Thursday, 30 September 2010

PLEASE READ the New Polymyositis Page!

Polymyositis (PM) has been known in the Vizlsa breed for at least 6 years - it's a horrendous disease that causes terrible suffering to both our precious red friends & their owners &, unfortunately, it is becoming more & more prevalent. One of the first Vizslas we met was the gorgeous Radio - here are a couple of pictures of him:

Radio before he was diagnosed with Polymyositis
Radio after he developed Polymyositis - sadly, Radio died aged 3.

What I want to know is how any breeder could knowing allow this to happen...but they do! Incredibly there are breeders out there that CONTINUE to breed from bitches & dogs that are known to have produced PM puppies in the past - to my mind, that is not only irresponsible but is also verging on the criminal.

Responsible breeders are already doing everything they can to ensure that proposed matings are safe & if there is any doubt whatsoever they STOP...they DON'T breed from their bitch & they REMOVE their dog from the stud list...that's what being responsible means!

Here in the UK we are so lucky to have someone like Di Addicott who is working tirelessly trying to persuade people who are known to have PM in their lines to swab their dogs. Up until now she has sometimes felt like she was bashing her head against a brick wall such has been the ostrich like attitude of some people. Happily, she now has people like Elaine Bradley, Lynn Eales & Rosemary Frost (to name but a few)...people who are standing up for our beloved breed & supporting Di's efforts to find a way to free our genetic pool from the scourge of this devastating disease. Hopefully, there are people just like them in other countries round the world who are doing the same?

So what can we all do to help? The simple answer is "spread the word" because the more people who know about this devastating disease & the ongoing research the better - one of the easiest ways of doing this is by taking copies of the fact sheet with you every time you go out walking & handing them to every Vizsla owner you doesn't sound much, but, believe me, even that would help!

So what else...:
  • if you know, or even suspect, that there's PM in your lines
  • or
  • if you know, or suspect, that your dog or bitch has produced a puppy with the symptoms (even if you haven't had a definitive diagnosis)
  • or
  • you know someone with a PM dog or bitch (even if that dog or bitch has now passed away)
Then please contact Di Addicott (or your breed society if you live outside the UK) & she will tell you how to go about collecting a swab from all the necessary dogs.

This wonderful breed give us so much love & affection, so much loyalty & braveness...please do help if you can...thank you!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Another Viz Whizz...

This time at Fritham in the New Forest...

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Check out Fergus' blog for some more brilliant photos:

Radar at Agility...& Mum's new camera!!

It was agility again for me & Rio last Wednesday. Dad had bought Mum a new video camera so she (with Aunty Tracey's help!) just had to try it out when I was running...only one problem...she's just discovered that she can't load the videos directly to the's something called an!! Anyhow's...we've put them on are the links:

Click here for the first one Radar at Agility... - silly Mum, she forgot that I needed time for my eyes to readjust when coming out of the tunnel...she gave the "stretch" command to quickly...doh!

Here's the second one Radar at Agility...take 2!...that's better, she got it right this time!!

Mill Lawn Viz Whizz...continued!

Thought you might like to see a few more photos of our great walk at Mill Lawn - my mate Graham, from the Juniper Centre, gave Mum the photos that he'd taken...enjoy!

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Now here are a couple of videos as well...

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If you'd like to see even more photos of our walk, check out my mate Fergus' blog:

Sunday, 19 September 2010

New Forest Viz Whizz - Mill Lawn

Well another great walk with some great people & vizzies (plus some honorary vizzies too!).

We thought this whizz was going to be quite small considering the short notice (just over a week!)...but no...about 20 vizzies managed to make it which was absolutely fantastic! What was even more fantastic was that we managed to raise £35 for Vizsla Welfare & Rescue...thank you so much for contributing to this very worthwhile cause!

Here's a Smilebox of some of my photos...

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Monday, 13 September 2010

Watch out for the New Pages!

For those of you who know us (either personally or just because of this Blog), you will probably have gathered that we are passionate about our "boys".

Radar & Rio are our family...some would call them "pets" but, to us, they're more than that...they're our four-legged, hairy children &, like children, we want them to be secure, happy & healthy...we want the absolute best for them. For us, this means doing all the same things that we would do for/with a human family:

  • Choosing a vet (in their case!!) that we trust & can relate to.
  • Giving them a good diet - which just happens to be the BARF diet.
  • Making sure they have lots of "friends" to play & interact with.
  • Ensuring that they get the opportunity to do lots of different/appropriate activities so that they are both mentally & physically stimulated (hence the agility, PAT dog stuff, swimming & showing etc) different to kids really &, like kids, if we find that a particularly activity doesn't suit, we stop it!
But, above all (& I know this sounds soppy), they get our total, life-long, commitment & love...& yes, they can sleep in the bedroom if they want & get on the bed for a cuddle!!!!!

It seems incredible to us that we only met our first Vizlsa about 7 years ago...but from that moment on we were hooked.

Our first Vizsla experience...the lovely Amber having a typical vizzie cuddle with her Dad, Ken!

Initially it was the striking appearance that completely bowled us over but soon, having done our research, we found that the Vizsla could offer so much more & would be the ideal dog for us & our life-style! This is just some of what we discovered:

Vizlsas are very gentle, loyal, caring & highly affectionate. They very quickly form close bonds with their owners, including children, & for this reason they are often referred to as "Velcro" dogs!

Radar & Rio with my little grandson, Otto. Unfortunately, Otto is allergic to dogs but that doesn't stop him loving them & they have both learnt not to touch!

Generally, they are quiet dogs, only barking if necessary or if provoked...though those of you who know Radar will know that he can be extremely vocal particularly if he's getting a back or ear scratch...he actually groans with pleasure!! The other time they can be "vocal" is if they feel neglected or want something..."crying" is not unheard of...well it's definitely "heard" & can sound pretty pathetic!!

As with many breeds, they can suffer from "separation anxiety" so this is definitely something to consider before taking a Vizsla into your home. If other commitments keep you away for too long or, maybe, you just like going to the bathroom on your own, then a Vizsla may not be the dog for you!! They thrive on attention & interaction &, hence, like being close to their owner(s) as much of the time as possible...if given the chance, many of them will sleep in bed with their owners, burrowing under the covers so that they can snuggle up!

Radar & Rio burrowed under "their" duvet!

Rio deciding that Mum & Dad's bed gives him a bit more space to stretch out!!

Vizslas are also VERY energetic & need a good deal of exercise to remain healthy & happy. They are highly intelligent, & thrive on being challenged & stimulated, both mentally & physically - I guess that's one of the reasons both Radar & Rio love agility so gives them physical exercise but they also have to "think"! However, as Vizslas have sensitive temperaments, they can easily be "damaged" if treated or trained unkindly - so, all training must be done gently & without harsh commands or strong physical correction.

They are one of only 15 HPR (Hunt, Point, Retrieve) breeds that are recognised as such in the UK. This means that they are natural hunters, great pointers & excellent retrievers. As Vizslas are excellent swimmers, they will not only retrieve on land but also in the water...check out some of Rio's recent videos of him retrieving from water!!

So what, you may be thinking, was the point of the above waffle?! Well, the passion I mentioned at the beginning isn't just reserved for Radar & Rio but for the Hungarian Vizsla breed as a whole. It's because of this that I've decided to add a few extra pages to our Blog...just stuff that I hope you might find useful &/or interesting, whether you're a current Vizsla owner, are about collect your new Vizsla puppy or are just considering whether or not a Vizsla is the dog for you. I won't pretend that it's all my own work...some is but much of it is information that I've gleaned from other, far more experienced, Vizsla thank you to them.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

11th September 2010 - Radar at Agility

It was Radar's regular agility class today...& his turn to be filmed - thank you Tracey. He did fantastically (in my opinion of course!!) only knocking one jump down which was excellent considering he's only just moved up to jumping full height...clever boy!

Hope you enjoy watching us in action:

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A bit of "furry" training!!

As you've probably realised by now, we like to give "the boys" variety in their training & try our best to make it all fun!! Today was a case in point...I managed to get hold of a "fur on" bunny & thought it would be good for Radar & Rio to get used to handling it...gently - neither have much, if any, experience in holding something furry in their mouths (apart from each other!!!). I guess, being "bird dogs" it would have been better to get a pheasant...but the season hasn't started yet so a rabbit had to do!!

Meet our training pal...Bugs!

The idea was to introduce them to "Bugs" & then to let them hold him gently (without chewing!) until I said "hand"...which is the command I use when I want them to put "something" in my hand...ball, dummy &, in this case, Bugs! Here they are "getting acquainted":

Umm...Rio's first meeting with Bugs!

Radar gently nudging Bugs with his nose!

Unfortunately I found it impossible to use the camera when they were actually holding the rabbit...needed another pair of hands!! But they both did really well...both eventually holding it & then giving it back to me in one piece...clever boys!

Bugs has now been returned to our local Barf pet food shop...

Our Dad!!

Hey look at this...Dad sent us a picture of him on the cable ship...isn't he just so handsome! And what's this...he's missing us such a lot that he's grown fur on his face...I wonder if it's as soft as our fur!!!!!

Don't forget that you'll need that hat when you get home Dad...for protection!!

Time to catch up...!

Where's the time gone...Dad's been away since 23rd August...he's doin' cable stuff in a place called the North Sea - we all miss him loads & can't wait for him to come home again...he'd better watch out when he does get home coz I'm going to mob him!! I reckon he'll think Mum's swopped Rio for a new vizzie coz Rio's just SO big now...almost as big as me though, of course, not as grown up or as sensible...hee, hee!

Mum's been a bit lax on the photo front but at last she's got her act together & has put together some Smileboxes for you enjoy...I hope! By the way, do watch Rio doin' his first proper agility course...what d'ya reckon, is he good or what...I'm so proud of my little bruv!!

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We went to Hurn Forest yesterday morning for a great walk...Mum reckoned the pictures were a bit boring but, I promise you, the walk was brilliant...there are just SO many lovely smells in the forest!!

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Then, yesterday evening, Mum took us to Queens Park Golf Course for a walk...yes, we're allowed coz it's a public course!! It's a really great place to walk...wide open spaces (Mum says they're called Fairways!) where we can run & run & run...there's water too that we can swim in...& lots of woody bits where we can sniff n stuff! BUT...the best bit is the sand-pits...apparently they're really called Bunkers...we don't care what they're called coz they're just great for doin' mad dog runs in!! Sorry to all you golfers out there but it is fun & Mum does rake them smooth afterwards!!!!

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