July 2, 2018
During last weekend, I have entered Anka at the HPK (Hungarian Pumi Klub) and Budapest Grand Prix shows in Budapest. Originally, I signed up Agyag to finish her Hungarian Championship, however, because of the change of airline, I could fly only one dog and I’ve ended up choosing Anka because of her scheduled breeding. Consequently, I scratched Agyag and showed Anka instead.
The shows have also given me a chance to eyeball a limited cross section of the Hungarian Pumi stock again during these turbulent days when European Pumis conquering America.
My scope was limited because of the long time ongoing schism… – PU…MI – between Hungarian Pumi breeders. (For beginners, the two major opposing groups do not show at each other’s shows -with a few exceptions… (the two percent…) and a number of breeders, who are opposing the official Pumi Club, rather break the law and register their Hungarian born dogs in foreign countries than join the Hungarian Kennel Club and Hungarian Pumi Club’s data base. – crazy isn’t it…?
So when you buy a Pumi from Hungary with a NON-Hungarian pedigree (!), watch out, because AKC might do not register your imported dog and you are supporting some crazy illegal Pumi activities.
After all, my Anka did well and has been complimented by both, the natives and the judges too. She’s got Res.CAC Excellent, CAC Excellent 1, and Res.CACIB Excellent. All three of her written evaluations are glowing and I cannot be happier.
Overall, the quality of dog shows in Hungary are slowly getting better. Most importantly, the dogs’ grooming is improving, however, showmanship still needs a bit more push. Exhibitors also pay more attention to their ring attire, that is already a positive commitment. The number of pro-handlers have been steadily increasing and that certainly has a positive impact on the quality of dog shows. The venue, “HUNGEXPO,” the international Budapest Fair Center also makes people to take dog shows a bit more seriously.
The quality of judging could be a bit more formal (based on my experience) and less partisan (as I have overheard people talking…), however, the judges’ knowledge of the Pumi is certainly outstanding.
I have met about 52%…(?!) of the “Who is Who on the Hungarian Pumi Scene.” People have been nice, open, and curious about the state of the Pumi in the US.
Grooming Queen, Tunde Baloghne Jovanovics also visited the show. She has panned each dog with her laser piercing critical eyes in the grooming area, than has given some pointers to people and the quality of Pumis suddenly increased in no time.
Overall, it was a nice show and I hope to be back sometimes soon.
June 24, 2018
Finally I could reach Laszlo Thursday night. He is off the grid, so to speak. He said that he signed up for a live streaming baking course, called “World Cupcake,” or something like that, if I remembered correctly. Supposedly, he is really busy to watch it to be able to keep up with the demanding curriculum. So I did not bother him too much. He’s sent a few pictures that everything is ok at home…
June 20, 2018
I have a bad news for U.S. puppy millers, there is no such a breed as the Schengen Terrier on the AKC’s FSS list. Also, the Schengen Terrier is not an umbrella term for liberal European dog laws allowing dogs pretty much do anything on the continent.
Well, yes, it is true, dog laws are pretty relaxed across the pond, comparing to the United States. Some of the crazy stories what you’ve heard that pooches are allowed in restaurants, on public transportation and beaches are partially also true, however, they are controlled by no-nonsense animal laws.
So than what is this Schengen thing anyway? Actually, it has nothing to do with dogs, however, by now, I think you are curious enough to read about it. http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/european-union-schengen-area-and-re-introduction-of-border-controls/
The point is that the Schengen Agreement is like an European dog law. It spells out where you and your dog are permitted to go under the laws of the Union, however, it might be too generous and generates more mess than expected…
So I am back at the original crime scene with Anka for over a week now. Have checked in with some friends and family, visited government offices and other public places always taking Anka along.
Did you know that…
…in Hungary, a three months old pup needs to be registered whithin its local jurisdiction? Vets have to report each dog’s microchip and vaccinations to a central national database. TO complicate matters however, local governments can have their own additional “dog laws.”
Dogs are allowed free in back yards, only, if it is fenced in.
Dogs must be leashed in public, dogs cannot enter to play grounds, untrained and vicious dogs must be muzzled in public.
Dogs can run free in designated areas, however, untrained, vicious dogs must have their muzzle kept on while off leash.
Every dogs must be leashed and muzzled(!) on public transportations. (They can take public transportation)
Dogs cannot bother neighbors, (good luck with your Pumi that is kept outside) and one’s property must be fenced in if dogs kept outside. Small dogs have to have a minimum 10m2 area and no shorter than 6 meters long chain and a dog house. Larger dogs have to be kept within a minimum 15m2 area. with no shorter than an 8 meters long chain and a dry shelter.
If one owns a “mean breed,” a clearly visible sign must be posted at the entrance of the property that there are guard dogs on the premises.
To recover lost dogs from shelters, the owners must present proof of vaccinations and microchip. Dogs are allowed to put down by law if no one claims or adopts them after two weeks.
Breeders need the local major’s office permission to start a kennel.
Dogs are strictly prohibited to enter… schools, daycare centers, social and cultural facilities, government offices that are open for the public (e.g. DMV)
In the same time, dogs cannot be tied up outside (in front of stores, government offices etc. (while the owner takes care of business) without supervision.
If you are planning to buy a coop in Hungary, the good news is that the coop board cannot oppose keeping dogs in your apartment.
…and do not forget to pick up after your dog!
Penalties: No registration 165 Euro, no leash 35 Euro Your dog kills another dog and you are a no show at the court, your penalty is 350 Euro. Beyond that, no-one really cares and you cannot be jailed.
Why do I bother to tell you all about these things? Because I’ve been visiting a bunch of government offices, banks and other public places in Budapest and I’ve been taking Anka along. The good thing is that no one really cares about pet laws and restriction as long as you have such a cute and well behaving dog as Anka.
I’ve also taken her to stores and restaurants, (where she was even fed,) The waiters and clerks at all locations have given in to the “Anka Pressure” and let her to come in. Of course, Anka’s behavior has always been exemplary at any establishments.
After we’ve finished all the official stuff I had to take care of, we’ve had some serious dog fun in the City. We also had some quiet… agility time at the “Pilisi Kutya Iskola” training facility. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yswtxyX8kl0
To be continued…
June 16, 2018
As I was driving in the afternoon Budapest traffic jam along the riverbank of the Danube River, an old pleasant memory popped into my head. https://youtu.be/9dYLEI3lrUg
When I was a kid and even later in life, it has been a family tradition to watch the Vienese Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance on television in the morning of January 1 each year. Many people whom I’ve known, got up in the morning of the first day of the new year and watched the concert regardless of how sleepy or hangover they were after their new year parties.
As a kid, the “Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II was the highlight of the televised new year’s day concert. I guess, for no particular reason. Of course it has catchy tunes that has turned into a lifetime jingle (especially when driving along the Danube in Budapest in an afternoon traffic jam…), because my mother always talked about it during the concert and overtime the stories she said has built up my expectations. Also, because of the waltz’s dreamy title, “The Blue Danube…” and the awesome superimposed photos of the cities along the Danube’s 1770 miles banks, Ulm, Linz, Vienna, Bratislava Budapest, Novi Sad… as they slowly floated across the black and white television monitor to the tunes of the music. It has made me dreaming of distant lands along the river.
There is one memorable photo, easily the signature picture of Budapest split by the mighty Danube, taken high up from the great distance of the Castle hill. The picture shows the Parliament building, the famous Chain Bridge, and the calm mirror like magnificent river below. It has been the perfect and sanitized Kodak moment of the “Blue Danube.”
But how blue, and how calm and how perfect is the Danube anyway? It is the second longest river in Europe about 1770 miles long. Its headwater in the Black Forest in Germany and it enters into the Black Sea somewhere near the Romanian Bulgarian border after rolling through 10 different countries.
It is one of the most important major transportation water-ways on the continent, has its own unique fauna and flora, including its own river monster, the Danube Salmone or Huchen, that can grow as big as 4 feet and weight 110 lbs. Last, but not the least, the Danube is also a much feared and respected river in large parts of Europe. People along its river valley have a personal, relationship with the river. On the one hand, the river has provided jobs, irreplaceable drinking water, food, helped in building wealth, contributed to prosperity and inspired arts and cultures. On the other hand, its floods have also been the most destructive events that have taken thousands of lives, destroyed crops and wiped out communities over the centuries.
Uniquely, there has been no major superstitions and biblical prophecies applied to the Danube over hundreds of years, as Christian Rohr explains in his study of meteorological history, “The Danube Floods and The Human Response and Perception (14th to 17th Century) “. In fact, there has been a very sober and rational relationship between the river and its human inhabitants as Rohr describes it. People have learned to ignore god and his alleged doings during major devastations and instead of trying to appease God, they have focused on rebuilding and developing more effective flood prevention technics and river control methods . Oddly, the church has shared this approach and has provided generous financial support after each flood to help rebuilding the destroyed lives and communities.
It’s been a constant armwrestling between the river and its people throughout history. Budapest has also experienced its fair share of devastating floods during its existence. In the 1800’s, 23 major floods ravaged the City (not counting smaller ones) that have generated repeated severe humanitarian disasters. If you think about it, it is a very disturbing number. It means that people have experienced a devastating flood every four years in one century. Countless iives have been lost, tens of thousands of people have been displaced, properties destroyed and food supplies wiped out when major floods hit Budapest 23 times in a hundred year time period. For instance, during the flood of 1838, 150 people had lost their lives, 50,000(!) had become homeless. That number was about 1/3 of the entire population of Buda and Pest in the 1830-40s. (the two cities, Buda and Pest was not integrated that time.) The Danube effected real estate fortunes, impacted infrastructure over the centuries and the City kept defending itself from the destructive power of the river. People have not moved…
However, the mighty river cannot be blamed as the single culprit for all the pains and sufferings of its inhabitants. The river is also a long time witness and a passive conduit of its people’s lifestyle, biases, cultural, religious differences, and hubris, especially in the 20th Century.
The Danube has often been used as industrial waste dump, harnessed for its energy in harmful and devastating ways, and used to hide humanity’s sinister acts as a mass grave for people and war machines. It has also swallowed up cultures that were nihilated in the name of progress.
The tragic fate of the frequently romanticized “Turkish island,” Ada Kaleh, or the “Ottoman Atlantis,” as historians named it, on the Danube’s Romanian section has been a longtime Austrian outpost for the Habsburg Empire until it was seceded to the Turks, in the 1600’s. The Ottoman inhabitants of the tiny island, have established a thriving economic and cultural life during their close to 300 years of existence, until the Romanian communist government decided to built the infamous Iron Gate hydro-electric power plant on the Danube in the 1970’s. The newly built dam flooded the island that simply disappeared under water like the city of Atlantis with its buildings and entire unique muslim history and culture.
When Central Europe’s multicultural melting pot have over boiled time to time, it has brought violence, destruction, ethnic cleansing and suffering for the area along the Danube’s river valley. Two world wars have been started in the region, in which the river has always played an important strategic role. Near the end of WWII hundreds of Nazi river warships were sunken by the Germans to avoid the Soviets to seize and use them against the retreating forces of the Third Reich. These boats have never been lifted from the bottom of the river and during excessive droughts, the gost ships break though the surface of the water and can be seen from passing boats and from the shores.
One of the most shameful WWII atrocities along the Danube is memorialized by the abandoned shoes memorial on the river bank of the Danube in the center of Budapest. Between 1944-1945 the henchmen of the Naci sympatizer Hungarian government, executed twenty thousand Jews on the river front of the Danube. The memorial is a chilling testament about one of the darkest moments of humanity.
Disasters and tragedies in more recent memories were the cyanid pollution of the Danube from the Romanian gold mines in 2000 and the infamous toxic sludge river pollution from the caustic byproducts of aluminum production from Ajka, Hungary. The heavy sludge broke the levees of the giant storage pools and polluted over 15 sq miles of lands, creeks, displacing and killing wildlife, and livestock. More than 10 people have died and hundreds were seriously injured. Towns and villages in the area have been abandoned and never rebuilt. The chemical sludge ended up in the Danube that has carried the devastating pollution further downriver to other communities.
What is the takeaway of these stories? I do not know. Perhaps that the “Blue Danube Syndrome” is really not an isolated chain of events specific to a certain geographic area or its people. While we tend to dismiss our hubris and the plentiful cautionary biblical prophecies, we cannot escape to be repeatedly reminded of our not too bright future. In a twisted way, the entertainment industry and cinema have taken charge of the delivery of prophetic messages by way of rolling out apocalyptic action movies and stories that depicts mankind’s potential gloomy fate in response to our arrogance.
Budapest and the Danube also have their very own apocalyptic film now, produced in 2017. It is titled, “DVNA” (Danube). Tamas Yvan Topolanszky, the young Hungarian director in his nightmarish movie, depicts life in Budapest, immediately after the Danube disappears from its river bed overnight.
What is the outcome of the movie? I won’t be able to tell you because the traffic has finally started moving along the river bank and I am not supposed to write on my phone while driving the car.
Instead, I start doodling the “Blue Danube” again.
To be continued…
June 14, 2018
According to The National Sleep Foundation, traveling to distant locations across several time zones, “you are likely to experience the phenomenon of jet lag which can have profound effects on your sleep and alertness.” What was believed as a state of mind for a long time (jet lag), today is a scientifically proven imbalance in the body’s “biological clock” the foundation explains.
As it turns out, studies by Northwestern University and Harvard’s Medical Chronobiology Program, have also proven that messing too much and especially long term with one’s Circadian Rhythm and Blues, one might encounter complications of high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, weight gain and other health problems due to excessive eating in response to the mixed signals of one’s body.
To avoid a potential jet lag nightmare after my arrival to Budapest, I’ve decided to decline to eat all the delicious greasy, salty, sweet and fattening Hungarian culinary wonders that I was offered at my sister’s home. But than I realized that good manners are essential and it would be absolutely pointless to hurt my family by refusing to eat. I’ve decided to compromise, (basically sacrificed myself) and did eat all the goodies they served and more…
To get rid of my guilt, the extra weight and also to give Anka a break, we took her to a nearby park with my sister Zsuzsanna, where she has shown me an interesting green project. In the park, all the different newly planted trees are accompanied with large signs explaining not only the particular tree’s botanical description, but also its potential industrial use and function in folklore.
Did you know for instance that Ash is used in the furniture and sport industry? Also, according to Slavic folklore, it is safe to sit under ash trees, because snakes avoid the shadows of ash reflected on the ground.
Or, have you ever heard that in Pomerania and Mecklenburg, (German principalities) wooden pegs made of maple and sycamore trees were used by the medieval building industry to reenforce doors, door frames and thresholds to keep witches out from the homes?
After reading the signs, I was not entirely sure that what was such a big deal about witches? But than the more I was thinking about it and tried to rationalizing it, I realized that I shouldn’t rush to judgment, because what would I know about superstitions and supernatural creatures? After all I am not from some North-eastern German province, I am just a Transylvanian.
To be continued…
June 13, 2018
Man plans, God executes … (or corrects what man keeps screwing up…) I am back in Hungary again, at this time with Anka. Even though, this trip has been planned in advance, our departure date has been seriously circumvented by climate change. As it turns out, climate change manifests not only in rising sea levels, more frequent and more intense weather events or dying coral reefs, it also effects my dogs’ physiology. To be precise, my bitches’ heat cycle have turned on like clock work in the past, however, this year, because of the unusual long winter (I believe…), everyone has been late.
Ironically, it was a relief to see the sudden growing tension between my girls, as their hormones finally started kicking in. It was the long awaited signal to set preparations in motion for my trip. Veterinary certificate, USDA papers and most importantly the airplane ticket with two dogs in the cargo hold. ( FYI I also planned to take Agyag along to give her a chance to finish her Hungarian Championship at the Budapest Grand Prix.)
I am not lucky with Lufthansa – to say the least. Back in 2013, Lufthansa have lost Fruska and Agyag for close to a full day that has created some major complications to reach the Budapest WDS, my destination at the time. Booking my ticket and two dogs in the cargo hold with the airline, has seemed unusually easy at this time. Once ticket purchase was out of the way (or so I thought), based on my flight schedule, I went ahead to plan my entire itinerary. However, as it has turned out, Luftwaffe not only friendly fired my plans and screwed up my ticket with the two dogs in the busiest traveling season, they also refused to honor my original reservation.
Since my trip has been time sensitive, I had no time to run after my loss. I had to look for a another airline that could accommodate two dogs and flew me to Hungary for a reasonable price. While I’ve managed to secure a ticket, unfortunately, they could accommodate only one dog. Obviously I took Anka.
So we made it to Budapest where I am staying with my sister and planning to see many friends and acquaintances while managing Anka’s dating schedule.
To be continued…
August 2, 2017
I had a busy six days last week. I have traveled with the small contingent of three Catskill Pumis, Anka, Csinszka and Otter, to Greenville South Carolina, to participate at the Carolina Foothills Cluster, sponsored by Purina Proplan.
It was a relatively large entry for the breed, 14 Pumis have been present including us, to showcase a cross segment of the breed in the US. I also had a chance to meet some of the new Pumi owners and reconnect with old ones.
The venue, the TD Convention Center was a comfortable place to exhibit and seek shelter from the scorching southern heat. The heat and humidity south of the Mason Dixon line is drastically different than our mild summer temperature Upstate NY.
I was pleased with the strong performance of my Pumis. Anka is gradually regaining her pre pregnancy condition. Her hair is also coming back without complications. Seeing her rebounding so fast after her first litter reassures me that my dogs’ BARF diet is working well and that her body has handled the burdens and challenges of pregnancy beautifully.
Csinszka is maturing by the day and she is turning into a beautiful proportional bitch with well balanced movements. She is one of the lightest movers, barely touching the ground.
Otter, the well kept Catskill Pumi secret is out now in the open and keeps winning hearts and minds of those who are looking for quality males. He needs to be traveling and shown more to gain confidence and to become more comfortable in the ring.
Overall, my Catskill Pumis have delivered a steady and successful performance.
Catskill Apacatancos Anka got one “Select,” two BOS and one BOB placements.
Catskill Csucsai Csinszka has earned three “Selects” and one BOS. Csinszka also finished her Grand Championship over the weekend!
Catskill Otter has received two “Select” placements.
This successful week could not have been possible without Jan Kolnik, Anka’s handler, Eryn Glenn who showed Otter, and Marilyn Funke who has shown her group of Pumis and we shared the hotel room and an enormous amount of gossips for four days.
Another memorable milestone has been reached during our long Pumi journey. GCHB CH Catskill Apacatancos Anka, PT, JHD, CA, after two AKC National BOB, and the first ever Pumi BOB at Westminster has said goodbye to the pups of her first litter. She’s been an exemplary mom
So this weekend, the pups of our F-litter have moved to their new homes this weekend, to destinations in Florida New York, Massachusetts and Ohio. The last day went fast while playing with the pups, sharing food and stories. Luckily, the weather was collaborating.
We are thankful for Marika and Paul Foreman and Martha and Bob Fisher to stop by and help this joyous event to roll smoothly.
As the pups move to their new homes they pave the road to build new friendships and Pumi camaraderie. Our Catskill family has grown bigger and stronger. When we search for the best homes for our puppies, we also build relationships that offers reciprocal growth and learning opportunities for the new owners and us, the breeders. Once the pups leave us, the proverbial umbilical cord is not cut, rather our connection gets stronger.
Maria, JoAnn, Nanci, Cathrine and Dana, Jane and Mark, Lisa and Barry, thank you for opening your homes for our pups raising them to be examples of the breed that we can be proud of and happy members of your family. We hope to hear from each of you often!
March 7, 2017
Bubbles the JRT, got to us about twelve years ago from the Manhattan ASPCA where she was facing euthanasia. She was already five years old. When I picked her up I thought I’ve seen it all. Bubbles thought otherwise. It took us months to build a relationship. When we moved to the farm, Bubbles has gone through a cathartic change. From an urban menace she turned into a hard working farm dog. She has never left our side while doing the chores and she has faithfully patrolled the chicken and duck coop where she has decimated the annoying rat population daily. She killed martins, several weasels, even one fox with the assistance of Schatze, the other JRT. Bubbles had an unsavory relationship with skunks. She has always lost those battles. One day after a major loss, she could not open her eyes for three days.
She’s always terrorized the UPS guy and learned how to extort at least three “Large” biscuits out of him at delivery times. In my estimation poor guy left at least $100 worth of dog biscuits here over the years.
Bubbles was a tough cookie, she growled and fought most of the Pumis and got into trouble with Fruska all the time.
We will always fondly remember you Bub. Rest in Peace.