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2017 Plans

I am getting a lot of inquiries about puppies so here is what’s in store for 2017.

Libby should come into season in the late winter (February/March).  We will try again to breed her.  If it works puppies will be born 9 weeks later.  Depending upon the size of the litter there may be puppies available for placement.  We do not make any final decisions on which dogs to keep for competition and which are available for new homes until they are at least 12 weeks old.  This also allows us watch them grow, perform temperament tests and health screenings, and complete initial vaccination protocols.

So, realistically and in the most optimistic situation, puppies would not be available until the summer of 2017.  Frankly, summer is a great time to bring a new dog into a home as you have the easiest weather for housebreaking and training.

Check here and on my AKC Marketplace page for updates.  I will start a formal wait list if/once pregnancy is confirmed by ultrasound and potentially take deposits for 1-2 puppies depending upon the estimated litter size.

Also, I am still considering placing Dante in a new home after he completes his AKC championship.  I will be following up on inquiries about the young boys I mentioned in an earlier post.  Pedey will be heading to his new home in a few weeks after reference checks are complete and he is neutered.

Questions?  Comment below or send email.


No Puppies for Libby, but Two Young Boys are Available!

Well, last week’s ultrasound showed we missed with Libby so there will be no puppies in the Spectrum household this Christmas.  It is very disappointing to work so hard (and spend so much money) and end up with no result but that is the reality of being a careful breeder.  We will try breeding Libby in the spring so stay tuned for updates.

Two of Libby’s puppies from the “Divine Comedy” litter are available for re-homing this winter.  I have to decided to try complete AKC championships on Dante (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Paradiso) and Pedey (Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Inferno) but do not plan to use either dog in our breeding program.  I’ll post pictures of the two boys shortly.  Each will be neutered before going to his new home.  Contact me by email if you are interested in learning more about Dante or Pedey.

You can see Pedey in dog-show-action in December.  He and Beatrice are entered at the following shows, all held in the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition Center, West Springfield, Massachusetts:

  • 12/3/2016.  Worcester County Kennel Club
  • 12/4/2016.  Worcester County Kennel Club
  • 12/9/2016.  Champlain Valley Kennel Club
  • 12/10/2016.  Eastern Dog Club
  • 12/11/2016.  Eastern Dog Club

These are the last shows we’ll attend in 2016.  Shows resume in early January 2017 – watch for details.

Basset Agility

It’s common to hear people say “Basset hounds cannot do agility.”  That’s just not true.  It is true that not all basset hounds can do agility and it is true that not all basset hounds can earn MACH and PACH titles.  But as long as you have a healthy dog in good weight that likes to learn, anything is possible.

I have put agility titles on three basset hounds and hope to get titles on more.  Here are Libby and Pippin showing it can be done!

BP150795_crop_on_canvas IMG_1383_Pippy

Beatrice: The Big Winner!

I attended the Pilgrim Basset Hound Club 56th Annual Specialty Show on August 14, 2015 at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlboro, MA.  Libby was entered as a special (Best of Breed class), Biscotti was entered in Bred By Exhibitor Dog class, and the puppies Dante and Beatrice in their respective age classes – 6-9 month dog/bitch; the judge was respected basset hound breeder Mrs. Sanda Launey.  The puppies were also entered in their age classes in the sweepstakes competition under judge Maria Zengion.

Beatrice was the big winner!  Ms. Zengion awarded her 1st place in her class over 4 other bitches, Best Junior in Sweepstakes and then Best in Sweepstakes!  She defeated 18 other dogs.

In the regular classes, Bea again was awarded 1st place in her class over 4 other bitches by Mrs. Launey.  She was then selected as Winners Bitch for a 5 point major!  To top off a wonderful evening, Mrs. Launey awarded 6 month old Bea Best of Opposite Sex over specials, including her mother!

I have a picture from Bea’s wins – I’ll post as soon as I get a moment to scan it.

I should also mention that Dante did not show his best but stacked very well; he still won’t gait with his head up but we are working on getting this fixed.  Biscotti showed well and was 2nd place in the competitive Bred By Exhibitor class.  Libby was named Grand Champion Select, beating other special bitches for this placement.

Next shows:  Beatrice and Libby will fly to California with me and Bjorn to attend the Basset Hound Club of America National Specialty Shows and Trials beginning September 28, 2015 in Sacramento.

Best of Winners & A Major!

I finally attended a dog show – first time since the BHCA Nationals in October 2014.  All of this travel to China has seriously cramped my dog competition activities.  Due to the schedule whims of United Airlines I didn’t get home until 1:00am on Saturday instead of the expected Friday 8:00pm home arrival.  I must send a special thank you to my long-suffering husband for bathing Brownie on Thursday night.

Brownie (Topsfield-Sanchu Spumoni of Spectrum) and Libby (GCH CH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love a Mystery BN RN NJP CGC) were both entered but given my lack of preparation I only took Brownie to the shows.  Brownie received a speed-groom at the shows as I was too tired to do it when I got home very early Saturday morning.

On Saturday we were Reserve Winners Dog under judge Ed Hall.  There was only one other dog entered (1 point) and three bitches (also 1 point).  While I was disappointed not to win the practice with Brownie was very valuable.

On Sunday the stakes were higher: Brownie was the only dog entered and there were six bitches (3 point major).  Brownie showed very well and was awarded Best of Winners by judge Sue Carr for his first major!  He know has nine points and one major.

Next up:  Pilgrim Basset Hound Club’s 56th Annual Specialty Show on August 14, 2015 at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlboro, MA.  I will also have the two puppies (Beatrice, Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Beatrice; and Dante, Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante Aligheri) making their debut and Libby is entered as a special and brood bitch.  Wish me luck!

Lost and Found

Yesterday was every dog owner’s nightmare:  one of our dogs, now owned by a family in Marlborough, MA, opened the gate in his fenced yard and slipped away on Sunday.  Brownie aka Topsfield Sanchu Spumoni of Spectrum escaped at 10:30am, crossed and ran along very busy streets, and was last seen at around 12:00 noon heading into the woods in an undeveloped section of the Marlborough.  Bjorn and I joined the hunt in the early afternoon.

Brownie, doing what he likes best – running

Bjorn hiked the woods for miles with Pippin in the hope of attracting Brownie to a buddy.  I drove a couple of our other dogs (Brownie’s littermate Stanley and another buddy Hoppy) and my friend Nancy Richmond all over the area, looking for the dog and talking to anyone we saw.  I was pleasantly surprised by the helpfulness and compassion of nearly everyone we spoke to.  We had to give  up the search at 5:30pm in order to return some volunteers home, hydrate and develop a new strategy for our search.  The owners also alerted Home Again (Brownie is microchipped) and stayed in constant contact with the local police and animal control officers.  But there was no sign of the dog since noon.

While at home I posted on Facebook (something that happens maybe once a year), sent out emails, and basically contacted everyone I know to keep a lookout for him.  The Home Again alert went out and my Facebook post was shared widely.  Posters went up throughout the area he was lost.

At 6:30pm Bjorn was antsy and couldn’t sit home any more. We decided to grab a “used” dog bed cover – in hopes he would smell his buddies and come looking – and some treats and drove to Brownie’s last know location.  Bjorn went into the woods for the third time and I stayed at the road calling Brownie, telling him I had biscuits and cookies.  All was silent.  At 7:30pm his family showed up, having come to the same idea that the best place to close the day was at the last place he was seen.  We were discussing the next day’s search plan when what should appear:  a very happy Brownie, trotting out of the woods, tail wagging and happy.  He led us on a short, slow chase (he wasn’t quite ready to come home) but gladly let Bjorn put a slip lead over his head when finally caught.  He jumped right into his family’s car and waited patiently while we celebrated his return.

Naughty, slippery, sneaky Brownie

Many times these stories have tragic endings – the dog never found, hit by a car, stolen – but it is a fantastic feeling when there is happy ending.

BTW, the family swears he’ll never have a leash off again!  I doubt that is true but the situation reminds us of three things:  1) bassets are not slow – they can run quite fast and can certainly outrun a human; 2) bassets are slippery – being low to the ground they are hard to catch; and 3) bassets are resilient – Brownie was alone in dense woods for 8+ hours without being any worse for wear.  In fact, he enjoyed himself tremendously.   He just happens to be a bit naughtier and sneakier than most bassets.

We are glad you are home, Brownie!


Win Some, Lose Some

I stopped by the Ladies Dog Club shows in Wrentham, MA yesterday.  Libby and Spumoni were entered but I pulled them because I didn’t have time to properly groom and prepare them for the show ring; I was also exhausted from a full day of Agility workshops on Saturday.  I did want to visit my fellow basset friends who were also competing and/or socializing at the shows over the weekend – Sue Frischmann, Judy Tuck, Nancy Richmond, Marci Horgan and Stanley’s handler Candy Carswell.  It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid 70’s and a light breeze blowing.  Stanley’s sister Dolci (Topsfield Spectrum Dolci of Sanchu) was Winners Bitch/Best of Opposite Sex for another point towards her AKC championship.  Dolci lives with Sue Frischmann at Topsfield Kennel in Vermont.  Libby’s littermate sister Allie was Reserve Winners Bitch.

Speaking of agility, Libby experienced her first trial last weekend and believe me it was a trial for both of us.  The trial was held on artificial turf at a soccer dome in Connecticut.  Libby spent the entire FAST run sniffing her way through the course I mapped out; to make things worse, she scared herself on the seesaw.  During her Standard run she was slow but moving along without as much sniffing until we reached the now-dreaded seesaw; she climbed half way and said “forget it” and jumped off.  I ran the rest of the course with her for practice but it was another NQ.  Things were slightly better in Jumpers.  She took a bar down and went visiting the ring crew but was faster and a bit more focused.  So, I need to “repair” her seesaw performance and work on attention but all that went wrong is fixable.

In canine competition, it truly is “win some, lose some.”

Go Stan!

Stanley, also sometimes called Blackie and formally known as Topsfield-Sanchu Confetti of Spectrum, is on the road with his friends Candy Carswell & Sue Frischmann at the Weekend Classic Dog Shows in New Castle, PA.  On Friday Stan was awarded Winners Dog/Best of Winners by judge Mr. William Potter for a 4 point major!  This Stan’s second major and brings him to a total of 14 points.  He just needs one more to finish his AKC Championship.  Stan is 15 months old today.

Here’s Stanley last month with Candy after Mrs. Pat Mowbray-Morgan awarded him Winners Dog for 1 point; his sister Amaretti (CH Topsfield-Spectrum Amaretti of Sanchu) earned a 3 point major the same day as Winners Bitch/Best of Winners to finish her AKC Championship.

Stan & Candy in April 2014

Congratulations to Stanley and Candy!

Back on the Road Again: Stanley

Our young dog Stanley (Topsfield Sanchu Confetti of Spectrum) is on the road again with his handler buddy Candy Carswell.  Candy has been showing Stanley and his litter mates since I was laid up last fall with a serious surgical injury to my right leg.   We hope he does well and comes back with his final major and championship!