The Lovely Gellie, RIP sweetheart
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irish wolfhound rescue
The last Crufts qualifying show of the year, the LKA, saw another celebration for Bonaforte. Making her debut in Puppy Bitch at 9 months was Bonaforte’s Kensies Kisses; handled by owner, Dave and cheered on ringside by co-owner, Boris, Kensie, she was awarded a 1st place in her group under judge, Mark Cocozza. Well done Kensie! With Sharon’s girl, Nigella taking 2nd in a strong PGB class, something tells us Crufts is going to be a big lively day out for all our owners and an excellent opportunity to catch up and have some fun. The Bonaforte Kennel now has 12 Irish Wolfhounds qualified for this epic show, which is being judged by breed specialist Pat Pask (Baronglen). Pat is also one of the Vice Presidents of the Irish Wolfhound Club and along with her husband, Peter Pask, they have both dedicate their lives to our breed.
We take breeding Wolfhounds very seriously here at Bonaforte, and our priority is to breed for health, fitness and temperament and so we are especially proud that one of our owners, Rachel and Rob’s Wolfhound, Jake (Heliodor’s Born To Run) successfully passed his assessment and he is now a registered Pets As Therapy dog. There comes a point in life where owning a dog is no longer an option, a very sad and difficult time for people who have lived with and loved dogs all their lives. The charity ‘Pets as Therapy’ provides canine visitors to give people the opportunity to interact and enjoy the company of a dog; it is scientifically proven that petting a dog has a positive effect on peoples’ moods and behaviour, so this charity provide a unique and very rewarding service. Rachel and Jake have already carried out their first few visits bringing a hefty dose of Wolfhound sized happiness to people who can’t get out and about. We are immensely proud of both Rachel, for giving her time, but also to Jake for being a wonderful ambassador for our breed.
Finally, we would like to wish all our owners and all visitors to this site a very Merry Christmas and a very Healthy and Happy New Year.
“Residents of the Springfield Cottage Residential Care Home were overjoyed to meet PAT dog Jake, a gentle giant who brightened everyone’s day” (taken from the Pets As Therapy Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/petsastherapy/?fref=ts)
Three successful days of heart testing here at the Bonaforte Kennel, saw results we can all live with and no awful surprises.
There is always a general air of excitiment around prior to heart testing and our visit to the Kennel from Dr Brownlie. The days are always busy with our owners coming and going, bringing not only their hounds with them, but filling the kitchen with laughter. Many thanks to Hugh and Rachel on kitchen duty for the endless supplies of tea and coffee and keeping us all going with a feast, and to Linda for helping Serena with the hounds.
Dr Serena Brownlie worked tirelessly to examine every dog, including non-kennel visitors, who are always welcome.
We also celebrated Serena’s 30 years of heart testing in our breed, for which we are all very grateful. We are most certainly beginning to see the fruits of her labour and believe she is giving us all hope for our breed.
It is important that not just breeders, but all owners of Irish Wolfhounds have their hounds tested, not just once, but every year. By doing this you will be giving something back to our very precious breed and helping the experts keep track of any familial changes as they occur.
Please support heart testing, that little extra effort is so worth it. Heart testing sessions are also available through the IWHG.
In a breed which is vulnerable and having longevity issues, all our 7’s and over deserve respect. We should be welcoming and praising them, especially the ones who are active enough to make it into the show ring.
In addition we need to be examining their pedigrees and be asking the breeders and owners questions about rearing, diet and exercise. Looking at siblings and progeny, because to have these veterans in our breeding is a positive step forward.
The meeting of the Canine Alliance came up with a 10 Point Action Plan for the Kennel Club to consider, based around a scheme that does what it is supposed to do and ASSURES the puppy purchasers that every step possible has been taken to ensure the stock is healthy:
More emphasis to be placed on the health of the breeding stock – suggestions for the inspectors to ask more rigorous questions regarding breeding plans etc
That the MyKC web pages add a function to allow breeders to identify which dogs they actually own, which are spayed or going to be bred from and so on
The addition of a puppy buyer based accolade – to be based on realistic feedback provided by the purchasers regarding their experience
KC to ensure a list of requirements on the day is clear and available for ABS members prior to inspection
Public education needs to improve – the KC need to ensure that the public have a far better understanding of the health issues and testing that is undertaken by responsible breeders
The KC must ensure that relevant breed tests are made mandatory – some breeds currently have no recommended or mandatory tests in place and this could be discussed with, for example, the breed clubs and other interested parties
Consider allowing ABS members to withhold registrations if they are implementing a spay/neuter endorsement/requirement as part of their sales contract. Registrations to be withheld until presented with the appropriate certification that this has been carried out
The KC require all breeding bitches and stud dogs – to have been micro-chipped/tattooed – to undergo a basic/rudimentary health test with a vet prior to being bred from. This will ensure that those breeds with no recommended health tests do, at the very least, meet with a demonstrable level of health prior to breeding
Placing a clause in the registration information given to new puppy owners- advising them to contact the KC if they experience a problem – this would complement the current process of inspections.
That the KC takes steps to properly recognise foreign health test results and to include these on the website/registration certificates
The Canine Alliance will be writing to the Kennel Club with these proposals and will be asking to meet up to discuss these in more depth and, in the meantime, we will be looking at a series of regional meetings.
To read more click here: Canine Alliance 10 Point Action Plan for ABS