Monday, October 31, 2011

Vizsla facts

A vet friend left a book about Hungarian dogs on my desk at work, so I of course took a look at the Vizsla section.
Here's some information on the breed, for those interested (from Hungarian Dog Breeds, Sarkanay & Ocsag, 2nd edition, 1986).

"Vizslas are not only highly valued as gun dogs, but also, because of their beauty, 
clean coats, and pleasant temperament, they are good dogs to have in the house.  
They are grateful, loyal animals that heap affection 
on their master and bring joy to their surroundings."

Vizslas are noted as an indigenous Hungarian breed, though the breed origin may have been an eastern hound that came with Hungarians from Asia. According to the book, Vizslas- or at least some version of similar hunting dogs- were noted in Hungarian writings as early as the 11-14th Century. Scent hounds used for falconry also popped up in writings during the 15-16th Century. It seems that during the Turkish occupation of Hungary, these hunting dogs were crossed with yellow Turkish quail-hunting dogs. Over the course of the 18th-19th Century (the book seems to forget about the 17th Century-?), the breed developed and was crossed with English pointers, German short-haired pointers, and blood hounds, resulting ultimately in the present-day Vizsla. Apparently, the Vizsla's ability to point comes from the indigenous Pannonian hound, and their color from the Turkish yellow (?) quail hound.

My husband says the book seems to have left out that Vizslas are mooches (as we sit here on the couch and Captain gives us the Jedi stare for more food).

I have read elsewhere that Vizslas are related to Weimaramers, but that appears not to be the case; at least not directly. Weimaramers originate from Germany; however, both Weims and V's do have bloodhounds and pointers in their ancestry line. 

In any case, I thought I'd share! Feel free to leave more breed facts in the comments. I'm also planning some posts on what exactly that Vizsla thing is... coming soon to a blog near you :-)

And Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dogtoberfest 2011- and BACONCAKE!

It's that time of year again... Halloween around the corner, Oktoberfest celebrations, doggie Halloween parties...
but what trumps them all?  

Dogtoberfest! This was our second Dogtoberfest, but it was actually either the 4th or 5th ever.
Every year (for at least the past 4 years, anyway), the dog owners in our
neighborhood get together for a picnic/barbecue and doggie get-together in our local park. 

We were blessed with very warm weather (maybe a little too warm for those of us
that have gotten used to temperatures never straying from the 55-65 degree range!),
sun, and plenty of neighborhood dogs & their owners out to enjoy the day.

Arguably the biggest draw to Dogtoberfest? The bacon cake!
Every year a fabulous dog-owning mom whips one up fresh for
the dogs, who absolutely love it.
This year's cake:

          Shaped like a cat, so the dogs can finally have their cake and eat it too ;-)

          It's a very orderly process, making sure the bacon cake is evenly distributed
and every dog gets his/her piece.

Time to line up!

Waiting.... waiting.....

At last, the dogs' moment of bacon cake bliss arrived ;-)

          Captain loves the bacon cake...

 But it was gone in 60 seconds. He quickly moved on to looking for leftovers:

Crumbs? Did somebody say crumbs?
Ah-ha! I knew there was more. I'll take some to go, please!
Click if you want to see last year's Dogtoberfest!
Another Dogtoberfest success!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lounge Hound

Somebody around here knows how to pose for the camera...

(By the way, you might have noticed the "Vizsla pictures" label and thought that was a little redundant, given that, well, all my posts have Vizsla pictures. I'm including that label on the posts with pics from Flickr's Vizsla Love, and, more recently, ones of my own that I think might be worthy of being in that group of favorites!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I don't usually put up posts with just words, but I figured other Vizsla owners would get a kick out of this little story:
Working from home today, while making lunch, all of sudden I hear Captain doing his crazy barking in the office. That loud, deep, "wooo-wooo-wooo" barking. I wonder if maybe he is going off at the ceiling fan, which is a little bit of a mystery to him. When I walk into the office, he's barking and looking suspiciously up at the door/mirror area. I follow his gaze, thinking maybe it's a weird bug or shadow, to.... my scarves. Yep. That scary cashmere pashmina is DEFINITELY an intruder. Even though it's been hanging on my scarf rack for the past year and a half. He kept barking at it until my husband (also working from home) put it on the ground to let him sniff it. Some more barking, and then, he grabs it in his mouth and gives it a good shake, while I shriek, "NO! That's cashmere!" So he drops it, does the Vizsla "I'm so sorry I'm guilty" look, but gives it one last sniff as if to say he's told it who's boss, and walks away. Sigh. Ohmylittlevizsla.

On a related note, Captain has also been convinced that alpaca sweaters are the devil. It took a while, but I finally convinced him that the small alpaca tapestry in our kitchen is not actually a scary animal. It's amazing and funny all in one, what they can smell, and what they think of those smells!

Endless laughter, having a Vizsla around ;-)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Topsy turvy

It kills me when he does this.
                               Although, looking at that upside-down picture makes me feel a little funny.
                               This is the right-side up view:

I can't handle the cuteness. This leads to what we call "smother mother" behavior in our house - hugs and cuddles galore from Mommy ;-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One of my favorite Vizsla videos...

Reading the title, you might think this is going to be some wonderful video of a beautiful Vizsla running through open fields, or on perfect point.
Nope. It's this:

Gets me every time. I love it.

(And yes, I've posted it before. But I figured it deserved it's own spotlight, with the new 'funny' tag too- I've been updating the labels on the blog a bit!)

My other favorite V vid is, of course, of Captain as a puppy: here. I have to admit, my husband and I still sing "little baby puppies, there they are" every now and then (just watch the video) ;-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Your kiss for the day

You can see why I *sometimes* get distracted when I'm working from home, with a face like this by my lap.

Somewhere along the way I've become a "dog person." We had a fairly unfriendly cat growing up, but for a while I thought I was a "cat person." But there's just something about dogs- their unique personalities, their loyalty, their excitement when you come home. While I still don't want to be licked, and I still can't stand slobber, or crazy shedding furriness (ok, maybe I'm just a "Vizsla person"), I love everything about Captain- even, yes, how he smells. You know, that dog smell. Recently we had a friend over (a self-proclaimed cat person), and when he commented "How do people stand it? Dogs smell!" I couldn't help but think to myself... I like the way he smells. I don't mean dirty wet dog smell; but it reminds me of growing up, when I used to spend days by the lake, wrapped in a towel with our family friend's black lab Rosie; or on the Cape with my grandfather's black lab Molly, who always pushed herself between my legs so I'd scratch her butt, even when I was too little for my toes to touch the ground when she tried to go through; or with our neighbor's Irish Setter Kerry, who would without fail come running over to our back deck to whine for food every summer night we ate outside. When they say dogs are man's best friend, they aren't kidding; these dogs bring back such strong, happy memories for me. Despite their shorter lifespan (I can't think about that!), dogs make such impacts on our lives. Captain is so much more than a pet for us, and while they say ("they" say a lot ;-) )  not to anthropomorphize your dog, I can't help but think of him as my first baby. Well, that's your sentimentalism for the day...Now go hug your dog ;-)

And ps- we give Captain a bath about every 2 weeks, so if anyone's thinking I've got a dirty, smelly dog, I don't ;-)