Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 one of Elizabeth Taylor’s earliest movies (her fifth).  It was also a very early film of 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 she shared the story with her that she herself had swam the English Channel when she was just a teen-ager.      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 these 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 diminishes 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 becomes my victory over pain and rejection, my gift to myself when others took away all my joys and acceptance, and then were there again, even God himself,  to take even more from me.

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 again descendants of my own beautiful Majenkir bitch, “Mikhailya”, Ch Majenkir My Ksar Mikhailovna.  One bitch was handled by a Borzoi Club of Central NJ member, Mami Shuma.   She was Majenkir Circle in a Spiral, 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.  Everything ended for her and me when Bob, my husband, died suddenly  in March 2011.  But she lives on in these dogs and the many others who carry her genes forward after her death.  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!

 

 

 

Another Long Hiatus….. Sad News….. Jelly…. Magnus….Mikhailya…..

Jelly portrait by Maxine Bochnia

Lorene, Karen Ackerman, and Mikhailya’s grand-daughter, Hawk Eye

Mikhahilya with her pups!
Specialty Sweeps, Sept. 2009.Karen Staudt-Cartabona & Lorene Connolly
Magnus shown with Karen Staudt-Cartabona and Lorene Connolly

 

There are no words to describe the loss and grief I feel knowing all of the Blyss borzoi are gone.  And even Jelly, so wisely chosen from Bibikov Kennels in Cross River, NY, and destined by Frances Wright to come to Blyss ever since she was born, has joined them in farewell.  I wander around  as if I  were a blind person, bumping into life’s obstacles, not knowing how to get out of the way of pain.  And at the end of the day, every day, I ask myself, “Why am I  here?”  And I have no answer.

I can only contemplate that as alone as I am in my humanity, even a higher being does not want me.

I had the joy in May of attending the Spring borzoi specialty shows in NJ and PA, and was honored to have Wendy Finlayson of Mayvale Borzoi, in New Zealand, be my houseguest for one week.  After the shows, we were invited for a day to Majenkir, a true high point.  The last time I was there, it was all of nine years ago, to deliver the puppies of the one Blyss Kennels litter to Majenkir, the inimical “Magnus”, and his littermate who was lost, “Zephyrus”.  I say “Zyphyrus” was lost because he was sold to a family on the west coast and was not heard from again after the male owner of the couple died suddenly and he and the wife went to live with one of the adult children.  Not long after, “Magnus” was sold to Belisarius Borzoi, in Japan, to the Ozekis.  So, after nine years, I had the joy of being invited back with Wendy and other guests, Frances Wright of Bibikov, Don Foran from the UK, Karen & Howard Spey of Bookstor, and a few others.  It was a lovely May day, and many wonderful photos were taken.  We were then treated to a wonderful dinner at a nearby restaurant, The Lake Edge, on the shore of Swartswood Lake,  that had the misfortune of burning down a few months later.  Karen had many new young dogs to show us that day.  The place looked as lush and gorgeous as ever, as if with the passage of time, it only got better.  The borzoi never looked lovlier, as if she had honed her craft to such a degree that she no longer bred mere mortal canines, but canine deities.  More would be seen of them at the fall specialties four months later.  I cannot hold back the piece of intelligence that those particular specimens, a sire and his daughter, are direct descendants of my Magnus, the very borzoi pup I delivered to her on that day in March 2009, a grandson named “Vigow”, and a grand-daughter named “Symbolic”.  At the Borzoi Club of Central NJ Specialty Show on September 7, 2019, “Vigow” won Best of Breed, and his daughter, the puppy-bitch shy of 18 months, “Sympolic”, won Best Opposite Sex.  I was so totally over the moon happy!

While I was at the Borzoi Club of America Specialty Show in May, in Gettysburg, PA, from May 11 – 18, I renewed my acquaintance with the regional governor in the west, Karen Ackerman, who happens to own a Mikhailya grand-daughter, and a Magnus daughter, “Hawk-Eye”, who courses and does Open Field Coursing.  I met her with her husband and Hawk Eye several years ago at the National in Huron, Ohio so I was thrilled to see her again in Bethlehem, PA.  I just learned that she has a littermate of Symbolic, Lyra, who courses with Hawk Eye, and I was absolutely thrilled to learn of that, because I know that she has a second progeny of Mikhailya and Magnus, and that puppy bitch, too, has a great life.

I know that Magnus, and therefore my Mikhailya, have progeny all over the world.  This  makes me so proud, but I wanted to know who they were, how many there were, and where they lived.  In order to obtain this data, I needed a report known as a “reverse pedigree”.  Therefore, I requested one from an organization that compiles this information,  Borzoi Breed Archive, in Vienna,  AU.  At first they said they did not have this capability and therefore could not provide it to me.  Then, I received traumatic, tragic news about Magnus from a most unlikely source.

One day in June, I received a letter from Keizo Kaida, the former employee of Belisarius Kennels and handler of Magnus in Japan.  He shared some very unhappy news regarding Magnus, and included photographs.  Interestingly, Wendy Finlayson was in all of the photographs.  He maintained that in August 2017, Magnus died suddenly, a day after Wendy left Belisarius Kennels after a visit of several days.  That I had known, and always thought was “strange”, like, why did my borzoi die because Wendy left?  But, Kaiza maintained that Magnus was not well kept in his retirement, he was kept in a kennel that was too hot and damp for him, and he suffered for it.  My feelings regarding his death in connection to Wendy is that he heard English spoken.  She doted on him, and showered him with attention and affection.  She gave him a bath and blow dried him.  This was shown in many photos I saw.  Surely he looked happy.  Then, she left, leaving him behind. My beloved Magnus believed he was going home, and when he realized he was left behind, he died the very next day.  Wendy did take two of her own dogs out of the kennel that day when she left, but she left Magnus behind.  If only she had taken my Magnus, too.

I had been told when he died that he was a house dog since his retirement, an unfortunate mistruth.  How sad…..   How sad he was not sent home when Belisarius was finished with him so he could die in New Jersey, where he would be loved.  He deserved to be sent home.  He made great amounts of money for both Majenkir and Belisarius kennels, and earned them a great many titles.

When I learned about this, I contacted the Manager of Borzoi Breed Archives, Karin Schellner, and told her about the Magnus’s story.  I told her how much it would mean to me to get his reverse pedigree.  I told her about how he died a slow, sad death, alone,  unwell, and in exile in Japan.   Karin ran the report for me, with the data she had at the time, going out four generations, all the data she had at that time, gratis.    I was overjoyed to receive it, and sent her organization a donation of $100.00.  She said the Borzoi Breed Archive was going to make this report available to everyone very soon.  The report showed Magnus had 123 progeny all over the world, going out four generations.  I am so proud of this great borzoi.  Such bitter loss as this can never be measured for the depth and breadth of the pain of it.  Let it be a cautionary tale.  Guard them well.  They give us so much when they trot around the ring and look so pretty doing it.  It is not what they would ever do naturally.  They do it for us, because we ask it of them, and because they love us.  We owe them at the very least the very best of our care when we are through with them.

If anyone wants a copy of Magnus’s Reverse Pedigree, please contact me, Lorene Connolly, at Lorenecon@gmail.com, and I will be happy to share it with you, along with some of his beautiful photographs.  He was one of the most handsome borzoi ever to be bred.   But his dam was one of the most beautiful borzoi that ever lived…

See: Blysskennels.us

for photos and information about CH Majenkir My Ksar Mikhailovna “Mikhailya”, the dam of “Magnus”.

Every day to live with Mikhailya was a gift.  Mikhailya was a once in a lifetime dog.  My husband, whom she adored the most, died prematurely and was taken suddenly from us.  I tried to make a good life for her, but in my heart, although I did my best, I know I failed her.  I have to live with that knowledge every day.  It is the biggest regret of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blur of passing days at Blyss

As one may imagine, the silence of my words although gravely remiss has been due to serious factors.  The primary reason is the acceptance of a full time rewarding position of employment in September.  I would never have believed that returning to the workforce would make such an enormous difference in my sense of well being, but it has.  I am a  Sales Associate at a very respected and prestigious department store with its flagship store on the  Upper East Side of NY City.  Every day I work there is a thrill.  Wherever my eye rest I see beautiful clothes the likes of which I never see anywhere else.  I have even had the pleasure and ability to significantly upgrade my own wardrobe thanks to the generous employee appreciation incentive discounts they offer.  I work with lovely people, both co-workers and customers.  I won’t say it is always easy and it is not exhausting at times for me, but overall I love it and would not return to being at home with tons of time on my hands mostly being spent alone as a widow.  I cannot  make a romantic connection of any kind with anyone.  I must admit I am grateful for the ongoing attention and  interest LT takes in my life and well being, even if he has moved on and is happy.  He says he is amazed that I am working so hard and is very happy to see me restored to  my former state of health and strength, a way that I was before he knew me, a way I had only described.  He had his doubts, but now, seeing it with his own eyes, he says he is very happy for my achievement over being weak, depressed and ill.  It is a change so significant it shocks even myself.

On another amazing note, it is not only myself who has made an amazing recovery to a state of former health and strength, but so, too, has Jelly.  This is the most amazing of phenomenon.   In May, she was diagnosed with chylothorax, a fatal canine disease.  I waited for her to pass all summer, but it was not to be.  She simply remained stable and then gradually grew

stronger.  My beloved Girl did not die after all and is still here with me.  It only proves what I believe in life, that we are all in God’s hands after all.  It does not really matter what a veterinarian says at the end of the day.  Destiny will run its course, and the life of a creature with it.  So, here, in the dark, cold month of December, I will not complain because it is very cold outside and I am exhausted for working all day, because I came home to find Jelly waiting for me, happy to see me, and to eat our dinner together, and wanting for nothing else.  Getting Jelly in 2015 caused me a great deal of expense and complications to my life but I would not ch ange a thing about them, becauase having her here has been worth everything because she makes me so happy.

The only dark spot on my horizon is the near one year anniversary of  Tresor’s death.  Jelly even played a positive role in his life, being here when he was returned to me, making his last years happier ones than they would have been had she not been here.  Borzoi need other borzoi.  Jelly is totally independent but Tresor was not.  Her presence bought him great comfort.  Only good has come from bringing Jelly into my life.  She is a good and sweet little borzoi in every way.  She brings infinite blessings to me every day she lives.

I know, many years ago, going on thirteen,  I lost a  much loved puppy bitch named Opal which brought me much grief.  I never thought I would feel another dog could be as close to me as she was or could ever hold her special qualities.  Today, many years later, and having lived with Jelly for some time, I have to say that Jelly has in many ways given those special and dear qualities that I lost when Opal died back to me.  It is really difficult to articulate this, because Opal truly was so special and dear, but Jelly  does so much to make me happy and is so good.  I owe her the credit of the complement that she is so like Opal, more than I could ever have imagined any other borzoi or dog could be.

                                                                                           Opal

The Fall Show Season Commences without Blyss

Somehow summer has passed.  I did not attend any dog shows.   I hoped to see N24, Jelly’s breeder, today at the Somerset Hills KC show but she was unable to make it.  This was the day of the Borzoi Club of Central NJ Specialty Show.  But somebody else did.  Sometimes, what goes around comes around.  Our first  contact in the borzoi world in September 2003, Casanova’s breeder, N23, had re-entered the borzoi show ring about two years ago with a beautiful boroi bitch and has been showing her with some success.  Now, her littermate, a dog, is being shown.  This weekend, he has been out with a notable handler.  She has been taking the breed all weekend.  But N23 has been coming in BOS with his bitch.  This means it has been two years now since N5, our mentor and President of the Borzoi Club of Central New Jersey, has not won our Club’s Specialty Show, since last year, N24’s beautiful “Hunter” won the Breed.

There were some friends notably absent, some due to illness, and some due to travel.  We don’t always get to do everything we want, especially if there are conflicts on the calendar.  I have become a real veteran of calendar conflicts this year.  One year ago, I took a part time job in a department store in Westfield, NJ.  After a year, I updated my resume and posted it on Indeed.com and Linked-in.com.  It was well received, and I was offered a far better job in a much better department store in Bridgewater, NJ in a beautiful, new mall.  I believe I will be much happier in this setting.  Moreover, it is a full time work opportunity for me, the first I have been able to find in ten years.  This has had an enormously positive effect on my moods.  I am elated and thrilled.  I feel far more experienced than I did a year ago when I began in the other store.  I was gripped by terror and anxiety for quite some time but forced myself to face it in spite of my agony.  Now, I feel some stress but I believe it will be over in a few days and I will be very comfortable there.  I am optimistic this will have a very positive effect on my finances which have been under great strain over the past two or three years, since getting Jelly and Tresor’s unexpected return.  I had “LT” install a dog door, and that involved some renovation on the deck, and when Tresor came, it required some areas of my fence to be changed and made higher.

Thinking of Tresor, it is nine months already that he is gone.  I still sense his spirit here with me in the house and I do not feel lonely for him.  I will always be so grateful  to have had him returned to me by his foster family.

Regarding Jelly, I have the most strange and surprising mews.  She was diagnosed with chylothorax in May, even though her presentation was mild, not acute.  However, her condition has not worsened, and if anything, even with the brutal heat we have had this summer, she has rallied and seemingly “recovered” for lack of a better word, which theoretically is impossible.  Life can be very strange.  A seemingly strong, healthy dog dies suddenly in my arms.  Another dog receives a devastating diagnosis and is expected to die imminently and several months later shows no sign of the disease.  I can only pray and embrace them both to my heart for they are so precious and dear.  I feel that although Jelly will be my last borzoi in my home, someday I will co-own Hunter with N24.  I adore him and he loves me; I can feel his love when we are together.  He is a  beautiful borzoi in every way and he makes me very happy.

The Specialty show is over now for another year.  I am getting ready for bed.  I am alone of course, alone now, and expect to be forever.   I believe I have loved for the last time.  “LT” has a new lady in his life.  They went on a long European vacation together and he said they had a very nice time.  However, he lives by his own rules and he just had to come by and tell me all about it.  Being in a relationship with him for any woman would not be easy.  That part is behind me.  Now, I can just think of the love I had for him as a memory and just be happy when he calls and asks if he can come over and see Jelly and me.  I still love to post photographs of him with Tresor from time to time on FB.  That way, people will always know I appreciate all he did for me a long time ago.

 

                                                  N21’s bitch  Korsakov Borzoi

                                                         The male.   Korsokov 

Blyss Changes and movings away from….

Jelly and I are spending as much time as possible together these days.  I know she is critically ill and I want to spend as much time with her as possible.  She always welcomes my company.  When I am not with her, I am at work at a job I found in Westfield.  My job  makes me happy in a strange way.  But it wasn’t supposed to be this way.  How different it will be for me to come home and find Jelly gone.  Will I really not get another borzoi?  Will I be able to not live without one?  Will I try a Silkin Windhund, a very similar dog instead?  Will I ever connect to  a partner again?  These are very scary questions for me to contemplate.  Especially if I have to endure them without a borzoi.  Will it be worth it to go on by myself?   If my heart is ripped out of my breast?

Trying to join the human race again from Blyss Kennels

Having lost Tresor so recently, exactly four weeks ago from today, I am trying to orient myself to the human race again, or at least give myself that appearance.  I had not even tried before this.  I signed up for my eight week yoga class the Mountainside town offers for its residents.    It’s a wonderful class, and I need the exercise the movements provide to me.  I need all the strengthening of my core I can get.  I am a frail and fragile woman but need to regain bone and strength.  I am back at Church and participating in Church life.

I don’t know how I am doing so well.  I will give some credit to my doctors, the ones I met and had to establish long term relationships with after Opal died in 2006 and I was still suffering deep grief in 2008 and was unable to go on.  Drugs with strange names like Pamalor and Seraquel come to mind.  There are more, several more.  They help me cope with pain; they keep pain at bay; all kinds of pain.  That’s been the difference between the two events.  I have help this time.   I had none in 2007.

Still, I must have learned something about resilience and its value, how important it is to be able to stand on your own two feet, the desirability of being autonomous, no matter what you lose: mothers, husbands, beloved borzoi and other equally loved dogs I am sure such as Yorkies, Malteses, a Cairne and even a Fox Terrier!  No, I liked my dog breeds challenging, for sure.  I like a dog that shows it thinks!  There is so much more of it to love.

But it was the sur-reality of borzoi love that did me in; a dog breed that can mimic human emotions of love yet ready to hunt savagely in a heart-beat!   A dog with a beauty so breathtaking you do not believe your own eyes!  You become ruined for another breed.  If you cannot have another borzoi, why have a dog at all?

My Russian Prince is gone.

He is nowhere to be found except in my visions, and then he is everywhere.  His toys and dog beds still litter the floors, his kibble holder remains, as do his leash and collar.  When I walk into a room, I expect to see him there, and in a way I do, in a surreal vision of memory that cannot let go.  My Tre: if only we could have been together just a bit longer; if you could have made it to ten years.  I feel cheated that you left too soon……but whenever it would have been, it never would have been long enough.

Your Beloved littermate, Magnus, left in August, to great shock and grief.  I should be grateful for the extra months of time.  But now, I am left to grieve in the deepest darkest days of winter, as I go through the motions of being a good dog Mom to Jelly.  She has a way of keeping my focus on her, like that is her job now.  Her great depth and breadth of beauty, so unlike yours, distracts me.  It’s like, why did I never notice it before?  It was because yours was like a light that blinds all others, and all I could see was you.

She even tries to mimic your recently found naughty ways.  You did not approve of my new part time evening job in a nearby department store.  So you started to counter surf  and raid  the garbage for the very first time in your life.    Now, to my shock and horror, Jelly has begun to do it too.  Where you ate my bag of Balthazar bakery croissants, she ate my favorite peanut butter cookie from Quick Check and stole one of the daily pill holders from my weekly pill tray.  Was this a suicide attempt, I wonder?  Like you, she  wants me home with her more.  I know I am being judged, and I do not get any more of a passing grade from her as I did from you.  In the end, I let you down and so you perished.  Will Jelly?

Friends are avoiding me, waiting for me to call them first to talk.  I guess I am not on peoples’ luncheon lists anymore.  I hear there is gossip about when I plan to put away the dog beds (notice the plural), as if there were so many.  I want to leave your bed and personal items in place forever.  After all, this was your home.  I have no friends anymore, I accepted that years ago.  That’s why You, my Darling Boy, were so precious.  Better than human, you held me in your highest esteem of love and I dwelled in a paradise of that divine gift where no person could hurt me again.  I had you then …..My Life Treasure…… My Tresor!  Farewell, CD Blyss O’Majenkir Heavenly Treasure!

Macine Bochnia
Portrait of Tresor

Portrait by Maxine Bochnia, Fandogs.

2018 A New Year at Blyss

Today is January 1, 2018, a new year at Blyss Kennels.  I am left here with Jelly.  I cannot be happier about that.  Jelly is as perfect a borzoi as a borzoi can be.  She is calm, relaxed and happy.  She gives me no cause for stress or concern, unlike several other borzoi I have owned, including Tresor.  But Tresor’s loss only stands to remind me how lonely I truly am.  That even the dogs leave.  I see myself more realistically now.  I am not going to meet someone at the supermarket, church, or online.  Perhaps I am not approachable or lovable, or I come across as a person that prefers their own company.  Actually, considering those whom I have met, male and female, I actually do prefer my own company.  Therefore, I am a solitary human except for the company of my borzois which I actually prefer.

I do, however, enjoy the company of my dog club friends, especially those in the borzoi breed.  I enjoy the club work and comradery.   With that in mind, I am determined to attend the Borzoi National Specialty Show in May, all the way in Seattle, WA.  I plan to be away for the entire week  That is something huge for me to look forward to.

To help pay my many expenses, many unforeseen, I have found a part-time job working at a large, local department store in the next town from where I live.  It has not been “easy”, and it has taken me a while to learn the job, but I seem to have survived the initial three month training and probation period, and I am on my way to being a permanent employee.  Although I thought the money would help, I spent it all in one day at the vet, Tuesday December 12, 2017.  That was the fateful day that Tresor was diagnosed with an abdominal hematoma and was euthanized while Jelly was there for a senior check-up.  I have large balances on two credit cards and a home equity line of credit.   Although their amounts are trivial compared to my overall net worth, I am supposed to be able to live on the interest from my principal, and I would like to see these expenses reduced.  However, home ownership in the NY Metropolitan Area, and multiple dog ownership with  borzoi covering fifteen years has made for large bills.  My income from the interest has been insufficient.  It is sad that regarding money, no matter how much I have, it never seems to be enough.  My dreams for a Superman to step into my life during the last six years since Bob died have not come to fruition.  On the contrary……  The only men I have met have been men who wanted to take and given nothing in return but their rage and emotional abuse.  Sadly, I even prefer that to being alone.  It is they who walk away, not me.

So, it does not help that Tresor is gone……   I have to be strong…….   It is what it is…..  There is no one to help me…….   I have to do this alone…..   Without his extraordinary love and beauty, I will be more alone than ever……..    Sometimes I wonder……why go on?

So it is a good thing that Jelly is here.    I put that up on Facebook yesterday.  It is just Jelly and me now, and that is a good thing.  I am so grateful to her breeder, N24, for letting me have her three years ago.  Even though my ex boyfriend, the only one that ever mattered but is gone now, built the dog door for her, I am grateful to them both for making this wonderful gift happen for me.  We are together, and it is a success.  Jelly and me.

Jelly portrait by Maxine Bochnia

An intertwining of how three kennels created a star named Lucy!

As readers of Blyss Blog know, when my late husband and I co-owned Mikhailya with Karen Staudt-Cartabona of Majenkir Borzoi,(N5), she was co-bred to Karen’s stud dog at the time, CD BISS, MBISS, Regal By Design, “Regal”, who had proven himself to be both a great show dog and stud dog.  The litter was born on December 8, 2008.  It marks one of the happiest moments of my life.  Mikailya presented us with three male puppies, all beautiful; but one particularly outstanding that I named “Magnus”!  I told Karen in an email later that day, “He is the kind of dog  you like to take into the ring!  He is destined for greatness.”

Mikhahilya with her pups!
Specialty Sweeps, Sept. 2009.Karen Staudt-Cartabona & Lorene Connolly
Magnus shown with Karen Staudt-Cartabona and Lorene Connolly

Later, after some time, Karen had the opportunity to sell this Boy to Belisarius Kennels in Japan where borzoi are highly valued.  Mai Ozeki purchased him in place of her father, who had recently died.  It was love at first sight for each of them.  Magnus made her very happy.  He won many honors, including Best in Shows.  Then, his get went on to win, too.  One bitch, named Lucy, was co-owned by a family in the USA.  They put her out with a handler, and Lucy went on to win enormous success as Blyss Blog Encore has reported generously.  Yes, Lucy won Reserved Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Cub in 2016, and three months later, Lucy won the Borzoi Club of America National Specialty Show in Kansas City, KS.  She was then taken out with the handler, Valerie Nunes-Atkinson for another year.  She won the breed again at Westminster in 2017, but not the Group.  She skipped the Borzoi National Specialty in 2017, leaving that venue to her son, Vinto who, sadly, did not place.  He is a special now but still very young.   He showed himself beautifully well though, and he will be a winner like his mother after taking some time to grow up.  Our mentor, Karen Staudt-Cartabona won this show again this year with another  bitch she co-owns, this time with Karen and Dr. Howard Spey from the Veterans Classs.

Vinto

Lucy was being shown out west, but shortly after the National Specialty Show, she was moved toward the south where, of all things, she was being shown with Valerie.  There, she won her 20, then 21, then 22nd Best in Shows!  These wins were all in a day’s work for Lucy and Valerie, but they made Borzoi breed history.  For, by winning BIS 21, she tied a world record of BISs held by a borzoi that was 83 years old, held by Vigow of Romanov, owned by Louis Murr.  She then won her 22nd Best in Show this week surpassing his record.  Everyone in the breed who is on Facebook is thrilled!  She is worthy of all accolades and praises.

Lucy is a beautiful borzoi bitch in every way; I can swear I see Mikhailya in her face!  Lucy has brought me, in my tiniest of kennels, a notable accomplishment.  I saw and had faith in Mikhailya’s wonderful qualities and wanted her to be bred so they could live on in the borzoi gene pool, and now they can! Having lost my beloved Opal in which I had so much faith and optimism, it was important to me to give Mikhailya that chance.

A Big BIS for Lucy!