Just been on the facebook page for 'Cavaliers are special ' and saw a YouTube video that has been made to support the petition for mandatory screening for parents of Cavalier pups registered with the Kennel Club for MVD and CM/SM. Kindly made by http://www.superstar-pets.com/
Please take a look at the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eegniYoZPM
It is funny, cute and sad all rolled into one. Please share the video and keep signing the petition at
Yesterday after Mollie visiting us, we decided to get all the children in the car and go to the woods for a long walk. We loaded up Henry, Ysobel and Millie also for the jaunt. The video shows Henry running up the side of the Motte of the ruins of a Motte and Bailey Castle. Then we are down by the river Taw and the last bit is me helping Tilly climb up a very steep bank. The last bit is not edited, but had to be split, as when I caught Tilly and threw the camera to my husband, he filmed us climbing up the bank upside down, so I split it and rotated the second half of it, so we could watch it the right way around.
In the video you can hear our second child Alfie protest that his sister pushes him, but looking at the evidence I feel he doth protest to much. Alfie is 13 years old and a little bullish at times with his siblings. Which brings me to a story about a little bull, who thought he was a big bull.
At the farm my husband works, he milks just over 200 cows. Maiden heifers they AI (Artificially Inseminate) and each year he runs on a Friesian bull calf and when they are around 12 months old, he runs them with the maiden heifers after using AI for a couple months, to catch anything that has returned or has not gone in calf yet. The bull goes in with them indoors in January and stays with them until they then go out.
This winter the Friesian bull calf they kept back last year, before going in with the maiden heifers, has thought himself a big bull. David has told me that every time you passed his pen he would charge at the gate and roar at everyone and everything, thinking himself a very big bull.
Then came the day that he was put in with the ladies, 60 maiden heifers and after two days in with the 60 maiden heifers, he stands at the back of the shed now and does not charge at the gate no more. David told me he does not roar any more either, it's more of a whimper now when you pass him. The moral of this story is, be careful what you wish for.
A few blogs ago I mentioned that Jessica and Treacle love licking and nibbling my husband, Davids hair and the video shows Jessica doing just that. David is encouraging her to nibble him, but often David will be lied on the sofa and Treacle and her will happily just lick and nibble the top of his head. They lick my hair occasionally, but they seem to like licking and also nibbling David's wiry textured hair more.
Please excuse the misspelling of Jessica's name in the credits.
Are we mad ? This morning I had to get up an hour earlier for milking. I am now cast back into getting up in the pitch black, just as the mornings were getting light, as I set off for work, the powers that be go, "Don't forget to put your clocks forward for British summertime." Utter madness.
This morning when I got to work the cows wondered what the hell was going on and the poor semi feral cats who come in the parlour at the end of milking for a bit of waste milk, only two made the shout of the regular seven or eight that normally appear as the last cows leave the parlour. Tonight they were on the ball though with Mr Cat coming across the rafters of the parlour two rows of cows before the end of milking, taking up his usual place of sitting on a beam enjoying the heat from one of the strip lights, before descending to take up his place for milk when I had finished milking.
Mr Cat as I call him is a very handsome mostly black cat. He has a little white on his chest and is a big feral cat, but what makes Mr Cat striking is his white whiskers on a jet black head. He's at the top of his game and tonight came in yelling for his ladies, but no reply. Poor Mr Cat, I think he must be wondering why the ladies are not succumbing to his charms as usual. Recently the farm that I only milk every other weekend for now, has caught all the females and a couple younger male cats and they have all been neutered. Mr Cat though has been elusive and still has his manhood in good order, as I could see as he climbed across the rafters in the parlour above my head tonight, I don't call him Mr Cat for nothing. Lol
I forgot to mention last time I blogged that Mollie was coming to visit us on Saturday. Mollie is from Smudge's litter born last year in February and Reggie is her Dad.
Rhian and Russ had been on holiday in the area for the last week and popped in to see us Saturday morning on their way back home to Wales. It was lovely to see them and catch up with Mollie who is a beautiful girl.
I managed to get a couple photos of the visit and as you may notice by my facial expression in the photo of Mollie with her Mum and Dad, I was not expecting to be in that photo. Thanks Russ and Rhian for taking the time to visit us.
Still twiddling my thumbs waiting for the grades for Toby's and Treacle's MRI scan. Now just over four weeks ago I had them scanned. I did ring up last week and they said, they may be graded the end of this week and if I rang them today, they might have the grades, but I'm going to wait at the moment as getting them in the post, you can prepare yourself better. I get the letter with the BVA post mark on them and seeing that my heart rate will just speed up a little. I then bring the letter inside, putting it on the side in the kitchen and make a cup of coffee first, get the heart rate stable. Then I open the letter, this ritual will not change the result, but neither will ripping the letter open as soon as it is given to you.
Three years of waiting on Toby to use, rests on this last health test result. It is not the end of the world if the result means I should not use him as a stud dog. Don't think the world is going to spin off its axis, I will just have pick myself up, dust myself off and re-examine the situation.
Last night I was messing around with some of the children on the floor and looked up to see Ysobel looking down at us from a sofa, looking very beautiful, so quickly got a few photos of her.
Ysobel is such a lovely Cavalier and is Primrose's and Belle's Mum. Ysobel came to us at around 18 months old, from a small show breeder. We bred four litters from her and she was a wonderful Mum and an amazingly quick whelper. With one litter she gave birth to three pups in 15 minutes, which is very fast. She is now retired from breeding. Although she was heard to have a very slight heart murmur at five and a half years old, her heart murmur has not progressed and she is very well in herself with no health issues. She still loves to run and jump about and loves digging, especially if it's a rat hole.
Ysobel is not a, in your face dog and one of the dogs that I probably don't blog about that much, so tonight I thought I would let all those who have pups from Ysobel know, that she is very much alive and kicking at nearly eight years old. Her birthday is the 23rd April, which happens to be St George's Day as well.
Smudge is around five weeks pregnant now and is looking very well. Her due date is around the 26th to the 28th April, which does not seem that far away. Her scan revealed she is carrying a good size litter again of around seven pups and you can now see her starting to full out by the day.
The last photo tonight is Jessica splayed out asleep. You know it's nearly a year ago she had her leg amputated. It was the 14th April last year we found her on the doorstep and as she jumped up in through the door, we then saw her back leg just hanging only attached still by a few bits of skin and sinew. Amazing how she copes on three legs. It certainly has not stopped her up. She is a funny little thing, a real character.
This morning Smudge had her scan to see roughly how many pups she is carrying. Over the last few days by palpation of her stomach, it was obvious that she was pregnant, before she was scanned and I told the vet that I was pretty sure she was pregnant and the scan was to just check all was okay and give me an idea of how many she is carrying. The vet then had a feel and agreed that just on feeling her stomach, it was obvious that she was pregnant.
We then scanned her and she looked rather full of puppies, with what looked like at least seven pups, which for a Cavalier is a good size litter. Smudge had nine pups with her first litter and six with her second litter and all reared easily by her, so we know Smudge has the fertility and ability to carry and rear easily a big litter. Very good scan and as usual for Smudge and like her mother Millie before her all fetuses we could see looked equal in size and a good size, making us think she took from her first mating, so she could be around 31 days pregnant. The gestation time for a dog is 63 days which is 9 weeks.
So Henry is a fertile, thankfully and the title of this blog reflects the fun I have with our children merging names together. Smudge's and Henry's pups we laughing refer to as Hudges. Henry and Smudge conceiving a good size litter together makes me a bit more confident that this is a good pairing. For me fertility is one of the markers of good health. Really looking forward to seeing this litter on the ground.Ordered the rocket fuel as soon as I got home. Rocket fuel is the food I feed once a bitch reaches six weeks in pups. The last couple years I have been using Lily's Kitchen's Puppy Food. You can buy bitch specific food, but any quality puppy food will give your bitch everything she needs coming into whelp and whilst suckling her pups.
Just thought I would mention something I was not so happy at the vets with, was the price of the scan, which was £51.38p. Now just under twelve months ago I had a scan done and it cost £36.94p. That is around a 39% rise in price in less than twelve months, which I do not understand seeing as we are meant to be in zero inflation at the moment. Lol
A couple weeks ago I received an email from Liza about Harvey. Harvey is from Smudge's litter born last year with Reggie being the Dad. She had been in contact just before this email as it was Harvey's first birthday last month on the 24th, with photos and an update to say all was well with Harvey. This email was to tell me that Harvey had gone lame.
I hope you are well. I have some news regarding Harvey …he is fine …but we have just returned from the vet and he has been diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia in both hips. I noticed last week that he was preferring his right hind leg more than his left and when he was running he was skipping every now and then to not use the leg . I took him to the vets Tuesday and the vet manipulated his hip and was in discomfort. We decided to X-ray today as his left muscle seemed a little more underdeveloped than his right so he has been favouring one side over time. I do feel sad as I wish I had noticed it earlier but I genuinely did not as it is really not obvious and he is still incredibly active. I have had a little read and it is a complex issue that will likely lead to possible Arthritis. We are seeking specialist advice as soon as possible as I will do everything possible to see if there is anything we can do to give him as much comfort as possible and ward of the inevitable. I was wondering if you knew anything about this condition as any advice would be warmly welcome. Sorry to be in touch with this news …I know they all hold a special place in your heart but thought you should know.
I'll keep in touch with news
Liza & Harvey x"
It is never a good feeling to get an email about a dog you have bred, that has a health problem, but you cannot bury your head in the sand and on reading this email I emailed Liza straight back to offer some comfort and to tell her about a pup we bred a few years ago that had a similar thing happen. He went lame and they took him to the vets. An x-ray was done and very mild hip dysplasia was noticed on one hip. It turned out though that it was not the hip dysplasia that was causing the lameness, but a soft tissue injury and I hoped this was the case with Harvey.
Unfortunately hip dysplasia is common in dogs. I do believe it is hereditary when we see young dogs with shallow hips and unformed femur heads, but when we get into the grey area of dogs with mild to moderate dysplasia with healthy formed skeletal structure, but the femur head is not sitting totally flush in the hip joint, more often as not has been caused by slack or over tight hip flexors, I think we might be looking at a negative aspect of domestication of canines and this type of hip dysplasia is more a result of environmental pressures on a growing dog than an hereditary cause.
The last couple weeks I have kept in touch with Liza and this morning after emailing her to find out how things are and to tell her Harvey's litter sibling is visiting us soon, I found this email from Liza in my inbox.
Just got back from the specialist (I'm having to use my phone as my laptop is dying!)
It's good news ... Borderline hip dysplaysia on right and very mild on left! He has no serious worries at all and feels that he won't suffer longer term and no sign of damage and they are not troubling him at all. The carrying of the back leg is to do with his hip flexor... It is very tight and this could be because it has been working too much to correct the hip or perhaps there is a tear. Apparently dogs with hip dysplasia don't carry/skip the leg. I am so relieved, I can live with myself again and stop reliving the last 9mnths of every ball I have thrown! We now need to relax the hip flexor to prevent damage. The vet said to go back in 6mnths, keep exercising and hopefully it will correct itself but I might give him some physio to help stretch it.
I am so happy ... Best £180 I've ever spent .. If I did not go I would always worry !
Thanks for your support x
Can't wait to see the Mollie pictures This is where I find cheeky Harvey in the morning once I come back from my shower "
Thankfully it looks like Harvey has only very mild hip dysplasia and that the lameness is more to do with a soft tissue injury, probably from him being a very bouncy energetic boy. Being a smaller type dog, I would be reasonably confident that this is just a blip and that Harvey will be back on track once his soft tissue injury heals. Thanks Liza for getting back to me and for the lovely photo of Harvey, oblivious to our worrying about him.
This diagram shows the hip flexor group in a human. I could not find a diagram of this for a dog, which showed this group as well as this. This group is the same in dogs, the difference being that they walk on all fours.
You can see there is a lot going on in a hip.
Tomorrow morning I am out the vets at 10.30 am to get Smudge scanned to see how many pups roughly she is carrying. She is pretty obviously in pups now feeling her tummy. She is just over four weeks pregnant to our Henry and has just gone off her food a bit, as she normally will eat anything and everything.
The photos below are ones our oldest Bert took this morning of the dogs before going to school. I milked this morning and I found them on the camera earlier and had to find out who took them.
The last bit of this blog is a video taken last night of Treacle cleaning Henry's ears and then Smudge's ears. Treacle tends to like doing this and the dogs tend to like the attention as you will see in the video. Dogs are very tactile animals and interactions like this are common in a pack and strengthen bonds within the pack. Treacle will even clean my ears and for some reason Treacle and Jessica love licking and nibbling my husband David's hair. He has very wiry hair and I think they like the texture or maybe he just tastes nice. Lol
My Mum says, "You're never to old to have one planted on you by your Mother." Looking at Bert's face when I planted one on him, after I presented him with his birthday cake, at the age of fifteen you might not be so comfortable with it though. Bert was playing to the camera (Well, I hope he was), because he still likes to give his old Mum a peck on the cheek before going to bed.
You might wonder, where is Henry ? Look closely and you will see him. Well, just his paw in the bottom left hand corner of the photo.
After we had Bert's birthday tea, my husband David and me were sat at the table, as the children dispersed. Primrose jumped up on David's lap and I caught this lovely photo of her next to Bert's birthday cake and I thought it almost looks like she is thinking, "If only I had opposable thumbs, as I could just cut myself a slice of that cake. Sometimes my life is a dog's life."
I just got home from milking this morning after publishing this blog last night and thought of another caption for Primrose's photo below. Primrose thinks, "If I had opposable thumbs. Today a slice of that cake with a cup of tea, and then tomorrow I take over the world !"
The rest of the photos tonight are the wind down after all the excitement of celebrating our youngest and oldest child's birthdays over the weekend and today.
Tilly has enjoyed her 6th Birthday today. Tilly is the youngest of our six children and our oldest child Bert has his birthday tomorrow. I found out I was pregnant with Tilly, two days after I was forty, she was not planned, as our first child Bert was not planned either. This pregnancy though finally stopped my husband just thinking about getting a vasectomy and he got the job done, else I'm pretty sure we would not be celebrating our youngest child's birthday today. Lol
When we told the other children they would be having another sibling, our oldest asked if I could try and have the baby in his month of birth. Our other four children, two girls were born in June and the two other boys were born in October, so Bert thought it would be nice to have a sibling born alongside him in March. My due date was around the 7th April and with me so far always giving birth early, I thought he might be lucky. I went one better than born in his birthday month and gave birth to Tilly on Mother's Day the day before Bert's birthday. So when people ask how many years between our first to the sixth, it is easy to answer very accurately as nine years minus one day.
It's hard to believe this July my husband, David and me have clocked up nineteen years together. I remember asking him about having children and he told me he always imagined having a couple. I told him I never imagined having children but neither had I not imagined not having children (Being the last of six children I was lucky that the rest of my siblings had already all bred, so no real pressure on me to keep the bloodline going). I did ask him though if I could not have children, would he want his own that bad ? Because I told him that I did not see myself wanting to go through fertility treatment, as I know how hard and painful it can be especially for a woman. I would rather adopt in that case, as being brought up by a stepfather from the age of three I felt love was just as important and in some cases more precious than a blood bond, but I did say though that if you found out you could not have children, your ideology might change, because I think until you are confronted with the fact you can not have your own birth children, you cannot truly answer that dilemma. I certainly never planned or imagined having six children. As they say, "Never say never."
Today has been a busy day and also a climactic end to the Six Nations Rugby Tournament. My old Mum was triple Tena Ladied up and sitting on the edge of her orthopedic chair, ready for three rugby matches back to back. She was going nowhere and woe betide anyone who dared get between her and the television screen. You might of guessed, that my old Mum is a real rugby enthusiast.
I got to watch the Italy v Wales game and you might of thought Wales had it in the bag, but I left for milking at 3.15 pm with the Scotland v Ireland game at 3 : 17 in the first half and I thought Ireland might just do this. England playing France, I thought it would be hard to get enough points difference and I just come in the door to see England beat France, but not by enough points to lift the title, but my what a day of rugby which ended with Ireland doing enough to lift the title. I think more points were scored today than in the rest of the whole tournament, good to see tries being scored instead of games being won on penalties. What a warm up for the World Cup later on this year in the UK, bring it on.
Today I have been making cakes and I've had one of those cake making days when everything seems to go wrong. That is meant to be a red cricket ball cake, but as you may of observed, that it is pink.
I did not have enough red food colouring, to get it to look red and to top it, when I was trying to do the white stitching effect my piping bag decided to split, so the stitching is a bit haywire. All I can say though in my defense, is that the sponge tastes nice, as I made the shape by stacking two sponges and trimming around, so spare bits to taste and I put the rest of the trimmed off bits in the base of a trifle. Our son Bert is not worried and thinks it funny.
The other cake I made is for Tilly's Birthday tomorrow and she wanted a horse head. By the time I had done Bert's cake I was running out of steam, so just got a blob of brown royal icing and moulded it to a fashion into a horses head with some black royal icing for its mane. Tilly seemed happy with it, as she helped make it, putting the brown blob in its eye to make it look "more realistic" she told me.
This is not much of a dog blog tonight, but I am going to end with photos of the hopefully parents in waiting Smudge and Henry, who look a bit loved up with each other still. Henry does seem to be doting on her lately.
Yes, I'm going to be partying this weekend out with our youngest child's birthday on Sunday and oldest child's birthday on Monday, so a long weekend of partaying with the children.
Have had a bit of an amazing morning here in North Devon being the Vernal(Spring) Equinox (For most seen as the first day of Spring) coupled with a partial eclipse of the sun. Leaving home for school with the children with a heavy mist around 8.30am, we could still see the sun and because of the mist we could look up at it and see the start of the partial eclipse without burning our eyes out. The last few evenings on telly this eclipse lark had been getting on my nerves because like anything us humans have to go on and on and on about it, but funnily enough I was like an excited child this morning, as I noticed it and pointed it out to an equally excited six children in the car.
So I then moved the sandwich and got this photo of her concentrating on the sandwich. Why am I going to blog about Smudge ? Well, I'm going to stick my neck out. Thought I could feel she was pregnant a few days ago, but I'm pretty certain now and I can feel at least four marble like shapes, which are fetuses. In a few days time they became more of a mass and harder to distinguish individually by palpation. We will get Smudge scanned next week and that has just reminded me to ring the vets and get her booked in. The scan will give me more of an idea of how many are in there or it might make me look an idiot if no puppies in there. Let's hope Henry is going to be a Daddy.
With partying and cakes to make I had to go shopping this morning as well, after getting the dogs run out. I set off around 10.30 am with still a heavy mist seeping up through the Taw Valley, but on my return from Barnstaple some ten miles away from home. The mist had cleared and the sun was back to its full glory and I turned on the radio and popped in a CD tapping, nodding, wriggling about like I've got ants in my pants and singing along to 'Precious' and 'Life from a window' by 'The Jam', on the journey home along the beautiful countryside I'm lucky to live in, and you ever get those moments when you think "life does not get much better than this." Well I just had one, in that moment. Unfortunately I then arrived home and there was shopping to unpack, so my moment was short lived.
Just got down to have lunch and because I'm going to blog about Smudge, I thought I would try and get a photo of her, but she had other ideas as the photo above shows and nearly had my lunch. I had made it with fresh multi grain bread and had bought some very nice salted beef that was in there, so you can't blame her. As you can see when I have a sandwich, I use the old fashioned size slice measurement of doorstep when cutting it.
Before I'm off to partay the weekend away, I've one last bit. A couple days ago I rung up the British Veterinary Association (BVA) as it is now three weeks since Toby and Treacle were MRI scanned on the scheme. I was just hoping they could give me a time by which they think they will get the scans graded by, as Primrose should be coming on heat around the end of March beginning of April and with wanting to use Toby with her, it would be nice to know his grading before she is on heat. The lady I spoke to was very nice and got back to me later in the day, to tell me they hope to do the grading next week when two neurological vets will be at the BVA office to grade them.
Now this is the interesting bit on the 7th March I blogged about the Kennel Club putting £30,000 towards breeders putting forward scans that were done off the KC/BVA scheme for Chiar-like Malformation/Syringomyelia (CM/SM) screening before 2012 to be regraded on the BVA/KC scheme and to help them collect more data on CM/SM. I know it's only been around two weeks since the announcement, but you would think all those caring Cavalier breeders especially those who are members of the Cavalier Club UK would be beating down the BVA's door to share data about the breeding of Cavaliers especially if the data collecting is to help the breed.
Well, I asked how many scans are waiting to be graded and at the moment the BVA have only three scans to grade and two of those three are mine, so at the moment since the KC's announcement, it does not look like many breeders who did MRI scans before 2012 are going to be that interested in sharing data and helping to collect data about these health conditions in Cavaliers. I wonder where all those breeders are that the KC keep telling us they are working with to improve the health in the breed ? I think sadly they might only be in their imagination.
Please keep signing the petition asking the KC to make screening of parents of pups registered with them for CM/SM and MVD mandatory at :
Come my friend and sit a while with me in the house of Dog. For Dog has come to me when I was sleeping upon Mount Sofa and handed me the sacred Bonios, engraved with the ten commandments of life with Dog. Dog has spoken, behold Dog's bark and wagging of tail.
"THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF THE HOUSE OF DOG
1. You shall have no cats before Dog.
2. You shall not be idle and walk Dog everyday come rain or shine.
3. You shall not have Dog for vanities sake, that Dog matches your furnishings and wallpaper or your outfit. For Dog cares not for human vanity.
4. Remember Dog's annual vaccination date and keep that day free.
5. Honour Dog's Mother and Father. Get Dog from a responsible breeder, so that Dog's days may be long upon the land.
6. You will teach Dog not to murder, but allow Dog to chase squirrels up trees mercilessly.
7. You shall teach Dog not to commit adultery with your leg or soft furnishings.
8. You shall teach Dog not to steal, but marvel at their ingenuity at pushing a chair out to get on the kitchen table. Then pushing a cake tin off the table, so the lid comes off and are now sitting looking up at you, minus the cake that was in the tin, licking their lips.
9. You shall teach your dog to not bear false witness (bark) against the wind, thunder, rain, cars driving past, someone knocking at the front door, a bird farting in the hedge and thin air.
10. You shall not covet Dog's place upon the sofa, or Dog's place upon your neighbours sofa, nor anywhere that your Dog sleeps."
Join us in our covenant with Dog and you will be given pure love and loyalty beyond that of any cat. You will be the Dog's bullocks. Let me hear an "amen" to that. Now go spread the word of the house of Dog.
Monday I received an update for a Poundlane puppy and that puppy was Bayley, who is from Millie's last litter some three years ago. It only seems the other day that Millie had her last litter of pups. Although Millie just before her fifth birthday was examined by a cardiologist vet and a murmur was heard, over two years later she is in good health and her murmur seems to have not notably progressed. Reggie is the Dad of Bayley. It is actually Bayley's third birthday today along with he's litter siblings Ruby, Lottie, Lola, Lindsey, Meg and Scrappy. Happy 3rd Birthday to you all and hope all is well with you and your families. So the first update tonight is for Bayley.
It's that time of the year again, here are a few photos of Bayley as he approaches his 3rd Birthday.As you can see he is very hansom and very like his mum. He is an absolute darling and thoroughly spoilt, we couldn't have asked for a better dog.
I didn't watch Crufts on principal this year. I find the treatment of the dogs too upsetting. I read with interest, Cora Wade's Pet Chronicles on Crufts it is absolutely shameful that the treatment of the dogs is allowed to go on where are the RSPCA Inspectors.
I hope Toby's MRI Scan is good news and you can go ahead with the love match with Primrose. I would love another Cavalier but there is not enough room in our bed for another little body☺
I still very much enjoy reading your blog, being a country girl myself.
Glenda's email asks about the RSPCA at Crufts, but the RSPCA gave up with Crufts a few years ago and now do not attend the show. Thanks Glenda for letting me know how your hansom boy Bayley is and hope you had a lovely day on his third birthday.
The next update is from Bayley's litter sister Ruby and came to me yesterday.
as it's Ruby's birthday tomorrow, 19th March - can't believe she is three years old already, I thoght you would like an update. She was one of Millie's pups from her last litter and we feel so privileged to have this lovely girl in our lives. Ruby is still a bundle of fun and very energetic although she has calmed down since her early puppy days!
Although she is still mega fun and I think she still thinks she is a puppy as she still likes to wiggle and jump up as a greeting as well as taking my hand gentle in her mouth as a greeting!!
Also another titbit of information is that my husband, who was a died in the woods, not very keen dog person, is now entirely won over by Ruby and often calls her 'his little dog!!' Here are a few recent pictures of her and a short video of one of her favourite games. In these pictures Ruby is showing off her good hips - one of the favourite ways she likes to lay down! She is beautiful inside and out and we love her to bits!! Hope you and the family are all well.
Love, Lisa, Daniella and the rest of the family.
Thanks Lisa for the photos and the lovely video of Ruby. I have now sat and watched that clip more times than is surely healthy. It makes me smile each time I watch it, which can't be a bad thing.
Nice to hear of Lisa's husband's conversion into the house of Dog. First commandment is, though shall have no cats before your Dog and has given me an idea for my next blog. Hope you all had a lovely day with Ruby on her 3rd Birthday.
Next update is from Tracey who has Roxy and Charlie. Roxy is from Lucy's first litter with my sister's Poodle, Rollo being the Dad and she was born 3rd December 2010 (That's hard to believe, over four years ago now). Charlie is from Ysobel's last litter, with Reggie the Dad and he was born 31st July 2013.
I hope this message finds you all at Poundlane happy & well! Roxy & Charlie are still as adorable as ever & still turning heads wherever they go! The time goes by so quickly & here we are already in spring I so love this time of year as everything all looks so pretty. We are off with the dogs to the lake district at the end of the month & can't wait! Not sure if our travels will bring us back down to Devon this year but if we do we will most definitely drop in again. I hope you like the pics & I'll call you soon to catch up with you properly.
Take care Jane
As always Tracey, lovely to hear from you. Thanks for letting me know how you all are and have a lovely time in the Lake District.
Last update tonight is from Felicity, who has Lottie, who is from Primrose's litter born 9th/10th May 2015 and Reggie is her Dad.
"Dear Jane, David and children,
Hope all is well with you and doggies. Just thought I would send you a quick update.
Lottie is fine, just as loopy and bouncy as ever! She started her first season on 31st January which lasted about three weeks and finished around 23rd February. She kept herself very clean (unlike my sofas, discovered cream is not the ideal colour to have with pup on heat!!)but never mind, a few old sheets covering them soon sorted that!
Lottie’s coat had started to get a bit matted because of her still being in Vari kennel in my room at night, and was it obviously getting at bit restricted for her in space, so a few weeks ago decided she really needed to go to the groomers, so please see the attached photos of her rather dramatic but necessary hair cut! I think she feels so much better for it, although as a result, I had to buy her a coat as she was shivering on our walks!
As of last week, I purchased a nice large pen (second-hand) for Lots to sleep in at night downstairs, she’s still getting used to it and does whimper a bit when I leave her to go up to bed- and I’m guessing this may take a while so will have persevere!
Lottie had a bit of an upset tum and runny bottom the week before last, so put her on a chicken and rice diet for a few days which did the trick andthankfully ‘number twos’ were back to normal last week. I had just started changing her ‘Lilys’ food from the puppy to the adult food so that mayhave been the cause.
Just going back to Lotties season Jane, – and given your knowledge and experience- how long should I now wait before having her spayed?? Clearly hormones etc need to settle down, and on ‘looking up’ the ‘do’s and ‘don’ts about spaying, have found after 8 weeks (at least) from the end of a season? Would be very grateful of your thoughts and advice!!! I asked in my vets the other day when I was getting some more flea/worm treatmentand the nurses there said that could take Lots in for an ‘initial assessment’ prior to having the spay op.
I recently found a local lady dog sitter (and a friend of my Mums) who Lots has started going to occasionally, only the lady has got a very small house and therefore only takes two dogs at a time and gets very booked up, so will have to wait till the end of March now before she can look after Lots again.
We have recently been in touch with Sue and Colin who own Lotties sister Dottie and hopefully we can arrange to meet up nearer the summer so that the sisters can have a ‘reunion’, so that will be nice.
My lady dog sitter had recommended a place called ‘Toplands’ which is a special doggie exercise field on a country park estate about 20 miles away from my house, so this Wednesday as the weather was good, Lots and I had a drive out there. Lottie had a wail of a time!!! Have never seen her run so fast! There were about nine other dogs there when we arrived, so she had plenty of playmates. I was a bit cautious at first although she is over her season,there was one male Labrador who seemed a little ‘excited’ in the ‘meat and two veg department’ (to put it politely!) but he didn't show any interest in Lots thankfully!
I hope the ‘union’ between Smudge and Henry turns out well, I expect you are all excited about the prospect of those pups!!
As I said above Jane, would be grateful of your advice as to having Lottie spayed – thankyou!
Hopefully hear from you soon,
Best wishes, love Felicity and Lottie.x"
Thanks Felicity for getting in touch and when spaying a bitch the preferred timing is two months after a heat or two months before a heat, because there is less blood supply to the area, so lowers the risk of a major bleed. A bitch can be spayed any time, but when it is elective, it is preferred to do it either two months after or before a heat for the reason explained above. Thanks again Felicity, good to hear how you both are getting on, not long now until Lottie's 1st Birthday.
Updates done now down to what's going on at Poundlane. Thought I would share this photo of David and me on a rare occasion caught sat down together. I had just come in from milking on Tuesday evening and David was waiting for the rice to finish cooking for the curry he had cooked from scratch for tea. Don't take long to get company when you sit down in our home and in the photo with us is Primrose on my shoulder, Treacle on my lap, Belle between us on the back of the sofa and Jessica lying between us.
You might notice the bruise I'm sporting at the moment on my right upper arm. The bruise is the result of a cow catching me, but you can't blame her, because she had squat the end of her teat. Which I could not see at first, but certainly new about when I wiped her pre-dip off. She is okay, but the teat needs time to heal, so with her being a reasonable way on in calf, we have dried off the quarter, which means we will not milk her on that teat and the teat will dry up, but often in cases like this, the teat end will heal and by the time she calves again, the quarter will be okay to milk on again.
Cows are big immensely strong animals and over the now 27 going on 28 years I've been milking cows, I've had my share of near misses with them, but on the whole, luck as been mostly on my side, touching wood now. I've had a few squat fingers and bruises, but know of others that have been less fortunate. Part of my luck I hope is down to the fact that I understand the strength of the animals I handle and respect that.
One of my most memorable bovines though is not a cow, but a bull and one of my most memorable near misses was with Simon. Simon the Simmental bull. Simon is one of the biggest bulls I have ever had the privilege to know. I have yet to see a bigger Simmental bull than him, even at shows. Such was his presence and size that when milking, if someone like a sales rep had come into the parlour to ask where the farmers I worked for were and at that time Simon came in, they would stop talking and would seem a bit concerned. I would say, "Don't mind Simon, he's just come in for some meal." Always they would comment on his size.
Simon was on the farm I first milked for and at 18 months old started his life with his herd of around 70 Frisian ladies. Everything was bred to him, due to the farm had stopped breeding their own replacement Dairy cows, but buying them, so all offspring from the Dairy cows were reared for beef. Simon reigned for just over 10 years getting all but everything in calf. Anyone knowing anything about bulls, will know a bull reaching nearly twelve years old, running with a herd for ten years getting cows in calf is a fair bull.
I remember Simon going in the field for the first time with his ladies. He was blowing fire, roaring at the first cows as they appeared on the horizon noticing his arrival, but once around 70 of them lined up and charged down towards him, his bravery left him for a moment. He soon though was swooning the ladies and proving his worth and it was not long before he decided to become an annoyance to me in the parlour.
They had a six abreast parlour, which is were the cows come in alongside you and jump up on platforms about a foot and a half off the floor into a half stall with a fed bowl to the side and you put a chain around the back of them to stop them reversing out, Simon never had a chain around him, because it did not fit and before long Simon decided he liked the idea of coming in the parlour and stand in a stall for best part of the milking, stopping me being able to use that cluster. The attraction to come in the parlour was food and Simon loved his food and would do anything for food, when he decided he had, had enough food in parlour, he would knock up the release bar with his head and leave at his own speed. You could have him lied down, give him a bucket of food and he would happily let you trim his feet. He has a couple funny stories about trimming his feet before we realised he would happily let us do it when lied down with a bucket of food, of course you could only do two at a time, depending the way he was lied, but patience is better used than brute force with a bull.
Once he refused to go in the cattle crush for his Brucellosis test and once a bull refuses you leave 'em be and try again another day. I was unaware of his refusal and when a vet turned up on farm as I was getting the cows in to milk, to redo his test and no one was around. I just got a bucket of meal and Simon happily followed me into the cattle crush. I dropped the bucket at the right moment and the vet took blood from under his tail. The farmer I worked for turned up, just as we had finished the job, amazed that we had got him in the crush, because he had really not wanted to go in it a few days earlier. I would of loved to think it was me that got him in the crush, but I had to give credit where credit is due and that was to a bucket meal.
The near miss I had with Simon was in the parlour. Simon could open the parlour door, so you had to remember to put the chain on it every time you let cows in. One day I had let cows in, with all stalls full and busy, I was between two cows to turn around to see Simon looking at me, I had forgot to chain the door, he had let himself in and I had no where to go. Right behind me was two milking jars and either side of me a cow and no stall for Simon. His head was inches from me and if you know anything about animals you keep to the front of a horse and the back of a cow and you won't go far wrong. All Simon needed to do was toss his massive head and I could be gone.
My biological father was a butcher by trade and did home slaughters for people. One day when my Mum was still married to him, he was called to a farm to slaughter a Hereford bull. The bull had killed the farmer and his wife wanted the bull destroyed. The workman spoke to my biological father about what had happened, as he had witnessed the bull killing the farmer and it was very sad. The bull had not killed the farmer in anger, but the farmer had gone in with him and due to his good temper was giving his head a rub, but had misjudged how close he was to a wall. The bull stepped forward enjoying his head being rubbed, forgetting his own strength and leaned his head and full weight against the farmer against the wall, crushing him to death. So with that story in my head, I found myself in much the same situation with Simon.
I knew if he decided to step towards me any further, just toss his head, I would be lucky to survive such actions. I stood as still as statue waiting for Simon to decide what he was going to do and in that moment as he was watching my every breath, everything stood still and he knew he had me stuck, but he decided to let me run alive, walking on past giving me enough time to get a cow out and allow him a stall. He had decided twas best not to squat the hand that fed him and also was very good at scratching his bottom.
Simon was so huge that he over time bowed every doorway out of the parlour stalls. The only time he broke into a trot was when courting the ladies and one other time when half a dozen bulls being reared for beef got in the yard with him and his harem. He gave us a truly awesome display of his immense strength. These bulls were nearly ready to go and were all clocking in around a ton in weight each. Simon pushed one of them against a wall got his head under their belly and flicked them up in the air like they were as light as a feather. The bull landed on his back disorientated and was a little sore for a day or two after. Simon was such a lovely bull and he taught me a lot and the number one lesson with a bull is try to avoid ever getting yourself between a bull and a hard place.
I've been umming and ahing about writing another blog about Crufts and just let it be, but I'm here now, so I guess I'm going to write another blog about Crufts this year. Why I'm going to write another blog on Crufts 2015 is due to receiving an email yesterday about the handling of the overall Champion at Crufts a Scottish Terrier bitch known at home as Knopa from Steph, who has one of our dogs, and this news article in the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2990491/This-just-trolling-Russian-owner-Crufts-Best-DEFENDS-handler-facing-190-000-strong-petition-stripped-title-picking-terrier-cruelly-tail.html
The article is the owner of Knopa defending the handling of Knopa in the ring, by the professional handler, Rebecca Cross. Rebecca Cross has been quoted as saying on her handling of Knopa, 'It's just one of those things. It happened and I tried to really think about it and not do it, but it's habit.' So from this statement we understand that this is how Knopa is generally picked up like all the time. Of course it is, that is why she does not struggle because this is the manner she has been handled like from a pup. These dogs are groomed from an early age to stand and tolerate being picked up like teapots, flicked in the face to stand with the head elevated, whilst the tail is pushed over the back and get use to being lead with the lead tugging their head up into an unnatural head position. The ones that will not tolerate this behaviour don't get shown. A top show dog is often not the best conformationally, just the most tolerant and of course has a pro handler.
Now lets look at what the Russian owner Marina Khenkina has said about the handling of terriers in this manner in the show ring and about those who think it is wrong to pick a dog up by it's throat and tail, 'Those who say such things have no idea about terriers. Terriers are hunting dogs designed for dragging animals out of holes. And the only way the hunter can take the dog out of the hole is to grab the tail.'
The reply by Marina Khenkina is the standard answer from show producers, when questioned about things they do, that those who question it know nothing. Well, Mrs Khenkina, I know one thing you know very little about hunting terriers because frankly you would not breed a dog to look like that, to do the function it was originally bred for.
This photo is Marina Khenkina with one of her Scottish Terriers, her kennel name (pre-fix) is Gemma Stonehenge. I showed this to a couple friends of mine who have working terriers and they laughed at the idea of that dog being a working terrier.
I have been brought up around working terriers, so know a little about the handling of these dogs and it's not common practice to pick them up in the manner shown in the photo. The tail if needed to be pulled to retrieve a dog from a hole, is pulled keeping the tail in line with the spine. Other than retrieving the dog from a hole, a terrier is not picked up by its tail otherwise and don't believe that old gem that terriers are bred with sturdier tails specially for being pulled out of holes, because that is just one of those pure breed dog myths, which has no science behind it. I have pulled Cavaliers and other dog breeds out of holes by their tail before, just the same as terriers in the past and have yet to end up with just a tail in my hand. It may of escaped Mrs Khenkina's attention but her dog was not down a hole whilst in the ring at Crufts, it was being lifted on to a table.
Let's take a look at what the Scottish Terrier was. It was a terrier for vermin control, like all terriers, used to catch rats, badgers and foxs. The image shows what they looked like in 1859 and they look a dog fit and functional for the job they were expected to do.
Now this is where we are in 2015 with the Scottish Terrier with the Crufts Champion 2015. So they have thickened the frame, shortened the legs, the tail carriage is more forward (Not sure if that's nature or the habit of them pushing the tail forward from a young age) and a much more profuse coat. Non of these changes make the dog a better terrier, in fact, they actually make them less functional as a terrier. So I think from this, that it is plain to see that Mrs Khenkina has no idea about terriers also.
Mrs Khenkina though did not breed Knopa, she comes from a top American kennel called McVan's neither of these breeders though come from a working background in dogs, so know little about using terriers and hence I feel this is reflected in the way the dogs are bred, not for function, but for aesthestics. Aesthestics that have cost a lot to the health of this breed. I did a little reasearch and found out that when Knopa was sold to Mrs Khenkina and shipped out to Russia, it was under the condition she was campaigned (shown) in America and I'm in no doubt that with a terrier specialist judging the final at Crufts this year, that although Mrs Khenkina says, 'Our victory was a fair and clear one. We are sure in ourselves and in our victory, although we did not expect it at all. It happened so suddenly.' it was not that much of a surprise.
Now what do I think the Kennel Club are going to do about the handling of Knopa ? Well, one things for sure, what ever they do it will not even register for Knopa because she is a dog and they really don't give a toss about winning stuff, they don't comprehend the ideology of winning. The only thing they can do to send out a clear message about handling dogs like this, is to take the title away from the dog. We know though that, that ain't going to happen in a month of Sundays, because there is far to much showdog prestige and politics involved. So the answer to what the Kennel Club is going to do, is nothing.
I promise that I'm all ranted out for Crufts 2015 now. Line drawn.
The Red Setter, Jagger who tragically died after returning home to Belgium around 26 hours after competing at Crufts has been confirmed to of died from poisoning. The poisoning though could not of occurred at Crufts, because the poison was fast acting and severe symptoms would of occurred within half an hour to three hours of ingestion. My heart goes out to Jagger's owners, it must be hard to comprehend why ?
The autopsy last week reported pieces of beef found in the stomach with a substance on it and now with the toxicology report confirmation of poisoning and timing of death, these pieces of beef must of been laced with the poison. I have heard reports of dogs being poisoned in Germany in a similar way, with poisoned meat being left indiscriminately where it is popular to walk dogs. Unfortunately their are some sick people out there.
The two poisons are carbofuran and aldicarb. Carbofuran is one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides and was banned across Europe in 2008. Carbofuran has one of the highest acute toxicities to humans of any insecticide widely used on field crops (only aldicarb and parathion are more toxic). A quarter teaspoon (1 ml) can be fatal. Most carbofuran is applied by commercial applicators using closed systems with engineered controls so there is no exposure to it in preparation because it is so toxic to humans. Aldicarb the other poison is considered even more toxic and is also banned in Europe, so the poor dog did not stand a chance.
These poisons have been in the past used in rural areas of a number of European countries to kill animals that were considered harmful for human activities and in Spain reports of their use is still common throughout the entire country, thought to be coming in via the neighbouring African continent where there seems a limited awareness of the population about the dangerousness of these compounds.
One wonders how someone has these two poisons ? Either they work for a chemical company ? Work in agriculture ? Those that work in agriculture are not being very careful with how they account for poisons they have left over after use ? or the most probable is the black market ? These are not the kind of substances you should have just lying about the place. For me the use of such poisons in this way begs more questions about the use and governing of such substances in agriculture around the world, because what if the next pieces of beef laced with poison are picked up by a child ?
Just a quick Mother's Day blog with a bit of video footage of Mother's Day at Poundlane. The first bit of the video does contain a lot of the use of the word "arse" so don't say, "You did not warn me."
Frankly I'm not gifted in the arse stakes, in fact if we are made by a God, I must of been at the back of the queue when arses were being handed out, so I'm certainly not all about the bass. Lol
The video starts with me jokingly showing my derriere to my husband because I had just tickle ambushed him whilst he was sat at the computer. My husband is almost tickle proof, but catch him unawares in the right spot and you can get a slight reaction. Me on the other hand, you only have to make a tickle motion with a hand and I'm running for the hills.
One reason I would make a shit terrorist is because get me in Guantanamo bay, put a rubber glove on and make a tickle hand motion and I'm going to be singing like a canary. I imagine on my release being meet by my comrades who forgive me saying, "We understand you telling them everything. They must of done awful things to you ?" I'm silent. They then ask, "Electrodes on the genitals was it ?" I answer, "No" They then say, "The beasts, did they waterboard you ?" I answer again, "No" They pry further, "Then what ?" I answer, "They tickled me," What ?" They exclaim and I reply, "Until I wet, myself." I break down and cry. The shame.
My husband in the video lures me in making me think he wants a picture of my arse, which I think is totally weird, as my husband does not even have a photo of my face on his phone and I then realise he is winding me up whilst filming the process. I really don't understand the phenomenon of taking photos of bits of your body and sending them to others.
The next bit of film is all the dogs watching me stripping down the two chickens we cooked for Sunday lunch and waiting for their scraps. Puffing, panting (It was pretty warm in the kitchen) and whining in anticipation. This bit shows that they all get on pretty well together and that being the tallest often is not an advantage.
Sorry about the noise of the children in the background, but they always seem to have a mad ten minutes after having dinner, so might pay to keep the volume down when watching the video. As I say in the video, "Don't you just love a quiet Sunday afternoon."
Tomorrow is Mother's Day and for those who don't do Mother's Day because they say it's, "Over commercialised" or you are a bigot ( I often find those who state commercialisim, you dig below the surface and it has more to do with them being a bigot), Grow up !
Mother's Day is a reflective day. A day for you to think about your mother and what she has done and does for you, and what you have done and will do for them. The bigots get Mother's Day mixed up with Mothering Sunday. Mothering Sunday is about your mother church, not your mum and is a Christian thing. Mother's Day is for us all, whether you're, "black, white or indigo russet", as my Mum says, and as I've said before, "You don't have to buy into the commercialism."If you are the perfect attentive son or daughter I guess you're off the hook, if you don't do Mother's Day, because every days Mother's Day for your mum. Sorry just trying to stop myself urging. Lol
For the rest of us who live in the real world, we need these days to catch us by the collar and think, "Shit, I've not spoke to my Mum for a while, I wonder how she is ?"
Tomorrow morning I get to miss being force fed breakfast in bed by my children, as I'm milking tomorrow morning. Not a fan of eating in bed (Which I've mentioned before), as there are only two things you should do in your bed, in my mind. You learn as time goes by that one thing is certainly better and more comfortable in your bed. When you're young you will try and do it anywhere, in the back of the car, at the dinner table, on the sofa, in a tractor, in a field under a tree and it don't matter how much you have of it, it never seems enough, often you are stopped before you think you have had enough, by your parents disturbing you, but get older and you learn the best place to sleep is in your bed, and the other thing to do in your bed, of course, is to read a good book. Lol
Now for two things that make me think I'm not doing such a bad job at being a Mum, because I could give you a list of things that I think make me a crap mum, but I would like to wind this up tonight. Lol
The first is the other day I had the radio on in the car and was playing a CD by "The Jam" and turned back to the radio just as the track, "Going Underground" (If you don't know the band "The Jam" you can listen to the track "Going Underground at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE1ct5yEuVY) was starting and something by "Rhianna" was playing on the radio and the children all screamed at me to turn back to "Going Underground."
The second thing is my youngest, Tilly who is nearly six years old, was asked yesterday in school to write down things that Mums give you. The other children wrote lists with things such as ipad, playstation etc and my little Tilly wrote, "My mum gives me hugs and kisses." That was it short and to the point my little Tilly is, I wonder where she gets that from ? Love is the most precious gift that can be given to a child and your child knowing that, is a precious gift for a mother.
So lets end with the Poundlane Mommas sending out our love, hugs, licks and kisses to all the mothers around the world doing their mothering best. Have a wonderful day !
Just taken a look at how the petition is going asking, "The Kennel Club to stop registering Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies unless their parents are MRI scanned and heart tested," and the campaign after the Kennel Club refused to except the petition at Crufts is asking for us all in the UK to send the petition link to our local MP. I have copied details below from the link.
"The Kennel Club refuses health testing petition from 9,000 Dog Lovers at Crufts but then lobbies prospective MPs about their Dog’s Life manifesto.
Margaret CarterHatfield, United Kingdom
12 Mar 2015 — According to the Kennel Club their Manifesto:
“Ultimately aims to guide a future government on issues pertinent to those passionate about dogs and what more can be done to improve the lives of the 9 million dogs living in the UK.”
We can show Members of Parliament one of those issues and what more could be done to improve the lives of our family pets. Please help us by sending the petition link to your local MP with the following message:
Please ask the Kennel Club to live up to the spirit of their Dog’s Manifesto by making health testing mandatory for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels:
You can find your MP here: : http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
I have just sent my letter with a bit added, to my MP Mr Cox and is as follows :
"Dear Mr Cox MP,
the Kennel Club whilst lobbying the government on issues about welfare, overlook the welfare of the Cavalier King Charles in favour of reaping in more money from registration of them, rather than helping them to be bred healthier.
Please ask the Kennel Club to live up to the spirit of their Dog’s Manifesto by making health testing mandatory for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels:
Please take the time to scroll down the comments on this petition and you have to wonder how much pain the dogs and families of these dogs have to suffer before the Kennel Club will do something. The Kennel Club are the biggest register for the registering of pure breed puppy farmed puppies. Recently it was brought to my attention that a Cavalier I had bred and as a puppy sold (Unfortunately the people who bought her from me, did not come back to me to re-home and was re-homed with a backyard breeder, she is now though in a good home, thankfully), has had three litters born in 15 months, she was only 12 months old having the first litter. All her litters the Kennel Club happily took the money for and registered the pups. I have prove of this if needed. When asked about doing this, there answer was, "it's not illegal," so much for ethics or morals then ? Please do not ever let the Kennel Club control dog breeding.
Tel: 01769 560969"
Please keep the ball rolling on this. The Kennel Club need to practice what they preach and the welfare of a dog breed should always take president over the money that can be had from the registering fees of a dog breed. They call themselves a charity, then start acting like one, Kennel Club. Welfare should always come first.
"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH." - Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
Today I heard of the death of one of my favourite authors Terry Pratchett. I found him around twenty years ago by accident and my first read of his for me was "Reaper Man" I had entered the Discworld and felt no impulsion to turn back.
His satire is sharp and shows that he has a deep understanding of the human condition. I would advise anyone who enjoys satire to pick up a Discworld book. I always read his books as satire, but was amazed to meet someone who is a fan and just reads him as fantasy fiction and was unaware it was satire, shows how we see the world differently.
Most will know that Terry Pratchett is an atheist and a few years back when he learnt he had alzheimers, he did an interview which made some think he had found God, and this was his witty reply to the rumours. "There is a rumour going around I have found God, I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist."
To many of us he will never be dead, as we pass our Discworld books on to the next generation. My two oldest children have already opened the door into the Discworld and have begun a reading journey of a life time.
"No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away ..."
- Terry Pratchett
Long may Discworld bring ripples of laughter across the universe.
Thank you Terry Pratchett.
Seems to of been a bit of a feeding frenzy the last couple days about the Red Setter that has apparently been poisoned after competing at Crufts. Notice the words apparently and after, because they are important, as even one of the owners of the dog without knowing for sure if the dog has even been poisoned have said, "The dog was poisoned at Crufts." They are still waiting toxicology results, so how can you make such a statement ? This is what the owners vet has actually stated today "The vet, Patrick Jans, told the BBC he had "no idea" when the dog was poisoned and would not be making any comment until the toxicology report was published next week. He also said: "At this stage I don't know what the poison was, when the dog was poisoned or whether it was poisoned at all."
Now I was not going to say much about this because we have little to go on to form an informed opinion, but that has not stopped lots from forming an uninformed opinion. So here is my halfpennies worth.
Now for me timing seems slightly out for poisoning at Crufts, due to the fact that a dogs dietary tract takes from 4 to 10 hours to pass food right through it, but 26 hours after being at Crufts the dog in question has been found to have pieces of beef in its stomach with a substance on it. Either Crufts is a red herring or the beef pieces with the substance on are a red herring ?
Now we have other competitors from Crufts saying , "They think their dogs have been poisoned, because they have been ill since coming home from Crufts." Now with 20,000 dogs competing at Crufts would it not be within reason that some of those dogs going home might be unwell, just by the reasoning of chance, let alone after travelling long distances, being in a foreign stressful enviroment, mixing with dogs and people from around the world, so coming into contact with so many alien pathogens. I think it is within reason that a few of them might be a bit off colour when arriving home. I think we might be seeing a bit of old fashioned hysteria breaking out amongst the showing brigade. I may be proved wrong over the next few days, but let us wait and see.
Now I'm going to upset some by suggesting that, "Maybe the dog just died because of a medical condition, such as bloat, very common with setters." Does not sound so glamorous, but death rarely is. Just adding this bit about bloat after publishing. The vet may of noted bloat and maybe it was the cause of death ? Bloat can be a symptom of poisoning as well, as digestive problems. With 30 years of a showbreeder's reputation at stake, I suspect the vet is feeling under a little pressure.
I'm going to tell now, what happened to me yesterday. I milked yesterday morning and as I was getting the cows up out of their kennels I noticed one not looking so good, number 509. Now she came in the parlour at the end and Steve the farmer I milk for came in to check her over, as I had voiced my concerns to him. First thoughts always are E-coli, but nothing could be found in her milk and her temperature was very low, which indicates that the animal is going into shock. We penned her up and straight away she lied down. I had observed that she had not pooed when being got up and if you know cows, they always poo when they get up or just after. She was breaking wind but no poo and her near side over the flank felt a bit hard, so thinking she may have some kind of blockage. I left and came milking in the evening and on seeing Steve's wife, my first question was, "How's the cow ?" I found out that unfortunately about 10 minutes after me leaving they found her dead. The vet came out anyway, as other things for him to do and he thought some sort of blockage or a bleed out. Which is where the animal has a ruptured artery and is bleeding internally. I had noted her a bit dumpy to move on the Sunday, but she was very tame, so even though I thought her a bit sluggish, I put it down to her character more than her health as she came in the parlour and gave her normal amount of milk. I felt a bit guilty about not mentioning this on Sunday, but I feel the outcome would of been the same. I find sudden death, so profound for a moment it just makes me take check bringing everything into sharp focus, my heart beat, my breath, here today, gone tomorrow, but you cannot dwell to long, as is said, "Life is for the living." When my Dad died suddenly, it was when I was thirteen, it took me a couple days for my conscious brain to be able to compartmentalize it. I would sleep and wake thinking his death was a dream and yet again have to go through the process of understanding he was dead. Maybe I am daft about feeling upset about a cow dying, after all it's only a cow as many would say. Once when losing a pup (When upset, I don't blither like a baby, "I just go away with the fairies," as my husband puts it) before having children one of my sisters told me, "I would put such things like this into perspective, once I had children," My reply was along the lines of, "If it makes me a hard old cow like you, I'd rather not have children." I'm wandering again aren't I ?
Lets get back on track. Now you may wonder what the hell a cow dying has to do with a dog dying ? Well, the cow was one of their best cows, as so often is the case when you lose them like this and the cow was looking in perfect health but within 12 hours of coming in the parlour the night before seemingly well enough in herself was dead, it happens and it often does not mean any foul play has been to work. Working in farming you know the fine line their is between life and death. The farmer is not waving a pitchfork accusing foul play by any one. Often it's just bad luck, shit happens and in the case of the setter maybe their is an unwillingness to accept this as one of the theories to why the dog died, because of a fear that the jury (The public) will then turn on them and say, "Bad breeding." At the moment the show world is playing the victim, but there is only ever going to be one victim we can be sure of in all of this, whatever happened, and that is the dog.
Yes, I know the "s" should not be on Henry in the title of the video, but I changed it from "Henry's photo face" forgetting to remove the "s" and it's less bother to explain the mistake than correct it.
The video was accidental as I turned around from the computer to see Henry posing so nicely. Grabbing for the camera, I did not realise it was on video, so took these few seconds of Henry and if you did not know better, you might think he actually is posing for his photograph to be taken. He did stay still long enough though for me to put the camera on photo and get this snap of him.
Crufts has been very eventful this year and as I did last year, I have found someone to sum it up for me. This lady attended Crufts as a bystander, so this is an interesting and I feel an unbiased view of the show by the "Pet Chronicles" and the blog post "Five things that made me sad about Crufts" can be found by clicking on this link http://corawade.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/over-years-i-have-been-very-well-aware.html
Now with Smudge and Ysobel off heat the pack is now back as one and we are now waiting on Toby's MRI grades and Primrose to come on heat, hopefully in that order. Primrose should be on heat around the end of this month.
The slideshow below is the Poundlane pack hanging out together over the weekend.
Just come back to add this bit and it has nothing to do with dogs, but made me annoyed then I saw a funny side to it, so thought I would share. When I got sent information about the petition "Stop registering Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies unless their parents are MRI scanned and Heart tested" at https://www.change.org/p/the-kennel-club-stop-registerin-g-cavalier-king-charles-spaniel-puppies-unless-their-parents-are-mri-scanned-and-heart-tested another petition caught my eye "Stop taxing periods, period" at https://www.change.org/p/george-osborne-stop-taxing-periods-period?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=curated_trending
Now I was unaware I even paid tax on sanitary items, because I sort of thought they come under the fact that they are a necessity not a luxury good, but apprently not by the powers to be.
I signed the petition because I believe they are a neccesity for a woman and as well, who does not want to see a load of upper and middle class men discussing menstruation in Parliament ? Get me a ring side seat and I would put a protective cover on that seat, just incase I've decided to stop paying tax. Lol
Just found some hilarious cartoons about dog showing . If you want to see more of this cartoon artist ? Their facebook page can be found here https://www.facebook.com/KabukiCartoons
This cartoon really sums up showing whatever poison you choose. Seeing what happened at Crufts this year with the overall Champion being mishandled right in front of the judge, breaking Kennel Club rules still winning the Championship. One has to wonder if the Championship was her's before the dog even caught his flight here.
Let's finish today on a positive note though with this lovely cartoon.
Just thought I would post this funny photo of my husband David after just getting home from work eating his supper watching a FA cup quarter final between Manchester United and Arsenal with all the dogs watching him. One things for sure he will never get indigestion when watching football whilst he's eating, as he eats around one mouthful every five minutes. I love it when he almost gets a forkful near his mouth and they look like scoring a goal. That forkful of food can stay suspended inches from his mouth until the excitement has passed with the dogs all looking on as a group willing it to fall off the fork. Watching my husband watching football is far more entertaining for me than watching the football, so I guess we are both kept happy. If you don't want to know the result look away now. I just got back a little while ago from picking our oldest up from Cricket practice to be told by a very happy husband that Arsenal won 2:1. No, my husband does not support Arsenal, but neither does he support Manchester United. Lol
Most watching the final at Crufts probably did not expect to see a dog being picked up by its neck and tail. This type of handling in the USA is not frowned upon and the handler and dog come from the USA, but is banned over here and rightly so. Letters are sent by the Kennel Club to overseas competitors telling them so before competing and apparently this type of handling is not tolerated by the Kennel Cub.
So guess what happened to this handler despite being repeatedly warned and agreeing to abide by KC rules and continuing to mishandle her charge by lifting the dog repeatedly by its tail and neck and repeatedly jabbing it in the ribs, right in front of the judge? The judge awarded them the overall breed championship at Crufts.
Apparently the Kennel Club do not tolerate this type of handling, but have a funny way of showing their intolerance, just words, no action, nothing changed there then, you might say.
Two petitions are running on this at the moment and you can sign both if you think the Kennel Club should put their money where their mouth is and actually send out a clear message that this handling is not tolerable by the action of stripping the dog of its title and ban the handler from Crufts. I'm pretty sure the dog will not be upset by either of these actions. Here are the links to the two petitions:
I'm just going to add this after publishing that I don't expect the dog to be stripped of its title or Rebecca Cross to be banned from Crufts, because there is to much dog politics and money envolved for them to do that, but that should not stop us from letting the powers to be know that we are not impressed seeing dogs handled in such a manner, like an object.
Look what the Kennel Club PR team have come up with http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/press-releases/2015/march/kennel-club-and-british-veterinary-association-fund-fight-against-health-condition/ £30,000 for a breed that brings them in over £200,000 in turnover a year, big deal ! Don't forget the KC don't pay tax with them being all charitable and that.
Apparently this is the Kennel Club funding the fight against CM/SM. Well firstly lets see how many come forward with their scans taken prior to January 2012. I think I will give it around six months and then contact them to see what the take up is. I suspect the British Veterinary Board (BVA) will be rushed off their feet and may have to take on more staff to deal with the rush, not.Why will there not be a rush ? and if anyone takes this offer up, why we will see false data ?
The first question is easy to answer. There won't be a rush because the results from the BVA/KC scheme grading your scans will be public and if your scan was favourable graded, why bother with the risk of a less favourable grade from the BVA/KC scheme ? It's well known that scanning on the scheme has shown less favourable results, than people who have paid to privately have dogs scanned and that is another reason why very few Cavalier breeders use it and call it into disrepute. Their favourite slamming of it is that apparently if your dog is a Cavalier, regardless of the scan it is automatically graded 2 for Chiari-like Malformation (CM) on their scheme.
Now the second question I pose is interesting, "Why will we see false data ?" We will see false data because if anyone comes forward with Cavaliers scanned before January 2012 off the scheme, they will only put forward scans of Cavaliers that they were told by a vet off the scheme are clear of Syringomyelia (SM). So what we will see is only clear SM scans being presented, which will give a very false picture of SM in Cavaliers. Come on lets get real here, if a show champion Cavalier stud dog was MRI scanned before January 2012 and in his scan he had the first signs of SM and you decided to keep using him (and we know they do keep using them after being scanned showing clear signs of SM), you are hardly going to put his scans up for scrutiny by the BVA/KC and then have their grading of your dog put in the public domain.
The KC need to go back to the drawing board and put that £30,000 towards setting up mandatory testing of Cavaliers of parents of pups registered with them for CM/SM and Mitrial Valve Degeneration (MVD), as this is the only way to collect true data about how bad these conditions are across the breed and correlate accurate Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for the Cavalier.
Maybe the KC has just not thought this through or maybe the KC has thought this through and know that there is a high probability that false data will be collected making the problem look not so bad in the breed ? Knowing how dumb they can be after Bill Lambert who heads the Assured Breeder Scheme for the KC, told me he asked five KC vets if the Cavalier is Brachy and they all thought not because its nose is longer than most Brachy dogs (Those vets need to take a refresher course on the Cephalic index) I could cut them some slack and hope that they really have not put thought into their fight against SM, because if it is in the hope to collect false more favourable data on SM in Cavaliers, their fight for Cavaliers looks more like a slow and painful slaughter of them.
So you know what I'm going to ask yet again, if you ain't already signed the petition below, please do so and if you have already been as kind to do so, then share the link wherever and with whoever
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!