(This article appeared in Borzoi Connection, Summer 2009 issue)
It is so rare in life to have had a joyful experience to the degree as this has been for Bob and me. I shall admit that breeding a litter has been something I have always wanted to do, since I care about dogs so deeply, and breeding a litter remained the one thing with dogs I had never done. And with this litter by our own “Mikhailya” (Ch. Majenkir My Ksar Mikhailovna) and Karen Staudt-Cartabona’s wonderful young dog, “Regal” (Ch. Majenkir Regal by Design), it was especially meaningful. We were not disappointed. Most of all, this was a planned litter from two very special borzoi, with Karen, and so far, the three puppies have lived up to the expectations we had for them. They are sweet, loving and beautiful. Long after they are all gone, they will always live in our hearts and be remembered as they were, perfect puppies.
The consensus among the breeders who came to visit the litter was that they were of even quality and the embodiment of beautiful Majenkir type. It is also especially noteworthy that their sire, “Regal”, has now successfully sired several litters during the past 18 months, producing puppies that are both Sweepstakes winners and major pointed. These puppies are Futurity Nominated. And, we are very proud of our “Mikhailya”.
I know they have futures that will not include me, and that affect me with both happiness and sadness at the same time. It is from there that the indefinable feeling of “bittersweet” arises with which I have struggled. The expectations of others and the rigors of life will test them. But I hope they always remember that they were very happy as little puppies at Blyss Kennels, know how much we loved them, that Mikhailya cared for them so well in our home, and they lived here with her for nearly four months. There were days when we believed we would keep all three, but then wiser minds would prevail. They are so dear and special to us. We shall never forget them. We hope to always be there for them, should the need arise.
However, our reverie was destined to come to an end. On March 24th, almost at four months of age, we brought Karen her two puppies from the litter. We made it an outing, and brought along our puppy that we were keeping, Tresor, and Mikhailya. When we arrived, Karen warmly welcomed her puppies. She was overcome by joy at seeing them and Mikhailya again. She then warmly invited them to have a run in the expansive field in the front of the large, fieldstone house, the one with the dramatic vistas, overlooking Swartswood Lake! It was mid afternoon when we arrived, and the sky was clear blue. The lake in the distance reflected the sky, bright and blue, without any clouds to darken it, to break its intensity, one mirroring the another. It was a splendid day to be outdoors, on an early spring day to watch a dam running with her pups. It was a breath-taking sight to see Mikhailya and the puppies run together throughout the field, seeming never to tire, something they had not previously been able to do at our home. Then, I knew that, yes, this was where the two puppies belonged. Majenkir was where Mikhailya was from, and her sire, Majenkir My Way, “Michael”, and this was where the puppies were welcomed. Majenkir was, after all, the ancestral home of our puppies. I knew and better understood why I had to leave them behind.
Our deepest thanks go out to Karen Staudt-Cartabona for making this litter possible, and for her generous spirit for all of the help she extended to us. Our thanks also goes out to Roni and Jennifer Zucker who came to visit us and see the puppies numerous times with some “hands-on” help in areas where we were inept. Thank you all so much, New Jersey Club members with advice, and those of you in BCOA, especially Barbara O’Neil who answered my procedural questions regarding the Futurity Nomination.
We are in the process of organizing the many photographs we have taken of the puppies on our website. If anyone has an interest in the photographs, or has any questions regarding the puppies, please contact us, Bob or me, or Karen Staudt-Cartabona.
BCCNJ Recording Secretary & Editor, Borzoi Connection.