Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lily - An Honorary Vizsla Pup comes over to the house

 Our granddaughter, Lily, came over Sunday.  She just turned 11 months and is now walking.  She still thinks she is a dog.  No one has broken the news to her that she is a human. 

 She watches her other dog friends go in and out the dog door and has opened the flap and looked out.  It won't be long before she follows them out the opening. 

She loves the water bowl and likes to dump the water on herself and the floor.  There on the tile, the water is more fun to splash in.

Jackrabbits and Vizslas

Sunday morning started out only in the mid-70's as Chloe joined Bailey and me for a trip out to Hastings Island for another attempt at getting the first leg of Bailey's Master Hunter title.  The weatherman, on the car's radio, had let me know that it was going to be the hottest day of August.  This would be after the fog burned off and the breeze died down.

 Chloe, is not a bird hunter.  She hates the sound of shotguns and she stays in the Jeep while Bailey and I go out to attempt to get a pass on this very demanding bird dog aptitude test. 

So that she attains some enjoyment out of the trip, we stopped both going and returning from Hastings Island to a spot the dogs know well. 
Back about 5 years ago, before the recession hit, a home builder started a development that was going to have 500 homes on a couple hundred acres.  Now the deserted streets and sidewalks are all installed but only about 10 model homes were built and then they were promptly boarded up. 

Here, out in the country, the dogs can safely run with little danger of cars or other dangers.

Jackrabbits number in the hundreds in this wide open area.  So Chloe gets to channel her hunting drive chasing hares.  She loves the chase.  Even with the quickness of our Vizsla, she is no match for a healthy hare as it darts here and there.  It is very enjoyable to watch as she barks and just "knows" she will catch that pesky hare any second.  Just as she thinks she has it, the hare does a 90-degree turn and darts away.

In a period of 20 minutes of all out running, Chloe had scared up about 10 jackrabbits and had given futile but joyous chase.

  Bailey usually joins her, but his enthusiasm for this game is much less intense.  In the morning, he had to stay on his leash.  I needed him fresh and focused on his bird work ahead.

After Bailey and my failed attempt in the judged field, we left Hastings Island and headed back to "Hare Central."

There I let him loose with Chloe out in the 98 degree afternoon heat.

  They were both DONE in about 10 minutes and came back ready for the air conditioner in the Jeep to be turned up full blast on the trip back home.

Herr Und Hund (German Edition)Herr und HundOne of my favorite dog books is "Herr Und Hund" by Thomas Mann, where he goes into wonderful detail how his "bastard" hound (German Shorthair Pointer) has a wonderful time with rabbits in Bavaria.
Earlier post on the book in English

Jackrabbits - remarkable critters
(edited to shorten)
By Dutch Salmon

"It seems that this year they're everywhere. I'm talking about jackrabbits - a plethora of big bunnies.

All right, it's true that many people - perhaps most people - wouldn't call a healthy jackrabbit population a blessing. Here in the Southwest, jackrabbits are largely taken for granted; like ravens, we see them around a lot but don't really notice them much. Hardly anyone remarks, "Hey, I saw a jackrabbit today!"

When jackrabbits do get noticed, the reference is usually negative. They get into your garden and eat the crop. They girdle your fruit trees. They compete with livestock out on the range (it is said that seven jackrabbits will eat as much forage as a sheep).

Or one leads your bird dog off on a merry and futile chase when the dog was supposed to be hunting quail.

First of all, despite the name, jackrabbits aren't rabbits at all, they're hares. The gestation period of a rabbit is about 30 days. Hares hold their young seven to ten days longer. And where rabbit young are born bald, blind, and helpless, a just-born hare is already in fur, with eyes open, and the little leveret can hop around. Rabbits, such as the cottontail, like cover; they live in burrows or brush piles and when pursued hard they look for cover or a hole to provide an escape. Hares spend their entire lives on top of the ground, hooding up in a "form" - a mere depression in the grass - when they're not out feeding or moving about. Flushed by a coyote, fox, greyhound, or eagle, a hare will attempt to outrun rather than hide from a predator.

By any or all of the above determinants, the jackrabbit is a hare. The most sensible explanation I've heard for the name "jackrabbit" is this one: the striking long ears of this hare caused the descriptive moniker, "jack-ass rabbit," later shortened to jackrabbit.

As Aesop knew when he matched a tortoise against a hare, you can't talk about hares without talking about speed. The hare the greyhound chases at the race track is artificial, but the one out in the field is real. By knowing something of greyhound speed one can infer the speed of a jackrabbit.

Greyhounds have been clocked at an attained speed of 50 mph coming down the first straightaway. Take such hounds to the open field, flush a jackrabbit, and what happens?

Usually, the hound is able to overtake the hare one or more times, forcing the jack to change direction in order to escape, indicating the superior speed of the hound. More often than not, in the ensuing high-speed chase, the jack is able to elude the hounds with a myriad of high-speed moves until the hounds begin to tighten up (usually inside of a mile). At that point the hare is once more able to straighten out into a sprint, stringing the pack out and leaving them behind.

At times, however, one encounters some remarkable jackrabbits. I have seen both blacktail and whitetail jacks start up not ten yards in front of greyhounds of proven speed - fresh, healthy hounds on good running ground - and literally run away from them. These hares beat greyhounds at a straightaway sprint!

I have been running jackrabbits with greyhounds, salukis, and other sight hound breeds for 30 years. It is clear that the best jackrabbits are capable of an attained speed of at least 40 mph, and of maintaining that speed for a mile or more. That a hare is capable of outrunning a specially bred dog like the greyhound, a quadruped six to ten times its size, is surely one of the most remarkable feats in the realm of natural history."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Loyal dog may take part in Iowa tribute

Post script to the Loyal Navy Seal dog post last week.
(I know it wasn't a Vizsla, but Vizslas are this loyal)

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The University of Iowa will salute all who have fallen during service to their country, state and community - including U.S. Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson - at one of the Iowa football team's two games in November.

The nation will celebrate Veteran's Day on Friday, Nov. 11. The Hawkeyes play home football games on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12.

"Jon's death is a tragedy that reminds us of the great personal sacrifice made by many who serve our country, our state, and our community. We are very pleased that Jon's family has agreed to allow us to honor Jon and all citizens lost while serving others later this fall."
UI Director of Athletics
Gary Barta

A 35-year old native of Rockford, Iowa, Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 6.

Tumilson's personal sacrifice became even more poignant when his pet Labrador retriever, "Hawkeye," lay next to his casket and remained there for the majority of Tumilson's funeral service.

"Jon's death is a tragedy that reminds us of the great personal sacrifice made by many who serve our country, our state, and our community. We are very pleased that Jon's family has agreed to allow us to honor Jon and all citizens lost while serving others later this fall,"
 said Gary Barta, the UI's director of athletics.

Barta noted the decision to not do something at Saturday's first home game of the season was deliberate.

"We wanted to be respectful of Jon's family and friends and others who are still grieving. Also, as a fan of the Hawkeyes and the UI football program, I'm certain Jon would expect a solid game plan, one that is thoughtful and thorough and respectful, and well-executed on game day," he said.

The UI will work with the Tumilson family to determine exactly what role "Hawkeye" may play on game day.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Master Hunt Test = TOUGH!

Went out today to Hastings Island and entered and ran Bailey in a Master Hunt Test run.  These 45-minute walking field tests are judged by two horse-mounted AKC-certified judges.  Everything is overseen by a horseback-mounted field marshall.

Judges expect the dog and handler to do everything very close to perfect.  The performance has to be exceptional to get a pass.

It is a MASTER HUNTING DOG TITLE after all.  The standards are set very high. 

This was our third attempt out this month.  We have not successfully passed yet but will try again tomorrow. 

To get the title, we need get SIX passes.

This may take us a long time.  That's ok.  We've got plenty of time.  

 Wanting to be the best sure ain't easy.

Section 3. Master Hunting Test.

 A Master hunting dog must give a finished performance and demonstrate clearly that it deserves to be qualified as such.

This is the complete hunting companion that any hunter would be proud to own.

It must be under its handler’s control at all times, and handle kindly, with an absolute minimum of noise and hacking by the handler. A Master hunting dog must show a keen desire to hunt, must have a bold and attractive manner of running, and must demonstrate not only intelligence in seeking objectives, but also the ability to find game. The dog must hunt for its handler at all times at a range suitable for a handler on foot, and should show or check in front of its handler frequently. It must cover adequate ground but never range out-of-sight for a length of time that would detract from its usefulness as a practical hunting companion. The dog must locate game, must point staunchly, and must be steady to wing and shot on all birds and if it breaks, it cannot receive a Qualifying score. Intelligent use of the wind and terrain in locating game, accurate nose, and intensity on point are essential. Whenever it encounters its bracemate on point, it must honor. A dog that steals its bracemate’s point cannot receive a Qualifying score.

A Master hunting dog must positively demonstrate its steadiness to wing and shot. All birds that are pointed by the Master dog in a bird field must be shot where safety allows. If gunning is being done on course, all birds pointed on course must be shot where safety allows. Gunning must be done by Official Guns only. A legitimate attempt to retrieve all downed birds must be made. Conditions such as the type of cover, where the birds landed, the terrain, and the condition of the downed bird, sometimes make a retrieve impossible and this should not reflect negatively on the score of the Master dog. All killed birds must be retrieved promptly, tenderly and absolutely to hand. The handler shall not command or signal the dog to retrieve until positive steadiness has been demonstrated.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Loyal Dog Mourns, Lays at Casket of Fallen Navy Seal

May we live up to be the person our dog's think we are.

Heard about this story on the radio today.

About a Navy Seal coming home to be buried and his dog being next to him during the service.

If you have a Vizsla, you have a dog that will give its all for you.
Never have I had a breed that epitomizes complete loyalty.
A dog's loyalty is an amazing thing.

"The dog of slain Petty Officer Jon Tumilson refused to leave his side during the Navy SEAL’s funeral earlier this week in Rockford, Iowa. The heartbreaking photo taken by his cousin, Lisa Pembleton, shows Tumilson’s dog Hawkeye lying by the casket.

Navy SEAL U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jon T. Tumilson was among the 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents downed their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, his dog Hawkeye paid his last respects, walking up to the casket, lying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh."

Read rest of article and see video on:

Makes you believe there must be a God that would have made such a wonderful animal.

Why God Made Dogs Poem

When God had made the Earth and Sky, the flowers and the trees,

He then made all the animals, and all the birds and bees.

And when His work was finished, not one was quite the same,

He said, "I'll walk the Earth of mine, and give each one a name."

And so He traveled land and sea, and everywhere He went,

a little creature followed Him, until it's strength was spent.

When all were named upon the Earth,

and in the sky and sea, the little creature said,

"Dear Lord, there's not one left for me."

The Father smiled and softly said, "I've left you 'til the end,

I've turned my name from back to front, and called you DOG, my friend."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pet Underpopulation: The Pet Shortage in the US

"Last month, I had the opportunity to be a guest on a talk radio program discussing recent pet legislation efforts in Wisconsin spearheaded by a small group of animal rights extremists. Some callers to the program realized the threat to pet owners and breeders such legislation poses and expressed concern. Many callers, however, were frantic about the "pet overpopulation" problem and thought laws were needed to stop breeders.

Listen up! The notion that there is a "pet overpopulation" problem is nothing more than a figment of the imagination of the anti-pet, anti-pet owner, anti-pet breeder animal rights fanatics.

Yes, you read that correctly.

 There is definitely NOT an overpopulation of dogs or cats, at least not in the United States."

Complete article well worth reading:

 by Loretta Baughan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reserve Winner's Dog - Bailey

Back from Reno Kennel Club Dog Show.

  Saturday group prize - 2nd;  Sunday group prize - 1st and Reserve Winner's Dog 

 The above are the ribbons Bailey took home. 
This was Bailey's first confirmation show.

 Below are the best of show and group winner awards.

"Keep going!  This is a very good sign.  Reserve Winner’s Dog (RWD) means you were the second best class dog.  I just looked up the point schedule, 8 dogs is a 5-point major, the largest you can get.  Makes Bailey’s achievement even better."  - e-mail from Bailey's sire owner

Tiffany showing judge Bailey stacked.

Bailey, Chloe and I took our Tuesday walk down to Crogan's Bar and Grill. 

Bailey was welcomed as a conquering hero.

  Bailey and Chloe are the mascots of Tuesdays at Crogan's.

May 2010 write up about Tuesday city walks

That's good enough for Bailey, Chloe and me. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pals - The Hungarian Vizsla Movie

The Hungarian story of the adventures of a Vizsla, Dachshund and falcon. 
Check out the water rescue scene 4 to 5 minutes in!

Just a great viewing experience. 76 minutes long.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

PJ’s Pets ends puppy sales

Glad to see a major pet store chain makes the sale of puppies the job of hobby breeders.

TheStar PJ’s Pets ends puppy sales

Don’t ask how much that doggie is in the window.

At least at PJ’s Pets stores, as the retail chain announced Tuesday that it will stop selling puppies on Sept. 1.

It’s part of company plan to promote adoption from animal shelters or humane societies. It has already adopted the policy in Atlantic Canada where its stores operate under the Pets Unlimited banner.

(see the rest of article on link)

"Best in Show" Movie

Entering the show world this weekend.

Christopher Guest, the man behind Waiting for Guffman, turns his comic eye on another little world that takes itself a bit too seriously: the world of competitive dog shows. Best in Show follows a clutch of dog owners as they prepare and preen their dogs to win a national competition. They include the yuppie pair (Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock) who fear they've traumatized their Weimaraner by having sex in front of him; a suburban husband and wife (Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara) with a terrier and a long history of previous lovers on the wife's part; the Southern owner of a bloodhound (Guest himself) with aspirations as a ventriloquist; and many more. Following the same "mockumentary" format of Spinal Tap and Guffman, Best in Show takes in some of the dog show officials, the manager of a nearby hotel that allows dogs to stay there, and the commentators of the competition (a particularly knockout comic turn by Fred Willard as an oafish announcer). The movie manages to paint an affectionate portrait of its quirky characters without ever losing sight of the ridiculousness of their obsessive world. Almost all of the scenes were created through improvisation. While lacking the overall focus of a written script, Best in Show captures hilarious and absurd aspects of human behavior that could never be written down. The movie's success is a testament to both the talent of the actors and Guest's discerning eye. --Bret Fetzer

Best in Show

Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting Ready for the "Show"

Bailey living "the good life"
 Bailey is staying the week with my friend and Bailey's handler, Tiffany, getting ready for the Reno Dog Show this coming weekend.  I am actually excited about this.  He is having a great time.  I miss the knucklehead.
I'll head up to Reno for the show this weekend.  I have to stay in the background so Bailey will not be able to see me as Tiffany handles him in the ring.

Abbey and Bailey playing

"Hey Rod
As you can see, Abbey sure fancies Bailey. Rose is completely satisfied sitting on my lap while I read a good book.
I took Bailey and Barley for a nice walk around the block today. Bailey walks very well on the lead - totally showing my dogs up. Maybe I need to send my 3 to your house Rod! I stacked Bailey a few times when we stopped and he did fabulously.

 The best thing about being a handler, I’m the one person that gets to spoil them rotten so showing is the best thing EVER! I’m very excited about this weekend.

When I was putting the medicine on Bailey’s barbed wire wound, the thing came off on the cotton ball. The good news is, there is hair already growing underneath and a good judge can not fault a hunting breed for hunting scratches. I’m not concerned about it at all. He is a very handsome boy.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Are You My Father?

Belle, at 4 months old, meets her dad,  Bailey. 

 She is the youngest female in Julie's Vizsla Sorority. 
 The dogs all played happily with Bailey and he had a good time with the four females.

Chloe, my 4-year-old female joined us for about 10 minutes.  She was "inspected" by the other females.  After the inspection, it was obvious that she was not welcomed into their world.

Chloe was placed back in the truck.  She was happy to be safe in the cab.
  Interesting pack interactions.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Art of Nail Trimming

When Bailey or Chloe walk across our hardward floors and I can hear the nails touching, I know it is time to trim the nails. 

Nail cutting was a problem for me.  Using cutters on nails worked but a few times of cutting and seeing blood and the dogs crying in pain told me there has to be a better way.  The dogs and I hated it. 

So when Chloe and Bailey were pups I sent away for the "Peticure" cordless nail grinder. The peticure videos are very informative.

Problem was the grinder motor was weak and the cordless battery would die quickly.
So what to do.  I had learned how to use the Pedicure and the dogs were ok with it.  I ended up throwing the grinder away and saved the "head" and installed it on my Dremel multi-speed tool.  Now I had power and control.

The head protects the surrounding area and the "window" is adjustable.  Bailey has BIG paws and needs a big hole.  Chloe has little paws and needs the smaller window. The sandpaper disc that came with the Pet-a-cure is the same you can get at any hardware store for the Dremel.

Nails are short.
I have the "nail trimming rug" that we always use.  The dogs know when it is nail trimming time and with many treats and patience we have gotten to the point that the dogs enjoy coming to the rug to get their nails trimmed.

Short nails are very important for hard driving dogs.  Long nails catch on things while running through fields and the hills. 
without protective cover

Just trimmed the dogs nails.  Chloe is now 4 and Bailey is 3.  They don't fight nail time. 

I have them sit for their front paws and then lay down belly up in my lap for the rear paws.  Patience and persistence is the key.  Grinding can cause heat, so just do a little on each nail and go to the next.  You might need to go over them three or four times. 

There is more to it but this is a start.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

You Never Know What You'll Come Across

On last Thursday night's walk with a friend and her Vizsla, we took a tough two-hour walk in the Las Trampas Wilderness.

  A walk in these hills can always turn into an adventure.
A pack of coyotes howled as we walked out of their hills as the sun set over  fog covered hills.