its environs to enjoy the daily outdoors she needs so much.    The expansive fields one finds there, surrounded by towering pines and overgrown trees are bordered by dense shrubbery.  Within it, there is an assortment of wild flora that will begin blooming soon until the first frost in November that will keep even me continually enthralled while Jelly “hunts” for squirrels and rabbits, the small game that environment contains.   With Jelly, as with most dawns of spring, it is as if I am experiencing this for the first time.  I’ve been showing her around for several weeks now, and her joy is palpable.

Blossoming flora in Watchung Reservation
Blossoming flora in Watchung Reservation

It is because of the joy she gives me and the reasons she gives me to experience beauty on a daily basis that I love her so much.  One should have a reason to be so happy every day of one’s life.

A Blyss Reality Check

 

Today, Jelly’s co-breeder, N24, and I took Jelly and Jelly’s dam to see a vet  held in high esteem by serious dog breeders.  We had some questions regarding blood work that we had done at a clinic that showed Jelly was positive for Lyme and Anaplasmosis and what if anything should be done about it.   The vet had a good suggestion, additional tests (notice plural) to measure titers and antibodies, to which I consented.  I then was talked into using a different anti-flea and tick product instead of the perfectly fine one I had at home.  At the check out desk, my bill was $500.00, and I was positively stunned.  And this was for a wellness visit, for a seemingly perfectly healthy dog.  This phenomenon has so much become a problem today with pet ownership.

I am also having Jelly shown because she is worthy of it, to see if she is a candidate for a Grand Champion.  She has points toward it already.  Next weekend, she is going away with a handler, N3, whom I trust and who owns her sire.   In several more weeks, N24 and I are taking her to the annual Borzoi National Specialty show in Ohio where N3 will handle her there in the Best of Breed class.

I can hear the clinking sound of the cash register as a continuous din in my mind.   What have I done?  Moreover,  a different breeder, N27, has a bitch that is due to have a  litter any minute now, and a puppy is on reserve for me!  Then I will have two show dogs!  I have gone mad.

I am totally immersed in my love of borzoi but how to pay for it is becoming challenging.  I am almost done renovating my house but a certain person has a way of still finding work for him to do, for pay, of course.  I wonder what he would do or say if I said I cannot use him for a while, for about three months or so, while Jelly is out with her handler and the new litter is whelped.  My modest cottage has the amenities of an upscale designer home by now.  Even I know I must slow this sport of spending down.

But my  home is really Blyss Kennels, and it is all I have.  It is filled with the memories of the original Blyss borzoi who moved here with me in December 2012:  Casanova, Mikhailya, and Paris.  Now, they are gone, and I see my home as a something of a tribute to them and what Bob and I achieved, and a shrine to their lives and accomplishments.  Some photos are included here.

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I wonder why our special happiness could  not go on and on.  When suddenly in June 2013 Mikhailya passed away I was shocked.  It was unexpected, even though she was ten years old.  The loss of Casanova at eleven years of age the following year, and then Paris some time later left me totally alone in my home, something I never planned to be.  It awakened many dormant and not so dormant demons.  I cried for comfort and compassion but found little or some of dubious nature, still difficult to evaluate.  It is easy to trust a dog, their love is pure love.  You may expect the same of others, but it is not that way, and it is easy to forget it is so.  The bitterness of the betrayal when it comes goes deep, yet we never cease in our quest for that perfect love and beauty.

Very good news for Blyss from Japan on Facebook

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I would like to share wonderful news I saw on April 7, 2015 on Facebook posted by a handler for Belisarius Kennels in Japan, Shota Hirai.  He had previously handled Mikhailya’s puppy there, “Magnus”, or “Max”, as they called him.  He was from Mikhailya’s only litter of three puppies, and in Japan he was successfully campaigned and was a Best in Show winner borzoi.  Shota Hirai posted on April 7 that he had handled a Max daughter, and it was not the first one, to a Best in Show win at the FCI International Dog Show being held there.    It was a bitch, as were the others, and her name is CH Belisarius My Sassy Girl.    She is by Majenkir O’Blyss Magnus out of Belisarius JP Ambience.

I wrote to N5 who owned the stud dog to congratulate her, and remind her of Mikhailya’s and her “Regal’s” role.  She wrote back to me with words of wisdom, acknowledging that I had a role in carrying genes forward, and that something from my kennel produced something lovely for another kennel years later, although I would not receive much in the way of congratulations.  Actually, at the time Magnus was being shown, I received much in the way of congratulations but now, the accolades go to  her.  She is my mentor and she bred Mikhailya, she is the one who is remembered.   She is a great and very wise borzoi breeder and will always be recognized for her incredible work in the breed covering many decades of life.  I am not her equal and never will be.  I look to her for the credit, too, and do not begrudge it to  her one bit.  I am honored it was Mikhailya, with her Regal, who proved herself as she did.  As N5 wrote to me, “most successful show dogs are dead ends and sadly do not produce much in the way of quality.”

 

Every day is a new Blyss day

20150212bI feel like a passive observer of life, of life passing me by, here at Blyss.  It is due to two things.  One is the changing of the season from winter to spring, and the adjustments that demands.  Including in that are changes in weather, changes in pollens and changes in the appearances of trees and vegetation.   The other reason is Jelly.  Jelly has been here about two months now and this impacts my life every day.  She has given me more work to do, but it is good work that leaves me feeling happy because of her companionship.

I like to give credit to her for the elevation of my spirits which I believe without her presence would be more depressed.  It cheers me every day to awaken and know she is near.  I perform the needed chores that must be done for her before anything I do for myself.  I feel more selfless, more giving to others because of her.  It’s not about me anymore.

She has also expanded my social life because there are more people calling me to ask how I am doing, and I receive more invitations to visit people now that I have Jelly.  It is truly amazing.  I have found more success with Jelly than I had previously imagined possible.

Perhaps most unexpectedly has been the opportunities that lie ahead to show her, bringing her points towards her Grand Championship.  She already has earned some of these points, including one Major.  I am very proud of her, and believe this is a title she can complete.  Without daring to hope, plans to breed her may lie ahead.

I understand every bitch cannot be bred, and there will always be many fine ones that will not.  It is the characteristic of a truly good breeder to select which among the fine bitches in their kennel is the one to breed.  It may not be the one with the most points, or the highest ranked.  It may be the one who stays at home after her Champion Dog title is accomplished to live life on the sofa being a companion dog, while her littermate is heavily campaigned.  It is mysterious why this bitches’s litter may contain the better pups.

I try to think of some “rules” to guide one.  There are some adages about breeding dogs I have picked up along the way:

“Breed like to like;  breed the best to the best.”

I have also read, for performance borzoi:

“Breed the fastest to the fastest;  breed the prettiest to the prettiest.”

Well, of course, I thought when reading them at the time.  It is so logical it goes without saying.  Finding those magical couplings is another matter.  Easy to say.  Hard to do.

Perhaps it is not “dogs” we are breeding but the perpetuation of their blood line, their specific genes so the special ones live on.

I often sit ringside, especially at borzoi specialty shows.  When I do, today I see borzoi in the ring who are related by bloodline to borzoi I have owned, or the get of borzoi I enjoyed watching in the  ring several years ago.  I never forget a dog’s lineage, and always see beyond the dog to its parentage.  I see how its genes have been expressed, for better or for naught.  It does not always improve the animal.  That is disappointing, especially to see it in the conformation ring.