Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pheasant Soup


Pheasant Soup
Step One
  • Two Pheasants, cut up in pieces (chukars or quail can be used)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 celery stocks, diced finely
  • 1 medium onion, diced finely
  • 3 carrots, diced finely
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
Combine these items in a pressure cooker and
 cook for 20 minutes at 15 lb.. or you may
 use a crock pot, coking for 8 hours. When
 finished, remove (shred) the pheasant meat 
from the bones. Strain the pheasant stock and save it, but discard the vegetables used for making the stock.
Step Two
  • Pheasant stock (you may add water if needed)
  • 6 celery stocks, diced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Combine and cook these
 ingredients until the vegetables are just done.
Step Three
You're just about there. Now add flat egg noodles
 (drained and rinsed) and stir in the shredded pheasant meat. 
 Heat the soup to serving temperature and serve with a hardy bread.
Serves: 6
Notes: Can be frozen
From Olex Preserve, for the love of bird dogs and hunting

Friday, December 21, 2012

Vizsla Solstice Walk 2012

The world did not end on this Winter Solstice 2012. 

So in celebration of the continuation of the world, we went hiking into the wet and windy hills. 
The shortest day of the year was a wet day.  Headed up into the hills as the rain was coming down in sheets.  There were breaks in the storm and a rainbow sat over our town.

 The trails were slick mud and I carefully made slow progress along the six-mile circuit we took.  Bailey and Chloe loved the hills today.

During the two hour walk we did not see one single person.  It was nature, wildlife, the dogs and me in the thousands of acres of Briones open space.

Ducks on the ponds and the dogs enjoying the joys of the water.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Not A Gentle Vizsla Picture

So this might be a picture of Bailey if I were to draw him with markedly human characteristics.

Quite the picture.

Friday, December 14, 2012

No Christmas Puppies Please and Mistletoe


"Many families who value pet ownership do so at least partly because of what children can learn from the family pets in terms of care and responsibility, love and loyalty, and respect for other living beings. But think of what happens to the rest of the toys and gifts that start out under the Christmas tree. By Valentine’s Day, most of them have been shelved or broken or traded or forgotten. The excitement inevitably wears off, and the once compelling toy becomes something to use, use up, and then discard in favor of something newer.

A living puppy should not be thought of in the same category as a Christmas toy. Children need to learn that a living puppy is being adopted into the family – as a living family member who will contribute much, but who will also have needs of its own, which the rest of the family is making a commitment to try to meet.

 A puppy who makes its first appearance as a gift item under the Christmas tree is more likely to be thought of by children as an object, as a thing-like toy rather than as a family member. This will not teach one of the most valuable lessons there is to learn from a puppy, which is respect for living beings and concern for others in the form of attention to their needs."

The rest of this excellent article, written 20 years ago, "No Christmas Puppies Please" can be found here:

Teach your children well....

Then there is the lighter side of a Vizsla Christmas:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bailey Finds a Bird

We went pheasant hunting with Bailey and a fifteen-month-old female named Riley yesterday morning.   Riley was kept back on a long check cord when we had bird contact.  Earlier Riley had flushed a couple roosters to her complete delight.

45 minutes into the hunt, Bailey came across this pheasant in the tall grass.  I almost stepped on the thing before bending down.  The bird looked in good shape but must have been nicked earlier in a hunt by a shot as it did not fly upon being released.
Riley was very interested as Ashley and Reuben (Riley's owner) looked on.  
Funny note:  You hear me say "Bailey, here, come here" repeatedly.  He could not see me because the pheasant's wing was open and covering his eyes.  It was a "blind" retrieve, so to speak.

 To expand the view tap the bottom right icon next to the YouTube logo.

And then there was the one that got away:  Easy shot that I forgot to lead the bird.  Bailey did his part.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

Thursday, December 06, 2012)

"The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is expanding its Pointing Breed Field Trial
program with several new offerings: the AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship and two
new titles, Grand Field Champion and Grand Amateur Field Champion.

"We're pleased to add the Walking Gun Dog Championship and the Grand titles to
the activities available in AKC's field events program," said Doug Ljungren, VP
of Companion and Performance Events. "AKC hunting tests and field trials allow
for participation at many different levels, from novice dogs and owners to the
highly experienced. The AKC wants to provide an opportunity for all sporting dog
owners to enjoy their dogs in the field. The Walking Gun Dog Championship and
the Grand titles add to the breadth of AKC's field activities."

AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship

Walking field trial stakes, where the handler is on foot, make it easy to get
involved in pointing breed field trials. Today, more than 20% of AKC's gun dog
stakes are walking, which represents a fourfold increase over the past ten
years. Walking stakes have encouraged the owners of dogs earning the Master
Hunter title in the Hunting Test program – where all handlers must walk, like a
hunter normally would -- to transition into walking field trials, where there is
no requirement for a horse.

To acknowledge and promote this growing segment of the sport, the AKC has
created the AKC Walking Gun Dog Championship. The inaugural event will be held
at the Mingo Sportsman Club near Bloomingdale, Ohio (50 miles west of
Pittsburgh, PA) starting Saturday, April 27, 2013. The event format will be
one-hour, single series, non-retrieving. All dogs that have earned a placement
in any AKC gun dog stake or have been awarded the Master Hunter title are
welcome to enter. The winner of this annual event will be crowned National
Walking Gun Dog Champion (NWGDC)."


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Not a Vizsla!

Sent to me a friend yesterday:

"Hi Rod, 

Met a Hungarian Vizsla breeder with thick accent and all.

 He took an interest in my Vizsla and congratulated me on keeping him intact. 

But, next he said something strange "You don't have a Vizsla!!!"

"How so?", I asked.

"You see, it may look like a Vizsla but dogs have a mental part and a physical part."

"Your dog's mind is not Vizsla. A Vizsla's only purpose is hunt and behaves affectionately toward people and other animals". 

He also said these days it's just not possible to hunt breed in Europe so breeders reluctantly are forced to accept the family dog role of the Vizsla.

1,000 years of refining the hunt instinct and behavior and Socialism destroyed all that in 60 years.

I got the affectionate part, my Vizsla is very affectionate but, how did he know my dog is not hunting?"

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Walking Sticks Help in the Hills

 Last spring I purchased a set of walking sticks for the hill hikes I do with the dogs.  Today, after a three-day powerful winter storm came through the Bay Area, the trails were small streams flowing into creeks.  

Good walking sticks made the hills, very slick with mud, manageable.

This had been dry just four days ago.
 Almost fun actually.  I knew it would be very hard, if not impossible to get up into the upper trails without the help of the sticks. 
 Going down the slippery paths, the Black Diamond brand adjustable poles were even more helpful.

 Chloe and Bailey loved the creeks and ponds. 
The earth was soft and a real joy to dig in. 
 There was a ground squirrel in this one.
The ground squirrel was safe this time.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rosie O'Grady, Hungarian Sweetheart

Guest author, Sheila Black's story of Rosie.  We have known Sheila and Rose for five years now since our first Vizsla Walk. Chloe was just a very young pup and we knew nothing of what we had in store.  Enjoy.
A more recent Vizsla Walk
"My first husband (short-lived) was Hungarian, and-- oh boy--it's too bad he didn't have some of this pup's loving characteristics. 

I waited 5 years after my previous dog died to even think about trying to find another canine companion because her loss was so painful. In retrospect, I waited too long.

When I picked up this tiny red Vizsla babe in Napa, 7 years ago, and drove home with her in my lap, she crying pitifully all the way, my life began a-new, mostly in an upward spiral.

We spend nearly all of each day together. She loves a run-and-seek game to get breakfast in the morning (I throw a 3/4 cup-full of doggy protein "pellets" around the floor (it's a big room), and she hunts them down. Good nose work? Yes, but these guys have famous nose ability, anyway. Then, she usually gets a leash-free run very near the Golden Gate Bridge (who could ask for more?). In the afternoon, she waits patiently on her pillow under a drop leaf table---her favorite hiding place, when I have clients in my home office. They know she will be quiet, and she knows to spend the time in silence. Win-win.

Each early evening at a Rosie-determined time, she sits at attention, eyes riveted (as only a V. can do) on me for a specific invitation ("jumpy-jump") to get under the comforter, where she waits for me, much later, to snuggle in next to her for the night."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vizsla Devotion

A comment to Fiona Apple's Sweet Farewell deserved it's own post. 

 So sweet.  Thank you Kitty.

two 13-year-old female Vizslas
Kitty Tsui said...

"Your words touched my heart.

I lost my 13-year-old Vizsla, Kia/Meggie Too2, to cancer two weeks ago. For the past four months, she had had several health issues. At the beginning of October, I noticed a slight bump on her throat, this just days before she was scheduled for surgery to remove a tumor. In three days the bump grew hard and was the size of an orange. Vet pronounced it to be inoperable cancer.

I spent the next thirty days taking care of her: making meatballs w/ rice, ground meat, grated veggies bound w/ an egg; hash browns; poached mahi mahi and chicken, and hand feeding her. When she could no longer climb the stairs to our second story home, I made a safe coral in the livingroom & tended to her 24/7, doing alot of laundry and picking up her poop. Cleaning blood, pee and poop. Slept in the livingroom with
 her, waking when she stirred to feed her or clean her or give her medications. Inconvenient? NO.

 She was a beloved family member and I practiced DEVOTION. My Red Dog loved me unconditionally. She was a Rescue and I vowed I would NEVER abandon her and I didn't.

 We went to the end when I had to let her go. I knew when it was time. I would never let her suffer.

Run free, my love, fly high. Until we meet again."

Big Life - Small Town Ode to Noah the Vizsla

Another Vizsla owner's last devotion link above.  Click to open.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fiona Apple's Sweet Farewell

Seen in the L.A. Times  (letter was posted on Fiona's Facebook page);

"It's 6pm on Friday,and I'm writing to a few thousand friends I have not met yet.
I am writing to ask them to change our plans and meet a little while later.
Here's the thing.
I have a dog Janet, and she's been ill for almost two years now, as a tumor has been idling in her chest, growing ever so slowly. She's almost 14 years old now. I got her when she was 4 months old. I was 21 then, an adult officially - and she was my child.

She is a pitbull, and was found in Echo Park, with a rope around her neck, and bites all over her ears and face.
She was the one the dogfighters use to puff up the confidence of the contenders.
She's almost 14 and I've never seen her start a fight ,or bite, or even growl, so I can understand why they chose her for that awful role. She's a pacifist.
Janet has been the most consistent relationship of my adult life, and that is just a fact.
We've lived in numerous houses, and jumped a few make shift families, but it's always really been the two of us.
She slept in bed with me, her head on the pillow, and she accepted my hysterical, tearful face into her chest, with her paws around me, every time I was heartbroken, or spirit-broken, or just lost, and as years went by, she let me take the role of her child, as I fell asleep, with her chin resting above my head.
She was under the piano when I wrote songs, barked any time I tried to record anything, and she was in the studio with me all the time we recorded the last album.
The last time I came back from tour, she was spry as ever, and she's used to me being gone for a few weeks every 6 or 7 years.
She has Addison's Disease, which makes it dangerous for her to travel since she needs regular injections of Cortisol, because she reacts to stress and to excitement without the physiological tools which keep most of us from literally panicking to death.
Despite all of this, she’s effortlessly joyful and playful, and only stopped acting like a puppy about 3 years ago.
She's my best friend and my mother and my daughter, my benefactor, and she's the one who taught me what love is.
I can't come to South America. Not now.
When I got back from the last leg of the US tour, there was a big, big difference.
She doesn't even want to go for walks anymore.
I know that she's not sad about aging or dying. Animals have a survival instinct, but a sense of mortality and vanity, they do not. That’s why they are so much more present than people.
But I know that she is coming close to point where she will stop being a dog, and instead, be part of everything. She’ll be in the wind, and in the soil, and the snow, and in me, wherever I go.
I just can't leave her now, please understand.
If I go away again, I’m afraid she'll die and I won't have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.
Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed.
But this decision is instant.
These are the choices we make, which define us.
I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.
I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend.
And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important.
Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.
I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time.
I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments.
I need to do my damnedest to be there for that.
Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I've ever known.
When she dies.
So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel.
And I am asking for your blessing.

I'll be seeing you. "
Love, Fiona

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

European Puppy Mill?

Liter of  pups bred by hobby breeder (Bailey was sire)

From a member of Hungarian Vizsla Forum:  This information should be shared.

Shining light into the shadows wherever they are only makes for a stronger breed.

"We got our pup from the company "Europuppy".

In all honesty, I'd never do it again, I now know how shady they are and I'm upset I was never able to contact the breeder myself. It's basically a third party that sets breeders up with buyers. A lot of people on base recommended it to us, but I'm pretty miffed at them. I'm actually trying to find a way to get it out that nobody should ever do business with these people. My puppy is beautiful and I love him, but he was not very healthy when I picked him up, which makes me believe that these people care more about the money than the dogs.

They met me at the border between Slovenia and Hungary, because I was vacationing in Slovenia. They were four hours late, and when they arrived, my puppy had been sitting in his own poo and pee for WHO knows how long. He was the only dog in the car, so I can't imagine why he wasn't clean. It was only an hour's drive from Budapest, where the breeder was. He's had an intestinal parasite from day one and was quite thin when I picked him up. We're going on two weeks with him here, and he's been sick every single day. The vet has high hopes that he should be fine by next week, though. 

All in all, I feel very stupid for doing business with these people and I hope that at least one person will read this and NEVER use that company.

 Go directly to a breeder yourself!!!!!!! I didn't, because I was having a tough time finding one and it was so easy to go through the third party company. BAD IDEA."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vizslas on a Hill Hike in the Rain

 The rain came over night.  Saturday morning we hike.  So in 50 degree cold rain we headed out on to the trails in Briones.
 The dogs loved it and ran with abandon in the empty spaces.  During the summer, these trails have dozens of hikers.  Today the only person we came upon was a lone lady with her umbrella and small dog.
 The trails were slick with a clay mud up on the upper parts of the hill ridges.  Walking down was tough, so instead of walking I ran flat-footed knowing that there was no stopping gracefully until I got to the bottom.  How to make a normal hike into an adventure.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Craigslist Cast-off to First Vizsla of the Philippines

Story of a cast-off Craigslist Vizsla puppy who is becoming the
 first Hungarian Pointer of the Philippines
and the men who are making it happen.
Pressy hunting the planted birds of Bird's Landing
"In May, I received a call from a gentleman who was asking questions about what to consider when picking up a Vizsla. 
  He mentioned that there was a 9-month-old female that a family in the Bay Area of California had listed on Craigslist.  His interest was in having another family dog and a hunting dog.  That in itself was not a unique conversation, but where the dog would hunt was indeed interesting.

  As it happens, this man lived half the time in the Philippines and half in the San Francisco area.  He hunted worldwide.   He was obviously a man of influence and yet a much grounded person.  

Given the conversation, in all honesty, I attempted to talk him out of getting the dog.  I was of the opinion that the odds were not good that the dog would be without issues, temperament, hunting drive and ability, etc.  Often, though certainly not always, dogs surrendered have problems, and  some very significant.  His response to my opinion was that if she did not hunt, that was fine.  She would live a happy life with his Italian Greyhounds regardless.  His mind was made up before he called: he had the means and desire to save this dog, and that was that. 
  He would offer her the opportunity to develop to her maximum potential and accept her at any level she ultimately achieved. 
  That spoke volumes to me of the man named Ramon.
Ken (Willowynd's Vizslas) and Ramon discussing the coming hunt

After he picked up “Pippi,” he brought her to us and changed the name to Pressy, short for Precious. 
 I had the sincere pleasure to work with Pressy, expose her to birds and hunting, and we came to love her for her wonderful spirit, incredible family temperament, and very strong desire to hunt.   I was honored to work her for Ramon, his friend Archie, and Ramon’s daughter Ella on Monday, where Pressy started off a bit over-zealous on the birds but settled in as time passed.

  We returned on Wednesday and Pressy worked for Ramon alone, finding, pointing, and retrieving – working like the dog I knew.  I could not have been more pleased watching them together.

It has come time for Pressy to move with her owner for her time in the Philippines, where she will live well, hunt snipe and moorhen, and spend time, I’m sure, with Ramon’s lovely daughters.  One would think that would be the end of a good story, but in this case it is only the beginning.

  You see, Pressy is the very first Vizsla to be imported to the Philippines.   I can think of no more fitting rags-to-riches story of this wonderful cast-off dog living in luxury, representing the best attributes of the breed’s temperament, heart, desire to hunt and be part of a family.  She is not the most beautiful of Vizslas in structure and would never win a show title,
 but she is 100% a Velcro, Velvety Vizsla.

Pressy and pheasant almost her size
The story will continue and the breed will be getting a small foothold in the Philippines due to a dedicated few individuals.  As we worked with Pressy, Ramon obtained a second Vizsla pup (Ducati) who is with us now as he cannot go to the Philippines until at least 5 months of age due to import restrictions.  
Ducati with Ramon - the Alpha male of the Philippines, next to Pressy with Ken
 Ramon’s love for the breed is infectious. A congressman in the Philippines has also made a commitment to bring in another Vizsla (soon to be born).  This female will ultimately be Vizsla #3.
The foundation pair of Vizslas for the Philippines.  

I’m honored to have met Ramon, to witness firsthand his enthusiasm and dedication to the breed and play my small part in the vision he carries of bringing the Vizsla to the Philippines."  - Ken

Ramon hunting behind Bailey at Bird's Landing
My little part of the story, according to Ramon, is that it was through Redbirddog blog that he got excited about the idea of owning a Hungarian Pointer. 

 He knew all about Bailey.  He pulled out his I-phone and showed me the below picture as we went out in the hunting fields. 
Bailey, my CZ 20 gauge, and two pheasant taken last year

 Ramon enjoyed hunting behind the dog he had read so much about.  He even tried out my little CZ 20 gauge over-under with very good success.  A very good hunting day for Bailey and everyone involved.

Comment from Ramon added to main body of story November 15th.

"Hello Rod,

Working in the IT Sector, the power of the Internet and the commonality of the love of the simple pleasure of being with our dogs, never ceases to surprise and amaze me. 

I first saw a Vizsla when I was biking with my daughter in Central Park a few years ago. As we were enjoying the cool spring weather, I chanced upon a jogger with a rust colored handsome dog. Being a dog lover (having Italian Greyhounds, Whippets, and other breeds), I was perplexed that I could not identify the breed of this dog. I asked the jogger what breed this beautiful dog was and he replied, "A Vizsla!". I replied, "A what?!".

That evening started my search on the Internet into what was a Vizsla. Over time, I somehow ended up following your blog and the wonderful adventures of Bailey. I was intrigued by this man and his dog and also being an avid hunter made the blog even more interesting. I continued to follow both your and Bailey's "escapades" and finally got to the point where I subscribed to the VizslaWalk group.

I eventually was so intrigued I found the website of the Vizsla Club of Northern California and decided I wanted to explore bringing a Vizsla to join my family. I joined the Fun Field day and was graciously welcomed (a common trait of Vizsla owners). By the end of the day I had decided to proceed and inquired about various suggested breeders.

When I was back home in the Bay Area early this year researching on an appropriate breeder, I saw a call for help from some Vizsla owners regarding a young Vizsla posted on Craig's list by a family. To make a long story short, I believe in intuition, as well as second chances. 

I met the family and adopted the wonderful Vizsla my family renamed Precious or Pressy as a nickname. In the short time I was with Pressy, I could see she had "a strong heart" and wondered how well she could progress properly trained. Again, through your blog I learned about Ken of Willowynd Ranch. He politely gave me many reasons for possible failure, but that didn't matter. 

Last week, I and my daughter were ecstatic to have been able to see Pressy hunt with us and prove herself beyond anyone's expectations. I had the final benefit of meeting you and Bailey in person. Again, the experience was beyond expectation and I would like to Thank You, Ken and Bailey, if not for me, then for my daughter who flew across the Pacific Ocean to enjoy an experience to be remembered for a life time.

So I guess that Across the Oceans and Across Cultural Differences the Power of the Internet in this whole saga is amazing as is the mutual love of hunting, a man and time spent with his dog! Now the story is replicated not only in California, but Across the Ocean in a new Chapter of a Man and his dog and the love of the hunt!

We'll send you photos soon and hopefully it will be enough to entice you and Bailey to cross that ocean with Ken and experience another adventure that all can read through the redbirddog blog!

Our Best,
Ramon and Ella

PS The best friend of Pressy, out of our family of dogs is Ella's Toy Poodle...Talk about differences! "