Friday, May 30, 2008

Bilbo The Lifeguard Newfoundland May Return To The Beach

From, May 30, 2008

"Bilbo, the lifeguard dog, may be allowed to return to the beach after his sacking earlier this month prompted public outcry.

"The seven-year-old Newfoundland, who has been credited with helping save three lives at Sennen Cove in Cornwall, lost his job when the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) decided that his services were no longer required.

"News that the celebrity 14-stone dog was no longer allowed to carry out his beach safety demonstrations sparked petitions and campaigns all over the country to see Bilbo return to work.

"Steve Jamieson, Bilbo's owner, said: 'At the moment they're still in discussions but they've said it looks likely that Bilbo will be allowed back.
I'm delighted because there were so many people who were really upset. Bilbo's popularity is absolutely huge.'

"He added: 'The public pressure has been beyond anything I'd ever expected. People got so enraged by the whole thing that it all came to light. People were phoning me from all over the country. I'm tremendously grateful for all the support from the public. It just reinforced everything that we already thought was good about the work Bilbo does.'

"Jim McKenna, chief executive of Penwith District Council, said: 'We had a very constructive meeting on Friday and we hope to issue a joint press release next week.'

"A spokesperson for the RNLI said: 'We are entering into discussions with Penwith District Council to see if we can work towards a long-term solution.'

"Several petitions have been organised, and Bilbo's banishment from the beach has touched the hearts of locals and tourists alike.

"Maria Boyle, who heard of Bilbo's story while on holiday from London last week, wants to ensure that even if Bilbo is allowed back onto the beach, he cannot be denied access again. 'I think we need to get him recognised with an official accolade for the good work he does. I want to get him an official ambassadorship of say health and safety in Cornwall.

"Ms Boyle has written to Andrew George MP for advice on how to pursue this, as Bilbo's story continues to attract huge amounts of public support.

"A petition started by Mr Jamieson's daughter, Kate, received 720 signatures in just two days, and a Facebook group named 'Keep Bilbo on the beach' now has almost 2,000 members.

"Bilbo was allowed on Sennen beach on Tuesday during filming for a Channel Five production about extraordinary animals, due to be broadcast at the end of June.

"Mr Jamieson hopes this will again become the norm, rather than the exception."

* * * * * * * * * * * *
We say that the Plonker bureaucrats should be the ones who get sacked. And during their sack time, they should be forced to read their Byron.

Satchie & Andrew

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Satchel

With his smile as sweet as a warm wind in summer
He's got me flying like a bird in a bright June sky
And then just when he thinks that I've got his number
He brings me down to the ground with his wintry eyes
That's my Satchie
He can be all four seasons in one day.

And when the night time comes with no interference
To our warm summer love with all its charms
But like a thoroughbred horse he can turn on a sixpence
And I find that I'm back in Mister Winter's arms
That's my Satchie
He can be all four seasons in one day.

How will I know?
How can I tell?
Which side of the bed he takes when the day begins?
He can be kind
He can be cruel
He's got me guessing like a game show fool

He can change his mind like he changes his bibs
From one minute to the next it's hard to tell
He blows hot and cold just like stormy weather
He's my gift from the Lord or a fiend from hell
That's my Satchie
He can be all four seasons in one day.

Watching the weatherman's been no good at all
Winter, spring, summer, I'm bound for a fall
There are no long term predictions for my Satchie
He can be all four seasons in one day.

If it's a sunny day I take my umbrella
Just in case his raindrops start to fall
You could say that I'm just a cautious fellow
I don't want to be caught in a sudden squall
That's my Satchie
He can be all four seasons in one day.

That's my Satchie
And I wouldn't have him any other way.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bilbo, Britain's Favourite Lifedog

"Bilbo Pays The Price of Celebrity"
(The Guardian, May 21, 2008)

"Celebrity has a habit of biting back hard. Just ask Bilbo, the UK's first and only lifeguard dog. Where there was once adoring schoolchildren, a book deal, a fan club, Japanese TV crews, photo shoots, dog food sponsorship deals, star turns at Crufts, even talk of a movie deal, there now lies shattered dreams, bitterness and even a hint of professional jealousy. And it appears to have all been snatched away by that most ubiquitous of killjoys - the faceless bureaucrat.

"Bilbo, a six-year-old, 14st chocolate-brown Newfoundland, has been pacing the sands of Sennen Cove in west Cornwall for two years, ever alert to the dangers of the popular beach's pounding Atlantic breakers. Last August, he made headlines for trying to stop a swimmer from entering the water by blocking her path. When she went in anyway, he swam in front of her to protect her from dangerous currents. He is said to have rescued three people.

"Having passed rigorous safety and fitness tests under the guidance of his owner, 53-year-old Steve Jamieson, who has been a lifeguard at the beach for 32 years, Bilbo became an official member of the Penwith district council lifeguards in 2006. He is trained to paddle out to distressed swimmers and pull them back to shore using a lifebuoy. Try to think of a Hasselhoff-St Bernard cross.

"But this summer, the RNLI takes over the lifeguarding responsibilities for the beach - and the council has served notice that Bilbo will be liable to a £75 fine, just like any other dog, if he sets paws on the sand again.

"Bilbo has previously sidestepped this ruling by travelling around the beach on his owner's quad bike, but the RNLI said this presented a 'health and safety' risk. However, facing a hostile reaction during a phone-in on BBC Radio Cornwall this week - and perhaps sensing a PR blunder - a RNLI spokesperson tried to shift the blame on to the council. The council responded that the RNLI need only register him as a working dog to qualify for an exemption.

"Janeta Hevizi, the co-author of Bilbo's 'autobiography', says the RNLI, one of the country's largest charities, is being a 'little too pedantic and short-sighted' by 'sacking' Bilbo. She suspects that some within the RNLI's top brass do not like a dog getting more public adoration than its '100% human' lifeguards. 'Bilbo is a health and safety asset, not a liability', says Hevizi.

Meanwhile, Jamieson - in the wake of a meeting with his RNLI bosses yesterday - says that Bilbo is oblivious to the fuss. The RNLI has agreed to let Bilbo work on the neighbouring beach, where dogs are allowed, and to continue doing 'meet and greets' with beachgoers at the lifeguard cabin at Sennen. It seems there's life in this old sea dog yet."

* * * * * * * * * *

Those who cannot do, govern.
Those who cannot govern, continue to govern.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Karazan Newfoundlands Sweep Coyote Hills Kennel Club Show

The Karazan Black & White Army made yet another complete sweep over the weekend, this time at the Coyote Hills Kennel Club shows in Vallejo, California.

On Saturday, in an extremely competitive field, Jolie took Best of Breed, and brother Hummer took Best Opposite Sex. Jolie then went on to take a Group 4.
In the puppy class, Karazan Triton, in his first show, wiped out the field.
And Scoldy Boy Satchie took Reserve Winner's Dog.

The Sunday show was little different. Jolie took Best of Breed, Bristol, coming off almost a year on the lounger, took Best Opposite Sex (his second after champing out), precious Triton scolded the puppy class yet again, and Satchie managed to run just enough to take Reserve Winner's Dog.

Through hot and cold, through thick and thin, the Karazan Army will always win.
Bringing the pride back home, Karazan Army!!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Act Of Kindness

"A steamer ran aground off the coast of Newfoundland. The waters were rough and the ship was coming apart at the seams. Panic swept over the passengers and it seemed they would all drown. The people on the shore could only watch helplessly because the waters seemed too rough to even attempt a rescue.

"But one of the men on shore had a Newfoundland dog and he attached a line to the dog's neck. The great Newfoundland dove into the icy, turbulent waters and, following the directions of the man, swam to the ship. A lifeline was established and a conveyor device was sent along the line to the ship.

"One by one the ninety-two passengers aboard got into the conveyor and were pulled to safety. One time the conveyor reached shore with a mailbag inside. It contained a baby. The conveyor went out again and again, as the ship broke apart, until there was only one man left aboard. The rescuers were surprised when they pulled the conveyor in to find, not a man in it, but the Newfoundland dog. The last man had decided to take his chances on the crumbling ship and make sure the hero dog was saved. The conveyor went out one last time and all ninety-two passengers were saved. The dog was later awarded a medal of honor."

(Peaceful Kingdom
Random Acts of Kindness by Animals
by Stephanie LaLand)

This calls to mind a hearing in the off-leash litigation with the National Park Service. The attorneys (no need to mention any names) were arguing a motion over a statement taken by a Park Ranger. It was taking a long time and the judge was getting a bit ticked off. One of the defense attorneys make an off-the-cuff remark, "Your Honor, this really doesn't involve the issue at hand, but if this Ranger were drowning, my Newfie could save his life." There was silence in the courtroom, and everyone wondered whether the judge would berate the attorney for an attempt at humor. After a long pause, the Judge responded: "Not if he's on a leash."


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Karazan Newfoundlands Sweep Woodland Shows

This weekend (at the Camellia Capital Kennel Club shows in Woodland, California) was yet another in a long line of sweeps by the Karazan clan.

On Saturday, Karazan H2 ("Hummer") took Best of Breed; Karazan I'm No Angel ("Jolie") took BOS; and Karazan Axl took Winner's Dog.

On Sunday, Jolie took Best of Breed.

"Bringing the pride back home", again and again.

Congratulations to Hummer, Jolie, and Axl and to parents Claire, Christine, and Jill.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gizmo Came To Town

It seems like an eternity that we've known our buddy Gizmo.

Well, he came to town last week and what a time we had!

We went out and played, went out for some meals, got some really cool stuff from his really cool parents, and took him up to the kennels to meet the other Karazans.

'Drew and I were kinda shocked because we had Newfie joy without any of the show stuff and we didn't even get refurbished up at the kennels. Hooray!!!!! I don't even mind going out into the fields as long as no refurbishment is involved. And, we got to see Paris, Gaia, and the other Karazan champs.

Gizzy got a bath (poor boy -- the only downside of his trip) and a trimming from Mrs. P, and boy did he look beautiful. He's huge, about 175 pounds, and has Black & White Army markings just like me (sorry 'Drew).

Then, on his way back home, he won MVP of the hotel -- Most Valuable Pet.

Well, now that we've met Gizmo in person, it's easy to see why he is an MVP.
And when the snow comes to Canada, we're going up to visit him.
He has a show this weekend up in Canada and if fairness is the criteria, he will win paws down!

We already miss him and his parents; they've been our best friends for some time now and we'll just have to pass the time doing the Internet thing until we're back together.

"All the virtues of Man without his vices". That's our buddy, Gizmo.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

No Regrets For Miss Otis

The gates of Heaven have been opened wide for you, dear Miss Otis.
Rest in peace knowing that we will always have you in our hearts and minds.
Even more than a champ, you were truly a Gentle Giant.
You truly possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity and all the virtues of Man without his vices.

May the blessed Mary of the Angels wrap you in her cloak of peace.

Champion Karazan Miss Otis Regrets with Ludzska
(September 1997 - May 2007)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"Sweetness of Temperament Is The Hallmark"

Gentle Giants In Town
(The Providence Journal, May 1, 2008)

"WARWICK — Long before Peter Pan swooped through their nursery window, the Darling children had a faithful friend in Nana, the patient and protective Newfoundland dog cast as a nursemaid in M.M. Barrie’s classic tale.

In real life, the giant teddy bear of a dog known for its gentle nature and brawny work ability, lives up to its beneficent reputation. And any doubters can check out the breed’s attributes at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where roughly 700 of the guests over the past couple of days have been 'Newfies'.

The dogs and their owners have converged on the city for the Newfoundland Club of America’s National Specialty Show –– the capstone event for Newfoundlands on the show circuit. The breed-specific show started on Tuesday and will run through Saturday, with competition in a number of categories from breeding to cart-pulling.

According to Aura Dean, a spokeswoman for the Newfound Club of America, the entrants and their owners come from all over the world, although the majority hail from the United States and Canada.

There’s no doubt it’s a serious dog show, as the fur flying around the grooming tent would indicate. But Dean said it’s also a great opportunity for Newfie lovers to get together and swap stories and tips about the gentle giants that share their homes.

Although the American Kennel Club recognizes Newfoundlands that are black-and-white (Landseer), brown and gray, the majority of them are coal-black. With their impressive size, softly feathered fur and soulful eyes, they have proved to be a bit of a tourist attraction with people stopping on the hotel’s grassy grounds to snap pictures and small children running up to try to wrap their arms around the mountainous dogs that are so much like jumbo stuffed animals.

'They’re just big mushes', said Synthia Ross, of Exeter, N.H., as she strolled through a maze of white tents with Ace, her 175-pound Newfoundland, and his much smaller buddy –– a 14-month-old Bassett hound named Kahuna. 'When Ace lies down, this one just climbs all over him', she said, pointing to Kahuna who was sanding comfortably in the Newfie’s shadow.

Newfoundlands are probably best known for their sweet dispositions, said Dean, adding that the dogs are also legendary for water rescues and their strong swimming abilities. They have webbed feet and Cathy Derench of Coventry, Conn., said that if she wants a free ride in the water, all she has to do is hold onto the tail of two-year-old Whitney.

Whitney, a female, is on the petite side, weighing in at about 115 pounds. According to breed statistics, the dogs can range from 100 to 220 pounds and stand nearly three feet tall.

The breed can trace its lineage back to Newfoundland, where it was a working dog that helped haul in fishing nets and pulled small carts carrying milk, mail and other necessities. Its water-resistant coat allows it to remain impervious to icy ocean water and its natural affinity for humans made it a natural when it comes to sea rescues. (There are many historical tales.)

Derench said Newfies are also ideal for therapy work, from nursing homes to literacy programs.

To say that Newfoundlands are calm is sort of like saying that fish swim. Yesterday they strolled around nonchalantly with their tails gently wagging and their tongues lolling. Ozzy, a champion from Cobourg, Ontario, kept dozing off while owner Jill Francis had him on a high table for brushing and trimming.

'He just loves to be pampered', she said as Ozzy lazily opened one eye. 'He loves to be told how good-looking he is.'

Dean likes to call the breed benevolent but said they also have a sixth sense that can make them protective of their families when necessary. 'Their hallmark is sweetness of temperament, but they can tell if someone has something up their sleeve', she said.

She recounted a recent incident when she was working in her garden when one of dogs got up to position himself between her and a stranger who was approaching. “He asked me what my dog had in mind,” Dean said. “And I told him, ‘That’s up to you.’ ”

Drooling is another Newfoundland trait and aficionados of the breed are unapologetic about it. 'You get it at no extra charge', Kathy Queen, of Cheshire, Conn. said.

Derench and Dean said that most breeders make sure potential owners are accepting of the drool factor before they’ll sell a pup.

'If you’re a neat freak these dogs are not for you', Dean said.

According to Dean and others at the show yesterday, famous Newfoundlands include Seaman, who accompanied early 19th-century explorers Lewis and Clark; and Brumus, Robert F. Kennedy’s dog.

Nana is the literary star of the Newfoundland world but is also a bit of a sore subject since Walt Disney and other movie-makers have chosen to depict her as looking more like a St. Bernard.

The record, however, is clear. In Chapter One of The Adventures of Peter Pan, Barrie writes, 'as they were poor, owing to the amount of milk the children drank, this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog, called Nana …' He went on to say 'she proved to be quite a treasure of a nurse.'

Most of the guests at the Crowne Plaza this week would wholeheartedly agree."