Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Met A Cute Guy Today!

I did my good deed for the day, but there are so many wonderful people doing their own good deeds quietly, every day! I agreed to groom and partially transport a little guy for SOS Rescue. What a wonderful network of people they are!

Meet 11 year old Thunder, who didn't need too much work at all, except for the horrid condition of his feet! If you ever, ever have ANY doubts about taking off those dewclaws on a newborn puppy, then, just once, you need to see what a dewclaw nail looks like when it has curled around and grown into the pad. It will be forever burned into your brain! You will quite happily remove all dewclaws from that day forward!! You just don't know for certain where that puppy might end up and nail care is sadly lacking in a lot of pet dogs. If you told me this dog has never had his nails cut in his entire 11 years, I would believe you! He didn't want his feet touched and he could barely walk. No wonder, this dog hasn't walked on his pads for years! I can't imagine how sore his feet must have been. I tried to take a couple pictures of his feet, they aren't great but I didn't want to stress him over a picture, with enough stress to come. Considering the way his feet were, he was incredibly good about it. It was actually a front nail that was deformed (previously broken off and grew back wrong?) that was REALLY bothering him, and that foot was a bit tricky, but what a little trooper! Unluckily for him, he has back dewclaws as well. I also didn't expect to find, under all that hair underneath his feet, that he had a ball of a mat between the pads of each one of his feet. Ouch!

On the left, a front foot. Notice the second claw in looking right to left, it's completely twisted, this was causing a lot of pain. On the right, one of his BACK feet.

Now with one foot done! What a difference and what a good boy he was! Other than most likely having to go on thyroid meds, this little guy is in really good shape and what the pictures CAN'T show is his personality! What an outgoing little sweetheart he is! He wags his tail at the drop of a hat, gives out kisses, sits, gives a paw, etc.! He really has a fabulous temperament and will make someone a wonderful pet, as long as they aren't put off by his age. And did I mention how BRAVE he was?

I personally LOVE the older dogs and always have. As far as I'm concerned they can pack their bags at 8 weeks and return when they're three!!

Please consider a donation to SOS Rescue (they even take Canadian Tire money!) or any other Sheltie rescue and your money will be going directly to Shelties. We all know how vet bills add up!

Good luck little guy!

These boots are made for walkin' !

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Promoting Your Breed and the Purebred Dog

I spent the day, with Tiffany and Holly, at PawsWay in downtown Toronto, Queen's Quay (Harbourfront). What an amazing facility this is! Owned by Purina, it has a large event area, with an upper level balcony all around. It also houses the Purina Hall of Fame and an educational area, as well as a Williams Coffee Pub that is dog friendly. Anyone can come off the street and have a coffee or a meal with their dog totally welcome. It's new, large and really an amazing place. This particular event was for Robbie Burns day, so there were Scottish dancers and singers, a haggis tasting and 11 of the 13 Scottish breeds of dog were represented, as well as Scottish Fold cats. We were there to represent the Sheltie. This was free to the public.

Part of the front of PawsWay, Williams Coffee Pub on the left, Pet Discovery Centre on the right.

Inside the event centre (windows overlook Toronto harbour). No poles, ample balcony all around, permanent flooring in center is rubberized non-slip. This is just one corner of the area.

Length of the Centre. Radisson hotel is on the left.

When I was asked if I would go, I said no at first, because I thought, why me, why not get someone actively breeding to step up and do it? In thinking about it I came to realize that all of us can and should do our share to promote our breed and the purebred dog if we believe in them. The public in general has a lot of bad ideas about dogs, where to get one and how to pick a suitable breed, as I found from talking to people. Purebred dogs and dog breeders are suffering from an image problem that desperately needs correcting.

I was also so very impressed with the organizer of the event, Mike Macbeth, who is a lifelong, world renowned breeder of Dandie Dinmont Terriers, and a CKC All Breed judge. There is absolutely no motivation for her to do this to advance her own standing in any way. She is constantly organizing similar events to promote the purebred dog and her own rare (to the point of endangered) breed to the general public. She does a fantastic job, and her positive attitude is refreshing. She says her biggest hurdle is getting the purebred dog community to participate in their own promotion. If there is no ribbon to be won, many lose interest. This facility is also there for the purebred dog community to use, should they want to. A large Dandie Specialty has already been held there, and there are meeting rooms available as well. As long as there is an educational aspect to the event, such as a breed info booth, the facility is free. I do hope dog clubs take advantage of this wonderful place!

Pet Discovery area of PawsWay

Just outside - Toronto Harbour

Purina Hall of Fame (dog and cat heroes)

The Highland Dancers

The Dandie Dinmont Terriers

Tiffany and Holly at Robbie Burns day at PawsWay. They enjoyed themselves! Holly was thrilled to go in the ring three times in one day! Tiffany was very happy about the food and that I brought her bed. I knew these two would be okay with the loud bagpipe music, and both love attention from anyone and everyone, and they got it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Puppies Growing Up

I had previously posted when Cynthia Charbonneau's litter of 8 (2 M, 6 F) tricoloured Mason puppies were born. These babies are growing up just beautifully and I'm pleased to show all of them here. We are very hopeful for the five that are being grown out and look forward to a bright future for them! Much good luck to the breeders who have purchased puppies from this litter and of course to Cynthia on the ones she is keeping!

Male - Cynchar Dazzled By Twilight - "Cullen" 7 weeks at left, 11 weeks at right

Male - Cynchar Avonlea Dark Shadow - "Colin" - 7 weeks (left) and 11 weeks (right)

Female - Cynchar Rock The Cassbar - "Alexis" - 7 weeks (left) and 11 weeks (right)

Female - Cynchar Transcendental - "Jo" - 7 weeks and 11 weeks

"Leah" - Female - 7 weeks and 11 weeks

"Hannah" - Female - 7 weeks and 11 weeks

Sadie - Female - 7 weeks

Madison - Female - 7 weeks

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today, along with a good portion of the world, I watched the Presidential Inauguration.

Today, I saw the United States differently than I ever have before.

And it really had nothing to do with black and white, for me. Except the message and the tone, that really WAS black and white.

I'm happy for them as a country to have given this man his chance, and happy for all the rest of us who will be affected by what happens from now on.

Of course it won't be easy and disappointments are sure to be ahead. But hope is the key ingredient needed to move forward, and it looks like there's no shortage of hope that things are changing for the better.

My hope is that he and his family keep safe and that he can manage to accomplish some of his goals over the next four (eight?) years. What a tough job he has, and how well suited he appears to be to tackle it! Good luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Terry!

Happy birthday to my husband and best friend. We are two people so very different in so many ways and yet compliment each other so well. You know me better than anyone else on earth except myself, and sometimes I wonder even about that! Your kindness to everyone, loyalty to your friends, level head, uncanny judgment of character, never saying "I told you so", your tenderness towards all creatures....all this and much more make you special.

Enjoy your day and remember that age is just a number that should never be uppermost in your mind. You are still the perpetual "big kid" and I hope you stay that way!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy 10th Birthday Tiffany! BIS/BISS Am./Can. Ch. Laureate Fifth Avenue

At 10 years old, Tiffany is as beautiful as ever, winning her latest Specialty just over three months ago. Since we aren't her breeders, maybe it's okay for us to say there is very little to change about this dog to make her absolute perfection. I do think she really is appreciated by most fanciers who have seen her.

We had decided to add sables to our AOC breeding program. Terry had quite a nice line of sables previously, and we looked into getting one coming down from those lines. We had a deal all worked out on a lovely young bitch who did go back to Whitegates, both the sable and AOC lines, further back. This is a bitch that everyone in the breed would recognize now, but at the last minute, her owners decided they wanted a co-ownership and we didn't want that. We looked around a bit more, realized that really, we didn't need one going back to the old lines, it was further back now anyways, and we could just start with something else. So we decided to go to someone who was breeding sables that we really admired, and that brought us to Laureate Shelties. Again, we weren't looking for a puppy, we wanted to see what we were getting and not fool around with growing something out. We arranged to purchase an 18 month old bitch from Laureate, and when they sent us her tape, they put some bitch puppies on the end of it and said to maybe consider one of them too. We liked what we saw and thought, why not get two now, and asked them to go ahead and send us the baby they called "Maya" as well as the 18 month old girl.

Now to rewind time. Terry had a gorgeous, homebred red sable girl BISS Am./Can. Ch. Whitegates As Time Goes By - "Friendly", born April 13, 1983. Friendly was also the type of girl that you usually get only once in a lifetime. A real close-to-perfection stunner that won many Specialties in her very short life. She won her first Specialty from the classes over a huge amount of Specials as a youngster. In 1989, Friendly was sent out to be bred and was at a dog show with the handler of the stud dog when she became very ill. The handler left her with a vet, and I will never forget hearing Terry's end of those phone conversations. The vet insisted Friendly had been poisoned, or got into poison, Terry kept saying and repeating, are you SURE it isn't pyometra? Are you sure?? And to go ahead and spay her right away if it was. Oh no, they said, it definitely was not, etc. We had our own vet call and speak to them (Friendly was a long way from home). He said everything sounded alright, and not to try to move her. She was a very, very sick girl. After a week of suffering, the vet called and said, basically, "oops, it is pyometra, we tried an immediate emergency spay and she died on the table." What a terrible waste that didn't have to be. Friendly was six years old. It was incredibly sad for all of us. Joan and I cried and cried but Terry didn't say a word and never mentioned it again. I knew it had broken his heart and he really wasn't quite the same with regards to the dogs .... until that day in 1999 when the 11 week old little Miss Tiffany ("Maya" from the tape) walked out of her crate into our kitchen. I had seen Friendly as a baby and I saw it now.....this puppy was so much like her it was just jaw dropping. They aren't even related. I wasn't the only one who saw it. Terry just scooped her up in his arms and said "We're keeping this one". And she's been his special girl ever since. Almost every day he says "just look at her, isn't she beautiful"?? And she is.

Terry with his red-haired girls. Both pictured winning the DCSSA Specialty, Friendly in 1987 and Tiffany in 2003. Both girls were 4 years old when these pictures were taken. Both have won this same Specialty other times as well.

On the left - BISS Am./Can. Ch. Whitegates As Time Goes By - "Friendly" (Am. Ch. Sunnybrook's Heritage Spirit, ROM/ROMC ex Whitegates Vanity Fair ROMC)

On the right - BIS/BISS Am./Can. Ch. Laureate Fifth Avenue - "Tiffany" (Am. Ch. Ozark Crest City Slicker ROM/ROMC ex Ch. Laureate Just Imagine ROMC) - today's birthday girl!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy 11th Birthday Holly! - Am./Can. Ch. Whitegates Tinsel Town

Eleven years old already.... Our bi-blue sisters "Holly" and "Brooke" are from my most exciting litter ever. I guess what I mean by that is when I look back, this is the breeding that sticks out for me, this is the one that I was TOTALLY excited about. And I wasn't disappointed. (That in itself is a plus with any Sheltie litter!). I had purchased their mother Netta from Shadypines when I visited Colorado to look at stud dogs (not purchase a bi-black bitch!). At the time, we were pretty much the only AOC breeders in our area and we had to look far afield to get the bloodlines we were interested in. I wanted to see all the dogs, not just whatever they could bring to the National.

Netta was our very first bi-black. We hadn't even had bi-factoring in our dogs before her. When I saw and went over "Monroe" - Am./Can. Ch. Akirene's Aramis Bi Barkley ROM/ROMC at the Chicago National, along with his daughter who was Winners Bitch that year, I knew he was the dog for Netta. I had to go home and convince Terry that we should do this bi to bi breeding. (At the time he wasn't really a fan of bi-blues or bi-blacks). He wasn't keen about the colours but trusted my judgment, when he did get to see Monroe in the flesh, he loved the dog.

January 2, 1998, and the litter was born. I was so happy once all was done, I don't ever remember feeling quite that way before or since. I was elated. We had a bi-black dog and bitch, and 2 bi-blue bitches. It was hard to determine which of the blue girls we liked better, so we kept them both!

"Holly" was a worry at first, because she was a big puppy, and a lot of puppy. However, she stopped growing quite young and this was something we were to see with this line over and over again, very mature very young, but then levelled out. They stay nice too, not going coarse.

By the time Holly was 8 weeks old, I knew she was super special. At the time, we were preparing to put our house on the market so we farmed out all our dogs with friends, including Holly and Brooke. The very night we finished all the work and were sitting down to relax, a phone of the puppies was hurt, they thought her leg was broken. Oh God. I remember asking ... "which puppy?" was Holly. I rushed down there and sure enough, it had to be broken. We have no idea what happened, but they were on a new kitchen floor and we figure Brooke might have jumped on her and she slipped and fell. Off to the emergency clinic (it was late Sunday night, of course!) ...she had a spiral fracture of her leg from the stifle to the hock. She was 11 weeks old. I brought her home, put her down on the basement floor, and she refused to walk with her cast. She just sat there with a pouty face, looking at me, leg sticking out. My heart broke.

Holly's cast was changed once a week. In retrospect, it really wasn't done as well as it could have been. When I had her OFA'd, (she is OFA Excellent), the vet mentioned her pelvis was tilted. I believe this is from the casting. When her cast finally came off, I cried. I wasn't ready for the little red stick leg with no hair on it. Months went by. She stood with her rear foot pointed out. It was hard to miss. I remember discussing it with Terry, we both looked at it, moved her, etc. He said he said he thought we should sell her. But I couldn't. More time, exercise, etc. and it was a lot better. Sometimes you couldn't hide the foot turning out, but so be it. I was dying to say to the judges that noticed it, "she broke it". But I didn't.

Holly ended up having a pretty decent show career. She has many virtues and as time went by, her leg just got better. She finished in Canada with lovely wins, including Breed wins, Group placements, Puppy Groups and a Best Puppy In Show.

By this time, it was evident to me that my Holly was a heart dog. I've only had three, she's my third. I felt so lucky she was born while my second heart dog was still alive, although getting on. Holly is brimming with personality. She is confident, assertive, fun to show, loyal, bratty, sweet, cuddly and I am totally smitten with her.

Holly finished her American title with three majors, including two Best of Breed wins. Her and I hit the road together, shared pizza in our hotel room, and covered many miles. Holly would walk into the most crowded of shows with a bounce in her step and just cut through the crowd like she owned the place, because as far as she was concerned, she did! I loved showing her. She never let me down in the ring. She was one of those that would either win big, or get totally dumped. We had a lot of fun together finishing that American Championship. Being a daughter of "big hair Monroe" hairy Holly carried enough coat that she could be shown 12 months of the year. I was thrilled that she overcame the broken leg to do so well. She finished her American title at two years old.

Her last show we entered her in Veterans at the DCSSA Specialty. There was a beautiful class of veteran girls, all sable except Holly! All a different "type" from her. Here we go again, we'd be first or last! There were huge delays with the show and Holly had to stand on the table forever waiting. She loved every second of it and didn't wilt a bit. She SO enjoyed herself, I could hardly keep her feet still (she stomps her feet when excited for the bait). I had forgotten I couldn't show her any bait while on the table because she stomps her feet up there too if she sees food! Luckily the judge was understanding and could see her enthusiasm. She won that beautiful class, I could barely get through it for my tears. We decided to hang up her leash that day! Holly was thrilled with her outing but I couldn't handle the stress! She did sleep for two days straight after that day though...

Happy 11th Birthday, my beautiful girl...

Happy 11th Birthday Brooke! - Ch. Whitegates Just One Look

Brooke is as sweet and soft as Holly is assertive! They are almost at opposite ends of the totem pole of dominance around here. Brooke was only 5 ounces (that's really small for our AOC puppies) when she was born, to Holly's strapping 11 ounces, but Brooke is the bigger girl at 15 3/4" at maturity. A lovely temperament like Holly, however you have to be a bit careful to be softer with her as she's more worried about always doing the right thing. Holly doesn't care about that so much! Brooke is very affectionate and we lovingly refer to her as "the facehugger" (think Alien, the movie) from the way she would push herself against you and try to climb right onto your face, sometimes you have to "peel" her off!

Brooke unfortunately got the short end of the stick as far as a show career was concerned as at the time she was prime for the ring, we had several really beautiful girls all ready to go, including her sister Holly and also Tiffany, so Brooke had to take an undeserved back seat. She finished her Canadian championship really quickly, and was only specialed a handful of times. Shown in the States just a couple of times, she had a 5 pt. major reserve at a very large Specialty (entry of 70bitches). She won an absolutely lovely Bred-by class of 14 that day! Her sister Holly was BOS (total entry was in the 120's) and Tiffany had been BOW for a 5 pt. major at the Specialty the day before. It was hard for me to get them all done in the U.S. myself at the same time. I'm not keen on sending the dogs out.

Brooke had just one litter, sired by Ch. Sanchar's Classic Venture ROMC (a "Classic Image" son). There were just two puppies and one of those is "Benson", the blue boy in my profile picture.

We've always been really bad about show pictures or glam pictures, I just have one show photo of Brooke when she finished at 13 months of age. I've also included one of her and her sister with their dam Netta winning the Best Brood Bitch at the DCSSA Specialty. They had to win over the Collie brood bitches as well, as this is a Collie/Sheltie Specialty. I also found a nice picture of the sisters with my nephews (my sister Sandra's boys...they are young men now) and their cousin. Brooke in particular loves kids, but both Holly and Brooke are attention hogs in general!

We just adore our Monroe girls and hope we have them for a very long time to come! Special dinners for them tonight.

Ch. Whitegates Just One Look - "Brooke" finishing her Championship, 13 mths. old, at a large Sheltie Booster under breeder-judge Denise Cornelssen.

Best Brood Bitch in Specialty - Netta (Ch. Shadypines Viennetta) with her "Monroe" daughters, Brooke and Holly

"Brooke" with Sophie, Andrew, "Holly" and James.