Tag Archives: pumi

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?


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 Styria, Austria

March 6, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Austrian play about the disturbed mind of Unterweger

An Austrian play about the disturbed mind of Unterweger

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

Grüße aus Graz!

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

Schwarzenegger’s sculpture at the Schwarzenegger Museum in Graz .It 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.



Checking out street vendors in the Jewish quarter

Checking out street vendors in the Jewish quarter


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.


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. 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,
  • 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



WTF…?! (World Trade Fenter…)

February 19, 2016

The four-day long FeHoVa International Winter Show has begun at HUNGEXPO, the Budapest International Exposition site yesterday. The show is becoming a rather peculiar event.

There have been 25 Pumis from 13 kennels and 4 countries yesterday.  The judge was Mrs. Szabo, Katalin Ivanyi.  Kaffogo Agyag placed second in her class with Excellent 2 and Res. CACIB. Well done Agyag!!


Excellent 2 Res. CACIB good job Agyag!

Excellent 2 Res. CACIB good job Agyag!

Before I start to tell today’s bizarre experience in the ring with judge Mr. Istvan Laszlo, Let me congratulate to Nyirsegfia Tuske/Pityke/ BOB and Heczendorfer Jozsef, his owner/handler.

To make the story short, I’ve noticed that Mr. Istvan, the judge, has made some not exactly complimentary statements about a fawn (fako) male Pumi  to the dog’s owner in the ring earlier. He also asked the handler/owner of the same dog that who was the breeder of the dog.  When later we walked into the ring, he also asked me whether Agyag’s breeder was the same person as the fawn Pumi dog’s earlier. I told him that no, my bitch comes from a different kennel.

IMG_4469.JPG Excellent 1

Excellent 1 No CACIB… reason, Bitch in heat! I am pleased with the description but to deny a dog  of CACIB and to advance further because she is in heat, that is kind of…

Judge Istvan overall complimented Agyag and gave her first place in the Class,  “Excellent one, ” however, withheld the CACIB from Agyag by saying, “I cannot give her the CACIB because she is in heat….” (it is on her official written record)  Mr. Istvan Laszlo also did not allow Agyag to advance and enter the ring for the BOB title, even though, she won her class.

I admit, I was unpleasantly surprised. I looked at him, and nonchalantly told him that, how funny this was because three years ago this was not an issue when he, Mr. Istvan Laszlo selected Agyag to be the first Junior Raisits Cup winner in a much larger competition and Agyag, was in heat just like today. He stared at me with wide eyes and open mouth, (I think his tonsils have been removed..)and after a short pause he composed himself again and said, “yes, but she was close to finishing it back than…”

Nyirsegfia Tuske BOB today,

Nyirsegfia Tuske BOB today,

Since we did not have to show again, thanks to the judge, it gave me plenty of time to check the FCI rule book. I copied out the relevant sections for our situation. below is the direct copy of those sections.


…Bitches on heat are allowed to participate subject to the show regulations of the organisers.


…CACIB – Certificat d’Aptitude au Championnat International de Beauté de la FCI

The only dogs which can be taken into consideration for the CACIB are those which have been awarded “EXCELLENT 1st”. A CACIB can only be awarded if the dog in question has been assessed as being of superior quality. The CACIB is not automatically and compulsorily linked to the “EXCELLENT 1st”.


So yes, indeed, he has the right to withhold the CACIB, even though, the dog got Excellent 1 and won her class.  The rule book does not give examples of reasons why the judge might withheld the International Certificate.  The unfortunate part is that he also withheld the Res. CACIB from Annika Linden’s dog, Akkinaz Rams who got Excellent 2 and second place.  He won our class and also BOS yesterday.

To be clear, I am not questioning the fact that Mr. Istvan withheld the CACIB because he has the right to do that.  What I do not understand  is, his reasoning, that “the dog was in heat.” He did not say  and wrote that she was not a “superior quality” for the following reasons…(and listing the reasons.) He said that the bitch was in heat and that’s why she cannot get CACIB and go for the BOB.  The rule book clearly says that “…Bitches on heat are allowed to participate subject to the show regulations of the organizers “ based on the information at the time when I checked, there was no stipulations by the organizers that while bitches in heat can enter the conformation show, they cannot earn CACIB and advance for the BOB title (because they are in heat.) I am not sure that when a bitch is in heat what that has to do with her conformation. (I think it is safe to say  Mr.  Istvan Laszlo  would not vote for Hillary Clinton for the same reason… but that one is for another blog…)

This story might finally makes me one of  the “official” whiners and complainers of the Pumi breed, (now internationally too,) but you know what, someone has to stand up and ask the uncomfortable questions for the integrity of the “game” while the rest  of the group hide quietly in the bushes.  By the way, those in the bushes, watch out  for dog poops.

Canis familiaris ovilis villosus terrarius Raitsitsi

February 17, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wire hair pinschers illustration from...

wire hair pinschers illustration from 1834

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

wirehaired Pinscher and smooth haired Pinscher

wirehaired Pinscher and smooth haired Pinscher


Pinscherhund from Theodor Gotz’s book

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

Painting including British terriers

Painting  of terriers by Arthur Wardle

illustration of British terriers by Sny

 terriers by Maude

terriers by Maud Alice Earl

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

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

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

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

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

The mystery dog in Durer's

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Puli with Pumi impact

A Puli showing Pumi impact- phenotypic plasticity?

Pumi or Puli?

So what do you have a PUMI… or PUMI…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Budapest Budapest Te Csodas…”

February 16, 2016

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

I am so thrilled to be back again…


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


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

Catskill Pumi petting ZOO at JFK every one loves the Pumis

Catskill Pumi petting ZOO at JFK every one loves the Pumis

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

The Catskill Pumi Teddy Bear Collection - I WANT ONE!

The Catskill Pumi Teddy Bear Collection – I WANT ONE!

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

We let Mommy off leash for a pit stop

We let Mommy off leash for a pit stop…

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

Agyag and Fruska are checking in at Finnair

Agyag and Fruska are checking in at Finnair

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

The Catskill Pumis are ready to board the subway

The Catskill Pumis are ready to enter the Budapest subway system

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

My sister Zsuzsa with my Pumis

My sister Zsuzsa with my Pumis

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

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

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


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.