Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

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"Mona who?"



I discovered from an American dog blog that in a TV interview an American breeder had indicated her Papillons and proudly said that they were her artwork.

I loved it.

I had a look at my gallery, most of which seemed to owe more to Banksie than Rembrandt, and tried not to look too hard at the ones which seemed to have been created by Picasso on a bad day, or a hurried toddler with poor eyesight and magic markers.

They all grinned back at me.

And later that day, due to yet another hole in the fence, my entire portfolio of artwork escaped and hunted rabbits down the field and came back absolutely splattered with mud - all very Jackson Pollock.  (I fear that by then the unlucky bunny would be more a job for Damien Hirst...)

And   after repairing the hole, I had to quickly take aside Fidget who seemed to have the idea that all this arty thing suggested quite a relaxation in morals, and explain that he would not be mating his half-sister.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


As we struggle on with a cold damp spring, the weather has no effect at all on Papillons, who are , as usual, full of it.

Angel demands to be played with, and usually gets her way.

Here she is with Solitaire, her mum,  and Allegra, her aunt.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"What do I care where you were judging? Did you bring back cake or chicken?"



Judging another Open show last weekend, this time mercifully not distracted by messages of disaster and death. I was able to get on with the task peacefully, and had a very nice selection of dogs of varying breeds.

The odd thing about Open shows is that there is now an Open Show Culture. Many people only go to Open shows, and that becomes their dogshowing world. They seldom consider Championship shows. And so you can find that a different type of dog, usually one that will appeal to all-rounders, consistently wins there...a dog that would not shine at a higher level.

However, I did not have that problem, and my winners, a Bolognese and a Bichon puppy, would hold their own in any company. I was impeded a little by the unedifying spectacle of two grown women arguing over who was to have a Puppy rosette, and had to send them to the secretary, where the battle continued. And I thought - this is supposed to be a hobby? But said nothing, and put the rosette back in the box.

Home to a bunch of resentful dogs, especially Angel, who now expects to go everywhere with me, and Ella, who pouts and sulks without constant attention, (preferably involving cake or chicken.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"Solitaire go home now? Please?"



Last month Solitaire made another, probably her last, visit to an attractive young dog.

That is to say, I thought he was attractive, but Solitaire, you may remember, has found sex one of the biggest disappointments of her life. I think she had sussed what the occasion of this visit was, and was far from her usual sociable self. She took a look round the room she had been brought to, and promptly glued herself to my knee. Her face had the well-known "Solitaire go home now?" expression.

The dog appeared, and her worst fears were realised. He was accustomed to work on a table, but the sight of Solitaire`s ample charms drove all thoughts of furniture from his mind, and, much to her disgust, the deed was soon done, on the floor. When released, she shot into her travelling box, clearly expecting to be off. But she was to stay, for more romantic experiences, and we said our goodbyes and left, telling her to be "a good girl."

After we had gone, her hostess thought that she should go out to relieve herself. She was released into the well fenced garden and the lady left her for a moment. When she came back out for her, the garden was empty.


And then she happened to look up.

And saw Solitaire`s mature fat furry bottom just disappearing over the top of the high fence. I had forgotten to tell her that Solitaire can climb. And Solitaire had had enough. Sex with a stranger, abandoned in a strange place - she wanted her mum. Like her favourite film star, Lassie, Solitaire was coming home.

She had to spend the rest of her honeymoon in a secure kennel and run, much to her disgust. And when we were at last reunited, at a show, she was ecstatic, and danced her happy dance for me.

I missed her too. She will not be leaving me again.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

"Well, of course I won! What did you expect?"



Angel made her first appearance at a Championship show yesterday.

Amazingly, she arrived without having been sick - could this be the dawn of a new era? Could it be that she could now travel without the emergency bag - a collection of equipment and material for the hurried cleaning of a small person (who may even have sat in it)?

I was not sure how she would take to an enormous Championship show. Lots of noise and movement, hundreds of people. Some puppies just fold under the assault on the senses.

Not Angel. She noted with approval that she was entirely surrounded by Real Dogs. Papillons, that is. No sign of a Notapap. And when I got her into the ring, with a large number of equally young puppies, she was very willing to swagger about (for an endless supply of chicken, of course), and show off to everyone watching. She gave every impression of enjoying herself.

And she won her class.

Although she did not win the Best Puppy challenge (hindered perhaps by her insistence on having a Brad Pitt in the ring at the moment of decision), I was really pleased that my baby girl had done so well. I can see that we will be having a bit of fun in the ring this year.

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