Category Archives: Adults

News from the Pack

A New Champion!
Another one of the Divine Comedy litter became an AKC Champion recently.  Dante, handled by professional Candy Carswell, finished his title on February 25, 2017.  He is now know as: CH Spectrum Topsfield Vision Dante’s Paradiso.  Dante is a sweet boy but we have decided to neuter and place him in his forever home.  On April 9 he’ll join the Puntillo family in Shrewsbury, MA as their new basset boy.  Until then he’ll be at home recovering from surgery and keeping us entertained with his silliness.

Therapy Dog in Training
Pippin is taking Therapy Dog training at DogStar Activity Center in Acton, MA.  As you can imagine, the hardest tests for Pipping (and most bassets) are the “leave the food on the floor”  and the “don’t jump on the lap” tests.   However, he is making progress and we hope to pass the Therapy Dog International test in May.

Puppies?
If Libby cooperates we are still working towards our new schedule for a fall 2017 litter.  Stay tuned for progress.

On Your Mark … the Puppy Plan

Most people don’t understand the care, thought and money that goes into the careful breeding of dogs by responsible hobby breeders.  As I begin the journey again I thought I would journal the steps I use to give you an idea of what is involved.

“Libby” – GCH Vision Spectrum Topsfield Love A Mystery CD BN RA NJP CGC

If you have read my site you would know that I bred Libby back in the winter of 2014.   She had one litter in February 2015 and was an excellent mother.

She produced four healthy and happy puppies, three of whom had or are having good show careers.  The fourth is having an excellent career as a canine companion in a loving home in Bedford, MA.  Based on the success of this litter I decided after careful consultation with my co-owners to try again.

[If you are wondering how a black-masked, open tricolored dam produced four red-and-white puppies, chalk it up to the vagaries of color genetics in bassets.  Libby’s dam was red-and-white and her sire was tricolor, and the sire of the litter was red-and-white, so we were pretty certain to get most or all red-and-whites.  The sire of the next litter is a classic black-saddle tricolor dog so I hope we get some tri-colors!]

As a team we reviewed pedigrees, discussed conformation strengths and weaknesses and reviewed the detailed pros and cons of each puppy from the first litter and first sire.  After going back and forth for a while we decided to do artificial insemination using frozen semen from a dog I had always admired for his intelligence, personality, and conformation; he also had the correct pedigree to bring in characteristics that would hopefully produce even more beautiful as well as happy and healthy pups.

However, Libby had other plans, coming into season six weeks early while we were over 1000 miles from home attending the BHCA Nationals in St Louis, Missouri.  By the time we got home Libby’s progesterone levels were at the high end of target for breeding.  I decided to give it a try anyway but it didn’t work out and there were no puppies.

In order to have the maximum probability of success this time I took Libby to Dr. Ann Huntington, our reproduction veterinarian, for a full battery of tests in January, well ahead of Libby’s next cycle.  We tested for any medical conditions or underlying illnesses that might prevent pregnancy from occurring:  broad spectrum tick borne diseases (Idexx), detailed thyroid levels (U Michigan), reproductive system infections (Cornell U).

We found a minor vaginal infection that we are treating now so that Libby will be 100% ready when she comes into season.

So now we wait.  Normally Libby is on a roughly six month schedule of seasons meaning late March or early April would be her next cycle.  However, since she was over a month early the last time, I am preparing for her to start as early as the end of February.  I continue to feed her a high quality food (Purina ProPlan Grain Free) and high quality supplements (VetriScience Glycoflex III, Wholistic Pet Canine Complete, Wholistic Pet Salmon Oil), make sure she gets plenty of mental and physical exercise through play and formal training, and hope we have luck on our side this time.

BHCA Nationals 2016 – Now with Pictures!

We had a wonderful time at the Basset Hound Club of America Nationals last week in the Greater St. Louis, MO area.  It was great to see old friends and to make some new ones, too!

Libby, Beatrice and Pippin made the journey with us in our fully loaded (think Beverly Hillbillies) 2004 GMC Yukon XL across the US.  Bjorn drove the entire 1200 miles, allowing me to catch up on some much-needed sleep.

I’ll eventually post pictures and videos but here are some highlights:

Monday

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  • Libby earned a bumper-leg qualifying score (“Q”) in Novice B obedience; it wasn’t her best effort but she did earn 4th place with a score of 177.5.
  • Libby earned a bumper-leg Q in Advanced B rally with a score of 86.  Again, not her best effort but good enough for 4th place.
  • Pippin earned his first Q in Beginner Novice B with a score of 193.5 and then won the run off for first place!
  • Pippin then earned is first Q in Novice B rally with a score of 96, good enough for 4th place.

Tuesday

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  • Libby decided to come into season (more about that in a minute) so she was pulled from all companion event competitions.
  • Pippin did not qualify (NQ’d) in Beginner Novice B obedience when he stood up during the walkaround-sit.  Too bad as he was working on a 197 and would have won the class again!
  • Pippin Q’d a second time in Novice B rally with a score of 97 but this was not good enough for a placement.
  • In agility, Pippin did extremely well but took bars down in Novice FAST and Novice Jumpers.  He did keep all of the bars up in Novice Standard but had a refusal and run-out for a score of 90; he was still 15 seconds under SCT!  This was good enough for 1st place (the only entry) in the 12″ class.
  • Finally, Beatrice competed in the Maturity stakes, Bitch Class I.  Sue Frischmann showed her to a class win in this large class and then I showed her to Best of Opposite Sex overall!  Thank you to judge Jill Brooker from New Zealand for the honor.

Wednesday

  • Libby continued to sit on the sidelines and missed the agility competition.
  • Pippin did not Q in either Novice Jumpers or Novice Standard; he was very fast but took down 1-3 bars in each class.

Thursday

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  • It was Beatrice’s time to shine.  I showed her to 1st place over 13 other entrants in the prestigious Bred By Exhibitor Bitch class.  Thank you judge Robert Opeka for the honor.  We did not get any further wins but I was very happy with Beatrice and her performance.
  • Libby then was named 1st place in the Brood Bitch class, with Beatrice and her brother Pedro as her produce.  Thank you again, judge Opeka!
  • BHCA also ran a demonstration of the AKC Coursing Ability Test.  The St Louis Association of Sight Hounds (SLASH) assembled a 300 yard course for the bassets to try.  Bjorn ran Pippin and he was a superstar!  He accurately chased the plastic bag and completed the course in 48 seconds.

Friday

  • Libby was the only one competing in the Best of Breed class.  Since she was in season she didn’t want me touching her tail and I wasn’t happy with how she showed.   That said, she made it through 2 cuts by judge Carol Makowski and her 1/2 sister Poppy made it into the final group.

Overall it was a great Nationals for the Spectrum Bassets.

After we returned home we decided to breed Libby.  She’s been bred to Wheaties (CH Topsfield Sanchu Wheaties) and if all goes well we’ll see puppies in mid-December 2016.

Stan is in a New York State of Mind

Stanley (aka CH Topsfield-Sanchu Confetti of Spectrum) is now enjoying life with Joe Palmenteri and his family in New York.  Joe previously had a beautiful red-and-white littermate of Scooter and Noodles named Barney (or Mr. B to his friends).  Here are some pics of Mr. B.

Barney          Barney as basset

Barney passed away about three years ago from lymphoma.   He was a wonderful boy and basset hound to the core – note the expert counter-cruising skills.  He reminds me a lot of Noodles, in color, face and personality.

When Joe contacted me looking for a new basset family member I knew that he and Stanley would be a match made in heaven – and it’s come true!  Stan has found his perfect human and Joe has a beautiful, smart basset boy to be his bud from now on.  I don’t think we’d ever be able to lure Stanley back home again!

Stan  Stan says, “Noooooo, don’t send me back to Massachusetts.”

Stanley  “Don’t bother me, I’m sleeping here.”

I’m so happy that Stan has a great home with a wonderful family.  See you some day, Stan!  Just don’t start rooting for the Yankees …

Rest In Peace, Kai

I just learned that one of our old dogs, “Kai”, aka Am/Ber CH Vision Spectrum Infrared Topsfield, went across the Rainbow Bridge to canine heaven on this past Thursday night.  Kai was a beautiful red-and-white boy from the first litter we ever bred – CH Vision Keep the Faith x CH Topsfield Orion.  Anne easily finished Kai, owner handled from the Bred By Exhibitor class.  He was shown by his good buddy Phyllis Wright in Bermuda and easily finished his championship in one cluster, taking Best in Show one of the days.

Kai going best of breed with Anne as his handler

Kai going best of breed with Anne as his handler

Kai and Phyllis going Best in Show in Bermuda

Kai and Phyllis going Best in Show in Bermuda

Kai was bred several times and produced several bench and field champions.  He had a mind of his own, even more so that most of our bassets, so he did not have much of a career in the companion events.

After Kai finished his show and breeding career he was lovingly adopted by Nita Lescher and Peter Kent and spent more than 10 wonderful years with them.

Kai enjoyed life in Vermont and the snow

Kai enjoyed life in Vermont and the snow

He passed away at the amazing age of 13+ years but will be greatly missed by his family and all that knew and loved him.  Rest in Peace, good boy, and see you some day when we all meet in the great dog show in the sky.

Libby’s Coming Home!

Libby’s puppies are weaned and while she still enjoys hanging out with them it’s time for her to come home and resume her competition training.  Libby needs 1 more “leg” to complete her AKC Companion Dog title and we need to do some tune-up before starting Rally Advanced and Open Agility.  Here is Libby in the midst of her show career.

Libby - Specialty Winner