Monthly Archives: September 2015

Dealing with the many distractions at Blyss

Tresor at Blyss


Although there are many advantages to belonging to supportive communities, such as church, neighbors, friends, family, dog clubs, and so on, I have to take great care to structure my time carefully or too much time is taken away from home at Blyss with my borzoi.   When I think about it, I still cannot believe I have two borzoi, Jelly and Tresor.  Eight months ago, I had none.  So, the quality of my life has exponentially improved a great deal due to them, and I must not give them short shrift.  In the total scheme of things, they are of primary importance.  Perhaps others would not agree, or would not feel the same way about their pets.  However, for me, that is how it is.  It is important to know oneself, to know what one values most and give those things that one values most highly the consideration they deserve.

There is a concentration of more social gatherings than I would like on my calendar this week, including a cluster of two important ones on Sunday, but they all have merit.   Although they leave me torn, I know that if I neglect my social connections, I do so at the risk of losing the few friends I have.   Coming up first on Thursday, October 1, 2015, is the Morris & Essex Kennel Club show, and Tresor is entered.  Jelly’s breeder, N24, will be here the evening prior.  I have a delicious dinner planned.  We are not in the ring until 2:00 PM in the afternoon, so we have a lot of time to socialize, eat, bathe the borzoi in the morning, and just unwind and have some fun.  My boyfriend will be showing her puppy bitch and Tresor .  He was fortunate to be able to have some handling classes by an incredible instructor, who happens to be a member of the Morris & Essex Kennel Club.  He is a natural athlete with nerves of steel, and I believe he will do just fine.  As the date is rapidly approaching, I feel the stress building.  I do not have his nerves of steel, acquired over years of competing in athletic sports throughout his school years.

I will work harder at staying more focused next week and not let myself be torn in so many diverging directions.

Portrait of Jelly Maxine Bochnia
Portrait of Jelly
Maxine Bochnia

Blyss silence, so very wrong even if justified.

I know it is wrong of me to keep the news of my kennel to myself.  It is just that I now have two borzoi living with me, something I never thought I would have in my life again, and they consume a great deal of my time and energy.  Still, I want to get it right and write it all down for myself if not for others who find themselves in a similar situation.  And, someday they will be gone like the others before them, and the words that I write today will help keep them alive many years from now.

The house and their care would overwhelm me were it not for my boyfriend, “LT” and all of his support.  I simply could not do it alone anymore.  Every day is a struggle. I am aware of the little, or not so little, victory of simply getting out of bed.  Then, once on my feet, the confrontation with a terrible image, an encounter gone wrong, or recollection of one bad memory can send me reeling into near immobility for hours.  Once there, I contemplate my solitude.   And what to do next, I wonder, the challenge of eating and then facing the long day that lies ahead all appear an endless series of impossibilities.  Therefore, it is good the borzoi are here because there is so much to do for them.  Afterwards, I am ready to face the day.  Still, without my boyfriend,”LT”, a most special man, it is unlikely I could do it as well. I believe I could do it, but it would be much harder indeed.


This week on October 1, 2015 is the Morris & Essex Kennel Club dog show, held here in New Jersey at Colonial Park in Somerset NJ.  It is the oldest kennel club in the state and one of the country’s largest dog shows.  Within an hour away, it is not a show to miss.  This year, Tresor is being entered again.  Five years ago, he was entered, too.  It was his last show prior to Bob becoming ill, seemingly overnight.

Tresor_MG_2246_zoi_25_web He looked so grand, shown to perfection by Bob who showed no sign of illness.  Life can be so capricious.

Time passes, and with it brings many unforeseen changes.  Instead of my husband, today I have “LT”.  He is as good as Bob, if not better, in getting a dog ready for the ring.  I bought a new high-power “K-9” blow dryer to assist with attaining a more professional look, as well as a canine coat volumizing spray.  I have Tresor’s coat in good condition so he should look the right way in the ring.  And, “LT” is going to be his handler.  Even if Tresor does not win any points, they will both have a good time.

Jelly’s breeder, N24, will be coming over Wednesday afternoon to stay over with us.  She is bringing her very promising puppy bitch, “Jezebel” whom “LT” may be handling, too.


Tonight’s walk was the first time I felt chilled, that I felt the fall air, and that perhaps I should have been dressed more warmly.  Not wishing to delay the walk further, I stepped into it and endured the chill on my skin.   I wished for the warmth of summer nights even if the heat of their days was too much to enjoy.  But I realized I had to adjust again, to moderate myself like a meter to the world around me, and perhaps even so did my borzoi.   Again, perhaps this is best, because the borzoi can truly run and play all day out doors without worry for their respiratory health.  So for their sakes, I shall welcome the arrival of the cool weather even if I prefer the warm.  On the walk, I let my mind wander and it did to the different clothing I needed to get ready to put on in a moment’s notice:  fleece lined slacks, fleece vests, did I say “fleece” on everything?  Then, an occasional fleece lined parka: a shearling jacket?  And none of it a fashion statement.  I am unrecognizable when I walk my borzoi.

Still Overwhelmed for CH Blyss Tresor’s Great Success!

For one borzoi, from a small hobby kennel who has been away for four years to be so lauded on Facebook  for winning his championship title with so many congratulations and well wishes,  I am stunned and besides myself with joy.  Who ever said that Facebook “Friends” were not really “friends”.  I can prove otherwise.

Today, we are passing a happy day at home, reading even more congratulatory notes on Facebook, answering email messages, and just being happy.

If saying “Thank you” was enough, I would say it.  It’s not enough, but it is all I can say.  Today, I will break my rule about not mentioning my friends, breeders’ and mentors’ names, because they are so obvious and deserve mention.

For those who replied to Jennifer Zucker’s  (Raynbo Borzoi, Reg.) post on Facebook yesterday, I am absolutely overwhelmed by your enthusiasm for Tresor.    However, none of this would have been possible without the generosity of spirit and years of mentoring by Karen Staudt-Cartabona,  (Majenkir Borzoi, Reg.).  It began in 2003.   Bob and I had bought our first borzoi, “Casanova”, Lara’s River of Dreams.   Shortly thereafter, Karen invited us to visit her home and kennel, “Majenkir” .  She said she had a borzoi selected for us.  (See:

To our delight, Karen actually sold us a bitch she called “Mikhailya”.   Her excellence and quality was beyond standard measurement and she quickly became a Champion.  She was the jewel of our hearts and home.  There is nothing more to be said to describe her.  It was this bitch, “Mikhailya”, who was the dam of “Tresor”.

I want to acknowledge again, as I have done so many times, the debt I owe to Karen for her many gifts of wisdom over the years.  Without her, I would not be as learned  about this breed as I am.  All of us around her, whether they want to admit it or not, owe her a great debt, not only in wisdom but in good, sound blood lines in their kennels.  That will endure long after she is gone, which I hope is not for a very long, long time.  So, if “Tresor” won his Champion Dog Title yesterday, I say Thank You to Karen for having faith in two very naïve dog owners in 2003 who had recently purchased only one borzoi.  She thought we had what it took to care for her young bitch, “Mikhailya”.