Tag Archives: pumi

Farewell Warrior Princes

March 7, 2017

Bubbles farewell girl you've made me to realize that I was a closeted small dog guy Go terriers and types!

Bubbles, farewell my girl. You’ve made me to realize that I was a closeted small dog guy Go terriers and  terrier types!

Bubbles 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 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 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.

Bubbles enjoying the sun

Bubbles meditating before the next kill

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.

Bubble also has a gentle side. when one of the goat kids got sick, she has guarded her from the Pumis.

Bubbles also had a gentle side. when one of the goat kids got sick, she has fiercely guarded her from the Pumis. She had an uncanny ability to understand the difference btw farm animals and wild creatures.

Bub the beast. She was the greatest protector of our chicken and ducks. This fox had taken seven chickens in three weeks until one night ran into Bub in the barn.

Bub the beast. She was the greatest protector of our chicken and ducks. This fox had taken seven chickens in three weeks until one night ran into Bub in the barn.

We will always fondly remember you  Bub. Rest in 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumis, Bacon, Palinka, Terrorism, Politics and The Ominous Toilet Bowl

March 26, 2016

At Hajnalka Velekei's "Ttoktudó Kennel" at Tápióbicske

At Hajnalka Velekei’s “Ttoktudó Kennel” at Tápióbicske

Pumi talk with József Árkosi Club president, Gabriella Szabadosné and me (pictured)

Pumi talk with József Árkosi Club president, Gabriella Szabadosné and me (pictured)

We are home at long last!  After six weeks in Hungary we are back home on the farm in Delhi, NY.  Every day has been a continuos inseparable experience in Hungary. Pumis, family, friends, food, alcohol, melancholy, nostalgia, literature, religion, political discontent  and the dreaded central European toilet bowl…- essential attributes of Central-European existentialism.

I’ve spent six weeks in Europe, mostly in Hungary where I’ve traveled all over the country to see groomers,  breeders and their Pumis.  I also had a quick trip to Austria and a short stop in Helsinki, Finland.

Felt art - preparation for Easter

Felt art – preparation for Easter

ham ham ham

ham ham ham

We were also invited to a Pumi Club party/meeting, where current changes in the law affecting breeders of Hungarian native dog breeds have been discussed along Club life, activities and delegation of responsibilities.  For Hungarian women, the work place, formal organizations and even everyday life in general still offers different experiences and less opportunities than for men in Hungary.  To summarize my experience, the food was great while club business and female membership are still incompatible today.

Bacon Nation

Bacon Nation

An authentic and legal... distillery in Mezöberény

An authentic and legal… distillery in Mezöberény

Dog shows are reflections of the existing power struggles of the opposing Hungarian Pumi parties.  According to rumors  oppositions have slowly been eroding however. The word is out that more people are considering to join the official club – after all common sense might prevail in the interest of the breed.

Undoubtedly, Hungary remains the Mecca of the Pumi, even though, dog culture and breeding practices could use a bit of update and a few gallons of fresh paint.  The good news is that changes are  coming along thanks to the Hungarian Pumi Club’s (Magyar Pumi Klub) efforts.  Health testing is becoming more frequent, the registered breeding stock is managed better through frequent breeding stock review, including essential temperament tests.  The number of breeders who take responsibility and health test their dogs are slowly increasing. What is ironic however is that many who still refuse to test their own dogs, demand to see test results from breeders who have done the health tests.  hypocrisy at its best…!

Street musician in the heart of Budapest playing using wine glasses

Street musician making music by using wine glasses in the heart of Budapest

The mobile pedal powered beer cart riding through one of the historic districts of Budapest. Patrons must be pedaling to move the vehicle on the road while drinking beer.

The mobile pedal powered beer cart riding through one of the historic districts of Budapest. Patrons must be pedaling to move the vehicle on the road while drinking beer.

For Hungarians, life is well greased with bacon, smoked with cigarettes and wetted with Palinka in Hungary.  Vegetables and fruits are expensive and not integral part of Hungarian diet. Meat, cured salami, smoked sausage, lard, alcohol and high blood pressure overwhelms everyday folks’ lives. Heart attack is the most frequent killer of Hungarians. What further complicates the story is that unfortunately, any ambulance can be easily redirected from hospital to hospital while the patient is dying of  a heart attack in the ambulance due to serious shortage of doctors. Medical professionals are severely under paid and probably the exodus of doctors from Hungary  is the second largest human migration in Europe beside the  current middle eastern refugee crisis.

Demonstration of power at the Liszt Ferenc Airport in Budapest after the Bruxelles, Belgium terror attack. Opposition parties regarded it unnecessary, ineffective and expensive. An anchor woman in one of the the morning news asked, "So who is going to pay the overtime for the S.W.A.T. team?" The following day the number of military vehicles were reduced at the airport entrance

Demonstration of power at the entrance of the Liszt Ferenc Airport in Budapest after the Bruxelles, Belgium terror attack. Opposition parties regarded it unnecessary, ineffective and expensive. An anchor woman in one of the the morning news asked, “So who is going to pay the overtime for the S.W.A.T. team?” The following day the number of military vehicles were reduced to two at the airport entrance.

 a WWI museum show pushing government propaganda through glorification of militarism - rally around the right wing government

a museum show about the Great War and its consequences. Pushing government propaganda through glorification of militarism – rally around the right wing government

Hungarian politics is authoritarian and it is in close alliance with Putin’s Russia. Corruption is rampant in many aspects of life. Politicians are like feudal overlords who buy land below market price and abuse power. Opposing voices are often intimidated and muted. The last tele news I watched in Hungary has secretly followed the trail of a big chunk of money recently appropriated by the EU to investigate government corruption in Hungary.  The news story revealed that the money  has been embezzled by those government  agencies and politicians who should have been investigated for alleged corruptions.

Regardless, Hungary is still a fascinating country that you must put on your bucket list to visit. It is a beautiful place, with welcoming people, lots of Pumis,  fantastic architecture, endless history and  great cultural and culinary traditions. Also,  is still relatively inexpensive.

Architectural details in the castle district with a "cool girl"

Architectural details in the castle district with a “cool girl”

world class architecture

world class architecture

But remember, when visiting Hungary and Central Europe, always be on the alert.  The region has always been an exciting, however a complex place that often surprises visitors.  Hungarians like other nations in the area are absorbed by existentialism that is present in every aspect of life and sometimes can be overbearing. It can also appear in the least expected context like the often discussed “shelf modeled toilet…” But I guess, these are some of  the things that makes Hungary and Central Europe authentic and different from the rest of the world and also why we all like to go there.

The German shelf toilet - Heideggerian Existentialism explained -

The German shelf toilet – Heideggerian Existentialism explained –

CLICK HERE ——> http://youtu.be/RIDbKXnfDJk 

to be continued….

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.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2016

Happy involuntary St Patrick's Day at TXL/Berlin, Airport Germany

Happy involuntary St Patrick’s Day at TXL/Berlin, Airport Germany

I am involuntarily celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at TXL/Berlin airport in Berlin, Germany. I am stuck here for most of the day because I missed my connection to Budapest, Hungary.   It is a pretty depressing run down place. It feels like the European version of Jim Crow era public place – only the appropriate sign is missing “Germans Only…”

The only thing consoling my distress is the 40 Euro voucher that I got from Airberlin for my pain and suffering.  That is about 8.88888 beers in an airport bar. My options are; make friends by buying a few pints for some random intimidating  strangers  or drink it all by myself… but than I might miss my connection again.

Baby in the airport bar -early child hood education - or no chid left behind

Baby in the airport bar -early child hood education – or no chid left behind

Until than, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

loud rowdy crowd drinking beer at the airport. A beer putsch for every day

loud rowdy crowd drinking beer at the airport. A beer putsch for every day. In 2016, 366 day…

the dog and the fat man

the EX and the dog

 

more dogs

Do you have a beer bone?

nn

give me a beer biscuit

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 Graz, 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.

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

A Day Without Pumis

March 1, 2016

My sister posing with the Pumis in front of a subway musician. The guy probably finished the Liszt Ferenc Conservatorium.

My sister posing with the Pumis in front of a subway musician. The guy probably finished the Liszt Ferenc Conservatorium.

Dog shows, meetings, breeding dogs,  exercising, eating, visiting family…pretty much thats all that I could do during the  first two weeks in Budapest. Time flies fast. Finally, Sunday my sister convinced me to forget the Pumis and dragged me to the City.  I did not oppose and there we went.

My buns are perhaps growing from the delicious food , however, I turn them into buns of steel during the spin classes I've been taking in the near by gym.

My buns are perhaps growing from the delicious food , however, they turn into buns of steel during the spin classes I’ve been taking in the nearby gym.

Budapest is a humungous size city with a population of over 3 million people within 203 square miles of land. This area is strictly the 22 districts of the City of Budapest without the greater metropolitan area.  (compare it to New York’s  five boroughs with over 8 million people on 305 square miles of land .)  About 1/3 of Hungary’s population of 10 million lives in Budapest.

or

Spin…

Checking out street vendors in the Jewish quarter

Checking out street vendors in the Jewish quarter

Spin...

or not to spin

We aimed the famous Erzsebetvaros, or Elizabethstadt in German or in English simply Elizabethtown, the VII-th district (7th district). This area was the outer edge of the City of Pest prior to the 1873,  unification of the three independent cities, Buda, Pest, and Old- Buda.  During the 1800s there have been gardens, small agricultural plots around this area with one  and two story houses where the jewish population started moving in to the city from the countrysides  in search for a better life.

Cobble stone, narrow streets, old buildings...

Cobble stones, narrow streets, old buildings…

 

The turn of the century (1900) has brought an incredible urban renaissance to the area.  Eclectic high-rise buildings and wide boulevards, were designed and built  that surrounded the perimeters of the largest jewish quarter in Budapest. During this time, the area’s  vernacular name has become “Csikago” after the City of Chicago in the U.S.. The nickname drew a parallel between the rapid urban and economic growth of the area and the American metropolis. Ironically, during the Great Depression, the name stuck with the district, but at this time  because of another parallel drawn between the two cities, the growth in crime rate.

the sign basically says shot up and respect you neighbors

Shut up visitors !

 

Near the end of WWII the jewish population has been systematically  decimated by the retreating German military from the Russian front and the Hungarian National Socialists.  After the war, during the rebuilding of the City, the center of Elizabethtown, the “ghetto,” as it was unofficially called by the communists, got  very small attention. It has remained one of the most dilapidated, poorest and crime ridden part of Budapest, hidden behind magnificent edifices.

City bikes to avoid driving around tipsy in the neighborhood (hungary has ZERO (0) alcohol tolerance for drivers of automobiles (also, Hungary has the strongest "Drunk Drivers Against Mothers" movement. (OK bad joke...)

City bikes to avoid driving around tipsy in the neighborhood. Hungary has ZERO (0) alcohol tolerance for drivers of automobiles. Consequently,  Hungary has the strongest “Drunk Drivers Against Mothers” movement. (OK bad joke…)

During the 1960s’ Communist integration policy, the Gipsy (Romani) from the countryside, was forced to move under the  urban relocation programs into the district’s abandoned and battered buildings. Lack of infrastructure, sanitation, policing and available jobs, turned the area into a hotbed of urban crime again. During  the 1970’s and 1980’s’ communist gentrification, a slow, however, steady wave of “bohemian artistic crowd” moved into the area that has become the beginning of the second urban renaissance of the district.

Memorials for the members of the Swiss Embassy who saved the Jews of Budapest during WWII

Memorials for the members of the Swiss Embassy who saved the Jews of Budapest during WWII

 

Today, Elizabethtown is a huge tourist attraction with street vendors, artisans, galleries, restaurants, bars, micro hotels and great apartments for rent. We spent pretty much the entire Sunday in the area wondering around.  One of the greatest attractions are the “Ruin pubs” that open up  in abandoned buildings and empty lots with good food, wide selection of beers, art works for sale and music.

IMG_4636

The entrance of one of the “Ruin pubs” in the district. The fundamental idea is to rent or occupy an abandoned building and set up shop using second hand  furniture, weird art work and thrift store clutter. Serve alcohol with no regular hours and no permits and move on when the neighbors complain or the authorities are after you.,

The "Madach Building... in retrospect one of the most ironic architectural piece of the area build in 1938 right on the perimeter of the "ghetto." Its style suspiciously remind me so many Nazi and fascist architecture of the era.

The “Madach Building… in retrospect one of the most ironic architectural piece of the area build in 1938 right on the perimeter of the “ghetto.” Its style suspiciously reminds me to Nazi and Fascist architecture of the era.

Although most of the area has been restored and sanitized to entertain tourists, the ghosts of those who perished during the violent past, have been and will be present in the air,  the bricks of the buildings, the cobble stones of the streets and in the reflections of leaded glass windows of the synagogues.

The arcade of the Madach building. Regardless, it is a fine piece of representation of the era. The apartments in the building in this area must worth a fortune.

The arcade of the Madach building. Regardless, it is a fine piece of representation of the era. The apartments in the building must worth a fortune. Location location location…

The famous six-story "Huszar Building" the former home of the "Film Museum" The entry was on the first floor and the theater itself was on the basement level under ground. It was very difficult to get tickets. We have watched some of the greatest movies of cinema history here. Fellini, Bergman, Fassbinder, Herzog, Schlondorff, Bunuel, Truffaut, Godard, Cocteau... and the like

in the Jewish quarter, outside of the Main synagogue

FullSizeRender 94

The famous six-story “Hussar Building,” the former home of the iconic “Film Museum.” The entry was on the first floor and the theater itself was on the basement level,  way under ground. It was very difficult to get tickets there. We have watched some of the greatest movies of cinema’s history here with Laszlo. Fellini, Bergman, Fassbinder, Herzog, Schlondorff, Bunuel, Truffaut, Godard, Cocteau, and the like… In my opinion, the program of the Film Museum had a significant role in the collapse of communism….

The Gift That Keeps On Giving…

February 26, 2016

During the FeHoVa 2016 international Dog Show in Budapest, Hungary, I’ve noticed that one dog owner specifically kept pulling away her dog from me when my amorous Kaffogo Agyag has kept pulling after her male Pumi. First I thought she was simply unfriendly, however, once her dog was in a “safe distance” under control, she was open to engage in  conversation with me.  When I asked  her why she did not let her dog to play with Agyag and Fruska, her answer was, that she was worrying about canine herpes virus… We’ve all heard of the disease, however, for many breeders and dog owners CHV remains in the realm of the abstract.

So we started talking….

As a farmer who have bred horses, sheep and goats I’ve known about rhino, or “Rhino pneumonitis”, the equine herpes virus. Due to the size of horses, rhino caused abortion is a truly dramatic experience.  Ovines (sheep) can also host the Ovine Herpes Virus 2 that causes an inapparent infection, a condition that we closely monitor here on the farm so we can prevent it.

Canine herpes virus is also an ugly disease. Those who are not so familiar with the details of CHV, might be able learn something from this article. I know, that I certainly would have been able to use a collection of more readily available readings on a website or the advice of  seasoned breeders on breeding and  health related issues in the past and even today.  Hope this article can help to point to the right direction for further readings and to change behaviors when dealing with communicable diseases.

New born puppies are exciting news. Dog pregnancy is a relatively short event and through social media we can closely follow our  “friends'” pregnant dogs and new born litters. With the help of the internet, we are right there in the breeder’s living room or barn… witnessing the pregnancy and new lives.

Unfortunately, sometime, we also witness abortions, stillbirth, pups born weak and die unexpectedly with no previous signs within one- to-four weeks.  We express our condolence and mourn along based on the pattern of the 24-hour news cycle and then move on.  We do not follow up,  and do not go back to ask the question, “what happened…?”  It is considered inappropriate in the eye of public opinion, as opposed to considering it as a learning opportunity and possibly helping others.

In the age of our sanitized virtual relationships across continents, objective discussions  have been considered as impolite.  A friend of mine who is older than Marshall McLuhan’s phrase, “the medium is the message” and who ironically also  happens to be a Canadian (like McLuhan), after she got acquainted with Facebook not long ago, asked her newly acquired Facebook friends for their phone numbers so she could call them instead of  communicating over FB – it seemed less complicated, more effective and goal oriented to her…I guess, she just did not get it… “I thought we were friends after all…” she often told me when talking about her FaceBook friends…

So some fetuses get aborted, or just never fully develop and born or the newborn puppies simply die after birth in a short period of time. Among those who survive, some remains weak and lethargic and perhaps appears to have respiratory or organ problems, nerve damages, mental and behavioral issues.  The cause of the incident does not get tracked down by the breeder, the question remains open, and most likely subjective logic gets applied to explain the misfortune.  This is one way how  taboos and myths born in dog breeding circles.

Canine herpes virus is a frustrating highly contagious diseases that is more frequent than one would think of. 80% of kenneled dogs can come into contact with the virus while among  “in home” kept dogs, the infection rate is much lower, 20-25%.  Ironically,  pet dogs that have been kept in homes as opposed to kennels, when contracted the virus, have shown more severe symptoms  than dogs that are frequently kenneled. In contrast, show dogs who are exposed to low levels of the virus on a regular basis, can develop certain resistance to suppress flare ups.

When talking about Canine herpes virus, a certain cultural bias is unavoidable. I’ve read some studies about canine herpes virus infection rates in England, Belgium and Turkey. (“A serological study of canine herpes virus-1 infection in the English dog population” Reading MJ et al. Arch Virol 1998, – there was a similar  study published in Belgium  by Ronnse V, et. al. Reprod Domest Anim. 2002 – and in Turkey  by Yesilbag K et al. Res Vet Sci. 2012)   Before reading these articles, my prediction, based on my short experience in these countries, listed Turkey as probably the most affected one by the CHV among the three countries listed.  I imagine, many of you would assume the same outcome. Objective reality however, turned out to be different. The studies have basically shown a very similar CHV infection rate  in all three countries.

Dogs can get infected  with the virus anywhere anytime through nasal, oral and vaginal secretion. Most frequent places can be dog shows, like the annual  Westminster Kennel Club Show (to shock you!) or the annual AKC Eukanuba Agility trial (another place where the ELITE appears…) for the “menu chiens” simply dog runs, dog training places, even vet offices can be “ideal” locations of contracting the disease. In short, CHV do not discriminate…

What can tip the scale in favor of countries with a higher puppy survival rate  is, the so called” higher dog culture” ( for lack of a better definition…) that is basically a higher quality post partum care.  If the fetus did not die before birth, CHV can also be transmitted to  the pups through the birth canal and oral or nasal infection. Because puppies cannot control their body temperature before three weeks of age, the virus that thrives in lower temperature (97-99F), infects the young pup’s body due to the body’s inability to produce fever.

Questions one might ask, can or should the dam be bred again after a breeder experiences a CHV infected litter from the dam? if yes, would the dam’s next litter show signs of CHV too?  Can the stud dog  get infected?

Unfortunately, most veterinary information focusing on herpes in puppies and it is hard to find articles about management of herpes in adult dogs.  The percentage of CHV infected adult dog population is staggering. It is btw 30%-80% anywhere in the U.S (Wikipedia puts the number even higher, 40-93% in certain dog populations.)   Adult dogs rarely show signs of herpes as it tend to go dormant in the body, however, stress can trigger a flare ups. Therefore, careful  planning of a litter of a CHV infected bitch  is very important.

Stress management is key. How can a breeder avoid putting stress on a dog that is going to be bred?  What can be the stressors for a bitch?  Mary C. Wakeman D.V.M., summarize it in the following list:

  • hormonal events which temporarily impair the body’s ability to fight infection,
  • shipping , boarding, breeding and shipping again should the bitch travel to the stud dog,
  • possible concurrent bacterial vaginal or uterine disease,
  • lyme disease in certain part of the country when traveling there,
  • DOG SHOWS,
  • decreased thyroid level that is especially common in bitches five years or older,
  • certain vaccinations
  • other issues such as temperature stress.

The presence of stress triggered herpes can explain failed pregnancies, and unusually small litter sizes. In one test,  where strict pre-pregnancy work ups showed no infections around half way to whelping, the  presence of live fetuses have been established.   Later, serum samples were taken for herpes titer about two weeks apart.  Those who have been exposed to shows, kenneling, groomers, flying  and previously showed no signs of infections, the CHV test results suddenly have shown positive herpes titers, in about 80% of the bitches tested.  This outcome should be self explanatory why previously infected bitches especially should avoid stress before breeding and during pregnancy.

It is also important to know that CHV can appear in a form of a respiratory disease, that can easily be mistaken for kennel cough, can manifest as a conjunctivitis, cornea infection of the eye and sinusitis according to the Merck veterinary manual.  Dogs can be exposed to repeat infections by going to kennels, dog runs, training places where they can be exposed to higher or lower level of infective particles from the environment that has a relatively high presence of dogs, They can also flare up as their own dormant infection might resurface.

Breeders who cannot avoid these contacts, because they train other dogs, run  boarding kennels, go to shows and trials, still can reduce the probability of literary taking the disease back home through preventative measures such as regularly changing clothes before entering their own environment.  One can also reduce visitor’s access to the breeding kennel and establish higher sanitation measures for visitors (usually a high percentage of visitors already have dogs who might carry CHV on themselves from home.)

Ironically, pet dogs who do not or rarely visit dog shows, trials, kennels groomers etc are more susceptible because they have no regular low level contact with the virus as show and performance dogs do.

What about male dogs? They may get infected or not. The Belgian pharma company Merial who produces herpes vaccine Euricas 205 suggests that  vaccination temporarily stops the spread of the virus.  Testing at the time of breeding is pointless according to Mary C. Wakeman, especially if the dog is from the same environment as the bitch. Dogs from the same kennels,  will be in various phases of the infection. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that boarding kennels, groomers that primarily cater to pet dogs, contains a much higher level  of infected aerosol particles than breeding kennels in case the bitch has visited one of these sites outside of her kennel. Consequently sanitation is extremely important.  According to the Merck Veterinary manual, CHV is relatively unstable outside the host and sensitive to lipid solvents, ether and chloroform and in general to most disinfectants. With regular cleaning the transmission can be reduced.

Another useful advice is, not to leave the bitch in the dog’s environment at breeding, rather traveling back and forth by car  that most dogs are used to and staying in a hotel with the owner/handler. To further reduce stress and travel related exposure, the use of artificial insemination is also viable alternative.

There is no treatment (curing the disease) available for HCV. There is no vaccination available in the United States. Euricas Herpes 205 vaccination is available in Europe to “manage” the infection. There is an interesting scientific discussion how the vaccine had been developed step by step,  it is certainly not your ordinary non-fiction but I still found it fascinating what a serious work and details goes into developing medicine.                        “http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Scientific_Discussion/veterinary/000059/WC500066409.pdf

About puppies and CHV: the seriousness of the illness depend on the age of the dog that contracts it. In the prenatal stage of development the disease virtually starves the  fetus from nutrients. This is the reason why reabsorption, abortion or  stillbirth  can occur. Pups born with infection contracted in the prenatal period are usually severely damaged.

Puppies that get infected in the utero from vaginal secretion or the saliva or the nasal secretion of the dam during or after birth, often remain under weight, weak with damaged organs. These puppies often suffer from “fading puppy syndrome due to the inability to nurse.”  They are usually in discomfort with pain and  diarrhea. They produce eye and nasal discharge. internal hemorrhage is also a frequent syndrome of CHV pups. Since a puppy under three weeks of age cannot control his body temperature, he cannot produce fever and the virus simply thrives below 98F.  Once a CHV infected puppy reaches 3-4 weeks of age his chances of survival can increase dramatically.

Vaccinations, if it is available,  with proper timing will help the bitch to develop antibodies and reduce or temporarily prevent flare ups during mating and whelping induced stress.  When vaccination is not available like here in the US, strict preventative  measures can improve the puppies surviving rate.

Heat lamp and heating pad can help to elevate the puppies’ body temperature to reduce and prevent CHV replication in the body before three weeks of age until the pups can control their own body temperatures. While antibiotics are ineffective for controlling the virus, it can prevent and eliminate secondary bacterial infections.

Proper sanitation using household disinfectants can eliminate CHV shed by the dam to prevent further infections in the pups. Limiting outside visitors and the use of increased protective measures to introduce outside pollutions are also essential.

According to secondary sources, the pharmaceutical company Merial stated that “the virus, (CHV) does not come from bad kennels – it is already everywhere.”

Can we do something about it together?

 

 

 

 

 

Last Week Tonight

February 22, 2016

The FeHoVa dog show hall

The FeHoVa dog show hall

It’s been seven busy days in Budapest with the girls, Fruska and Agyag.  In this short time, I’ve managed to squeeze in a family reunion, a four day international dog show, some city hopping/shopping  and a three-day long  un amour de chien. By the way, Kaffogo Agyag justified her amorous attitude with a  quote from the  famous romantic  poet, Ashley Madison, a contemporary of Jane

Austen NOT…,  “Life is Short, Have an Affair…”

Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison, – stories of discretion

Jayne Austen

Jayne Austen – stories of indiscretion

Meeting my family is always a passionate affair...

Meeting my family is always a passionate affair…

Meeting my family is always a passionate gathering and my sister’s high-rise flat seemed a bit tight at times…

Starting on Thursday, February 18, we’ve participated the FeHoVa International  Dog Show at HUNGEXPO, the Budapest fairground. Five shows in four days. Dog shows are a different  kind of animal in Europe than in the U.S. One is better to cancel any other plans on a dog show day (the day really goes to the dogs.)  The organizers certainly give you all the time for your entry fees.

Agyag's result less one CACIB

Agyag’s result less one CACIB

I was glad that I entered Kaffogo Agyag to the shows.  I had a chance to get a partial inside look at the Hungarian Pumi field.  Partial, because, unfortunately, there has been a major schism between the Hungarian Pumi aficionados.  There are breeders and dog owners who are members of the official Magyar Pumi Klub (Hungarian Pumi Club) and than there are the “others” who refuses to recognize the official Club. If you thought that the partisanship in the U.S. Congress is serious than you ain’t see nothing.  It is a sad state of affairs, because there are good breeders and great minds on both sides.  Members of the opposition, with a few exception, do not enter to dog shows organized by or associated with the official Club and vice versa.  As a result, I had a chance to see approximately  70% of the Pumis of those who tend to participate at dog shows and a handful of foreign breeders.

The tram in front of Eifel's Budapest West Railway Terminal than...

The tram in front of Eifel’s Budapest West Railway Terminal than…

...and now (sort of...)

…and now

Since the 2013 Budapest World Dog Show, I’ve noticed some changes. Some Hungarian breeders/handlers started following the Nordic countries and have been experimenting with a more dramatic grooming than what we used to see earlier. Shorter hair and sculpting becoming a more frequent appearance. Interestingly, even some of the judges seemed to prefer the more sculpted Pumi look. In fact, I’ve heard some judges suggesting to some handlers whose dogs entered the ring with a  more natural coat that they should groom their dogs better. I am hesitant to go either way, however, one of the disadvantages that I can see is that much shorter cuts will reduce the importance of the quality of the Pumi coat because it simply won’t be possible to check it. Attitudes and customs have been changing.  One thing however, most handlers seems to be resistant to is, wearing former attire in the ring.

Gray has become the dominant Pumi color. Fawn, unless it is white or off white looking, appears to suffer some set backs.  I had a chance to talk to some of the foreign participants and it sounds that they’ve experienced similar tendencies in their countries too.

IMG_4527The Teddy Bear Syndrome:  I had an interesting discussion with some breeders and “off duty” judges about the increased number of Pumis on the smaller end with softer denser hair with more curvy angles than one would think of the Pumi after reading the breed standard. They are certainly cute and huggable, however, they are missing the size and stamina necessary for the breed’s original function, herding.  I’ve noticed this trend  the past few years in the northic countries and now in Hungary too. Some voices have also raised concerns about this issue in the U.S. too.

in front of the beautifully restored Central Market Hall

in front of the beautifully restored Central Market Hall

The update on Friday’s story is that I filed a formal complaint with the MEOESZ, the Hungarian Kennel Klub, about Judge Istvan Laszlo’s action of withholding the CACIB certificate from Agyag, because she was in “heat.”

photo from upstairs

the market indoor

According to FCI rules, the judge’s decision is final an cannot be reversed. However, if the MEOESZ rules in my favor, the judge can get sanctioned or disciplined.  I was  surprised how much support I’ve got from people. Surprisingly, there were also some supporting opinions from the opposition Pumi camp.

the cholesterol department

the cholesterol department

fruits and veggies

fruits, veggies and the famous paprika

Even though the dog show has consumed most of my time and energy,  I managed to have a nostalgia ride with my sister on the number 6 tram on the ring around the center of the City. The line is 8.3 km long has 19 stops in 29 minutes and it runs 24/7. The tran stops 225 times at each station during the day in both directions during the school year and 210 times when schools is out. The tran starts and ends on the Buda side of the city, however, rides the longest on the pest side.

Now that Agyag’s love affair and the dog show are over, I am ready to catch up with myself.  I am starting my spin class in the nearby gym tomorrow.

ready for my tomorrow spin class

ready for my tomorrow’s spin class

ready for my tomorrow's spin class

ready for my tomorrow’s spin class