Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas!

It’s been a busy few months here. Dad continues to improve and is now walking about 6 km a day. He takes Becca (Am Can Ch Shomberg N Partridge Run Tribecca) along with him. I’m beginning to think that this quadruple bypass is the best thing that ever happened to him. He’s quit smoking and he’s exercising. What more can you ask for?

Lucy (Can Am GCh Nuthatch’s Awakenings - Delceg x Kaylee) qualified for the big Eukanuba show in Florida in Dec as both a new American Grand Champion and also as one of the Top 25 GSPs in the US for 2011 at the cutoff date. She is the only solid liver GSP on the latter list (making her the #1 solid liver GSP in the USA J ). We are extremely proud of everything she and her handler, Sarah Crepeau, have accomplished. Unfortunately, a trip to Florida just wasn’t in the cards for us this year.

Dundee (Am Can Ch Nuthatch’s Snowy River Rider - Cruise x Sally) also qualified for Eukanuba due to his being the #5 GSP in Canada last year in all breed points (he was #2 in breed points - and all in only 3 weekends of showing). We’re hoping that perhaps we can go next year and that he will qualify again - this time as a new Am GCh. He is heading down to Sarah to finish off his grand championship in the new year. His cousin Pepper (Nuthatch’s For Yr Entrtainment - Delceg x Bug) is already down there getting ready for her show debut.

Dundee’s been busy. He became a father again early in December. He was bred to Can Ch Topthat’s Raw Sienna FDJ (Sienna) and she gave birth to nine beautiful babies at the start of the month. Sienna went Best of Opposite Sex to her littermate Sparky (Can Ch Topthat’s Electric Lime) at this year’s Canadian National Specialty. We have decided to breed Dundee’s aunt Bug (Can Ch Nuthatch’s Truly Madly Deeply - Charlie x Spirit) to Sparky early in the new year as well. This will be Bug’s last litter and I am very much looking forward to it.

We are also expecting a new litter in January (yeah, January is shaping up to be a busy busy month). Beans (Nuthatch’s Black Coffee In Bed - Dundee x Becca) has been bred to Mac (Am Can Ch Nuthatch’s Chase The Sun - Morgan x Emily) and is due mid-month. We bred Limerick (Nuthatch’s Funny Girl - Frost x Jeannie) to Charlie (Mex Latin Am Can FCI Int Ch Nuthatch’s Presumed Innocent - Andy x Cassie) but I’m not sure she is pregnant. It was a last ditch chance at Charlie puppies but the vet tells me those sperm looked mighty tired so this one is flying on a wing and a prayer. I’m kicking myself for not having frozen his sperm earlier. It’s one of those things that you mean to do and never quite get around to. Lesson learned. Mac and Dundee will both be having sperm collected and frozen at some point this year.

In the meantime we have visitors for Christmas. True (Can Ch Nuthatch’s The Princess Bride - Charlie x Becca) is vacationing with us while her family visits other family abroad. Buddy (Kenny x Jeannie) is also coming for a visit this Thursday and will be spending the holidays with us. Although we don’t board commercially, I love having dogs we’ve bred come back for a visit and it means that when their owners go away they can go with peace of mind, knowing that the dog is staying in the house with GSP experienced family and friends. We offer it year round but summer and Christmas are when it gets the busiest.

I likely won’t get another update in before the big day so here’s wishing you a great Christmas and we’ll talk in the new year. May it bring great things for you and yours. Love the Nuthatch Gang.

Pictured Sarah & Lucy having some downtime :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Hallowe'en

From Jo's pug Gizmo:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Found This On Facebook and I Loved It...

It's been such a hard year with losing Ziggy, Chanel, Spirit and Delceg. I fear that Charlie and Mr. Big are not too far behind either. Surely the pieces I've lost this year though are not half as big as they pieces they gave me over the years.

Speaking of new dogs coming into your life. We had tried to breed both Dalwhinnie (Nuthatch's Q.E.D. - Morgan x Emily) and Willow (Darnelle's Makin' U A Believer - our GWP) in June but niether got pregnant. It was very very disappointing and admittedly very very expensive. So, there were very few puppies born here this year. Puppies whether they stay or go on to new homes make you feel better. There's something about sitting on a floor and being swarmed by hot little bodies that are doing their best to drown you in kisses that makes it impossible to be sad for long. Buffy is in season (Am Can Ch Nuthatch's Unforgettable - Kenny x Jeannie) but I have told her that if she escapes her crate even once there will be no forgiveness. Buffy is a liberated girl and firmly believes you should grab your fun when you can, regardless of Mom's hard planning. She's not being bred this time as she just had a litter earlier this year. Limerick (Nuthatch's Funny Girl - Frost x Jeannie) though is looking like she is coming in to heat. I am really hoping to breed her. I dearly want more Charlie children so we're going to try a fresh semen AI (artificial insemination) as Charlie's back end is too weak for me to be willing to let him try to do it au naturel. As Limerick is a solid liver (Charlie is ticked), there is a possibility of having both solid and ticked puppies in the litter. Solid is a dominant gene and so one parent must be solid liver in order to get solid liver puppies.

It would be really nice to have some puppies around to play with as I'm worried this winter will only get harder when it comes to losing my beloved seniors.

In the meantime, I'm house hunting - now what kind of crazy person wants to move with all these dogs ... and who wants her to move next to them???

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Ok, I'm determined to rejoin the technological race and start updating regularly. I'm even going to check in on Facebook periodically. I remain on dial-up so don't count your puppies before they bark :) In the spirit of trying though, I have been updating our Facebook photo section. For those of you interested in seeing the pics the links to the albums are as follows:

General Album:

Lucy's Album:

Dundee's Album:

Hopefully, there will be more to come.

In the meantime, we are experiencing wet and muddy weather here :( Pepper (Nuthatch's For Yr Entertainment - Big x Delceg) decided that I should not remain dry in the house. She came in - soaked to the skins - and lay down beneath my legs (I was at the kitchen table) and then stood up and dragged her back across the underside of my thighs. Uggh!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Delceg - Am Can Hung Lux World Jr Ch Malomkozi Delceg

Peacefully, in his 11th year, while sleeping by my bed. Although Delceg didn't come us until he was almost 7, he quickly became an integral part of the family. His goofy smile, the incredible hugs, snoring in your ear when he shared the pillow, his whole body wag when he brought you a toy. I think I'm still in shock.

He excelled as a show dog, completing championships everywhere he went and Best In Shows in his native Europe as a youngster. In the litter box, he proved just as powerful. His gorgeous, multiple group-winning daughter in France, Dutch - Belgian - Luxembourg - German VDH - Swedish - International Beauty + Champion International Show Champion France Champion working "Championne d'Automne of field-trials" Malomkozi Sjelsa, was only one example of several. I'm comforted by the fact that I have some of his daughters, sons and grandget here with me.

Many will count the above as his legacy but for me he will always be the goofy guy I fell in love with at the airport. He could never have produced another puppy or won at another show and he would still have become my bed hog. He will be very dearly missed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Email Addy

Due to ongoing issues with Aztec, our new email is nuthatchkennels@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Catching Up After a Long Absence

OK, so it’s been ages since I’ve updated the blog. I kind of have a good excuse although it’s not a totally great one. Grandpa ended up having a quadruple bypass and then picked up that C.difficile bug while he was in the hospital. This all started at the beginning of June and he’s only been home for a few weeks as I write this. It’s been a long haul and he’s lost thirty pounds (and unlike me he didn’t have thirty pounds to lose) but he is finally doing better and slowly but surely getting well.

Much has been happening with the canines. I’m just going to cover the highlights for now.

Dundee – Am Can Ch Nuthatch’s Snowy River Rider (Austr Ch Zigeuner Nimrod R (Cruise) x Nuthatch`s Charlie`s Angel (Sally)) was the #5 GSP in Canada in 2010 – and he was only shown in Canada for three weekends!

True (Can Ch Nuthatch’s The Princess Bride – Charlie x Becca) had a beautiful solid liver girl, named Jessie, who has gone to a great new home in Ottawa. Hopefully we’ll get some new pictures of her to post soon.

Lucy (Am GCh Can Ch Nuthatch’s Awakenings – Delceg x Kaylee) has finished her Am Grand Championship. Along the way she has picked up a Best of Breed at the New England Sporting Group Specialty under breeder judge Ruthann Godfrey-Freer, a best of breed followed by a group 2 under breeder judge Steve Keating, a Select Bitch award at the Canfield, Ohio specialties under Michael Dachel and a best of breed in Canfield again under Steve Keating. It’s been pretty thrilling. She then went on to three more Best of Breeds, a group 3rd and a group 4th in August.

Fox (Nuthatch’s Fantastic Mr Fox – Delceg x Bug) made his US debut and has 5 pts so far including a 3 pt major. He’s starting to get lanky though (just like a teenage boy lol) so it’s time for him to come home for a bit.

Finally, on July 1st, Buffy (Am Can Ch Nuthatch’s Unforgettable – Kenny x Jeannie) and Dublin (aka the Monkey Man, Gamebourne’s King’s Ransom) became proud parents to two little girls – North & Free. They’re now 8 weeks old and hilarious bundles of mischief. I found a cat tunnel that they love to run through.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Things That Go Bump (and Oof) in The Night

There’s nothing like getting into clean pyjamas after a hot shower and then sliding into your bed, under nice clean sheets. Your foot slides down the sheet and, suddenly, it encounters something wet, cold and slimy. Needless to say, you scream and jump out of the bed. The dogs all stand up and start barking while they destroy your bedding in their attempt to root out the intruder. Finally, it is subdued as you carefully peel back the covers, anticipating the worst. If you’ve had dogs for any length of time, the worst has found its way under your foot more than once, why should your bed be any different? You breathe a sigh of relief as you discover the remains of a very dead stuffed toy. It is removed and peace eventually ensues. You get to climb back into bed; ignore the cold nose, still searching for more toy remains.

I know that some feel that allowing the dog(s) on the bed is not good policy. Apparently, they feel it encourages dominance in the dog. Around here, they share the bed if they wish. To make it fair and since there’s only so much room for me and dogs in the bed (and that number isn’t even close to the number of dogs here), we take turns deciding who gets to sleep with me.

Delceg has become a huge bed hog. He’s not small to begin with and he takes great pleasure in curling up by your head, with his head as close to your head (and your ears) as possible. Thus when he begins to snore at a volume that rivals that of a World Cup soccer final, you are in a prime spot to fully appreciate his nasal arias. This is quiet though as compared to the racket that ensues if some hapless rabbit should cross the lawn when one of the dogs is awake.

The other night, I had a case of the guilts. I felt like I had been neglecting the two youngest members of our canine family – MG (Kaylee x Mac, 7 months) and Pepper (Bug x Delceg, 9 months). They can be very high energy and you tire of their antics a little faster than the dog that curls up at your feet for a snooze while you work. As a result, they get lots of time out running in the fenced field as opposed to fooling around in the house with me so their quieter when they come in. A tired GSP has a happier owner. As a result, I’ve been trying to do lots of bonding activities with them to make up for them being outside on their own so much. The latest was letting the pair of them sleep with me. Why I felt the need to have both sleep with me on the same night I do not know. I can only put it down to wine and temporary insanity.

After some quick inspections of the room and its contents, they settled down on the bed. Relieved, I got in bed, turned off the lights and aimed for sleep. Then the obligatory rabbit passed by the picture window that borders the bed. Rabbit 1, Heather 0. Finally I got them quieted down again and curled on my side with a reassuring hand on MG. Then Pepper spotted an old rope toy that had fallen between the bed and the wall; likely courtesy of Dublin or Delceg. This was fine. She retrieved it and fell to chewing on it with calm glee. No problem. At least not until MG realized that she was missing out on a toy and set out to steal it from Pepper.

You can guess what came next. After the necessary tussle which ended when I got up and threw the toy out of the room, accompanied by a great deal of cussing; we tried yet again. This time I got to fall asleep. Now there are lots of downsides to sleeping with the dogs (but fewer then sleeping with the fishes), but there is much comfort to be found in that warm body (or bodies in this case) curled up against you in the night. Neither girl snores and both love to snuggle. When they’re sleeping, like small children, they’re really rather angelic and sweet looking and you forget all the frustration they caused you earlier.

You remember them when fifty pounds of puppy suddenly lands on your stomach in the middle of the night. Apparently, Pepper woke up and had to investigate the dust bunnies under the bed. Her return to the bed could not happen at my feet. No, she had to jump right onto my stomach and shove her dusty face in mine so we could share the experience. Ain’t love grand.

The dynamic duo out playing in the yard: Pepper has the solid liver face and MG has the big blaze.

Friday, March 18, 2011


First, I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to write after we lost Chanel, Spirit and Ziggy. I can't explain how much your support helped during a very difficult time. I still get pretty teary, so we're not going to discuss it further other than to say thanks.

Like everyone else, we here at Nuthatch have watched in horror the news coming out of Japan. There are a number of worthwhile causes out there to support in relation to relief aid for the Japanese and their animals. Although we missed out on the specific day, we'd like to add our vote to Paws for Japan and the World Vets organization.

On a closer to home basis, we are hard at work with the Pointing Breed Rescue Canada group. Everything progresses slowly at first but our hope is that this can become a real source of help for pointing breed dogs that are in need of assistance. I've got our blog up and running and it currently features Rocky, a young German Wirehaired Pointer in need of a new home. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please feel free to direct them to pointingbreedrescue@blogspot.com

We also recently got to do some smooching in support of Paws for Grace. All of the girls here got to kiss Booker, one of their favourite labs, and the boys got to kiss the incomparable Ms. Puddles, the dachsie with moxy. It was tough explaining to Mac that she could not come to live with us no matter how much he liked her pictures.

We'll end with some more pictures off Lucy (Delceg x Kaylee). The show pic is from her Best of Opposite Sex win at the Sleepy Hollow German Shorthaired Pointer Club Specialty and the other two were taken when she was in the ring at the Purina National. She did us proud again this past Sunday going Best of Breed under breeder judge Ruth Ann Freer at the Sporting Dog Group Specialty in Fitchburg, MA.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spirit, Chanel & Ziggy

The three girls, my sister and I curled up on a blanket this morning and said our goodbyes. It was very peaceful and very GSP with the girls heads on various laps and flanks and legs all tangled together. I know it was the right decision but my doG does it ever hurt. Words aren't going to do them anywhere near the justice they deserve but I did want to tell you about each of them.

Chanel - Can Ch Ersehnen By Design - Reo x Sage

Chanel was just over a year old when she joined the Nuthatch Gang. I had contacted her breeder/owner after seeing ads in a GSP Journal of her siblings. Betty Jane (Reece-Weaver) would go on to become a good friend and an excellent mentor. She sent Chanel out here on a trial basis. I think I fell in love with her at the airport before we even got home. She was so imperious and sure of herself. Everything was hers by divine right up until the day she passed. The Queen Bitch, she was nicknamed, and she ruled the house with an iron paw.

In the show ring, she cleaned up finishing easily with multiple Best of Breeds over specials. She would go on to multiple group placements with handler Sue Bain and later with either my sister, Joanna, or I at the helm. Joanna showed her to a Best of Breed at the Ontario All Pointing Breed Specialty under structure specialist Betty McHugh. Betty McHugh would later devote a day to having her photographed for use in a book on canine structure. Unfortunately, the book was never completed. I didn`t get to show her too often as she hated to share me and had no problem telling judges to back off if I seemed even slightly nervous or tired and wasn`t on top of things.

In the whelping box was where she really shone. She had four litters, three by Charlie (Mex FCi Int Latin Am Can Ch Nuthatch`s Presumed Innocent) and one by Chance (Nuthatch`s The Negotiator). The puppies inherited her elegance and the bitches, her incredible personality. Emily (Can Ch Nuthatch`s At Last) and Jeannie (Nuthatch`s Simply Irresistible) stand out in particular as top witches that have continued her tradition of excellence in the whelping box.

Chanel was lazy. She`d sleep on your legs and smack you with her paws if you tried to rise before she was ready. She grumbled if you persisted and gave you a look that said it was only her love for you that was saving your life. Everything was done with dignity. Most of all though, she never minded if you needed to hug her and would put her head on your shoulder to let you know she was there for you.

Spirit - Can Ch Ersehnen Blythe Spirit - Reo x Sage

Spirit and Chanel were littermates. Spirit was returned to Betty Jane when the couple who owned her divorced. When we learned about her return, we immediately offered her a spot here. We loved Chanel, who had been living with us for about a year at that point, and were eager to meet her sister.

When Spirit got off the plane, I kept looking at her and thinking - are you sure you`re Chanel`s sister? Where Chanel was tall and elegant with legs that went on forever, Spirit was shorter with broader ribs and a head more like her father's. I came to love Spirit and her build just as much as Chanel`s but at first I just wasn`t sure. She was so different on the surface.

What happened in Spirit`s first home we`ll never know but she arrived with a firm belief that women were to be protected, especially sleeping women. She would growl whenever any man came into the room where one of us was sleeping. This never changed even though she would at the same time be wagging her tail at Dad or Jacob or Alex. It was as though she needed them to know that she would always protect us no matter what.

In the show ring, Spirit finished with a Group 2nd, handled by her buddy John Glover. He would also handle her to a Best of Opposite Sex at the first ever Canadian National Specialty. In later years when she occasionally came out for Veterans, she would always wiggle in delight when she saw John.

Spirit's wiggle was a whole body wiggle that went from the neck to the tip of her tail. She greeted everything with exceptional enthusiasm with the exception of canoeing which she firmly felt was a fool's errand. She felt it was her job to round everyone up to go outside and could often be found barking at everyone to hurry up. Where Chanel was dignified, Spirit was a clown. A clown with huge brown eyes that you could fall into knowing she'd keep your secrets safe. She was special and everyone who met her fell in love with her.

In later years she went regularly to the chiropractor where she promptly pushed everyone else out of the way so she could wiggle up against Gloria and get her massage. If Chanel was the Queen, Spirit was the spoiled Princess.

Although she only ever had one litter, it was a great one. She too was bred to Charlie and out of them came Bug (Can Ch Nuthatch`s Truly Madly Deeply), Sally (Nuthatch`s Charlie`s Angel) and Spider (Am Ch Nuthatch BCK Alfa Romeo Spider - owned by Alice Richter & Mary Finley of Brush Country Kennels). Like Chanel`s kids, Spirit`s get excelled in the whelping box too.

Ziggy - Can Ch Robinhoods Ziggy Stardust - Michael x Darby

I drove down to the US with Ziggy`s breeder, Sherry Saunders, to bring Darby to Nichael. It was a fun trip that I still remember fondly. Ziggy was always an adventure right from the start.

Her best friend, who was also about the same age as her was Michael (Our Siberian, Can Ch Bain's Norther Riverdance). We used to tease them that they got their roles reversed. Michael was an off leash Siberian his whole life and had the obedience skills of a shorthair. Ziggy, at fourteen, was still not to be trusted off leash as she was always chasing the next adventure.

Naughty was a polite way to put it. If something could be got into, then Ziggy was there. If you could chew it or otherwise taste it - she had her mouth on it. She was trouble with a capital Z and everyone knew it and loved it. If food was missing from the counter, you knew who took look at (at least until Delceg joined the crew - then it became a toss up). When you called her name, she would stuff her head under the couch cushions - rear end sticking up in the air - as though that made her invisible.

Ziggy was the difficult child, whose spirit you admired even as you shook your head and cleaned up the mess. She is one of three dogs that I have Michael Steddum watercolour portraits of from before he became famous. Her, Holly (Can Ch Robinhoods Always Forever), and Maggie (Am Can Ch Ersehnen Do U Believe In Magic FDJ). They've all passed on now.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm Home !!

Who would have thought anyone could be so happy to be returning to the land of chaos and never-ending, stick-in-your-clothes hair. Did I forget the occasional bursts of noise in that description?

I'm finally home and I can't believe how much I missed it. Apparently, it missed me too :)

Charles is the only one of Buffy & Dundee`s pups not to have moved to a new home yet. His will come. In the meantime, he`s mighty cute and doing well with his crate training. I forgot how sweet GSP pups are when I compare them to Gizmo, my sister`s pug pup (who sounds remarkably like Cartman on South Park for some reason). He and Dublin have become close friends. Here`s a few pictures of him I took last night.

Unfortunately, not everything I have come home to is wonderful. Chanel (Can ch Ersehnen By Design), Spirit (Can Ch Ersehnen Blythe Spirit) and Ziggy (Can Ch Robinhoods Ziggy Stardust) all turned fourteen towards the end of January. When I left for my surgery Spirit wasn`t doing well. Her back end had begun to fail and I suspected that by the time I was home again there would be some decisions to be made. There are times when I hate being right. Unfortunately neither Chanel nor Ziggy is doing well anymore either. I don`t know if I can cope with losing all three of them at once but I`m not sure it is fair to ask more of them. Chanel`s decline in particular has been very fast. When I left she was doing the best of the three and now I`m tempted to say she is doing the least well.

It`s hard to think of the house without the three of them. None of them were bred by us but I did make the trip down to the US with Ziggy`s breeder, Sherry Saunders, to bring her dam to the stud dog for breeding. Although Ziggy isn`t in any of our breeding pedigrees anymore, she has been a unique and special individual her whole life. There are very few, if any, dogs bred at Nuthatch that don`t have either Spirit, Chanel or Charlie (Mex FCI Latin Am Can Ch Nuthatch`s Presumed Innocent) in their pedigrees. Spirit and Chanel are littermates that arrived here separately and Charlie is their nephew (bred by us), out of their brother Andy (Am Can Ch Ersehnen The A Thing). I still count meeting Betty Jane Reece-Weaver (Ersehnen GSPs) as one of the luckiest things I`ve done in dogs. Between them Spirit and Chanel have produced some truly stellar brood bitches including Emily (Can Ch Nuthatch`s At Last, Charlie x Chanel), Jeannie (Nuthatch`s Simply Irresistible, Charlie x Chanel) and Bug (Can Ch Nuthatch`s Truly Madly Deeply, Charlie x Spirit).

I think this is going to be a hard week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Rescue is one of those topics that has always been near and dear to everyone here at Nuthatch. Our first GSPs were rescues and so were our first GWPs. We`ve had rescued, GSPs, GWPs, Siberians and various mixed breeds come through here as well over the years. I`ve got a picture of Tess and Dylan here - our first GSPs but not much else on the laptop. I`ll post some more pics later and tell you they`re stories too.



We`ve fostered and placed several dogs over the years. As anyone who has ever participated in rescue knows, it can be very very rewarding and very very heartbreaking. For the past few months I have been working with a few people who are trying to organize a national rescue for pointing breeds and get it registered as a charity. While I`ve got lots of experience with rescue, I don`t know a lot about the workings of corporations or charities.

One of my contributions will be to run the blog. I would ask any of you who may be interested to check it out at http://pointingbreedrescue.blogspot.com Hopefully, I'll be able to update it regularly with information on how the organization progresses and also on ways people can contribute and dogs that are in need of assistance.