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Happy Chinese New Year! Tales from an Aries Monkey . . . and not Wagging Tales!

18 February 2021

Who knew?

Caught on ‘film’. WB walking home from the Post Office.

I read that the most memorable thing about an Aries Monkey is their ability to entertain through language.  ‘They’ say that an Aries Monkey can ‘talk your ear off’.  Well, I certainly hope that whatever that means, you will be entertained.  ;>)

So, to the topic at hand!

We’re in the middle of constant in home entertainment & stimulation, let me tell you; Guinness x Piper’s six puppies are hitting their stride, enjoying play time outside in the snow, enduring crate training, loving car training & the new places they get to enjoy – and transitioning to big boy treats like Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried lamb patties, frozen loin lamb chops and the best of all?  Supervised protected play with Lillibet, their eleven week old hoodlum cousin out of Questa x Koko.  She is Kensington’s E. Lilli, The 1st by Q.  I train with the mantra: one hour out?  Three hours in.  And that is how crate training begins, here at Kensington.

New Year’s Day in the fast lane. 1 Jan 2021.

Some months ago, I told someone that I’d realized Kensington is my ‘life’s work’.  I’ve enjoyed every business challenge thrown at me, from bankruptcy turnarounds & warding off the IRS to designing & implementing quality control strategies at a sock manufacturer.  In retrospect, I even value having been kicked in the teeth by a near bankruptcy at Fat City and the soul searching that comes with chosen retirement after a planned three year consulting gig runs its course.

Enter Piper.  Total curve ball.

Lady Pipes came to me as a leased bitch from a fellow breeder in Colorado.  She’s an expensive girl and the only dog I’ve ever had to pay for, twice.  First, I leased her at the same cost as buying her.  Then, her first breeding didn’t take.  Progesterones, TCIs and several veterinary procedures later, we learned she was a ‘pseudo hermaphrodite’.  More on THAT, another time.

Remember Vidal Sassoon? Total Pipes with Holly, her daughter. 17 Feb 2021.

Then, I ‘bought’ her.  And then?  Her second breeding was missed, as my boys were immature and I sincerely believe that things happen for a reason.  Third breeding was successful and we have the most delicious puppies out of Guinness x Piper to share with the world.  Six gumdrops: three apparently black & whites and three brindle & whites.  I joke that she’s cost me $6K . . .  and she has!  But you know what?  If you’ve got the money, don’t bitch about it.  ;>)  Pipes is a gorgeous dolly wolly and I’m grateful that she’s part of the Kensington pack.  We had two forever ladies for this litter here during these last few days and would you look at the photo Beth took of Lady Pipes yesterday.

Introducing Bruce! The first of two Kensington TT puppies requested by a Massachusetts family. 17 Feb 2021.

Please be clear that NO PUPPIES ARE AVAILABLE OUT OF THIS LITTER!  Terribly sorry to disappoint – but – there are NO KENSINGTON PUPPIES AVAILABLE until well into 2022.  Don’t even ask, thank you very much.

What I DO want to say is how much I appreciate all of you wonderful peeps who trust me & believe in me, enough to be willing to wait.  It takes time, energy, my mind, my heart and lots of driving to do what I do.  It takes support from my peer breeders and dear friends; doggie au pairs and pals; and my handler, Rebecca Bradley.  Covid’s even been a bit of a blessing, if you can imagine such a thing.  It is the natural orientation of an Aries Monkey to see the bright side, take control and organize.  And I am doing my best for all of you.

Uniglow. Note the dot of pigment coming in on his left eye. Sweetie pie. 17 February 2021.

So, as much as one can ‘take control’ of a herd of cats, I would like to introduce this latest litter.  They are a fascinating combination of Atisha & Kensington – and crazy as it sounds?  It is a ‘related outcross’.

Each puppy is beautiful and several are superb.  Non, they’re not perfect but there is no ‘perfect dog’.  I think that is what they tell us, to keep us going.  ;>)  Guinness x Piper puppies will be joining their forever homes in late February/early March at nine weeks and they’ll be landing in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and Illinois.

Kensington’s next litter will be sired by Julius, ne Kristof: Enchanter Kristof Erbosedition.  He is enjoying life with Jen, Andy and his favorite girl, Miss Paige.  Julius is being shown by Andy (his owner handler) and has four points to date.  Two Majors and eleven more points and he’ll be the proud recipient of an AKC CH Conformation title.

Kristof with Tomas, in Slovakia. 2020.

We look forward to celebrating his achievement!

Oh, happy day!

Thank you, as always! for your support & patience.  Anyone out there with a kid who wants to become a vet?  Send ’em my way.  I’d love to share what I’ve learned in the last thirty years.  And I would welcome any and all of you for a visit via ZOOM.

Yours truly,

Wendyll Behrend.

It goes without saying . . .

HAPPY NEW YEAR! BEGONE 2020!

 

1 January 2021

Much older now and still helping me handle & socialize every Kensington puppy.

There is always hope in new beginnings.  Over time, I think we each become a little less dramatic with our New Year’s resolutions.  I, for one, don’t even have any today.  For me, the good that has come out of the last year involves new people and animals in my life – and the gift of free time; LOTS OF FREE TIME.  Most days, I immerse myself in the freedom & privilege of unscheduled time but some days, Covid has gotten the best of my mindset and sent me into the almost monthly downward spiral.  I have my safety net, as they have me – and when we start spinning down – we reach out to one another, whether near or far.  The ‘near and far thing’ doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore, either.

At the 2015 TTCA National with Claire, watching Gerry Gross handle Dug, I think. You know who else was there? The French mademoiselle . . . who lives in FL now.

So, my first lesson from 2020 is that I am part of my community.  I need them and they’ve made it clear that they need me.  In fact, we want to be connected!  What an uplifting clarification and note to self that I am not a lone wolf, as previously suspected.  ;>)  HA!  and au contraire!  I need & want my peeps and together, we will navigate the uncharted territory ahead.

Andy, Julius and WB. 23 August 2020.

Meanwhile, and back at Maple Street – we landed puppies out of Guinness x Piper on 27 December 2020.  All of the 2020 puppies we’ve welcomed into the world and the arrival of Enchanter Kristof  Erbosedition aka Julius were definite high points.  Thank you to our wonderful Kensington friends Isabela & Scott Crain for navigating Julius to Vermont . . .  and to my favorite flatlander couple ever Jen & Andy Levens for welcoming Master Julius into their home & lives and to Paige for her having welcomed him, too, even though he’s now faster than she.

From a statistical point of view, this Guinness x Piper litter is of particular interest.  I’ve been trying to breed Piper for two years with no success.  However, in October, the stars were aligned and we managed to pull off a TCI between sire and dam . . .  and then, we got fertilization.  Hooray!  I don’t know why the Oskar x Piper breeding didn’t take – but after that?  I wait until I see behavioral signs, before even thinking that we might have gotten lucky.  But back to the stats . . .

Piper’s XRAY from Broadview in Dover, NH on 25 December. Can you count the puppies?

Out of the six, three are male & three are female.  Three are brindle with dramatic white markings and three are apparently black & white with dramatic white markings.  ALL have lovely whiskey brown under their tails – ALL have white tips on their tails and NONE have Kisses of Buddha.  All are spoken for and I am keeping the big brindle female.  She has terrific substance – which is why I chose the male I did . . .  for SUBSTANCE! and that is what Piper’s offspring needed.  Not a problem, as she’s an absolute beauty queen and gorgeous mover – she’s just our resident South African supermodel or marathon runner; take your pick.

The epitome of joy!
Leo and Molly, 25 March 2020.

The bloodlines behind Guinness are 75% New England and if it’s one thing New England TT bloodlines have?  It is substance in our Tibetan Terriers.  We have great chests and heads – Yogi has a perfect rear end and he is Guinness’ and Leo’s sire (pictured at right at 9 weeks).  And the Kensington chests and heads have come through on all of these puppies.

Everyone always wants pictures and I apologize. However, I have very little time for photos and half the time?  Don’t really care where my phone is because I’m so focused on the doggies – plus, I can always ask my Google assistant to find the phone!  And when he does?  That phone starts to ring.  It is truly a wonderful life.  ;>)

New Year’s Day in the fast lane. 1 Jan 2021.

Here is one photo from this morning.  I do not like to interrupt a nursing mum or puppies with technology when they’re so young.  It goes a bit against my grain.  Photos will come soon, I promise!  We will be out of quarantine on 17 January and will resume welcoming visits at that time.  All we ask is that you come in clean cotton clothes, leave your coats & shoes in the garage and come play with puppies!  And don’t forget to make an appointment first, please.

Today will be a quiet day.  I will remain thoughtfully with Piper and her puppies – always watching and studying.  Looking for the right twitches and watching as the white hair comes in and starts to look more lush.  Lady Bernadette will be here for her daily noontime visit with Piccolo & Campari – and Koko-loko will get a walk to the village on snow covered paths.

Questa and WB. Westminster 2021, here we come. ;>)

I know that 2021 will bring more joy than 2020 – but this is not a new idea for me.  I believe that with every passing day, week and longer period of time in our lives, our capacity to experience joy expands.  And that means feeling joy becomes easier and more frequent.

I wish each of you courage, continued strength and hope that 2021 brings you the fruition of at least a couple of your dreams.  And the Kensington kids wish you lots of joy in 2021.  Thanks for your support and know that we’ll do our best for you, in return.

Very truly yours,

Wendyll Behrend.

GRCHS Questa x CH Koko puppies born 30 November 2020 by C-section

5 December 2020

We did! We did! We had three on November 30, 2020!

There are two schools of thought re: C-sections in the canine world: Once a C-section?  Always a C-section.

And then, of course, there is the other school of thought:  But why?

My repro vets at Broadview Veterinary Hospital in Dover, NH have advised me personally not to risk rupturing the uterus in a pregnant girl who previously delivered by C-section.  You might lose the bitch and have puppies without a mother.  Or you could lose them all – and I certainly don’t want to go there.

My repro vet up here in VT at Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services is always cautious and sometimes advises that the next cycle be skipped, in order to give the uterus ‘time off’.

First minutes of life, out of the sac. Look at that head! This was Annabel’s singleton born by C-section on 18 March 2019.

Now, I know that sounds a bit odd – but – the research that is ‘out there’ indicates that whether a bitch is bred during her cycle or not, aging of the uterus happens with every cycle and the older the uterus, the higher the potential for problems and smaller litters.

And for all of these reasons, we chose to follow the guidance of our professionals and are so very pleased to have landed two gorgeous females and one gorgeous male out of our GRCHS Questa x CH Koko breeding on October 1st.  Please know that no puppies are available out of this litter and Koko will soon be retiring to her new forever home in Massachusetts, as this is her final litter and she has found a wonderful young family to join.

Incubator and oxygen concentration units set up and ready, when needed. The incubator keeps its environment at 55 – 65% humidity for the newborns.

With this latest litter, I decided to change my whelping protocol a little by adding warm steam to the whelping room up to a humidity level of 55 to 65%, as this has been deemed ideal for newborn puppies.  It truly seems to have eased the puppies’ first few days and I will continue to keep the humidity high for the next two weeks.  Once the eyes have opened?  We will let the humidity drop to household ‘normal’ levels and remain in quarantine until three weeks from birth date have passed.

Happy Holidays, eh! Canadian Whittaker enjoying a moment with Santa. Whitt is Questa’s grandfather and this litter’s great grandfather!  December 2018.

Please know that you will hear from us again before the end of the year and we will have photos of the little ones for you at that time.  Right now?  The little ones are barely five days old and look more like blackish guinea pigs than they look like puppies.  This is no time to disrupt their young lives with electronics.  It is time for safe, warm, quiet days & nights with fresh linens, a heating pad for added warmth and a well cared for attentive mum to reign supremely over these little ones.

Please be patient.  Doing so will allow us to do our best and stay focused on raising happy and healthy dogs for all of you.

Stay safe, be well and act with kindness toward folks in need.  It is the greatest gift, to spontaneously give willingly of oneself.

Yours truly,

Wendyll.

Soon, the house will be quiet again . . .

Piccolo en guard with her litter of Leo’s puppies. 23 October 2020

2 November 2020

Greetings to each and all of you!

Life inside my house has been active, these last two months.  Leo x Piccolo puppies are scheduled for their nine week thorough wellness exams and first round of DHPP shots down at Broadview in Dover, NH on Friday.  And then, the exodus begins.

Thanks to Leo’s humans (and unlike Annabel’s UNGRATEFUL humans  ;>), we have a safe place for our hand off in the Boston area.  Families are driving from only as far away as Connecticut this time, unlike last time when we had peeps drive to Boston from Nashville!  But I’ll be driving AND flying, driving toward Montreal, QB with one of the brindle females.  Lady Stephanie is our hope for getting the puppy across the border, as she’s a Canadian citizen with a US work visa and that will allow her to cross and return, if the Canadian Customs agents don’t look kindly on our situation.  Then, on the 11th, I will fly to SFO on a non-stop out of Logan with Ani Diki-La (nee Pearl), be on the ground for 75 minutes and back onto another non stop returning to Logan and then, into my car.  I’m intending to stay safe – not sure what that will mean on the plane, itself – and I’ll be armed with my Thieves essential oil spray by Young Living, a mask made by our local Stowe tailor and safety glasses over my readers.  Folks might look at me and think, ‘Lord, that woman is mad as a hatter!’ – but I don’t care one iota.  I can not go down, I will not go down!, unless something totally out of my control takes me out.  And I will tell you why I’m so adamant . . .

TTCA 2019 National Specialty. Award of Merit for Questa, handled by Rebecca Bradley. Very exciting! May 2019.

All signs are indicating that the GRCHS Questa x CH Koko breeding took!  It is very much appearing that we’ve got action in dear Koko’s hopper.  Shortly after being bred to her knight in shining armour, the lovely Lady Koko started sleeping much more during the day and removing herself from play with her pals.  Then?  Her appetite went out the window, even for Helm’s freeze dried liver treats.  And lately?  Her appetite has clearly returned and she’s getting one frozen grilled loin lamb chop every morning, meat and all.  ;>)  Grilled to rare perfection?  Frozen loin lamb chops are my secret weapon to aid in crate training, air transport and the best possible nutritional supplement to the Royal Canin gestational kibbles I feed my pregnant girls.  The lanolin is fab for skin & coat; the fat supplies additional calories for fetal development; the meat provides essential fatty acids & amino acids necessary for proper organ development and the bones are great for calcium & minerals.  Definitely not the inexpensive way to go but necessary to achieve our goals of maximizing health and vigor, in both mum and pups.

My beautiful Koko-loko, out of CH Oskar x CH Kodi from Nina Wagner. 24 February 2018.

With this in mind, I’ve identified & contacted the next four families who will be offered puppies, once the little ones have hit the ground and I’ve had a few days to live with them to ensure their health and vigor.  A female for me, a male for Lady Carol and her family and then, three more who will hopefully arrive of the requested gender & whatever other attributes are of serious interest to their peeps.  We have our XRAY scheduled for 25 November and that will be my first day OUT of quarantine after my trip to San Fran.  My guesstimate is that pups will hit the ground ~ 30 November and then, we’ll be back in quarantine for three weeks – but at least, not COVID quarantine.  ;>)

Campari on the left and Paige on the right. BFF. 7 May 2020.

News from the conformation ring includes Questa having earned his SILVER Grand Championship title and Campari finishing her Championship in Conformation.  She competed this past Friday and took Best of Breed & a 5 point Grand Championship Major, the first of the three Majors required to earn her GRCH title.  We’ve earned six points toward the 25 required and are in no hurray.  However, there are still four more shows in November that will take place in Springfield, MA – and we remain hopeful that dear Campari will do well there, too.  And at that point?

While I would LOVE for Campari to come home, we’ll be in quarantine anticipating the arrival of Koko’s puppies and the LAST thing we need is to risk exposure to anything (especially canine herpes) that might come back with our lovely Campari.

Surprise! on the left and Blanche on the right. Blanche goes to Montreal and lucky Surprise! goes to CT to join her Kensington big sis and a family of very grateful humans! 23 October 2020

It will soon be time to bid the current Little Rascals in my house adieu.  They have been an easy litter to raise.  Overall?  They’re quite relaxed, adjusted to their crates very well, had no intestinal issues & tootsie roll stools – and they’re now on Day 5 of their 10 day proactive course of Albon treatment for possible coccidia.  Nina taught me: treat for coccidia, before they depart – and know that you’ve set them up for a healthy transition from your home to their new forever homes. Here’s a photo of the two brindle females, for your enjoyment.

We wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and continued good health, both physical and mental, as we stay focused on the things that we can control.  ;>)

Yours truly,

WB.

What a difference a day makes . . .

7 September 2020

This is Piccolo’s second litter and I had complete progesterone results to compare from her first litter, as I studied her numbers with the hope of targeting a potential whelping date.  Incredible that I had matching numbers for two cycles with which to work – and I was able to identify the exact arrival date, but not the time!

Piccolo’s puppies in utero. It’s a bellyful! 2 Sept 2020.

Midwife Mattiace arrived on Friday, just before noon.  Her participation is always highly appreciated, valued and anticipated, as she’s been with me for several litters and has seen me at my best and at my worst.  As always, she arrived loaded with victuals including my favorite bocconcini, pasture raised meats, chipotle marinated chicken breast and hot dogs for Labor Day.  NORMALLY, Lady Cheryl brings my absolute favorite scampi – but this time?  There was no time to make it.  Cheryl’s even more of an angel to have come to help THIS TIME, as she’d just returned from a 19 day trip out of town and had family obligations the day before driving to Stowe.  But true to form!  She arrived on Friday at noon and found me during the tail end of puppy preparation.

Andy, Julius and WB. 23 August 2020.

We ate well that evening, even better than expected, as Jen, Andy, Paige and Julius came over for a barbie in the courtyard and they brought even more culinary delights, not to mention a cooler full of micro brews.

Without the micro brews the night before and without a full stomach, the arrival of the puppies might have been a bit less chaotic, as I woke up stressed out, not having had a chance to get the puppy scale or the emergency supplies into position.  The whelping room was a little too warm – as I’d not managed to finesse the ideal whelping room temp – and I was out cold, thanks to the soporific effect of the hops in whatever it was Andy served me at dinner which I willingly drank.  ;>)

Scampi and puppies – what could possibly be more fun?

Friday evening was my first night on the blow up mattress in the kitchen hallway.  Piccolo wanted to sleep upstairs with Cheryl, which is where Pic and I had been sleeping for the duration of her gestation – and I’m of the belief that within reason, you give the pregnant dog what she wants including her choice of bedroom.  Lights went out (and I mean OUT) around 11pm?  Pic woke me around 1am to potty but I couldn’t find her and she couldn’t open Cheryl’s bedroom door . . .  so, Cheryl must have opened it for her, as she made her way down the stairs & right to my bed and I let her out to potty.  Back upstairs she waddled and into Cheryl’s bedroom and I gratefully hit the pillow again.

Incubator and oxygen concentration units set up and ready to go, at the flick of a switch. 4am, 5 Sept 2020.

Next thing I knew, I thought I heard, ‘We have a puppy’.  The call to arms came around 3:40am and I was still hop-influenced, knowing that I’d not finessed the whelping room – but Cheryl’s participated in enough whelpings to know that if she picked up the puppy?  The mummy dog would follow her anywhere.  So, down came Cheryl, puppy in hand and with lovely Piccolo eagerly following her human guide.  The whelping room was waitin, although I was NOT – but I had my hands on the puppy scale by then, my clipboard had been ready for days as I’d been taking behavioral notes and then, Lady Cheryl and I took our positions to wait for the next puppy.

We named the first puppy Surprise! and took our positions in the whelping room to wait for the second puppy to arrive.  Within 45 minutes, we had him.  By 8am, we were through; exhausted, exhilarated and excited to have landed them all.  That was ‘Day Zero’ and it was September 5, the day estimated by my progesterone analysis!  (In my world, the birth day is considered to be ‘Day Zero’, with the first full day of life considered to be ‘Day One’.)

Today is Day Two.  It is September 7 and 48+ hours from birth, everyone weighed in this morning having gained an average of 30% since birth.  We have our working names – they’re not great but each has a story.  Surprise! was the first to arrive and I love her working name.

Satisfied and exhausted, our dear Lady Piccolo and her puppies by Leo. Day Zero, 5 Sept 2020.

We’ve started to finesse who might be going where, based upon the wishes and wants of our peeps.  We have wonderful peeps; folks who believe in us and who have the patience to give us the time to breed, raise and deliver their new family members.

Our work has begun.  We remain in quarantine until Columbus Day weekend.  If we have your application, whether for early or late 2021, know that we will next be accepting visitors by appointment during the last two weeks of October 2020.

Congratulations to Leo and Piccolo!  We are so pleased to welcome their puppies into this world.  Hey, Leo!!  You’re a daddy, big boy!

Yours truly and with love to all!

WB.

 

How I spent my summer by Piper

24 August 2020

Piper in paradise, on her summer holiday. 20 July 2020.

In early June, I received a call from a good friend who had managed to cross the border from Quebec into Vermont, make his way down to NYC to grab his daughter and return to Stowe.  His daughter wanted out of Manhattan (for good reason) and found herself solo in a house that she knew well, on a great property but very much missing interpersonal interaction.  So, she asked for a dog.  These folks have Whittaker (Billie’s brother and Yogi’s sire) and have had Tibetans for many years.  Every family member knows the importance of brushing a TT, immediately attending to snarls and the importance of keeping the coat clean, if you want to enjoy a happy healthy Tibetan Terrier in full coat.  So, I offered the lovely Pipes to his daughter and sent her on a summer holiday up in paradise.  She’s only ten minutes away and I’ve enjoyed my weekly visits for the best cappuccinos in town.  ;>)

Maxfield Parrish Piper. Sunset over Mount Mansfield, 2 July 2020.

Recently, I received the letter below from the lovely Pipes and wanted to share her story with all of you.

Hi Wendyll,

Oh boy, oh boy (or should I say Oh girl, oh girl), was yesterday fun!  We went on a hike at the ski mountain.  We were planning on doing the Haselton trail but once we were about to start, SR changed her mind and we hiked Switchback the whole way up to the top of Mount Mansfield, the tallest mountain in Vermont!  The Haselton trail is a woodsy trail and there are river beds and some challenging parts for us small ladies.  Switchback is a cat track in the winter, so we knew it might be a bit easier in summer, even though I’m so good at walking on any surface (except water).  It was so hot, SR thought it would be better to hike up a real ski trail that she knows blindfolded and can ski backwards, forwards AND EVEN while spinning in winter.  SR didn’t let us spin though, because she didn’t want us to get dizzy.  I think she made a good decision because we were able to move to the side when we needed a break in the shade & for water, and we didn’t have to lie down in muddy areas if we needed a break.  She also knew at every point, how far up we were.  She was my sherpa!

Shade break. Summer 2020 in Stowe, Vermont.

We had a nice break in the shade.  SR always asked me to stay in the shady part while we were hiking instead of the direct sun.  I was so pooped, I plopped down.  SR took off a frisbee thingy from her bag and I told her this is no time for games, stop trying to make fetch happen, I’m not interested in your tennis balls or your frisbee.  But then she showed me it was a bowl!  And she took out her water bottle and poured me a nice drink.  She told me we were halfway up the mountain and that we already passed the steepest part.  After our break I told her I wanted to continue to the top, since hiking up is easier than going down, especially since it was about to get easier and we were so close.  Why give up now but still have to hike the same amount either way!

So we continued on our journey, with frequent water breaks.  That girl is so demanding, she kept stopping and asking me to drink water.  Drink your own water human, I want to get to the finish line.  But I drank the water and then tipped the bowl over and onto her shoes to tell her come on, let’s go already.  She doesn’t like wet feet either but she wasn’t mad at me, because really, who could ever get mad at my cute face.  I can get away with murder – well the murder was of a worm poking out of the ground but that’s a story for another day.  Ok, I’ll tell you the story now.  I like to attack/play with worms and then roll on top of them to celebrate.  And if I remember where it was, the next day?  I pee on them.

We found mini strawberries on Mount Mansfield!

Taking in the view with SR. Summer 2020.

We made it to the top of Gondolier where I saw the waterfall!  We saw a Lab and its humans hiking down in the distance, but I’m a very good social and physical distancer – so, we steered clear of them.

Then, we made made it to the tippy top!  We took in the views but decided not to hike to The Chin.  I’m so happy we made it to the top.  I love my hikes with SR!  This one was better than the one we did up to Sterling Pond from the Notch.

We took the gondola down.  I have a top secret special pass that lets me on.  There were signs that told you where to stand in line to get on the gondola that made sure every group physically distanced themselves from each other.  You were only allowed to stand next to a sign and then go up to the next sign once that sign didn’t have people next to it, and only 1 group per gondola.  There were no people so we walked all the way to the front where a man in a mask put hand sanitizer on SR and then we went inside.  He didn’t sanitize her feet but only her hands, which is silly in my opinion because it’s her feet that get dirty from walking on the dirt.  My front paws AND back paws get wiped down but now I’m going to tell SR to only wipe my front paws going forward, or maybe they don’t need to get wiped at all because they don’t touch my face (except when I’m rubbing my face with my paws which I only do sometimes which SR thinks is too cute and then she tries to scratch the part she thinks is itchy).   All the windows were open in the gondola but SR still wore her mask inside.

On Golden Pond – except up here? We call it Sterling Pond. Summer 2020.

We got back into the car and SR blasted the AC.  I sit so regally in the car and have my face in view of the AC to get the breeze on my face.  I was told my brother Whittaker likes to put his front paws and face on the front center console between the seats so that his private parts gets the full blast of the AC breeze.  He seems like a funny guy.  Maybe one day we will get to smell each other and play.  But he’s stuck in Montreal with Freddie and his humans and I’m keeping SR company down here in Stowe.

We got back home and my tongue is normal size again!  I am very excited for a bath this week.  Maybe SR won’t tell me to get off her bed right after I jump on after she just changed her sheets next week when I’m nice and clean again.  I was just helping out with the chores though, I needed to make it comfy for her.  I guess that’s why she showers before getting into her bed, too.  I supervise her to make sure she’s ok in all that water and she told me it’s a bit creepy when I stare at her in there, so now I just lay on the bath mat and look the other way but listen to make sure she’s ok and that she doesn’t forget to use soap.

Clean and ready for bed. Camp sure is great! Summer 2020.

Hugs and kisses,

Piper B.

Obviously, Piper’s having a terrific time in paradise and so, we’re going to visit on Wednesday.  And because Piccolo is in quarantine, I’ll be going with Jen, Andy, Paige and Julius for a play date.  We’ll be sure to shoot video for YouTube, as the kids are going to have an opportunity for HUGE play on ten fenced acres with two ponds, gardens and huge shade trees.  Great fun WILL be had by all and we’ll keep you posted.  Enjoy what’s left of summer 2020!

Yours truly,

WB.

Kristof arrived, Questa x Ziva puppies have left and Koko & I have begun agility!

18 July 2020

Hallo, peeps!

Paige, as always, perfectly groomed with my hoodlum Campari, always ready for an athletic adventure

Never a dull moment, over here at Kensington Palace.  I kid you not.  Since I last reached out to you, Campari has left and gone to Kentucky, Questa was wicketed at 16″, Xtremely Yvette has returned, Kristof has arrived from Slovakia, Piper has gone on holiday, Ziva’s been re-homed and her puppies have left for their new forever families in Nashville, Virginia and Massachusetts.

And on top of that?  Yogi’s moved in with the lovely retired ER nurses who have Emmett and Sophie up in Milton, VT.

Oh, and we drove 3100 miles to breed Leo x Piccolo.  Holy cow.

Pre-Covid. Cooking together and enjoying the porch!

You want to see pictures?  I’ve got some to share.  And videos, too.

Meanwhile, here’s the update:

Leo was bred to Piccolo and she’s showing signs of the breeding having taken . . .  sleeping a lot and being REALLY cuddly.

Layla is with us for another three weeks, as her VA humans asked for her to be trained and socialized with her pack of aunties, while Lady Melanie recuperates.

Weeds have taken over my dwarf conifer garden but I am committed to evening weeding for the next four nights and believe that I will win this battle, too.

Kristof with his beloved Tomas. In Slovakia. Hope he likes these US of Amerika.

The Crested Polish ladies are suffering with the stress of overnight road construction and some of their eggs are misshapen.  A sign of stress and not something of which I am proud.  M’ladies!  Dreadful.  No matter how many ‘day old’ apples and veggies I can buy at Market Basket?  It’s not enough.  Stress in all of God’s creatures leads to deformity.  I am convinced.

Lady Bernadette had a birthday this weekend and we want to toast her good health and fabulous attitude.  She helps us in ways more than she knows.

And we also toast handsome Andrew and his lovely lady, JL.  They’ve encouraged me to get into the agility ring and next?  Andrew and I are going to compete in Conformation together.  He will show Kristof and I will show Yvette.

Next week, Questa and Campari will compete in Pennsylvania.  There are something like 90+ Goldens, 70+ Frenchies and ~ 6 Tibetans entered.  Good to know that we’re still under the radar.  ;>)

Piccolo’s ultrasound is scheduled at Dr. Rossi’s on 12 August.  Ssshhh.  Don’t tell anyone.  ;>)

Love to all of you!  Please let me know that you are well.  You know that we LOVE hearing from you.

Yours truly!

 

How our lifestyles have shifted, for the moment . . .

10 April 2020

Canadienne Emilie-Claire sings ‘Seule ce soir’.

Emilie-Claire Barlow sings a lovely version of C’est Si Bon on her album Seule ce soir from 2012.  Translated, it means ‘alone tonight’, as many of us are during these curious times.  Lately, I’ve had my Google Assistant playing Brazilian Jazz and I get great bossanova, when I ask for Brazilian Jazz.  As I’m not an Alexa user, I may have lost half of you already.  Suffice it to say that my home lifestyle is much more predictable than it used to be and by late afternoon?  I am stir crazy, every day.

The Notch Road in Stowe. The original smuggling route between northern Vermont and Quebec.

How things have changed!  I spend my days with the dogs and they are LOVING that!  We’ve been hiking the snow covered Notch Road every morning and I rotate the older girls, so that everyone gets to come at least twice each week.  Now, we’re losing the snow and one of my forever families has graciously allowed me to walk their Stowe property, while they are sequestered north of the border.  I don’t have to worry about contact with any other humans and five times around the pond equals one mile.  Yesterday, it was twice around in one direction and twice around in the other.  This afternoon?  We’ll do five laps.

I cook as normal – well – sort of.  So far today?  I’ve made ghee, hollandaise sauce and am working on a white bean soup with smoked turkey.  I’m cooking through my freezer (and the lamb I bought in November 2019) and don’t go to the grocery store anymore.  Instead of my beloved Market Basket runs, I order online from Stowe Seafood & Meat Market (great veal chops), Stowe Bee Bakery (peanut butter cookies), Snug Valley Farm (for beef and pork) and Pete’s Greens (my weekly localvore veggie share plus dairy).  I’ve always had a fully stocked pantry – it’s how I grew up – with at least one freezer and a second fridge, and it’s finally proven to be my saving grace.  You’d think that I had food responsibility for six people – but, non.  It is only me and les chiens.  And most nights?  It is ‘Seule ce Soir’.  ;>)  Oh, but don’t forget the birdies.  My Crested Polish hens are laying four eggs daily!  (and eating all of my veggie and fruit scraps)

Rebecca Bradley with GRCH Kensington’s Questa o Quella?. In the ring at Westminster, 11 February 2019.

Before Becky left for Kentucky to be with her mother, we swapped Campari for Yvette.  On Monday, March 16, Becky left with Questa and Yvette.  Campari, my nine month old sable female, temporarily retired from her show career with both necessary Majors won and five points to go toward her CH title.  And Questa’s show career is on hold with the same number of points needed for his silver Grand Championship title (GRCHS).  All is temporarily up in the air, for now.  No dog shows; no TTCA National and no BCTTC Specialty in Wrentham.  But there is word that Camille is working on an alternative site for a celebration of the 2019 US Top 20 Tibetan Terriers.  And once we know where that will be held?  I will let you all know.  It is a wonderful thing to watch, with owners and handlers presenting some of the most beautiful Tibetan Terriers in the world for everyone to enjoy.  Last year?  Kensington peeps and fans shared a table and watched the parade in Boxborough, Massachusetts.  This year?  Questa will be in the parade, as he finished the year as the #6 US Tibetan Terrier.  I, for one, am hoping for a New Jersey venue, as it would be considerably easier than getting to Florida in June, where the event was originally scheduled.

Kensington peeps living their lives by breaking bread (and sharing libations). Naples, FL. 2019.

There are different things on everyone’s minds right now and each situation varies.  I’ve been taking calls from Kensington and Shalimar peeps who are wanting to formalize their estate plans to include their dogs.  I think this is ALWAYS wise and have a separate bank account with instructions for Lady Cheryl, for when MY time comes.  You should all think about this, as it is wise to have written plans for each of your loved ones, including those with four legs.  I have agreed to take a number of adult Tibetans, if and when need be.  I will be following the directives of the humans and preparing to open Kensington Palace to some new furry friends, whether that means this year, five years or even ten years from now.

Ziva’s March 2019 puppies by Yogi.

Additionally, I’ve been fielding countless inquiries (and I DO mean ‘countless’) from folks looking for a puppy because they are now sequestered at home for the foreseeable future and believe that it would be the perfect time to bring a puppy into their home lives.  But the problem is that demand for TT puppies has gone off the charts and none of the responsible breeders with whom I work has/have any puppies available now or expected to be available in the near future.  One breeder is pausing her program, until the Coronavirus pandemic runs its course and we find ourselves on the other side.  For her?  It makes sense.  But for me?  I am moving forward, as I feel an obligation to my peeps and really, really love what I do.  Please don’t take that away from me.

We still don’t know whether Lady Ziva is carrying puppies from her March 9 natural breeding with Questa.  Our ultrasound appointment in Salem, Massachusetts scheduled for today was canceled earlier this week.  Ziva showed classic symptoms of pregnancy to me during the first three weeks and now?  Her appetite has returned and that is another indication that the breeding took.  Time will tell and if we are expecting puppies, they should join this world sometime in mid May.  I usually have an XRAY taken just before whelping, so that we can count skeletons and get prepared for what might be coming down the pike.

Would’ya look at those gams? Thighs of a hockey player on our Pic. Yogi x Ziva, 2017.

Pic, Pic, Piccolo! continues to have NOTHING BUT PLAY on her mind and she will be the next Kensington lady to come into season.  We have several breeding options for her and each would be lovely.  If Truesdale will do a TCI?  I’ll use frozen semen from Oskar and repeat her 2019 breeding.  If not?  We’ve got Leo and Guinness in the wings, but both are 19 months old and we run the risk of their not knowing exactly what to do.  ;>)

So, I begin my day with an inspection of Piccolo’s crate and nothing, yet.  That will change and I will be ready.  Social distancing will impact how we do what needs to be done and I am committed to that.  It is the best way to minimize exposure to yourself and everyone else.  Yesterday, I received two lovingly sewn facemasks with a roll of Scott SHOP towels that together?  Will keep me safe.  Thank you, Jay Dee!  Now?  I’m ready for the world and when the time comes to jump into the car with the lovely Piccolo?  I can do so, safely.

I certainly HOPE SO! April 2020.

This evening, we’re going to try a ZOOM video conference call.  I posted the details on the Wagging Tales at Kensington FB page.  But you are all welcome to join, too!  926-542-3738 is the meeting number and this will be my first time hosting.  The password will be ‘Kensington’.  6pm EST and I set the meeting up so that folks can join ahead of me and ahead of schedule, I do believe.  If this call works?  We’ll have another way to stay in touch safely and share our latest stories.  If nothing else?  I hope to keep the boredom at bay.

Here’s to getting through this safely and emerging stronger than ever, on the other side.  Stay strong.  We got this.

Woof.

 

 

When the nights become days and the days become nights

Questa’s sire Yogi in show coat. July 2019.  Very handsome and prolific sire!

It is quite normal and has become part of my routine to be up between ~ 12:30am and 3:30am every night.  It’s either the ladies down in the AGA room who ‘boof’ for a potty break . . .  or dear Piccolo who comes to the gate between the kitchen and my dining room/bedroom to make her request clear.  As I’ve said innumerable times in the past, it’s a good thing that I live alone!  The doggies need care 24/7 and long ago?  I happily signed up to be the caregiver, laundress and chef extraordinaire.  ;>)

Beckham x Ziva’s puppies out for their first adventure. 30 November 2019.

Ziva’s puppies are seven full weeks old and they’re quite mature physically.  Still finding their emotional ‘sea legs’ and trying on all sorts of behaviours including biting something soft, until they get a blood curdling scream.  I think we’re almost past this stage, as I’ve come to the rescue more than a dozen times and by now?  They’re on the brink of realizing that it’s not fun to be on the receiving end.

Koko’s puppies are only four days behind Ziva’s puppies chronologically, but they are hard to tell apart visually from their older friends.  All are on straight kibble & water, 4x per day.  Carrots and apples come next.  Both litters are producing tootsie roll stools and I am very pleased about that.  The Royal Canin kibbles I use seem to yield smaller and less fragrant tootsies than other kibbles we’ve tried, ESPECIALLY the salmon based kibbles.

Look hard! There are five puppies nursing on Lady Piccolo. Oskar x Piccolo.

And then, there are Piccolo’s five beautiful babies who are still nursing: two females and three males.  Today is Day 19 for them.  I only wish that I could handle more for the wonderful forever families out there who are waiting ever so patiently – but three litters is my max.  This time?  It’s more like two, as the first two are only four days apart – but the laundry doesn’t lie and it feels like three litters to me!

But what is life without the occasional upset? Even with apparent total quarantine for the youngest litter, one managed to catch an upper respiratory infection.  How now, brown cow?  Well, apparently, his mummy Piccolo must have brought the germs into their whelping room and for whatever reason? He caught a cold.  Three .1ml doses of Clavamox later?  The apparent congestion seems reduced and it truly is 24 hours, since I noticed it yesterday morning.  I know that with humans, we think very seriously about whether to ingest antibiotics and I, for one, prefer to ‘tough it out’.  But when the patient is 18 days old with newly opened eyes?  Give me the drugs!

This morning?  We had our second outdoor snow experience with Ziva’s puppies.  The first car training with outdoor snow fun happened on Saturday, this past weekend.  With Koko’s puppies about four days behind Ziva’s?  Car training will begin tomorrow.

Winter is upon us. Maple Street in Stowe, Vermont, December 2019.

We didn’t get the 20″ of snow they got in southern Vermont and boy! would we have liked that!  But the 2″ dusting we got makes for a pretty morning and shortly, I am off for my solo walk to town.  Wishing everyone a terrific day!

 

Weigh ins, feedings, laundry, indoor/outdoor play; REPEAT

Our lovely GRCH Piccolo and her five babies. 26 Nov 2019.

The lovely Piccolo has hit her stride and seems to have settled into her maternal routine and is FINALLY back to eating her kibble.  Here she is, comfortably nursing her brood of five in her whelping box.

Ziva’s enjoying playing individually with the October born puppies, whether hers or Koko’s.  We let them out individually to scamper around the perimeter of their Xpens.  It gives them a great opportunity to taunt and tease their littermates, as they test out their newfound freedom.

And Koko’s enjoying outdoor sunshine and the best that the Maple Street kitchen has to offer.  She has learned that patience pays off in the kitchen.  What could be better?

A life without puppy poops on the linens, I’d say!  ;>)

Oh, how Leo loves being the center of attention! With a bunch of 8 year old girls in Newton, MA.

All is well, here at Maple Street.  Thanksgiving is only days away and Piccolo’s puppies will be two weeks old that day.  There are five of them: three males and two females . . .  and they keep Pic and me MORE THAN BIZZY!  I still have the baby monitor on their pen, so that I can hear any nighttime calamity . . .  but they’re all happy and quiet.  We’ve got the temperature stabilized, nursing is happening predictably & every four hours – and everyone’s digging Jazz Piano on Pandora, while yours truly plays in the kitchen.  Life is good.

Meanwhile, we await the second television broadcast with a Kensington Tibetan Terrier up on the big screen – please watch with us on Thanksgiving Day!

Here we are: like mother, like son, thanks to Photoshop!

Questa took Best of Breed down in Oaks, PA on 16 November 2019 at The National Dog Show.  THIS is the dog show that is televised annually at 12pm on Thanksgiving Day.  Watch it on NBC.  They are airing it in every time zone at 12pm.  Tibetan Terriers are in the Non Sporting Group.  We already know that he did not place in the Group – but that’s ok by me.  He’ll be up on the big screen!  Questa is out of a Yogi x Billie breeding and he has a number of brothers and sisters out there including Gryffin and Bodhi.  If you’ve got the time?  Please ‘watch’ with us!

Meanwhile, it’s back to the laundry for me right now.  I am changing pen linens today, so that I can have a couple of hours off on Thanksgiving to WATCH THE DOG SHOW on NBC!  Join me at noon on Thanksgiving Day, as we root for one of Kensington’s finest.

Woof.  ;>)