Monthly Archives: May 2015

When there is a certain loneliness at Blyss…..

 

Blyss Paris Lights of Lido at Blyss House
Blyss Paris Lights of Lido at Blyss House

When there is certain loneliness I wonder why, or what makes it seem so important I question myself

Why am I so weak as to allow myself to experience that kind of pain until I stop and realize

it is not for myself or another who may have been here from time to time to make me smile, a difficult accomplishment for anyone!

I am reminded that at the core there can only be my once and only Blyss borzoi.

Time and death have carried them away from me, all but Blyss Heavenly Treasure!

Although he is far  I have the joy of visiting him sometimes

He surely remembers me well and reminds me I have his heart.

Then going away I miss him more than ever.

Because I miss all the ones that got away, and they all got away too soon.

 

And so it is difficult to look back and not be overwhelmed by grief – they are gone!

Yet today, there are others – both adults and pups to hold in my heart – if I look forward.

And there is the get of my own, some showing so lovely in the ring, to tell me  that all is not lost.

It is to them that I run to escape the sorrows of grief today that shadow my life at Blyss.

Although I may vacillate, they do me proud.

The return from the 2015 BCOA National Specialty, Huron, Ohio

 

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Lorene with N28, and the Majenkir bitch, “Hawkeye”!

05.01.2015 . 01 Hunter & Jess

Hunter visiting at Blyss Kennels, March 2015

It has been nearly two weeks since I have been home from the borzoi national specialty show in Huran, Ohio, and everything has been a blur since then.  Nothing seems real, and I feel as if I am still immersed in the experience of being there.   And why not?  I have many wonderful memories of my time there.  I came back home with beautiful souvenirs in the way of gorgeous photographs that I have downloaded and shared.  Moreover, I now have more portrait photographs of Jelly and the two puppies of N24, Jelly’s breeder, by Ms. Maxine Bochnia whose booth was  at the specialty.  With so many photographs, emails and phone calls, how can I forget the National, and why should I believe I am really home?

Then there are the memories of my favorite pastime: sitting ringside.  This time, sitting ringside meant carefully watching N24’s two puppies, “Jezebel” and “Hunter”.  It also meant closely reading the catalog for puppies and adults who are the  get of my beloved “Mikhailya”, now deceased two years.  I was lucky to find two, one of which could be her clone.   Regarding the bitch who so looked like “Mikhailya”, I went up to her owners after her class and introduced myself to them, a couple, N28, and we enjoyed the time together discussing their bitch whom they named “Hawkeye”!  They told me she was “very fast”!  I felt very proud and pleased to see the quality that Mikhailya had produced in a performance dog.

I spent a great deal of time assisting N24 with her two beautiful puppies, “Jezebel” and “Hunter”, who were entered in Futurity, Sweepstakes, and Regular classes.  For the most part, they each placed fourth, a good placement for a Specialty.   I encouraged N24 to get their portrait taken with a third puppy from her litter who happened to be present at the show by Maxine and wisely, she agreed.  A gorgeous portrait was produced and I purchased a framed copy.

The resort hosting the National was splendid in its abundance of beauty.  The grounds were resplendent with lush, green lawn throughout, broken up by flower beds with lovely shrubbery in deep, soft beds of newly applied mulch.  It was situated on the shores of Lake Eerie, and had its own private beach and meadow.  It was there where N24 took the puppies, Jezebel and Hunter, each morning to run.  Her borzoi pups are very good about running and playing off leash.  They come back when called.   I cannot say enough that is good about these puppies.

I wish I could take the male, Hunter, but I know I cannot.  It is the shadow of sadness that is always over me.  A young male borzoi is not the kind of dog I could manage alone, and I know that.  If I could, I would still have Tresor.   But it was divine being with him for the week, and the memory of Hunter and his beauty are still very fresh.  He is everything I want and love in a male borzoi.  It is hard not having one to love here at Blyss, and I feel the loss acutely.

That does not mean he cannot be my “Heart Dog” and that I will not see him grow up into the big boy he is destined to be, thanks to the generosity of N24.  Most of all, we know there will be yet another National Specialty show in our future! Perhaps it is the love and the friendship that matter most, not where Hunter actually lives, at least for now.

Wisdom gleaned from writers I’ve read

I came late to dogs, although I loved them passionately all my life and owned several.  When I say “I came late to dogs”, I am referring to purchasing pedigree dogs from reputable breeders, being involved with the sport of AKC conformation, and being an active member in several kinds of dog clubs.

I was fifty, a time that I saw would be “for me”, my childhood having ended precipitously in my parent’s home and adult life and responsibilities commenced soon after.  My parents took great care not to “spoil” their children, and to only “kiss them when they sleep”.  It was a childhood with virtually no memories at all, and it just blended into an adult life of harder work.  I did not complain. Yet, I dreamed of someday living as I wished, with some land well fenced so my dogs and perhaps even horses had a place to safely run.

It did not quite turn out that way, dreams never do.   With time and hard work, my life came as close to that reality as possible and I am pleased to say I have come rather close.  I established Blyss Kennels on the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains in Mountainside, NJ, near the Watchung Reservation.   Then and there, my imagination created what I lacked.  Looking back today, I see them all in a long line of beautiful borzoi, they form a crystal clear vision of beauty: Casanova, Mikhailya, Paris, Opal, and Ebony.  Then there were  Mikhailya’s three puppies, Tresor, Magnus and Zephyrus.  And then at the end after my husband’s premature death, Casanova, Mikhailya, and Paris moved with me to a much smaller house nearby.  Interestingly, I never noticed until after I moved into the house that the property next door consisted of a very large tract of land that was undeveloped and kept as a beautiful field, as if it were a part of my very own property.  I felt as if my dogs and  I had arrived home.

Almost fifteen years later, I look back upon my dogs and what I have learned.  Coming late to the table, I partake the wisdom of others and I found I have learned so much.   One good thing about belonging to so many breed clubs is you get to attend meeting and thus be among the breeders.  From there, you only have to listen, and eventually they talk about their dogs and what is happening in their kennels.  If you are patient and listen well, you find there is much you can learn.  But I read a great deal too.  Following are some of the writers who taught me a great deal.

One favorite author of mine who had the self discipline to be a prolific and detailed author about dog training and his favorite breed was Richard Wolters.  He wrote passionately about the Labrador Retriever and left the world one of the most beautiful dog books ever published, The Labrador Retriever, the history….the people.  (Los Angeles: Petersen Prints. 1981).  I have a first edition.    A reproduction of a painting of a black Labrador carrying a duck in its mouth adorns the cover, and it gets better with the turning of every page.  It is a walk through history along a different byway, through the eyes of those who love the Lab.  I am blessed to be among those people.

Another writer who was pivotal in helping me understand the sport of AKC conformation, who tied together so many seemingly disparate facts and parts of the dog listed in each breeds’ standard, so many that they seemed incomprehensible to me, and brought me to clarity was Richard Beauchamp, a great AKC judge.  I am speaking of his book, Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type (2008).  Solving the mysteries it did.  And answering that ever elusive question to me of “What is ‘Breed Type’?”  What does “typey” mean in a dog?    Or, how does a Group judge judge a group, or a Best in Show Judge select the winning dog?  The book answered those questions for me forever, or at least helped me sit ringside and understand what was happening on the other side of the ring.  Anyone who reads  Blyss Blog or Blyss Blog Encore knows that sitting ringside is something I enjoy immensely.  Richard Beauchamp is a huge part of the reason for that.  Because of him, I know what I am looking at.

A fiction writer with a different approach who was also a breeder under the affix “Sunnybank”, known for its literary famous collies, especially “Lad”, was Albert Payson Terhune or Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.  He was a prolific writer as most people know but he also wrote a great deal of letters and non-fiction.   I have the pleasure of being a member of an organization that is committed to the preservation of Sunnybank and celebrates the memory of Terhune and his collies through an annual “Gathering”.  The organization publishes a quarterly newsletter and I had the pleasure of receiving mine this week.  I was drawn to read it today.  I discovered the issue was devoted to a most important topic:  puppies.   (The Lookout, Spring/Summer 2015, p.16.)  Here is what he has written:  “…Show me a breeder who can pick them out, infallibly, at an early age; and he can name his own salary to act as consultant at my Sunnybank collie kennels.  I am safe in saying that.  For such a man is not born yet.  Or else, he died the day before I was born.  It is all a gorgeous gamble, this breeding of pedigreed dogs.  Therein lies its lure.  When our prophecies come true, it is fun to boast.  When they fail – which is oftener – silence is very golden indeed”.

So yes, I was very blessed to have known these three men, all now sadly deceased, however I had the wisdom to seek them out through their books.  I know nothing can make up for my lost decades, the childhood spent alone and lonely, isolated for inane punishments for imaginary deeds in my parents’ unhappiness together.  Much comes from the unhappiness of others, and their severities pushed me inward toward myself where my imagination created an imaginary world where a dog was my best friend.    Decades later, I would begin to live out those fantasies, and as I could, do so more and more until I found my first borzoi, Casanova, whose story is told on

http://blysskennels.us/our-dogs/casanova/index.html

Tomorrow morning I am leaving for Huron, Ohio to attend the Borzoi Club of America’s National Specialty Show.  I will be going out with Jelly’s breeder, and we will be showing her two new puppies, the male and the female, Jezebel and  Hunter, who are Jelly’s half-brother and half-sister.  They are both exquisite borzoi puppies with a great deal of promise.  They will be shown in Futurity, Sweepstakes, and Regular classes.  It will be hard work all week, ring time is 8:00 AM, and I am not a “morning person”.  But I will be all next week because of the pups and the early ring time.  There is nothing like being ringside when your own puppies are in the ring!

 

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The Spring Specialty Borzoi Shows of NJ, NY, PA and DE

Starting on Thursday April 30 through Sunday May 3, 2015 were the following specialty dog shows:

  1. The Central New Jersey Hound Club (CNJHC)
  2. The Borzoi Club of Greater New York (BCGNY)
  3. The Bucks County Kennel Club Dog Show (Supported Entry by the BCGNY)
  4. Boroi Club of Delaware Valley (BCDV) held with Trenton Kennel Club Dog Show

I could be found sitting ringside once again.  There was much to see and many to whom to speak.  Many of us had a great deal to catch up on.  For my new breeder, Jelly’s breeder, N24, there were her two new puppies to showcase.  They could not have been lovelier and showed themselves well.  On Friday, the puppy bitch won Best Puppy in Specialty, BCGNY, her club, about which she could not have been more proud.  She came close again on Sunday at BCDV but did not make it.  Next week, we travel 800 miles to Huron, Ohio to attend the Borzoi National Specialty Show.  We believe our puppies have a chance.  They are entered in Futurity, Sweepstakes and regular classes.

It’s amazing how something I wanted so much as this has actually come to pass in my life, bringing me much joy.  There may be negativity associated with these activities, such as unhappy, meddling people, however I simply push them out of my mind.  I’ve become better at doing this.  I know my future mental health depends on my ability to do this.  I have to concentrate on the blessings my life has and ignore what has gone wrong, other than to learn from it.

Three most amazing gifts that have entered my life recently, and that is a huge number for anyone.  I am overwhelmed with appreciation and gratitude.  There is N24 and the other friends I have made in the borzoi breed, my boyfriend’s love and respect, and my own borzoi, Jelly.  There was a time not so long ago when one or more of these were absent and I have a clear memory of the difference from today.  Today is a day of being happy and expressing gratitude for it.

Bparty10Jelly and her littermate, Gisselle, celebrating their fifth birthday together recently with Lorene and friends

Although Jelly celebrated her fifth birthday recently, it is she who is the gift of love to me, everyday.