Archive for May 26, 2020

Hey, everyone – Annabel’s famous! From Facebook to television!

26 May 2020

Luke and Moseley (one of Annabel’s brothers) paddle boarding in Massachusetts. They live in Northampton, MA.

I know that many of us scorn aspects of Facebook and some refuse to participate.  Myself?  I find that it’s a great way to reach out to folks who are interested in what I’m doing but may not know me personally.  I use Wagging Tales at Kensington as my more ‘intimate’ platform for sharing stories with Kensington peeps.  It’s a closed page, designed for members only.  And there’s the Kensington Tibetan Terriers page, where I post the comings and goings of my breeding program and everyone can stay informed.  And then, there’s my personal page, where my friends from all aspects of my life are joined and can learn of my more personal daily ‘comings and goings’ – but never any politics!

Annabel with Claire Coppola, taking Best of Breed on 11 October 2015.

There is a Tibetan Terrier group page on Facebook and for the last couple of months, we’ve been following The Misadventures of Annabel.  Annabel is a gorgeous example of our breed and her daddy, Michael (GRCHG RinChen’s Blazing Black Icon) was the #1 Tibetan Terrier in the US in 2013.

I bred Annabel, because in 2013, Claire Coppola approached me and suggested the idea.  Claire had seen my lovely sable Coppi (CH Kensington’s Copper Goddess) in the show ring and it was time for Claire to find a gorgeous female and ‘prove’ her #1 US TT GRCHG RinChen’s Blazing Black Icon, Michael.  Claire wanted to know whether I’d consider using him as a stud dog, as he wasn’t yet ‘proven’ and it took me very little time to say, yes, as he’d already caught my eye in the show ring.  And frankly, I was being approached by the woman who bred the #1 2013 US TT.  Think about it.  ;>)

The lovely Miss Alice, with newly born Michael x Coppi puppies. 9 December 2013.

So, I bred Michael with Coppi and they produced five puppies, three of whom were sable.  Billie Jean was my pick, Whittaker was my mentor’s pick and Annabel was Claire’s pick.  Ironically, we all got what we wanted and that NEVER happens, without some negotiation.  That Michael x Coppi litter produced three AKC Champions, one Bronze Champion and made Coppi a Register Bitch of Merit in one litter.  Annabel was released as a puppy at ten weeks to go and live with Claire in New Jersey, earn her AKC CH title and then, she was bred.  In 2018, Annabel came back to me in Vermont and she re-joined her pack.  We loved having her live with us and I bred her twice, myself.  When it became time to retire her highness, I needed to find Annabel the most wonderful forever home that I could, so that Claire would feel good about the situation, too.

Annabel with Judi & Friends in her new forever home. May 2019.

Enter Judi Fisher of Panton, VT.  Judi came to visit us in Stowe with a friend of hers who was interested in a Kensington puppy and Judi wanted to ‘come along for the ride’.  Ironically, she fell in love with Annabel and when all was said and done, Claire gave us her blessing & Annabel happily moved in with Judi.

Then, came Covid-19.  And Judi’s blog on Facebook.  Annabel has an international following of folks who begin their days with Judi’s latest post and the cast of characters is amusing, while the content has me laughing out loud and regularly.  If you’re unfamiliar with Annabel’s trials and tribulations, you might like to watch the clip via the link below:

Whittaker, Annabel’s brother, watching his grandson at Westminster. February, 2019.

Judi’s made Annabel famous!  Tonight, I will watch the clip on the big tv in the living room with Billie (Annabel’s sister and one of my Westminster competitors), Koko (Annabel’s cousin), Piccolo (Annabel’s niece) and Piper, Annabel’s half sister by a different mum – but the same daddy: GRCHG RinChen’s Blazing Black Icon.  Kensington dogs love to watch television, especially Koko and Billie Jean.  Well, Whittaker, too.  And some of them sing, while others yodel.

I hope you enjoy the story.  It’s a charmer.

Yours truly!


Just when you thought you knew what came next . . .

7 May 2020

First minutes of life, out of the sac. Look at that head! Yogi x Annabel. Nee Bianca and now Susie. 18 March 2019.

Unlike my mentor Nina Wagner, never did I ever think that we’d use C-section as a tool in my breeding program.  But when you get a singleton puppy?  The puppy doesn’t secrete enough of the hormone that stimulates first stage labor and so, the procedure is very often used to get the puppy out safely and protect the life of the mum.  If you wait too long?  The puppy can begin to deteriorate and then, you have a dead puppy and a sick mummy dog.  Since it’s OBVIOUS that I wouldn’t ever want such an experience?  We had our first C-sections in March 2019, with singletons in Koko and Annabel, the ‘traumatized TT’ (if you’ve been following her posts on FB).  Annabel is Billie and Whittaker’s littermate, out of Michael x Coppi.  Those C-sections in March 2019 were my introduction to the world of repro surgery and every one has been a fine experience.  Until Ziva’s C-section on Cinco de Mayo, 2020.  Successful, yes.  Took a year off my life?  Maybe two.

Day One: 6 May 2020. Born on Cinco de Mayo, they are Diego, No Way Jose, Poncho, Luisa, Fiesta and ???

And it is now behind us, Tuesday’s C-section that brought six healthy and beautifully formed puppies into the world.  Thank you, Dr. Kelleher of Broadview Animal Hospital in Rochester, NH.  We had to go this route with my New Hampshire repro practice, as my Vermont repro practice wasn’t offering full repro services, especially surprise C-sections, and Ziva came early.  And of course, now?  They’ve just announced that they will be resuming full repro services, come Monday, 11 May 2020.  Just my luck!  Missed out by one week!

Lady Izabela played a pivotal role with the arrival of Kensington’s latest litter.  Not only did she care for Ziva and her babies during the three hour ride home from Broadview?  She cooked & fed me, managed the other four doggie ladies in the house and brought us flowers.  Izabela helped me manage ‘re-entry’ and covered for me, while I showered and napped on Wednesday morning.  I’m operating on three hours sleep last night, two hours sleep on Tuesday night and maybe three hours sleep on Monday night, when Lady Ziva experienced her most uncomfortable moments.  With so little sleep, I take lots of notes, knowing that surely!  I won’t remember much about these early days in the new puppies’ lives.

Izabela, our lovely Lady in White in Stowe with Billie, her girl puppy Campari and the lovely Piper, half sister to Billie (both out of Michael). October 2019.

The babies have gorgeous chests and I think they’ll all mature as charcoal or silver, just like their mum and dad.  Questa has now been ‘proven’, as we say, and that is important for his career as a fine stud dog.  My friend Earl Miller is using him this week with Dude’s mum, Bronte.  Questa’s in Kentucky with Yvette (Beckham x Ziva) and our handler Rebecca Bradley, while she shelters in place with her mum.  And Becky did all of the driving to and from the repro vet for Questa’s collection and shipment of his freshly collected and chilled semen.  Fingers crossed for a beautiful litter out of Questa x Bronte, come July 2020.

So, what else do I have to report?  I believe that these puppies are all spoken for – but it might be that we have a male available, as many of our peeps live in other parts of the country and while Mr. Virginia is excited to move forward and can drive to pick up his family’s new baby, it’s not clear that everyone else will be able to.  If we do have a male puppy available, I will let you folks know with a blog post, so that we can keep his availability reasonably private.

Today is Day Two and we have named three of the puppies.  We have Diego, No Way Jose and Poncho.  Poncho is fun to say and will be easy for the puppies to recognize, with its hard consonant and long vowel.  I’ve been thinking Lucia and Fiesta, for the females, and that leaves one more name needed for a boy pup.  In time, it will all become clear!

Dan, as cowboy, and Annette, as cowgirl. Halloween in Stowe, 2013.

So, to the day!  Everyone’s quiet here and that means that they’re all comfortable and well fed.  Campari’s on a week long play date with her friend, Miss Paige, and the lovely Lady Annette will be coming up for the weekend to help, I do believe, and staying over at Birch Hill with her man, Dan.  So great to be part of a community that helps me to breed and raise some of the most wonderful Tibetan Terriers on the planet.  I absolutely could not do what I do, without the love, support and care that my friends provide to me and my pack of thieves.  Thank you, all.  Let’s do another ZOOM call soon and I can introduce the new puppies to you all, personally.