Monday, July 31, 2006

Double scare

Clondike wasn't feeling too well yesterday so I kept a close eye on him last night. I came home to check on him around noon and he still wasn't eating much and seemed very tired. I decided to take him to the vet's office for observation and a check up. He has congestive heart failure so I really have to be careful with him. While on my way there, I received a call regarding a friend's house that appeared to have been broken into. I called my friend who rushed home to find that indeed the door jam had been broken, a camera and lap top stolen. Needless to say, she is pretty upset. It must be a terrible feeling to know that someone has violated your house and taken your things. It is unfortunate that it occurred to such a nice person but thankfully neither she nor her animals were hurt. Clondike is also doing better tonight and should be able to come home tomorrow. Here's hoping that everyone will have a better day tomorrow.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sweeper finishes his Ch.

I heard from Cathy Green today that Sweeper finished his championship today by going BOB over specials. Cathy indicated that the circuit is one of our largest shows so by getting back to back majors, it was really neat. He is now Ch. Surry Cabin Creek Knock Knock WC. Cathy wants to pursue his JH in the spring as he is so birdy. Congratulations to Cathy and Sweeper!

I drove to Greenville to drop off Belle and got to see Barrett too. Rusty thought that Belle looked great and in good coat. He also got to meet Tobias who accompanied me to Greenville. He loved Tobias so I guess once Barrett finishes, he will get Tobias to show for his majors. I am dead tired after driving 8 hours yesterday and the same today. Hopefully, next weekend will be quiet.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Back in town and catching up

I got back into town today from my trip to NC and Virginia. I was tired from the drive and all the many activities that went on during the week. It was great to see loved ones again and spend some concentrated time together. It's tough being far away from those that you love. I did get a chance to stop by and see Robin on the way up when I drove through Chesapeake, VA. She said that Thomas is spoiled rotten and doing well.

Tomorrow I have to drive to Greenville to take Surry's Division Belle to Rusty Howard who will be showing her for her new owner. I will also get to see Barrett up there which will be good.

I got an email from Cathy Green that her Mason x Gabby son Sweeper took a 4 pt. major today under Sally Sasser. That is thrilling and I know that Cathy is very thrilled.

I heard that Izzy's sister Maggie got through her spay surgery just fine. She was in some pain the first night but is doing well and will get her stitches out soon. Izzy is as much fun as ever and everyday reminds me of her mother.

I hate that I have another long drive tomorrow but hopefully, I'll be home for a bit after that.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On the road tomorrow

I'm leaving tomorrow for a few days in NC and then some time in Virginia. I'm hoping to be able to post for most of the time that I'm gone. I'm visiting my cousin in Virginia. We grew up together and have remained close over the years. He is the closest blood relative that I have. It will be good to catch up on things. He and his wife live on a beautiful point of land overlooking Mobjack Bay which feeds into the Chesapeake. Unfortunately, he has an illness that is life threatening. We are all hoping for a positive outcome. I'm sure that the time spent together will be bitter sweet but valuable for both of us.

Clondike continues to do better on the lasix; however, he hasn't been wanting to eat as much as usual which is troubling. It may also relate to one of the girls being in season which is always a disruptor. We've been getting calls about puppies but won't be doing a breeding until fall. I'm glad to finally not have any puppies except for the two girls that we are running on.

Hope that everyone has a good week!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

On the Barque Eagle

Today I went on a tour of the USCGS Barque Eagle that is docked in Charleston for a few days. It is the largest tall ship flying the US colors and is the only square rigger in US government service. It is 295 ft. long and carries 150 Coast Guard cadets. Five identical ships were built in Germany. Following WWII, it was taken as a war prize by the US and became a training ship for the Coast Guard. It was truly impressive to see the amount of sail area and the rigging on this ship. To maneuver Eagle under sail, the crew must handle more than 22, 000 sq. ft. of sail and five miles of rigging! If the ship comes to a port near you, it is worth seeing.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Labrador Lists

I've been a member of a number of Labrador discussion groups over the years. I first joined Labrador-L which was one of the first discussion forums on Labradors on the internet. There was always lively discussions, most notably those dealing with the changes to the AKC standard. It was on this forum that LabMed got started which is a truly worthy cause. Over the years, a number of other discussion forums have arisen, some being more successful than others. Two of the ones that I currently scan and occasionally post to are the Wiscoy Lab Forum at and the Woodhaven forum at
I also belong to a number of discussion groups about Labradors on E groups. The one thing that I've noticed about discussion groups is that people either demonstrate good or poor manners/behavior. Disparaging remarks, heated (and sometimes nasty) debates are not uncommon. Then there are those who contribute thoughtful comments and actually make an attempt to inform and educate. I stay away from the bashing and hashing discussions. I've found that it is best to post factual comments that provide information and are not totally subjective. One thing about discussion groups is you learn a lot about people and sometimes you learn something about the Labrador.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

rowing today

Today I finally got to sit in a six person gig. This is a type of row boat that was used by the harbor pilots to row supplies to other boats in Charleston Harbor. I don't have a photo of the gig here in Charleston but do have one from the web site http://
You can see a gig in action on the top above with a coxswain facing the rowers. The two that are in Charleston Harbor were built by George Riekerk and Rob Dunlap and are really neat. There are no sliding seats, just some stops as foot stretchers. It is a different boat from the single shell that I have which is like the one shown on the bottom. There is a lot more stability and freeboard with the gig! My rowing shell can't go out in really rough water while the gig will do well with a chop. It was great fun to see this interesting craft and hopefully I'll be part of the group that gets to row it every week!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Near miss for salsa

I almost missed my salsa class tonight because I forgot that it occurred on Wednesday. I was getting a pedicure and Yaenette called to remind me that tonight was class night. Yikes! I didn't even have the right shoes. I skipped out of the nail spa and raced over to the ballroom. Because I didn't have the right shoes, I had to do my class barefoot. Not the best way to do salsa but it was okay. My dance partner was afraid that he would step on my feet. I was more worried about messing up the new pedicure! It all came together okay and we learned turns tonight as well as practiced "stylin" which is an essential part of salsa. It was fun and I was glad that Yaenette made the call to remind me.

When I got home, Charlie had let the dogs out and cleaned the kennels which was great. I had time to eat some dinner and then play with the dogs for a bit, read the paper, catch some news and weather before feeding the dogs. Whew! Another whirlwind day.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Amelia and Aggy

Amelia and Aggy are enjoying their time in the house. They have been wonderfully good in their crate, not making any mess at all, and sleeping throughout the entire night. Tilly doesn't quite know what to think of them as they want to go and kiss their Grandma. She doesn't like puppy kisses and generally gives a snarl. Anna is much more tolerant and seems to absolutely enjoy having the puppies in her face. She has always been one who loved puppies and never wanted to have hers be weaned or away from her. It's interesting how canine mothers have different behaviors towards puppies, some being more tolerant than others.

We are enjoying having the puppies to train, although the heat has put a damper on doing a lot of things outside. I had hoped to do some rowing over the weekend but on Sunday I was just beat from the trip to deliver Saucy and the heat was discouraging. Hopefully, I'll get out on the water this weekend. I've been to the gym both days this week and it has been great to do aerobic exercise and weight lifting indoors. Working out is one of my passions, and I think that I could easily be at the gym or doing some exercise 2-3 hrs everyday if I had the time. I think it is a real key to keeping both the mind and body young. Dogs are also keen on getting their exercise; however, with them it isn't forced but just doing what comes naturally playing in their paddocks. All of them have good muscle tone and seem to be fit compared to so many Labradors who stay in crates or small kennels. Hopefully, it will keep them young too!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Bomb scare for Tupac and Esther

I heard from Meir, Esther's brother, that she and Tupac had a bomb scare near their home. Esther and Tupac live in northern Israel, near the current conflict area with Lebanon. A bomb launched by the Lebanese landed near Esther's home, causing the family and dogs to go into the bomb shelter. Esther had planned to take Tupac to his obedience and handling class but due to the current instability there, she will wait for things to quiet down. It is frightening to think about living with these threats that for us seem so unreal. Yet, in many areas of the world, this is something that must be faced. I am keeping Esther, her family, and the dogs in my thoughts. Let's hope that things will quiet down and stability and clear heads will prevail.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ugh, the heat

It has been too hot this weekend. The dogs have been lying around under the mist but not playing much in the paddocks. I've been soaked every time I've gone out to clean the kennels. No yard work this weekend, other than cutting grass. I should be used to the sweltering heat in SC by now and can get through it okay but don't particularly enjoy gardening when it's this hot.

Clondike has been having some coughing related to his congestive heart failure. He does much better inside in the AC when it's hot so he has been enjoying lying about on the cool tiles. I'll take him to the vet this week to see if he needs another shot of lasix.

Keep cool!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Placing adult dogs

I drove to Charlotte today to hand over Saucy. She traveled like a trooper and had Eugene as her companion on the way there. Although I am sad to not see her beautiful face, it makes me happy to know that she is going to such a great home. One of the things that is hard for many people to understand is that as a breeder, I can't keep every dog. If I am ever to run on puppies from the litters we breed, then I need to place some of the older dogs who are either retired or who haven't worked out as show dogs. Otherwise, I would have a huge number of dogs which isn't what I want nor is it good for the dog. In my opinion, it is so much better for the dogs that go to a home where they get a huge amount of individual attention, than it is for them to be one of many in a kennel situation. We love our dogs and treat them very well, but we both work at demanding jobs so the amount of time spent with each of them is limited. Saucy and others that we place will be the focus of attention by their owners. What more could a Labrador ask for?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Saucy is going to her new home

Tomorrow, I'll drive to Charlotte to take Saucy to her new owners. Saucy, aka Surry's Saucer Full of Secrets, will no doubt be a bit sad to leave here. I'm sad as well since she was born here and we are the only parents that she has known. However, she is a happy girl and will adjust to being spoiled rotten in her new home. We are always delighted when a great home comes along and we are able to place the retired dogs. We have Tilly and Anna as our house dogs. Not being a big fan of dog hair, I realize that in order to keep things sane around here, I have to place some of the dogs. Saucy is one that we knew would be a wonderful companion due to her sweet temperament and general cuteness. More tomorrow after the drive to Charlotte and we say our good byes to Saucy.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dusty is a good boy

Dusty is enjoying the good life on Bailey Island in the ACE Basin. He is pictured here on his porch where his mom and dad, Steve and Pam Jacobs, have provided him with a great view and some favorite toys. Dusty is from Stella's litter sired by Ch. Trendlewood Song for Guy.

According to Steve and Pam, Dusty is being a good puppy and is blessed with lots of smarts. I wish that his two sisters would take a lesson and were a bit cleaner in their kennel habits. This is really gross but the best way that I can describe their behavior is to do a bit of a twist on a Bruce Springsteen song, Dancing in the Dark. Aggy and Amelia specialize in Dancing in the Poop. One of these lovely ladies has decided to poop near the kennel gate. The result is that the misting system mixes with the mess at the gate, and when combined with their dancing in excitement at seeing me come out to the kennel, a real muck of $#&% is created. Although I try to get them out as quickly as possible, their dancing up and down can cause splashes....well, you get the awful picture. Droplets of $#&% splattering everywhere and me trying my best to dodge the spray. Yuck! Thank goodness we are dog people and don't mind discussing fecal deposits by dogs! For all you non dog people, my apologies.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Salsa lessons

Tonight I had my first salsa lesson. It was taught at the Charleston Ball Room. There are about 8 of us taking the class. Wearing 2 inch heels for the first time in a decade felt interesting. These are real ballroom heels though so they are super light weight and have the sueded bottom. I actually was able to maneuver very well in them. Definitely not dog showing shoes though! The lesson went well and I actually didn't fall over or knock anyone else over. I did get some of the moves correctly including a cool twirl. The music is great and my friend Yaenette is also taking the class. She and her husband Eugene have Simba one of the Brier x Gabby babies. Simba would have loved to slide across the wood floor of the ballroom! I'm looking forward to next week's lesson when I get to make myself look even sillier. Aren't new experiences just grand?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Syd is gone

I just read that Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett, one of the founders of Pink Floyd, died July 7. Another major icon gone and at the relatively young age of 60. Surry's The Madcap Laughs whose call name is Barrett was my tribute to Syd. He was the true Crazy Diamond and the subject of Wish You Were Here as well as parodied in The Wall as Pink. Hope that he is playing that mirrored Telecaster somewhere in the cosmos. Shine on Syd.

Monday, July 10, 2006

One year ago today....

It was a year ago today that my mother, Elizabeth Dutton Lewis, died at age 95. She was quite a unique individual, really one of the liberated women of her time and always a scholar. We shared a lot of things over the years, most of which was wonderful. She taught me at an early age to appreciate books, science and art, to have good manners, to be refined (she worked extra hard at this, may not have totally succeeded but some rubbed off), and to have a love for the written word. Mother was brought up in an age when most women finished high school and become home makers. Yet, she went on to college, took graduate courses, wrote a book, served her county and state on numerous committees and offices, and taught school. She could also set an exquisite table, arrange flowers beautifully, write flowing letters in a beautiful hand, crochet beautifully, and seemingly rise to every occasion when necessary. I wish that I were so accomplished. I miss her a great deal but know that we are connected in spirit. She and my father are side by side at the family cemetery in Virginia. Rest in peace and love.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Sculpture of Timmi

This is something that I've been meaning to share for a while. Back in the spring, I received an email from Leslie Hutto about a sculpture of a Labrador that she was working on. She asked me to critique it. I sent some comments back to her about anatomy and made some suggestions on the head and shoulder. I also sent her some photos of some of our dogs. She really liked the photos and decided to come to Wadmalaw to sculpt using one of our dogs, Braz. Ch. Attikonak Get Off My Cloud, as a model. Timmi was a wonderful model as he just sat or laid down while Leslie worked away. After the visit, Leslie sent several other clay models for me to look at. She then took the clay to the foundry to be cast. The result of the whole thing is the beautiful cold cast bronze shown below. Only a limited number of these beautiful bronzes were made. We feel so fortunate to have been a part of Leslie's artistic endeavor.

On another note, the birthday celebration ended up at a salsa social. It's the dance, not the dipping sauce. But wow was it something else. I've never seen so many talented people. Talk about intimidating for someone who has never learned formal dance! So, guess what....yes, I'm going to take salsa lessons. Don't laugh--there is no class for rhythm challenged people but there is a beginner class that starts this Wednesday. I'm psyched for it. Something that looks like a great way to exercise and get some style. What more can one ask for?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Berta's Birthday

Today is my good friend's birthday. Berta lives just down the road from us. She is a Labrador lover and has four of them. She has Bridget and Sea Smoke that I bred as well as Milly Rose who I co-bred. She often has her hands full with the dogs as she works during the day but has a dog walker come in during the week when she teaches. During the summer, she is either home or as in the case of this summer, has Meg visiting with her from Michigan. Meg is working on an internship with the Charleston Museum and will be going back to Michigan in a couple of weeks.

Tonight Berta, Meg and I will be celebrating Berta's birthday at the Maproom. We always haved an adventure when we get together. Happy Birthday Berta!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Lily and Abraham

I had another vet visit tonight. This time I took Abraham for his annual checkup and shots. Abe is our 8 year old cat who just happened to find our house after a major brawl with another black cat. He was torn up with lots of bites, abrasions, and fleas. He also had a major tom cat attitude. After neutering, it took Abe about a year to become totally docile. Now he is a great buddy and loves to follow the dogs and puppies around when we go for walks. Abe loves to work in the yard and is always helping when we are gardening. We also have 2 other adopted cats, Rachael and Rebecca. Rachael was found as a baby kitten whose eyes were glued shut with infection and other end was clogged with maggots. I promised her that if she lived, she would have a forever home with us. She is now a very healthy and happy kitty. Rebecca is a calico who loves to hide under the bed. She also loves me and lets me touch her and stroke her. She isn't so keen on other people but that's okay. She knows who matters.

Lily's OFA radiographs for hips and elbows looked great. We are pleased that all looked good as it is unnerving until one gets the final word from OFA.

Off to walk the dogs.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Saucy is fine

Saucy is recovering after her spay. She doesn't want to eat but is resting comfortably. She was given some pain medications and tomorrow she should be feeling a lot better. The vet noted some adhesions, probably from a C-section that was done a couple of years ago. Other than that, her ovaries looked fine. So far, Saucy hasn't had any nausea which is something that can and often does occur after a C-section.

There was a huge storm today with a major amount of lightening and torrential rain. Consequently, I didn't get to go rowing. I was excited about being in a six person shell. Hopefully, I'll be able to get out and row my single this weekend.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Weekend is over

It's a back to work day for me after a restful weekend. I was able to play with the dogs, train the puppies, get out on the water each day and row my shell, plus go see some fantastic fireworks from historic Ft. Johnson. I did learn that for photographing fireworks, it is necessary to have a sturdy tripod. I have one but was too lazy to bring it to the fireworks celebration. Hopefully, next year I'll get better shots. I actually enjoyed the time at dusk the most, when the sun was going down, and there were lots of boats on the water twinkling with their lights. The kayakers were out and paddling past the point. It was all really peaceful and beautiful.

Tomorrow Saucy will go in for her spay. I'm always a little nervous about this since it is major surgery. Because our vet is so good, I'm sure that all will go well. It just doesn't hurt to say a little extra prayer.

On Friday, Lilly and Abraham will also be at the vets' office. Lilly will be getting her final hip and elbow OFA radiographs done and Abraham, the black cat, will get his checkup. It looks like a lot of vet work this week.

Will keep you posted on all the outcomes.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Happy Independence Day to all. It was a relatively quiet one for me. I went rowing today for about 2 hours along Leadenwah Creek. Not too many rowing shells out on the water down here. I enjoy being so close to the water and powering along using the long stroke of the oars. It is really great exercise and very therapeutic mentally.

Tonight I went to Ft. Johnson where I work to watch the fireworks explode over Charleston Harbor. It was impressive. There was a real festive atmosphere with people grilling on the point and playing frisbee. The fireworks came from Patriot's Point in Mt. Pleasant. It was really neat.

I'll post some photos of the fireworks tomorrow. Off to bed now. It has been a fun but tiring day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Worried about Tombee

I received an email today about Tombee who was one of the puppies born here at Surry. His owner wrote that he is having renal failure and is currently at the vet's office with the outcome uncertain. This is such a tragic thing to hear as Tombee is such a wonderful young boy with a full life ahead and he is greatly loved by his human family. Evidently, Tombee was bitten by a spider but it is unclear from Pam's email whether that was related to his renal condition. Renal problems generally occur in older dogs but can be caused by ingestion of toxic substances such as propylene glycol (antifreeze) as well as by venomous bites from snakes and spiders such as a brown recluse or black widow. I have heard of several dogs dying from ingestion of antifreeze. It has a sweet flavor and dogs lap it up, only to die from acute renal failure. I'm so hoping that Tombee will recover and that Pam will be able to find out what the cause is.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Party pictures

I downloaded the photos from last night's Bark Mitzvah. Sea Smoke who is shown wearing her pink birthday collar enjoyed her gifts. She also got a bit tired by the end. Heck, I would be tired too if I were 91 in dog years and had a big party! Just look at Sea Smoke's face. She looks so much like her mother Daisy. Daisy was our first champion and very much adored. Her personality was fantastic. Her father Ch. Dickendall Ruffy was a fantastic Labrador. Her grandfather was Ch. Receiver of Cranspire who is one of the legends in the Labrador breed. Daisy was bred to Ch. Ashlyn's Don Giovanni to produce Sea Smoke. Gio was a gorgeous dog who won some of the top specialties. It seems like just yesterday that I watched Gio being shown at Potomac and was showing Daisy myself. And it seems like just yesterday that Sea Smoke was a baby wearing the pink yarn collar.

Today and yesterday I took my rowing shell out on Leadenwah Creek. It was great! Yesterday's row was harder because of fighting the wind and tide on the way back; however, today's row was out on the last of flood and back on near slack water. What a greatq way to spend a couple of hours.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bark Mitzvah for Sea Smoke

Sea Smoke's 13 th birthday party was awesome. There were Labradors everywhere as the humans could bring dogs. There was also a little Bichon who held her own against the big dogs. Sea Smoke got lots of cool gifts including dog biscuits, many different toys, a cool dog bowl, and beautiful doggy towels. The humans enjoyed hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, and all manner of salads, dips, chips, etc. I took lots of photos and will post some of them tomorrow. Tonight I'm just too tired to down load them. I rowed my shell for 2 hours this afternoon and had a wonderful time, even though I was fighting the tide and the wind. I'm off to bed now. Tilly and Anna are dreaming of more cookies and birthdays.