Monthly Archives: November 2016

More Blyss News: Problems at home, Challenges still; but Lucy’s and Vinto’s stars continue to rise!

As we slowly go into winter, every passing day is a reminder of how quickly it will be upon us, as the days that temperatures hover in the 40s and the 50s on the thermometer become more commonplace.  These are days when one must wrap oneself in multiple layers of clothing before leaving the house even to do a brief dog walk.  And it is still only autumn!  The very chill fills me with disdain for my world.  And as it does, I feel the strong arm of depression pulling me down hard and back to where I should never venture alone yet there I am in spite of it.

Almost four weeks ago, Jelly suffered serious juries to her front legs that have been slow to heal, one leg in particular.  I have been taking her to our veterinarian twice a week ever since, approximately a 100 mile plus round trip because I trust the veterinarians in that practice.   Tomorrow, we go again, and I hope it will be our final appointment.  This has taken a lot out of me emotionally.  Please let tomorrow be the last day of this.

The bright lights in my world continue to be the joy I derive from reading Facebook.  There I can glean the latest news of “Lucy” (Mikhailya’s grand-puppy), and “Lucy’s” son “Vinto”, (a great-grandson of Mikhailya’s).  The news is that with Vinto in Japan, and Lucy now being shown in the “sun belt” of the United States, they are both winning regularly Best in Shows!  This warms and cheers me almost every day, since the owners and handlers are very generous with their publicity and these beautiful borzoi are always on Facebook.  I copy these e-photos and save them in a folder on my hard-drive so I can share them on my Blog and always have them to go back to.   The most recent photographs are attached.


Lucy: Best in Show,Nov. 20,2016, Tuscon, AZ
Lucy: Best in Show,Nov. 20,2016, Tuscon, AZ
Vinto's Tenth Best in Show, in Japan
Vinto’s Tenth Best in Show, in Japan
Lucy: Head study
Lucy: Head study

In the meantime, I derive joy from the accomplishments of these two beautiful borzoi that are connected to my life.  They are truly my accomplishment of the “blyss” I set out to find in 2002 when I said “Yes!” to buying my first borzoi!  And yes, I do credit my “Mikhailya”, a rare, beautiful and extraordinary borzoi that I knew should be bred and convinced Karen Staudt-Cartabona to do so to Regal in October 2008, leading to so much success for Karen and me.

Therefore, I will work hard on improving my attitude at being happier and realizing I cannot do anything about any of the problems I think about all the time.  After all, its roots run long and deep going all the way back into a violent childhood.  Like all victims of abuse, it shadows adult life  preventing one from achieving their potential.  Comfort is often derived in self destructive habits, or unusual things.  An exaggerated love of animals is common, and victims of physical abuse are very common among people committed to living closely with animals.  For myself, my true love was lavished on a second great Majenkir bitch we came to own, my beloved Opal.  The pain of her loss remains unparalleled in my heart; it cuts me all the way down and makes me lose my will to live.  I say her name, and her image appears to me in my mind’s eye; her beauty and sweetness had no equal……Opal……tears……prayers…..  And today, I have My Tre.

Tresor with Jelly on his deck, 2016
Tresor with Jelly on his deck, 2016



1st_May 2005, Opal wins a Puppy Class, Bucks Co. KC

Baby Opal wins her first show, shown with Bob and me; Bucks County KC 2005

Tresor and Jelly continue to be wonderful life companions for me every day.   Tresor, especially, has grown more affectionate and loving toward me since we have been living alone in our home.   I think to myself, why do I want to share this beautiful dog with anyone?  I have had to share him with other people all of his life, and now it is just him and me.   And, with Jelly, whom he also adores.  Tresor, “My Tre”, “The Tre”,  is blissfully happy here with us, and when I think of my life that way, I can find a crumb of happiness and a mote of optimism for someday, that someday, the pain will go away and something will happen so my life will be better.  In fact, perhaps it is better already.

Home with Tresor & Jelly
Home with Tresor & Jelly


Blyss Kennels speaks about the Presidential Election of 2016

I posted the following on Facebook the day after the election.  I do not  customarily comment about the outside world and I never wander into the fray of politics but I felt  I would have been remiss to say nothing.  I felt it was sad to see the country so bitterly divided along partisan lines, with each side believing they and they alone had the true answer and the contender, with the opposing viewpoint, would lead the country astray.  What do you do when something like this happens?  Especially when the losing candidate won the popular vote?  That does not help because many on the losing side believe that should be the vote that counts!  So, this is what I wrote on Facebook after reading many toxic, ugly messages from my “Friends”.

“You know, I am not going to allow anything to take away my bliss today. The process worked. I am living here, in the town where I grew up, in my house that I own, with two beautiful champion Majenkir borzoi of which I am so proud and that I love. At this point of my life, I have learned life is about adjusting and accepting, getting along and wishing everyone well, even those on the other side of the argument. In the meantime, let’s take good care of those creatures that have been entrusted to us, borzoi, other breeds, other species such as horses and donkeys, whatever. Good luck, America.”

Home with Tresor & Jelly
Home with Tresor & Jelly

I cannot help but be reminded of a song that has an optimistic and happy message about America without being too silly about it, by a talented man, Steve Goodman, (1948 – 1984) sadly taken way before his time by a then killer cancer that could probably be cured today.  Perhaps we would all benefit from going back and taking some time to listen to it.   I am speaking of the 1985 Grammy Award posthumously bestowed song, City of New Orleans.

Late November 2016 at Blyss Kennels, updates about the borzois

By late November, you can’t lie to yourself anymore and think that it is still summer or fall.  Like being at the end of your life and your beauty is dimmed, you are not in the springtime of your youth and therefore not the first pick of the boys.  The inevitable bitter cold with biting, raw winds bear down from wherever they come from as you try to go about your kennel work suddenly turning what once brought you joy in your beauty it into an unpleasant ugly chore.  To make things even worse, Jelly sustained a bad injury on her forelegs by falling down hard on them while running off leash in the Watchung Reservation, making it necessary to go to an Emergency Vet nearby and the beginning of many visits to “Dr. Mary” for “bandage changes”, making it a very expensive injury from which to recover.  The lacerations cut across her wrist joint and the challenge was to keep the wounds covered until they were healed to avoid osteomyelitis or “septic joint”.  So, all of that  has been happening, and after three weeks, there is still one wound wrapped although it is becoming noticeably smaller.  I feel as if I live on Rt. 78, the long road I need to take to get to another road that takes me to Washington, NJ, where our regular vet office resides.  I would not let another vet practice touch my borzois, as I learned the hard way from past experiences.

There has been much in the way of good news, too.  I still see announcements on Facebook of Mikhailya’s great-grandson, “Vinto” wining Best in Show placements in Japan on a regular basis.  How proud we all are of him.  But not only of him, of his great dam, “Lucy”, who still does a lot of Best in Show winning here in the States, herself.  The next very big show will be the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February in New York City.  That will be followed by the Borzoi Club of America National Specialty Show in Hunt Valley, Maryland, the week of May 10 – 17, 2017.  I can only wait and wonder if Lucy’s owners will show her in these shows again.  It is just hard to say, and I am not privy to this information.  Perhaps they will bring “Vinto” back since he has done so well in Japan.  If I were their owners, that is what I would do, but I am not.

I have been trying to keep my spirits up, but with the onset of the holiday season, it is very difficult.  I have been reading more, in the historical biography area.  I just finished the Ellie Bolles Ellison (2014) The True Mary Todd Lincoln, and want to read the Chernow  biography of Hamilton fame, since I can’t afford to spend $1,000.00 on a Broadway ticket to see the play.  It’s comical that this milestone has come about.  I could say more about this in light of the outcome of the recent presidential election, but I demur.  However,  I digress.  What I mean to say is, by reading it creates the illusion that I am in the company of others and it distracts me from the intense loneliness I feel.  It appears that I am not anybody’s cup of tea.  Watching the movies on Turner Classic Movies has the same effect.  I think I will try to do more reading in the new year, or, it depends on what movie is playing.  Perhaps I can be more selective.

The well being of Jelly and Tresor are all I can ask or expect.  Nothing else really matters at this point, as long as I can rise each morning and do what I need to do every day.   But I know all too well how alone I am and how much the responsibility for Jelly and Tresor weighs on me.

At this time, I can identify other areas that are critical and important, and I will be writing more about them in the year to come.

In particular, one area of interest that developed for me in 2016 and about which I have written before was the need for donkey rescue.  I have begun to see more attention given to this cause throughout the year.  Facebook has many groups with people who have a keen interest in this topic, and in recent months, the New York Times, reversing a long period of disappointment I have had in them, has taken up the topic with vigor.   And as donkeys require awareness and assistance, so it goes for all equines, horses, large and small.  I hope I can raise the level of awareness somewhat in Blyss Blog readers while still remaining true to the focal topic of this blog, the borzois of Blyss Kennels and challenges and joys I have living with them.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  In spite of many sorrows, I have much to be thankful for.  I hope you do, too.



Early November, Blyss Kennels, Mountainside, NJ. Musings about the Mountain

This time of year, early November, one cannot look away for long and not see the spectacular beauty of the mountain along which Mountainside is located.  And, a large part of the town is stretched out along the bottom, so one cannot help but notice as the town’s people go about to and fro performing their life’s work, they feel surrounded by a wall of forest behind them or that they can look up to, a wall that changes colors with such consistency and accuracy you can base your life on it.  Moreover, contemplating the constancy of the mountain, I always recall the following words:

“I lift my eyes up into the hills, for from there comes my help!”  Psalms 1:1

  We are just now, in early November, somewhat past the peak of fall foliage, however I want to comment how lovely a season it has been and how grateful I have been for that.  When driving around along many of the town’s roads or on the highway that cuts across the town at the southern point, US Highway (Rt.) 22, you are driving parallel with the mountain.  There are three main roads that take you from Rt. 22 through the town and into the mountain with the preserved forest at the top, “Watchung Reservation”. They are Summit Road, Central Avenue, and New Providence Road, like Rt. 22, ancient roads.  These days, Blyss Kennels today is located in the vestiges of an old farming neighborhood on Central Avenue.  My house, built in 1920, is a small cottage along side a large field giving the impression that it is my own front yard.  It is not, alas.  Many photographs of myself with my borzois have been taken in this bucolic setting perpetrating this illusion shamelessly.  It is worth mentioning because I have a strong sense of place, and I believe my borzois, those currently living and those deceased, are and always have been happy here.

Moreover, I know it now with certitude, my  borzois are happiest with me and  me alone.  We do not need anyone else.  Oh yes, sometimes I may want a dog-sitter or another dog-walker for them from time to time.  Otherwise, I am sufficient.  And I have come to realize I only want them, with their perfect love; their pure love; them and God.  We need no other.  Yes, like the wild meadow fields that one comes upon hiking in the Watchung Reservation, the land formerly cultivated for corn and other crops, my field is a spectacular beauty here at home, enjoying it together with them.

“……Even though the moment passed me by I still can’t turn away.”  Goo Goo Dolls.  Name.

How interesting it is that when contemplating the beauty of nature, even a relatively small mountain in a suburban community, how much one learns about oneself if they take the time to consider it’s presence and beauty.

Coda.  I may have the misfortune of outliving my “field” while living here if it is sold to developers.  Its owner died two years ago and his heirs want to sell it.  I can’t do anything about that and  I don’t have the means to purchase it myself.