Posted by: majenkir | October 9, 2008

My Favorite Time of Year

Swartswood Lake, October 2008

Swartswood Lake, October 2008

October Country, my very favorite time of year, especially when one’s life is seemingly controlled by one’s Borzoi! After spending the summer struggling to keep the kennel occupants cool, Borzoi weather has finally arrived. The photo was taken early October, while looking out the front door facing the exercise field overlooking Swartswood Lake, an ever-changing view I never tire of.  Three of the house dogs who have just enjoyed dinner, are relaxing in the cool before the sun goes down.


With brisk nights this week and temperatures reaching the freezing mark, the leaves are beginning to show vivid color, it looks to be a promising display this year.


Show season on the East Coast is in full swing, Majenkir dogs have continued the year with a good showing. Jennifer’s Cameo, exclusively shown by Jen, keeps racking up the BOB’s. These wins, coupled with her two impressive specialty wins, BCGNY and BCDV this spring, have kept Cameo in the # 1 Borzoi bitch position.


Elizabeth Szymanski showed her lovely Dora in the bred by class at Valley Forge and won WB BW and BOB, then Bred By Group 1st and on to Hound Group 1st.  Wow! What a way to; as the horse people used to say, “Break your Maiden!” Congratulations Elizabeth groups are hard to come by! A special mention of the judge, Karen Ashe, who had the courage to place an unknown, (no insult meant Elizabeth!) over top handlers!


I am proud of the dogs and their owners, both are co-owned with Majenkir, Cameo bred here, while Dora was Elizabeth’s first co-breeding with Majenkir. Hopefully for both Jen and Elizabeth, this will continue a lifetime of consistant breeding of quality hounds and many many successes!


Personally, I am thrilled to be back running in the ring myself, recently with Majenkir Meteor, who now needs a single point to finish. Also Colt, (Cameo and Filly’s silver spotted brother) who belongs to Molly Webster, is staying here to see if we can put that one point on him to finish his championship.

Meteor’s brother, our Majenkir Regal By Design, finished from the Bred By class at BCGNY, all Specialty wins and one Hound club win. Since I held him back to show at Specialties only, I was teased by Lynne Bennett along the way. Lynne who is showing Regal’s kids was joking that one of the pups would finish before his dad!


The Regal kids from Milovna are going off to their new homes, some traveling quite a distance from their country home in New Jersey.

Posted by: majenkir | September 10, 2008

Sept Specialty Shows

Putting one’s life together after returning from a run of dog shows is never easy. After showing for this many years and entering the realm of “senior citizen” my train of thought is that I must be a bit out of my mind to literally live out of my van for four days. The van itself is piled to the roof with supplies surrounding a dog in each of the four crates.  I am fortunate in having such generous and patient friends who supply me with a comfortable bed and meals. While others hold my dogs while I show, or pitch hit by helping show when there is a conflict or I just run out of steam.

This weekend was more difficult than most as the weather became torridly hot and horribly humid. When the threat of the hurricane was imminent, the weather became tropically oppressive and steamy. During the Hound and BCGNY shows we lucked out as the weather remained dry.

 Saturday’s show, Somerset Hills KC is one of the largest shows in the country. The grounds are lovely and spacious, with a creek separating the Specialty events from the main rings, all connected by a picturesque pedestrian bridge.

BCCNJ’s ring is set in the hollow of a bowl, with a light rain we are supplied with bales of straw laid out on the ground to sop up the mud. Since it had rained the night before, the straw was already on the ground surrounding our ring when we arrived. Actually it is not hard to work over, as it is clean and dry, and I prefer good straw to sandy soil which gets into everything.

Listening to the newscaster’s dire predictions of the threat of Hurricane Hanna furiously racing up the coast had everyone fearing the worst.  We lucked out, as the storm moved in slower than expected.  When it gets wet, NJ mud becomes slick and a van immediate becomes an elephant in a bog.  Several times over the years while exhibiting, I have had my van spin its wheels and sink deeper into the mud, and have had to be towed to firmer ground.

As soon as the judging was over, some raindrops began to fall, many exhibitors including me, were out of there like rats leaving a sinking ship! I never even took the time to get photos. Just lit out of high and firm ground, I did make it home before the heavens opened, and got the dogs safely settled. The rains were heavy but not much damage.

The shows themselves were good for Majenkir bloodlines. The results are available on INFO dog but I will just give a brief rundown here. I am so thrilled that Regal is now Ch Majenkir Regal By Design. He took the major at the Hound Show and was BW at BCGNY. I bumped him up to Specials for BCCNJ, where Jen and Roni’s lovely young Crossfire son, Triumph, was BOB. He was uncontested in the Stud Dog class, but I at least got a chance to show him with three of his winning offspring.

His young daughter from Roscha, (the Mily daughter imported from Russia) named Roschovna, was RWB at the Hound Show from the 9 to 12 class. She was also Best Puppy at BCCNJ, (her third BP in as many as she has attended). Litter brother and sister at Majenkir have yet to be leash broken. I hope to give them a crash course by bringing them to next week’s BCCNJ’s B match.


The 3rd entry was lovely Glamour Girl co-owned with Karen Spey. She was shown by Matthias and won the open class each day. Unfortunately for us, Glamour left her coat, all of it, in the kennel, she looked naked.

Finally my red devil girl, Majenkir My Vixen Aley was Award of Merit at BCGNY (only one offered) and AOM at BCCNJ. Vixen, a full sister to Fantastasia, has racked up an incredible record. She was presented at her very first show at the BCOA Centennial, where shown by Kim Janeck, she was awarded 1st in Novice by Jim Heard.  Next year her second show, She won the Open class at the BCOA National, and was beaten for RWB by Bob showing Silver Filigree. She then took majors at a specialty and Mid Hudson Hound show. She finished by going WB under Lena Tamboer at the National this year in California, Vixen has exceptional side gait and movement.

It is interesting at how strong the bloodline is. Among the top winners were Jen’s lovely



young Special male, Triumph, sired by Crossfire, who is a full brother to Vixen and Stasia. While the Katona’s WD at BCCNJ has a dam who is a ¾ sister to Katie, Regal’s dam. Whimsey sired by My Way. While Katie is Whimsey sired by Impressive, Michael’s brother.

At 10 ½ years young Michael is the top living Borzoi producer, he from generations of top producers.

With specialties out of the way for a bit, we can go back to the quickly growing Borzoi babies, and the exciting news of a brand new litter!



Posted by: majenkir | August 25, 2008

Snow Stag Musings

Early on, in the late 1960’s, I can still recall the thrill of delivering Snow Stag, he in a litter of 5.  As he was being born, and was still half delivered, he reached for, found a nipple and began to nurse!  Of course he went on to become foundation dog   Ch Majenkir Sverkai Snow Stag, CD ROMX.  Majenkir’s second litter, born while I still lived in Brooklyn in a three room walk in apartment, with a tiny back yard. 

My favorite pup in that litter, was the only girl, Misty.  She contracted distemper and after a long session of nursing care, broke my heart when I lost her to chorea.

Those were the days when vaccine could be unreliable and there were often “breaks” causing a dog to be unprotected if challenged by a live virus.

Of course Snow Stag went on to become a legend in the breed. He possessed and passed to his get the most incredible layback of shoulders. This coupled with a strong powerful rear, and a muscular loin, with his topline in the correct place, made him quite valuable as a prepotent stud dog.

His head was plain, very much an old fashioned coursing type head, as is seen in old photos of the hunting dogs bred by the great hunts of Russia. His head went with his coursing type body. Snow Stag also did not have the lovely Roman finish to the end of his nose. This is seen when the black nose droops slightly at the end of the cartilage. While his eyes, pigment, and expression were classic, his head tended towards a slight dish face.

Snow Stag came into the world at a time when the Borzoi in the show ring were becoming “stylized.” This was largely due to the influx of English imports popular at that time, who were quite fine and stylized compared to American dogs. Borzoi being shown, then as now, tended towards finer boned, some almost to the point of weedy, with straight fronts and rears. This lack of layback of shoulder and sweep of angulation limits reach and drive. This will reduce the speed of the dog in the field. There is a direct correlation between the dog’s angulation, the length of stride, and his ability to perform in the field.

Unfortunately the show ring not only presents a fine line, it pushes a breed the wrong way, as it tends to reward “pretty” or extreme over correct breed type functionally ability. There is always that fine line which if crossed can make a show dog tend towards a caricature of its breed. A show dog must be beautiful while still maintaining the correct characteristics of it’s breed type and function according to it’s written standard.

After breeding Borzoi for over 40 years my favorite word to discribe my breed is “Balance,”  or to elaborate, “balance in all things.”


Posted by: majenkir | August 25, 2008

Evaluating the New Puppies

Pictured are two more of the Regal Milovna pups, these are the bigger white boy and little white sister. The face is hers, it is the face of a puppy angel, however her halo if present, would be a bit slipped! She is a devil with her brothers, and wants to own the toys. The special favorite is the big green, long legged, squeaky frog.


Correction to the pup’s ages, in my last post I made them a week older. Since they were whelped on the 4th of July, they are now just 7 weeks old, while the photos were taken at 6 1/2 weeks of age. As I have stated, my favorite magic age of selection is 8 weeks. By next Friday we will get the camera out and ready and then begin the serious grading.

I realize that I usually pick my favorite(s) at birth. While there are usually several pups which have that outstanding look about them at birth, there is often something about one pup in the litter that just jumps out at you as he or she, is being born into your hands.


Posted by: majenkir | August 15, 2008

Importance of Exercise

I am sitting here on a beautiful summer day taking a break from the morning feeding of the kennel. It is nice to be able to look out of the kitchen window while sipping my green tea, and watch the newest litter from Regal and Milova playing in the puppy yard. They are just six weeks today, and it still amazes me at how fast Borzoi puppies mature and “plump up” once they move outside.


Early on (in the 60’s) Louie Murr impressed upon me the importance of exercise for this breed.  It begins right out of the whelping box.  


Not only do I preach the importance of exercise to anyone contemplating owning one of my dogs, I firmly believe that keeping the dogs as they were intended to live, in as natural a state as possible, contributes both to their successes in the show ring  and to their overall good health and longevity.


In the modern world, those who think differently tend to sneer at and pity the “poor dogs” living in kennels. They point to their own “couch potatoes” as being so much happier.  Just as they are happiest sitting in front of the TV with the dog. We have all heard the idiom, “use it or lose it;” it applies as much or more to this athletic breed, as it does to ourselves.


Be sure you find a way to keep your Borzoi exercised. Some owners fence in their own yards.  In the city one can find a fenced park or football field where you must remember to pick up after your dogs, of course.  Others in rural areas take their dogs jogging or on nature walks. These activities benefit both dog and owner.


Louie Murr rode a bicycle with a sawed off  broom handle attached to the handle bars. He leashed a dog, one on each side, and biked with them to keep his show dogs in shape.  I tried the bicycle method once many years ago. All went well until we were attacked by a Doberman. A dog, bicycle and human rushing past his yard was just too much for the dog. Over the fence he went. My Borzoi hit and bent the front wheel, I sailed over the handlebars. Luckily I was young enough at that time to bounce, and was just a bit bruised. I never tried that again.


Beverly Taylor of Seattle Washington, when she was already in her 80’s and fighting the cancer that took her life, would drive her van to a park each day, and ride her bike around the paths. With one or two of the big males she owned trotting calmly beside her. Each of the three males outweighed her by several pounds, and yet she never had a mishap.


Another plus is watching your dog run, what is more beautiful than seeing a Borzoi in full stride?


Posted by: majenkir | August 13, 2008

Crystal Spring Farm

The property not only overlooks Swartswood Lake and State Park but is ideally located directly in the center of the acreage.  A quarter mile driveway meanders up the hill to the house and kennels from Lotus Terrace.  When Bob and I bought “Crystal Spring” farm just over 25 years ago, we were enthralled by the isolation and the quiet.  Those were the days when I kept about 65+ adult Borzoi.  Today I keep adult numbers “down” to just over 30!  Of course, this does not include the pups or Moose, the Leonburger, and the two German Shepherds.  Our property is perfect for keeping dogs, no neighbors to be seen in any direction, no one to be bothered by the very rare bark.

The wildlife is plentiful, and in my opinion, easier to live with than human neighbors.   Our present resident Black Bears include a large male, a female with two small cubs, and another sow with three larger cubs.  With a three acre spring fed pond about 100 feet behind the house, the bears are frequent visitors.  Kevin Miller was pleasantly surprised when two cubs darted across the road in front of him as he was driving up the hill, he could see the momma watching in the bushes.  Several does raise their fawns each year in the fields lining the driveway.  The property is protected with “no hunting at any time.”  Resident wildlife know they can count on Bob giving them a handout during hard times.

Along with Majenkir Borzoi accomplishments and history, and historical pages, I would like to share with you the beauty of this most wonderful piece of property, my world, which is so unique in it’s way that my friends refer to it as “The Enchanted Forest.”

Posted by: majenkir | August 11, 2008

Milovna and Pups

Our friends have all wended their way home after a week of community work on the puppy house.  Hard work during the day, followed by barbeques with good food, good wine, tall tales and even singing round the camp fire late into the PM. The weather was perfect, the air clean, the skies clear filled with stars, with a bright half moon reflected in the lake. 

Early this morning when I checked Milovna and her nine pups in their new home.  They were all snug and happy.  We  put a short legged grooming table in the run so that momma could get away from her pups while kenneled with them. 

It is quite rural here with black bear, coyote, barn owls and other wildlife, so that we feel safer when momma spends the night with her little ones.

Both Milovna and Fantastasia; she with her one pup, “Girl Friday” are always anxious to get back with their kids after a brief house visit.

Posted by: majenkir | August 10, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Last night more friends joined us at Camp Majenkir to celebrate the completion of the Puppy House. Mama Milovna and her nine babies moved in. See more photos on the Photo Gallery page.

Kathy Norelli, Karen Spey, Me, and Bob Aug 8, 2008

Kathy Norelli, Karen Spey, Me, and Bob Aug 8, 2008

Posted by: majenkir | August 8, 2008

Typical Summer Day

Stasia relaxing

Stasia relaxing


A favorite photo of Fantastasia relaxing on the lawn with Swartswood Lake as backdrop.

Posted by: majenkir | August 8, 2008

Construction Continues…..


Another perfect morning at Majenkir. The guys are already hard at work in the Puppy House; insulation is in and the walls and floors will be installed today. The weather is cooperating – it’s sunny, dry and cool.

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