Sunday, October 15, 2023

NEW Things to Share, but an OLD Blogger!

Well, here is my confession of the day! I finally have found time to get back to blogging, but I have not done so in such a long time that I am having trouble doing things like changing the layout to add new "gadgets" for ads and such. If you have good computer skills, love doing all things Poodle-related and might enjoy co-owning a blog, or just working on one as a hobby-- please get in touch! I have plenty of article content, product reviews and even some very nice new artwork coming soon for the banner, but I am having difficulty putting it all together. The older I get, the less computer skills I seem to have! 

On a more positive note, Brodie and I were thrilled when we had an inquiry recently from a vendor who makes absolutely gorgeous collars, in addition to some other poodle items such as leash holders and more, who is local to us--right around the corner in Greensboro, North Carolina! We went to the home of Patti Jessup, of The Decadent Dog, and were able to see so many lovely products, since she was getting ready for Fall shows. We saw all the beautiful materials for her handmade collars (over 70 different fabric choices!), her sewing room, and her husband's shop where he makes the wooden items.

I brought over some of the collars I had been using, such as a fabric martingale, and I was shocked when Patti pointed out that it had several "break points". With a strong puller like Brodie, our soft cotton martingale could have broken if he had decided to take off after a squirrel when on a walk because it had three break points and it was not double-stitched. 

Patti's collars, however, are specifically designed for large and giant breeds, so they are incredibly safe as well as beautiful. Brodie modeled a few and we finally decided on a 2-inch martingale style in the "Merlin" fabric since I love purple. It was custom-made and arrived quickly, with free shipping! We ordered one for a friend in Virginia and it was also made, shipped and arrived in under a week. 

Patti responds promptly to inquiries through her Etsy store, so she can help you with sizing and styles, even with collar choices if, like me, there are so many you like that you aren't sure what will look the best on your dog! . Soon I will post information that Patti gave me about what makes her collars different from the typical designer collars, neck protectors and other collars we use on our Standard Poodles, that are not as safe as her designs. I was also delighted to see that the prices were more reasonable than many of the collars that I have bought that were not made with quality hardware and material--there are photos of her collars in her store, as well as ordering information: The Decadent Dog Etsy Store

There are so many colors and designs to choose from, that you can even find one that will match your show dog's favorite pair of leg protectors--although in the photo below, Tate and Brodie have played so hard that his leggings were coming off! But he sure did look stylish before his leggings came off, and he has had many compliments since wearing his lovely new martingale collar (we chose this style for him because it does give a bit of training control).
Brodie Schlaginhaufen wearing his  "Merlin" martingale collar at home, and happily modeling another design that is on his wish list!
\Either width looks lovely on a Doberman, this beauty is wearing a "Stitch" colored martingale style
Shelby, a beautiful Dane owned by Teresa Powell, wearing her 2-inch Clementine" martingale

Tate, a parti-colored Standard Poodle puppy wearing his adjustable buckle collar in "Deacon" fabric, with strong black plastic snap buckle.

When you get in touch with Patti on The Decadent Dog Etsy shop  please be sure to tell her that Brodie and Melanie sent you her way! Also be sure to check out her leash holders, and visit her booths at upcoming grooming and craft shows, and hopefully coming soon to a dog show near you!

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Am. AKC/UKC Champion Crystal Creek's Irish Creme - "Brodie"

What a birthday gift! My friend Veronica Kelso was up visiting this Spring around my birthday. As I gave her some grooming tips on her new Poodle puppy, suddenly she asked me to run Brodie outside so she could take some photos, because the light was "just right". He was not in a show groom, in fact, he wasn't truly even brushed out as we did not think she would have time to photograph him that day. But perhaps that is one reason the photos turned out so special, because they captured the "real Brodie", not the fellow who gets all glammed up for the show ring! Thank you Veronica, for not only this gorgeous image, but for all of my birthday gifts through the years, all of the recent ones of Brodie, the absolutely gorgeous ones taken for my birthday years ago on the weekend that Hudson came to us, and the very special photograph of Khaki, the incredibly sweet mixed breed girl that you and I shared. And as always, thank you to Brodie's breeder, Bonnie Winnings of Crystal Creek Standard Poodles, for sharing Brodie with us.
Brodie is two years old now, and has all of his health clearances, the majority of which are now posted on his OFA page. For a link to his pedigree, and show photos, see the Crystal Creek Standard Poodle's website link entitled 'Our Boys" and scroll down to Brodie's information. You can reach Brodie's breeder, Bonnie Winings, through that page, or contact me via my email. Brodie lives with me in North Carolina, but Bonnie is the person who bred him, and is the most familiar with his pedigree and what he may be likely to produce. Here is a candid of Brodie at a show as an 8 month old pup, with his friend Kelly Knight.
I am happy to discuss with you anything you wish to know about Brodie's temperament, structure, and of course I love to talk about his gorgeous head and coat! But I believe it is important not just to fall in love with photos and videos of a stud dog, but to research health clearances and everything you can find out about what his sire and dam have produced. Of course we are proud that Brodie has his AKC and UKC championships, we love the diversity of a Spanish import behind him, love that his sire is a gorgeous boy with his AKC Grand championship, his dam has her UKC Grand and both his sire and dam have performance titles! We truly love all the health clearances behind him. But we believe that even the grandparents on a pedigree are quite important, as far as determining what a dog will produce. And it is his breeder who knows all about the dogs behind Brodie, so if you have interest in him for one of your girls, click on the link listed above and scroll down to Brodie to see his information, then get in touch with his breeder if you with questions about his background. I would of course be the one to give final approval on any breeding, but I am a retired dog trainer who has been a show fancier of Standard Poodles since 1990, I am not, nor have I ever been, a breeder of poodles. Brodie's breeder does a great deal of research before doing a breeding, and she should be able answer any questions you have about dogs in his pedigree. Happy Summer! Thanks for letting me brag just a bit on Mr. Brodie on this post. Soon I should have a more entertaining, better researched article for the blog. For now, I will end with a candid of Brodie and his little boss, Mr. JJ! JJ may be small in statue, but believe me, he rules the place! I apologize that I cannot remember how to get the formatting correct in Blogger, so we are lacking spacing in this article--hopefully to be corrected soon!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Loving, and Losing , an All Time Favorite Poodle, to GOLPP

UKC Champion Prodigy's Content of Character, a/k/a Hudson When I saw an adorable photo of Hudson, in the snow, around age four or five months, on his breeder's Facebook page, it was love at first sight.I still remember commenting "if you ever decide to let this one go, please think of me!" Since she didnt know me personally,I never dreamt that a few months later she would actually write to see if I would be interested in co-owning this beautiful boy, with an agreement to show him and give him a forever home. Typically I don't co-own dogs with people I do not know personally, but I was so in love with this gorgeous puppy that I would have probably promised to name my first grandchild after her in exchange for the opportunity to have this dog come and live with me! We have had at least one Standard Poodle in our home since 1990. There was something special about each of them. But this little fellow (he was only 20 inches, 33 pounds, the result of an inter-variety breeding done for diversity reasons) was a big, extremely intelligent dog in a small package. He appointed himself the family watchdog right away. And speaking of watching, Huddy was the only dog I have ever owned who watched television, primarily just things that had horses or dogs in them, but occasionally he watched other things as well. One of his funniest TV habits was trying to help Cesar Millan when dogs were barking or growling on Cesar's programs. Hudson would actually lunge at the TV when dogs were acting out of control! He got in trouble a few times for that! But really one of the most special things about Hudson is that he never wanted to be in trouble. Call his name and he would come on a dime, inside or outside, including off leash in the middle of the eight acres we lived on up at the lake. If Mom or Dad said his name, he was by our sides in a flash. And he loved nothing more than "going on a ride", so much so that we had to spell things when we tried to sneak out of the house without him! Although his markings and thick coat with great texture made him quite flashy, Hudson did not love dog shows, he only tolerated them. We got his UKC championship quickly, only being shown in the United Kennel Club shows of course because although he was AKC registered, the American Kennel Club only allows solid colored poodles in the conformation ring. Actually it is the Poodle Club of America, the parent club of AKC, not AKC, who determines the Breed standard for conformation titles. Thankfully, we also have the United Poodle Association, the parent club for UKC, and UPA appreciates all colors of purebred poodles. Can a Poodle of any color be shown in the Multi-Colored classes at UKC events? Yes, with one exception. The merle gene does not occur naturally in poodles, so when it started popping up in advertisements on the internet, breeders trying to sell "purebred merle Stnadard Poodles", ethical UPA members quickly got a peitition together, petitioning UKC to disqualify poodles with this coloring from being shown. DNA testing has not been able to prove or disprove that merle poodles are not purebred but since the "originals" were bred by breeders who bred Aussiedoodles (Australian Shepherd/Standard Poodle crosses) it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how the merle gene crept into the gene pool. Sadly, merle coloring is connected with some serious health issues. As someone who used to show Australian Shepherds and was involved with Aussie rescue, I have seen puppies that were blind, deaf, and even one born without eyes. This is why it is a serious matter to ethical poodle fanciers--we do not wish to see any merle poodle or poodle mixes to be bred, ever. In fact, the way to find a healthy, non-shedding Poodle is to work with a Poodle breeder who doesn't breed Poodle mixes, but who breeds only AKC registered Poodles. There are many health clearances that we do on our breeding stock, and waiting until after a Poodle is two or three years old and has completed all of this health testing before breeding it, is one way to help insure, to help up your chances, of getting a dog that stands a good chance of living a healthy long life.
Sadly, the disease which took Hudson is not one that has a genetic test to rule out parents who are carriers--in fact, so far there is no proof that GOLPP is even genetic. Veterinarians and research articles typically state that the conditon affects elderly dogs, but Hudson was middle-aged when he first started showing symptoms of food getting stuck in his throat, gagging and other issues. GOLPP causes laryngeal paralysis, affecting the nerves that control the muscles in the throat. He was ten by the time that polyneuropathy kicked in, which includes vagus nerve involvement. He eventually had difficiulty swallowing as well as loss of muscle mass and rear-end weakness, causing some collapsing episodes. Unlike the rear weakness we see in elderly dogs who have arthritis in their spine or rear, GOLPP does not cause pain in those areas, the collapsing is due to weakness, sometimes combined as well with difficulty breathing. Dogs with GOLPP can be helped if diagnosed early on, with a procedure called Arytenoid laryngoplasty surgery (“tie-back” surgery, where a procedure is done on one of the laryngeal cartilages which keeps the throat from closing up, thereby decreasing airway resisteance and giving the dog a better ability to swallow normally). Unfortunately, Hudson was midsiagnosed at the beginning of his symptoms as having IBD, because of vomiting episodes, and by the time we changed veterinarians and got the correct diagnosis he was in the later stages of the disease, so he was not a candidate for this procedure. The disease is usually slow progressing, and the fact that Hudson was put on an anti-inflammatory med for IBD, did help keep many of the symptoms of GOLPP under control for almost four years, before we had to make the tough decision to let him go because he simply couldn't swallow and he was in distress.
I am not usually one to share the "gory details" but since so many people have never even heard of GOLPP, I wanted to make Poodle owners aware that it DOES occur in our breed, as I have since heard from others who lost a dog to it. Since it happens later in life, it is impossible to know if there is a genetic component, and so far, it is thought not, although the fact that it appears more often in some breeds (Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Borzois, Greyhounds, German Shepherd Dogs and Brittany Spaniels) this "may" end up proving that certain bloodlines are genetically predeposed. When my veterinarian diagnosed Hudson he said that the good news was that no pain was involved (at that time he was occasionally collapsing in the rear) but the bad news was, the disease is always terminal. Many articles on the internet also mention that no pain is involved, however I can attest that a dog who is having difficulty breathing and swallowing, definitely becomes distressed, even panicked. It does seem to be true that pain is not involved with the rear weakness, dogs definitely are in distress when they cannot swallow---when food is getting stuck in their throat, or when they epxerpeince things like aspiration pneumonia which make them miserable, and can cause an extremely high fever which doesn't always respond to medication, especially if they are already at the point where they cannot even swallow medication. So please, if you see a study in Standard Poodles trying to find a genetic marker which will help us eliminate this disease, donate! I would love to see this eradicated from our beloved breed, because I don't want to think of another dog going through what Hudson did in his last years. Hudson, I will miss you forever, and believe that God will give me the privilege of seeing you again in heaven. You gave so much love, what a precious gift you were to us.