ANECDOTES AND EMBARRASSING MOMENTS
Blog update December '17
We lost our beautiful Jamalison Melody last year. She was almost 11 years old. Not a great show girl but very loving and loyal. Melody was "Nanny" dog to our new pups and was the dog our young grandchildren met as their introduction to Deerhounds. Our house is very quiet now we only have two dogs.
We spend as much time as we can away in the caravan, taking in dog shows along the routes, all over Britain. We love being in Scotland - for Border Union dog show as it coincides with The Border Book Festive and The Melrose Festival. We also try and take at least two weeks early in May and again in September (we are mainly retired). We spent our first two weeks in Wales and just before we went, Geoff said, rather casually, "I will pay for you to go on Europes fastest Zip Wire at Zip World." I don't really think Geoff thought I would even contemplate it, leave alone actually do it. What an amazing experience and I surprised myself that I enjoyed it so much.
We spent a fantastic day at Wolf Watch UK - walking with wolves. I had bought the day experience as a Christmas present for Geoff. It was very interesting and a little scary to be inside a pen with a real wolf. Her name was Maduh (and at nearly 17 years old she died earlier this year). To actually stand and hand feed a wolf and have her try to get more from you is very humbling. Both Geoff and I had thought the wolves would be really big, but as we share our lives with Deerhounds, we were coming from a different perspective. One funny moment as we arrived, the gentleman who runs Wolf Watch Uk, Tony has a Deerhound. As we parked our car, greeted our fellow Wolfwatchers, out of the kitchen door came a Deerhound. Typical of both of us, we went over to the dog to say hello. One lady standing behind me swore loudly and ran off "Sh... its a wolf." We found it amusing but I can appreciate if you were expecting to see a wolf and large grey deerhound coming out of a kitchen door may well have taken you by surprise.
Jazz has had a very successful twelve months culminating in winning 4 Reserve CC's in four weeks. Five in total. He graduated from Limit Dog into Open Dog making his first appearance with the big boys at Midland Counties. We were absolutely delighted when our specialist Deerhound Judge, Mr Rod Gillie placed him second in a large class of quality hounds. To finish our year off Jazz earned his first CC at The Ladies Kennel Association Show at The National Exhibition Centre. Elsie, Jazz's daughter also won the Postgraduate Bitch class. All in all, a good finish to our dog showing year.
We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful New Year.
It is a while since I wrote this blog, promising sometime ago that I would try not to bore you !
Both of our boys are now growing up. Jazz turned two in March and Domino in June. Jazz was introduced to the world of bitches in December and Hyndsight Magic in the Night gave birth at the end of February. Hyndsight Long Cool Woman will join us at the beginning of July bringing our numbers up to four. Long Cool Woman is the title of a Hollies song often abbreviated to LCW hence LC = Elsie !
Geoff and I are out and about this year. We usually take two dogs with us in the caravan and have house sitters for those we leave at home. One of Geoff’s passions is gardening so whoever sits for us has to have both dog and gardening skills. We are very proud to say, Geoff has won the “Best Large Private Frontage” Gardening Shield for the 5th time. Which means we have been involved in the garden competition for the last 10 years. If you win, you have to stand down for the following year and judge.
Whilst my partner in crime most everything I do, Geoff has always been my “Kennel Boy”. He is now showing too. His debut was at Bath Championship Show where Jazz won his class and went on to win the Reserve CC. What a debut !
We have recently returned from a “Grimshaws on Tour” as it was called by one of our friends. We started in Melrose, dropping down to Blackpool (for the dog show). Melrose is the home of the Rugby Sevens, The Melrose Festival and Borders Book Festival. What a fabulous place. We were treated to Pipe Bands of which Domino was terrified, one hundred and fifty horses in the ride out, a cycle ride and a cultural extravaganza of authors and music. Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, Celia Imrie, Gervais Finn and Mike Rutherford (Genesis) and they are just the ones I can remember. I think we may have to go back next year.
Elsie has arrived. We went down to Horsham to fetch her from Hyndsight Deerhounds, enjoying a lovely lunch before turning around again for home. I HATE THE M25 ! On our way down we were stationary for about 45 minutes due to a vehicle fire. The vehicle was a Prisoners Transport Van. When we finally got going again and drove past the incident, sat in a line were some very shaken prison officers and their charges, plus rather a lot of Police. Fortunately no ambulance. On our return the M25 was it’s usual self. We were probably on the M25 for the same amount of time as it took us to get home from the M40 junction. Fortunately Elsie travelled extremely well and has settled in well so far. Domino is delighted to have a new friend, Jazz a little less so and Melody is Nanny to all our pups. Melody is now 10 years old, so expects Elsie to treat her with some respect. Elsie will learn !
Pictures soon I promise.
Where has the time gone ? The last blog post was in October !
We hadn’t been to any shows after South Wales. Our Son in Law Ben, celebrated his 40th Birthday on the day of Midland Counties and LKA coincided with our Grandaughter Anna’s fourth birthday. We are a close family and always try to celebrate the important dates in all our lives, together. Christmas Day was celebrated here with Fiona, Ben, Anna and Thomas along with our opposite numbers in the Grandparent Stakes, Diane and Stuart. Boxing Day was here too but with Simon, Beth and Eleri joining us. They returning from Christmas Day with Beth’s family in Wales. Our Grandchildren are young, with only two of them walking at the moment. Both Jazz and Domino love the children from their side of the dog gate and the children love the dogs from the other side. We do supervise their contact and it is always monitored.
We have recently met up with two lots of “puppy owners” for lunch. The dogs of the two litters we have bred are now almost 10 years and 6 years old. It is so lovely to meet them again, with their owners. One couple recently visiting prior to their return to France.
When not involved with our dogs I volunteer at our local theatre, Artrix www.artrix.co.uk as a Duty Manager. It involves, as part of the team, making sure that the show of the night runs smoothly from get in to get out. We have the pleasure of hosting some fantastic artists and I really enjoy it. All the bar staff are volunteers too. A great team of people. One of my personal passions is live music and theatre. There is just something so special being in the audience of a superb performance whether it be music or drama.
We are looking forward to this year’s show season and have already made several bookings for our little breaks away. If we are going to travel to a show, we try now to make it a few days away. Neither of us is a fan of doing Edinburgh and back in day now.
Our good wishes to our fellow exhibitors in all that you do. Crufts is almost upon us and we thank our lucky stars ever year, that we only live half an hours drive away as it is a very long day.
September and October 2015
We had a good holiday up in the north of Scotland. Dunnet Bay treated us to amazing weather, fantastic views and a huge beach on which Domino and Jazz ran every day.
Most people know we own a caravan which was replaced in June. This was our chance to really test it out. We were not disappointed. Geoff had a little more than normal to do as ten days before we left for Scotland I fell up the stairs in House of Fraser and broke my left wrist. I am now in plaster for six weeks which is very frustrating as I don’t find it easy to ask other people to do things for me.
We arrived home from Scotland on the Thursday afternoon - I dashed to the hairdressers on Friday and attended the (very small) wedding of our son, Simon to Beth, on the Saturday. Simon and Beth have always done things a little differently from the norm and we also celebrated the Baptism of their beautiful daughter Eleri. It was a wonderful day, the sun shone and I hid my broken arm either behind my own back or Geoff’s. We consider ourselves very lucky in our children’s choice of partners. We have a wonderful son-in-law Ben and now a daughter in law Beth. I hope we don’t live up to some peoples ideas of “The In Laws”.
Geoff and I were absolutely delighted Domino gained a Reserve CC from Junior Dog (aged 16 months) under respected show judge Mark Cocozza. Our thanks too to Alex Paisey who very kindly ran Domino for me. This was our last Championship Show of 2015 as family commitments mean we won’t be at Midland Counties or LKA. We do have a few Open Shows booked, just to keep the boys paws in, so to speak and no doubt will see a number of you at Crufts.
On a sad note we said goodbye to Dilys our JRT on 10th September 2015. Dilys was an honorary deerhound and will get a little mention in The Newsletter next year. Geoff and I knew she wasn’t 100% and decided on the Wednesday to take her to the vet for a check. Some blood was taken and we received the call from the vet, just as we arrived in Milton Keynes to see The Hollies. Dilly’s results were bad. Very bad. Neither of us felt like going to a concert so turned around and came straight home again. Having talked all the way home about what to do, we decided that Dilys deserved some dignity and she was put to sleep in Geoff’s arms that evening. We miss her.
We had a fantastic time staying up in Blackpool.
Blackpool was much larger than I thought it would be
The new caravan arrived on the Thursday before
we left for Blackpool the following Tuesday. Geoff and I spent
The purpose of going to Blackpool was to do Blackpool Championship Dog Show which was in it’s new venue. A success I think from their point of view and our dogs did well. Time and work permitting we will more than likely do the same next year.
We stayed up for a few days and enjoyed our time there. We managed to go to St. Annes which is a beautiful place. You are allowed to let the dogs run free on the beach at the far end. Boo and Jazz exploded off their leads and drew an audience on the promenade as they belted round and round. They were joined, much to my concern by a young Springer Spaniel. I was seen running over to the owners, saying they are friendly. The owner told me not to worry, my dogs would never catch hers. She was wrong. All three had some fun and returned eventually.
Staying on a Caravan Club site you can guarantee
that there will be lots of other dogs and quite a few children.
When we are away, we have housesitters to look
after the dogs we leave at home and the house itself. We had
We are now back home for a few weeks, our next
outing to The New Forest in August. We have a Special
I also have quite a full diary of babysitting which
is delightful. Fiona (daughter) went to have her hair done, with Grandma
Jenny, Chief in Charge of Thomas who is now five weeks old. Fiona was
quite happy for me to take him off for a while, so Thomas and I went to
House of Fraser in Birmingham. Using the lift as you are not allowed to
take a pram on the escalator, I was complimented on my beautiful new baby
We have had what could perhaps be called a lucky escape !
Our caravan caught fire (an electrical fault confirmed by the Fire Brigade). It was very scary and we have been very lucky. The van however is a write off. Fortunately it was insured and we have been lucky enough to find another one to suit our needs. The Insurance companies, the Loss adjusters and the people who supplied the original van have all been amazing and we take delivery of our new van towards the end of June.
Domino won Best Puppy Dog at Three Counties Show under Joyce Bond. His last puppy class as he will be one on 18th June. Having looked at the pictures, he always looks the part but I tend to look like Quasimodo ! Domino just loves to be in the ring - just watch his tail if you see him competing. He appears to be wagging it in a circle.
Hopefully June will be less eventful for us although welcoming a new Grandson into the world takes some beating.
To help Fiona, as Ben went back to work, I have been taking Anna to Pre-School on two days of the week. I have joined Fiona and Anna for breakfast on those mornings. Anna was heard to ask “Can Grandma Jenny come for breakfast tomorrow ?” She was told that Mummy and Daddy were there so I wasn’t needed. One disappointed Grandaughter.
A lot of my time has been taken up with the administration of trying to sort out all the things that we lost. I had thought the caravan was empty but in fact it had all sorts of things that we only use while we are away and we had to identify them from their burnt, sodden and blackened state to inform the insurance what we had lost, together with prices and websites if possible. Although not a difficult task, it is extremely time consuming. However, all is agreed now and we are trying to replace the things we have lost.
If everything goes according to plan we will have our replacement caravan by the time we head up to Blackpool Dog Show. We plan a five day break and it is a place we have never been to, other than to the field where Blackpool Dog Show is held. Quite a few people have told us that they don’t think we will enjoy it and it is a terrible place. Always with an open mind I will comment when we return, but if anyone has any polite suggestions of places of interest please let us know. I should perhaps add that I am terrified of roller coasters and some years ago broke my ankle on a helter skelter so those suggestions are out before we start !
It wasn’t our intention to start a blog but now we have one we will update it fairly regularly, but not so much as to bore the ..... off you all.
We have had a fabulous break in Scotland taking in family visits (Jenn’s family come from Scotland) and The Deerhound Club Breed Show. We were absolutely delighted Domino won Reserve Best Puppy in Show.
Domino is still in training as we try not to do too much, too soon with the youngsters. This year’s showring was inside a Tennis Court which Domino thought was his playpen ! He was so strong he bent my wedding, engagement and eternity rings. More training definitely required. The rings are all sorted now, as we don’t live very far from The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter.
We are taking some time out from a couple of shows. We are Grandparents to two beautiful little girls, Anna and Eleri and will be spending time with them over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. Anna has planted a pumpkin seed in the greenhouse with Grandad Geoff which will need tending. Hopefully it will grow enough to be turned into a mask at Halloween. Eleri is just a little young for that yet, but we still get chance to babysit and spoil her.
Our Bank Holiday plans of a family “Bitsa” lunch - all the family brings different bits and together we make a feast, turned into a very different day from the one we had planned.
The reason we took some time out arrived five days earlier than expected and at speed. Fiona rang us at 6am and asked me to come and fetch Anna, our three year old Grandaughter as she was in labour. They live five minutes away, so - in my PJ’s I jumped in the car and went to fetch Anna to come down to us for a very special breakfast.
Thomas Edward Lascelles Hooton was delivered early in the morning and Fiona, Ben and Thomas were home by 4pm - they certainly turn them around quickly here. A Chicken - nap was done, brought down to Brookfield (that is, Fiona and Ben’s deal was that they would cook a chicken for Bitsa Sunday) Geoff and I and Fiona, Ben and Anna sat down to dinner at 5pm. Baby Thomas in his crib beside his big sister. Quite a day.
Our first Deerhound was Greyflax Lancelot - from Nic and Glen Bailey. Dougal soon became part of the family. He and our JRT Dilys got on really well and were company for one another. Although Dougal was not really a show dog, we were encouraged to have a go. Our first time out was to Banbury Canine Society Open Show held at Righton on Dunsmore. Who was more nervous, Dougal or Jenn is debatable. Dougal barked pretty much non stop for the whole of the time we were there. We were non too politely told to shut him up. Fortunately we were also told how to do so !
Dougal went to his first Championship Show - Birmingham National held at Stafford. Our Judge was Pat Allright. Berrylands. Dougal won Minor Puppy Dog and we were told we had qualified for that great dog show that is Crufts. Were were so proud.
That’s it, we were hooked. One of the “Great Judges” a true gentleman - Terry Thorn (sadly no longer with us) was judging Deerhounds at Three Counties Show. We had been told of the great Mr Thorn and Jenn went into the ring with some apprehension. Dougal was still a puppy and was not impressed at all by our Judge. So much so, that as we set off to do the movement triangle, Dougal stopped in the middle of the ring and took an enormous dump. When such things happen one should hand the dog’s lead to the steward and deal with the offending mess. Jenn handed the dog to the judge who was very generous in his support of a mortified exhibitor !
MODHISH BOBBY GREYFRIARS
Bobby soon joined Jamalison. Bobby was our first show dog - the only problem was he absolutely hated it. So much so that if we got the show bag out of the cupboard he would go off and hide. We had spent quite a lot of time training Bobby to try and help him get over his dislike of the showground. Showing one day at East of England, our Judge Denise Courtney asked to see his teeth. Bobby was such a good boy he rolled his lips back and showed her all of his teeth. He wasn’t being aggressive he was just responding to the command “Teeth”. It was mentioned that perhaps this was one trick we needed to discourage !
Bobby loved to be outside in the garden and spent a lot of time assisting ! Geoff is a very keen gardener and from May until October we are more or less self sufficient for vegetables, salads and fruit. As these get eaten by the family. The stalks, or the gone past it stuff is put on the compost heap. Bobby’s favourite game was to kill the cabbage stalks. “They” do say Deerhounds don’t play. We don’t believe “them”
One evening, sitting watching The One Show, they were talking about their One Show - Mile Around Britain - to raise money for Children in Need. They didn’t mind if you walked, ran or hopped the mile.
Whilst these days Jenn doesn’t run other than in the ring, she does the majority of the walking of the dogs and so remains relatively fit. A mile would not pose a problem.
Jenn and Sonny were accepted and as the day approached the BBC made contact - could they take a picture of the dog with whom she would walk and would he be upset by the cycle outriders and the back up medics and coach. No he wasn’t and we raised some money for a good cause.
Jazz at his first show, whilst on holiday with us in Cornwall, took Best Puppy in Breed and then went onto win Reserve Best Puppy in Group. Not bad for his first show. The judge was lovely. She asked how old and as soon as she realised it was his first show, went out of her way to make sure it was a positive experience for a young dog.
Domino had a big win at Cheltenham and District Canine Society, where he won Best Puppy in Breed We went into the Hound Puppy Group extremely pleased with our new youngster. Most importantly he had behaved and didn’t stop wagging his tail. We won the Hound Puppy Group. W O W. So of course we stayed for Best Puppy in Show. Dom by this stage was tired, but still happy. We had taken him out for a toilet break (no luck) and let him have a sleep in the car while we read the papers.
Domino strutted his stuff into the Best Puppy In Show ring, with a large audience of well recognisable judges sitting watching. Lee Cox (Vanitonia) was our BPIS judge - Domino stood well for Lee, but, as Lee started to go over him, decided he couldn’t hold on any longer and we’ed on his foot. Cue much embarrassment for Jenn. Needless to say we were not placed.
The Deerhound Club hold a very prestigious Open Show, annually, that travels around the UK. Lots of Deerhounds and their owners in a hotel, with a Dinner on the Friday evening, Show on the Saturday, with a celebratory Gala Dinner in the evening and Parade of Champions and Special Classes on the Sunday morning. Many, many hilarious stories stem from these weekends, but as the saying goes, what happens at the show, stays there !
We, with John and Dee (Peopleton Deerhounds) were Show Managers. If you have done it you will know, that a great deal of hard work goes in to making this event a success for some time before the actual weekend. During this time you make contact with lots of different people and are mindful that you are representing our UK Club. We had an email from a lady from Ohio. She would be arriving a couple of days before the show and wanted details of perhaps a B&B and how to get from Birmingham International Airport to Bromsgrove. Being the hospitable pair we are, we said we would collect this lady and she could stay with us for a couple of nights. Since then we have become firm friends. Sharon Hangar (Wolfridge Deerhounds - USA) is a very dear friend.
As a numerically small breed, we have friends all over the world, some of whom we keep in contact with via Facebook. We were on holiday sitting looking out over Bossiney Bay, near Tintagel in Cornwall when a friend posted a picture showing their view for the next few days. Jenn looked at the picture and thought, this is the view we are looking at now. Two minutes later, taking our dogs out for a short walk, coming towards us, with her Deerhounds - there she was, all the way from Norway. We celebrated Deerhound style !
We don’t do it every year, but often we have friends over on the Saturday evening of Crufts. Our best international representation around the table, friends from USA, Australia , Finland, Norway, Sweden and of course the UK. We didn’t just talk about dogs !