Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Memories of Laecor Mikhail

 Blade at 7 months old in 1991
At the time I could never understand why he didn't win at the shows,
to me at this time this dog was perfect. Now I see things differently, this 7 month old puppy was totally out of proportion. An adult size head on a tall gangly puppy with no coat. But in fairness the potential was there, with only his frame to fill he could only get better ...
and that he did!
 1995 and looking super at Ruthin show
Nefyn Show in 1997 and another BOB for Blade. The way I show has also gone full circle. Standing in front of my dog was frowned upon by other GSD exhibitors then, but even then the judges liked it! Knowing what I know now would I go back to "Laecor" to buy a puppy? Hell no, but not for one second do I regret buying this puppy. Our friendship and bond was unquestionable and together we made our mark on the show scene of the 90ies. 

Vet's Cancelled

Due to the severity of the weather I've cancelled Tia's vet visit today.  I'm worried about her future as her reoccurring problem is returning far more often. Untreated it's not something we or she could live with, it's been going on for 2 years now and the break between bouts are getting shorter. It's not urgent that she see's a vet and I'll make another appointment for her very soon.

Crap Weather, Crap Photos

But super memories of a great walk to treasure. With gusts of 60 miles an hour and torrential rain it was unwise to walk here today, but the kids need to go out. I had to visit my parents and decided to take Ross and Kaiah into the woods for a run. All you need is waterproofs isn't it! Sheltered by the trees it was amazing in there, in many places the path was underwater and seeing these two having the time of their lives brightened me up for the day. I so wish I'd taken my camera, but due to the weather here I had made a conscious decision not too. I regretted it and I could see my phone photo's were all blurred. I was disappointed, but then I had an idea .. a short video
Click on the square on the bottom right of the video to see it full screen.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Kaiah At Rhyl

I quite like this photo that was sent to me of Kaiah at Rhyl show a couple of weeks ago. She's pretty naked there, but you should see her now, maybe not! I think my plan is to keep her out of the ring now till at least January. She has nothing to prove and showing her like this will only do her an injustice. We'll see what's she's like for Manchester Ch. show in mid January. As she's hung onto her coat for so long I do feel this moult will be a long drawn out ordeal, but there we go. We'll give her as long as she needs to get back on form!
I love her unexaggerated lines and balance. She's not over done in anyway but can be stood to suite all rounders as well as breed judges. She moves with great enthusiasm and a super forward reach, and her hind quarters are straight and tidy. She has the most beautiful head and feminine expression with a super dark eye .. and often her cheeky outlook on life comes over in her expression. Kaiah has super colour and a profuse coat .. I just hope that maturity will "fill her out" as it should do. Yeah I'm sure you realise, despite out differences at times I'm pretty made up with my little madam!

Monday, 20 November 2017

Seasons, Weather and Walking

Sammi out with Ross
It's day 13 of Sammi's season. Poor Loki is out in the kennel, but thankfully so far Ross seems oblivious. And Nico? well you've heard of "no one puts Baby in a corner?" Well no one put Nico in a kennel either...not if I have anything to do with it anyway.  He does have to spend some time in the crate at the moment, which is also out of his routine, but he doesn't mind that at all. I've no idea how long this season will go on for, Sammi hasn't read the page in Book Of The Bitch where it says bitches are generally in season for 21 days, on her last 2 seasons she's got up to about 30 days.😢 This time she's been spotting blood since early October but really only came into season 13 days ago.
I dread Kaiah's next season, by then Ross will be more aware and Kaiah is his best friend. I fear it may be 2 males in a kennel by then. Of course I've no idea when her next season will be, her first was July and she may go anything from 4 to 12 months between seasons. (Actually Asha did 13 months once!)
Today's walks where strange, looking over towards Anglesey I couldn't see a thing, the cloud/mist was beneath me. Looking in the opposite directions towards the Nantlle Ridge and the cloud/mist was above me. It was so odd, clear where we walked but the view was hidden on both sides of us. Everywhere was so wet, considering it wasn't raining till after 10pm last night and dry before 8am today it must have really peed it down over night. Still the dogs absolutely loved the full ditches and soggy ground. The mist came down over us and visibility became very poor,but as quickly as it came on the breeze it went again and was followed by some very short lived sunshine. I'm trying to walk and appreciate everyday that I can right now as Winter and it's unpredictable weather is around the nearest corner.
Edit to say .. Ticks .. bloody ticks ... it's still not safe in Cwm Dulyn as the dogs have ticks. Not in excessive quantities like before but I've found 4 in 2 days. What's strange is they are refereed to as "sheep ticks" well in 10 years of walking this path I've yet to see a sheep there, just lots and lots of long grass!
 Look Left
The usual view from the Llyn Peninsular to Caernarfon, Holyhead and the Irish sea all hidden by the low cloud
Look Right
Cloud/mist covering most of the Nantlle Ridge
And within no time it was clear .. 
but the light making it look so distant
Clearing towards Anglesey now but beyond still remaining hidden.


 Kaiah and Loki
 Had to include these two of Ross and Sammi
 Funny yeah!
 Ziva and Asha in the water
Jezi and Nico

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Top Dog

Yesterday we made the trek down to Llandrindod Wells to compete in The Wales Top Dog Of The Year. Well when I say trek, I mean a stunning run down through the heart of rural Wales. God it was even more amazing in Autumn colours. I think the highlight, other than the lovely company, was seeing a flock of Red Kites flying above with some diving down for road kill within feet of the van. God that was some sight!
On arrival in the slightly posh hotel we where greeted with refreshments, a goody bag per dog, a qualifiers rosette and a wonderful coloured catalouge with photo and information of all the dogs who had qualified.
The match was set out as a knock out with your numbers drawn to compete. The only dampener of the day for me was being told instantly by other competitors that Loki would never win his round as the other dog, a Sh. Champion had a well known face on the end of the lead. Sadly they were right, but I'll never know whether it was the face or the dog that beat us! Loki gave a paw perfect performance on the green carpet, but only as I would expect from him, he never lets me down!  I enjoyed the day, being with friends and watching the cream of Welsh show dogs being exhibited and realising that we were part of it .. 2 of my dogs were qualified to compete with the best of the best. Sadly a naked Kaiah was at home but Loki stood there proudly in the ring, the only GSD representing his breed on the day ...  see and be seen!

Sunny Sunday In November

 Nico and Jezi
 Ross, Asha, Ziva and Sammi 
Tali, Kaiah not sitting still and Loki

Thursday, 16 November 2017

North Wales GSD Critiques

Stanley's Blanik Jeevana, 11 months B & G feminine bitch lovely head, dark eyes, alert, good angulation, firm backline, good reach and drive moved well around the ring. 
Stanley's Blanik Ivana Sh CM 3 and a half years B & G feminine bitch dark eyes, alert,strong neck and firm backline, slightly longer in length than first, but not overlong, good angulation, moved sound well handled.

I must admit I was a little disappointed that a "breed specialist" didn't have more to say .. but then I was a little disappointed in a lot of things that day! 

Coats And Shows

I was chatting to a friend last night who has pups who are just a few days older than Ross. They have far better coats than him, as I've always said taking a pup from a line that doesn't carry the L/C gene was a risk, but considering everything it was a risk worth taking. He has his bits and pieces, he has both ears up, he's cocky and confident and as far as I can tell he has correct dentition. (He's not the best at letting me see) At the moment conformation wise he looks pretty together, though his front movement is not and has never been his fortune.
Anyway my friend has measured her pups last week. The boy was 59cms one of the girls was just under 58cms and the other bitch was 59cms. The last time I measured Ross he was 56.5cms and I said I was doing it again till he was 6 months on the 30th... but of course last night I couldn't help myself ... well he was 58.5cms so doing quite well and I guess about where he should be at this age. I'd like him to be about 60 - 61 at 6 months, but not much taller really! Loki does mostly get away with being over size, though the breed specialist do notice and penalize it.
Getting back to coat, Ross isn't doing too bad, though he obviously has less coat than my homebred
lot. I guess it will still thicken more with maturity and he has enough to get away with it. I guess the blaster on a show day will benefit him like it does Loki. Loki doesn't carry a big coat either, but no one ever notices as he's "blasted" on ever show day. (Which he loves .. and I have Sammi and Kaiah pushing in for a go too)
We are now getting close to Ross' first show. I've entered him at a show with no breed classes, just for the experience of going in the ring before LKA really, that has 64 entries and no MPD class. Tough call for a puppy who will be just 6 months old.
Kaiah will now be taking a forced break from the ring, she won't be happy. She qualified and was entered at Welsh Pup Of The Year on Saturday but I've had to withdraw her as she looks a mess. She's lost her beautiful glamorous coat, she's skinny and looks tatty. I'm disappointed that I can't show her, but she's not going in the ring looking like this. In my opinion she's too nice to loose because of her teenage moult  and I would be doing her an injustice if I put her in. Still I'm very proud that she qualified, our first puppy to do so!
Loki has also qualified for Welsh Dog Of The Year, another great achievement here. I'm not sure it existed in the show days of Louis, Dexi and Nikki. If it did I was unaware of it! The power of the internet eh!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Pwllheli Breed Judge Critiques!

German Shepherd P 1 Stanley, Blanik Jeevana, Sweet little bitch Although very much a baby, moved well in the ring. Lovely shape. Nice head and super length of neck and topline. Good depth to chest and brisket. Very natural on the stand, Really liked this girl. BP.
 O 1 Stanley, Lokean of Blanik ShCM, This dog was free standing and very natural. He stood out in his class. Beautiful head and lovely expression, a nice strong male head. Lovely bone on this dog and overall appearance of strength. Lovely length of neck, good shoulder placement and depth of chest. Lovely angulation and moved well. I loved this boy. BOB. So pleased he did well in group and was Best in show.

Cwm Dulyn And Everyone's Favourite Rock

I really wanted to get everyone there today. I'm going through a phase of wanting to do different walks, and though they are not aware of it I feel awful when someone misses out. With a little help from Steve (well ok, he did it all!) a partition was put up to block the view between 2 cages. I was then able to take 2 groups in one van ride down to Cwm Dulyn. Yes Nico and Loki grumbled at and growled at each other at having to share the space but it was worth it and took about 40 mins travelling time off the day. So Nico and Jezi in the back, Loki and Kaiah in the biggest crate and Tali behind the drivers seat it was! 
 Tali, Loki and Kaiah
Though Tali as ever was pleased to come I did feel that today, like yesterday she was lacking a little spark. I hope that tomorrow she'll be brighter. 
 Sammi, Ross, Ziva and Asha
I swear I didn't put them there. I just said wait when they went up there as I saw the chance for a photo, so Ziva, ever the poser sat of course! 
Nico and Jezi on the same rock coming from the other direction.
Zooming in but Jezi had gone
Kaiah - well what can I say?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Kaiah Hiding

Something she's always doing. 
Bless her she's so funny...and I have dozens of similar photos. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

My Puppy's Crying

Over the last couple of weeks Ross' eyes have been watering excessively. I've been bathing them with water and bicab but found little improvement. As I was ranting to Steve that if it carried on then we needed to get him to the vets, a memory of something I's read but not experience came to mind. So I went "googling" and got the conformation I was looking for.
 "Stress Teething in puppies. - As your puppy’s teeth are coming in, you may see excessive tearing. This will probably go away as they complete this growth phase." 
... And the little lad sure has been having a bit of trouble with his toothy pegs too. One puppy tooth was being pushed out by the adult tooth but instead of coming straight out it came sideways through the gum. It was obviously sore, but thankfully it has now gone.
Not long to go young Ross - dentition is usually complete by 6 months. 17 days (ish) to go!

Nursery Tremadog

 The apple doesn't fall far from the tree does it.
Kaiah and her mummy Sammi
Little Ross and Loki
 Sammi and Kaiah on the top path 
 Loki and Ross on the bottom path, 
naked trees and a carpet of leaves
Guess who? LOL 
Kaiah makes me smile everyday with her antics. She is just so funny.
I could have cropped it to just her and the rock, but I kind of like the whole picture!
To appreciate it fully click on it and see it large.

X Factor - Part 2

Well this didn't start off as well for me with the contestant singing a version of "Praying for Time" that was too similar to the original and therefore gave me room to compare. In fact most of the evening was the same. In the girls category  Grace did "I Can't Make You Love Me," Rai-Elle doing "They Won't Go When I Go," and Holly Tandy doing one of my all time favourites "One More Try!" Only really Holly managed to show the emotion and passion associated with these songs.  There are only 2 boys left and Sam murdered "I'm Your Man!" He was way out of tune, it was pitchy and uncomfortable viewing.. then it was the turn of the Welsh boy Lloyd doing "A Different Corner," another huge classic but my god he nailed it, even Sharon was in floods. 
Though Lloyd gave the best performance of both nights I personally preferred the performances of Saturday night for the simple reason that most of the artist did something different with the songs. For me it was easier to listen and not compare them to George, the songs on Sunday where too similar to the originals and though they gave their best they simply didn't come over with the same passion and emotion. 
Still like I said I'm glad X Factor had a tribute week end for George. I'm glad there was a celebration of his music and that his work was heard and hopefully appreciated by a younger audience. 
Have a listen to Lloyd who is clearly moved and emotional after singing the song. Hopefully the young man with the powerful voice and infectious smile will go far in the competition and beyond! 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Walks In All Weathers

Today, the dreaded Sunday and we had rain and dark clouds, sunshine and blue skies, more rain, wind, hail and sleet .. oh and despite my hope that the changing weather would keep them away, we had lots of bloody people about!
 Jezi and Nico 
 dampness on the camera lens as the first shower quickly turned into hail. 
A dry breezy walk, but not a happy photo as Ross was annoying by continually grabbing at Sammi's neck. The girls look worried as I finally lost the plot and let him know how unhappy I was about it, he didn't seem to care!  
When I first parked here today there were 2 blue vans already there. Between walk 2 and 3 one had left, the other was still there as I was coming back on walk 3. But as I got to the steepest slope back down I saw a man walking towards the blue van. I opted to wait for him to leave. He arrived at his van and then took an age to get out of his waterproofs, change his shoes cleaning his walking pole and do god knows what else he was doing. Loki and Kaiah ran around happily behind me but Tali got bored and started toddling down towards the van. I managed to get her attention and walked to the left for a while, but I was soon at the wall so I had to come back. I decided to stand and wait for him to leave. Not that they would bite or bark at anyone, but "reason for apprehension" is all some needs to claim these days and you're dogs life is in danger.  I didn't fancy walking them down on the lead as it was muddy, wet and slipper. I may well have ended up going downhill on my bottom! As I stood there and waited for the man to leave he started to lean on his van and stare up at me, I stood still for what seemed like an age and he stood staring leaning against his van door. I started to think of alternatives, going back up and round .. walking home .. Oh god I thought, that's silly, but still he stood and stared. I opted to try walking down with the kids on their leads and Tali loose, but due to me walking so slowly Tali toddled on ahead. Still the man stood leaning on his open van door and staring at me. Tali stopped to look back and I was able to get her to return to my side and I popped her on the lead too. As I started to walk again Kaiah spotted the man who was still lurking and she gave a handful of barks, I didn't discourage her. The man then closed the back door of the van, got into the van and reversed back, before pulling forward again. I waited again, this time he reversed back and drove away. 
I have to admit I was very unsettled by his strange behaviour. Surely it was obvious to him that I wanted to get down to my van which was parked next to his. You can hardly miss a bright yellow van with pictures of GSD's on it, and I doubt you could miss me in a bright yellow coat with a red hat and 3 GSD's. All sorts went through my mind, I can't help but think of the current situation with dog thefts, after all weeks on and Stan the 8 year old who was stolen has still not been found. As Steve said it was probably all very innocent, he may have been a dog lover who wanted a chat, he could have recognised me and been waiting to say "Hi," but for me it was a very uncomfortable situation and one I'd sooner not repeat.

X Factor

Part one is over and done with and I enjoyed it, mostly. The contestants did not try and copy the original versions of George's songs, and all put a twist on the songs or gave them a modern upgrade. Fastlove was almost unrecognizable, but I giggled as I wonder if the artist knew he was singing about crusing for sex? They also found it necessary to change "Bullshit" to "boring!" Ah well. All in all though a great performance.
Rak Su have been one of my favourites every week, yes at almost 50 I still like "That type of music!" But I felt last night was not their best performance and maybe "Faith" with a rap wasn't going to please everyone.  Careless Whisper with a rock them should never have worked, but hell it did! The moment you stop comparing these contestants to George you can enjoy someone else singing one of his songs .. they are not tribute acts, it was thankfully very different.
As expected Social Media exploded with lovers and haters, some where disgusted, horrified and in tears listening to George's songs being demolished. Other like me took it for what it was. A night dedicated to celebrate the music of our favourite much loved artist, and if it did nothing else then at least it got people talking and listening. George Michael was trending all over the the internet, and the night bought his music to the eyes and ears of the younger generation. I think George would have loved it, his music was moving with the times .. he had already been working on a modern twist to Fantasy, the fans loved the new version released recently .. the only difference with last night was that he was not the singer, a difference that some simply could not cope with.
Part 2 tonight, I'm looking forward to Lloyd and Grace, but maybe like last night I'll be pleasantly surprised by artists that I won't be expecting to do justice to a George song.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Cropping And Photo Shopping

Sometimes I get a photo and two of the dogs look lovely and another one pulls a stupid face. Thanks Loki! I love Ross and Tali in this and even with Mici's bottom in it I just had to try and do something about it. Tali was easy, I just cropped around her. Ross was more difficult. I opted to cut around the rock and move it to the other side to hide Mici and use the countryside between Tali and Loki to photoshop Loki out of the photo. I'm pleased with my self taught attempt but as ever the sky lets me down. You just don't realise how many different shades there are to the sky and clouds, I never get it right!