Rosewood Retires from Breeding

Our newest female, Ammerville’s Rosalind Layka, has been retired as a breeding dog. We tried through several cycles to breed her, using natural and artificial methods, and she would not conceive. We have decided to spare her the stress of more invasive procedures, and have changed her status from breeding mama to beloved pet.

Rosewood has always been a small kennel, and the welfare of our dogs has been our greatest concern. Rosy has never shown signs of wanting to be a mother, and even when we forced the issue, she declined to become pregnant. With her retirement, we have only one potential breeding dog remaining, our intact male, Yorick.

We humans are sad to enter this phase of our history, but all our dogs are in forever homes and are as happy as dogs can be.

Rosewood, the Happy Dog Place (and the people are pretty tickled, too!

Yorick Goes to Lexington

Elsje and Yorick at the Lexington Trial

This past weekend I entered Yorick in another dog show! The dog show was at the Lexington Horse Center. I ran Yorick in two classes, JWW and STD. He did great in both of them.

Good boy, Yorick!

In JWW he listened to everything I told him and did great, but he was just not fast enough.


In the next class STD Yorick was so good! He had 75 seconds to complete the course and he did it in 53.22. He qualified and got a first place ribbon! Although he still doesn’t get why I made such a big fuss over the ribbon, he was happy with all the praises and cookies. So we all went home happy; Me with the ribbon and Yorick with his new raccoon toy he got for being such a good boy.

Written by Elsje McDonald

Rosy Wins At Agility Trial

[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!

Where in the World is the Rosewood Family?

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).

Mbwa Ndogo

Mbwa Kubwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           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.


Should he stay, or should he go?

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

Yorick and Rosy Represent the Neds Kooi-Dog at their First Open Show!

Dwayne and Elsje, Rosy and Yorick at the Open Show, March 8

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.











Cover Girl

I knew Rosy’s mom Pat Martin was an artist, but I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I stopped in to pick up Rosy for an agility lesson. I saw this framed portrait hanging in the Martin’s living room!

Rosy captured in water color by Pat Martin

Hamlet and Yorick Visit the Big Apple

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?

Dragon at the AKC Meet The Breed, NYC

At the Kooiker Booth (photo courtesy of Pierre Revol)

It was an amazing day! I can’t tell you how many people came to our table squealing excitedly, “I came here just to meet these dogs!” There’s a huge cohort of people out there who saw the Dogs 101 Kooiker segment and felt that they had to see one and hope to adopt one. Pierre and Harry were there Sat morning and DuncanDragon and I arrived around midday, expecting to stay til 2 pm. Pierre and Harry hung around til after 3 pm, and Dunkie and I stayed til the 5 pm closing time. Every time I tried to slip out, there would be another swell of people squealing and oohing and aahing. Dunkie was a real trooper — after five hours of hard labor as the Kooiker Emissary, he was still cheerful and chipper as we left the expo hall. Two blocks away from Javits Center, people were coming up to us and asking, variously, what kind of dog Dunkie is, and if he’s a kooikerhondje or — in the alternative — “one of those duck dogs that was on Animal Planet.” At one point in the afternoon, a woman with a Leonberger tag came over and we bonded over having had “our” respective dogs in the same episod of Dogs 101.

Dragon and Harry (photo courtesy of Pierre Revol)

Harry is clearly Rosy puppy’s sister — the similarity is astonishing. He’s a like-minded kooiker soul, with great dignity and elegance. Harry weight 18 lbs at four months to Dunkie’s 20.5 lbs at five months, but Harry seems to have a much smaller frame than Dunkie. Immediately upon meeting, Harry and Dunkie began acting like old old friends, rumbling and playing and tussling with such ease and familiarity that visitors to the table assumed they live together.

Harry and Baby (photo courtesy of Pierre Revol)

At one point, several people came to the table and announced that the two kooikers were, without doubt, the cutest most irresistible dogs in the entire hall. (And this was with some pretty stiff competition!)

I’m extremely hoarse from having said “It’s pronounced kooikerhondje” at least 600 times today. Dunkie barely made it to his food bowl and water bowl before he plopped down on his pillow and fell deeply asleep. Looks good to me!

Pierre and Harry will be there Sunday morning, and a “mystery kooiker” will be coming with a Thomas Tresen in the afternoon tomorrow, as will and Dunkie and I. Looking forward to another day of kooiker-filled fun and exhaustion!

–Karen Dean, Nov. 13 2011

Fourth Annual Fun Match, October 8 2011

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.