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.

Friday, August 29, 2014


I still don`t get to so many shows, so it was a treat to be able to get Tess Trueheart to a show which would also feature her brother Sparkle.  I took her on her own, without the support of Plush her best friend or Angel, a born leader, and was unsure how that would  play.  Would she turn into a quivering jelly?

Well, no.  She was a bit puzzled, but I gave her lots of support, and once we got into the ring she looked round and thought “This is what I do!” and swaggered about.  Vast relief.   Even a false fire alarm, which led to a hasty evacuation, didn`t trouble her at all.

BPB - you mean I won
"You mean I won?  Really?"  - Tess 

Meanwhile her brother had behaved impeccably and won his class, and indeed became best Puppy Dog.  When we got to her turn, she was very full of it indeed.  Maybe too full.   Her idea of walking round and showing herself off involves frequent ecstatic leaps up my leg.   Probably a show of affection but highly undesirable.  I shuffled round on my bad knee, trying to keep her feet on the ground and muttering unspeakable things.  How much easier when I used to show Truly and could swear in bad Swedish! 

However, despite all this she became best Puppy Bitch, and so had to compete with her brother. His behaviour, of course was impeccable.   And impeccable wins.   Tess will have to learn that merry frolics in the ring do not please judges.

And then she was reunited with her brother.  She recognised him at once and made friendly overtures.  Would he play?

BP best
Sparkle, totally well behaved

Alas, he also remembered her.  Probably only too well.  I think his main memory might be of how hard she used to bite to keep him in check and discourage his….unwanted overtures, shall we say?  He gave her a dirty look and moved off quickly, looking back to be sure that she didn`t get a sneaky one in from behind.   He probably still feels the draught from those perforations.

A good day for me, though, as it was a win/win situation, with brother and sister competing.

Tess Trueheart came home looking very pleased with herself and immediately went out and applied herself to her favourite hobby – getting really dirty as quickly as possible.

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Solitaire is retired.   The KC only allows 4 litters, and she has had 4.   That`s that.   She has been a really good mother too.

But I have to admit that I have occasionally thought how good it would be to repeat the last litter, and perhaps have another Sparkle and another Tess Trueheart .  Just a thought.

Solitaire Mar09
"It`s very relaxing to be retired!" - Solitaire

I mentioned this to another dog person and spoke of what might have been.   “Oh but you can, “ said he;  “My friend had her bitch accidentally caught by a dog, and the KC allowed a 5th litter on appeal”.

“But, “ said I “that would be by her own dog at home.”   And I had a brief but arresting vision of Solitaire, with her little bundle tied on a stick over her shoulder and my railcard firmly gripped between her teeth, eyes shining with anticipation, sneaking out to the station and boarding a train to the north of England, heading for a secret assignation with her previous husband.

Well, Solitaire is an excellent mother, but she hasn`t a romantic bone in her body.  The emotional brief encounter simply isn`t going to happen.   Retired is retired.

And anyway, she doesn`t know where I keep my railcard.

Friday, August 01, 2014


I called, last night about dusk, and all the dogs still out came running in – except for two.    Daisy and Marcus were missing.  This is not at all usual:  Daisy normally runs straight in to her bed, while Marcus rushes in to see if by chance there is a willing and receptive bitch for him.  (Well, that might have developed while he was out – even retired stud dogs never lose their optimism.)

"No comment!"

I went out to have a look

And there stood Daisy, crouched, and clearly stalking a large fox.   Marcus, no fool, was hanging considerably further back, and the look on his face clearly said “This is the big girl`s business, and I will just stay well back here, ready to offer wise advice and back her up until her nose bleeds.”

Daisy meant business.  I could see her thinking “What does the fox say?  It will say a lot when my teeth meet in its throat.  I wonder what fox tastes like?”

I called them in.   Marcus came in like a shot.  Daisy wouldn`t move until I stepped forward and the fox just melted away into the field.  Cue dirty look from Daisy, who had clearly planned to haul her trophy in to amaze the other bitches.  The fact that it was much bigger than her had not registered at all.  Papillons are quite convinced that they are the size of tigers, and just as fearsome to vermin.

Later, when  Tess Trueheart and her mother had to go out, I made sure to go with them.  One foxhunter in the family is quite enough.

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