Archive for April 15, 2020

Ramblings to keep us all entertained . . .

15 April 2020

How this girl stays bizzy. Obviously, this linen closet indicates WAY too much time spent in the laundry!

So, today may as well be Sunday, after yesterday’s ‘Sunday’, and before tomorrow’s ‘Sunday’ . . .

I’ve been cooking, washing & ironing bed linens, grooming dogs, making doggie treats and cleaning my house, with not much else to do.  Next on the agenda is to vacuum the carpeted stairs to the second floor and maybe even Spot Bot them.  And last night?  I went to bed with a blank head.  It was the weirdest thing but as I was drifting off to sleep, I lost track of the thought I had in my head and there was nothing left in its place.  I had nothing in mind.  I don’t know that I can remember a time when I had nothing in my head, just before dozing off.  We all yearn for a more complex lifestyle and for things to ‘get back to normal’.  I realized that my next credit card bill is going to be considerably lower than usual, as there’s been no dining out, nevermind impulse buying.  I’m following orders and ‘staying put’.

Veronika with Kristof (on the far left) and his littermates.

Those with the responsibility to do so have begun strategizing on how to get the show back on the proverbial road and how to slowly open things back up.  I know that they’re soon to do it in Vienna, Austria and that is especially exciting for me – you want to know why?  Because my friend and fellow TT breeder Veronika Kucerkova bred a sable male TT for me who was born in December 2019 and is now happily playing with his littermates outdoors in Slovakia, as we all wait for international air travel to eventually open back up.  Once that happens, we’ll be able to resume planning how to bring our new boy Kristof to Montreal and then, from Montreal to Stowe to join our pack of ladies.

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

It is ideal to have a stud dog in residence and that is how I started my breeding program.  Kensington’s foundation stud was CH Shalimar’s James of Kensington.  He sired his first litter in 2009; born on 19 March 2009.  GRCH Kensington’s Oliver Twist was my pick out of that first litter and he went on to become Kensington’s first Grand Champion.  Since then?  We’ve bred a bunch of Champions, five Grand Champions, two Bronze Champions and GRCHB Kesnginton’s Questa o Quella? is five points shy of achieving our first Silver Grand Championship title.  All very exciting but not helpful, if you don’t have a boy in the house when the girls come into season.

So, I chase boys around New England; something that would thoroughly embarrass my mother, if she were still alive.  But they are boy doggies – not humans – and I think that would embarrass her more!  As I’ve just about had it with ‘the chase’ (and the driving), I bred Questa to be our in house stud dog but he’s so gorgeous and successful out on the Conformation circuit, that he spends more time with his handler Rebecca Bradley than he does at home with me and the girls.

Kristof, as a very young puppy. Great chest, lovely movement and strong shoulders.

Having Kristof in the house will accomplish the goal of having a resident stud dog and as an Erbosedition boy?  His mostly unrelated pedigree will allow me to use him with all of the Kensington girls and then, breed whoever I keep in the future to the fabulous GRCHS Questa in order to maintain genetic diversity in the Kensington line and take advantage of Questa’s gorgeous structure and temperament.  Veronika’s Tibetans are similar in ‘style’ to mine and that means that I shouldn’t have to manage too many ‘surprises’ out of the future Erbosedition x Kensington breedings.  It sounds like a terrific plan to me and so, we are moving forward.

Who would have guessed that Alpha wanted my Christmas peppermint bark? ;>) 16 December 2018.

That said?  I now fully believe that the Questa x Ziva natural breeding on March 9th took, as Ziva’s belly is expanding nicely.  We await Piccolo coming into season and hers will be our second litter of puppies to release this summer.

Please know that all of our 2020 puppies already have forever homes and we don’t expect to have any puppies available to new applicants until 2021.  It takes time to develop a breeding program and also, an incredible amount of time to plan and raise a litter.  Literally, it starts with a seven or eight month cycle – then, the breeding – then, nine weeks for gestation – then, nine to ten weeks for socialization of the puppies and then?  Your new life with your new puppy will begin.  Even if I could speed things up, I wouldn’t be able to do it my way, with more than three or four litters annually – and that’s why Kensington peeps choose to wait.

I have scheduled Ziva’s XRAY for Wednesday, May 6th, down at Broadview Animal Hospital in Rochester, NH to count puppy skeletons.  This is going to be a very long three weeks!  She’s eating like a horse and stole raw beef off of the counter, yesterday.  Chunks of raw beef were air drying, before freezing, slicing and drying them in the AGA for special beef treats.  Well, Lady Ziva stretched tall on her hind legs and got at least four chunks into her mouth and down the hatch they went!  Pregnant girls often get into things and I’ve lost chicken sandwiches, raw salmon filets and other edibles off of the kitchen counter in the past.  You’d think that I’d learn!  But, non – apparently, I have yet to learn that lesson.

OMG. I saw this and thought it was hilarious.

Thank you all for checking in on us.  Thank you for sewing & sending masks to me and for your cartoon text messages & letters by  mail.  We remain well & happy and I am grateful.  The stonemason will begin working in the courtyard next week to fix the big holes to China that Campari & Piccolo have been digging.  Campari went down a hole and got stuck under the porch floor last week and I had to remove the snow grate, in order to get her out.  FORTUNATELY, she did not like the experience and I do not think it will happen again with her . . .  but . . .  action needs to be taken and the lovely courtyard pea gravel will soon be replaced by a Vermont quaried slate patio that will be inpenetrable to doggie paws!

WB, caught in a Harry Potter moment with Mojo dancing on the floor and Leopold, in the crook of my arm.

Never a dull moment, up here at Kensington Palace.  Only wish we had a changing of the guard to keep me entertained.  ;>)

We hope that you’re all hanging in there, while safely sheltering in place.  This will soon be behind us and slow & steady is the way to go.  That is also the way that you climb a mountain.  ;>)

May you all stay safe & remain healthy.  Let’s ZOOM again, soon – that last time was fun!  Thank you for your interest in my breeding program and for staying in touch.

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.