Rose, Bruce, and the boys are settling into their new lives in Eldoret, Kenya (pictured here in a field of tea growing in the Kakamega Rain Forest).
Kericho Gold anyone?
After going back and forth for a few weeks about Hamlet, Should He Stay or Should He Go, we decided that the international travel would be too risky and too stressful for him. He is with my very good friend Brett, and is adjusting to life without his noisy brothers.
Yorick, of course, will stay in town to be close to Rosy. Elsja is ecstatic to be part of his host family for the next few years!
While the family–canine and human–has very mixed feelings about being separated by the Atlantic Ocean for the next few years, we parted on good terms, and with every confidence that everyone will be in good hands. Here we all are (minus Christian who was on a school trip) the Sunday before the human part of the family got on the plane for Kenya.
And as chance would have it, look what we found in our first week in Eldoret!
This is Mbwa, which means “dog” in Swahili. We found him in the furniture shop when we were looking for living room furniture (notice the black and orange chair Jacob is sitting in).
Hamlet and Yorick are not forgotten, but the arrival of Mbwa helps to ease the dog-shaped hole in our hearts as we leave the kooikers in the care of others for a while.
Elsje, Rose, Yorick and Hamlet
During the first year we were in Kenya, Hamlet made his way from Bret’s care to Elsje’s care, happily reunited with Yorick. This is where he will stay.
Look at his front paws.
Talk about jumping thru hoops! I didn’t expect this to be easy. But after a preliminary look at the requirements and expense necessary to import an adult dog into Kenya, I’m almost ready to give up and leave Hamlet here.
He’s quite precise, but not particularly quick. Yet.
Now from the beginning, this has not been an easy decision. Hamlet is turning 12 this summer, and his sensitive nature makes stressful situations harder on him in his old age. He shakes and trembles at the vet’s office, or if there’s thunder in the air. During hunting season, he’s a mess–even a distant, muted gunshot brings him trembling to my side, delicate paw raised, head turned. He hates being apart from me. Sometime I’ll lure him into the study with food when I’m leaving, and he would rather go with me than eat.
I’m conscious of how stressful such a long trip will be. I just got his geriatric blood analysis, and the good news is that his levels are normal, and he’s doing pretty well for a 69 year old guy! (A dog his size ages at about 5.75 human years per dog year, according to the chart I got.) What do you expect from an old dog who learns new tricks in the agility ring every week!
So I’m trying to weigh the options, and neither one is good.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Option One. Subject loyal, sensitive, older dog to the trauma of a two-day flight from Dulles to Nairobi. I’m not sure how strictly the Kenyan rules for travel will be enforced, but according to their import rules, Hamlet is not allowed to leave his crate or the baggage area at any time during transit, even during a layover, to ensure that he does not contact any other animals and pick up a disease. A Captain’s Affidavit is required to document his isolation. SO . . . he’ll have to be in his crate for the entire two-day journey.
If he makes the trip successfully, he must then adjust to a different place, different environment, different food, and different cultural expectations for a pet dog. Then three years later, when he’s 15, he will have to survive the return trip!
Option Two. Leave loyal, sensitive, older dog with my good friend Brett. (Brett’s mother is Jorie, who owns Bianca, mom to Litters C and D.) I can see Hamlet moving to Illinois with Brett and Jake, a Basenji, and keeping Brett company while he earns a PHD in public health.
Christian, Andrew, and Hamlet, 2001
But I can’t see my next three years without Hamlet! Here’s the rub. Although I’ve shared my life with four kooikers, Hamlet is my “heart dog.” He came to us between boy #2 and boy #3, and has been one of the guys for 12 years. He was with me through the deaths of my father-in-law (2002), my first husband (2005), and my father (2005). He was with me when I married Bruce in 2010. I can’t imagine going on this next adventure in my life without him!
What would Hamlet want?
Bruce with Hamlet and Yorick, 2009
What a difference one week makes. New York City was battered by the worst storm in its history the last weekend in October.
Sandy visits havoc on NYC
The previous weekend, however–October 20 and 21–was mild and sunny, a perfect fall day for a walk along the Hudson River.
Looking at boats and enjoying the sunshine.
Rose, Yorick, and Hamlet
Why are our Virginia dogs in NYC? For the Meet the Breed dog show in the Jacob Javits Center!
The dogs pose with a statue of Senator Jacob Javits at the convention center.
It also happened to be my sister Joyce’s 50th birthday–and Andrew’s 13th–so we went to the city to celebrate in style.
Andrew and Aunt Joyce celebrate their birthday weekend with a bit of craziness!
A nice group of KCUSA memebers were able to attend the MTB event. The most FAQ was: “How do you pronounce that?” By the end of the day, I was hoarse from saying “Nederlandse Kooikerhondje!”
While at the conventions, Hamlet and Yorick were able to pass their Canine Good Citizenship test, and were awarded caps, which everyone enjoyed.
Who’s a Canine Good Citizen?
Kidogo mzee na kubwa bwana!
I’ve always had a fondness for Rhodesian Ridgebacks since I grew up in Kenya and one of these majestic animals was my next door neighbor. Since those early days in Nairobi, I haven’t had much opportunity to see these dogs again until my husband’s cousin got one a few years ago.
Last weekend at the Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows, we got another opportunity to see lots of these dogs close up. We were there representing the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje at the Meet the Breed booths. We had a breed Fun Match with AKC judge Marie Povilitis, who was also there exhibiting her Rhodesians.
Another favorite breed (don’t worry guys, I’m still nuts about you kooikers and not looking for a different breed to replace you!!) is the bizarre-looking Borzoi. The ones shown here both won their Grand Champion titles during these shows, and are magnificent indeed!
Conquored by Kooikers!
Rosy, along with Hamlet, Yorick, and other representatives of the Kooikerhondje Club of the USA, participated in the Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows on March 3 & 4. Rosy was exactly eight months old on Friday, the day we drove up to Michigan.
On Saturday, she decided that with 1000 intact male dogs at the Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, it would be a good time to go into heat! It took me a while to realize what was going on, since in my experience kooikers are slower to mature and go into heat when they are a little older. The male kooikers at the Meet the Breed booth, where we were all stationed, were interested in her, but no one was being obnoxious about it. Then I saw a telltale spot of blood on the concrete floor and thought to check her tail. Sure enough, her white breeches were marked here and there with red!
Poor dear traveled all that way, and spent most of the weekend in her crate! She was still able to earn a ribbon for Best Female Puppy (OK, she was the only girl puppy there, but I’m sure she deserved it nevertheless!) and second place to Rosewood’s Dragon for Best Puppy overall.
Of course, now that she’s a young lady, we can’t keep calling her a puppy, can we?
Rosy 9 months
The Kooikerhondje Club of the USA (KCUSA) held it’s fourth Fun Match last weekend in Weyers Cave, VA. Participating were 10 dogs from five different states: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Next year’s Match will be held in a different geographic location to accommodate the kooiker population not on the East Coast!
AKC judge Carol Noe was the professional eye evaluating the animals on that sun-splashed autumn afternoon. Many of the dogs and owners were in the ring for the first time, and Carol was patient in explaining what was expected of everybody.
Fall Fun Match Participants
We took four Rosewood dogs to the Match: Hamlet, Elsinore, Yorick, and the new puppy, Rosalind. One of the advantages of having a very small number of participants in each category was that every dog placed and got a ribbon!
Hamlet and my niece Carissa
Taga’s Quarto-Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: ……….. First Place, Altered Adult
Joyce and Elsie
Taga’s Weika, Lady Elsinore………………………….First Place, Altered Female
Rose and Yorick
Germanic (Yorick)…………………………………… Second Place, Intact Male
Pat and Dwayne Martin with AKC judge Carol Noe and Rosy
Ammervills Rosalind……………………………………………Best Puppy
Two other Rosewood dogs were there–Duncan and Dragon, litter-mates from Bianca’s and Yorick’s litter this June.
Dragon takes Nathan for a turn around the ring.
Wayne and Duncan show their confidence in the ring.
Rosewood’s Hamlet featured in Dogs 101
Dogs 101 Season 3 Episode 5 featureing the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is now posted on the Animal Planet web site! The episode first aired November 27, 2010 at 9:00 p.m.
The one-hour episode focuses on large and small breeds, and features the Kooikerhondje (including Hamlet and Elsie, as well as other Rosewood dogs), the Leonberger, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Tibetan Mastiff, and Affenpinscher.
The video available on Animal Planet only streams the first two minutes of the episode, and doesn’t show the eendenkooi work for which the dog was developed. To watch a kooi-dog in action, you can buy the entire episode from Amazon Video on Demand for $1.99. The kooikerhondje segment begins at minute 31:45.
A Call About Dogs 101, Spring 2008
In the Fifth Avenue studio for Powderhouse Productions
I was sitting in my sister-in-law’s living room when my cell phone rang. It was a producer from Powderhouse Productions, who creates Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 series. They were featuring rare breeds in an upcoming season, and had seen the Rosewood website. They wanted to know if we were interested Continue reading Rose’s Dog Blog—The Animal Planet Dogs 101 Story
These pictures were taken on June 6, 2010. Hamlet is getting to be an old man, and turned nine on June 28. He can still run with the best of them, and doesn’t let Yorick push him around! Yorick is almost one year old in these photos (his birthday is July 24).
Yorick is a bright kid–in the space of a couple of minutes, I taught him to stand on a rock, stay, and jump off on command. Hammie might think this is ridiculous entertainment, but that doesn’t keep him from joining in and having fun! Click on the photo to enjoy the slideshow.
[flickr album=72157624379479916 num=5 size=Square]
Hamlet and Yorick on a Sunny Afternoon
Hamlet, two years, 16.25 in. (41.23 cm.) 28 lbs.
Hamlet left profile, two years.
Taga’s Quarto-Hamlet, Prince of Denmark answers to Hamlet or Hammie. He was born on June 28, 2001 in Denmark. He’s a quick study in obedience, and eager, eager, eager to please. Although Elsie annoys him to distraction sometimes, he is generally a quiet, laid back young prince and doesn’t take himself too seriously. How could he, with those freckles?
After unsuccessful attempts to breed Hamlet, he was discovered to be infertile. This appears to be a random occurrence, and is not due to health or hereditary issues. There have been no fertility studies done on kooikerhondjes. He was neutered in 2005 and is unavailable as a stud dog, and all of his excellent qualities are retired from the kooiker gene pool!
To read more about Hamlet, visit here.
|PEDIGREE FOR HAMLET
|Taga’s Quarto-Hamlet, Prince of Denmark|
AKC reg. SR36054001
UKC reg. R153-856
DOB June 28, 2001
|Sire: Corak Urjette v. Muskyteira||S: Boris-Timmy V.D. Hemke Hoeve||S: Boris V. Rietwijk
|D: Urjette Coranne V. Muskyteira||S: Dodo
|D: Coranne Omaira V.D. Stam Dolerna
|Dam: Taga’s Erika||S: Taga’s Gino||S: Taga’s Brutus Of Tjemme
|D: Taga’s Abby Of Rakker
|D: Taga’s Joy A Julie||S: Taga’s Andy Of Rakker
|D: Franziska De Princespioen