Thursday, 22 December 2016

Remembering Grey

Three years is a long time between posts. For long lost readers of this blog I have finally felt able to update. Grey was killed in a dreadful accident on the evening of December 22nd 2015. He was seven and a half years old. He won't have known anything. For him it was very quick. He went on a high on our walk, a place we've loved for years.

I've put off writing this because I didn't want the horror of the accident to cancel out the amazing seven and half years we had together. I was afraid that my words don't do justice to how important he was to me. I've thought about the accident every single day since it happened, but I've also thought about so much more.  I also didn't want to consign Grey to history by writing a final passage about him. Because the truth is that every day so many things that he taught me or that I learned through living with him are ever present. He was, as many will know, a difficult dog to handle. I read somewhere that it's the difficult dogs that teach us so much. He found much of life's every day things hard to deal with, but managed to find the calm to let the simple joy of being alive sink in. There's a lesson in there!

I felt an unexpected lightness today. The day, the dreaded day. The day I've thought about for a year. I realised today that a day can't be worse than the awfulness of what happened. That I can't lose again what I lost. But I can remember all the good that came from the years we spent together. I've written a thousand imaginary letters to Grey in the last 365 days. Which seems strange, because of course I know that Grey was a dog and I wouldn't need to write a letter to him for him to know how I was feeling. 

My life was changed for having him. My life was changed for losing him. This is the last photo of Grey that I have. Taken just before I went to Berlin on a rare holiday away from him and Polka. It's exactly as I like to remember him. Run free, always.


28/04/2008 - 22/12/2015

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Glorious sunny day in December

It was such a lovely day today. Ideal temperature for walking the dogs and the light so beautiful.

The frost still in patches where the afternoon sun hadn't reached.

Polka is still confounding me with her recalls. She will respond to voice and hand signal but not to the whistle. No matter. Primula ham and cheese is tasty! She also does lots of voluntary check ins with me for treats.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Happy 1st gotcha, Polka!

A year ago I first saw Sunny as a picture in an email. I can now see also that she'd had a wee because I know she was scared. Polka is an english pointer from Ireland and she came to me via Dorset Dog Rescue. They said she was 2 years old. Polka is actually a grown up lady and an eternal puppy all rolled into one.

I drove from Margate to Dorset to meet Sunny and this was how she greeted me.

She was smelly and urine stained after traveling in a closed crate for 24 hours from Ireland. But she was a lovely happy soul.

Sunny came back to Margate with us in the car driving through a storm. Not the greatest situation for a pointer that doesn't like rain and isn't house trained. Sunny didn't know her name, so she became Polka. She was later to become Polka Pants.

This was Polka on her first days with us and Grey together.

Can't believe my girl has been 1 year with us already. But then again I think it seems longer. Can't imagine not having her. Clever, kind, bombproof. My companion and friend. We've learnt she can open any drawer and eat any amount of dried pulses. We've now got child locks fitted.

She's also a madam and has to be held back sometimes so Grey can get on things as well. She's a cuddle monster and loves loving.

Happy 1st gotcha day, Miss Polka Pants.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Slovakian Breed Counsel Breed Standard for Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer

Updated by Michel Urban in November 2012

FCI-Standard N° 320 / 06.01.2003 /GB


(Slovenský hrubosrstý Stavač)
TRANSLATION: Ludmila Fintorova, Peggy Davis.
ORIGIN: Slovakia.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 7 Pointing dogs.
Section 1.1 Continental Pointing
Dogs, type “Braque”.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Slovakian Wirehaired Pointer was established by crossing different breeds, mainly the Weimaraner, of which it has taken its characteristic colouring and character. Crossing Weimaraners with wirehaired breeds, in particular Cesky fousek (Bohemian Wirehaired Pointing Griffon), resulted in a breed of colour and traits similar to those of the Weimaraner, but of wirehaired coat. Until 1973 these dogs were entered into the Slovak stud book as Weimaraner Wirehaired Pointer. Since 1973 the dogs are registered as an individual breed.
GENERAL APPEARANCEDog of medium to slightly larger size. Moderate strength, strong bone, working type, but with nobleness in his lines. The basic colour of the coat grey and the hair is harsh (hard).
IMPORTANT PORPORTIONSShould be slightly longer in body compared to shoulder height. The ratio of length of the body to the height at the withers must be of 10: 9 in the males and of 10: 8 in the females.
BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENTPowerful, keen on pursuing game of prey, yet obedient and easy to train. He must be fit and able to work on the plain, in the woods and in the water and especially to work after the shooting, searching and retrieving wounded game. Even-tempered, never shy nor aggressive.
HEAD: Sufficiently long, lean, without folds in the skin, proportional to the body and the sex.
CRANIAL REGION: Skull: Rectangular shape, the superciliary arches must be pronounced, the frontal furrow visible. The occipital crest is felt at the touch.Stop: The slope is moderate.
FACIAL REGIONMuzzle: Approximately the same length as the skull, sufficiently deep and wide. Lower jaw even and strong. Nasal bridge is straight or slightly hilly, never concave.
 Sufficiently large, darker in colour then coat. Large nostrils.
s: Moderately developed; fitting closely, dark in colour.
Well developed, even, strong set of teeth. Scissor bite. Incisors set square to the jaws, forming full arch.Cheeks: lean, with well developed muscles.
: Almond shaped, well set, with an intelligent expression, of amber colour, (brownish shade not a fault). In puppies and young dogs, they are bluish (azure). The eyelids are dark and close fitting.
: Of proportional length, set above eye level. Broad at the inset (base) and the flap is rounded. Carried close to head.
NECK: Of medium length, lean, without skin folds, well muscled; inserted high in the withers, running well into the back.
ToplineRunning smoothly from the line of the neck down to well developed withers and rather long, strong and level back.
: Is well pronounced and well linked with the line of the back.
: Is solid, well muscled, straight, of medium length, very slightly sloping towards the rear.
Rear: Broad, sufficiently long, loins taut, slightly arched. Neither overbuilt nor drooping.

Chest: Sufficiently long and broad, oval, in proportion with the whole of the body, let down to the elbow. Ribs well sprung, breast well developed, sternum pronounced.Underline and belly: Moderately tucked in.

TAIL: Moderately strong, set rather high, carried downwards when the dog is at rest; carried horizontally when the dog is in action. Well furnished with hair but not brush style. In countries where tail docking is not prohibited by law, the tail is shortened (docked) at half length.
FOREQUARTERS: On the whole well developed, vertical and parallel viewed from the front or in profile.
Lean and muscular. Shoulder-blades long, obliquely placed, close fitting to chest. Good angulation between shoulder blade and upper arm.
Upper arm
slanted, well developed and muscular.
free, neither tied in nor loose.
: long, straight, vertical, with lean and marked musculature.
Pastern joint:
 firm, taut.
: Almost vertical.
: Well arched, close toes, rounded feet. Elongated middle toes forming spoon shaped feet permissible. The nails and the pads are dark in colour. Pads tight and thick.
HINDQUARTERS: Well angulated seen from profile, and vertical seen from behind.Upper thighs: Sufficiently long, broad and well muscled.Stifle: firm, taut. The angulation between upper and lower thighs and lower thighs and hocks should be approximately the same.Lower thighs: sufficiently long, well muscled, sinewy.Hock joint: taut, clean and firm.
: Sinewy, almost vertical.
Hind feet
: Toes well arched and close. No dewclaws. Shaped like the forefeet.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: in all types of movement smooth, free action covering plenty of ground. When trotting, back remains level and body carriage elegant. Front and rear action is parallel. Amble or pass undesirable. When working on the plain the dog gallops.
SKIN: Of medium thickness, elastic, without folds, good pigmentation of the skin.
HAIR: Hair is harsh, dense, close fitting. Double coat consisting of undercoat and topcoat of about 4 cm long, harsh, straight and flat hairs. At the lower part of the muzzle and on the flews, the hair is longer and softer, forming a moustache. Above the eyes, the hair is more pronounced and laying obliquely. The forehead and the occiput are covered with shorter harsh hair. The hair on the leathers is short and soft. Tail well furnished with hair. The whole body should be covered with hair.Hair on the underside of legs and belly can be shorter, yet hard and dense.COLOURThe basic colour is grey from pewter-silver grey to mouse grey with varying lighter and darker shadings. Head and ears are of a lighter shade. White markings on the legs and on the chest are accepted.
Also “grey” with more or less large markings, eventually speckled (roan)
 is accepted. The basic colour is always grey.
SIZE:The height at withers: Is from 62 to 68 cm for the males and from 57 to 64 cm for the females.
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Size too big or too small in relation to the standard.
  • Colour much too light.
  • Heavy appearance and without nobleness, lymphatism.
  • Hollow back, roach back.
  • Hair too long or silky.
  • Hair too short, without moustaches.
  • Irregular position of the legs.
  • Meagre lips or too pendulous flews.
  • False color and pigmentation.
  • Prognathism upper and lower.
  • Entropion, ectropion.
  • Monorchid, cryptorchid.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer Club AGM 2013

Here are details of the upcoming Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer Club AGM on Saturday May 4th at 12pm in Nether Heyford in Northamptonshire. It's open to members only. But you might wish to join!

To be held at:
The Olde Sun
Middle Street,
Nether Heyford,
On Saturday 4th May 2013 @ 12.00pm

1. Apologies for absence.
2. To elect a Chairperson for the meeting.
3. To approve the minutes of the 2012 AGM.
4. Matters arising.
5. To receive the Secretary’s report.
6. To receive the Treasurer’s report and approve the audited accounts for the year ending 31-12-2012.
7. Election of Auditors for the ensuing year.
8. To confirm the appointment of officers and committee.

                                   POSITION              NOMINEE                 PROPOSED              SECONDED
Secretary   Mrs S Hancock      Ms T Dynowska    Mrs D Fletcher
Treasurer               Mrs D Fletcher             Mr R Hancock                  Mrs S Hancock
                            Committee              Mr R Hancock      Mr C Fletcher             Ms T Dynowska
                          Mrs M Chammings      Mrs S Hancock               Mrs D Fletcher
The following officers and committee are not due to retire and are willing to continue in office:
Ms T Dynowska, Chairperson, Miss P Grime, Miss C Wright, Ms L Fynn and Mr C Fletcher.

9. Determination of subscriptions for 2014.
10. Proposals by members received within notice of the meeting in accordance with the Club constitution, listed in date of receipt order.
11. Proposer – Lissa Fynn
Seconder – Sue Hancock

That the Committee review the current Code of Ethics and make amendments and additions where considered necessary and consider an additional Breeders Code of Ethics.

12. Proposer – Margaret Hunter
                      Les Hunter  
Seconder – Sandra Rowbury
                 Tricia Grime
That Julie George-Ainscough, as a fully paid up member, has requested  to discuss the following:
Kennel Club Rules
Minutes of meetings
Adoption papers
Club Code of Ethics
Club Rules & Regulations

13. Proposer – Sandra Rowbury
Seconder – TBA
The Committee to write to the KC, following the gathering of appropriate collaborative information, to request a change to the Breed Standard to incorporate the Coloured Coated Slovaks, ie Grey, Grey/White & Roan and thus continue the work  begun by the late Mick Heap.

14. Any Other Business.


Sue Hancock,
Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer Club (Provisional)