[As told by Pat and Dwayne Martin, Rosy's parents.]
Saturday and Sunday, Oct 5 and 6, the Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club held its annual Agility Trials in Weyer’s Cave, Virginia. Pat and Dwayne Martin entered their Kooikerhondje, Rosy, and Elsje MacDonald entered Yorick, whom she is keeping for Rose while the family is in Kenya. Elsje handled both dogs during the competition. We are very thankful for Elsje’s dog-training abilities and enthusiasm. Dwayne tried it and concluded that it isn’t where his talents lie! Elsje’s mother is Dutch, which may explain her daughter’s affinity for Kooikerhondjes.
The competition had two parts. First came the “Jumps with Weaves.” Both dogs had performed this over and over again at “Love on a Leash,” but when it came time to do it in an actual competition, Rosy was so glad to be out of her crate that she just ran around and around in circles on the grass, and disqualified herself. Yorick just walked around and sniffed everything and refused to run.
But in the “Standard” Rosy performed perfectly and got first prize, a blue ribbon. Yorick also did very well but disqualified himself by peeing!
Sunday afternoon the competition repeated itself. Both dogs did very well in the “Jumps and Weaves,” but they each made a jump in the wrong direction and disqualified themselves. In the “Standard,” Rosy ran into the tunnel and wouldn’t come out until Wendy (the agility instructor at Love on a Leash) crawled in and pull her out! Yorick did very well, but was a little slow and so did not get a ribbon.
Most importantly, we all had fun!
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).
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 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.
On Friday March 8, Yorick and Rosy attended an open show hosted by the American Boerboel Club at our local Rockingham County Fairgrounds. Dwayne Martin handled Rosy, and Elsje McDonald, 12, handled Yorick. Rosy now has two points towards her Championship. Here is a write-up about the event in Elsje’s words:
“A few weeks ago, Yorick and I went to our first dog show. When we got there we had lots of time to walk around and meet lots of other dogs. We had to wait for what seemed like forever but finally it was the Kooiker’s turn in the ring. At first it was just Yorick and I, we won first place of male kooikerhondjes! (he was the only male).
Next Rosy went into the ring and won first place for female kooikerhondjes! (She was also the only female there.)
After those rounds they both wentinto the ring and Rosy won best of breed and Yorick won best opposite sex. Later Rosy went back into the ring with a Russian toy dog and a Swedish farm dog and she won second place.
After we were all done Dwayne and I posed for pictures with our little champions.”
–Written by Elsje McDonald, age 12, Yorick’s jr. handler.
Hamlet may very well be the first kooikerhondje to live in Africa! His family has accepted a job which is taking them to Western Kenya for the next several years, beginning in June of 2013. Hamlet’s parents, Rose and Bruce, both spent part of their childhoods in East Africa, and are excited to move back “home” with their own children.
Plans right now are for Hamlet to go to Kenya with his family of six humans. Hamlet will turn 13 this summer, and his parents are well aware of how stressful a trans-Atlantic move will be for him. They are trying to do what is best for him. If any of you readers have experience making an international move with an older dog, please post a comment or suggestion!
Yorick will stay in Harrisonburg to be close to Rosalind. He will be living with the McDonald family, where he will be showered with affection–particularly from his new junior handler and agility partner Elsje, who also has Dutch ancestry. Elsje’s mother is from The Netherlands, as are Yorick and Rosalind.
Hamlet was born in Denmark, and traveled to Iowa as a puppy in 2002. He then moved to Virginia in 2004, where he has been living ever since. In summer of 2013, when he moves to Eldoret, Kenya, he will truly be an international traveler!
What does this move mean for Rosewood Kooikerhondjes? Our two breeding dogs, Rosalind and Yorick, will stay in Virginia with their host families, the Martins and the McDonalds. Our plans for a litter this year will remain. Rose Shenk will continue to be involved in the Rosewood community from her position in Kenya. Joyce Shenk Maxwell and auntie Elsie will also stay connected from their location in Boston.
What a difference one week makes. New York City was battered by the worst storm in its history the last weekend in October.
The previous weekend, however–October 20 and 21–was mild and sunny, a perfect fall day for a walk along the Hudson River.
Why are our Virginia dogs in NYC? For the Meet the Breed dog show in the Jacob Javits 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.
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.
For their one-year updates, a few of Yorick’s puppies submitted photos of their gorgeous selves lounging on their favorite couches. Not to be outdone, Yorick indulged me in a photo shoot of him on his favorite couch, and here he is: Papa Yorick, the couch potato king!
Here are five males from Yorick’s first litter, all lounging on their favorite divans. How majestic! They were a year old on June 10, 2012.
We had a visit from Dragon (usually called “Dunkie”) and his pack, Rosie (RedGold’s Christmas Elegance), Nathan, and Karen. After lunch at a favorite local restaurant, we took everyone out to the farm so the dogs could run around. It was a windy day, and everyone was in good spirits!
Dragon is a city dog, and had never been off leash where he could run around. He barked at the horses, startled at the guinea-fowl, and glared at the goats. Grass! You can dig in this! He was well-entertained, and we had a kick watching his antics.
Here’s how the father and son line up! The visit happened on April 10, so Dragon (Litter D, June 10, 2011) was exactly 10 months old.
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!
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?