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

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 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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lucy's Pictures

I'm keeping this one short. Here are some of the pictures of Lucy that have arrived. They're from her finishing her US championship and a few Best of Breed photos from before and after, Lucy is out of Delceg and Kaylee.