Friday, December 30, 2011

Miffy and Susan

Miffy learns to take on the Big Dogs! This is my sister's youngest and oldest Spinone enjoying our mild winter weather.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Macarons

I am obsessed with these beautiful French cookies!

Sleepy Girl

Looking for Claire? Here's where you'll find her...sleeping at my feet wherever I am. Claire is so subdued during her pregnancy that it's confusing to the other dogs. They don't understand why she doesn't want to play! Every day we go out for a good walk to keep her moving. She is very content and is spending most of her time in the house relaxing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

AKC Invites Rare Breeds on TV Showcase

Claire was invited by the AKC to appear on a news segment promoting rare breeds before Meet the Breeds in New York City. We were so lucky as the tv taping corresponded with a trip to Eastern Pennsylvania for one of Claire's inseminations.  Claire got to appear with a Berger Picard, a Cirneco dell'Etna, and a Mudi. Several people who we talked with at Meet the Breeds visited with us because they had seen Claire on TV. Who wouldn't want to give a Barbet a big hug??

Thanks to Dr Brian Voynick and Gina DiNardo for including us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Incredible Rugged Lark

Lark at 22
Any visit to Bo-Bett Farm is a reminder of the many, many great animals produced by Carol Harris. None of them have had more success and fame than Rugged Lark, the beautiful bay stallion who won so many awards, then toured the country entertaining crowds at the Olympics and major horse shows. Carol and Lynn showed the world how a properly raised and carefully trained horse could change people's perceptions of a Quarter Horse. Lark had an incredible presence, a knowing personality, and the most beautiful head and eye I have ever seen. I am lucky to have two of his sons still living here on the farm, and they have the same inquisitive nature and soulful eye of their father.

Carol let me saddle Lark up and ride him all over her farm. I'll never forget what a thrill it was for me, riding this priceless and famous horse, as he silently cantered over the sandy ground swapping leads every few strides. I'd stop him, spin a few times,then lope off again, smiling to myself and enjoying how incredibly lucky I was to be sitting on top of this magnificent animal. Truly one of the highlights of my life!

This video was taken from Lark's Farewell Tour in 1997. It is a true demonstration of trust.

My parents with Carol in front of Lark's Memorial

Rugged Lark's grave at Bo-Bett

Monday, December 12, 2011


Isabel and Carol at Bo-Bett Farm
We are now home after a wonderful week in Florida. As always, we visited with our dear friend Carol Harris at Bo-Bett Farm in Reddick. Some of my most favorite days have been spent with Carol talking about horses, dogs, puppies, and the dog shows, and this visit was no exception. Carol knows more about dogs than I could ever hope to learn and I feel privileged to have her as a great friend. Everyone needs a mentor/friend like Carol...someone who has seen it all but is still thrilled with every birth, every puppy, and the possibilities offered by every new breeding.

Claire's belly is getting tight and she spends much of her day sleeping. It is easy to tell that she is pregnant just by the change in her demeanor. She is very snugly and extra-sweet. Only two more weeks until her next check-up and X-ray!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Haircut for Claire

Claire's Shorter Hair Cut
Now that Claire is finished with her exhibitions and is confirmed pregnant, it was time for a haircut. Although I love her hair when it is really long, it would be very impractical to try to keep while she is nursing puppies. The easiest way to trim the coat on the Barbet is to brush it all out so that the hair is very bushy and full, then use excellent quality shears to both take off length and shape the coat. Once the scissoring is completed, it's time for a conditioning bath. Today I let her air dry. Sometimes I blow her out at the roots as it seems to help keep the hair from matting as quickly. Even with her trim, she still looks appealingly messy and fun. I would never want to have her shaved close. I prefer a long haired Barbet, which means constant vigilance with coat care.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Happy Day at the Vet!

Claire at 12 weeks
Today I took Claire to the veterinarian for her ultrasound pregnancy check. Happily we were able to see a few puppies! Claire's very short loin made it difficult to see much more than her bladder and intestines but every once in a while a puppy would pop into view on the screen. I suspected that she was indeed pregnant, as her personality and activity level have changed significantly, but it's nice to know that there really are little babies developing. Good job, Claire!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meet Miffy

This is Miffy, my sister's new Spinone Italiano puppy. Bred by Jenneke van Doorn and Trudie van Lieshout-Pennings in Holland, she is pictured here at 8 weeks.  Out of Montecani Cuba il Divo [Brando] x Isole e Olena dal Podere Antico [Mila] she will stay another 2 weeks before she will fly with Jan to the USA. I am looking forward to showing her next year. It will be interesting to show her with a full tail in a ring of docked Spinone.  Jenneke and Trudie breed lovely dogs and we look forward to welcoming little Miffy!