Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Canine Good Citizen: The Third Generation

(Courtesy of Brian Valente)

Congratulations to Gryff, our newest American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen.
Gryff and his brother Ocho are the third generation of Good Citizens in the wolfhound family. Their mom, Verity, and her father, Merlin, also were Canine Good Citizens.
The CGC is a combined temperament, socialization and obedience test.
Read about it at http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/index.cfm

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011


© Pat Murkland Photo

We are thrilled to announce that our beloved Rose (Gryffindor's Wild Rose O'Starry Glen) has won Winners Bitch and Best of Winners at the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Specialty.

The entry was 25 class dogs and 36 class bitches. We were excited when she won the open bitch class and then thrilled when she went on to win a five-point major at the Oct. 22 show.
Rosie is only 20 months old!

Thank you to breeder-judge John Lewington of Australia.
Thank you to Rosie's handlers, Bill Buell and Erin Hines.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Farewell, Raleigh

MBSS Can. Am. Ch. Starkeeper Glenamadda Realtan.
Farewell, beloved Raleigh,
July 7, 2002-October 18, 2011.

Thinking today of this Irish Wolfhound who is truly one of the great ones, our mother and grandmother Raleigh.

We all can be thankful for everything she did and accomplished in her life to bring the breed forward ... A global legacy.

Hugging her daughter and grandchildren extra hard,
with thanks.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Celebrate Our Veterans

The heartbreak of our heart hounds is that they never live long enough.
Irish Wolfhounds, as a giant breed, generally don't live as long as smaller dogs.
So, we celebrate our veterans.

Photo of Susan Prokopenko and smiling Raleigh

In our family, we are honored to celebrate our grandmother and mother Raleigh, who is 9 years old.

Raleigh has won her share of specialties, honors and accolades on both sides of the Canadian and United States border. Her legacy will shine for years. Hurray!

But what we live for, and love, every day, are the two smiling faces of her daughter and granddaughter at Gryffindor.
Thank you, Raleigh!

We're also thrilled to celebrate our mother, grandmother and aunt on the Limerick side of the family!
Halle is now 8 years old, along with her littermates Brolie, Hale, and Lea.
You all rock!

Have you hugged your Wolfhound today?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


(Steve Surfman Photo)

His name is Fyre.

Fyre, one of our Gryffindor 8, is owned and loved by his co-breeder Jocelyne Gagne (Starkeeper) of Canada and is co-owned by Susan Prokopenko (Glenamadda).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Irish Blessing for Our Brother

© Pat Murkland

And for all those who need a blessing on their journey:

© Pat Murkland

May the road rise to meet you.

© Pat Murkland

May the wind always be at your back.

© Pat Murkland

May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields;

© Pat Murkland

And, until we meet again, may
God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tall Comfort

Courtesy of Heartsong Irish Wolfhounds

Yankee embraces the concept of a pull-out couch.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Showing Our Joy

BSS CH Glenamadda Starkeeper Verity © Pat Murkland

Verity had not attended an Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast specialty show since she won Best of Breed in 2008.
On July 28-29, 2011, she returned.
This time she brought her daughter, Rose, with her.

Gryffindor's Wild Rose O'Starry Glen © Pat Murkland

Rose won first place in the 12-18 month puppy bitch class on both days of this year's back-to-back specialties under two breeder judges.

Then on the second day, she won Reserve Winner's Bitch!
We are deeply appreciative to Breeder-Judge Tom Powers.

Rose flies around the ring. © Pat Murkland

We thank Breeder-Judge Dr. Lynn Simon for his kind remarks on Thursday about Rose's conformation.

Dr. Simon examines Rose. © Pat Murkland

Rose had fun!
We thank our handlers Bill Buell & Erin Hines.
And her mother, who loves being with her.

Rose in the ring. © Pat Murkland

On Friday, we were again thrilled when Mr. Powers chose Verity as his champion select bitch, earning a major toward her Grand Champion title.

Verity at age 5. © Pat Murkland

There's more!
Verity went back into the ring with Rose and her handsome son Colin, and won Brood Bitch.

While at the specialty, Verity also earned her AKC Canine Good Citizen certification.

So, now she's BSS CH Glenamadda Starkeeper Verity, CGC.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Walk in the Old West

GCH Glenamadda Starkeeper Liberty (© Pat Murkland)

Miss Liberty is a dual citizen.
She was born in Canada but was born on our U.S. Independence Day, July 4.
This year she'll be 3 years old, and in honor of her birthday, we traveled together back in time.

We went to the Old West.

(© Pat Murkland)

James Gilman came here in 1869 and began running cattle, along with a stagecoach stop.

Later the family harvested apricots, peaches and other crops, and was especially famous for olives. Their ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since the 1970s, it's been a historic park that showcases California ranch life in the 1800s.
Unfortunately, recent budget cuts have severely limited its public access, starting today, July 1.

So, the other day Liberty and I took a walk in the Old West, a farewell for now.

We walked on the Bradshaw Trail together.

Walking on the Bradshaw Trail (© Pat Murkland)

I closed my eyes and imagined the dust and noise of arriving coaches at the Gilman Station.
Stagecoaches, freight wagons and prospectors traveled this old route from Los Angeles to the Arizona gold fields in the 1860s.

Overland Stagecoach used in Southern CA (© Pat Murkland)

We passed the ruins of the oldest permanent, non-Indian structure in the Banning area, the Jose Pope adobe building from 1854.

But before then, Native Americans lived near the spring here, and throughout San Gorgonio Pass. Archaeologists found a Native American hearth and other artifacts under the adobe ruins.

And although the stagecoaches are most famous for traveling this road, they were not the first travelers.


Here is the terrain that travelers saw in the Pass:

White sage blooms in foothills (© Pat Murkland)

We are thankful that we still see this beauty, Liberty and I, when we travel back to 2011. Happy birthday, sweetie!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why We Love Irish Wolfhounds

From two of our Gryffindor 8, this is why:
Yankee meets a little lass at the Irish Fair in Orange County.
(Photo courtesy of wolfhoundrescue.org)

Ocho meeting new friends in Texas (Courtesy of the Cox family)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Worrying about Snakes


Southern Pacific rattlesnake. Pat Murkland Photo

It's snake season.
We have 6 species of rattlesnakes in Southern California.
Three different species live where we do.
Each has its own DNA.
The anti-rattler vaccine doesn't appear to apply to our snake breeds.

Anti-rattler training with shock collars?
Many Irish Wolfhound people will tell you,
not with their hounds.

Our first wolfhound, Erin, was our snake-wise trainer of other wolfhounds.
When Blake was a baby, she taught him about snakes.
Today, Blake barked ferociously.
We investigated.

Blake wanted too let us know this snake was in the yard.
This is our "snake protection yard," with a snake fence around the chainlink.
The snake still found its way in.

Fortunately, this was a beneficial gopher snake. Whew.
Blake stood guard while we checked out the situation, watching the snake and protecting us.
Good dog, Blake!
Thank you, Erin. Good training.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

You've Got Mail!

We've got mail! A mysterious package from Texas.

Rosie (at left) says to her mom, Ginny:
"Hey, this could be from my brother Ocho."

Ginny (right) to Rosie: "Yes! It is from our dear Ocho."

Look! Ocho even helped wrap the presents inside.

Wow! Two cards, beautiful and funny,
three cool Ocho decals ...

... And wonderful studio shots of Ocho
(pictured at one year old).

Check it out. Feel envious. It's an OCHO T-SHIRT!

Here's the newspaper with the Page 1 article about Ocho.
He received his certification to be a therapy dog, in case you have not seen the glaring headlines.
And here's another view of the t-shirt.
Thank you, Ocho, and the Cox family,
for such magnificent gifts.
We love you!