It has been a few months since our last update. Since September of 2009, our guys have been doing well and have adjusted to our new home in North Carolina. We finished fencing off the one acre yard for them in August, and they have truly enjoyed running to their hearts’ contents in it. Soleil especially loves the huge yard and we jokingly refer to her as our “outside dog” as she will sit by the patio door in the bedroom, looking outside and to us as if to ask could she go out one more time.

In September 2009, Soleil won a pretty good sized Best Puppy in Match at the Cary Kennel Club match show, and she won a nice Take the Lead Plate along with a couple of rosettes that are now on her official win board beside Joey and Reza’s. In December 2009, Reza thrilled us by winning a major at the Winston Salem shows under Mrs. Murrel Purkhiser.  On the same day, the kiddo did not disappoint, as Soleil went reserve to her “sister’s” major. Their win photos can be seen under their respective pages.  Soleil also ASFA certified in late December 2009, and she appears to have a bright future in coursing as well. We will start coursing her more seriously later in 2010. Joey has been his usual wonderful, loyal self, and is always the very best dog we could ever ask for—sweet, kind, and very tolerant of Soleil’s puppy-ness. I cannot believe that he turned six years old in October 2009, it seems it was only yesterday that I took him out of his crate at the Atlanta airport.

Eddie and I have also adjusted to living in North Carolina, although I have to admit that I still do not know the area very well as I am very busy and prefer to spend my free time with him and the doggies. Oh, well, we’ve got several more years of this residency thing. I also cannot believe that I am more than 7 months into my intern year—time flies!

As I am typing this, it is snowing fairly heavily here in Durham. Another thing to get used to, as snow in Birmingham was a rarity and this is the second snow of the season. The dogs are loving it—Soleil and Reza were wrestling, Soleil was biting and then trying to eat the snow, and Joey joined when Eddie started throwing snow balls at him ;).

Birthday Weekend BBQ and Lure Coursing

What an amazingly fun weekend.

Lexy Kubicka and Steve York came up from Savannah, GA to COMPOUND DVANGEL and spent the weekend. It was mine and Selma's birthdays coming up soon, so we had a little birthday party get-together, watched the dogs have fun, grilled out, played video games and had a great time.

They arrived on Friday night at about 11:30, so there wasn't much doing that day. We couldn't even let the dogs out into the large yard because its not properly lit. So the dogs just greeted each other (Soleil was the only one that didn't know anyone and was a little spooked by all the weird looking deer-dogs in her yard.) We made nachos, talked a while, unpacked and settled down for the night.

Sat morning, I got up and finished mowing the front yard, having gassed the yellowjacket nest the evening before. Bastards nailed me for running over their nest with the mower. Maso was up as well and we let the dogs outside to play and romp. Soleil settled in with the new dogs nicely and was chasing Oddy non-stop. Anyway, I cooked breakfast for everyone.

Once everyone was stuffed, we watched the dogs in the yard some more and decided we should take a nature trail walk down to the Eno River State Park. Then entrance to the park is literally 1/4 mile down the street from our house. We leashed up the dogs, threw on a couple camelbacks and had a wonderful walk through the forest. The path takes you down and along the river, and there are a couple great spots to let the dogs walk in, get wet and drink some river. After the walk, we head back out and up to the house to cool off, not that it ever really got that hot. I love the temps here.

Getting hungry again, we decided to head out and find something down on 9th Street in Durham. We wander down and hit the Blue Corn Cafe for an amazing lunch that was pretty reasonable. We make a wine and beer run and head back home. Let the dogs out in the yard for some more running and then we rocked out on Rock Band and Guitar Hero: Metallica until about 11:30. I decided that we should go ahead and grill out tonight, so we fired up the grill @ midnight, a very drunkenly thing to do, and grilled those mothers up. Delicious.

A very hungover Sunday morning came and Selma was nice enough to make crepes for everyone. Post-crepes, we headed out and setup the lure coursing machine in the backyard. Being only .9 acres fenced, I was seriously concerned about the size constraints, but figured that if we did this right and didn't allow the dogs to build up speed, we'd be ok. We setup the course to pretty much run the perimeter of the fence, but at the first major corners out from the machine, we put brush piles at opposite sides of the field. This gave me the ability, along with the reversible machine, to stop the bunny in the bushes and make the dogs go and investigate and flush out the rabbit. The beezers and Soleil thrived on the game, but the adult afghans were having none of it. Our neighbor with the SCH German Shepherds came over to watch and we asked him to bring his young male, Reno, over to course. Reno did a fabulous job, only stopping once because of the amazingly interesting new smells in the new yard (he's also used for tracking). He gave great chase though. We also got Merlin, Lexy and Steve's poodle, around. He was doing great for an old man <sniff>.

Overall, what a great weekend we and the dogs had. I wouldn't change a thing (except remembering to bake the birthday cake we'd planned on making).

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Flirt Pole Fun

I made a flirtpole for the puppy. The adults are "over it," but Soleil has a good time. It's :3.



DC Watling Street Zarin Sun at D'Vangel SC

{moszoomthumb imgid=2626 caption=(9 Weeks)}Soleil is a fabulous puppy that we acquired from Lola Anderson of Watling Street Afghan Hounds in Iowa. Her dad is Spencer,  Ch. Watling Street Starstruck, and he is the reason we had to have Soleil. I came to visit Lola back in November of 2008 (the pups were not born until January 23, 2009), and I had a chance to really go over Spencer and gait him around. All I can say is WOW! The dog literally floated, effortlessly moved his 8.5 year old self around, with beautiful springy reach and drive. After going over him, it was obvious the dog was extremely sound, muscular, and had a front to die for (set under beautifully, nice prosternum, nice return of upper arm).  Lola told me more about Spencer, and the fact he finished easily by 15 mos old, and that he had many admirerers several years ago. I knew we had to have a puppy from this dog, he literally gave me goose bumps and that unfortunately happens very rarely when I watch the average show Afghan.

 {moszoomthumb imgid=3069 style_m=2 caption=(Watching Turtles)}Little Miss Soleil joined our family in April, 2009. We are very lucky as this kid has a nice front like her dad and has beautiful, springy movement. We have shown her sparingly so far, but she has an all breeds Best Puppy in Show at the Cary Kennel Club Match in September 2009 under her belt (with a good number of pups of all breeds entered), and numerous reserves, including a major reserve. She has a great, happy, outgoing temperament, and we love her puppy antics. She carries a ton of coat, and is probably among the hairiest in her litter after speaking with Lola, which is a hilarious for us as our last bitch to raise was Reza, who is patterned. We had to get into the groove of grooming a heavy coat again, as we had not done this since we were actively showing Joey.

{moszoomthumb imgid=3098 caption=(In Camden)}We love Soleil very much and look forward to her show career starting more seriously in 2010. As a side note, Soleil certified in ASFA in late December 2009 at 11 mos of age, meaning she ran, in front of an ASFA judge,  with another hound for the length of a whole lure course and was very much on the lure and did not interfere with the other hound. Soleil finished her AKC Field Championship title in May of '10 after only three weekends of running. She's up for the time being, but expect to see her return in the fall to work on her LCX and compete at the AKC Lure Coursing National in Riedsville, NC.

{moszoomthumb imgid=3119 style_m=2 caption=(2010-05-29 - WB/BW/BOS)}The second the FC hit her name, she began tearing up the show ring winning all three of the days that she showed at the Memorial Day Cluster shows in Hampton, VA and both days of majors at the Virginia Kennel Club shows in Richmond. Her "DC" should be right around the corner.

Soleil's First Show Report

The puppy had her first show this weekend. She was the only bitch in the 6-9 month puppy class, and she got 1st w/ ease in her class of one both days. No placements in Winner's with it being a major, unfortunately, but she did however show very well, had a great time and was very confident in the ring and on the grounds. She got fucktons of complements from people, judges included, on her movement with some saying that if she hadn't been so goofy and uncontrolled, she might have had a major. She should turn out to be a fun bitch to show, but I don't care about winning majors at this point with a 6mo puppy because in addition to keeping it fun and not hitleresque in the ring w/ puppies, I don't believe dogs under 2 years of age should finish. We're headed up to the Afghan Hound national in Pittsburgh in September where we'll be showing Reza and Soleil. Her breeder will be there as well along with I think all of the other owners and siblings from her litter, so it'll be like a mini-reunion. We were idiots and didn't take any pictures of her in the ring, but here are a couple stack shots that we took to show her breeder her progress. That is a massive block of cheddar in Selma's hand to bait the puppy.