Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Visiting Maisey

These are old photos of Maisey, but this beauty is currently visiting Blazingstar, as she is being bred to Tinbie. Maisy is Ch Prairielight Mayday Mayday CD WCI JH and she is the daughter of Ch Almanza Let's Party Today and Ch Prairielights Jazz Pizzazz WC. Of course she timed her season so that she needed to be bred over Christmas. If it has worked, black and liver puppies will be due in late February.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Number 8 Comes Out of Retirement

Lupine is the latest of our dogs to compete on a Scent Hurdle Racing team. We have been working on it for several months now and after our practice this weekend, I think she's now ready to race! Our Due South team has taken a sabbatical for a couple of years, but will be back in full force in 2011. The really cool thing is that her liver daughter, (and Tally's grandaughter) Kona, is also going to be on our team. Kona is amazingly fast and caught on very quickly that she had to bring her dumbell back, using her nose to find the right one.
Lupine is the third of our dogs to wear the "number 8" jersey for the Due South team.

Tally in her scent hurdle outfit. Tally earned her SHDX (scent hurdle excellent title). She loved to race.

Some of our Due South members back in 2005 - Tally, Buschman and Wicca. Sadly Tally and Buschman are no longer with us, but Wicca will be running on our team next year.

Our first scent hurdle racing dog, Piper. I think he earned enough points for his SHDX title as well.

Scent hurdle racing is similar to flyball, with a row of 4 jumps, except that each dog has to bring back it's own dumbell from a box at the end. There are always 4 dumbells in the box, so the dog has to use its nose to get the correct one. Teams race against eachother and are timed. It's lots of fun for the owners, dogs and audience.

Songdog Puppies, hopefully....

Puppy Annie

Last week, Annie, (HRCH Blazingstar Beaufort CDX SH) was bred to Doc (Ch Black Walnut Asclepius MH AX OAJ WCX HOF) using frozen semen. Doc was an exceptionally accomplished dog in both fieldwork and agility (the HOF means FCRSA Hall of Fame). Annie is a daughter of Huxley and Lupine, and sister to Tinbie and Teva.
Doc carried liver, so both black and liver puppies are expected. If it has worked, the puppies will be due in late February, at Songdog kennels in southern Indiana.
Of course Annie's timing could not have been much worse..... Brian and Katy had to drive through massive amounts of snow to get to the reproduction clinic in Minnesota. We were very relieved to hear that they got there and back safely.
You can visit Songdog kennels at www.songdogflatcoats.com

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gift Ideas! (& some shameless self-promotion)

We have a variety of flat-coated retriever items for sale in our Cafepress Shop. They make great gifts for flat-coat lovers.
You can find our Cafepress shop at www.cafepress.com/blazingstar
One of our favourites is the yearly calendar featuring a whole lot of flat-coats, nature and prairie wildlife.

Here are a couple of the newer items available:

An iphone cover (they come in various configurations) and a mouse pad.

These two Christmas ornaments are available in our shop. They feature original watercolours.

Cafepress printed products are of high quality and their shipping has become more reasonably priced this year (not sure why?!). The goodies usually arrive very quickly, even to Canada.


It has been five months since the seabird litter was born. So it's long overdue for an update (or a pupdate). All of the puppies have now gone to their new homes, except for Puffin, who has stayed here.

The 8 wonderful puppies are:

Puppy 1 (Red) "Thor" - Blazingstar Northern Gannet (Ontario)

Puppy 2 (Dark Pink) "Puffin" - Blazingstar Puffin (staying with us)

Puppy 3 (Bright Blue) "Odo" - Blazingstar King Eider (Colorado)

Puppy 4 (Green) "Gulliver" - Blazingstar Laughing Gull (we co-own him with friends in Lethbridge)

Puppy 5 (Yellow) "Kit" - Blazingstar Kittiwake (Edmonton, Alberta)

Puppy 6 (Light Pink) "Luna" - Blazingstar Midnight Loon (we co-own her with friends in Montana)

Puppy 7 (Light Blue) "Ripley" - Blazingstar Guillemot (Calgary, Alberta)

Puppy 8 (Grey) "Sooty" - Blazingstar Sooty Shearwater (Wisconsin)

We are pleased to report that they are all doing really well in their new homes. Teva was a fantastic mother and has settled back into her usual life in Edmonton.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cava wins Best Puppy in Group at the Lethbridge Show

Cava posing with her big blue ribbon

Cava had a great weekend at the Lethbridge Dog Show at the end of November. She won the points each of the 3 days, gaining a total of 6 points in one weekend. On Sunday she also went on to win Best Puppy in Group under judge James Reynolds, which was a real thrill.

Showing her in the Best Puppy in Show ring was quite the experience for both of us. After moving around the ring twice, we almost caught up with the Pomeranian puppy from the Toy Group and Cava could not think of anything else once she had spotted it! I think she wanted to retrieve it. It took a while to get her attention back on me.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lupine Finishes her Rally Excellent Title

Lupine - photo by Sarah Novak

Lupine got her first Rally Excellent leg at the Red Deer Show and then passed two more legs at the Lethbridge show, finishing her title. She really enjoys competing in rally and is lots of fun in the ring. We had a few hiccups along the way, as the excellent level is a lot harder than the other levels! Mostly my fault, not hers.

Lupine is now Ch Prairielight Blazingstar Kini CDX WC JH RE. She is the #2 rally obedience flat-coat in Canada, second only to our friend Sarah's dog, Kaleb!

Kona's Success at the Red Deer Show

Kona and Judy had a very successful time at the Red Deer Show in early November. Kona, Blazingstar Brown Coneflower, won Best of Winners on Saturday and Winners Female on Sunday, for a total of 5 points. She now has 8 points towards her championship. She also finished her Rally Novice title.

Congratulations Judy and Kona!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Success in the Field for the Island Retrievers

Still catching up from the summer.... Both Sam and Lindy, on Vancouver Island, had lots of success in the field this summer and fall.
Sam, HRCH Blazingstar Bobolink JH TD and Sylvia had passed his first Senior Hunter leg and also completed his Hunting Retriever Championship title.
Lindy, Blazingtstar Linnaeus CDX JH WCI RE AgIS AgIJWWS CGN, and Rod finished their started hunting retriever title.

There is a strange tradition on the Island, where handlers who finish titles are dunked in the water, hence the funny photos of Rod and Sylvia about to hit the water. I really think it should be done in a pond though..... not a nice clean swimming pool!
Congratulations Rod, Lindy, Sam & Sylvia!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Master Hunter Passes for Annie

Annie and Gusty each got two Master Hunter passes in September

In September, Annie (HRCH Blazingstar Beaufort CDX SH CGC) passed two Master Hunter tests. These were the first Master level tests that she has run and we are so proud that she passed them both. Congratulations to Annie and her owners, Katy and Brian. These are the first ever Master Hunter legs for a Blazingstar dog. Annie is a daughter of Huxley and Lupine. Her housemate, Gusty, also got two MH legs. Congratulations girls!

Canadian Specialty - Calgary 2010

Tinbie in the ring at the 2010 Specialty, with Pat

Sorry, we are still catching up with news from the summer....

At the end of July, Liz packed up the van and took Tinbie, Lupine and Cava to the National and Regional Specialties in Calgary.

At the Alberta Specialty, Lupine won Best Veteran in Sweepstakes under UK judge, Sue Jones - what a thrill! Then Cava, at her first ever show, won Best Puppy in Show under UK judge Vivianne Bowen. That was a very good day for us!

At the Canadian Specialty, Lupine pulled off a perfect score of 100 in the Rally Advanced B class, winning the class. Tinbie finished his Rally Novice title. Rod Deacon's Lindy won the Open B class in obedience. Kona placed 3rd in Rally Novice A in the Alberta trial and also qualified in the National trial. Cava won the 6-9 month class in puppy sweeps and Lupine placed 2nd in her class in veteran sweeps. In the regular show, Willow and Kona placed 1st and 2nd in a very competitive 12-18 month class. Willow is Blazingstar Brown Buffalobean and Kona is Blazingstar Brown Coneflower. We were very proud of those two girls! They both looked great in the ring. Liz was very brave and took them both in to the Brace competition, but we were not very coordinated and placed 2nd, out of 2, in the class.

As usual, the best part of the show was meeting up with old friends, making new ones and visiting with our dogs and their relatives. We finally got to meet Merlyn (a Huxley son) and his owners Danusia and Bob, who live in Ontario.

Thank-you to everyone who helped me at the specialty - especially Pat for showing Tinbie and Darren and Michele for helping me set up and take down my shade tent and generally stay organized. Thanks to Christine for letting me show off Willow. And to Rod, Julia, Margareta, Karen, Sarah, Amanda, Judy, Heather and anyone else who I roped into holding dogs for me at ringside! Andy stayed at home and looked after Teva and her puppies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Huxley 1/6/2000 - 20/7/2010

Our website and blog has become very out of date lately. One of the reasons is because it is so difficult to write this news.

Back in July we had to have Huxley put to sleep. His kidneys had simply worn out and he was in kidney failure. We had hoped to have some more time with him, but he went downhill very quickly.

Our household seems very empty without him and it seems worse now that the puppies have left for their homes and things are somewhat back to normal.

He was a great dog, a flashy showman in the ring, a trusty and brave hunting dog, a comedian and a wonderful companion. Everything that a flat-coated retriever should be.
Huxley - Am/Can CH O'Flanagan Alder CD WC RN - we miss you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Top Dogs

Lindy - Currently ranked #2 in Rally Obedience and #4 in Obedience.

We don't pay too much attention to the standings in conformation, obedience and rally, but I think we need to brag a little this year.... We just checked the standings and were pleased to notice that Blazingstar dogs are in the top 5 for all three areas as of July 2010.

In conformation, Tinbie (Ch Blazingstar Tinbergen WC) is the # 3 flat-coat in Canada. Not bad considering we have only shown him for two weekends this year.

In obedience, his sister, Lindy (Blazingtstar Linnaeus CDX JH WCI RE AgIS AgIJWWS CGN) is ranked the #4 flat-coat in Canada.

In rally obedience, Lindy is ranked the #2 flat-coat in Canada, Roekkr (Ch Blazingstar Longspur at Labrys Can CD JH WC RA Am CD WCX RE) is #3, Lupine (Ch Prairielight Blazingstar Kini CDX WC JH RA) i s#4, our good friend Kaleb (Ch Prairielight Talk of the Town CD WC RN WC AGX AGIJ AGNS AGNJS) is #5 and our Huxley is # 6.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cava Turns 6 Months Old

Today Cava (Bramatha Under Pressure) turns 6 months old. We are very pleased with how she is growing up. She is at that typical flat-coat puppy stage of being very lean, leggy and long! She is loads of fun to train and play with.

Yesterday she found a dead fish along the river. Instead of rolling in it, she tried to pick it up. So I threw it into the river before the other dogs found it (they would definitely have rolled in it!) and Cava ran into the river and brought it back. Tinbie used to retrieve fish when he was a puppy, so I guess it is just another flat-coat quirk.

Thank-you again to Sarah Whittaker for trusting us with such a beautiful and smart puppy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

8 New Arrivals

On July 7th we welcomed 8 new puppies - 5 males and 3 females. Their mother is Teva, Blazingstar Tansley. We have borrowed Teva back from her owners for this litter. The sire is Remus, Rainesgift Over the Moon JW, owned by Hayley Thomlinson in the UK.
Teva is being a fantastic first-time mother. She is very reluctant to leave her puppies and spends most of her time cleaning and feeding them. She is very much like her mother, Lupine, in her devotion to her puppies. The puppies are gaining weight already and seem to be very healthy and vigorous.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our Spectacular Prairie

This spring and summer the wildflowers have been prolific because of all the rain we had. The prairie grass is still green and lush and it's been great for taking photos. The only downside is the cloud of mosquitoes that joins us on our walks. Here are just a few of the many photos we've taken in the last few days:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teva has Arrived

Teva's owners brought her down to us on the weekend. She will whelp and raise her puppies here. They are due on July 5th, a little less than a week away.
Teva is in great shape - despite carrying an extra load, she is very healthy and fit. Thank-you so much to Darren and Michele for looking after her so well during her pregnancy.

This week she is spending a lot of time sleeping, but is still game to go for short in the cool of the morning and evening. On the weekend she got to search for some ducks hidden in the long grass, which she thought was great fun. Her other favourite thing to do is EAT!! She has an enormous appetite.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cava, 5 Months Old

Cava does not sit still for very long. This photo was snapped during a very rare moment of stillness.

This is what most of our photos of Cava look like....

Between two humans, many outakes and tasty treats, we managed to get a nice standing photo of Cava.

Cava turned 5 months old last week. She is growing up to be a pretty puppy and we are enjoying her antics and lively character.

She continues to be a bold and outgoing puppy. She has an independent streak and likes to follow her nose. She likes to find and bring us various delicacies such as dead nestlings and voles....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blazingstar Puppies on the Way!

Teva is apparently conserving her energy for the whelping and raising of puppies!

Last week Teva had her ultrasound done - and it's good news - she is pregnant! The vet thought she saw 5 individual puppies.

Teva (Blazingstar Tansley) was bred to Rainesgift Over the Moon JW (Remus) using frozen semen and we are very excited that the breeding has worked. Thank-you to the great vets and technicians at Greenbank Vet Clinic in Edmonton for their work and expertise. And thank-you to Teva's owners, Darren and Michele, for letting us have Teva back for a litter and for looking after all the progesterone testing and surgical insemination.

Remus is a British dog that lives in Derbyshire and belongs to our friend, Hayley. Just today he won his first reserve challenge certificate at the South Counties Show. We are very grateful to Hayley for letting us use this lovely dog.

Teva will come here to whelp her litter, which is due around July 5th.

Monday, June 7, 2010

FCRSA Specialty

Roekkr's early retriever training
CH Blazingstar Longspur at Labrys Can CD JH WC RA Am CD WCX RE

The FCRSAmerica Specialty is being held this week in Indiana. While we were not able to attend, Roekkr has been busy representing Blazingstar at the field events. Roekkr passed his American WCX and got another leg on his his US Junior Hunter title. He also entered the Steady Singles event and was given a Judges Award of Merit. Congratulations to Roekkr and his owners, Joey and Linda!

Huxley's daughter, Dixie, has also enjoyed a good specialty, passing yet another Master Hunter leg. Dixie is CH Riverwoods Dixieland Delight MH WCX. Dixie also received a Judges Award of Merit in the Steady Singles competition.

Northern Alberta Canine Association Show

Tinbie had a very good two days at the NACA show in Edmonton. We ventured into the obedience ring for the first time, for rally obedience. He was a little unfocused at times, but pulled it together enough to qualify in both novice trials, with a 4th place in the 2nd trial.

In conformation he was the only flat-coat entered and there were many lovely sporting dogs. However, on Saturday he was awarded a Group 3rd under judge Cindy Vogels! This win gave him another 110 top dog points and he is currently the #3 flat-coat in Canada.

His half-brother, Ripley, was also entered in rally for the first time and qualified three for three, gaining his rally novice title and a 3rd placing. It was his owners' first time in the rally ring as well!
Cava came along for the experience and enjoyed socializing with dogs and people at the show.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday Huxley!

Huxley turned 10 years old today, or perhaps that should be 10 years young? While he sleeps a bit more than he used to, he is still a very bouncy, happy dog. He celebrated with a new toy (which he was allowed to take on the afternoon walk), a huge meaty deer leg bone and many, many pats and snuggles.