Monthly Archives: February 2020

Another Interruption caused by TCM when I had things to do…..

I have been very busy these days after months of lethargy and depression catching up with work that had been put aside.  When the weather become warm, I want to start gardening and taking care of the lawn outdoors.  I need to be very disciplined however I can be most tempted to stray when a film I truly love comes on the schedule for  Turner Classic Movies.  Last night, when I should have been sleeping, the movie scheduled was among my top 5, Splendor in the Grass, directed by Elia Kazan, starring a very young Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, made in 1961.  Another lifetime ago, I may add.  I know I can write volumes about this movie and why Iike it so much, but now is not the time.  I will say, even having seen it a dozen times, each viewing is as new and raw and shocking as was the first time.  It is difficult to watch the growing pains of two young people who love each other trying to do the right thing while everyone around them is acting badly and the world as they know it is undergoing profound social changes, even in the Nebraska heartland.  And yes, it is excruciatingly painful to watch them as they come undone and become unrecognizable people from whom they were at the beginning of the story.  Together, once so close, they launch their adult lives in such different places, determined not to think much about happiness anymore, and say a simple good by before setting off apart.

As actors, the careers of Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty exploded with stardom and success, including Oscars.  It is always a joy to watch their films, each one so different yet rewarding.  They talents are boundless.  Natalie was taken far too prematurely with a tragedy that defied all logic, as if it were part of the plot of the movie she was making.  It never added up to me……  But the death of a great movie star usually does not.  They never really die.  The movies and the stars I love so much share my heart with the dogs and the horse I have loved so much.  I am so grateful for the technology that enables us to watch, rent or stream virtually any movie we want to watch almost anytime for a very small amount of money.  They are my companions in loneliness.

Sudden change of Plans at Blyss on Academy Awards Night!

After dogs and horses, I guess I love film and photographs as an art form more than anything else..  I love good films, how they are made, who their directors are,  the writers, the fashion,  but most of all, the stars themselves.  I think a good movie will reflect the culture in which it was made.  I also believe a great movie fills what an audience needs at the time.  A film maker is judged by how accurately he makes that judgement call.  Tonight, the Academy Awards is being televised.  I usually love to watch it.  I was just settling in.  Suddenly, on an imulse, I flipped over to TCM (Turner Classic Movies).  I found a film had just begun that happened to be among my absolute favorites.  I wanted to stop everything and watch it.   That is exactly what I did.  I had no power whatsoever to resist it.  The movie was National Valvet.  It was made in 1944, and in color.   It starred Elizabeth Taylor in one of her earliest movies (her fifth).  It also featured a very young Mickey Rooney.  Also featured was  Anne Revere, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her noble performance as the simple mother who encouraged her young daughter to ride her horse, The Pie, in the Grand National Steeplechase Race.  As it was,  she shared the story with her daughter that she had swam the English Channel when she was just a teen-ager and wanted Velvet to experience something special and comparable for herself.      Another treasure in the film is the debut of Angela Landsbury in her first film role as Velvet’s eldest sister.  You can find a lot of quotes on the Internet from National Velvet but the one that is my absolute favorite is not there.  There is a very similar one, almost verbatim,  in the film, Black Beauty, by the young mistress who loves him.   It goes something like:  I would as soon not go to heaven than see The Pie unhappy.

That about sums it up for the way I have felt and still do feel about the way I love my own dogs and the one horse I had the privilege to own in my life.  The movie underscores the sentiment shared by so many young woman almost universally, that there is nothing better than a horse.  To believe anything else is an illusion.

When I think of my own life and the dogs and horse I owned, I diminish in worth compared to theirs.  They are so precious and dear to me.  It is that by loving them, somehow I am loved in the way I was never loved by those who failed to love me.  Or, it is that by loving them, it does not really matter anymore that significant others did not love me.   My ability to love my horse and my dogs became my victory over pain and rejection, my gift to myself when others took away their gifts:  my joys, my acceptance, and then even God himself,  who took even more from me….. as in the death of Opal…… the loss of Bob.

Undoubtedly, National Velvet is among one of the best movies ever made for its drama, excitement, beauty and values.  But not to go unmentioned, all of the Lassy movies, some of which Elisabeth Taylor also did a superb job acting in,  are equally excellent.  So, whether the Academy Awards are on TV, or the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, or another truly excellent movie, I think if either National Velvet or a Lassie movie  appears on the TCM schedule, I will just change my plans impromptu and make myself comfortable.  Truly, I cannot resist them.

Blyss Kennels, Belisarius Borzoi and Westminster KC Dog Show Again

Today, Sunday February 9, 2020, the Westminster KC dog show began judging breeds for the first time on Sunday at Pier 94, making breed judging a three day event.  The Group judging would remain the same, at Madison Square Garden, Monday and Tuesday night, with Best in Show on Tuesday night.  Borzoi were judged in Ring 1 at 9:30 am, so I was sure to be awake and up, ready to watch the judging via live streaming through the Fox News app.  It was wonderful and magical to watch it live from the comfort of my easy chair in my living room without having to leave the house and travel to NY City.   Upon making myself comfortable, imagine my surprise to see not one, not two but three descendants of my own beautiful Majenkir bitch, “Mikhailya”, Ch Majenkir My Ksar Mikhailovna, in the ring through her son, Int Jp CH Majenkir Magnus of Blyss “Max”.  One bitch, Majenkir Circle in a Spiral, was handled by a Borzoi Club of Central NJ member, Mami Shuma.   She was a “Max”/”Magnus” daughter and a “Mikhailya” grand-daughter.  In addition, Shota Hirai was in the ring handling CH Belisarius Jp Wild Rumpus “Lam”, a daughter of “Candy”,  who won Best of Breed, down from Magnus.  And, a third Majenkir borzoi,  who won Best Opposite Sex, GCHB CH Majenkir Bookstore Spellbinder “Vigow”.   Yes, I have been lonely and heartbroken for the loss of my own beloved “Mikhailya”  in June 2013 and nothing can ever make up for her loss.   But seven years later, to see three of her progeny in the breed ring for the Westminster Kennel Club dog show truly brought her to life for me again.  As the poet once wrote:

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

It will never pass into nothingness but still will keep

a bower for us and a sleep

Full of health, sweet dreams and quiet breathing.

Although everything ended for Mikhailya and me when Bob, my husband, died suddenly  in March 2011, she lives on in these borzoi and the many others who carry her genes forward through her son, “Magnus”/ “Max” after she diedl.   I had asked the Borzoi Breed Archive to compile a reverse pedigree for her going out five generations.  They complied, showing that “Mikhailya” has approximately 150 offspring located around the world mostly because of her son, “Max”/”Magnus”.

In addition to BOB and BOS, the next dog selected was Select Dog, GCHS CH Belisarius JP CI My Big Boy

Select Bitch was GCHB Crown Jewel Princess Eugenia

Award of Merit was CH Justart Majenkir Status Symbol

Award of Merit CH Estet Classic Timofei

It was a very strong class, one worthy watching and cheering.  Good luck Monday night in the Hound Dog Group!

 

 

 

Kensie arrives at Blyss

I have endured much since Jelly’s death nine months ago, trying to accept my decision not to acquire another dog, or at least not another borzoi.  It has been a long time to be alone and unhappy, and I will admit to having made some grave mistakes.  They were followed by a very difficult period of serious health problems, more than one, but not excluding a worsening of a depression.  I sought relief where I had done so before, with my physicians, and it was agreed that the time might be right to consider bringing another dog into my life but a breed other than a borzoi.  After much consideration,  I decided to acquire a beautiful Silken Windhound from Mary Childs of Wind ‘n Satin Kennels in Ohio.  She is a long time borzoi breeder, and active, life time member of the Borzoi Club of America.  In recent years she has taken to breeding Silken Windhounds.  When she learned I was interested in acquiring one, she contacted me.  She  happened to have the most perfect individual in her kennel for me, a four-and-a-half-year old bitch, a Grand Champion who had recently whelped a litter and was ready to place in a regular home.  After the sharing of some  photos, it was confirmed that this perfect angel would come to Blyss.  Her name is Kensie.  Immediately upon her arrival, Kensie knew what she was there for, and that I was her person.  She never whimpered or looked back, she never uttered a sound of disturbance or complaint, or put a foot wrong.  She simply adored me upon entering my home as if she knew she had a reason to be there, mainly being to heal my broken heart.