Deerhounds & Ear Mobility Nobility?

It seems fitting to return from a long hiatus from blogging with something cute and humorous.

I have lots of news, photos and stories to tell. But instead of starting at the beginning and moving forward I’ll just share these to break the ice. Scroll down to see another collage of photos which are an adult male dog demonstrating the ever-changing and expressiveness of his deerhound ears.

The lovely uncoordinated nature of deerhound ears in their many manifestations. Notice too, the difference in the faces; believe it or not this is all my dearest Piper, daughter of Cailean.

The lovely uncoordinated nature of deerhound ears in their many manifestations. Notice too the difference in the faces; believe it or not this is all my dearest Piper, daughter of Cailean.


Ardtalamcu's Mojave Man o' Fernhill.

Ardtalamcu’s Mojave Man o’ Fernhill.


Whelping puppies with Susan Trow of Caretta’s Deerhounds

Mont Tremblant, Quebec

The last two months have been a whirlwhind of activity for those in the deerhound community, for as with many species spring is a time of birth and renewal. This past year has been marked by the loss of so many loved and special deerhounds; it then seems to me to be that much more poignant to welcome into the world a new litter of puppies. So many hopes and loves about to unfold in the lives of those lucky enough to be part of their short lives. On Good Friday I climbed into my car and set off for my dear friend Susan Trow’s home just outside of  Mont Tremblant 130 kilometres (81 mi) north-west of Montreal. Mont Tremblant is a ski resort town in the beautiful Laurentian mountains of Quebec. I arrived well in advance of the great event (the delivery of Legacy’s puppies). I thought it would be best to settle in and have a good night’s sleep before the whelping began. Susan & I visited and talked and talked and refined preparations for the whelping. It was a surprise to us all when Sat. came and went without puppies;  Legacy had little sleep as she geared herself up for the birth.

This much anticipated breeding of  Susan’s fabulous courser  Ch Atzberg Legacy of Caretta FCh SC & Aus. Ch. Nelungaloo Shot at Fame a.k.a. “Ben”  (lives in Tarcutta Australia) joins in a global sharing of bloodlines, Australian, Austrian/ Scottish and Canadian. Legacy’s “legacy” may be a future dog of the best of all bloodlines- always the hope of breeders looking to the future of the breed.

The hopes for the birth of the puppies is all wrapped up in just hoping for Mom and puppies to make it through the delivery alive and well; all future dreams are shelved and put out of your mind. Sun morning saw Susan and Legacy groggily started the day with Legacy obviously uncomfortable but not yet ready. Thankfully I had slept wonderfully well in Susan’s bed and was excited and anxious for the whelping to begin. Finally at about 10 am Legacy got down to business, as with other puppy birth’s I’ve witnessed a first time Dam is apprehensive & looks to her people for reassurance. To say Legacy was shocked when a puppy was born is putting it mildly, finally after about the 3rd or 4th puppy the Mom begins to relax a little as instinct kicks in & she begins mothering in earnest. By the time all was said and done there were 5 boys and 2 girls Extremely cute and adorable as you would expect. Then the real work begins weeks and weeks of interrupted sleep, keeping Mom and babies clean, warm and comfortable; and dealing with crises small and large. Only time will tell if a new champion has been born, that seems not too important to Susan or I as we hold and caress a tiny little black bundle of joy.

So my newest adventure as M.Ex.( Midwoof Extraordinaire ) as Barb Heidenreich titled me has left me exhausted and happy, looking forward to home and my deerie Cailean.

And before you know it they’ve morphed from fat little sausages into the most beautiful endearing creatures in the world.

Puppy Fix

Talking and Walking- as usual

Cailean was missing Mojo, exhibiting less than her normal exuberance even on a leash free walk down at the lake, so we decided we were all in need of a visit to Fernhill. Of course I love a chance to go for a walk with Barb, Richard and the deerhound pack. It has been such a long and icy winter walking the hills at Fernhill has been a perilous prospect for man and beast. What a delight to walk and see harbingers of spring, buds beginning to swell and tiny leaves starting to grow under the dried and yellowed stalks of last years growth. Fresh deer tracks and droppings had the hounds gazing into the distance at every opportunity, silent sentinels of power hoping for the slightest flash of movement to excite their urge to hunt. Cailean the city hound with her noise and boisterous play had given every deer for miles around the heads up – deerhounds on the loose!

We were celebrating 4 on this day. Cailean and her sister Electra turned 4 and the puppies still with Barb are 4 months (approx.) Seeing the puppies out running, playing & having a great time was fantastic. I have taken a real shine to Vesper’s puppy Catriona who just happened to be one of the puppies I delivered; Catriona- does she single me out for special attention? Maybe I just like to think so. So I had my puppy fix for this week. Can’t wait to go again, soon.

Watchful deerhound Vesper

Buiscuit break

Black concentration

Independent puppy

Fernhill’s Huntly d’lux sire of 2 litters 2009

Fernhill’s Huntly d’lux exemplifies the laid back easy going nature of Scottish Deerhounds; he has found a kindred spirit in Ed Shirley his workout and jogging partner. Handsome Huntly has handily sired two litters of puppies in the last year.   Huntly first acquitted himself admirably in July as sire to to Fernhill’s Vesper litter; some of who’s puppies appear in Puppy Pics page. Who could blame Ed & Cindy for falling for little purple girl Huntly’s daughter Bailiewick. The 2nd litter in December  was with Paula Pascoe’s bitch Ch. Lehigh Darkwynd Caragh 2008 Specialty Best of Breed Winner. See Christie Keith’s blog for photo of a very pregnant Caragh

I am happy to share some recent pictures of Huntly with his son Fernhill’s Bayard & daughter Bailiewick. I get attached to all the puppies I house-sit with at Fernhill, this litter really stole my heart though. Bayard and Bailiewick have a way of melting onto your body as they get close for a cuddle that is especially endearing. Many thanks to Cindy Crysdale for sharing her photos.  For more spectacular pictures and a 2010 update on the happenings at Fernhill visit Barb & Richard at

Huntly D'lux handsome profile

Huntly & daughter Bailiewick

Ed Huntly Bayard and Bailiewick

Ed & Huntly goofing around

Its a Dog’s Life

Deerhound fixation

Puppies exploring

Fairies Welcome Here

Deerhound Ownership Honestly!

Who am I to offer advice on Deerhound Ownership

– really I’m just a Lover of Deerhounds

I have no claim to fame, I don’t show dogs, I don’t breed dogs, I don’t sell dogs. The only thing that makes me, I suppose is someone who has no vested interest and therefore maybe, uniquely qualified to disseminate the information I have learned from reading, observing, doing and questioning.

Where I fall short and I know it is I don’t have decades of experience, I haven’t suffered the heartbreak and losses that so many have experienced in their long love of this breed. If someone else had started this blog I wouldn’t have felt a need to.

I was out walking Cailean tonight and started thinking about this and things that I have neglected to mention. Having a deerhound isn’t all sweetness and light.

There’s puppy training as with any other breed, there’s teething too.  Occasionally there will be a deerhound that is hard to break of the chewing habit. There are nervous deerhounds, easy going dh’s, there are shy deerhounds, smart dh’s, dumb as a post dh’s.  Buying from a well respected breeder is the best guarantee you’ll have that the positive qualities in their temperaments have been of paramount importance in their breeding program. Everything that can go wrong with any breed can also affect a deerhound. I have met an incredible variety of personalities within the deerhounds that I have met.

I have a friend who has a jumping deerhound– this deerhound handily jumps over the half door from the mudroom into the dining kitchen area whenever she feels like it.  Another friend has a dh puppy (after having many puppies previously) who is an escape artist. Whatever configuration of x-pens she put together she would find he’d get out of it. An elaborate system of boards and pens was put together to contain this little Dennis the Menace type. I know a really sweet, pretty female deerhound that loves people and children but doesn’t care much for other dh. This same dog is a pack-rat, like a crow she collects things- tea towels, paring knives, pens, gloves, jar lids and carries them all to her bed; she doesn’t chew them she just collects them. A sign of insecurity we think. Weird isn’t it?

Some deerhounds do stairs, others are exceedingly reluctant. Some deerhounds freak out over too- smooth floors others could care less. Some dh happily eat whatever you put in front of them, others seem indifferent to the fuel their rapidly growing bodies require to grow and thrive. Some dh would never stray far even if loose on hundreds of acres, others are gone in a flash. The best thing you can do with your puppy is take them with you to as many different places as you can (always assessing their comfort level and minimizing anxiety.) Never Ever trust a deerhound off leash anywhere that moving cars are near!

My deerhound Cailean is a little bit hyper (sometimes a lot hyper) even if I’m tired, sick and don’t feel like it I pretty much have to take her out twice a day- for about an hour each time. If I don’t she noses me, she pushes my leg with her nose, she pushes the book I am reading with her nose, she’ll pace around come back and push again. If I’m watching a movie she’ll stand in front of the tv so I can’t see. Stubborn! Stubborn! Stubborn!  Cailean didn’t sleep through the night until she was about 2 years old. She would wake us up at least once in the night. That all stopped once we got rid of the gate & put a bed in our room for her. Now she only sleeps in our room a couple of times a week. The rest of the time she is content on her favourite bed – the living room sofa (which she only was allowed on after she turned 2 as well. Look at all the trouble we could have saved ourselves if we had done it properly from the beginning. Len was sure that since Brody the Dh Len had when we met was never allowed upstairs we were going to do the same with Cailean. (The difference was that Brody had Zack the German Shepherd.) Ergo Deerhounds bonded to their owner generally want to be close to their owner most of the time. Deerhounds raised in pairs or amongst a larger pack of dogs will usually be less closely bonded to their master. It may sound to some as though I am spoiling Cailean by giving in and taking her for a walk at night when I don’t feel like it. I am not spoiling her at all. I am meeting her needs, I know she needs to run, walk smell and be a dog. I knew that when I got her. It would be much easier if we had another dog to be a companion for her,we don’t so I am it.

Some deerhounds can be left alone for hours and they will be angels, others not so much. There is no sure way to know what the personality of the puppy you fall in love with will be like. The best thing to do is begin as you mean to go on. Be affectionate, loving & indulgent even but stern and unmoveable as a mountain when required. All dogs will take advantage of what they perceive as weakness. Aggression should never be tolerated in a puppy or adult. Momentary fear might make a puppy behave in a way that is more aggressive than you expect and should be sharply corrected. Always, always call your breeder or someone in the breed if you feel your dog’s behaviour is problematic. There may be a simple solution and then again there might not, but all responsible breeders want to help and support the people who have taken their dogs. Puppies  July23-09

Fernhill’s Huntly d’Lux & Fernhill’s Vesper

I have been featuring the so adorable puppies which are a result of the breeding between Huntly and Vesper and have become friends with Cindy and Ed the owners of Huntly and about to be owners of one of the puppies from the litter as well. Cindy is a great photographer and I hope to share some of her pictures more frequently.

Huntly's jogging Dad Ed

Huntly's jogging Dad Ed

Huntly (3)

Hay bale games

Morning joggersIMG_3843

Morning joggers

Hay bale games