Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One More Photo

Sadie (nee Lyric - out of Jeannie & Frost - littermate to our Limerick)

Trying to Catch Up

OK, I have like a million things to catch you up on, especially photos and I was having trouble logging into blogger for some reason so here's to catching up.
We had a quiet Christmas. I wasn't feeling too well so we took it easy and did a lot of laying on the couch and watching movies. Everyone always thinks of GSPs as being so hyper but that's because they're never there when four of them have me pinned to the couch under their snoozing selves. Chanel and Spirit pin the feet and calves, Emily takes the thighs and buttocks and Becca (who simply cannot bear to be left out of anything) takes the ribs and shoulders using my neck as a headrest. They make for a very heavy but warm blanket. Sadly, my blanket does snore.

Here's a ton of photos from various households that came by snail and email:

Mallory - is Wendy (nee Mocha)'s new labrabuddy

Karen Ramstead's Team

Cooper (Kyra & Charlie) & Riley (Jeannie & Kenny):

Willow (Jeannie & Kenny)

Mac (the solid liver - Becca & Charlie) & Rudolfe (Wicca x Josh) & their Weim buddy

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Been An Exciting Day ...

Ok, it's still early in the morning and it's already been an exciting day. Went out for the normal morning walk and Dundee saw a deer. Personally, I find it astounding that deer come anywhere near our place but apparently they aren't the brightest of creatures. Well, being the super hunter he is he took off after it without a glance back to his screaming mother. Let me tell you, a GSP and a deer can travel a lot (and I mean a lot) farther and a lot faster than I can. He had me worried for a bit. I called and called and no sign of him. They'd gone back into the woods so I couldn't even go grab the car and go looking. Just when I'd begun to give in and think I had better start calling the neighbours, he came home. I think he may have scared himself when he realized I was nowhere around. At least that is what I hope. It took me an hour to get the chill out of my bones. I went looking for him in my pyjamas and boots - ie without a coat or anything warmer than a flannel shirt on.

Ziggy continues to have more and more trouble with the stairs. Whenever she has a rough day, I find myself worrying if I will know when the time is right. She'll be 13 in January and she has slowed down significantly this past year. She is now totally deaf. (If you ever want a hard habit to break, see how often you yell out your dog's name when you're trying to persuade them it is time to come back in on a cold day even though you know the dog can't hear a word you're saying.) Chanel too is having the occasionally slow day. They turn 13 within a week of one another as does Spirit, who seems to have failed to realize she's gotten old at all.

It's hard. People often think that with so many you love them less and they are more like livestock. Not true. Mine sleep on the bed with me, cuddle on the couch and spend hours upon hours in my company. I love them all (yes, even Dundee who scared the sh** out of me this morning) very very much. When they have bad days I hold them and whisper that I will understand if it is time to go and that they are not to stay longer just because I wish it could be so.

When we lost Dylan, which is many years ago now, Joanna and I sat down afterwords and said we waited too long. We should have let him go the week before and as a result he suffered. We promised that we would never wait selfishly again for us to be ready. When the dogs are ready, it is time. It's a very very hard promise to keep.

In a house with as many old dogs as ours (more than 50% of the dogs here are over 10 years old), you know that there will be years when you lose several beloved friends. This was one of those years. We said goodbye to my red bastard (his favourite nickname) Maverick (Can Ch Kristari's CodeSign Maverick), Keisha (Janmor Carrieglenn's Da Brat) (both Siberians), Holly (Can Ch Robinhoods Always Forever), and Keats (my old english springer spaniel who was 16 years old). Keats was my first dog and it was probably one of the hardest losses to bear this year. He'd been with me since grad school when we had an apartment together and in many ways he led me down this path. He was never a show dog and bore little resemblance to the beautifully groomed springers you see at shows. He was a typical field-bred spring with little feathering but he had the most beautiful spaniel expression and he loved with all his heart and in return he too was loved with all my heart. He outlived all of his contemporaries - Dylan, Jessie, Tissa, Bonnie and Tess - much to everyone's surprise. He was one in a million and he is deeply missed as are Maverick, Keisha and Holly.





On a more cheerful note - got this photo today of Ryder, Cello's littermate (out of Shiraz and Mac). He shares the family's predilection for stealing various items. With Cello & Shiraz it has always been tea towels???

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One More Picture

Here's Mochi (nee Cappucino) in her new home:

More Christmas Pictures

More pictures coming in...

Eddie (Becca x Charlie)

A Friend's Visit to Santa

Also to see some pictures of Shiraz and Bo - see their family's blog at


Anyone else out there who keeps a blog featuring one of our pups, please let me know. I'd love to link up to it and I'm an avid reader whenever I get a chance.

We've bred True to Dundee. Keep your fingers crossed that she is pregnant. It's only been two weeks so too soon to tell. The last we bred her we went down to Virginia. It was a breeding that both myself and the stud dog owner have been looking forward to for quite some time. Unfortunately, she didn't get pregnant. So, this time we tried to keep it as stress free as possible. If she conceives then we'll know it was probably stress that was a facture last time and we'll find a way to minimize it as I would really really love to see her bred to Tonka.

Latte and Beans are revelling in the extra attention. I have decided on Latte. Much as I love Beans colour, I'm unwilling to choose colour over structure. So, Beans will head out to Newfoundland in January. Now to find Latte a foster home. And come up with a registered name for her. We always choose names that are either songs or movies (and every blue moon or so I choose a poem or book). Dad has suggest Nuthatch's Coffee In Bed (a Squeeze song) but I'm game for any other suggestions. I'm going to need a theme for True's litter too :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's A Quiet House...

Only Beans and Latte are left and I'm firmly leaning towards keeping Latte (at least today). It goes without saying that the two of them got spoiled rotten yesterday after Wendy (nee Mocha) left with her new family. Wendy has a labradude buddy named Mallory in her new home. I need to catch up on my scanning but I'll get the pic I have of Mallory, along with Karen Ramstead's team and my french boys - Rudolfe and Mac - all scanned and on here one of these days. Promise.

I've got all my Christmas shopping done!!!!

In other photographic news, I got a great card from my friend who raises Belgian Shepherds. We met when we both had Siberians and I'm a huge fan of her Belgians. As some of you may know I once bred Belgians. I still think they are one of the most beautiful dogs ever.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Puppies are heading home...

First - I have double checked it and Ginger is out of Dundee (Am Can Ch Nuthatch's Snowy River Rider) and Shiraz (Nuthatch's Unchained Melody). She is a full sibling to Bella (Nuthatch's Hocus Pocus - fostered out with a family in eastern Ontario) and my sister's boy Garak.

Everyone always asks how you can bear to send puppies off to their new homes. Frankly, I do it with glee. By the time you have ten GSP puppies at 8 weeks of age, you have a non-stop poop factory and chaos machine. They can now push that ex-pen wherever they wish to go in the living room, dragging their mess behind them. When you try to lay down fresh newspapers they are right there to play the game of destroying them as fast as you can let them go and sometimes faster. Some paper never even gets to hit the floor before it has been snatched by a little mouth eager to play the game. When you tuck them behind baby gates in the kitchen so you can clean their mess up, they proceed to tackle the kitchen tablecloth (and magicians who can pull the tablecloth out without dropping a thing they are not), the gates themselves (yes, that many puppies can knock down the gate when they move en masse - thereby causing you to drop the bundle of newspapers in your hand and rush to try to prevent them from attempting the stairs in their unsupervised explorations), and anything else they can get into. In essence, they have turned into constant work and as a poodle breeder once told me, no matter how many newspapers you use you can guarantee that the place you lay your hand will be where it gives and leaves you with a fistful of sh**.

In the summer months, they can be put out in ex-pens to enjoy the sunny weather and play and that helps a lot but in the winter that is not an option.

By this point I have also met all their families, often multiple times, and I know where they're going and how much their new families are looking forward to welcoming them into their pack. It's not like they're leaving my place to go live on the streets of Toronto.

So, they leave and I'm often left with mine - if I don't have a foster home lined up already - and maybe one who is waiting to catch a flight or for his family to return from a trip, etc. This is when it gets hard. Two aren't very much work at all and there is a lot more time to play with them and cuddle them on your lap as you watch a movie and just carry them around the house with you. While you always love all of them you know you've done right in letting them go. When you're down to one it becomes much harder to say it's for the best and is in their best interests to move on to new homes.

Just ask Limerick (aka Lime-Ricky and Nuthatch's Funny Girl - out of Jeannie & Frost). I was determined to foster her but no one was interested at the time. Of course, she was lonely without her brothers and sisters so she needed to spend lots and lots and I mean lots of time being played with and cuddled by everyone in the house. Then Miss Emily (aka Can Ch Nuthatch's At Last aka the Boss Bitch these days) took a shine to her and decided she would willingly tolerate the little fiend and it was all downhill from there. Now, you'll hear me say after she's finished her Canadian and American championships or maybe if a really good show home comes along (as if a good enough one is likely to come along) she can be fostered or co-owned. Until then, everyone, including the adult dogs has pretty much made her part of the pack.

With a little luck we'll find a foster home for Becca's daughter fairly soon because Grandpa is going to kill me if she hangs around too long. (And yet, I'm not the one who decides to have quiet time with them curled up on his lap late at night???)

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Further Adventures of The Monkey Man...

Dublin - aka The Monkey Man - is devoting this week to giving Grandpa extra jobs to do. Very generous of him, isn't it?

On Tuesday, he showed Cello (a Shiraz daughter so you know she gets into more than enough mischief with no help from her buddy Dublin) how to get through a hole the size of a dinner plate so you can visit the food room in the kennel. Once there, he gave her the tour including explaining that empty cookie bags can be found in the garbage, stall dry makes a good stand-in for sand to play in, and that nothing is better for redecorating than empty shaving bags. Grandpa is a back to basics kind of guy and was not as appreciative of Dublin & Cello's redecorating as they might have hoped.

Then yesterday he and Cello decided that Grandpa was getting out of shape and needed a good game of tag to help his fitness efforts. Grandpa caught Cello first. Seeing that Grandpa was starting to look a little tired the ever inventive Monkey Man then climbed through a small (think width of building block) gap at the corner where the pee pen meets the house to put him self in a fenced in area. It was the wrong fenced in area but I say A+ for effort.

Dublin's breeder tells me that all of his siblings are equally smart and inventive. I think Grandpa may have said a prayer for them last night before going to bed.

The puppies head home this weekend. I still haven't decided which one I'm keeping but I figure I have a bit of a respite. The one I don't keep is going to Newfoundland in early January so I still have a few weeks to decide between Beans and Latte.

We've had a request to make sure we identify which litter dogs come from. So, I'll do my best in future. I think Ginger is out of Dundee and Shiraz but I could be wrong. I'll need to verify that. Seger is out of Jammer and Bug and Gryphon is out of Becca and Delceg.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ever had to finally decide...

say yes to one and let the other one slide? It's not often easy and it's not often kind. Did you ever have to finally decide?

I'm sure that someone besides a beer commercial deserves credit for that song but the beer commercial is all I can remember at the moment. It about sums up my position with the girls from Becca's litter. I took pictures of them Monday to try to help me decide and then I went on to ask opinions from my various gsp/show dog lists. I got back a fairly even split on who I should choose with several mentioning Mocha and Cappucino as well. It is still between Beans and Latte for me and I'm really starting to lean towards Latte. Latte reminds me intensely of Bug (her great aunt) as a puppy and while Bug may indeed be a royal pain in the a** much of the time she is also a very very nice bitch from a conformational standard.

Christmas is often a time when people think to send pictures (which I love!). I got one with a wonderful photo from my friend Karen Ramstead, of NorthWapiti Siberian Huskies. I'm a huge fan of Karen's. She runs long distance races (think 1,000+ km races like the Iditarod) with her dogs. You can learn more about them on her web site at http://northwapiti.com I'll scan it and add it here later.

Here are some of the newest ones to arrive:




Monday, December 14, 2009

More Pictures

Sonnet finished her JH (Junior Hunter title) this weekend. Nancy sent me this picture. Sonnet is out of Becca (Am Can Ch Shomberg N Partridge Run Tribecca) and Delceg (Am Hung Lux Jr World Can Ch Malomkozi Delceg). I bred her and we co-own her with Nancy. She is now Int Ch NEWPoint Poetry of Nuthatch JH. I think she just needs majors to finish her US championship as well.

The following pics are of Cooper and Riley. They live with a fantastic family where they wreak havoc on Mel's life and keep the kids busy lol

Pictures and More Pictures

I finally got the seven week pictures of the puppies up on the website. I'll include them here as well. They start going home next weekend and I still haven't decided which girl I like best. Opinions please!

The Girls:





The Boys:




I got a bunch of pictures of them snoozing in a puppy bundle. Can you tell where one starts and the next one ends?

I tried for some pics of Dublin and Willow (the GWP) as well but everyone's back feet kept slipping on the kitchen floor and I couldn't find my slip mat. (This could have something to do with the fact that you can't see my desk top but I'm not sure how.) Dublin is our English boy. He recently celebrated his first birthday and will be in the ring in 2010. I've been holding off on showing much with my leg but I think I'm going to bite the bullet and get a handler.