Friday, 22 June 2018

Llyn Cop and Cwm Dulyn

 The four at Llyn Cop - what's different about this photo then?
Well the water has never been so low that I've been able to walk along the edge of the lake before. 
A few days light rain may well have refreshed the plants and grasses, but a lot more is needed to refill the lakes and rivers. 
 Nico and Jezi on route to Cwm Dulyn 
Kaiah and Ross after a paddle in what today is a blue lake!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Nature Or Nurture?

A Young Idol 
A really interesting conversation with a friend at Cheshire made me think a lot about these and their family ties. No doubt they are a combination of their genetics and the environment they are bought up in and live in. Weak/soft characters can be improved but also I feel made worse in a poor environment.
The conversation was about Ross, Ivylene commented that Ross has taken so much from his maternal grandfather, Idol, whom she knew .. well knows .. the old man is still alive I gather. Strangely I had thought of using Idol on Asha all those years ago, but felt at the time that Suffolk was out of my reach. Idol Vom Haus Am Lerchenweg was an import and is now dominant in the pedigrees of sables in this country. It is said that as well as producing colour and type that a lot of the strong mischievous characters come from him. Looking at photos of Idol as a young dog I sure can see a young Ross, though Idol has a profuse coat and unfortunately Ross has followed in his father footsteps on the coat front. Here's hoping when this horrible junior moult is over that his next coat will be thicker. Ross' coat has never been his fortune but I have seen worse and he will have enough to get by in the show ring.
So let's go back to the beginning of the Blanik bitch line and be honest about who they were ..
Seffe, Blade, Dexi and Nikki
Nikki was confident, reasonably calm and affectionate, but with a slight intensity and a toy/grass obsession that I've not seen again here till Ross.
The young Seffe was a little more unsure of herself, and could react nervously in unfamiliar situations, particularly around children .. but I do think being a more sensitive bitch she picked up on my  dislikes. (Well I'm just being honest) As an adult her character became stronger .. I think a lot of Seffe strength of character was environmental and came from living within a strong confident pack. Had she lived with a weaker pack, maybe a mother with a different character I think she may have not developed into the bitch she became .. so nurture not nature?
Louis, Krizzie, Jay, Seffe and Nikki
Krizzie - OMG - the clown, the joker in the pack. Miss Crazy, full of her own self important with a huge love for life, she adored everyone, especially men. Never nervous, nor shy and a huge eye opener for me. I never knew a dog could be that naturally funny, clever or devious ..
Tali - another culture shock, full of her own self importance, aloof and strong willed. Never nervous or shy, she sometimes made you feel she didn't even need you, being so confident in her own skin without you she would have got by just fine.
Asha - calm, gentle, affectionate but focused .. never nervous or shy. Possibly the ideal character?
Mikey, Ziva, Tali and Asha
Ziva and Jezi - The sisters. Hmmm - a product of their unfortunate environment. Four sisters together for too long sure did affect their character. The young pups were as outgoing as any others but they were truly affected by our circumstances and the facts that same sex siblings should not be together for so long. Ziva was bred from so her character was more important, the sweeter of the 2 sisters but still with the hangups of her earlier years she surprised us all by becoming one of the best Blanik mothers ever. Ziva is generally affectionate and kind but does lack a little self confidence and can be a little spiteful!
Nico and Jezi 
Sammi - Perfect! lol.. No I'll be serious. In all circumstances the young Sammi has been confident bordering on cocky, like Tali self assured in her own skin which did cause earlier obedience problems. She always seemed to consider what was in it for her to listen .. as she's got older she's got very obedient, affectionate and loving. But and there is always a but .. she did not take charge of her daughter as she should have done and Kaiah now bullies her which I find hard to accept or understand.
Kaiah - Confident, cocky, vocal, pushy and spiteful (like Ziva). Ridiculously jealous of my attention, but equally a sweetheart who affectionate and obedient and bubbly. Like Krizzie I guess a bit too clever for her own good!
So that's the bitch line .. nature and nurture has affected them all .. and the boys ...
Blade - I always thought he had a strong character, but knowing what I know now I consider some of his behaviour to be down to being just a little unsure of himself. Though the pack was well ordered, I think Nikki was really the strength behind it's order. He was my everything, but he could be odd and did dislike some people .. and their dogs.
Asha, Kai and Tali 
Dexi - what a goof. Without doubt a super character, but a dog who was happy to be in his place in the pack and though he did challenge a weak Sultan he never pushed his luck with Blade or his mother. Super super dog
Jay - What do I say? What a friggin idiot. Confident, loud, OTT, funny, pretty obedient .. never nervous or shy but a proper handful.
Louis - the love of my life. A combination of his parents, the extroverted Krizzie and the loopy Jay. A happy bubbly individual who loved life and everyone and everything in it. Not a lot more I can say .. he was a dream come true.
Kai - Now there a character - Strong, intense, authoritative and confident - the strongest character ever to live here. His sheer presence filled up a room .. I'm sure you could have stopped a fight in a rowdy bar just by walking in with him. Kai was huge .. in very way.
Kaiah, Ross, Loki and Sammi 
Mikey - Asha brother, Kai and Tali's son, but as a youngster he lack the confidence of his parents and sibling. To be honest he lived in Asha's shadow for years, but as Asha started to stay home for maternal duties a huge change came about him. All of a sudden, he was the star, he grew in confidence and demeanor .. nurture not nature? I don't know maybe the nature was always there, just over shadowed by his sister in the early years.
Nico's past has been well documented. Dogs in rescue centres have often suffered less mental abuse than he has. It's a credit to the dogs true character that he has recovered so quickly to be who he is. In my opinion Nico has the perfect pet dog character. He's affectionate, obedient, ridiculously cuddly and sweet, but territorial and protective.. what more do you need?
Loki is generally a sweet sensitive dog within his family, but he is aloof with strangers and makes no effort to interact with anyone he doesn't know. His confidence level has grown tremendously but I still see shadows of his former nervous self in him, especially now as Ross is growing up.  Loki lacks the confidence he needs to be the dominate male in a pack and is resorting to growling  instead of controlling. Other than his natural puppy nervousness I think loosing Mikey affected Loki tremendously, he lost his way and was no way ready at his young age to have a pack of 5 bitches in his care.
Ross  .. hmm.. another eye opener. Determined, head strong and loud, pushy and mostly confident. A combination of Kai's will and intensity with a little of Jay's madness about him. Great fun dog, but not the ideal first time GSD for anyone. Breaking his spirit is not what I'm about .. but getting discipline and order itself on such a strong willed individual has been a challenge, but we are almost there. I love his spark of naughtiness and mischief, but I also love the cuddle bum who he's now growing into.
A family, but they are all so different, no mother and daughter alike .. but I often see grandparents in their traits. We breed the best we can and hope for better .. we do ask a lot of our dogs don't we!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

These Things

No photos today, I was too concerned about the rain but everyone was walked. Have to admit it wasn't pleasant, I guess my main worry was the poor visibility. The mist was that thick it was hard to see anything and Asha had it on her and kept wondering off. To be honest, she always does but normally it's not a problem as she's always in sight. I know that mountain so well, but I did think that if someone dropped me off on the middle somewhere today I wouldn't know where I was.
I cried as I walked, again my brain repeating the events of the past few weeks. Little Billy Bob, 16 years is a long time to share with an animal and then find they are not there. He was such a sweet but odd little guy. Steve said he walked like a pigeon, hence the nickname Billy Bob .. his little head bobbed up and down as he walked. I honestly thought he would outlive Tia, he'd been so healthy till recently. He hadn't seen a vet for years, well until earlier this year and that was just his cataract, Tia has looked like a corpse for years! She's now starting to neglect her coat .. and needs brushing. I'm not brave, or stupid enough but Steve tries. I must video it .. it's quite funny really, she's such a nasty bastard!
Now it's bright sunshine, but a little breeze. I wish I'd waited to walk but the young guns are a pain in the morning until they are walked, and having missed a few days today they were horrendous. Once they've been out they are no trouble and calmness replaces the madness.
Ross is not quite sound today, he seemed quite stiff first thing and again after our long sleep. I do worry about what the future holds for him. Something is not right and until I can get the money together for further tests I will not know whether it's something and nothing .. or a problem that will escalate further in life. I still have him on fish oil and turmeric .. maybe it's helping? One thing is for sure I won't take him off them until we know one way or another. I have also considered putting him back on Vit C .. as long as we do no harm!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Royal Cheshire County Show

 Haha don't look at my face - look at the dog - haha
Even though Ross was the baby of the class he won GSD Junior
 Beautiful Sammi was second of two in open - or was it three? 
One was withdrawn for growling at the judge!
Kaiah,who'd left her clothes at home stood alone in limit but was short listed into second place in the challenge for BOB. I have to admit to mixed emotions when Ross stepped up his game and took the RBOB from her clutches. 
Two sables take top honors 
Sully BOB - Ross RBOB

Monday, 18 June 2018

The Days We Dread

Cooking Sunday dinner on a Monday .. tears pouring uncontrollably down my cheeks as I think about the day's events. The doubts are always there, did I/we do the right thing? Was it the right time? .. could we have waited just a little longer, 24 hrs, 2 days a week? Logically, no, we couldn't have left it, his dignity and welfare came before our need for borrowed time ... I couldn't just sit back and watch him take maybe days to die, the last act of undying love is to let them be at peace.
At the vets Billy was quite calm, the snotty nosed, flea ridden feral kitten in him was long gone. I'll never ever forget today and how peaceful and unexpectedly relaxed the whole situation was. As the vet did what he had to do, Billy just nuzzled his little head into my chest and purred away until he took his last breath. Through endless tears there was complete trust and seemingly an understanding of the situation. Quickly and quietly and peacefully he was gone.
Billy has come home onto the mountain, he now sleeps with the other Blanik cats and dogs in the front garden where he loved so much to spend his days in the sunshine. Little Billy Bob .. a funny little soul, we will miss you so much, but be sure You Have Been Loved ....

RIP Billy

Nos Da Billy Bach ... RIP my funny little friend.  /6/02 - 18/6/18

Sunday, 17 June 2018


The hardest decision of all needs to be made. Buying time to make new memories is always precious, but not at cost to my animal friends. Quality of life is paramount therefore we must always put them before us. The letting go is truly the hardest part of the loving ...
Harder still is knowing exactly when, better a week too soon than a day too late.

Ruthin - Part 2

Loki with some of his stash 
 After a lovely journey we had an extremely long day at Ruthin C.S  Show in Llangollen yesterday.. Being first in the ring at 10am we are there well before 9.30am to get ourselves and our dogs settled. Young Gun Ross pleased me by winning GSD junior and only managed to make one hole in the ring whilst the others did their individuals. I was really pleased with him, both in and out of the ring.
Loki then beat his sister by the skin of his teeth in open and then took BOB. The judge was over the moon with both Loki and Bella and said she was splitting hairs between the siblings. A lovely feeling for Ian and myself as he owns mum and bred the litter and I own the sire .. Nico!
Ross enjoying an ice cream 

By lunch time I was feeling knackered and I begged Loki not to win the pastoral group .. but he went ahead and did it anyway, possibly the best group he's ever won! Funnily the group judge walked past me in the line whispering I'll be back to you and came back at the end giving Loki the opportunity to go round the ring twice .. lovely for him and me but a little uncomfortable maybe as she only gave the others the chance to go up and down. Comments where made that she may well have decided he was set to win early on, and it sure felt that way as she called him into the group 1 position almost straight away. As I was moving him up and down I was very uncomfortable as a Pyrenean Mountain Dog started to react aggressively towards Loki,
Someone wants to kill Loki 
or me, or both of us. I have to say I was really hoping the owner had the ability to hold him and when I saw the photo it unnerved me even more.
It sure did become a very long drawn out day and with so many of us fed up and knackered I'm sure the committee will reconsider the judging order for future shows. It was approx 6.30pm when we went into the BIS ring, as usually Loki's performance was faultless but it was not to be his day. Still the BIS judge said he was a credit to me .. which was lovely to hear. Thanks to everyone who shared the day ... and to  Marilyn who said she though Ross was wonderful, she said she couldn't take her eyes off him in the ring, these comments mean a lot and help so much when you always do get to hear the negative comments too!
Bella, Loki's sister
Apparently poor Kaiah was lost without her partner in crime yesterday, but she'll have to get use to staying home as I only intend showing her under breed judges and at Ch.Shows now. I bet she'll be pleased to hear she's going to Cheshire and Blackpool next week!
Today I've been shattered, I've not even walked the troops, no doubt we'll pay for it this evening. Ross and Kaiah will want to wrestle, and I'll just want to sleep, or watch TV. Here's hoping there's something other than bloody football on offer!

Ruthin Show

Wow .. A very long day, with a tale to tell .. later!
 Young Ross won GSD Junior 
Loki won GSD Open, BOB and was Group 1 
in I think the best group he's ever competed in. 

Friday, 15 June 2018

The Critiques I'd Been Dreading

2 Stanley and Bibby's Silkenwood Poldark of Blanik. Male of just under a year. Needing time to fill out and tighten up. Finer in bone, strong clean profile shape, head in proportion, good length to muzzle to skull, almond dark eyes and good, alert expression. Not as positive on the move as the winner.
1 Stanley's Blank Jeevana. Very nice bitch of 19 months. Lovely profile, height to length, reach of neck, topline and rear quarters. Sufficient bone, good feet. Pleasing chest, rib and loin, would like just an inch more muzzle to balance skull, good ear and eye giving an alert and lively expression. Very controlled on the move, sound and fluent action with plenty of reach.
Ah The Royal Welsh .. I really didn't want to go, for one reason and one reason only .. my previous experiences of this judge. She was the only judge to ever criticise Louis' fantastic head. When she said his muzzle was too short for his forehead I wondered what she really did know about a GSD. I gave her further opportunity to judge Mikey and Asha and neither where placed, I said then I would not go under her again .. well now I really mean it. I will NEVER give this woman another opportunity to lay a finger on one of my dogs ..
Ok, generally these critiques are not that bad as I expected of her. I agree Ross needs time to fill out but to say he is fine in bone and not a positive mover is just a joke. Ross has as much bone as Loki, but he is not as heavily built as Nico, in my opinion all three boys have suitable bone for their build. I have never shown Ross lame, he powers around the ring with a positive strong stride and on the day I had to hold him back from the bitch who was dilly dallying in front of him. Yes  she was a nice puppy bitch .. but really?
Kaiah's critique has really put the tin hat on it. I have to admit it's mostly a nice critique, but .. BUT .. OMFG she almost word for word gives the same criticism as she did of Louis years ago .. she would like an inch more muzzle to balance the skull... FFS ... she has the best head of any bitch here in years, she's bloody beautiful  .. she's not a fecking Belgian, she's a German Shepherd.
This is what the breed standard says about the Head and Skull of the breed.
"Proportionate in size to body, never coarse, too fine or long. Clean cut; fairly broad between ears. Forehead slightly domed; little or no trace of central furrow. Cheeks forming softly rounded curve, never protruding. Skull from ears to bridge of nose tapering gradually and evenly, blending without too pronounced stop into wedge-shaped powerful muzzle. Skull approximately 50 per cent of overall length of head. Width of skull corresponding approximately to length, in males slightly greater, in females slightly less. Muzzle strong, lips firm, clean and closing tightly. Top of muzzle straight, almost parallel to forehead. Short, blunt, weak, pointed, overlong muzzle undesirable."
Enough said!