Monthly Archives: October 2015

Blyss Tresor being Tresor – Encore

 

Tresor with LT at Morris & Essex, 10/1/2015
Tresor with LT at Morris & Essex, 10/1/2015

It began a few days ago, quiet, small whimpering sounds, scarcely audible.  Then, we heard them, as they became louder and more frequent.  Tresor was speaking to us.  He was in pain.  We took him to our trusted veterinarian, and she did in fact confirm he had some areas of muscular pain and prescribed some appropriate drugs.  However, they did not seem to work.  He passed a night whimpering more frequently and loudly.  This was not working out, so we took him back to the vet’s for further examination.  He was examined more thoroughly, blood was drawn, and he was sent home with more meds, including Tramadol.  He should feel better soon.

According to my experience, these kinds of events occur often with borzoi.  Perhaps it is not the breed as much as the line, or perhaps it is both.  I find myself using the word “fragile” to describe them, and hear that word used more and more by my other friends, breeders and owners alike.  It has terrible implications, from owning dogs that will either die young or often will be ill.    I currently know young male borzoi with heart valve disease and cancer.  Two recently died after impregnating bitches who whelped litters after they died.  To me, that speaks volumes.

I am not writing this to show my kennel’s dirty laundry or that of my breeder’s or friends.  Only to reveal the high price we pay for shepherding these majestic dogs through their lives.  For I do not believe we ever really own them.  We care for them while they grace our lives with their presence.  Sometimes that presence is long but other times, it is brief.  It became easier for me once I saw it that way, rather than owning them then losing them.  That model was too, too terrible.

Tresor should feel better today for these are effective medications, for sure.  Yet, I worry, and at nearly seven years, I know he is no longer a “young” adult dog anymore but has crossed the threshold to being a “senior” dog, or classified in the dog show world as a “veteran”.  Either way, his great nobility granted him by his breeder’s line is in no way affected.  He has great presence, grace and nobility, making an impression wherever he goes.  People are drawn to him, and he is always a sweet, gentle dog.

My life will be stripped bare of so much that is happiness when it is his time to depart.  A great chill has already descended over Blyss as our Boy’s health is threatened, and he struggles to be well.  I will lose a friend, a serious occurrence for me, one who has so few.  How little I care so long as I have Them, and he is half of Them, my Jelly and my Tre!  No one truly understands this.  Even LT, upon reading the poem I recently wrote for Tre became cross with me.  So yes, he is so important that friends walk away and I feel it is okay.  I have my pair of borzoi at Blyss Kennels again.

Tresor with Bob, Morris & Essex May 20, 2010
Tresor shown as a youngster with my late husband, Bob, Morris & Essex Show, May 10, 2010

Blyss Tresor: A Poem

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Tresor Love

With the bliss that is only you, I see eternity reflected in your eyes

I wish for that forever. You arrest my love. You are its end point.

I know I will never have this again.

However between us, you are the better one. More pure

In comparison to my essence, never compromising, never selling out.

You will be the same you, every day.   And it is my job

To give you that right.

 

I notice, too, that you have grown up very well

And you make me proud. It is I who err on the side of

Self pride and vanity. That is wrong. You are the zenith

Of and transcend your species and your breed within it.

I am merely the keeper of the mundane: food and shelter,

And for perhaps more, for unconditional love, so necessary,

Perhaps you know that, too.

 

Yet you never exploit or degrade me in return

Only make me want to give more

My friends know it is you who have my heart,

And so they strayed.

You whose simple days comprise the stories of my life that matter

In the fields and cultivated park lands where we walk together

I am sure to write it down.

For the record…… and get it right.

I only wish I could lose the leash and let you run free

Like you did when you were a puppy.

But today I know you would not return.

Blyss Tresor Congratulations are in order!

I am proud and pleased to announce that Tresor went Best in Opposite Sex yesterday at the Borzoi Club of Greater New York Specialty show.  He was with a handler, Mary Cummings, who did a gorgeous job is displaying him at his best.  He was relaxed and happy throughout his time in the ring.  At one point, a puppy lunged at his face and he nobly ignored it like the gentle-man he has become since coming home.

Unfortunately, we could not stay for the photos because it involved a long wait.  LT was under the weather so I needed to leave immediately after the judging.  So, the day was a mixed bag in that sense.  I felt badly for my friends, my sister-in-law, N9, who drove down from New Hampshire, and Jelly’s breeder N24, who also had a long ride back to Cross River, NY.  Our drive was relatively short in comparison to theirs.  At home, we tried to take some photos but they did not turn out very well.  So, I took a photo of his ribbon on his portrait, although it is not a very good one.  He is coming along nicely.  I am very proud of his accomplishments since coming home on July 3rd.

Update regarding another Mikhailya Grand-daughter, a hunter out west

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Int JP Ch Majenkir O’Blyss Magnus, littermate to our Tresor

In my May 27th post, I wrote about a Majenkir bitch, a Mikhailya grand-puppy bitch whose name  was “Hawkeye”.   Her owner was N28, and the previous spring, her husband drove out from Wyoming where they live to pick up this puppy bitch that was out of a Magnus daughter, “Spiral”.  Today, M-5 wrote the following about this little bitch on Facebook:

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“A phone call from N28 with some very exciting news. Last year N—  drove east for a visit and picked up their Borzoi pup from the litter sired by DeJay out of Spiral.

Over the weekend Lily went to her first official Borzoi Breed Hunt with the Rocky Mountain Coursing Club. There Lily took Top Honors in a field of 13 coursing Borzoi over some of the better running dogs from all around the country. The next day was a mixed hunt where Lily came in second to a Greyhound and had the distinction of being the Last Dog Standing when other dogs went lame.

Even after all of these years of being known as a breeder of noted show dogs, I am doubly excited and proud when I receive news such as this. I never want my dogs to morph into “caricatures” of what the standard calls for to continue to win in the show ring.

Since the N——  seldom breed Borzoi, they continue to bring Majenkir dogs West where these dogs continue to win hunts and then go into the show ring where they also win! Their siblings in the show ring who never have the chance to prove themselves in the field continue to rack up show wins for Majenkir and others.”

I replied to my mentor, N5, with the following email:

“Regarding this wonderful posting on FB today, I was wondering if this was the same bitch N28 was showing at the National this year. I went over to her and her husband and introduced myself to them, as soon as I realized that their bitch was a Mikhailya grand-daughter. Is she the same bitch? She was gorgeous. She was like looking at Mikhailya’s ghost for me. Unlike many of the “Mikhailya” grand-bitches I have seen in the ring, including the National, she resembled Mikhailya so very much. Even her mannerisms in the ring were just like her. I could tell she did not love the ring, and even though she almost made the final cut, her heart did not seem to be there. She was a true field dog, and it shone through. When I asked N28 her name though she said it was “Hawk-eye”. I thought it was a strange name for such a pretty, feminine borzoi. They also said she runs very fast.”

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“Tresor” at 18 months old, photographed by Maxine Bochnia.  Littermate to “Magnus”. The get of “Mikhailya”

My mentor, N5, wrote back to me to inform me that they had taken not one, but two bitches back to Montana.  This is the second one, and her name was “Lily”, a littermate to Hawkeye.  So the two Magnus get out of Spiral, and grand-puppy bitches to Mikhailya, also proved themselves as winning hunters in the field.  It also bears mention that there are two other very notable and accomplished kennels in the Western United States that breed high-performance, winning hunting borzoi.  This year, Lily beat them in this hunt test.

I will always be grateful for my place in this large network of beautiful borzoi, especially knowing that I have made a huge contribution to its lineage through a bitch I owned, Mikhailya, and the very special puppy her breeding produced, “Magnus”.   Even though I only own his  litter-mate, he too is competitive in the ring and has outstanding breed type.  Most of all, he has my heart for his spirit and for all of his accomplishments.

I have so much to be grateful for that I should never look back in sadness for what I lost, or doubt my reasons to be happy but instead count my many blessings.   Yet, it is always frightening to feel it when it occurs, when my very foundation is shaken by some  event or other, and it feels so deceptively real to me, only to find out that I was wrong.  It is a difficult way to live except for knowing I have only to reach out and embrace Jelly and Tresor, both, for comfort and peace to be restored again.  And many more times than not, I do not have to reach far to feel the warm hand of LT catch me when I fall.

 

Blyss Poetry by Langston Hughes – Wisdom In Considering Grief

A Poem by Langston Hughes

Life is for the living

Death is for the dead

Let life be like music

And death a note unsaid.

Sadly, at this time in my life, I know of others who grieve very badly, and one woman with whom I am close in particular.  I have had to endure the deaths of several significant others in my life, including some very close friends, most recently, my mother last November.  Once, I entered into a long and complicated grief over the death of my youngest borzoi, Opal, triggering a long and deep depression for which I had to see medical assistance.  Perhaps those seemingly lucky people who rarely lose a close person are lucky, at least seen from my eyes, but perhaps not.  I am more practiced at it, so when it happens I put well applied defense mechanism into play that help mitigate my suffering.

There will be nothing to stop the pain in the beginning or stop the seemingly endless flow of tears so let it be.  In time though bring it to a close before you are damaged by too much sadness.  I know it is an addiction, no safer than heroin, to which you make a strange bedfellow, that is very hard to break up with.  Let it go in time and not too long at that.

Following are some suggestions:

Reach out to joy, or something or someone that gives you joy.

Pray or meditate

Visit the ill or shut in, or residents of assisted living facilities

Join clubs, churches, groups that do activities

Look for a substitute in your life to replace the one you have lost.

There can be no more “birthdays” or “anniversaries” with someone who is gone.

Stop thinking in terms of “anniversaries” and “birthdays”.

Find another companion with whom to celebrate new milestones.

I believe every day spent in grief after a short while, such as 3 – 6 months, is a loss to the living person.

Nothing is gained by excess or complicated grief.

Seek medical care for complicated grief because it underlies depression.

The feelings of joy from Blyss Tresor and the terrible news of the illness of a friend

Every day I experience the joy and gratitude of living with my beautiful borzoi, Tresor.  The knowledge of how tenuous this happiness was, and how it  does not escape me that it may never have happened humbles me.  And so every day when I care for him, I realize that these tasks are finite because some day he won’t be here anymore.  At nearly seven, I feel robbed of the four years he lived away from me.  He is so precious and dear.  I am also aware that at my age, when he passes, I may be too old to have another borzoi.  Time will tell what I will do, that judgment call is out.

I spent a few nights at the home of Jelly’s breeder, N24, and brought both Tresor and Jelly along.  We had a wonderful time.  They were both on excellent behavior there.  Tresor had to be leash walked, which went well.   However, the two dogs would not run and play in her fenced area, but only stood at the gate staring at the house to come in.   Tresor was welcomed in the house with me, but then her two bitches, both house dogs, had to be confined to her bedroom.  However, for about half the time, both Jelly and Tresor were in a massive dog pen she had in her dog grooming room which for some reason worked for them.  They were always settled down and calm when they were put in there.  They divided their time between the field where they would not run, the large dog pen, and being in the house and on a leash with me.  Tresor was a perfect gentleman.  When he met a man who was N24’s friend and another, her son, he willingly went with them on walks and allowed them to handle him.  It is obvious he goes with anyone with ease, indicative of a dog who has had many dog walkers and pet sitters.  Now that he is back with me, his care takers are primarily my boyfriend and myself.

Sometimes, illness strikes when you least expect it.  Such as my otherwise healthy 90 year old mother suddenly developing a fatal tumor and dying shortly thereafter.  Two years ago, I, too, was diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness but it was successfully treated to the best of my knowledge.   Two days ago, my beloved boyfriend suffered a sudden potentially serious illness.  It has stopped me cold in my tracks.  It reminds me of my illness and my vulnerability in it.  He makes a huge difference in my life between happiness and unhappiness, serenity and agitation, feeling safe versus feeling vulnerable.  He is a wonderful man, and I want him to stay with me forever.  I am at the point of prayers for him, even though he himself does not pray.  May God hear my prayers, or, may the Blessed Mother hear my request to intercede for his behalf to her Son for his rapid recovery, for he deserves to live and be restored to health.  It is the nature of Life to be hard and unfair, even cruel, but let him be spared the potential end result of a serious illness and be restored to health.

With all of these things in mind, especially the vulnerability of the dogs I love so much and my awareness of the ephemerality of life ~ we pass through but for a brief time ~ may life be kind to us and them and relieve our sufferings.