In my notes of 28th May I mentioned that there were a few litters due this year, so that hopefully when shows open up again the puppy classes will have some entries. So far there have been two litters of five each, in the US earlier this year there were a couple of litters of nine. Over the years in the UK there have also be a few litters of nine but on the June 3rd in Michigan US, AKC Ch Black Rose’s Feel The Rush gave birth to 11 puppies 7dogs and 3 Bitches who are by Am Gr Ch /Can Ch Kyon’s Nordic Pride. There has been discussion as to whether this is a record, Karin Klouman of the Kyon Kennels in Canada wrote that she had a litter of 13 a couple decades ago. One was still born, and one died shortly after birth, but the bitch reared the remaining eleven with no problem. Sue Crocker also said that back in the 80s her father had a Buhund who had a huge litter under the hedge. She said she cannot remember how many but more than 11, they all survived but her dad had fed them with a pipette every 2hours through the night when they were very young. Lies Hekhuis who lives in the Netherlands and has a data base of Buhunds says she has several litters of 11 on it, and she herself has had three litters of 9. There has also been a discussion as to whether there is a hereditary connection with certain lines having bigger litters.
A few days ago, I was asked how many Buhunds I had had and what started me in the breed. Many of you have kindly told me about the dogs you have had and how you found the breed, so I thought I would tell you about the dogs I have owned and how I came to Buhunds. I had my first dog when I was 10yrs old, before then my family lived in a village in Sussex which was halfway between the sea and the downs over which I would regularly go riding. My father had an office in London and would only come home at weekends, so to have more of a family life my parents decided in 1950 to move to Stanmore, which is 10 miles from Hyde Park Corner, no sea no downs! To sweeten the pill, I was allowed to have a dog, my mother wanted an Airedale so ‘Sally’ joined the family. I showed her at small local shows which often also had obedience classes and we won a few rosettes, in both disciplines. We bred a litter from Sally and we nearly kept one of her puppies, if we had I might still have Airedales, we will never know. The owner of the stud dog wanted to show Sally for us as he said she was very nice, but mother was not keen on the idea, so it never happened. My father died when I was 17yrs old just after I had started at agricultural college, so when I left college instead of finding a job away from home, I went to work at the London Research Laboratories of Unigate doing Bacteriology, as I had specialised in dairying when I was at college. It was an exciting time to be in the dairy industry as various milk products were being invented. Sally died when she was 10yrs old of mammary cancer. Mother had started work again as a physiotherapist so we decided we could not have a puppy, instead we went to Battersea Dogs’ Home and came home with a very sweet collie, unfortunately within a very short time she went down with distemper (Vaccination for distemper was only introduced in the late 50s and was not widely used for some time) and despite nursing day and night she died. Because of the infectious nature of the disease, we could not have another dog for several months and had to disinfect the house thoroughly. Then on a visit to the local corner shop I saw an advert for an 8month old Elkhound called Kim, just right we thought, wrong! The poor dog had been shut in the kitchen and only taken for a walk by the owner on roller skates! we could not leave him there, but you can imagine how he pulled when taken for a walk! Luckily, I had bought my first horse, which I kept on a local farm, so used to take Kim riding with me. Sadly, Kim died of cancer of the jaw far too young. Having been married in 1964 to David who had been brought up with Elkhounds, and that was how I met him as he started talking Elkhounds to me when I was with Kim. We decided we could manage an Elkhound puppy as mother had her own physio practice at home by then and would have the dog during the day. I found an advert for Elkhound puppies and made the phone call, I still remember the conversation, what I did not know was that I was speaking to the top breeder of Elkhounds in country at the time a Mr Holmes. He said he had ‘1 puppy left 25 guineas take it or leave it’, I took it! In fact, when we went to pick up the puppy, we had 2 to choose from so early in 1966 ‘Grieg of the Holm’ came to live with us for the next fifteen and half years.
Angela the wife of the owner of the farm where I kept my horse, bred some lovely cocker spaniels from the ‘Ware’ lines, in one litter there was a lovely black and white dog who used to follow me around, so in 1970 Solomon came home to keep Grieg company. By this time, I had given up working for Unigate and was in partnership with Angela in her Arab Stud, so the dogs came with me everyday to work and often to horse shows, because as well as breeding we also showed the horses at most of the County shows.
In 1979 Mackeson a black and tan Spaniel came home to join Solomon and Grieg, by then I had two small children and was running a livery yard for Angela’s parents in law, which was only 5minutes from home, much nearer than the stud so easier to arrange my time around the children. The following year I lost Solomon to cancer, I was devasted as he and I had such a connection, so decided to have another black and white Spaniel. This was a mistake as you should never try and replace a dog with another one expecting it to be the same, he was a sweetie and the children adored him, but he was not Solomon. When he died in 1991, I decided it was time to change breeds, although to this day I still have a very soft spot for Spaniels, and our daughter who lives in the New Forest has a black and white spaniel. When thinking about another breed I remembered an advert I had seen may years before for a medium sized spitz, wheaten in colour called a Norwegian Buhund. A letter to the KC and a list of breeders arrived. One breeder was not too far away, and she had a 2-week-old litter. A few weeks later daughter Debbie and I went to see the puppies and to be interviewed by the breeder, Kathy Hay. A puppy was booked and in due time Wolfen Just In Time (Okie) came home, and my adventures with the breed began.
To be continued.
Stay safe everyone.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.