February 21, 2015

Beretta aka DM She's A Pistol

Last June, our Glory Girl whelped a single puppy - Beretta.  I've not really been writing anything since then, as Ms. Beretta is keeping me hopping! I did lose 20 lbs and I swear it's because I'm constantly on the move after her.

Beretta - 6 months of age
As of today, it looks like Beretta's first dog show, our little debutante's coming out party, will be here in Albuquerque on Mother's Day weekend. The judges that weekend should be good with puppies: Russ McFadden, Barbara Rupert, Molly Martin, and Howard Yost.  Not sure how many days I'm going to enter the little twerp.  Much depends upon how she continues to mature and how strong she is by then. Right now, I'd probably enter her all 4 days.  LOL...  She is a pistol!

As much as I love all my dogs, Beretta is probably the finest one that I have bred, at least with regards to conformation.  Running a close 2nd is her Uncle Banner.  Glory, her dam, most definitely produced better than herself.  It is right & proper to mention the other half of Beretta's genetics, her sire: Lux, Fr & US Ch Denetorn des Legendes du Moyen Age.

Much has been made by some about this breeding because I used a foreign import and some have said using him is a departure from what I would usually use.  I contend they are incorrect and have assumed that he is different than what I'd use. My breeding method is pretty much phenotype to phenotype. I pay attention to pedigree, but that is not the overall driving force.  I pay more attention to the physical attributes of the dogs and whether those attributes are complimentary to each other.

Aged 4 months
What really drew me to using Denetorn was not only his physical attributes (great shoulders, great return of upper arm, etc) but also that his pedigree ties in with Glory's several generations back. This is, in reality, a loose line breeding on Ch Shalfleet Sea Dancer, Ch Aroi Talk of the Blues, and Ch Ekohils Wizard of Oz.  Yes, they are back further in the pedigree, but I'm a believer in Enrico Tesio's methods of a balanced pedigree and in emphasizing dam lines over sire lines. In thoroughbreds, it's called the X-Factor.  For more on the X-Factor in greyhounds, please check out this article: The X-Factor in Greyhounds.

Other reasons for using Denetorn included, in no particular order, his availability to be bred to Glory, a bitch without a "fashionable" pedigree in show circles.  Many, many stud owners were contacted prior to Rachel Martin (Denetorn's owner) and I reaching an agreement. Most rejected my advances on no basis other than her pedigree, which is 1/2 racing blood.  She was rejected sight unseen, for the most part and some of those rejections were just downright nasty. One such example from a noted breeder who was most admired at one time,
"I've never seen a 1/2 & 1/2 bitch worthy to be shown, let alone bred." 
Three Generations: Abbey, Beretta & Glory
I find that very sad as Beretta is based upon her lines and her old dogs, excepting the racing blood.  We are proud of her racing heritage. She comes from some of the finest lines in the racing world, combining the blood of the Hall of Fame stayer, Dutch Bahama; the great staying bitch Malka; the incredible sprinter & Hall of Famer, Downing; the outstanding producer Buzz Off, and many others. There is a long history behind her of outstanding stayers, long distance runners, starting with her granddam, Abbey Lou.

Of the great Malka, Dennis McKeon related this story of Downing's 1978 American Derby win. The story is reprinted here with permission from the Grey2K Lies blog.
"These are my personal recollections of Downing's Amercian Derby win.....
And guys...I remember Downing's American Derby .....he was a prohibitive favorite....after making the switch to the other side, he had literally run away and hid from the best dogs that the country's elite kennels might offer up as competition---or as sacrifice----it hadn't really mattered..........
He was a sharp breaker, and an astonishing turn runner-----and though nearly 80 lbs, and as long as the Kansas horizon is wide----he could literally run "under the rails"....and accelerate into, through and off the turns----and if, by some stroke of serendipity, you found yourself ahead of him, on the rail and in his way----he would put you over the rail to take his line.
So the ONLY way he could lose, was if he broke down, or if he missed his break.....and you know what?...... he missed his break----missed it by a mile....and he came out with his nose in the dirt, stumbling---nearly falling----and the entire field easily out-trapped the fast-trapper. There was a collective gasp from the incredulous crowd. Luckily, the 2 lane had not quite closed up on him. Gifted athlete that he was---in the blink of an eye---he somehow, miraculously, managed to right himself----and exploded through the hole which had remained open to him.
He had seized the lead before they even hit the turn, and drew off to a commanding advantage as he poured it on---like a soundwave.... through the stretch, around the curtain turn, and past the toteboard-----his speed was enthralling, unlike anything I had ever witnessed----it thumped right through your chest, and took your breath away... like the music of a runaway locmotive......yet due to his early miscalculations and exertions, he was pretty much spent at the top of the lane....all alone.......and all done.....
He had lost his action, and his stride was shortening with each diminutive leap forward...and at precisely that most desperate of moments----that sobering, split-second before the shattering of every illusion---- the great stayer---Malka---had begun to uncork her prodigious run.....which was as deep as the Pacific...and at once, as powerful and unfathomable.
The insurmountable lead was shrinking fast now, to about 6 lengths entering the final straight---- and Malka appeared to have caught the jetstream itself, as she zeroed in on him----with Downing laboring mightily, just to keep a straight line----the deafening roar of the 12,000 or so spectators, who had come to see a legend ...in his own and their own time... lent an air of unreality to the whole, desperate spectacle...
And time itself had become glacial, as it passed...as they played out that age-old struggle.....and... with the one, impossible, outrageous, colossal surge ---Downing lunged for the wire....the ghosts of Real Huntsman, Oklahoman and On the Line were awakened from their eternal reveries by the sheer genius of it.....to rightly bear witness to this galvanizing moment, for once and for all time ... as Malka, a burgeoning, bursting tidal wave now ----bore down on him, cresting, from mid-track to his flank.... closer and closer she rolled.....
That he managed, somehow, to hold on---by a dissipating 3/4 of a length or so---was the true measure of his faultless courage and his supernatural greatness....Malka was past him a couple of jumps after the wire, and clear by 3 as they ran up to the curtain.
It was the only moment in his life---the very instant when he had actually grasped his immortality----- that he had ever appeared to be mortal ."
Beretta is Denetorn's first American offspring and we think she's a good one.  We are looking forward to her exploits in the breed ring and on the coursing fields.  We think she'll improve, like a fine wine, with age.

November 14, 2014

National Purebred Dog Day Campaign - What Happens If

Tonight, our campaign broke the $9,000 mark!  There are ebbs and flows to this campaign, and I still believe that it has yet to go viral in a way I think is entirely possible. The message of the video is solid, and the more people who see it, the more buzz there is about what National Purebred Dog Day is doing, and what it can accomplish.

Imagine one of those inane (and often inaccurate) lists we find on Yahoo or the Huffington Post claiming to know the "Top Ten Most (fill in the blank) Breeds" being replaced by the results of a survey of 35,000 purebred dog owners who know what they're talking about?  Those 35,000 people are the fans of the NPDD page!

This is what a grassroots movement looks like, friends, and you've helped advance it. Each one of you.  And what does it look like when those efforts get noticed? Like this:

National Purebred Dog Day's campaign was named Number One in KickSpy's Top 100 Campaigns in Journalism as of tonight. Let's keep it going!

In checking the progress of the campaign the other day, I became concerned when the progress graph flat lined.  The fundraising effort was stagnant.  It didn't go anywhere for  24 hours. You know, I really dislike seeing flat lines in graphs.

My guess for the flat line is that people are afraid to support a movement for purebred dogs, for the breeders of purebred dogs. Too  many people are afraid of alienating their friends, fans base or audience. After all, it isn't politically correct.  The PC police may come after us. 

That's one reason why this grassroots effort is being made; why it must be successful; and why those of us who stand to lose the most must support it. The rich and famous will always be able to get whatever kind of dog they want. Who will suffer? Guess. We & the dogs do.  This is time to call in favors, reach out to the people we know with a bully pulpit, anyone with a blog, massive Twitter audience, or even write to a celeb.

And finally, I've been asked what happens not only if the goal isn't met, but if it is.  Since I won't entertain negative thoughts about the campaign right now, I'll answer the last question.  If the goal is met before the deadline, I hope people keep donating! Why? Two reasons: First, because, as my mom always used to say, things always cost more than you think they will. If I missed something in calculating expenses, it'd be nice to have that cushion. Second, if, and it's a big if, some of the donations have been made by people unsympathetic to our cause who intend to pull them at the 11th hour thereby dooming us to fail, a cushion would protect against that.

Till the next update, keep up the good fight, keep sharing the Kickstarter link and the video, talk about it with your friends, and love your purebred dogs.