Saturday, 30 June 2018

An Evening Walk

Thanks to Ian and Tracy for letting Ross and I join the family walk tonight. Loki being "Family" was of course part of the "Cofi Clan" and enjoyed going out with his mother and sister. After just a little tension when they met all four dogs got on a treat. It was a lovely evening, I had a great time and I was so glad I went out instead of sitting here being subjected to more of this tedious football.  
 Loki and Ross
 Donna (Ian and Tracy daughter) in the lake with the dogs
 Tasha, Bella, Ross and Loki
Tasha and Ross loved to swim - Bella and Loki - not so much!

Kittens And Puppies

For the second time this week I've been sensible.  I've been tempted twice today but for a change I've kept my head firmly in charge of my heart! Within an hour of each other I have been offered 2 kittens today. One a blue/cream or blue tortie .. I'm not sure from the photo, and one black and white farm kitten. Nope, in both cases it's a definite no, though the thoughts and description of the black and white is playing on my mind. To be honest I don't want another female cat, and the pretty blue cream/tortie with be female as it's a female only colour and the other has not been sexed!
So here is me with my common sense head on, Tia and Oliver are oldies and both are looking their age. The change in Oliver is pretty obvious to anyone .. not that anyone except me sees him really. He is quite thin and his eye are looking a little sunken. Tia has big issues which we have to monitor ... and that's apart from her character! So maybe in a year or so there will be room at the inn, but not right now, right now we have to look after the family we have don't we.
My other weakness this week was a soggy sable L/C GSD pup called Brett. Yes another "brown" one, but this time a hairy brown one as those who should know better would say! I was thinking of all ways of getting this stunning puppy, I even thought of asking someone with less dogs to go half and be in partnership with me. Brett is at Silkenwood and out of Teddy's mum to the lovely Zalu. Some wise words from a friend put me on the right track and I really hope that Brett has gone now so I don't have to think of him any more!
I've also been looking, yes just looking, at British Short haired and Norwegian Forest cats kittens. The NFC are fantastic .. but that huge coat is not for me, I'm far too lazy with a brush. The BSH seem to be going for about £850 - so about £100 - £150 less than you're average GSD. You know what, I really can't see me spending that much money on a cat .. I'd sooner get a homeless moggy and buy another dog .. Brett, Brett .. are you still there?? lol

Llyn Ffynhonnau

My favourite place but the least walked recently. Simply because of the climb back up at the end of the walk. I don't mind a steep walk if the climbing is at the beginning, but due to being unfit I hate it at the end of a walk. Anyway with inspiration coming to me in the middle of the night .. as it does, and this morning being a little cooler I decided to go for it! 
Again I was shocked to see it so low. In 23 years I've never seen Llyn Ffynhonnau like this. The rock behind Kaiah and Ross is usual half submerged in water and today I was able to walk over to it .. and because I did that, Kaiah had to climb it of course!!! 
My inspiration was to take the van even nearer .. still a hill to climb but it was worth it!

Friday, 29 June 2018

Change Of Location For Walk Three

Even though I was up at just after 6am, by the time I was ready for walk number three it was already boiling hot. I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and pop to Gyrn Goch on my way to pay the vet bill. Gyrn Goch is just the best place in this weather, the canopy of trees means it's lovely and cool and there is also a stream for my water loving dogs. After months of owing money at the vets and paying off bits and pieces I was really glad to finally clear the bill. I'll need to save up to get Ross' hips and elbows looked at now. 
The bank at Llyn Cop where I did my first 2 walks is alive with baby frogs/toads .. just wonderful to see and so far I've risked the temptation to pick one up. I so love frogs and toads. The wildlife here is amazing, I see Buzzards and Kestrels almost daily and now seeing the Red Kites regularly is such a treat. Hopefully I'll get a decent photo of one of them one day soon .. 
 Two Walks To Llyn Cop
 Walk three in the cool at Gyrn Goch
The disappointment of zooming in to see it's just another buzzard .. and his mate
No seriously I love all the big birds, including the ravens
I had just hoped it was a Kite!  

Thursday, 28 June 2018

That Was Quick

Blackpool Critiques - a bit of a something and nothing I guess - I wonder why he bothered? Maybe he really could have given a little more infoon the actual animals. 
(Though I do agree that Loki lacks drive - he tends to float and not push himself around the ring)
Anyway I love his introduction...I had the pleasure of judging German Shepherd at Blackpool and below is my critics: When I grew up I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s farm and by doing so I became very fond of animals. I would rather spend my time in the stables than in my grandmother’s kitchen. Since my family was living in a flat in Oslo the only type of animal I could dream of was a dog, a horse was out of question. My father promised me that if we ever could afford to buy a house he would buy me a dog. When the time came the dog arrived at my 15th birthday. It was a young German Shepperd and I quickly got involved with the breed club. In those days we had a couple of wealthy people in Norway who were involved with GSD and I became a handler for the Charmin kennel. Together with them I spent a lot of time in Germany visiting the big kennels like Wienerau and St├╝veschacht and watching the Sieger shows. I was passed by the FCI to judge GSD in 1967 and I judge them for the first time at a football pitch outside Oslo when I was 23 years old. It was snowing, but that didn’t take any of the pleasure away from my big day. Coming from Norway where the breed was of German origin I was shocked when I started travelling to the UK in the late 1960s and saw a breed called Alsatians. For me they were untypical, over angulated, long backed and weak tempered. I almost fainted when Ch Hendrawns Nibelung of Charavigne went BIS at Crufts in 1969. It all changed when I suddenly saw Ch Royvons Red Rum because between him and me, there was love at first sight. I had the pleasure of giving him a group and it was pure joy to see him motor around the ring. It is many years since I judged the breed in the UK for the first, but I am still excited every time I get an invitation. I therefore want to thank Blackpool Championship Dog Show for inviting me and the exhibitors for showing their lovely dogs under me. 
2ND LOKEAN OF BLANIK SHCM (MRS R STANLEY) Very similar to the winner in type and quality. Lovely standing, but I thought the winner had more drive in his movements.
2ND BLANIK IVANA SHCM (MRS R STANLEY) Bitch of very good type but slightly long in the loin. Moves and stands well. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Food Update

Well the boy made it to 48 hrs hours before deciding he was hungry and that he would just eat plain dog food. He ate his meal last night but decided to decline breakfast .. no worries it was instantly taken away!
A valid point made in the comments was that maybe he wasn't eating because it was hot, but sadly no, he's been playing me like a fiddle for months!  I've been adding treats to his food to convince him to eat for long enough. If I don't sort it out now I'll have a life time of him calling the shots.

Walking And Paddling In Cwm Dulyn

 Nico and Jezi after a quick paddle
 Double Trouble - Ross and Kaiah 
 Ziva, Asha, Sammi and Loki 
Asha and Loki enjoying the stream 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Early Morning Walks

 Reflections - Nico and Jezi
 Taking Five in the shade
Ziva, Asha, Sammi and Loki 
Kaiah and Ross 
I got up at 6am to give them early breakfast.
All walks done before I usually start, and I was still boiling hot!

Monday, 25 June 2018

I Remembered ..

It's a year today since I saw the first photos of Ross. Helen admits they are not the photos and that they are not great with the camera .. but for me they are still treasured memories. 
Ross hiding behind his brother - 25/6/17
and Ross today with Kaiah

Ross and Sammi

Since Sammi broke and consequentially lost a tooth last year I've been carrying a vets letter with me to every show to confirm that she had full dentition before the accident. I was advised to carry the letter in my bag and only use it if the judge asked about her mouth. Not one judge had seem to notice to date .. certainly no one had asked and she'd been well placed at all the shows. But at Cheshire last week it has since been bought to my attention that the judge noticed the missing tooth but did not ask about it, he merely penalised her in the class. This is unfamiliar ground for me but I have since been advised that I should present the letter to the steward at the beginning of the bitch judging and he/she will advise the judge accordingly. With proof the missing tooth was from an accident and not simply a dentition fault the judge could judge her fairly. Well actually it makes perfect sense, how is a judge suppose to know if it's a dentition fault or an accident if he/she is not given the relevant information? The letter was presented to the steward at Blackpool and Sammi was placed according to her merits ...
I've finally had enough of Ross' eating habits, the game is over I'm playing no more. I've allowed myself to get further and further into this, what a mug! No dog will starve, so it's a case now of how many days it'll take him to eat. He ate no dog food yesterday but ate his carrot and biscuit at bed time, so far today he's eating nothing. I've offered him the meals at the normal times, left him with it for a few minutes then put it away. No treats, no goodies no nothing! I have to stay strong, I have to have more will power than him now.
I've persevered more with him because for a long time he was on medication that I needed him to have. Then there were supplements that I added to his food. Well now I'll shove them down his throat if I have too, I've really had enough of Ross calling all the shots at meal times. As I said previously, I guess the other problem is that I don't want a skinny show dog, but with him chucking all his coat and looking rough I guess now is the time to do it.
I have been here before, with Louis and to a lesser degree with Loki. I can still hear Jill Hubbard, the vets words "YOU should know better than that!" Of course I should, I did then and I do now. It was only when I gave up messing with Louis' food and thought sod you that he came right .. so sod you Ross eat it or loss it mate!

Gyrn Goch Walks

There was nowhere else I could think of going today to get out of the heat. It was just wonderful in there. Not long walks but a mooch and a paddle and everyone is happy. Such a beautiful place ... and i was good  I didn't go under the chain!!!

Hot and Stressful at Blackpool!

Well it was for me anyway. Both the boys were good, and to be fair Loki coped fantastically with the heat. The girls on the other hand really stressed me out .. both of them. To be fair my inability to cope with the heat by that time was probably the main factor that contributed to the stress. It was far too hot for a fat, pale skinned Welsh woman.  But both girls exploded totally out of control out of the van and Sammi head butted me one in the face, I was expecting broken teeth or at least a fat lip, thankfully nothing. .. I only have the bruise on my leg that she gave me at 5am in the morning! Sammi true to fashion also tipped all the water bowls ringside .. and her crate in the van was a swimming pool! The both dragged me into the showground, but after that to be fair they behaved impeccably. (Other than Sammi throwing everyones water)
I shouldn't have shown Kaiah or Ross in their swim wear really, I should have known better. I'm a little bit more precious about Kaiah, she at least will be taking a break now till she returns to full glory. It's not going to go down well. Congratulations to the 4 principal winners, 2 new lovely champions for the breed, but extra congrats to my friends Sarah and Ivylene on Sexy Sully's RCC. Our results .. Ross 3rd in JD, Loki 2nd in Limit, Kaiah 4th or last in SY and Sammi 2nd in limit. 
The sunlight was against us for photos .. and Ian forgot to zoom! (I'll wait for his reply lol) I have managed to crop and lighten and there is only really poor Ross that hasn't got a nice photo to add to his memories. 

Saturday, 23 June 2018

We Have News

Kira has been for an early scan ...Rachel said there are at least 4 good size embryos but it's too early to count as she's only 23 days post ovulation. She will be going back for another scan in 2 weeks time. So much can go wrong at this crucial stage of pregnancy so I'm crossing everything that the next 2 weeks go smoothly and the little ones continue to grow and thrive.
The puppies will all be standard coats as unlike Nico, Kira does not carry the long  gene .. it needs to carry on both side to produce long coats.  I have to admit I'm very excited and may have to make a long day trip to Bristol later in the year!!!!

Memories and Musings

Seeing a post on Facebook about Lesley's "retirement" from Freshfields has brought so many memories flooding back. I gave them 12 years and was devastated to leave under those circumstances, though of course it did lead me to a stress free and more relaxed life; but I can't imagine what it's been like for Lesley, the founder of the charity.Without her there would be nothing. I was so pleased to have had the privileged to work with her and learn from her. We had some fantastic times, and some fantastic falling outs over the years! I know her through and through and I believe she is  an AMAZING lady who has given everything of herself to the animals in her care. If I'm ever asked to name people who have created an impact on my life then Lesley would surely be in the top half of the list. I wish her peace and happiness and hope I can see some of her in her new free time.
Choo was missing last night at dinner time, it happens sometimes but my stomach churned over when there was no sign of him at breakfast time. It's not like him to miss a meal, let alone two. I just hope no one was around this morning when I was stood out there calling "Choo ...Choo ... Choo Choo." They would have thought I was cracking up. Anyway within minutes he was home, he has skipped breakfast and is lying asleep with me on the sofa. It's funny isn't it, (peculiar not haha)  I think he's adorable, but no one wanted him as a kitten and even recently when I put photos of the cats up on Facebook no one put a comment on his photo .. I have to admit I did feel it, he may not be the most glamorous of the cats, but he's dead cute and he's a huge part of this family and is affectionate and sweet.
I was asked during the week if I'll have another kitten .. well yeah of course, but not now. We still have 6 cats which I don't want to exceed again and they are generally more expensive to keep which has to be a consideration. Tia and Oliver are both getting on in years .. awful thought, but maybe in the future when there are less cats we'll think about it. One thing though, I do have something in mind. I've always wanted a silver tabby (spotted or striped) .. not an easy find so if one did come along before then I may weaken. It has to be male, having owned cats since I was a teenager I do generally prefer male cats. It's not always a pedigree cat colour, the British Silver Tabbys are stunning, but there is a chance one may crop up in a moggy litter somewhere. Having been involved with cat rescue for so long it would be a crisis of conscious to buy a pedigree kitten.  I do sometimes think we should be able to have what we want but know how desperate the situation is in North Wales I'm really not sure I could justify buying a pedigree one in.
Ross continues to do my head in over food. He's eaten less this last week than he has in ages. It so
frustrates me, I really know what the right thing is to do but I'm being honest, I currently am not doing it! I guess the problem is that I don't want a skinny show dog, so I'm adding odds and sods to his food to try and get him to eat. Big mistake .. I know! With what little coat he has still coming out in huge chunks he's really starting to look like shit to be honest. It's such a bad age, anyway I'll bath and blast him tonight and see if he can at least look semi decent for Blackpool tomorrow. I really have mixed feeling about what his breeder said yesterday, she said had he his grandfathers coat he would really be a top dog. It's nice that she sees the potential in him, but sad that she like me realises that his lack of coat will go against him with some judges where top honors are concerned. I can only hope that after this predictably awful junior moult that his next coat will be better.
Anyway it's Blackpool Champ tomorrow. The foreign judge has done me proud with Dexi, Krizzie and Nico .. but he did put Sammi last .. Kaiah and Ross look rough, Loki and Sammi look great ... lets see what tomorrow brings

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!