Houston Weekend: The Good

Our intent for the weekend was to try to get majors on big Leo.  His performance with Gerry Thornton was improved but the best he could do was Reserve one day.

Carmen, who had just come into season and was puking and suffering from diarrhea, gave us the surprise by going Best of Breed three of the four days under, respectively, Keke Kahn, Alvin Krause and John Wade.  In a single weekend, she became a Top 10 Borzoi in breed competition, picking up some 100 points.

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Houston Weekend: The Bad

Last weekend was the Houston World Series of Dog Shows, in which Carmencita and big Leo competed (about which more anon).  Sadly we were involved in a sad and highly disreputable situation that resulted in my euthanizing a Borzoi whose owner didn’t want dead.

Early in the week, we received an e-mail from a Borzoi person here in Texas about a companion home in the Houston area that was having trouble with a Borzoi purchased from a breeder from the North.  The dog, two years old and apparently not socialized, was having aggression issues and, despite the owner neutering him and hiring a trainer, the dog snapped at her young son and their Whippet.  Clearly the situation could not continue.

Now for a breeder, there’s one and only one thing to do about this:  take the dog back at your own expense, refund the purchase price and, if necessary, quietly put the dog to sleep.  Instead the breeder, when contacted, said that if the owner got it back to the breeder (i.e. return it at the owner’s expense), the breeder would put it down, or the owner could put it down themselves and get a replacement.

Let’s be clear, no breeder should sell a dog who is not socialized.  No breeder should sell a dog with a bad temperament.  No breeder who sells a dog to a companion home should ever suggest that it’s the owner’s responsibility to euthanize a dog whose problems were caused by the breeder’s greed and neglect.

As this was going on and Borzoi Rescue became involved, I could see the whole Way of the Cross stretching before us.  And, in this sorry situation, that’s exactly how it played out.  On Friday, Madame got a call from the owner.  The owner had to get the dog out of the house, as it had bit their Whippet, and would be bringing it to the show to turn over to us.  Borzoi Rescue had sent us a surrender form as, predictably, we were the only ones available to take custody.

The Borzoi was surrendered to us at the show.  We told the owner that we would see what could be done and she left sobbing.  We thought that being near another Borzoi would trouble him less but when Madame ran a little test by bringing Carmen over by the crate he was in unfortunately he reacted badly.  With a breed as fast and as strong as a Borzoi, a dog with a bad temperament can’t be trusted enough to be placed in another home.  We made the hard decision to euthanize.

By this point, predictably, I was the only person available to do it.  So it was my sad task to take the poor creature to our vet and put him to sleep.  All friends having failed and comforts fled, I stayed with him as he drew his last breath; it was the respect he deserved and I was the one who had to supply it.  At least it was very peaceful and in his final moments he was treated with dignity by the staff.

There will be blood, buckets of it.  There was no reason for Madame and I to be involved in this.  It grossly offended my sense of ethics about how dogs are treated and how people should behave.  I am a member of the BCOA (which has code of ethics and guidelines for breeders to be followed) and so is the breeder, so I will be preferring charges.  Everyone talks about cleaning up our own house and cracking down on unethical breeders; well, let’s start here.

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News from the Show Scene

Leo Dallas

(photo by Malinda Julien)

Mr. Leo (Soyara’s I Wanna Be a Producer) is just a class dog with only one point and not much show experience.  Because Leo is a huge boy (34 inches) and Madame is vertically challenged, we gave him to Gerry Thornton to show at Dallas.  While he didn’t get anything out of the three days he was shown, his performance improved day by day and by the last go around Madame said he was really starting to stretch out and move.

San Antonio for four days next weekend, then Houston for four days with very large entries as well as a BCOA TSE on Friday.

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Happy Fourth of July

American Flag

Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends (excluding, of course, the social-justice Red Guards).  Whatever its faults, flaws and challenges, still the most dynamic, forward-looking nation on earth.

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A Great Career Comes to a Close

Dutch National 2015

Dutch’s show career came to a close at the 2015 National Specialty.  We would have liked to be the triumph of Lacey’s final show, when she won the 2006 National Specialty, but sadly he didn’t even make a cut.  As the picture shows, his gait is as smooth and flawless as ever.

Madame said he was the hardest dog she ever handled, so it’s a tribute to her skills that he ended 2014 as the #1 Borzoi in Breed, Owner-Handled competition and Grand Champion points.  Dutch’s last all-breed show was the Baytown KC show, where he got a Group 4 under Judy Webb.

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A Keen Couple of Cuties


(photo by Kelly Brunarski)

At the 2015 BCOA National Specialty in May, Carmen and Aida were the Best Brace in Show.  They duplicated the feat achieved by their brothers Dutch and Ilya at the 2011 National Specialty.  One litter, two dogs, two bitches, two Best Braces.  Well done, boys!  Well done, girls!  Well done, Madame!

(Note:  I thought at first that Aida’s feet were off, but both are standing very nearly square.  Not too shabby!)

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Big Little Town

Our mailing address is Rosharon, TX, a small crossroads off TX-288 south of Houston and the middle of the Iowa Colony-Rosharon-Bonney microplex.

This unassuming place consists of a smattering of houses, a post office, a gas station and, since this is Texas, more than one Baptist church.

Oddly enough, it also has an airfield for skydiving, a research center for Schlumberger, and the US headquarters of Mammoet, the Dutch heavy lift company.  Quite a little town!

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