Tag Archives: Pumi Breeder

Catskill Pumis Behind the Case of Southern Discomfort

August 2, 2017

Csinszka's new grand champion ribbon

Csinszka’s new grand champion ribbon

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.

Jan and Anka

Jan and Anka

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.

our weekend result

our weekend result

Jan and Csinszka in the Ring

Me and Csinszka in the Ring

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.

Otter

Otter

Godspeed F Pups

May 28, 2017

 

A last good bye before Fatyol Felho leaves his Catskill family

A last goodbye photo with the Larkins before Fatyol Felho leaves his Catskill family and heads to Florida to join his half brother, Catskill Csaszar aka ZEKE

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

three generations... Mama Fruska has been one of the main actors to be responsible for the international Pumi addiction.

three generations… Mama Fruska (left) has been one of the main actors to be responsible for the international Pumi addiction.

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.

Destination NYS

JoAnn and Maria with their new pups Rubik and Frankie

Nanci and Ficko with one of the incredible designer name tags given by Maria Barnum to each puppy

Nanci and Ficko with one of the incredible designer name tags given by Maria Barnum to each puppy

what's cookin' Laszlo

What’s cooking’ Laszlo?

The Wright sister Cathrine with Füzfa

The Wright sister Cathrine with Füzfa

Marika's sixth "Catskill Pumi Farewell"

Marika’s sixth “Catskill Pumi Farewell”

 the class of FW-2017

the class of FW-2017

 

Mark, Jane and Odie posing with Ildiko before heading back home

Mark, Jane and Odie posing with Ildiko before heading back home

there is never a dull moment up in the Catskills. Martha Fisher guarding the ingredients of our lunch during the outdoor cooking from the Pumis from the Pumis

there is never a dull moment up in the Catskills. Martha Fisher guarding the ingredients of our lunch during the outdoor cooking from the Pumis.

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!

remember the weaving?

remember the weaving?

Tha mandatory "will be back" hand wave

The mandatory “will be back” hand wave

Don't forget the weave!

Don’t forget to weave!

Did you weave?

Did you weave?

The last weave to leave

The last weave to leave

Paul Foreman is home away from home.

Paul Foreman is home away from home.

Bob Fisher and Barsony feeling' the Catskill Pumi Groove.

Bob Fisher and Barsony feeling’ the Catskill Pumi Groove.

 


Laszlo’s Secui (sp?) Cabbage Scud Missle is ready for launch – The Catskill way to promote world peace…

 

Norway, A Little Bundle Of Paradoxes

February 6, 2017

The Norwegian flag. It is clear of Eiric Magnusson's golden lion, ex and crown.

The Norwegian flag. It is clear of Eiric Magnusson’s golden lion, ax and crown.

Actually, there is such a thing as alternative reality and in fact we live in it.

The magic wand, or the alternative time piece in an alternative Pumi universe

The magic wand, or the alternative time piece in an alternative Pumi universe

Pumis rule our life and clocks have been replaced by animal ovulation detectors to measure time.  So no surprise,  I am on the road again. At this time, traveling with Anka to Lora, Norway. Our host is Lisbeth Åvangen, the owner of Ares, a beautiful black male Pumi. I also have a chance to meet with my friends, Jacky Neeras and Berit Thyra Meland Pedersen, who are the owners of two of my Catskill Pumis, Cherry and Erös. W e had a short, however, busy and fulfilled week in Lora,  Norway. My Norwegian blog is to be continued at a later time.

my flight

my flight

My wonderful hosts, Lisbeth Åvangen and her dad, Oddbjørn, owner of Ares in Lora, Norway. THe woodwork in the background is Oddbjørn's master craft work.

My wonderful hosts, Lisbeth Åvangen and her dad, Oddbjørn,  in Lora, Norway. Lisbeth is the owner of Ares, the black Pumi. The  house and cabinet woodwork is Oddbjørn’s master craft work.

Ares... head, ears, neck, body, tail color and disposition you've never dreamed of...

Ares… head, ears, neck, body, tail color and disposition you’ve never dreamed of…

Traditional dinner, including rakfisk, a fermented aged raw fish with Lisbeth and Oddbjørn.

Traditional dinner, including rakfisk, a fermented aged raw fish with Lisbeth and Oddbjørn.

I always love to read about the places where I go to before departing to my destinations. So I’ve looked into the history of Norway where we are traveling to at this time and I hope that I can entertain you with some information that you’ve not been familiar with.

Catskill Pumi summit in Lora, Norway. Catskill Anka, with Ildiko Repasi, Catskill Cherry with Jacky Neeras and Erös with Berit Thyra Meland Pedersen.

Catskill Pumi summit in Lora, Norway. Catskill Anka, with Ildiko Repasi, Catskill Cherry with Jacky Neeras and Erös with Berit Thyra Meland Pedersen.

The genealogy of Lisbeth's family. Scandinavian countries has a very precise records of their family trees.

The genealogy of Lisbeth’s family. Scandinavian countries has a very precise records of their family trees.

While settlements along the Norwegian coastlines have been present as early as 10000BC,  the  nation’s history as a lose tribal system  reaching back to the more recent and truly chaotic period, of the Völkerwanderung, or migration period of Europe. It was around the second part of the first millennium, when Viking tribes along many other migrants pressing from the east invaded and either nihilated or pushed out earlier migrants further west. The stories of seafaring fearless Vikings are widely known, however some historians from the prospective of nation building characterize this period as nothing more than “plundering, fish and potatoes.”  Vikings had sailed, pillaged looted and traded as far as Iceland, and  North America. Finally, a couple of hundred years later, Christianity, under King Olav transformed the Vikings into a nation of the Kingdom of Norway in 995.

Local ski resort

Local ski resort

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Overtime, the country had periodically fallen under Danish and Swedish rules or entered into unions, until its final independence in 1905. Interestingly, the 1905 referendum concluded that Norwegians had chosen monarchy over a republic.  Since no Norwegians could trace their ancestry back to any medieval royalty, the government invited Carl of Denmark to the Norwegian throne. (in Europe, traditionally without “blue blood” no citizen could claim the right to a monarchy). Norway is a constitutional monarchy today.

Lesja Church, the place of the first election in Norway

Lesja Church, the place of the first election in Norway

Norway has a harsh climate and unforgiven terrain. Isolation has been a given until the advent of broadband internet in the 1990's.

Norway has a harsh climate and  an unforgiven terrain. Isolation has been a given for centuries until the advent of broadband internet in the 1990’s. However, broadband internet has also shown its sinister dark side, via the availability of free internet porn.  As a result, sex crime has increased an approximately 20%  in Norway . based on the study, “Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime?”  by Manudeep Bhuller, Tarjei Havnes, Edwin Leuven and Magne Mogstad  in July 7, 2011.

Rattus Norvegicus villain or victim of the Black Death?

Rattus Norvegicus villain or victim of the Black Death?

The country has had its fair share of epic catastrophes. In 1349, the black death has killed over 50% of the country’s population while during the 1695-96 famine about 10% of Norwegians perished. The experience of centuries of wars, occupations, upheavals and religious wars pushed Norway to chose neutrality during the two world wars. Unfortunately, this noble idea  did not work in practice. During the Great War, the British pressured the Norwegian government to use its merchant marine fleet to support the British war effort with great sacrifice and heavy losses.

Norway’s link to the Great War, however, has a far more significant link. The war ended in the fall of 1918 and it was immediately followed by the worldwide outbreak of the Spanish flu that killed 20-40 million people around the world. This deadly flu virus has never been isolated and because of the reoccurring deadly influenza outbreaks in the last few hundred years, scientist welcomed a rare discovery in the small Norwegian mining town of Longyearbyen above the arctic circle. This tiny town’s church grave yard has provided final resting place to seven Norwegian miners who died of the Spanish flu between October 2 and October 7, 1918. These seven bodies have a great  significance in epidemiological history because given the location of Longyearbyen, just above the arctic circle, the bodies were buried under the permafrost and therefore, they could potentially preserve the lethal virus of the devastating Spanish flu. Malcolm Gladwell’s 1997 article, “The Dead Zone” is a fascinating read about the scientific and moral meaning of this medical expedition.

Ares, Lisbeth and Anka posing for a picture

Ares, Lisbeth and Anka posing for a picture

Lora might be a small place, however, has a pretty decent beer selection

Lora might be a small place, however, has a pretty decent beer selection

Twenty two years after the Great War, Neutrality has failed again In 1940 when Germany occupied Norway for its  unique ice free harbors as a strategic location for its Navy fleet and to exploit Norway’s iron ore mines for the war effort.  The post-war years have brought state sponsored and strictly regulated industrialization in Norway.  Price control and rationing of housing or automobile purchase were still in practice as late as 1960.

NO hopes lost. There is always a place to shop, even close to the arctic circle. Lisbeth and I in front of the local food store in Lora

No hope is lost. There is always a place to shop, even close to the arctic circle. Lisbeth and I in front of the local food store in Lora

In 1968, an unlikely figure from Iraq, Farouk Al-Kasim has confirmed that Norway has enormous off shore oil reserves. When Phillips Petroleum Company from Oklahoma has started drilling following Al-Kasim’s instruction, they hit the jack pot and oil has changed the projectile of the country and the life of its citizens forever.  However, Al-Kasim’s more significant contribution to Norway’s economy was the proposal of a government run Petroleum Directorate that aimed to avoid the so called “resource curse” that keeps many oil rich nations’ citizens in poverty due to  government corruption, the abuse of local environmental laws by multinational petroleum corporations and also the “killing off” of most domestic industries by the over extension and domination of oil related businesses in the host country.   With the help of economists, Norway established a “Sovereign Wealth Fund.” By using only the interest of its oil revenues, the fund has a close to a One Trillion(!) US Dollar from various investments (that is close to $200,000 per Norwegian citizen – not per household….!) – today. This wealth enables the country to maintain a high quality democratic welfare system, during “rainy days.”  Norway in general  provides excellent education, healthcare, safe social security among many other things. Government investments are consciously selective. Retirement funds do not support “dirty” or unethical businesses and industries (i.e. coal mines, tobacco, guns, etc.) of the stock market. For the records, Norway is not alone with its Wealth Fund. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and even China have their citizens’ current and future welfare in mind. (Hey US politicians is  anyone planning to travel to Norway anytime soon…?)

warming up in the local cafe house with Ingeborg Noren and Lisbeth. Sitting in front of all these ceramics, I had a sudden flashback when I was working ceramics including porcelain many years ago

warming up in the local cafe house with Ingeborg Noren and Lisbeth. Sitting in front of all these ceramics, I had a sudden flashback when I was working ceramics including porcelain many years ago

Trolls, the mythical creatures that live in the forests are a serious business in Norway. Trolls have their own stores. Honestly, they look more fun than Batman and probably has a much more colorful storyline.

Trolls, are mythical creatures that live in the forests.  Norwegians are serious about their Trolls. Trolls also have their own stores. Honestly, they look more fun than Batman and probably have a much more colorful storyline.

Norway is an affluent (No. 4 GDP in the world) and…a  “green” country with extensive network of hydroelectric power plants strong wind energy development, and a diverse and flexible economy supported by a highly educated work force that gets an inexpensive, however, high quality university education. An interesting fact; Norway has the most Tesla automobiles per capita in the world. One out of ten cars is a Tesla in Norway. Tesla runs for about $100.000 in Norway. However, government incentives makes expensive electric cars affordable. (No sales tax, income tax reduction, free parking, no registration fee, free toll route use, free use of bus lanes in rush hours etc.)

Will trolls make Norway great again? perhaps not, however, they will put a smile on your face.

Will trolls make Norway great again? perhaps not, however, they will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Surprisingly, this perfectly oiled economic gearbox of Norway, has almost  gotten to a screeching halt by the “smør-panik” or “Butter Panic.” In 2011, the unusually wet summer  destroyed many dairy pastures and dairy production, especially butter production has dramatically declined. Major dairy producers ignored the growing domestic butter shortage and kept up their export volume. Since dairy import has been limited by very high protective tariffs in order to shelter local daily farmers, a  perfect storm ensued and created a severe butter shortage, especially around Christmas time. (Norwegians have a low carb high fat diet and consume lots of butter especially during the holidays. ) Prices skyrocketed.   8oz butter suddenly did cost $50 (!). To further complicate things, shoppers refused to buy and use margarin as a substitute. People were arrested for smuggling butter from neighboring countries in o Norway and butter was also auctioned off on the internet.  The government was forced to reduce import butter tariffs over 80% to temporarily remedy the situation.

Norwegian butter served on Constitutional Day. Norwegians take their butter seriously.

Norwegian butter served on Constitutional Day. Norwegians take their butter seriously.

While the overall economic picture of Norway is appealing, skeptics find it hypocritical and simply call the Norwegian miracle carbon laundering.  The country is frequently criticized for  building a picture perfect eco friendly green country, from its main source of wealth, oil and gas and accused of indirect environmental pollution and contributing to global warming by selling its fossil fuel.

A furry troll to hug in a cold day.

A furry troll for you to hug on a cold day.

The past few years, declining oil prices concerns the fund’s director, Mr. Slyngstad.  With lower revenues, the fund’s growth has slowed. Also, missed investments in emerging markets has caused significant share losses in developing economies.  The relatively large refugee influx   has also jeopardized the highly prized relative homogeneity of the country’s population within the last decade. The fear is that a more diverse society with naturally more diverse opinions might negatively impact the investment trends established for the fund.

Suddenly a new unavoidable question emerges, can the descendants of the  heroic Vikings keep sailing, trading and exporting Norwegian values without returning to “looting” and ethnocentrism in this new era of Völkerwanderung? http://mackenzieinstitute.com/worth-repeating-volkerwanderung-the-next-40-year-crisis. (The Canadian Big MacK… might not be my favorite conservative right-wing think tank but as the “Comment 20 years on” says, they are half-right half-wrong.)

My advice is that get a Pumi and stop worrying.

Sources: Freakonomics, Wiipedia, www.psmag.com, “The Dead Zone” by Malcolm Gladwell (New Yorker Archive), The Telegraph, “Why Nations Fail” Acimoglu and Robinson, Mackenzieinstitute.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Class Pumi Grooming…

March 19, 2016

The good thing is as Tünde Balogh said, that when you get tired of your Pumi, you just just pick the dog up and carry her under your arm. like your fake Lois Voutton Cluny bag ..

“The good thing is,” as Tünde Balogh said, “that when you get tired of your Pumi, you just just pick it up and carry her under your arm like your fake Lois Voutton Cluny bag.” has she ever said that? I am not sure…

 

Thursday I had an appointment with Pumi groomer legend and extraordinaire, Tünde Balogh in Budapest. During the World Dog Show week back in 2013, she groomed my Kaffogo Agyag to success.

Since I was in Hungary again and she could fit me in to her crazy busy schedule, I thought it is never late to learn more about the tricks of the trade and why not to learn from one of the best ones.

Sorry, it is too late, now you have to love her...Tünde's husband got tricked by the "acting needy" Agyag

Sorry, it is too late…, now you have to love her…(Tünde’s husband got tricked by the “acting needy” Agyag)

ouch... be careful what you wish for in the presence of Catskill Pumis...

ouch… be careful what you wish for in the presence of Catskill Pumis…

I also had the opportunity to video record her with original narration while working on both of my dogs.

I do not know the house rules of the Baloghs, where grooming turned out to be a family affair with lunch, coffee and serious entertainment,  however, I know that I’ve got the royal treatment.

I had the opportunity to video record her with original narration how to groom a Pumi...can you see me in the picture?

I had the opportunity to video record Tünde with original narration how to groom a Pumi… can you see me in the picture?

 

 

 

 

My Pumis have also seemed to have a good time, while spoiled by the Balogh’s. They were a bit surprised when they had to share my lap with Tünde’s cat after lunch while resting in the living room.  C’est la vie Pumis.

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn some new grooming moves to improve my skills that I can use on my dogs and and help to improve the look of hopefully many  American Pumis after my return.

The Pumis were genuinely surprised when the cat leaped into my lap and landed right in between the two of them to rest after lunch.

The Pumis were genuinely surprised when the cat leaped into my lap and landed right in between the two of them to rest after lunch.

Fear and Loathing in Pécs, Hungary

March 13, 2016

The flag of Pé with the coat of arm of the city. it says, Seal of the Free Royal City of Fivechurch" granted by Maria Theresa (i thin

The flag of Pécs with the coat of arm of the city. It says,
“Seal of the Free Royal City of Fivechurch” granted by Maria Theresa (i think in the center MT stands for her)

Studio detail of Marta Csille where I planned to have two days of felting workshop.

Studio detail of Marta Csille where I planned to have two days of felting workshop.

JPEG image-C5F2E519EBB1-1

Work station at Martha Csille’s felting studio

The county building. Pecs is also the county seat of Baranya County

The county building. Pecs is also the county seat of Baranya County

Barely back to Budapest from Graz, Austria on Monday and by early Thursday morning we hit the road again to the south, to the City of Pecs.  First we stopped in a small town, Egerág, at the studio of Marta Csille Hungarian felt artist, for a two day workshop to learn more about the tricks of the trade and enhance my felting toolbox.  I felt tired and a bit sick, I thought because of the crazy weather, lots of traveling, and lack of sleep.  By mid day, I had high fever, serious sinus pain and major headache.  Things did not go well. I finished the day early, got some cough and headache medicine that somehow got mixed with some palinka (Hungarian distilled spirit)  and went to sleep. Since I did not improve overnight, I got some antibiotics next day. I cancelled my second day of workshop and took an early and a pretty drowsy drive to Pecs, to the weekend FCI dog show.  I could not wait to arrive. I crashed at the duplex that I rented in the middle of town and tried to get some rest.

empty street with one of the perfectly preserved petrified body of one of the victims of the massive volcanic eruption.

empty street with one of the perfectly preserved petrified body by the massive volcanic eruption. He never got to finish his coffee.

Even though, my  condition improved somewhat by Saturday morning, I was still heavily under the effect of the unfortunate mixing of medicines and  alcohol from last night. First thing, I took the dogs for a big walk in the city center of Pécs, while holding my swollen running nose and barely balancing my 100lbs head on my neck.

The streets were dead empty not a single soul in sight. It seemed strange.

the empty Szécheny Square where is everyone?

the empty Szécheny Square, where is everyone?

Location Location Location…Hungary might have been the real estate dream market  throughout history, however, it must have been the nightmare for insurance companies for close to two thousand years. No wonder why. Hungary has been a virtual crossroad between east, west and south where different cultures have clashed for hundreds of years. They thrived, prospered than disappeared overnight, giving space for the next weave of invaders,  Romans, Avars, Celts, Mongols, Ottomans and others who fought over religion, land and resources.

The ghostly street sweeper and the Pumis

The ghostly street sweeper and the Pumis

 

Pécs’s history  go back to the ancient Romans. The City was established in the 2nd century and was named Sopianae. Excavation have unearthed Celtic burial sites and a Christian Necropolis. By the first millennium Pecs, like other parts of the country was under the control of the first Christian Hungarian King, Stephen I.  As the  nation accepted its new religious faith, the semi nomadic tribal military culture gradually faded into extinction and the ruling feudal system has risen from the blood and tears of the past.

The holy Trinity statue erected in 1714 to commemorate the escape from the plague, the Black Death. There are the plague saints on the bottom, and above the father, the son and the holy spirit.

The holy Trinity statue erected in 1714 to commemorate the escape from the plague, the Black Death. There are the plague saints on the bottom, and above the father, the son and the holy spirit – do not mix it with your medicine (I mean the holy spirit).

 

Medieval Pecs was built from the remains of five christian chapels and Sopianae was renamed “Five Churches.” Its new name was used in all of the languages of the area. The name has  been reduced to Pecs over the next 1200 years. The city has become a major cultural center. By 1367, Pécs has opened the doors of the first university in Hungary.  Next, the expanding Ottoman Empire has left its  impact  on the region and the whole country for 150 years…and I kept walking with the dogs in the empty city streets…

Pumis and of Janos Hunyadi the Overlord of Transylvania on horseback. I wonder what was he doing here...

No signs of life except the Pumis and  Janos Hunyadi the Overlord of Transylvania on horseback. I wonder what was he doing here…

The dramatic eruption of the nearby volcano of Mt. Mecsek destroyed the city of Pécs, killing all and burying the city under 20 ft of volcanic ash. For several hundreds of years the buildings, objects and the bodies that lay beneath the ash cover have been untouched and perfectly preserved because of the lack of air and moisture.  When the excavation uncovered the hermetically sealed site, plaster fillings were injected in the voids of the ash layers that held human bodies. It allowed to see the body positions of the people, as they died.  The city has remained an empty haunted place, virtually an archeological site ever since.

First floor of the duplex that I rented in Pecs. It served more as a hospital.

First floor of the duplex that I rented in Pecs. It served more as a hospital.

the Pumis got comfy while I was chatting with Timothy Leary

the Pumis got comfy while I was chatting with Timothy Leary

The Mosque Pasha Quasim converted into a catholic church in 1702. The largest Turkish building in Hungary

The Mosque of Pasha Quasim converted into a catholic church in 1702. It is the largest Turkish building in Hungary

As I walked on the empty streets with the two dogs, the rhythmic clacking noise made by the impact of the dogs’ nails with the cobble stones pavement,  echoed from  the thick walls of the empty buildings.  My brain was pulsing, my vision was blurry and my body still exhausted from the fever when finally the fresh air and the warm rays of the morning sun slowly started clearing my druggy head.  I felt hungry and my brain craved for coffeine.  I walked into a patisserie and I bough a croissant and a large cappuccino.

When two Pumis occupy an empty city.

When two Pumis occupy an empty city.

After a few sips of coffee, I went into panic mode as I realized that holly @*#%…! I was mixing up the history of Pécs, Hungary and Pompeii, Italy.  But  something still did not add up, where did all the people disappear from the city…? “Why are the streets empty?” I asked the barista.

“There is a dog show in town and they all went to see some wonder dog from New York, I think a Pumi…,” she answered.

p.s. Agyag did fantastic both days. She got BOS, CACIB, CAC and Excellent 1 Saturday and Sunday too.

Kaffogo Agyag BOS, CACIB, CAC, Excellent 1 both days. the mystery has also been resolved. Yes, indeed, the good citizens of Pécs all came to see the American wonder Pumi at the dog show just look at the seats behind me.

Kaffogo Agyag BOS, CACIB, CAC, Excellent 1 both days. the mystery has also been resolved. Yes, indeed, the good citizens of Pécs abandoned their city and all came to see the American wonder Pumi, Kaffogo Agyag at the dog show. Do not believe me? Just look at the seats behind me.

the proof of that we were there and the rest was a nightmare.

the proof of that we were there and the rest was a bad dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am sinus free and back safe and sound in Budapest again.

on the way back to Budapest. Double vision? oh not again...

on the way back to Budapest. Double vision? oh not again…

there is light at the end of the tunnel. Huhh...

there is light at the end of the tunnel. Huhh…

 

Famous Sons of Styria, Austria

March 6, 2016

The Messe Center in Graz, the dog show site. I live only a few blocks away.

The Messe Center in Graz, the dog show site. I live only a few blocks away.

Currently, I am in Graz at the International Dog Show. For FCI Group 1, it is only a one day show on Sunday.

Graz’s population is about 300,000 people. It is the capital of Styria and is located in the South eastern corner of Austria near the Slovenian and Hungarian border. Graz  seems to be one of those ideal multi cultural picture perfect central European cities from the playbook of the Habsburg dynasty of the legendary Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The city is a true  custodian of the often idealized gilded past through its architecture, institutions and traditions. The baroque buildings along the quiet narrow cobble stone paved streets, the richly decorated formal palaces and monumental government buildings  on the open town square, or the ghostly Gostling Castle above the city are great reminders of greatness, wealth, culture and the  imperial absolutism of the past.

The Rathaus or town hall in Graz. I am surprised that Donald Tump has not proposed yet to rename the U.S. Capitol "The Rathaus"

The Rathaus or town hall in Graz. I am surprised that Donald Tump has not proposed yet to rename the U.S. Capitol “The Rat house”

When traveling to foreign places, I am always interested in the “famous native sons and daughters” of the countries and cities I visit. Graz also has its own interesting group of people  to offer.

Graz was the home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the nephew of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz-Joseph.  The aging ruler who preferred feudal tranquility to the reform ideas of the duke,  had a rather unsavory relationship with Franz Ferdinand. The Archduke was also looked upon as one of the dynasty’s black sheep because he married  Countess Sophie Chotek of Bohemia who was just below the “princess level.” Among the many repercussions were Sophie’s exclusion from major state events and the  denial to be buried in the Habsburg Imperial Crypt in Vienna.  The couple’s children were also not eligible for the Monarchy’s throne.  The Archduke’s  assassination in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, triggered the beginning of the Great War in 1914.

Arch Duke Johann, the Styrian Prince, one of the favorite son of Graz and Austria, military man and the nerd of the Habsburg dynasty. founder of the Joanneum one of the early universities in Graz, The Graz, Library, Mutual Fire Insurance Co., the Austrian Southern Railway among many other things. He married beneath of his rank, the postmaster's daughter Maria Anna Pilz, that automatically annulled his accession to the Austrian throne.

Arch Duke Johann, the Styrian Prince, one of the favorite sons of Graz and Austria, was a military man and the “nerd” of the Habsburg dynasty. He was the founder of the Joanneum one of the early universities in Graz, The Graz Library, Mutual Fire Insurance Co., the Austrian Southern Railway among many other institutions that contributed to the economic and scientific progress of Austria.  He married beneath of his rank, to the postmaster’s daughter, Maria Anna Pilz. The union automatically annulled his accession to the Austrian throne.

An interesting fact about Franz Ferdinand is that he was  a trigger happy hunter, who killed close to 300,000 wild animals during his short life, from small birds to elephants according to Richard N. Lebow,  who wrote  the book, “Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! A World Without World War I,” in the “what if genre,” proposing and alternative history for the world. Imagine, how our lives would be different today without the first world war… The assassination of Duke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo was indeed one of the greatest catalyst of extraordinary changes in the history of humankind. It is fascinating to think – in a twisted way, – that most technological and scientific inventions  of the 20th century, including the radar, nuclear bomb, man on the moon, your iPhone and one of their unintended results, climate change, originates from Graz, the birth place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, another Habsburg member of the "morganatic marriage" club, (a fancy word for you...) Where would you be and what would your life look like if he was not assassinated...?

The figure from Graz, whose mere existence probably caused it all. His assassination has altered the trajectory of the world – ( for better or worse…?)  Archduke Franz Ferdinand, another Habsburg member of the “morganatic marriage” club, (a fancy word for you…) Where would you be and what would your life look like if he was not assassinated in Sarajevo…?

A bit of contemporary literature from Graz, Folke Tegetthoff. over 40 books and additional films and performances. His favorite genre is to write new style fairy tales for adults. "There is no greater desire than to find someone who listens to you"

A bit of contemporary literature from Graz, Folke von Tegetthoff. (another von…) A story teller, has written over 40 books. He has also written  films and performances. His favorite genre is new style fairy tales for adults. “There is no greater desire than to find someone who listens to you”

http://youtu.be/j1pruq2VffM <—- CLICK HERE!  Ironically, a probably much better known figure  from Graz is, the ultimate pop culture icon, the total recall governor

Graz's legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger Mr. Universe, The Terminator, the Total Recall Governor of California. He unlike the two Archdukes, he married up and he still managed to screw up. Herr Tegelhoff could write a realistic fairy tale about him.

Graz’s legendary son, Arnold Schwarzenegger Mr. Universe, The Terminator, the Total Recall Governor of California. Unlike the two Archdukes, he married up, not down into the American royal family, the Kennedys and he still managed to screw up. Herr Tegelhoff could write a new style fairy tale about him.

of 2003, former two times Mr. Universe, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He was the son of the former police chief of Graz, Gustav Schwarzenegger. His father was also a former Nazi party member during WWII. We all know   Arnold’s rise to fame and his fall.  Arnold’s movies range from “Pumping Iron”  to “The Terminator” and beyond. It can happen only in America and it can happen only in California.

By the way, as you would expect, there is an Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum in Graz. It is a sort of the Austrian “Graceland” with less flair  and more though guy image.  The museum recreates Schwarzenegger’s early life in Graz, Austria. It exhibits memorabilia, photos, documents, exercise machines and other, sometimes frivolous curiosities.

young Jack Unterweger, a disturbed mind of Styria's famous sons.

young Jack Unterweger, a disturbed mind of Styria’s famous sons.

The difference between fame and infamy is just one’s interpretation . Jack Unterweger, the Austrian serial killer has certainly stained the impeccable list of famous sons of Styria. Jack, the son of a Vienese woman, Theresa Unterweger and an unknown American soldier, was born in Judenburg, Styria just an hour drive from Graz.  Jack’s early life was the clear road map to the dark side. He’s been in and out of prison for sexual assault. He committed his first murder in 1974. While in prison he started writing stories and poems. “Purgatory of a Guilty Man” has served as the main source for a documentary movie. In 1990, Unterweger has been released from prison as a rehabilitated man with the assistance of public and celebrity pressure. His writings has been taught in schools and his twisted persona celebrated as the example of one of the successes of liberalist penitentiary reform. Jack has become a public figure, journalist and broadcaster. As it turned out, during his broadcasting carrieer, he was reporting many of his unsolved earlier murders.

John Malkovich's play catered to the fascination of Americans with murder and violence

John Malkovich’s play catered to the fascination of Americans with murder and violence

Unterweger has turned out as a notorious “meurtrier sans frontier” (murderer without borders) as it was discovered that he also killed in Czechoslovakia, Germany and later in the US when he was hired  by a magazine to write about crime and prostitution in the US.

Even though he committed suicide in his Austrian prison, his infamy has been carried on in popular culture. He has been portraid by John Malkovich in “Seduction and Despair”, he was also portrayed in “The Infernal Comedy” in 2009 and in a documentary movie, “Entering Hades.”

An Austrian play about the disturbed mind of Unterweger

An Austrian play about the disturbed mind of Unterweger

He was charged of eleven murders and found guilty of nine. Since he was seeking appeal while he died by Austrian law his “guilty verdict was not legally binding.”

Grüße aus Graz!

Schwarzenegger's sculpture at the Schwarzenegger Museum in Graz. It is funny that how much it reminds me Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker" perhaps there is such a thing as muscle brain after all...

Schwarzenegger’s sculpture at the Schwarzenegger Museum in Graz. It is funny that how much it reminds me Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker” perhaps there is such a thing as muscle brain after all…

Ha... an outdoor sculpture at the Schwarzenegger museum

Ha… an outdoor sculpture at the Schwarzenegger museum

An invaluable piece from the Schwarzenegger Museum. Art thieves in trouble...

A   priceless  piece  from  the Schwarzenegger  Museum. Could art thieves sue the museum for hernia injury…

 

 

The super futuristic "Kunsthaus" in Graz. It is the home of art works made after 1960. Or perhaps an unidentified submarine that can be modified to launch missiles to restore the Habsburg Monarchy. Who will be the new emperor? Arnold, Johann or Ferdinand? Perhaps Folke Tekkerhoff can write the story down

The super futuristic “Kunsthaus” in Graz. It is the home of art works made after 1960. Or perhaps it is a secret  submarine that can be modified to launch missiles to help in the restoration of the Habsburg Monarchy and the elimination of  the prohibition of”morganatic marriages” for members of the imperial family. Who will be the new emperor? Arnold, Johann or Ferdinand? Perhaps Folke von Tegetthoff will reveal it in his next fairy tale book

Canis familiaris ovilis villosus terrarius Raitsitsi

February 17, 2016

There have been several discussions lately about the Pumi; about its origin, history, function – (original and contemporary), its standard, adaptive trait(s) and also how newer generation of breeders or planning to be breeders and owners are getting connected to the breed and what they really know about the Pumi.

This short article (using informal citation ) is a result of a recent email exchange and it might be a useful addition  for those who are participating in these ongoing conversations on various FaceBook Pumi groups and planning to explore the Pumi’s origin further.

There have been voices in the U.S. for years trying to discredit the idea that the Pumi’s development has been impacted by terrier type dogs. Recently, there was a short article, not more than a “soundbite,” posted on Facebook, “A Pumi Kutya Bemutatasa” (Introduction of The Pumi Breed) describing the Pumi as a terrier type herding dog. The article received some negative comments by some readers.

Familiar with the Pumi’s unique temperament for many decades from Hungary and now as a novice Pumi breeder and farmer who actually uses Pumis for daily farm tasks and who also puts significant amount of time into international travel, studying and researching the breed, I have decided to discuss one of the Pumi’s most important features that he is a “terrier type” herding dog.

The idea that  the Pumi has no terrier impact in him, is based on the false premise that terriers were a British invention and there have been no terriers  in Europe because terriers have not been imported from Britain until the advent of organized dog shows to the continent and consequently, they could have not contributed to the Pumi’s development. In this short article I attempt to make a convincing argument that there have been continental terriers and terrier type dogs, that could have contributed to the Pumi’s development. In addition, it is  important to emphasize that although no one points to any specific British terrier breeds as source of the Pumi’s DNA, it is also a mistake to categorically exclude informal import and export of dogs of many kinds, including terrier types, between continental Europe and the British Isles prior to 1873.

Tamara Langer from Hungary has described a composite  wire haired German/continental terrier type dog, similar in size to the Pumi, as “one of the significant contributors” to the Pumis’ “terrier blood line.”

In her recent email of an excerpt from Johan Gallant’s book, “The World of Schnauzers,” Chris Levy suggests that standard Schnauzers likely had a significant role for the Pumi’s hallmark conformation .

While the Schnauzer’s history written by Gallant is certainly important, I found it more intriguing that additional archeological findings, parallel with the proto Scnauzer’s discovery,  clearly contradicts the idea that terriers have originated from the British Isles. Gallant specifically states that the terrier actually originates from the continent since its archeological remains together with the ancestor of the Schnauzer (the latter was Gallant’s primarily focus) have been found in Lattringen, Switzerland. Gallant quotes from W. Tchudy’s book, “Geschichte des Hundes”, that “the skulls found in Lattringen are in structure the nearest to our schnauzers and terriers and have to be considered their link with prehistory.” By closely reading Gallant’s text, about the pinchers of Germany, the chapter clarifies the debate about the existence of continental terriers. For our purpose to trace the Pumi’s development, Gallant’s explanation can point to the missing link, to one of the Pumi’s ancestral breeds the mysterious terrier type dog(s) in question that have been present in Europe, however, gotten “lost in translation.”

wire hair pinschers illustration from...

wire hair pinschers illustration from 1834

To be fair, it is important to mention that similar developments happened also on the British isles during the same time. Looking into some other archeological readings about the time period, (Archeological Science/ English Heritage, Research Department Report Series no. 29-2011 ISSN 1749-8775 “Review of Animal Remains From the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Southern Britain (4000BC – 1500BC) Environmental Studies Report by Dale Serjeantson)one can learn, that the neolithic era introduced the increased use of dogs. It is suggested however, that the steadily increased migration from the continent also transported livestock and early dogs to the Isles after the ice age. The evolution of agriculture including animal husbandry at different geographical locations in the same time period, either independently or through the impact of migrations, fueled the need to develop specific types of dogs (herding, hunting farm dogs and pets) in various sizes (36cm-60cm) as shown by archeological findings of dog remains in southern England.

wirehaired Pinscher and smooth haired Pinscher

wirehaired Pinscher and smooth haired Pinscher

Pinscher

Pinscherhund from Theodor Gotz’s book

Obviously, the Pumi is a composite dog that primarily originates from the Puli, Mudi, and some other herding breeds and certain terrier type dogs. My suspicion is that where some Pumi aficionados gone wrong is that they have been looking for a few specific breeds that can be pictured…(!) basically dogs that resembles the Pumi…, as opposed to considering the idea that we should search in a “DNA mutt pool” based on available records, and read and interpret from historical, agricultural and even geopolitical context.

Painting including British terriers

Painting  of terriers by Arthur Wardle

illustration of British terriers by Sny

 terriers by Maude

terriers by Maud Alice Earl

When researching into Hungarian sheepdogs, one has to put the history of Hungarian dog breeding in context. Conditions…: Hungary was a backward country ravaged by wars, long term foreign occupations where serfdom practically was not dismantled until 1848. After the defeated revolution and subsequent freedom fight of 1848-49, the country, especially the common people, experienced severe oppression by Austria until 1867. Clearly, under such conditions, modern dog breeding, like in the west, could not take off. People of the countrysides faced poverty. Shepherds shared their food with their dogs. “Talented” herding dogs earned their position by demonstrating their abilities and were fed. Those who did not succeed were not fed but strayed away or got a lower position in the hierarchy of farm dogs. Dogs still had to augment their daily ration by themselves out on the pastures by hunting vermin, rabbits and other small animals to supplement their diets.   Another dog feeding alternative within agricultural communities, was to “feed” working dogs out on pasture lands with dead livestock. Shepherds often did not bury livestock carcasses. Instead they cordoned them off with wires so the sheepdogs could feed on the decaying bodies. These facts might suggest that environmental factors have also had serious impacts on the breed… (!)

While the Pumi’s conformation may resemble other continental herding breeds, to a certain extent, his temperament among them remains unique and when he is in action, he exhibits a clear terrier type behavior.  He is more agile, more lively, more restless and communicative than any other similar herding breeds.  As a herding dog, within 15”-18” size with the right disposition, his terrier type behavior is strongly asserted and cannot be ignored. To be clear, we are not trying to prove that there is a clearly identifiable specific terrier blood in the Pumi, either British or continental. What we are advocating is that the Pumi has clearly been impacted by terrier type dogs.

So called “dog breeds’” bloodlines have been in flux until modern dog breeding got started with the establishment of The Kennel Club of England (1873) even though, dog breeding among affluent Europeans was already fairly frequent by the mid 19th century.
Galant’s book also includes illustration of pinschers. However, British paintings –  e.g. Arthur Wardle, Maud Alice Earl –  from the 1800’s depicts strikingly similar dogs to those German illustrations in Gallant’s book. I especially enjoyed to see Durer’s name in the context of this discussion since Durer’s father migrated to Germany from the Baja region of Hungary. (According to research papers, Durer owned several dogs that resembled the modern day schnauzers and they are also depicted in some of his work.)

Is it a schnauzer as Gallant claims it? a Puli by a longing Durer for hisHungarian heritage? or a Portugese Water dog as Dr. Elizabeth Garnell believes it?

Is it a schnauzer as  some Durer researchers claim it? a Puli by a longing Durer for his Hungarian heritage? Or a Portugese Water dog as Dr. Elizabeth Garnell believes it?

The mystery dog in Durer's

The same mystery dog in Durer’s Apocalypse The Martyrdom of St John

The descriptions of the continental (German) dogs from the excerpt called “pinschers” and the “terriers” (British) are obviously quite similar. There are two instances where the author points out the back and forth use of the terms “terrier” and “pinscher” to describe similar types of dogs performing identical tasks at different geographical locations. Gallant cites Gotz’s book, “Monographie des Hundes” from 1834 and Weiss’ translation of a British book, by William Youatts, “The Dog,” published in 1852. He points out that this latter translation appears to be one of the causes of the popularization of the term pincher in the case of terriers as Weiss also uses the term “pinscher” in the case of British dogs. (It might be far fetched but it is wort mentioning the centuries old German complaint about their isolation in the middle of Europe and consequently the relative isolation of their language. (Pinscher vs. Terrier -…?)

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the German philosopher, in his “Unanticipated Thoughts” writes about the gaps of the German language mentioning the  advance of Latin based Roman languages and English.  Even though, English is a germanic language, Latin and Romance influence in English is 58% while these language groups have only 26% influence on German.

In Gallant’s book, there is also a specific sentence that mentions Weiss’ writing about the influx of terrier type dogs back to the continent, “over the southern German hinterland…” although it is described as “vaguely mentioned.”  Yes indeed, there have been numerous occasions for informal import of dogs to the continent such as military campaigns and trade. This influx of dogs have been possible via ships sailing back and forth between Germany, Poland and other Baltic states, the British Isles across the Nordic Sea (the Hanseatic Leagues). There have been records of cargo ships clearly mentioning ratters and other dogs as permanent fixtures on boats for centuries. One famous ratter is described in the article, “Meet Hatch the world’s oldest sea dog from the Mary Rose an article by beth Hale in the Daily Mail, (March 10, 2010). Another example is the sea journey of Polish Lowland Sheep dogs to Scotland via agricultural export from the Kingdom of Poland or the catholic Scottish migrant farmers and craftsmen moving to Poland with their belongings, including dogs.

The taxonomic name of the Pumi is “Canis familiaris ovilis villosus terrarius Raitsitsi.” This definition is clear, a “bushy haired terrier type herding dog” ( a dog with inclination to herd). The intention of Raisits and Anghy cannot be misinterpreted. (perhaps with taxonomy’s new developments and directions these all can be genetically tested some day). They wanted to develop a terrier type herding dog.  The fact that this did not become a conscious effort prior to their involvement until the late 1800’s or even later until the early part of the 1900’s, is well known from magazines, newspapers and other records of the period.   So I believe that the description,“terrier type” used by Hungarians is consistent, even if the mystery dog they refer to as ratters and other “continental terriers” are officially called Pinschers or were crosses of pinschers.

Gallant also includes an article, that published a letter by R von Schmiedenberg, in the magazine “Der Hund,” from 1879, “What is a Pincher?” where the author of the letter declares how much pinschers and terriers are analogous. In the context of developing and solidifying dog breeds in Hungary, we should not forget that Hungary has been a quite backward country. Agriculture including animal husbandry and for that matter working dog breeding were way behind western Europe. Based on records, the Pumi and the Puli have not been officially divided into two different breeds for breeding purposes until 1910’s!

A Puli with Pumi impact

A Puli showing Pumi impact- phenotypic plasticity?

Pumi or Puli?

So what do you have a PUMI… or PUMI…?

For our purpose to follow the Pumi’s evolution as a breed, Gallant’s text, supports the idea that continental terriers and terrier type dogs have existed in Europe and in Germany and that the likelihood of British terriers and terrier type dogs entering the continent before organized dog breeding and “modern” dog shows have been also high.

Writings, specifically focusing on the Pumi’s history from Hungarian archival materials collected by Tamara Langer in the Pumi archive, the “Pumitar” (Pumi Warehouse), provide the detailed chronicle of the Pumi’s development as a terrier type herding dog in a historical, social and economic context.

In the article, “Magyar Juhasz vagy Pasztorebek” “Hungarian Sheep Dogs” in one of  the issues of the “Ebtenyesztes”  or “Dog breeding” magazine from 1915, the author, Buzzi complains about the dismal state of dog breeding, especially of working farm dogs in Hungary. He retells stories heard from shepherds about  wolves breeding with Komondors and Kuvaszes, or about fancy purebred dogs, including terriers of aristocrats, spending time in the country breeding with Pumi/Puli dogs. He also warned about the potential negative effects of the war on preserving Hungarian breeds as the Great War was already raging on (the article was written in 1915).

We know from historical records that  introduction of new types of sheep in Hungary came in waves that also brought along various herding and other dogs from France, Germany and from England.  The imported sheep from the British were also mentioned In 1907 by Geza Felix Buzzi in the article “The “Regeneration of Domestic Sheepdogs,” where among many stories, he also mentioned the possible impact of English sheep dogs from England that escorted the livestock to Hungary. The Old English Sheepdog was most prominently mentioned in the article.

Not long ago, in response to one of my comments on the topic of terrier type and Pumi, one tried to vaguely recall an old Hungarian article in which the author used the term “terrier,” in his writing in relation to the Pumi allegedly with false intentions and without merit proposing the idea to advertise and promote the Pumi as a terrier. I found the article in question is from 1984, “Mi Lesz Veled Pumi?” that loosely translates as ”What is Your Future Pumi?” The article calls the reader’s attention to the endangered position of the breed during the 1980’s and in this context quotes Csaba Anghy, from 1935,  “Every one should take advantage of the fact and spread the word abroad  that finally we also have a terrier, that is a terrier for its own merit, based on its temperament, conformation, and its utilization. Emphasizing the Pumi’s terrier type would help marketing the breed abroad. Unfortunately, no one has thought the obvious yet.” The correct reading of the quote clarifies that in fact, Anghy considered the Pumi as a terrier for its on merit (terrier type dog) and did not want to promote or advertise the Pumi under false premises…!

In his article, “Pumitenyesztesunk” or “Pumi Breeding” in the magazine, ”What is New in the Zoo?” XV. February 1-15. 1928, Raisits writes, “The real Pumi with his lively and restless temperament very similar to the Fox Terrier…” In the same article he describes the visit of Dr. Ludwig Heck who after his participation at the International Zoological Congress, in Budapest, picked up “Gezenguz Allatkert,” a Pumi puppy  and took him along to Germany (for its outstanding terrier type attributes). The author also chronicles a dog show of the Hungarian Fox Terrier Breeders’ Club  that was judged by Dr. Otto Wiesbaden, a highly regarded Fox Terrier judge from Germany of the period who also visited the Budapest Zoo and checked out an important Pumi of the time,  “Icig Ficko.” According to Raisits, Dr. Weisbaden noted that “…he wished that many Fox Terriers had such a great terrier type conformation.”

So until we have a better proof, I say, that if it looks like a terrier, acts like a terrier then the Pumi is a terrier type herding breed…

“Budapest Budapest Te Csodas…”

February 16, 2016

“Budapest Budapest You Wonderful…” The title is a popular Hungarian song, I think back from the 1960-70. For Hungarians it is sort of the equivalent of Sinatra’s “New York New York.” https://youtu.be/TIsXvH-e6bU  (it is heavily edited and appropriated sorry original content owners….)

I am so thrilled to be back again…

 

Catskill Pumis waiting to board at JFKIt is that crazy time of the year again when we travel to Europe to check out the royal and not so royal Pumi houses of Europe to make some holly alliances between the Pumis of the New World and some of the Ancient Regimes of the continent.

 

It is that crazy time of the year again when we travel to Europe to check out the royal and not so royal Pumi houses of Europe to make some holly alliances between the Pumis of the New World and Pumis of the  Ancient Regimes of Europe.

Catskill Pumi petting ZOO at JFK every one loves the Pumis

Catskill Pumi petting ZOO at JFK every one loves the Pumis

I’ll spend six weeks traveling in Hungary and a few other countries. The plan is to enter some dog shows, visit breeders, get some unofficial breeding and health history on the breed.  I will put  my light blue NATO helmet on and try to do my best to clean off the dirt that comes with all the information from the various sides…  and we also try to breed if all works as planned.

The Catskill Pumi Teddy Bear Collection - I WANT ONE!

The Catskill Pumi Teddy Bear Collection – I WANT ONE!

We had a very orderly departure that is usually a pretty  rear occurrence. Left on time from upstate, made it to the airport without incident, checked in dogs and luggages, I even get to check in an extra duffle bag without paying a penny. The early arrival to JFK gave us some extra quality time with the dogs. They could eliminate, hang out and get used to the new environment without any tension so when they were hauled away to load them on the plain, they did not care too much.

We let Mommy off leash for a pit stop

We let Mommy off leash for a pit stop…

The flight was uneventful. In Helsinki I changed plane to Budapest.  While boarding, the captain assured me that the dogs were  transferred to the second flight and so we went.  After the brutal cold spell of of Upstate NY (we had -40F windchill Friday night) I did not mind the unseasonable warm temperature at my arrival in Budapest.

Agyag and Fruska are checking in at Finnair

Agyag and Fruska are checking in at Finnair

We walked through customs like middle eastern migrants enter to Europe; no one checked my papers or really cared about me or the dogs.  I picked up my rental car and we were on our way to my sister’s house. The station wagon I rented is a blessing because I can fit both crates in the back so I can keep the car clean from muddy dog paws for six weeks. It was funny to see the dogs when we got out of the car and entered the lobby of the high-rise building where my sister lives. As we were waiting for the elevator, they kept looking and wondering why the sheep live in vertically stacked stalls and why they have so many shepherds around.  I needed to pull through the day without going to sleep until the evening so I can manage better the jetlag aka desynchronosis (a fancy word for you).

The Catskill Pumis are ready to board the subway

The Catskill Pumis are ready to enter the Budapest subway system

Today we took it easy. I bought a monthly public transportation pass so I do not have to drive in Budapest traffic unless it is necessary.  I also bought a gym membership to a fancy gym just a few blocks from my sister’s house because even though, i promised myself that I keep my relatively healthy diet while in Europe, I am afraid I will get tempted and breaking down within minutes after walking into one of those famous indoor food markets where they sell all those mouthwatering insanely delicious food creations.

My sister Zsuzsa with my Pumis

My sister Zsuzsa with my Pumis

The rest of the day we are off to the central shopping district on the Pest side of the City.  Lets see what the fancy boutiques of Budapest can offer comparing to Delhi’s “Tractor Supply” selection or Oneonta’s “Walmart” back home in New York. Do not tell this part of my trip to Laszlo…

Dogs and owners need to know a lot before entering a dog run you have to pass a "dog body language test" study material is available at the entrance. Turid Ruugas would be pretty proud

Dogs and owners need to know a lot before entering a dog run. Everyone has to pass a “dog body language test” Study material is available at the entrance. Welcome to Dog Run University… Turid Ruugas would be pretty proud

 

Rat King and Strawhenge…

December 5, 2015

En route to Florida, we stopped for a barn hunt trial at “Tailwaggin’ Events” in Robbinsville NJ.   The weather was glorious. Blue sky and radiating warm sunshine. Climate change at its best!

The rat King Installation by Katharina Fritsch

The rat King Installation by Katharina Fritsch

IMG_3319

..and a real rat king from the collection of Naturkundliches Museum Mauritianum in Altenburg, Germany. (if you do not know about rat king, you might want to check it out)

Have you ever been at a barn hunt event? The course is built of straw bales where the dogs must navigate through tunnels, ramps, and other straw structures to find the rat in a tube somewhere under or between the straw bales. By looking at these straw bale structures that appeared so similar to the structures of Stonehenge, I thought, I just solved the approximately 5000 years old great mysteries of Stonehenge. Those New Stone Age (Neolithic) stoners must have played barn hunt. Rats should have been abundant and therefore, good farm dogs, had to be in great demand…

Stonehenge, the real stuff...

Stonehenge, the real stuff…

Anyway, the place was packed with people and tons of dogs.  It always makes me wonder what makes dogs so special in our lives that we create crazy events and form organizations to entertain these four legged beasts… Four Pumis entered out of 12 (!) present! With such a rate, the unique Pumi cuteness fast will turn into everyday delight.

Strawhenge the real stuff...

Strawhenge, the real stuff…

There were 43 entries in novice class and two of the two Pumis have stolen the show. My Kaffogo Agyag has won second place. It has been the happiest second place I can think of, because, the winner was Catskill CAVU from our B-litter (owner Sandy Mainardi).  CAVU recently recovered from a serious knee surgery after an unfortunate accident during agility training.  No wonder, I was so happy that she beat Agyag. It was nice to see him happy and healthy again.  Marika Foreman has also entered her two Catskill Pumis, Csibesz and Bikfic.  This event was their barn hunt debut.  Both dogs  were very excited  and Csibesz passed his rat instinct test.

the villain of the barn hunt - the rat...

the villain of the barn hunt – the rat…

Barn hunt is in great demand... handlers' meeting

Barn hunt is in great demand… handlers’ meeting

The rest of the Pumis were cheering from the sideline.  People could not stop smiling by looking at the cutest and biggest herd of Pumis in Robbinsville today.

The Hero and star of the story, Kaffogo Agyag...

The Hero and star of the story, Kaffogo Agyag…

There was even a rat bar... The rat wrangler recommendation was, Rattus Norwegicus on the rocks...

There was even a rat bar… The rat wrangler recommendation was, Rattus Norwegicus on the rocks…

After the event, we are back on the road today.  We plan to spend the night in Virginia and tomorrow  to complete the last leg of the annual Eukanuba pilgrimage to Orlando Florida.

No one can resist barn hunt...so why don't YOU try it next time...?

No one can resist barn hunt…so why don’t YOU try it next time…?

Dewey Defeats Truman…

 

October 19, 2015

Dewey Defeats Truman...Not Again!? Who has been your expert?

Dewey Defeats Truman…Not Again!? Who has been your expert?

Despite early poll results and Pumi experts’ opinions, (this latter term appears becoming more and more a misnomer) some Pumis with high expectations got “Dewey-d” at the Pumi National Specialty in Wilmington Ohio over the weekend. After seeing the results, the originally consulted experts have been scolded by opposing Pumi experts from the other end of the spectrum. (By the time of the publication of this blog we have not heard from the third, the European Pumi experts).

Man are lazy...Laszlo during the agility seminar

Men are lazy…Laszlo during the agility seminar

 

HPCA Agility Got Talent - hey Stacy Lehman I want to learn from you!

HPCA Agility Got Talent – hey Stacy Lehman I want to learn from you!

Right after the show, unnamed experts (not another expert…?!) close to the judge suggested that,  “based on the dogs entered the National Specialty Show over the weekend, the Pumi Breed is pretty much all over on the map in the U.S., sort of the Puli was about a decade earlier.” I guess the lessons of the 1948 U.S. presidential election have been forgotten. So next time if you want to bet on a Pumi, instead of relying on expert opinion,  listen to  “Jimmy the Greek.” (he knew about the effect of grooming…)  By the way, who has been your expert…?

Next time, listen to "Jimmy the Greek" Snyder

Next time, listen to “Jimmy the Greek” Snyder

 

Marilyn Funke with Catskill Csobanka

Marilyn FunMarilyn Funke with Catskill Csobanka (center), Ildiko Repasi with Catskill Csinszka (right)

Up to date, this has been the largest Pumifest in the breed’s U.S. history, held at the Eukanuba Roberts Centre in Wilmington Ohio this year.  Most participants, most performance events, most entries, most friendliness as well as most unfriendliness. The most unusual has been the formal environment, the convention center. The authoritative milieu certainly altered people’s behavior and some have stubbornly kept up their guards. No eye contacts, no greetings and patterns of avoidance behavior.

Pat Wright and Catskill Csuzli (left), Laszlo with Catskill Csinszka (right)

Pat Wright and Catskill Csuzli (left), Laszlo with Catskill Badger (right)

Even though, growing is the natural order of things, it’s been sad to see the family atmosphere and the spirited comradery fading away in history.  The breed will be getting full recognition from the AKC next year and that will put the Pumi out in the limelight. It will go big and probably will go fast.  According to the HPCA, there have also been record number of Pumi puppies born this year in the U.S. (in any shape, forms and colors.)  …And the numbers (and variety) will keep increasing as the Pumi will enter the AKC herding group. Buckle up folks and be ready for the ride. If… the roadmap is ready, the judges are prepared… and future breeders have a network to fall back on… than bring it on baby…  Why not? After all, dog breeding  is not a rocket science and everyone can  pinch in. It always takes a village…

Stacy Lehman and  hot cookie Catskill Borsika, took the agility ring by storm. Novice Standard 16" class Q and first place, also earned her novice standard title. Open Jumper with Weaves (JWW) Q and first place 16" Time to beat Q - 16" Conformation: Reserve Winners Bitch, Herding: IT one qualifying leg

Stacy Lehman and hot cookie Catskill Borsika, took the agility ring by storm. Novice Standard 16″ class Q and first place, also earned her novice standard title. Open Jumper with Weaves (JWW) Q and first place 16″ Time to beat Q – 16″ Conformation: Reserve Winners Bitch, Herding: IT one qualifying leg

Seven years old Eva Clinton, Junior Handler. Call her if you want to learn some tricks about superior dg show handling

Seven years old Eva Clinton, Junior Handler with Kaffogo Agyag. Call her if you want to learn some tricks about superior show dog handling

But lets get back to the show. In general, the event went relatively well during the weekend.  Seminars and presentations smartly, were organized in tracks and  independently so participants had the chance to get to see and participate pretty much in everything.  I might note that some events were hard to find. A central information booth with a “know everything” person would have been helpful.

Thursday and Friday there were performance events, seminars and the blood draw.   The main event, conformation was scheduled for Saturday, back to back with the banquet. Honestly, the schedule was a bit tight, and things stretched out a bit long so we ended up late from the dinner.  We had no time to refresh because we had to give the dogs a good exercise after a long day in the ring, on leash in the exhibition hall and  also waiting in the van.

Ourselves certainly have to be better organized in the future and  ask friends to help pinching in with some work in exchange for grooming, handling and training.  It is not easy to groom 10  + dogs for a show, prepare them for the ring, while also taking care of our own dogs idling.

When we finally arrived to the banquet, people were done with their dinners and the annual meeting has started in the semi-dark room with the recognition awards. Members and their dogs got recognized for their 2014 achievements.  The Catskill dogs’ eight (or so) herding titles from 2014 have not been recognized because currently we are not members of the Club.  The Club perhaps should consider a “Non-Member Membership” category for those who do not wish to be members of the Club, however, contribute to the breed’s development here in the U.S.

By the time the auction started, most people’s adrenaline level tanked and  the high anticipation of bidding on items have somewhat toned down. I am wondering whether a short standing reception with beverages and the chance for people to mingle and  get to know each other (instead of listening to the “recognition award memorial”) could have helped to elevate the mood and subsequently increase the success of the auction. Ginger Butler, Paula Stevens and Tom Levy  still did a fantastic job to resuscitate the participants to open up their wallets during bidding.  We left early in fear of falling a sleep.

 Catskill Bikfic with Laszlo in pursuit of happiness

Catskill Bikfic with Laszlo in pursuit of happiness

Sunday’s herding event at Green Gate Farm, a beautiful place I might add, witnessed some minor disturbances.  Participants had to arrive early and  wait around in the cold until the frost disappeared.  When the event finally started about two hours later, the judge got injured during the first instinct test. The event got halted and people had to wait around some more, until officials figured out what to do.  When the event continued, with herding trials, Pumis and Pulis kept “NQ-ing” in masses. No dog “Q-d” at trial or pre trial level… Not to find excuses, however, we all agreed that the sheep were way to light for Started, intermediate, PT and HT courses. The day turned out to be pretty long. Testing and trialing two breeds when dogs entering the ring one by one is a tedious proposal.   In the afternoon, some people had to leave to catch flights or simply make it back home.  We waited out our line. Hungry, dehydrated and tired,  finally, we made it.

Catskill Barsony heading to the sheep's heads

Catskill Barsony heading to the sheep’s heads

When the herding part of Pumifest was over, we returned to the hotel and had a few farewell pints with Mark Walley, our British Pumi FaceBook friend who jumped out of the computer Thursday morning in the lobby of Holidays Inn. Mark, we are so glad you came and hope to see you again in Texas next year. Bring Sharron along to double the fun.

Saying farewell to Mark Walley I don't know why we kicked out the Brits from this country they seem to be so much fun...

Saying farewell to Mark Walley I don’t know why we kicked out the Brits from this country they seem to be so much fun…

 

I want to finish this Pumifesto with my expert rating (self anointed) of the event.  Considering everything, I give a 3 1/2 stars out of five. Even though, it has been a risky proposal to hold both breeds annual specialities together, I would say, it mostly worked, except the long lines during the herding event.  The location was convenient, hotel, restaurant and convention center with a great dog run together in one location.  Also, I would have been happy to see an information booth, a more knowledgable ring stewart  or stuart and an announcer for the conformation show (one of the Catskill Pumis missed his entry…)

Would I recommend future Pumifests to others? Absolutely!

Will I  go to next year’s Pumifest to Texas? I would not miss it for anything!

p.s. to those who avoided me for whatever reason, won’t be a stranger next year, I do not bite, regardless, whatever rumors say. We can have fun, we might even learn from each other and hey it is only 4 days out of 365.

Hope to see ya’ll  next year!