Sunday, January 27, 2013

Puppies 1st Match Show

Chloe, Grayhart's Walk this Way
 Last weekend, we took a trip to Long Island to attend the Long Island Kennel Club AKC Sanctioned Match Show with two of our Rockstar litter (Summit x Jam) pups, Chloe and Ember.  A match show is an informal dog show where no champion points are awarded and usually dogs with major wins are not allowed to compete.  It is a great opportunity to introduce puppies to the show environment, with all the sounds, smells and distractions and get them in the show ring for training in a fun way. It was nice day for the puppy owners and friends who joined us to launch Ember and Chloe's show careers.

 We were thrilled with how well our pups did for their first time at a match show and first time worked with show leads on.  Our good friend, Bonnie Lane of HiBourne, handled Chloe while I handled Ember.  In the Weimaraner puppy class, Chloe beat Ember.  Then Chloe went on to earn a Puppy Sporting Group 3!
Ember, Grayhart's Light My Fire
Ember was entered in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class and was the only Weim so she went on to the BBE Sporting Group and won!  Ember and I had the chance to show in the big Best in Show ring and it was a blast.  She was by far the youngest but the cutest in my opinion.  She received many compliments from  a number of experienced breeders and we were proud of our little star.
Ember on the move, a little blurry but a cool shot while she struts her stuff and a video of her below:

We also had Jam, CH Grayhart's Purple Haze,CD,JH,OA,OAJ,SD,VX, (Parker x Trixie) there in the FEO or For Exhibition Only to get her ready for Westminster.  Jam has not been in the show ring since last summer and looks fabulous after having pups less than five months ago.  Steve Lane, owner of Jam's sire, Parker, handled Jam:

Bliss get back-to-back Group 2s!!!

Huge congratulations to Jen Boyd and Bliss, Grayhart's Launch My Line, for winning back-to-back Sporting Group 2 placements at the Alaskan Kennel Club and Kenai Kennel Club shows this weekend!

Very proud of this awesome team and we can't wait to see their official win photos!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Savi is now a Pet Partners Therapy Dog!

Last Sunday,Savi, CH Grayhart's Shear Genius, SH, NSD, NRD,V, and I underwent and passed with flying colors, the evaluation for the Pet Partners, formerly Delta Society, Therapy Dog Program. The test was given in New York City by Anita Sacks, a certified Pet Partner Evaluator.

What is unique about this program is that both the dog and handler are tested on their skills and aptitude as relating to what it takes to being a successful and safe team able to visit various environments. I was so proud of Savi, who did an awesome job, and received wonderful feedback from our evaluator on her terrific, outgoing temperament.

From the Pet Partners Website:

Pet Partners® program trains volunteers and screens volunteers and their pets for visiting animal programs in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and other facilities.
The Pet Partners program was established in 1990 to ensure that "both ends of the leash," people as well as animals, were well-prepared to participate in animal-assisted activity and animal-assisted therapy programs. Pet Partners is the only national registry that requires volunteer training and screening of animal-handler teams.

Pet Partners national network links volunteers with facilities in their own communities that request visiting pets and helps Pet Partners contact facilities to begin visits in new locations.
The evaluation consists of two parts, Skills and Aptitude.  Above shows the dog at the beginning of an overall exam and then the tester will move on to clumsy petting and a restraining hug.  Savi gave Anita lots of kisses whenever she could and was allowed.
The dog must have basic obedience skills and do these with distractions, ranging from yelling, staggering individuals, getting bumped from behind and being crowded and petted by a group of people.  Above, shows a stay.  The dog is kept on a long lead for safety purposes.
The last exercise was accepting a treat.  The dog must do this in a polite manner and the evaluator must not feel teeth.  It is also important that the handler show or tell the person how they are to give the dog a treat.
And we have a new Therapy Team!!!

Thanks to my good friend, Kellyann for the terrific photos and our puppy people, Aimee, Michael Rosalie and Danielle for helping make the entire test day a success!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Busy bees

Wow, it has been absolutely non-stop busy here and updating the blog has fallen to the bottom of my to-do list.  We have lots of exciting news and stories to tell.  Agility news from Sky, training fabulosity from Rigby, puppy match wins for Chloe and Ember and a new Pet Partner Therapy Dog - Savi!
Until we have the full updates, here is a terrific shot from Central Park, where we took the pups on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
From left to right: Chloe, Savi and Ember. Chloe and Ember are littermates from our Summit x Jam litter, now 4 1/2 months old.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pet Partners Video Star Jam!

Jam and I had an exciting day! We were honored and thrilled to be asked to be one of the therapy dog teams to be chosen to be included in the new Pet Partners promotional video!  It all started last summer, when I was down in South Carolina to have Jam bred to Summit, and received a phone call from the VP of Marketing at Pet Partners, calling to find out if I would be interested in participating in their new promotional video.  Apparently, our Pet Partner mentor, Anita, had recommended us based on the noteworthy work Jam and I have done at the YAI group home we visit.  The video was in the planning stages and they were waiting for a grant to be approved which would provide the funding for the project.

Fast forward and two weeks ago we received the call that the grant was approved and the video was going to be shot.  Jam and I were filmed during our visit to the group home for developmentally disabled adult men, especially with one special consumer who has an amazing bond with Jam and me.   The taping also included an interview and we were asked many questions on how we became involved in dog therapy work, our observations on the effects of Jam on the consumers as well as how others can become involved with Pet Partners.  It was a fun and amazing experience, making me reflect on what our visits mean to others as well as how they have effected me.  I am blessed to have this special dog who can make such an incredible difference in peoples lives.

As soon as the video is available, I will share it on the blog.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday to our Bravo litter!

 Happy Birthday to our Bravo Pups who turn three today!  

These pups are sired by Clay, BIS CH Bzyfeet American Idol, BROM and out of Trixie, CH GraytSky's I'm Not Really A Waitress, CD, RN, AX, OAJ, V, BROM
Top row l-r: Treynor, Logan, Memphis, Bliss, Bravo
Bottom: Savi, Whitmore, Tallulah

These pups have won the hearts of their owners and everyone they meet.  Thank you to all the wonderful owners for not only giving these pups the best homes but letting them shine!  We have also made incredible friendships through the mutual love of these pups.

We are proud of the accomplishments of this litter in such a short period of time:
  • Bravo,  Multiple Best of Breed winner, GCH Grayhart Crescent's Bravo, CGC. With limited showing, Bravo finished 2012 the #15 Weimaraner in the country! AKC Grand Champion with multiple Best of Breed wins, and was Best Dog in the 2011 Western Futurity!
  • Bliss, Grayhart's Launch My Line, futurity placing and at a very competitive 2011 WCA Nationals, placed in almost every class.
  • Savi, CH Grayhart's Shear Genius,SH,NSD,NRD,V,CGC, our keeper and star.  Futurity placing, she finished her championship with going Best of Winners for 5-point and 3-point majors from the Bred-By-Exhibitor class. Savi earned her Senior Hunter title and has NA and NAJ agility legs with placements and only needs one more novice leg to earn her CD, Companion Dog obedience title. She is in training to be a PetPartner therapy dog.  Her modeling career continues and Savi has appeared in ads for Swiffer, the Gap and in British Vogue.
  • This will be an important year for Savi as she will be bred to Parker, Group Placing, Multiple Best of Breed, GCH HiBourne's It's All About Me, BROM.

We look forward to watching these pups continue to grow and blossom.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Super Chloe

Caped crusader Chloe, Grayhart's Walk this Way (Summit x Jam). 

Keeping the citizens of Gotham safe at night!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Snow hike

Both the two-legged and four-legged family members enjoyed a hike on the snow covered trails at Harriman State park yesterday.  The weather was unusually warm and the trails were safe to walk on with little ice.  The dogs had a blast, ranging out and running all over the woods.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Most liked pics of 2012

A fun Facebook app made this cool collage of our most "liked" photos of 2012.  Are you surprised that the top picks are of puppies?  Brings cuteness to a new level...and these are all from our Rockstar litter!  Top left, Jam with newborn pup Miss Stripe aka Ella, top right, our breeding announcement for our Rockstar litter of Summit and Jam.  Bottom left, Miss Green, aka Ember, and bottom right, Miss Leopard aka Gabi at 8 weeks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! Our 2012 Year in Review

Trixie, photo by Brand Studio
Our 2012 Year in Review

Wow, 2012 was a busy year full of family, friends and of course, Weims. We couldn't have imagined all the fun times and successes brought by the Grayhart dogs and their dedicated owners.  We also experienced some heartaches with a breeding that didn't take and the loss of a newborn puppy.  We tube fed and nursed puppies around the clock and lived the expression "breeding is not for the faint of heart."  Hurricane Sandy left her mark on our house, damaged by trees and without power for 17 days, our Rockstar litter, was unfazed by all this and have the most solid temperaments as a result.  Through the good times and bad, our dedication and passion for the breed remained steadfast and we look forward to continuing our role as breeders, mentors and exhibitors.

Highlights of the year included our Grayhart Southern Adventure in July, when we took a road trip down South, first to Charleston to spend time with Elena & Gary Lamberson to breed Jam to their boy, Summit, and then met up with Debbie Moody & Sky, (plus KellyAnn Kwiatek who flew down to join us), to compete at the Tarheel Weimaraner Club Agility trial in North Carolina, hike in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and then attend the shows and obedience trials in Greenville, SC. We also spent time in Ohio with Denny & Linda Keeton, who trained Savi for her Senior Hunter title, and saw many of our Ohio friends.  Family vacations to Cape Cod and St. John were wonderful and relaxing.

We had two new Champions: Congratulations to Trudy & Savi!  Plus many exciting successes in multiple venues, from conformation, agility, obedience and field.  We also continued making therapy dog visits, worked as the WCA Legislative Liaison and volunteered for TriState Weimaraner Rescue.  My role as Legislative Liaison will wind down in 2013 as it is time to pass the baton and I will be the new WCA Public Education Coordinator, a role I am very excited to take on.

We are grateful for all the support of our wonderful puppy people who give our pups the best homes possible.  We could not have done it without the help of my wonderful mentors and friends, Amy Anderson and Bonnie Lane.
We hope 2013 will bring everyone good health, happiness and prosperity!
Highlights of 2012:

Trixie, CH GraytSky's I'm Not Really A Waitress, CD,RN,AX,OAJ, V, BROM:
  • Trixie had a successful year with limited showing, her focus now on agility.
  • At the Tarheel Weimaraner Club Agility trial, Trixie won the High Combined award for Highest Scoring Weimaraner, double qualified and completed her Agility Excellent (AX) title with a 1st place! Her daughter, Jam, won this award in 2011.
  • Trixie finished the year with 2 Master Excellent agility legs (MX) and 13 MACH points plus 2 AXJ legs, both with placements.
  • We found out in early 2012, that Trixie had tied for #2 WCA 2011 Top Producer with 4 Champions to have finished in 2011.  She was also on the WCA 2011 Top 10 FROM Dam list.
  • Two of our Grayhart bred pups out of Trixie finished their AKC Championship titles in 2012!  Trixie has produced eight champions to date and we look forward to more of her pups completing their championship titles in 2013.
  • Trixie became a Pet Partners Therapy Dog (formerly Delta Society) and filled in, while Jam was on maternity leave, to visit a group home for developmentally disabled adult men.
Trixie-Parker pups born May 28, 2008, were busy in 2012:
Jam with Supermodel Coco Rocha for Longchamp
  • Jam, CH Grayhart's Purple Haze, CD,JH, AX,OAJ,SD,CGC,VX, had an extremely busy year earning titles and qualifying legs and gave birth to a litter of 8 puppies!
  • Out on a limited basis as a special, Jam earned multiple Best of Breeds, owner/breeder handled.  
  • On September 15th, Jam gave birth to 8 puppies and we welcomed the Rockstar litter!
  • Jam finished her Agility Excellent (AX) title 11 weeks after whelping puppies, all legs with placements, She also earned 2 AXJ, Agility Excellent Jumpers with Weaves legs.
  • She continued to train in obedience, agility and field work and will do the same in 2013. She will be selectively specialed and we hope to complete her Senior Hunter title. She will also be bred, sire to be determined.
  • Jam's modeling career got a boost with the release of Longchamp's Oh My Dog video and ad campaign which appeared in Vogue, Elle, NY Times Style and many other top fashion magazines.
  • Jam also made weekly Pet Partner Therapy Dog visits to a local group home for developmentally disabled adult men, and participated in the YAI Annual Walkathon.
  • Sky, CH Grayhart Lightfoot Early Morning Rain, RN, TD, JH, NSD, NRD, CGC, VX, owned/handled by Debbie Moody, was an agility star, earning her NA (Novice Agility), NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers with Weaves) and OAJ (Open Agility Jumpers) titles!!! All of these with 1st or 2nd placements.  She also earned 2 OA (Open Agility) legs, again, all with placements!
  • Marshall, CH Grayhart's In From the Storm, owned/handled by Laura Roehrich, went to the 2012 WCA Nationals in Belton, Texas, to make his debut in Rally Obedience and earned his first Rally Novice leg with a 1st place!
  • Mia, Grayhart's American Woman, CGC, owned by Michele Gravlin & me, joined us on our Southern Adventure for Grayhart boot camp to get ready for the fall show season. Our hard work paid off in spades.  Shown by Steve Lane, HiBourne, owner/breeder of Parker, Mia's sire, Mia swept the Labor Day weekend shows, winning every day and earned her first show points.  
  • Not shown again until October at the Garden State Weimaraner Club Independent Specialty show, Mia went Winner's Bitch and Best of Winners for a 5 point specialty major!
  • Then after over a month off from shows, Mia went to the Maryland show cluster with Steve & Bonnie Lane over Thanksgiving weekend and went Winner's Bitch and Best of Winner's for a 4 point specialty major at the Weimaraner Club of Washington DC specialty show!
  • With limited showing, Mia only needs 4 single points to complete her championship title and will be out in 2013 to do so.
  • Mia was a terrific ambassador for the Weimaraner breed at the AKC Meet the Breeds in New York City.  
Mia, Grayhart's American Woman, CGC
Trixie-Zeke litter, born March 23, 2009, were busy in 2011:
  • Mason, CH Grayhart's Daily Special, is expecting a human sibling.  We are thrilled for Jen and Matt!
  • Mia-belle, CH Grayhart's Special Request, CDX,RA,NSD,RD,VX, owned/handled by Jessica Scharff, had an incredible year, titling in multiple venues. 
  • Mia-belle earned her CDX title, finishing with placements, which is a huge achievement. That gave Mia-belle the points needed to be awarded the WCA Versatile "VX" title. She also qualified to earn her WCA RD title.
  • Mia-belle also earned both her NA (Novice Agility) and NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers) titles over a 3-day weekend, with placements.
  • Mia-belle earned her first JH-R leg.  Weimaraners are now allowed to compete in retriever hunt tests and just like pointing dog tests, 4 qualifying legs are needed to get the JH title.
  • Trudy, Grayhart's Special Reserve, who was shown sparingly in 2011, won 8 show points including her 2nd major, owner/breeder handled. She only needed 3 single points to finish her AKC championship and at the Rockland Kennel Club show in February, I handled Trudy to win her 3rd major to finish her AKC Championship title! .  Many thanks to Pat O'Brien for his handling of Trudy to her first major and our collaborative effort to finish this lovely girl.

Trixie-Clay litter, born January 14, 2010, continued to make their mark in 2011:
  • Savi, Grayhart's Shear Genius,SH,NSD,NRD,CGC,VX, had an exciting year.  She ended 2011 needing just one single point to finish her championship and I finished her at the New Brunswick Kennel Club show in March. 
  • On our Grayhart Southern Adventure, Savi made her debuts in agility and obedience.  She double qualified at the Tarheel Weimaraner Club Agility Trial, to earn her first NA and NAJ legs with top placements!  
  • A week later, at the Greenville, SC shows, Savi made her obedience debut in Novice B, and earned two CD legs!  She even went Highest Scoring Weimaraner in Trial!
  • Savi's biggest achievement was earning her Senior Hunter title with trainer Denny Keeton!  This also earned her the required points to be awarded the WCA VX, Versatile Excellent title.
  • Additionally, with her Senior Hunter and already a Champion, Savi will be awarded a "Dual Weimaraner: Champion-Senior Hunter Award" and receive a one-page ad in The Weimaraner Magazine!
Savi, new Senior Hunter!!!
  • She also helped out at a number of Tri-State Weimaraner Rescue events, helping to raise money and educate people on the breed.
  • Supermodel Savi also had a number of modeling gigs including one for British Vogue.
  • Savi will be very active in 2013, training for agility, obedience, her Therapy dog certification as well as become a mother.  We have plans to breed Savi to GCH HiBourne's It's All About Me, BROM.
  • Bravo, GCH Grayhart Crescent's Bravo,CGC, had an exciting year in the show ring. He was selectively specialed and earned multiple best of breeds and a group placement.  He was in the Top 20 for most of the year and through November 30th, was ranked as the #15 Weimaraner in the country and #11 GCH Weimaraner according to The Canine Chronicle 2012 Breed Standings!
  • Bliss, Grayhart's Launch My Line, our Alaskan princess, went to some local shows but did not have competition due to the lack of Weims in the state.  She will continue to show in the upcoming year and may make a few road trips to compete for her championship.
  • Memphis, Grayhart's Million Dollar Listing, spent time with us for vacation and training.  We hope to have him out at shows in 2013.
  • Four of the Bravo pups had their hips x-rayed for OFA's and we were pleased with the results of three being OFA Excellent and one OFA Good.

I hope that I haven't forgotten anyone but as you can see, it was a busy year. You can check the archives of our blogs, the main one, for Trixie and all our Grayhart pups, and the ones dedicated specifically to each of our dogs and we will continue to publish updates to share all the news and fun happenings as well as the Grayhart website.

It was great fun spending time with the pups and their owners, as well as old and new friends at shows, hunt tests and agility trials.  We welcomed the owners of our Rockstar litter to the Grayhart family and look forward to watching these pups develop and make their debuts in the show and performance rings in 2013.