Category Archives: Morals&Ethics

The days after Easter at Blyss

It was just Easter on Sunday, and on Saturday, I spent the day with my son and his wife at the home of his wife’s parents with the baby, my grand-daughter, Piper Starling.  It was a fun day because  I got to hold the baby a lot, and she likes me to hold her.  In addition to that, many people have commented that of everyone there, she resembled me the most, even some Facebook friends commented on the resemblance.  She is very verbally precocious and charming.  My son made a delicious leg of lamb, and I bought a very special decorated cake for Easter in the shape of an Easter egg from the very creative, upscale bakery in Summit, Natale’s.  On Sunday, I was invited to an Easter dinner with my sister and her family, including her son Logan, who happens to be my God-son, whom I love very much.  I had not seen Logan in about two years due to the COVID quarantine.  It was a lot of emotional stimulation and excitement for one weekend.

I posted pictures from both days on Facebook, happy pictures and posts.  I have not been well since my sudden, forced separation from my last boyfriend of one year on Valentine’s Day weekend.   Last week would have been our first anniversary of meeting face-to-face, a joyous occasion, allowing us to be in quarantine together.  I have to ask myself why I am such a loser in my relationships with men.  It is the ruination of my happiness and my life.  I wish it would just end and be over because I cannot take the pain and the loneliness anymore.  The last one swore we would be forever so I am shaken to the core this time.  He has since ghosted me.   I don’t know how someone does that.

But I have my beloved Kensey, who makes me very happy.  She is always there for me with her emotional support.  Moreover, I will be attending the spring dog shows, both locally on the first weekend in May, and in Ohio, where the Borzoi Club of America will be holding its specialty show during the last week of May.  These are reasons for joy.  I will be among friends and their borzoi, and being happy.  I will see many people whom I only see at this show, and it will warm my heart.

If only my boyfriend had not abandoned me in February, this could have been such a happy time.   He is a hard hearted person, one has to have a heart of stone to act the way he acts, knowing how much I loved him.  But we can only be who we are, and that is who he is.  People do what they want to do.  He needs to be free of the ties that bind in a relationship whereas I need to be held close and loved. And I still love him so much I could die of it.

This old horse, the Rancher said……

Along the Dusty Trail

 This old horse, the Rancher said,

She’s seen some better days,

She’s eating up my profits

And costs a lot for hay.

 

Another horse would suit me

A stronger one at that

She’s seen a lot of miles

Like my cowboy hat.

 

This old horse, the Rancher said,

She helped me herd my steer

I’m pretty sure she’s magic

I know I hold her dear.

 

Another horse would suit me

One that can run fast

Maybe one that’s younger

Or maybe one that lasts.

 

This old horse, the Rancher said,

She’s long and far in tooth

My children do remember

Her fondly from their youth.

 

 Another horse would suit me

A gelding in its prime

One that needs less fixing

That helps me save a dime!

 

Why, they ask, then keep her?

Why not trade her now?

Bring her to an auction,

Replace her with a cow?

 

 The Rancher’s brow grew heavy

He took a staggered step

His eyes did show his friendship

In wrinkles, as they crept.

 

His breath, he took in deeply

As he poised to say his words

It’s as if the earth grew silent,

That his message could be heard.

 

This old horse, the Rancher said

Has given me her life.

I would not trade for anything

Nor either would my wife.

 

Another horse would suit me,

And perhaps someday will come,

But this old gal, I love her,

She is the chosen one.

 

The old horse, the Rancher said

Her services she did lend

Her and I have seen the years

This old horse, she is my friend.

 

Another horse would suit me well

And younger days for me

And I will keep my promise,

Until our last breath sets us free.

 Facebook. March 9, 2021

This poem, like the one I posted a few weeks ago, “The Old One”, and the one I added earlier today, “Seven is the number of years”,  although not as eloquent and dramatic, speaks of the same theme, appreciation for an old horse that is obviously a burden now but still highly valued for the many years of service it performed for a rancher or a rider and his family.  As someone born to “city folk”, whose family  would never give stories like this a glance, let alone a second glance, or to stop and read it, and transcribe it in her Blog, where love of equines and canines are celebrated in full force. my passion for these beautiful creatures is an anomaly.  However,  I lack for nothing on the positive scale of compassion for all animals, domestic and otherwise but especially: canine, equine, feline, avian, porcine,   bovine, goats, and other barnyard animals too numerous to elucidate who live at the mercy of us humans and often suffer terribly from it. How can we wipe away their pain?  Why must it be there?  Part of it is financial, since veterinary care has become so expensive, and part of it is because caring for barnyard animals s so hard and labor intensive.  However, I am sure animal owners cut corners on quality of care and the animals suffer from it.  My heart, my passion, belong to horses and dogs, especially.

In my twenties, I rescued a thoroughbred from the track, and had a nice pleasure horse for a number of years.  Financially, long term, it was not realistic in relation to my salary.  Looking back, now that I am seventy, I realize it was not expensive at all, because the cost today is totally prohibitive.  I turned to dogs in 2002, borzoi, the most equine-like dogs in the world.  I compromised my deepest value and sold my horse, and was never being able to own on again.  I was destined to always have a horse, and I failed.  What I do instead today is donate to horse rescue charities in the amount to which I am able.  I have found many such charities on Facebook and many wonderful people, saints, who do this work.  When I find a horse poem or a piece of writing that celebrates equines, I save it because it always touches my heart.  I then share it by putting it in my Blog giving it a wider audience than it otherwise might not receive because I know I have a steady readership audience for the Blog.

 

Least we not forget, The Horses; from Facebook

Regardless of the depth and breadth of materials it holds, I find so much that is good on Facebook.  For me to note it, and then to wish to save it, and/or post it on my Blog means that I have been very moved by a particular piece of writing and it has made an impact on me.   I don’t know how all these disparate items appear in my feed, sometimes forwarded by a Friend, or just appearing out of the blue, but I receive the most astounding pieces of writing about life, the world, and our place in it.  Unquestionably, this one that I received today, stands among the best.  I feel compelled to share it with my Facebook friends and my Blog readers.  It follows:

Seven is the number of years I served my owner, trotting, walking, loping, quiet and gentle.  I carry her children, husband, friends and neighbors.  I have plenty of hay, horse friends, and time to myself.  Green pastures, blue skies, I am at peace.

Six is the number of months I carry on in pain after falling. I do it for her, anything for her.  She is impatient with me.  I try hard to keep up but the pain slows me down.  Every step hurts.  No one wants to ride me.  A new horse arrives to carry on in my place.  I do not know this word, “useless”.

Five is the number of hours I stand in the small pen at the auction.  I hurt.  I do not know these horses; I do not know these people.  I am far from my pasture.  I search for comfort, switching weight off my painful leg, the people notice.  I do not know the word, “lame”.

Four is the number of times my value is calculated by my weight.  I don’t understand their words but I can read their eyes.  Hard stares.  I try to be invisible, but they see me.  I do not know this word, “slaughter”.

Three is the number of sniffs I take of your face through the pen before deciding you are kind and safe.  I like your eyes.  They are soft.  I like your hands.  They are gentle.  Please don’t leave me here.  I try to pick up my feet for you.  It hurts.  I try hard.  I rest my muzzle in your hand.

Two is the number of minutes it takes for me to pass through another pen.  I am scared.  I am trapped.  I am alone, people are shouting.  It hurts to walk.  A man is talking; his voice echoes all around me, there are so many people watching the hard stares.  Suddenly it’s over.          

One is the number of hours it takes before I walk onto the trailer.  I am alone.  I am scared.  It is moving. The door opens, I hold my breath, and brace at the light.  It’s you!  I stand still and breathe slow.  Kind hands, soft words, I’m not afraid now.

Two is the number of x-rays the vet takes while I stand quietly for you, anything for you.  Many days have passed.  I have energy now, my pain is less.  I like my new pasture, I like my new stall, I like my new hay.  I don’t know why we have a vet but I stand still for his visits.  So many visits.  I do not know the word, ‘rehabilitation”.

Three is the number of months before the pain is all the way gone.  I am relaxed with you, we start to ride together.  I am afraid the pain will come back, butt you are gentle, so I try.  I try hard for you, anything for you.

Four is the number of weeks I learn a new way of riding.  Another person rides me every day.  I’m becoming strong.  I understand my lessons..  I am proud to work, I feel you are happy with me, visiting me, and learning together.  I do not know this word , “training”.

Five is the number of years I work hard for you.  We travel to shows, we work cows, we ride with friends.  We do hundreds and hundreds of miles together.  You trust me and I trust you.  I give you everything I have, everything for you, anything for you.  I memorize your rhythm, your looks, your moods.  I know when to be wild and when to be still.  We are a team.

Six is the number of minutes I try to hide the pain after a fall, but you see through me.  I stand for the vet, still as a stone.  The pain leaves but I sense your sadness.  I remember a word from before when I had pain, “useless”, but you never say that word.  You no longer ride me but I see you every day for carrots and treats and long walks.  I relax again.  You will not abandon me.  I do not know this word, “retired”.

Seven is the number of breaths I take in your arms.  I has been many years, we have grown old and wise and slow together.  I lay down like so many times before but could not rise.  You came right away.  I tried for you, but I could not stand.  You say, its okay, sink down next to me, I breathe slowly.  You are very close, holding my head, weeping. 

I feel your sadness so I put my muzzle in your hand one last time to comfort you, anything for you.  I breathe out.  Green pastures, blue skys, I am at peace.  I know this word, “loved”.

 Author Unknown.

Facebook

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How sad it is today that society has such a diminished use for horses over the last one hundred years that owning them has become a sport, or an expensive pleasurer hobby, or a breed farm for the horses to be sold for profit, with great emphasis on the economic worth of the animal that needs to offset the ever growing expense of owning it.  Although we are grateful for the advances in veterinary medicine that allow them to treat and relieve previously untreatable pain conditions successfully, thereby keeping their economic value viable, it comes at a high cost to the horse owner, an expense that they may not be able to afford.  Then, there is the kill pen slaughter.  In today’s story, one lucky horse found his Guardian Angel, a lovely lady who saw him broken down and thought she had a chance to heal him and could see the potentially good horse he could become for her.  She took that leap of faith; she did the right thing by purchasing, and transporting him, then by vetting him, then by “rehabilitating” him so he could live pain free.  In return, he worked his heart out for her, as in “anything for her”.  The story makes some serious assumptions, like the lady having the time and resources to rehab this horse and retrain him, with success.  She then had a great horse to ride and love, and she was loved back in return.  She had a huge heart for her horse and always did the right thing.  I cannot help but be very critical of society for failing to do the right thing regarding our domesticated animals most of the time.  Whether it is puppy mills, or breaking or breaking down horses, abusing donkeys, slaughtering donkeys for their hides and milk, seeing young thoroughbred break down on the track, I wonder, where will this end?  With horses no longer needed for work, will they go away like so many other animals that no longer walk this earth?  In the canine world, one may think there will always be dogs, and there are many, yet many breeds have been lost over the last 100 years, especially in Terriers and Sporting Dogs.  Once the breed is gone, it really cannot be brought back, as some breeds claim to have done, as with the Irish Wolfhound, by recreating it using similar dogs to  create a resemblance.  It is better not to lose the breed at all than have to reconstruct it.  Likewise, it is better not to break down a young horse than have to rehab it.  People do not think that way, they are abusive and selfish, thinking only of what they want to do with the animal in the present, and throwing it away when they are through with it.

The roots of mankind’s responsibility for animals is in the Bible.  Yet, we have done a sickening  job of failing them.  There are no shortage of tears I weep for the canines and equines who depend on mankind for their wellbeing.  God sees and knows everything  and has no inhibition to unleash karma for betraying the trust of animals in the hands of humans who betray it.   When I pray, I pray for the abused, abandoned, and dying animals before I pray for myself or others.  Animals do not have a safety net and need the prayers more.  Perhaps most of mankind has forgotten the animals, but God and I have not.

Finding wisdom on Facebook for Blyss

I am frequently amazed by the truly great pieces of writing that end up in my Facebook feed.  It is as if the writer were sitting there in the room with me and looking deep into my very heart and knows exactly how I feel and expresses it with perfect clarity.  So it is with the writing of  Stephanie Bennett-Henry, especially one particular post, that I will share on my own blog, here that she posted on August 2,2015:

“I want the weirdos, the clumsy, fumbling, awkward ones  who call themselves a big mess.  That’s where it’s at.  Give me the one whose eyes are colored with shades of madness.  Throw me in a room with the loners, the ones who never found their place.  Sit me down at the table with the dreamers, the ones who feel with their eyes and see with their hearts.  Surround me with the extraordinary souls who inhale passion through their fingertips and exhale creativity from masterpieces in their bones.  I want to dance with the ones who will break their own hearts because they only know how to love too hard or not at all.  Build a path with the pieces of the broken ones.  I will follow the trail and carry each piece back to its owner, showing them the stained glass pieces of their beautiful, broken magnificence.”

Stephanie Bennett-Henry. Copyrighted.

So yes, there is dignity and loss in defeat.  There must be, be some positive dimension for humans since it is so ubiquitous and it does not kill us, it just keeps coming.  Is this a realistic interpretation of the human condition, flailing around, coming up short, losing everything, “dying” even, when you are still very much alive?  I am a master at surviving deaths.  I have had several reincarnations: surviving my childhood, surviving my first and second marriages, and coping with the tragedies that befell my kennel.  First, a puppy died unexpectedly.  I had forgotten puppies died, as I was so focused on breeding them and on their subsequent arrivals!   After, the puppies from my only litter were sent far away by my co-breeder, the one I got to keep was very sickly his first two years of life and was not emotionally sound.  This was challenging and I was focused on these events more than it was warranted until the punishing hand of God delivered its final blow: taking my darling husband, prematurely young, from cancer.  The only mercy to the story was it was swift.

My dreams of an adult life, happily married with a child and a houseful of dogs, Llewellyn English Setters come to mind since I did not know what borzoi were then,  a show kennel and horses in a pasture,  and never at a loss for love, was a bitter delusion that I never stopped pursuing long after it was feasible.  I pursue it still, and I am a very old woman.

And there lays my psychosis.  It is what places me in the room with the eyes colored with shades of madness, thrown in a room with loners who never found their place, who feel with their eyes  see with their hearts.  And yes, I have wanted to “dance” with the ones I knew would break my heart because they, too were flawed and could not love, so like my parents before them.  My life is lived on a path of broken stones and every step is painful.  But I see no magnificent stained glass portrait of myself to hang in the window to catch the sun and celebrate my life.  I am in a very dark place. The pieces of my life lie on the ground like broken stones, and an urn will hold my ashes in a mausoleum when I die.

From Facebook, “Because of Love, and It’s true! The Old Ones

I read this on Facebook a long time ago, and recently a Facebook Friend reposted it.  It touched me as much now as it did when I first read it.  I am sharing it on Blyss Blog Encore with my readers who will probably enjoy this as much as I do and be glad I came upon it again.

Because of Love!! “This is a true story”!

A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre- Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and it had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farmhouse. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.

The old folks no longer showed the horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day’s end.

Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks “Why do you not at least dispose of The Old One.” She is no longer of use to you. It’s been years since you’ve had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?”

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, ” Yes, I could use a pair of new boots.”

His arm slid defensively about the Old One’s neck as he drew her near. With gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied quietly, “We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love.”

Baffled and impatient, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.

The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the smell of the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the “Old One”.

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire’s fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other, they wept at their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together in front of the barn. They were speechless and stunned as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulder as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, “We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old, withered hand.

The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill, the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top- most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light.

Bedded down around the “Old One” close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the “Old One” as she moved calmly up the hill to safety beneath the pine. And now she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife.

Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift —LOVE. Because of love. Only Because of love.

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy… And again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is a true story.

Willy Eagle.

This is an Inspirational message sent to a small group of people on Facebook. My hope is that it will make your day just a little bit better.

Judy Gaik

October 24, 2018

 

Coping at Blyss with more than COVID-19 with my Kensie

However in the world are  we going to go on living with a pandemic that is infecting exponentially more people every day and killing a million people globally, and at least here in the USA, there is no realistic plan or a consensus between the medical community and political leaders how to approach a solution.  Why the politicians are second guessing the medical experts while cases and deaths increase at a terrifyingly alarming rate, I cannot imagine.  Then, there are many people who write on Facebook that Dr. Fauci is part of a Communist plot to close down the country to allow it to destroy our economy so Communism can take over, and something like a Revolution can succeed,  demonstrates that there is a very strong delusional right wing core of fanatics trying to destroy the very efforts we need to make as a country to keep its citizens safe from a horrible illness that could lead to a premature death or horrible suffering.  When you are ill, do you consult a physician or a politician?  I like to contact a physician!  I wonder why.

I wrote the following on Facebook today.

In response to the current debate over whose idea is right about how to flatten the curve in countries or US states with increasing cases of COVID-19, in March, activities and places were closed or shut down, and people were advised to social distance, self quarantine & wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the population and flatten the curve. It was very effective in accomplishing that when citizens heeded the advice.
What is there not to understand here? Medicine is a hard science based on theories proven with experimental results that are statistically significant. Politics is a social science, which is a soft science, lts data makes it more difficult to prove theories that reach statistical significance because the variables in designing social science experiments are more difficult to control. If I were going to follow the advise of either President Trump or Dr. Fauci, I would choose Dr. Fauci, our country’s leading Infectious Disease specialist. Medicine is a hard science and its facts, when studied, always yield the same results.
To repeat the advice of Dr. Fauci:
Do social distancing,
Avoid large gatherings.
Wear masks and
Self quarentine.
We disregard this advice at our peril.
They are ALL the right thing to do.
Kind regards,
Lorene
 Yvonne McGehee, Barbara Binder and 15 others
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I want to follow the science, not the politicians.  Something to think about, for sure.

Censorship, beware! Upset at Blyss Kennels over so many things.

I see in the news today, in an attempt to be politically correct, a corporate giant, known for it’s long history and many levels of accurate information dissemination, has enforced censorship on its subscribers rather than letting each of its world wide respected universe of subscribers decide for themselves. This clearly reveals a corporate superiority complex, contempt and lack of respect for us all, by its action of removing the Hollywood icon of 1939, Gone With the Wind (GWTW), from its offerings today. In so doing, the entire country’s First Amendment Rights of Free Speech under the U.S. Constitution are violated.

This was called censorship the last time I looked. GWTW is one of Hollywood’s all time great masterpieces on many levels.  It deserves to be seen for many reasons,  especially from being entertaining, beautiful to watch, to being historically accurate and thereby edifying.

GWTW was a brutally realistic depiction of the South’s punishment and destruction for its slavery based economy by losing the Civil War. It accurately captures the South in decay and then being destroyed, with burned out fields devoid of crops. In addition, all the main characters suffered enormously for their southern, slave based economy. There are no winners here. The loss of the Southern way of life based on slave labor is clearly and unequivocally depicted.

Moreover, tragedy, symbols of moral punishment, follow the southern main characters to the film’s long end:

Scarlet and Rhet’s young daughter dies in a horrible riding accident,

Scarlet suffers a miscarriage,

Scarlet and Rhet, husbands and wife, hate one another and are both alcoholics,

Melanie dies horrifically in childbirth leaving a small son and a grieving husband behind,

Scarlet then realizes that her long time and illicit love for Melanie’s husband, Ashley Wilkes, has always been unrequited, and

At long last, Rhet leaves Scarlet when she wants him to stay with her with his most famous line of all:

“Frankly, My Dear, I don’t give a damn” , racy words for 1939.

There is no victory lap here for the South and many lessons to be learned for getting it wrong. Yet to this day, while handling perhaps our county’s most sensitive period in our history, I do not believe a film as beautiful to watch as it gracefully depicts terminal punishment on the loser has ever been created again in Hollywood.

A stunningly beautiful young, English actress and a newcomer, Vivien Leigh, won a Best Actress Oscar her first time out playing Scarlet O’Hara with her heart and soul on constant view. Hattie McDaniel, an American of color, won Best Supporting Actress.   This was the first time a person of color won an Oscar.  The film also won a Best Picture Oscar and several others. GWTW stands up as well today as it did when it was released, and it is as respected and revered today as it was when it was made, as is the novel by Margaret Mitchell, a Southern woman, upon which it is based, when it was published. The film is a huge Hollywood icon of excellence that subsequent films tried to emulate but failed.

So sad and sorry to see this happen. This is a loss for HBO that I hope other services do not emulate.

Tears for America.

Lorene Connolly, M.L.S.

Blyss Kennels, Mountainside, NJ

 

 

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Yvonne McGehee, Charlotte Wyda and 9 others

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Two Blyss Borzois: Adventures of Lucy and Tresor, Doing what They Do Best!

So far, summer has been lovely.  Unfortunately for me, I have spent way too much time  performing grueling labor.  First, I created flower beds, involving bringing in soil and  mulch.  There were two long flower beds involved, both about sixty-five feet long.  I don’t know how my fragile, petite body did it.  After that was done,  I had to turn my attention to the deck with the peeling paint, that the contractor said was “normal” and “okay”.  I did not agree.  He did not stand behind his work.  Angry words were spoken, and I said, well, I will fix this myself.  On the outside, I was strong and tough, but  on the inside, I was devastated and depressed.  I can’t imagine anyone I know having to do anything even remotely like this daunting a task.  It made the garden work look easy.    But, my depression only made me tackle it with more ferocity.  I was not going to let this mean man get the better of me.  Home Depot is my new Bloomingdales.  I can go in and not even have to ask where things are anymore.  I can take care of myself now.  It is my goal to reverse the damage done to my deck by staining it after the wood was clean and sanded.

Aside from that debacle, I see many of my Facebook friends are enjoying beautiful vacations.  A very respected pair of twin sisters recently rescued some horses, and used them to go on a horse-b ack riding vacation out west, which is where they live.  They took photographs of the beautiful scenery their journey with their horses took them.  I cannot even imagine a more enjoyable vacation than spending time on a journey through the American west with a beloved sister and on horseback.   It struck me as such a precious gift to give one another, that their closeness allows they share so much the same passions.  They are both sight-hound breeders, and AKC judges.  I am truly in awe of them and their accomplishments.  I was sent several other Facebook vacation photos of friends in other pretty places enjoying themselves, but they all paled in comparison to those of the two sisters riding in the west.

I was thrown a cruel dagger this week from a cruel woman, a woman who just spits out venom without any thought of how she sounds, or the damage she does to the human spirit.  It has gotten her in trouble before, and she certainly has gotten herself in trouble with me, and my friendship with Jelly’s breeder, N24.   That is unfortunate.  The woman spoke for her, alleging I am no longer welcome at N24’s home because she does not like my Tresor, with whom I travel and bring there with me.  We never had a problem with him there because she has adequate space to keep him separated from her one male, and he is very well behaved around bitches.  This is a very tender place in my heart, or so I found out.  I cannot bear to think that people have ill will toward My Boy, who, along with myself, has been through so much.  We lost Bob to cancer six years ago.  It caused me to have to give him up. then, two years ago, he was suddenly given back.  And yes,  it is a bit beyond my ability to handle him.  I need help.  However, my home has a very good set up for him, and unless there is an accident with one of the fences, or a door – more about that follows – Tresor is safe and secure here with me.  He is a wonderful borzoi, full of love and happiness for people, and all he asks of life is to be walked a few times a day to be happy, and loved in return.

Mature Tresor

Since I do my own yard work  now, I was outside and forgot for a few minutes that the garage door had been left open when I went into the house for a few minutes. This causes a breach in the security for my borzois.  It was pure carelessness on my part that allowed this to happen. The last time I saw them, my  borzois were on my bed in the bedroom asleep.  I was just finishing a light lunch when a man who lives a block or so from my house rang my front door-bell.  When I came to the door, he said my dog had been in his yard, and had killed the animal now at his feet.  I looked down through the screen door, and saw a dead, red colored creature.  I thought it was one of his cats, so I began to profusely apologize.  He said it was not, it was a young fox!  I assumed it was Jelly, and we went out together to find her.  She was spotted right away  in the neighbor’s yard next door, having not gone far, and was just taking a stroll through the yards of the neighboring properties.    When we spotted “her”, we all called out to “her” and “‘she” sauntered over.  However, to our extreme surprise and shock, it was NOT Jelly at all, it was Tresor!  He knew how to sneak out of the house and get off the property, and once out, took himself on a hunting trip.  I felt so proud of him, that he showed intelligence by not running away in the street, or going the half-mile south down the road to US Highway 22, or run a half-mile north into the Watching Reservation, and may never have come back.  He wanted to get out, and he did it the smartest way possible, on a hunting trip close to home, and he brought me back his prize.

I also saw today on Facebook that Lucy, the great show bitch, who is the grand-daughter of our very own Majenkir bitch, “Mikhailya”, won a Group 1 placement at show in Kansas.  She certainly gets around.  Again, her handler looks like she is having the time of her life!

Lucy with Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, ..  winning a Group 1

The week started badly, with many burning tears cried for the painful words I had to hear spoken about my Boy.  The thought that people think ill of him disgusts me.  He is a great borzoi and I take wonderful care of him.    I care for him and Jelly to such a degree that you can call it  devotion, and commitment.  They are  my lifeline now.  I know they are not perfect, they are flawed, and probably nobody would ever want them but me, but they are mine to love absolutely and unconditionally.    That is how they love me.

 

Much Blyss news to report…..Memorial for Mikhailya!

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From  April 9 – 16, 2016, the Borzoi Club of America held its annual National Specialty Show in Kansas City, KA.  Borzoi from all over the world attended, although most were from the continental United States.  The bitch, Lucy, the grand-daughter of Blyss Kennels’ Mikhailya, the daughter of Mikhailya’s puppy, “Magnus”, the same bitch that won the Reserve Best in Show at the Westminster KC Show on February 16, 2016 was going to be there, I knew, to compete in Best in Show.  I was excited about attending and was letting it be known among my closest friends, especially  Jelly’s breeder, N24, that I was willing to go with her and share expenses.  Another local friend and breeder, N31, had recently approached me about going with her.  I was thrilled and I told her that I was willing to go out to Kansas with her and share expenses.  However, nothing ever came of it.  Close to the last minute, I was stunned to learn that N24 had accepted a ride and invitation to spend the week with my mentor, N5.  As it turns out, N5 owned the stud dog of N24’s current litter, so the plan to go together had a lot of credence and logic to support it.  Still, I was shocked but remained gracious in both thoughts and words throughout the ensuing conversation.  I simply said, “Of course you must accept.  How wonderful for you and your puppies.  You will have a wonderful time.”

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The following week, they were expected to be in Kansas City by Monday morning, April 11, 2016, when N24 needed to show her puppies in Futurity, and on Tuesday, April 12, 2016  when they were entered in Sweepstakes.  I had every reason to believe they had both arrived as they had planned.  But on Wednesday, I saw a photo on Facebook put up by N5 saying she was driving out that very day and with a completely different person.  Therefore, where was N24, and how did she get to Kansas City?

I decided to investigate.  I phoned my other primary mentor, N7, whom I knew was at home.  She informed me that N5 canceled her trip plans with N24,  suddenly and abruptly the night before the scheduled trip, on Friday,  leaving her on her own to get to Kansas City.  However, when N24 realized she was without a companion for the long journey, she did not call me.  Instead, she reached out to  S31, the same person who had spoken to me previously.      Therefore, my friends (N5, N24, and N31) were all sitting ringside together to see Lucy win Best in Show.  Knowing this, I had to make a tough evaluation  of who my friends were and were not.

 As it turned out, Lucy did win “Best in Show” at the Borzoi National Specialty.  On Saturday evening, however, the reaction on Facebook about her win was very subdued.   I could not even tell for sure that Lucy had even won.  So, I placed another phone call to N7 because I knew by then she would have known.  However, she demurred.  I had to wait until the following day when her owner posted their win results.  Not only was Lucy’s win for Best in Show explicitly confirmed, her son, “Vinto” was there, too, from the classes .  Apparently, he won Winner’s Dog.  Funny how N7 failed to mention that when we spoke on the phone.

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In the fifteen years I have had borzoi, I have had so few successes in the breed that my kennel can almost be considered a back-yard hobby kennel.  Many tragedies struck Bob and me that could have taken us down and out altogether.  But no, I persevered even after Bob died in 2011.  Certainly the death of Opal took me out emotionally for several years.  Then, Casanova and Paris did not make it in the show ring.  Although Mikhailya did wonderfully well, she broke her leg in January 2008, which was a huge expense and kept her out of the ring for years.  When we bred her, we took the puppy, Tresor, and he was very sickly for his first two years.  That again drained our financial resources.

However, we were more than the sum of our tragedies.   Mikhailya lifted us far above that.  Mikhailya was our shining star, and Bob and I worked hard to attain her high standard.  We owned her for eight-and-a-half years, and I kept her after Bob died.   Her breeding in 2008 was my idea and I begged N5 to let us do it, since she had long lost interest in Mikhailya and no longer cared about breeding her.  Yet, I persisted, and it produced one of her greatest dogs, “Magnus”.  I have much to be proud of.  A dog of my direct lineage, with N5, won the Borzoi National Speciaty and came a hair away from winning Best in Show at Westminster.

Today, looking back, I am so proud of Mikhailya.  I feel she was robbed by dying at ten.   I wish she could have lived longer to have seen this, or to have known it, or to have least lived to have seen Tresor come home as he did in Juy 2015.  In one litter, she proved to be one of the greatest producers of her time.   Was this “luck” I ask you?  No, emphatically not.  I planned this litter for several years hoping for the right time to come and it did.  I was no longer working in a job outside of the home.  But even that would not have been enough to ask to have her breed.  I asked for the breeding because I believed in Mikhailya; I had faith in my bitch.  Looking at her pedigree, as well as from living with her, I saw a very sound bitch from borzois  (males and females) who not only won in the ring but produced in the whelping box.  Bob and I really did not deserve her, she way outclassed us.  However, we always gave her our best, never realizing what it was that she would be giving us.

CH Majenkir My Ksar Mikhailya "Mikhailya", the White Hound
CH Majenkir My Ksar Mikhailya “Mikhailya”, the White Hound

Moreover, I embrace Mikhailya to my heart in my dreams, and there, in my arms, I kiss the soft fur on her neck, her “ruff”.  Her body is soft and warm, not cold and stiff the way it was when she was euthanized.    Why  did she have to die, I ask, why, why?  I’ve grown to love her more and more every day since then.  I wish I could tell her, to let her know.   I wish I had been a better owner to her, that I did not have to go to work, that I was always home with her the way I am now with Jelly and Tresor, her son.  I wish I had more money, so I could have given her more opportunities in the ring, or hired a good professional handler on the level she deserved.  I wish for so much!  Mikhailya,  who gave us that one beautiful litter, the litter that included Magnus, the litter that gave me my beloved Tresor, putting an end to grief once and for all, for she, Mikhailya, was a once-in-a-lifetime-dog.  To me, her worth is greater than the sum of all the girl-friends who left me behind at the National when her get did so well.  It was the honor of living with Mikhailya bathed in her special love: love that comforted me when Opal died, love that comforted me when Bob died, that special love, Mikhailya’s love, was the best win of all.