Tag Archives: Catskill Pumi

Show Time!

June 27, 2018

One of Anka's three written evaluations. It is nice to have them. It can be helpful for exhibitors.

One of Anka’s three written evaluations. It is nice to have them. It can be helpful for exhibitors.


The future generation of Hungarian handlers, Virak Mester and Marko Tuncsik

Up and coming young Hungarian handlers, Virag Mester and Marko Tuncsik. Pro-handlers give a big boost to the Hungarian conformation show scene.

Marko Tuncsik Junior Handler with Anka right after the junior handler show. They earned second place.

Marko Tuncsik Junior Handler with Anka after the junior handler show. They earned second place.

During last weekend, I have entered Anka at the HPK (Hungarian Pumi Klub) and Budapest Grand Prix shows in Budapest.  Originally, I signed up Agyag to finish her Hungarian Championship, however, because of the change of airline, I could fly only one dog and I’ve ended up choosing Anka because of her scheduled breeding. Consequently,  I scratched Agyag and showed Anka instead.


One of my favorite photos of Anka

One of my favorite photos of Anka

The shows have also given me a chance to eyeball a limited cross section of the Hungarian Pumi stock again during these turbulent days when European Pumis conquering America.

My scope was limited because of the long time ongoing schism… – PU…MI – between Hungarian Pumi breeders. (For beginners, the two major opposing groups do not show at each other’s shows -with a few exceptions… (the two percent…) and a number of breeders, who are opposing the official Pumi Club, rather break the law  and register their Hungarian born dogs in foreign countries than join the Hungarian Kennel Club and Hungarian Pumi Club’s data base. – crazy isn’t it…?

So when you buy a Pumi from Hungary with a NON-Hungarian pedigree (!), watch out, because AKC might do not register your imported dog and you are supporting some crazy illegal Pumi activities.


After all, my Anka did well and has been complimented by both, the natives and the judges too. She’s got Res.CAC Excellent, CAC Excellent 1, and Res.CACIB Excellent. All three of her written evaluations are glowing and I cannot be happier.

Anka and Marko second place at the Junior Handler show, Budapest Grand Prix

Anka and Marko second place at the Junior Handler show, Budapest Grand Prix

Overall, the quality of dog shows in Hungary are slowly getting better. Most importantly, the dogs’ grooming is improving, however, showmanship still needs a bit more push. Exhibitors also pay more attention to their ring attire, that is already a positive commitment. The number of pro-handlers have been steadily increasing and that certainly has a  positive impact on the quality of dog shows.  The venue, “HUNGEXPO,” the international Budapest Fair Center also makes people to take dog shows a bit more seriously.

The quality of judging could be a bit more formal (based on my experience) and less partisan (as I have overheard people talking…), however, the judges’ knowledge of the Pumi is certainly outstanding.

Another graceful Anka photo

Another graceful Anka photo. Remember, NECK NECK NECK…(read the standard..)

I have met about 52%…(?!) of the “Who is Who on the Hungarian Pumi Scene.” People have been nice, open, and curious about the state of the Pumi in the US.

Grooming Queen, Tunde Baloghne Jovanovics also visited the show. She has panned each dog with her laser piercing critical eyes in the grooming area, than has given some pointers to people and the quality of Pumis suddenly increased in no time.

Overall, it was a nice show and I hope to be back sometimes soon.

Anka and Marko with a lavender background. Love my girl!

Anka and Marko with a lavender background. Love my girl!

Mark Walley with Ilka the star of the weekend. Congratulations to Gabriella Kassai, Mark Walley (owners) and Kate Pinches and Budd (Breeders) :-)

Mark Walley the lone British (soon English or  potentially Northumbrian – thanks to Brexit F.C.) soccer fan with Ilka, the star of the Budapest Grand Prix weekend. CONGRATULATIONS!  Mark doesn’t know that he is lucky, because if he decides to prepare for the Hungarian citizenship test, two of the questions coincide in Hungarian and English history; November 25, 1953 and May 23, 1954.  I’ve heard somewhere that these two dates are  automatically tattooed on every new born  English baby boys’ butt in English hospitals to never forget… or… always remember…?  it is cheeky…





Ilka and Gabriella in the ring.

Ilka and Gabriella in the ring. Congratulations for the outstanding performance at the Budapest Grand Prix.

with Pumi grooming legend/guru/expert/authority, Tunde, Balogne Jancsovics. The debate is still out there, what was first the Pumi or its grooming by Tunde. She has taught me all the shop secrets...

…with Pumi grooming legend/guru/expert/authority, Tunde, Balogne Jancsovics. The debate is still out there, what was first the Pumi or its grooming instruction by Tunde. She has taught me all the shop secrets (almost…) over the years


Julia Szurdoki, one of my mentors, and main sources of "Everything Pumi One by One."

Julia Szurdok, one of my super mentors, and owner/creator of one of the most extensive collection of  written private records on the breed “Everything Pumi One by One…” So…watch out.

Mobile Vendor at the Budapest Grand Prix

Mobile Vendor at the Budapest Grand Prix

With Piroska Nagy and her Pumi Gomolya. He was BOB Friday at the HPK club show. Congratulations!

With Piroska Nagy and her Pumi Gomolya. Gomolya was BOB Friday at the HPK club show. Congratulations!


CCCC or the Catskill Climate Change Chronicle…

June 13, 2018


Bad planning or bad execution?

Man plans, God executes … (or corrects what man keeps screwing up…) I am back in Hungary again, at this time with Anka.  Even though, this trip has been planned in advance, our departure date has been seriously circumvented by climate change.  As it turns out, climate change manifests not only in rising sea levels, more frequent and more intense weather events or dying coral reefs, it also effects my dogs’ physiology.  To be precise, my bitches’ heat cycle have turned on like clock work in the past, however, this year, because of the unusual long winter (I believe…), everyone has been late. 

When the tension is high enough, we are ready to travel,

When the tension is high enough, we are ready to travel,

Ironically, it was a relief to see the sudden growing tension between my girls, as their hormones finally started kicking in. It was the long awaited signal to set preparations in motion for my trip. Veterinary certificate, USDA papers and most importantly the airplane ticket with two dogs in the cargo hold.  ( FYI I also planned to take  Agyag along to give her a chance to finish her Hungarian Championship at the Budapest Grand Prix.) 

Well, instead of " yes," I've got a middle finger from Luftwaffe - the second time...

Well, instead of saying ” yes,” and correcting the botched booking, I’ve got a middle finger from Luftwaffe – the second time…

I am not lucky with Lufthansa – to say the least. Back in 2013, Lufthansa have lost Fruska and Agyag for close to a full day that has created some major complications to reach the Budapest WDS,  my destination at the time.  Booking my ticket and two dogs in the cargo hold with the airline, has seemed unusually easy at this time. Once ticket purchase was out of the way (or so I thought), based on my flight schedule, I went ahead to plan my entire itinerary. However, as it has turned out, Luftwaffe not only friendly fired my plans and screwed up my ticket with the two dogs in the busiest traveling season, they also refused to honor my original reservation.


Since my trip has been time sensitive, I had no time to run after my loss. I had to look for a another airline that could accommodate two dogs and flew me to Hungary for a reasonable price. While I’ve managed to secure a ticket, unfortunately, they could accommodate only one dog.  Obviously I took Anka.

My least favorite Hungarian road sign

My least favorite Hungarian traffic sign

So we made it to Budapest where I am staying with my sister and planning to see many friends and acquaintances while managing Anka’s dating schedule. 

To be continued…

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…


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,
  • 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?






Murphy’s Law

December 15, 2015


Catskill Badger and Laszlo in the ring

Catskill Badger and Laszlo in the ring

What a week we’ve had during The Eukanuba National in Orlando Florida. The Catskill Pumis and their close cohort, Kaffogo Agyag have entered five shows and collected three BOB, one BOS, five BBE, five Best 6-9 months old Puppy Dog, three Best 6-9 months old Puppy bitch titles and several additional placements. Yay…!

Ildiko and Catskill Csinszka sharming the judge and spectators

Ildiko and Catskill Csinszka charming the judge and spectators

We’ve been coming to show in conformation to The Eukanuba National for four years. This year we had the largest Catskill Pumi turnout, with seven Pumis and we are proud of them all, especially the three pups from our C-litter, Csobanka, Csinszka and Csoma aka Badger.  By the time the Pumi enters the herding group next July, they will be the sharks of the conformation ring.

What have changed s

What has changed for the Pumi at Eukanuba over the years? Honestly, not too much. Inconsistent judging is still one of the most disturbing aspects of showing the Pumi in the US.

What has changed for the Pumi at Eukanuba over the years? Honestly not too much. Still inconsistent, sometimes substandard judging (I am simply puzzled why a judge need to ask the handler at the table, “how is the correct tail setting…?”) This is not to take away anything from the winners’ achievements, however, after ten years it is obvious that judges have lots more to learn about the Pumi.

Another thing I noticed that some handlers kept initiating chit-chats with the judge while stacking their dogs on the table.  I could never figure it out for what reason? I wonder whether they have had an ulterior motive…? Also, there have been some friendly fires in the ring (what happened to sportsmanship…?) and  of course the usual ringside tackling.

Standing tall... Aida Dungan and  in the Miscellaneous group during The Eukanuba National.

Standing tall… Aida Dungan and Pushkin in the Miscellaneous group during The Eukanuba National.


After ten years of Pumi history, in the United States, I am still not sure why dogs with obvious disqualifying conformation need to be shown. Trust me, I love them all equally, but some just do not qualify for the conformation ring. In my opinion, it reflects bad on the breed and all  breeders. If you remember my blogs from Finland two years ago, I noted that reputable Finnish breeders would rather not show if they do not have show quality dogs to enter.


Each dog showing at The Eukanuba National deserves its “fifteen minutes” to get a full and fair judging.

The judging during the actual Eukanuba National, I think, was quite disrespectful to all Pumi exhibitors in the Miscellaneous Breed’s ring on Sunday. The judge, Mr. Murphy, showed up 45(!) minutes late and then sorted through the breed in seconds without properly examining the dogs. He did not allow time for stacking the dogs on the table and did not look most dogs’ structure,  barely the bites. He did not let the dogs show in full circle and on the diagonal in the ring in order to catch up with the time. (Even if he has the right to do that  according to the rule book, hey this was The Eukanuba National where each dog who showed up there deserves its “fifteen minutes” to have a fair chance to be fully examined and judged.)  Another annoying surprise and significant delay was that in the “Open Bitch Class” where there were only two bitches in the judge’s book out of the five entered the show. It took additional long minutes to sort out the entry list.

Huhh... no comment

Huhh… no comment


The highlight of the chaotic judging was, when entering the ring for the 6-9 months Puppy Bitch Class, the judge walked up to me during the first going around before even reaching to the table to stack Csinszka(!) and declared her as the winner of the 6-9 months old “Puppy Dog” Class.… (!?!?!) He looked quite confused when I told him that this was the 6-9 months Puppy Bitch NOT  Puppy Dog Class. He did not care too much, simply brushed it off saying, “I guess I am a bit confused…” I wonder what the other handler felt behind me in the ring.  Those of you who missed it, Mr Murphy was also the center of discussion last year on FaceBook when judging the Pumi at one of the open shows here at The Eukanuba National.

But enough of the drama and congratulations to last day’s winners, Aida Dungan with Pushkin, BOB and Ginger Butler with Lyric BOS!

The week went fast and I think we did not realize how much we worked to groom the dogs for the shows and properly exercise them daily at Cocoa Beach and Lake Baldwin Park  to pull through the week. We also visited our Orlando Florida Pumi, Catskill Csaszar aka “ZEKE” and his family.

Visiting Catskill CSaszar aka Zeke and his family the Larkins in Orlando Florida, if you believe in reincarnation this is to place be a dog in your next life.

Visiting Catskill CSaszar aka Zeke and his family the Larkins in Orlando Florida. If you believe in reincarnation this is the place to be a Pumi in your next life.

We rigorously exercised the dogs to maintain their daily routine after each show.

We rigorously exercised the dogs to maintain their daily routine after each show. What did you do with your dog?


Our weeklong nightly culinary adventure has also been a wild ride. Korean food scored the lowest on Tuesday. It was extremely hot (spicy) and relatively tasteless food, we had a long wait at the table and an awful waiter. Dining at the“Outback”  on Wednesday, was a great testament to everything that is wrong with chain restaurants. I was also disappointed with the Turkish restaurant when comparing it to other Turkish places from the past. Even though the veranda of the restaurant was cozy, some smokers certainly “smoked” our experience. The Thai and Indian dinners were our default cuisines Friday and Saturday. Our “last supper” with almost all Pumi people present was a final and long awaited big bang at the cozy Cafe TuTu Tango. We got together to celebrate Marylin Funke’s birthday and the closing of Eukanuba week in Orlando. We got great food, great atmosphere and fast and pleasant servers. TuTu Tango was simply a nice hip restaurant with music and art works by new and emerging artists.

Egysegben az ero (you have to figure this out by yourself...)

“Egysegben az era” (you have to figure this out by yourself…)

Over the week, we have tightened our friendship with Marilyn Funke, owner of Catskill Csobanka, who has shown Kaffogo Agyag and won BOB at the KCUSA Open show on Friday. She also showed Catskill Csinszka on two occasions and she was also very helpful in changing dogs, and entry numbers between the different classes.  Thank you Marilyn!

Marika Foreman has also been there for us helping whenever she could each moment of the week, just like family. Thank you Marika and congratulations to Bikfic’s two BOB wins!

Paul Foreman’s faithful photographing of the five days, provided all Pumi aficionados here in the U.S. and abroad a chance to sit at the virtual ringside and experience the shows each day.

Catskill Csobanka, the next generation

Catskill Csobanka – the next generation

Happy Birthday Mr. President! Oops... correction, Happy Birthday Marilyn!

Happy Birthday Mr. President! Oops… correction, Happy Birthday Marilyn!

One of the nicest persons we got to know closer this week, was Aida Dungan who won BOB of The Eukanuba National” with her Pumi, Pushkin on Sunday. She is funny, pleasant and always cheerful. Hope to see you soon Aida.

I cancelled Direct TV last year because I barely watched it. Staying in Orlando, I could watch my favorite show again, put up by Nurse Jackie. Boy, I did miss her…  Did I really…?

i canceled Direct TV so when I go to dog shows I am always happy to see this character.

I canceled Direct TV, so when I go to dog shows It always cracks me up to watch this character.

Next year this time, the Pumi will already be part of the AKC “major league,” in the herding group. Hopefully it will be judged accordingly.

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!




What A Wonderful World…

June 5, 2015

Pink Girl with open eyes

Pink Girl with open eyes

I do not know how exhausting must be to raise new born human babies, but trust me it is pretty crazy here with these seven puppies.

Our C-litter will be two weeks old tomorrow and their care has been intensifying as they grow every day and approach the end of their neo-natal period (1-14 days). Changing clean sheets, getting up twice in the middle of the night to make it sure that Agyag feeds them.   The daily Dr. Bataglia exercise is in its eleventh day tomorrow.  Daily body weight measurements, checking room temperature and turning heat lamp on and off as Agyag moves in and out of the whelping box because the new borns still cannot regulate their body temperature.

Cuddling with White Boy

Cuddling with White Boy

Yellow Boy is ready for action

Yellow Boy is ready for action

The major milestones to report about are that they have started opening their eyes and as of today, every single pup has become member of the “Twenty-Ounce Club.” Tuesday they  were still crawling and this morning some of them marched to Agyag to nurse as one walks into a Starbucks for a cup of coffee. In no time they will be outside on the fresh green grass to enjoy the great (limited) outdoor.  It is pretty fascinating to see the effect of their opening eyes. Each dog has become much more active and inquisitive of their surroundings. They start discovering our wonderful world.

Miss Red is saluting to the newly discovered world

Miss Red is saluting to the newly discovered world

In the same time, Mama Agyag is doing well.  She has been eating three times a day and she is pretty demanding when her bowl gets empty.  Her energy level is up and has been out to   herd twice a day.

Agyag at dusk time...

Agyag at dusk time…

"Blue Angel" if Marlene Dietrich was a Pumi

“Blue Angel” if Marlene Dietrich was a Pumi

I’ll be leaving for a week on Monday, therefore,  I will miss the pups’ third week.  While I am gone Laszlo, Marika and Martha will take care of them.

Green Devil Boy who will blink first...

Green Devil Boy…the question is,  who will blink first…

Girl of the Purple Order

Girl of the Purple Order

After all, it takes a whole village to raise seven Pumi pups…


Home Again…

March 31, 2015

they scanned me, and called Laszlo in New York that I will be home again soon...

they scanned me, and called Laszlo in New York that I will be home again soon…

Home Again… we said a heartfelt  good by with Marja-Leeena and then we checked in with the airline.  I could not be happier with the news that Agyag’s fee was only 75 Euro(!) .  So I showed Agyag’s receipt from New York. I got a big apology and an even bigger refund for the gross over charge at JFK on the way here.   I just love Finnair, I think, they just got a committed new customer.  Before boarding, I kept asking one of the flight attendants wether the dog was on the plane yet.  She was not too enthusiastic about my persistent inquiry, but finally she called the ground crew.  She also asked me what kind of a dog I had.  The magic word, “PUMI” finally brought a smile on her face and she told me that one of her colleagues also has a Pumi.  “You mean Helena Matilla?” I asked… She said, “yes.”  What a small planet to fly the friendly skies…

"Are you ready?"  I asked, "are you ready?" she asked.

“Are you ready?” I asked her, “are you ready?” she asked me…


 Agyag plans to sign up with FinnAir as a sniff sniff dog (we might fly free next year...?)

Agyag plans to sign up with FinAir as a sniff sniff dog (we might fly free next year…?)

Photo Mar 30, 8 22 02 AM

The plane could not leave for an additional forty minutes.  So while we were sitting on the ground, I decoded the airplane charmers’ hand signals on the tarmac watching them through the window.

the airplane charmers code to move those big mechanical beasts on the ground.  It is all brain power and focus...

the airplane charmers code to move those big mechanical beasts on the ground. It is all brain power and focus…

The flight was smooth and dry. It  reminded me somewhat the prohibition era.  (It took lots of button pushing to get a few glasses of wine out of the flight attendants. )

the airplane charmers' hand signals to move those giant beasts on the ground...

the airplane charmers’ hand signals to move those giant beasts on the ground…

Finally we landed, and we were home again.  While I was enjoying the NYC sunshine in the traffic jam trying to get out of the City en route upstate, the furious periodic mini snow storms in the Catskills made me question the existence of Spring.

New Draconian measures in NYC to collect unpaid traffic tickects. Vialators are  burried up to their head in the medians to inhale  exhaust fumes so reduce pullution. Look at the heads, it rturns out that blond types do not pay their traffic tickets more often than others...

New Draconian measures in NYC to collect unpaid traffic tickects. Vialators are burried up to their head in the medians to inhale exhaust fumes so reduce pullution. Look at the heads, it turns out that blond types do not pay their traffic tickets more often than others…

snow flurries March 30, 2015 What is going on Mr Weather Man?

snow flurries March 30, 2015 What is going on Mr. Weather Man?

I hope it will come in the next few days. I am ready…

Dear Abby…

March 26, 2015

Dear Abby,

I am a concerned doggy parent who have always believed and put emphasis on training, education, good manners and behavior.  I have provided a strict Catholic training to my doggy kids because I always wanted to be a good shepherd who gives correct directions to her doggies. Photo Mar 25, 4 44 19 PM

However, currently I am facing a crisis. It appears that all my hard work (and those damn expensive cookies) went down the drain. I’ve been traveling with one of my girlies. When we woke up yesterday in the morning, I asked her that what she wanted to do.  I was mortified when she answered in front of our host,  “mom, I think I want to have sex with Daco…” About half an hour later the boy came over (the second time this week…) I feel paralized, I have anxiety attacks, I do not know what to do.Photo Mar 25, 4 44 17 PM

Dear Abby please advise!

A concerned doggie mom…

WARNING! The video below contains sexually explicit material that might be disturbing to some people. viewer discretion is advised. (hide your kids!) 

https://youtu.be/wXOhuUl7Tig   <—-click link

Photo Mar 25, 4 44 21 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 22 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 45 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 48 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 49 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 53 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 54 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 55 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 45 18 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 45 21 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 45 26 PM Photo Mar 25, 4 44 02 PM

Finnish Kale (Do Not Look For It At Your Local Grocer…)

March 25, 2015

Photo Mar 25, 6 02 04 PM

Larry David playing Larry David the obnoxious, misanthropic selfabsorbed character in “Curb Your Enthusiasm

Earlier this month I was listening to a “Fresh Air” episode on NPR.  They were interviewing Larry David, the co-creator of “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” about David’s new hit on Broadway, “Fish in the Dark.” During the interview they played a funny clip from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” where the obnoxious main character of the show, Larry David (played by Larry David) meets a friend, Mardy Funkhauser, a guy about 60 some years old. David complains to Funkhauser that he did not return his condolence telephone message (Funkhauser’s mother just died). In his own defense, Funkhauser responds that David should be more sensitive because he, (Funkhauser) just became an orphant. (he lost his father earlier that year and now his mother too.) David in his rude style makes fun of him and says that it is too late to be an be an orphan at age sixty. “Little orphan Funkhauser.” I had such a good laugh…

Yesterday, I had the occasion to think about this clip. Take it apart and look behind it. In a way I  am orphan too, (lost both of my parents) just like Funkhauser, however, I am and has been an orphan in other ways too since my birth.  Born into a German ethnic family (Eberwein x Hundenmeier) growing up as an official ethnic Hungarian (Repasi) minority in Transylvania, Romania. (Romanians had the perfect term for Transylvanian Hungarians, although derogatory in nature; “bozgor,” which means  a person without a homeland and ethnic identity.) Then when I moved from Romania to Hungary, ironically I was simply called a Romanian.  In Austria I was under the  umbrella term “Auslander,” or foreigner and in the U.S. I have become a naturalized U.S. citizen, and so a Hungarian American (my choice).  Always and everywhere “in,” however, always on the periphery.  My social position helps me to observe, listen, notice details, interpret and process from an angle that is impossible to do from the center. Like I, people with similar backgrounds often hear meaningful sentences in certain remarks that for others in the center are only “harmless” white noise. Usually, I do not think about these things, it has always been “that” part of my life.

I tell you this, because I got nostalgic yesterday. On our way home with Marja-Leena in the afternoon, we ran into a small group of well dressed gypsies or Romani.  Their presence captured me… I asked their permission to photograph them. Unfortunately, I only had my phone to take a picture so I missed many details.

The gypsy or Romani diasporas are probably the perfect definition of “orphans.”  Even though, many of them living in urban environments, symbolically they have always remained nomadic, always moving, or ready to move.  Always on the periphery, rarely accepted, seldom assimilated.  They have always been demonized and persecuted in every corner of the world throughout their existence.  However, somehow they have never perished, always survived and thrived with an incredible resilience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSjaOM7Bewk  click link

I was curious, so after I went to bed, I looked up the Finnish Romani or Finnish Kale (Kaale in Suomi.) The Roma first arrived from England and Scotland to Sweden in the fifteen hundreds. THey were mostly craftsmen and journeymen. While the Protestant Church proactively pressured the erosion of the Romani’s relatively stable position on the social hierarchy, Swedish authorities deported the Kale to the Eastern part of the kingdom (which is Finland today.)  In the first part of the 17th century they were declared outlaws and could be hanged without trial.  For a long time, children frequently have been taken away from their families in an effort to assimilate the group.  After  four hundred years of severe discrimination, in 1917, the Roma has gotten full citizenship in Finland and human rights conditions have gradually improved. The 1995 amendment to the Finnish Constitution granted the Roma to preserve its language, the Kale, as a “non territorial minority language.” The Roma in Finland, just like everywhere else, facing high unemployment frequently due to relatively low education.  They experience significant exclusion from mainstream society and  face specifically severe discrimination in the private housing market.   Sources,  http://www.minorityrights.org/1537/finland/roma.html     http://www.prezi.com/f639kuzyb7jj/romanifinnish-kale/

While reading this minority rights report, I came up with the idea for an interactive comprehensive geography, history, ethnography etc. game for children to learn about history and the world. The name of the game could be “Cut and Paste” For instance, cut Finland from and paste Australia in to an official human or civil rights document, than cut the Finnish Kale out and paste Aboriginal into the same document. Than cut Australia and paste U.S. than cut Aboriginal and paste Chinese and so on… after every cut and past a map would come up with the respective countries and photos of their oppressed ethnic groups, their artifacts and their brief miserable history… Or we can just let the kids watch “Wheel of Fortune…”