Saturday, December 26, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eukanuba AKC National Dog Show

We attended the national dog show in Long Beach.
We didn't win, but we're very happy for everyone who did! (See results here.)
Liberty genuinely had fun in the show ring. She showed beautifully. We thank our handlers Erin Hines and Bill Buell for all the hard work and training that led to the smile on Liberty's face.
At the shows leading up to the national dog show, Liberty won another point toward her AKC Championship title.
So now one point remains!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Catching Up With Hunter

© Murkland

Hunter has his mother's eyes and His Dad's smile, along with his very own Irish humor and sense of mischief.

© Murkland

He's losing his baby coat.
Yes, Baby Hunter is now eight months old!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Countdown ...

Then there were just two points remaining ...
Sincere thanks to our handler Erin Hines and to our judge!

Monday, September 21, 2009

And then there were three ...

Liberty won another two points toward her AKC CH title over the weekend, leaving her three single points remaining to finish. There were seven girls competing. Thank you to handlers Erin Hines and Bill Buell and thank you to Judge Ms. Nikki Riggsbee.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Second Major Win for Liberty!

Wolfhound entries at the all-breed Santa Barbara Kennel Club shows on Aug. 30 and 31, 2009, were supported by the Irish Wolfhound Club of America. To support the club, we entered.
We had no expectation at all of winning. Yes, honestly! We just wanted to be part of the fun. The day was so hot, we nearly didn't go. But Liberty was keeping cool in the air-conditioning, so off we went. We wanted the fun of showing our beautiful girl to esteemed wolfhound breeder-judge Joel Samaha.
She was the youngest girl there, still considered a puppy, in the 12-18 month-old class. So we didn't think she would be a contender.
We were wrong.
She went Winner's, with 4 girls present, for one point toward her Championship title. We were so thrilled!
It only got better.
The winner's dog had earned two points (there were five dogs). So when we went in the Best of Breed ring we thought we were competing for Best of Winners, two points.
It only got better.
The Winner's Dog beat three male champions to earn Best Opposite Sex to the beautiful Best of Breed winner. Eight dogs! A three-point major for him! Wow!
Then our Liberty beat the Winner's Dog, for Best of Winners.
A three-point major for her!
Thank you to Judge Mr. Joel Samaha. Wow!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Playing Around

Liberty (left) enjoys playing with her Uncle Blake!
© Pat Murkland

Not sure who is calling "Uncle" ...

© Pat Murkland

Blake (rear) demonstrates a new look
for Wolfhound ears ...
© Pat Murkland

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Still Growing

© Pat Murkland

Before Hunter turns 6 months, we thought we had better post his five-month-old picture!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Journey Continues

Liberty's journey toward her AKC championship title continued at the Channel City Kennel Club show over the July 4 holiday weekend. Thank you to Dr. Eric Liebes for awarding her WB and Best of Winners in a tough competition.
She earned another point. 
Thank you to handler Erin Hines!
The tally so far:
3 points, Judge Elliott Weiss.
1 point, Judge Lee Canalizo
1 point, Judge Eugene Blake
1 point, Dr. Eric Liebes.
Liberty is our resident firecracker and she celebrated her first birthday on July 4.
And we're still celebrating!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


© Pat Murkland Photo

This week, we celebrated!
Fathers Day (the first day of summer, June 21),
Blake's third birthday (June 22),
and Hunter's fourth month birthday (June 23).

© Pat Murkland Photo

Blake's best way to celebrate was to let his little son believe he was winning all the wolfhound games.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the famed tennis litter from your littermate, Blake.
Can you believe the Dozen are all already three years old?
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear tennis litter,
Happy birthday to you!
Let's PARTY!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mr. Growing Hunter

©Photo by Pat Murkland

Hunter is growing so fast.
He's all tall and rangy just one week shy of his fourth month birthday.
And full of growing mischief, too!

©Photo by Pat Murkland

It's so much fun to see both his mother and his father in him.
He has his father's head, for example, but his mother's expressive eyes.

©Photo by Pat Murkland

And yes, he knows how to use those eyes, just the way his Mom and Dad do, when he gets into trouble!

Monday, June 15, 2009

At the shows

Liberty's journey toward her AKC championship title continued over the weekend at two all-breed shows in Chula Vista.
She was the youngest Irish Wolfhound competing, 11 months old and in the 9-12 class.
That stopped no one.
She won Winner's Bitch on Saturday and we thank our judge, Mrs. Lee Canalizo, for such a lovely win.
She won Winner's Bitch on Sunday and Best of Winners, and we thank our judge, Mr. Eugene Blake, for choosing her and also for awarding her Best of Winners over the Winner's Dog.
We were very privileged to have such respected hound judges at this show. We were thrilled they appreciated Liberty and how she represents the hard work of Glenamadda, Starkeeper, and Limerick kennels.
And we were very fortunate to have the talented Erin Hines handling Liberty.

The show each day was a lot of fun. The grounds were wonderful, the rings on well-groomed grass, the weather was overcast and not too hot or too cold, and we loved chatting with our wolfhound competitors. We came early and stayed late.

Liberty's journey so far:
3 points (a major), Orange Empire Dog Club, age 6 months, thank you again to our judge Mr. Elliott Weiss.
1 point on Saturday
1 point on Sunday
total  5 points! We're so proud of our puppy for these achievements.
The Goal is 15 points, including two major wins of at least three points each.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Congratulations, Sister Abby!

Liberty's sister Abby won a three-point major today from the 9-12 puppy bitch class, the youngest girl today taking the purple ribbon at the Contra Costa Irish wolfhound competition! 
Catalog is here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Publicity Hound

I probably should have brushed Blake a bit better before this event.
He had a lot of fun and thought the entire Bark and Art downtown Banning event was made for him.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Irish Wolfhounds on TV

Animal Planet did a TV profile of Irish Wolfhounds and has posted it on YouTube here.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Salute

Our relatives, Starkeeper California Ierne;
Starkeeper Glenamadda USA Flag (Betsy Ross, Liberty's littermate sister);
Ch. Starkeeper Glenamadda Realtan (Verity's mother, Liberty's grandmother);
Ch. Glenamadda Starkeeper U R Zada (Verity's half-sister, Liberty's mother);
give a team tribute to U.S. and Canadian troops at the Irish Wolfhound Club of America national specialty show.
Thank you to Ewa for sharing this great photo!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Everyone!

Three months old today! 
Happy birthday to Gryffindor's Dream Hunter.
OK, big guy, thanks for scrunching up the rear and topline just as the shutter clicked. 
We'll post a better shot the next time we can get him to stand still for a few seconds ...

And in other birthdays ...
Happy one year to the X litter! Can you believe it's been one year already for Liberty's half-brothers and half-sisters? 
An especially happy birthday to Janey-Mac. 
Here she is, pictured at 10 days old. 
(Photo courtesy of Glenamadda.)

And here is Miss J-M celebrating her birthday earlier this week.
She knows how to party: 

(Photo by her Mom, Mary)

Wait, there are more!
Janey-Mac's partner-in-crime, Uly the Leonberger, also celebrated his birthday.

And our good friend in Southern California, Miss Pearl the Leonberger, also celebrated her three-month-old birthday on May 20. 
Rumor has it she had a b-a-t-h.

(Photo by her Mom, Genette)

Last but never, never the least, 
We love you, Vanna.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blake barks

A jet was flying over this a.m., and making a lot of noise.
Blake began barking from the back porch.
We decided to go and see why he was barking. After all, we've been having lots of rattlesnakes lately, and indeed, last week a snake had somehow made its way onto the screened-in back porch.
Blake wasn't barking at the jet.
He wasn't barking at a snake.
He was barking at something outside. It was something outside the chainlink fence of the back yard.
We let him outside, and immediately saw what he was barking at: A big brown bear!
Blake charged the bear, barking ferociously. The chainlink stayed between them.
The bear fled, running so fast it crashed into the bushes.
Good boy, Blake!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Seven weeks old!

Liberty at the Hound Classic

Liberty looked beautiful to me (no bias of course) at the annual Hound Classic, where she had many positive, new experiences. She turned 9 months on the 4th and so is now in the 9-12 month puppy girl class. On the second day, she came in reserve winner's bitch! We thank our Judge, Borzoi breeder Ms. Robin K. Riel, for this wonderful recognition of Liberty. Ms. Riel also gave our Verity a wonderful Best of Breed win last year when our girl was a new champion. We thank her for appreciating the girls' movement and type. Read the online catalog here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One-month landmark

Happy one month, Hunter!
He weighed about seven lbs. this a.m.

This giant bunny was bequeathed by Erin, who won it when she won Best in Field in lure-coursing at the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club specialty.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Future Coursing Hunter

As the saying goes, a wolfhound should be

Fast enough to catch a wolf ... er, a big stuffed rabbit toy ... 
And powerful enough to kill it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It Takes a Village ...

Thank you to all who have helped answer questions from a first-time parent (me).
Thank you for your patience, your humor, and for sharing your years of experience.
Special thank yous:
Thank you Marian Temple ... always there when needed, and going more than the extra mile! Thank you Jocelyne Gagne and Susan Prokopenko, too. Thank you to the Souzas! 
Hunter especially says thank you!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here's Looking at You, Kid

Hunter's eyes opened today. When I said hello to him, he turned his head and tried to look at me. What a thrill!

You Are What You Eat

Baby rice cereal with formula: Bleah! NO thank you.
Baby rice cereal with plain yogurt: Bleah! NO thank you.
Baby rice cereal with vanilla yogurt: WOW! YUM! Gobble, gobble, lick, lick, splash. 
The world and galloping gourmet in two seconds are covered with baby rice cereal with vanilla yogurt. Baby's first food!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two Weeks Today

Wow, it's hard to believe Hunter is already two weeks old today! Time flies when you're caring for a puppy baby! Hunter is now walking ... careening is more like it. 
Happy birthday, big guy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 8

Happy Birthday! One Week Old!

Birthday partying with Mom

Sleeping after a big milk-drinking party

Baby Day 6

Dreaming of the Hunt

Aerial view, napping on Mom's legs

The Ultrasound was WRONG!


Details: Yup, an army of one.
BORN: Feb. 23, 2009. (Co-breeder Jocelyne's birthday.)
WEIGHT: 2 lbs.
SIRE: Limerick Blake at Gryffindor, CGC. Blake is from the famed Limerick tennis litter. View his pedigree on his brother Cash's web page here.
DAM: BISS CH Glenamadda Starkeeper Verity (Ginny). View her pedigree here.
COLOR and MARKINGS: Red brindle like dam. White toes exactly like his sire's. Chest mark identical to his sire's: A five-point star.
CALL NAME: Hunter, in honor of Ginny co-breeder Susan Prokopenko's late husband, Geoff Hunter.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday!

My Funny Valentine
Happy birthday on Feb. 16 to all the V litter: our beloved Verity, and her littermates Victoria (with her breeders in Canada), Veronica (in Australia), Victory (in the U.S.),  Venus (in the U.S.), and Canadians Vegas and Velvet!
Wow, it's already been three years, gang!

Here they are, only several hours old on that amazing day three years ago, photo courtesy of the hard-working co-breeder Dr. Susan Prokopenko (Glenamadda).
At the time she ONLY had litters U, V, AND W!
Verity (co-owned and loved by Pat Murkland and Verity's co-breeder Jocelyne Gagne) is the one in the middle with the red yarn collar. 
Her puppy litter name was Valentine, or Red.
She remains our wonderful Valentine, our love.
Many happy returns, to all Vs!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Glenamadda Starkeeper Liberty

Photo by Vicki Holloway
Glenamadda Starkeeper Liberty winning a 3-point major and going Best of Breed over three champions at the age of 6 months.
Shown by Erin Hines.
Thank you again to judge Mr. Elliott B. Weiss.
Forever gratitude goes to breeders Dr. Susan Prokopenko (Glenamadda) and Jocelyne Gagne (Starkeeper) for entrusting me with sweet, diva Liberty from the fabulous Z litter.
Click here to view Liberty's pedigree.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Liberty's first dog shows

Liberty is now six months old and so, we went to our first dog shows for a fun outing, for socializing, and practice. So far, she thinks dog shows are all about being inside buildings. She loves the treats, gaiting around the ring, and shopping for toys.
At our second weekend out, at Orange Empire Dog Club, Liberty won her first points toward her AKC championship title!
She won Winner's Bitch, Best of Winners, and then BEST OF BREED over three champion specials. A THREE-POINT MAJOR at six months old. 
Best of all, she had a fabulous time! 
We're still in shock. Wow!
Many thanks to Judge Elliott Weiss, to handler Erin Hines (and of course to Bill Buell), and congratulations to Liberty's breeders, Dr. Susan Prokopenko, Jocelyne Gagne, and her father's breeders, the Souzas of Limerick. 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Blake matures

Blake continues to amaze at age 2.5 years, as he matures into a gorgeous young man. Not that we're biased or anything. (Grin) He is still very puppylike, as right before these photos were taken, he was enjoying a good roll in the grass.  He has a very happy personality! Here he is gaiting with his co-breeder Jamie Souza Bartlett:
Here he is going away:
All Photos by Pat Murkland copyright 2009
Thank you to Limerick (Janet Souza, Linda Souza, and Jamie Souza Bartlett) for my beloved Blake! 

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thank you Karen Malone

Thank you for being so kind to me and to Merlin's daughter, Verity. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm for wolfhounds with me. Thank you for your support and for your pride as Merlin's daughter succeeded beyond my dreams in the show ring in 2008. We hope you are with Merlin now, together ... as you will be in our memories.
This video was posted by Karen's friends on YouTube: