Morrow and I have been traveling in Europe since the middle of August until this past Labor's Day Monday. It was a really busy three weeks but we came away with fantastic experiences and memories of the CsV breed camps and competitions in Slovakia, Poland and Germany for this summer of 2016. This marks my eighth time in Europe for CsV and Morrow's second. Besides our personal experiences including a lot of food, wine, beer, traveling & sightseeing, we also have a bit of CsV news to relate.
We started our trip off with taking my other dogs to stay with our Blu and owners in Las Vegas, followed with a nice long layover to go on a playdate with two of the other dogs that make up Greyfarer - Rōnin and Harley. The dogs had a good time together. Harley is a loud-mouthed puppy who likes to bark until she elicits responses from other dogs 😀 she will be even more of a handful as she gets older with her attitude. Rōnin has matured into a unmistakable man's man. He is tall, built well, and has a standoffish and calm 'I'm the boss' demeanor. It was great to see all the dogs doing well. Much thanks to Jade and Marius!
After the playdate layover with Rōnin and Harley, Morrow and I continued onwards to Bratislava, Slovakia to visit with friends and attend the FCI Bratislava DuoDanube International Dog Shows over the weekend. Morrow came away from the weekend rated twice with V-ratings (excellent ratings) and the start of her Slovakian Championship - on Sunday she placed first in Intermediate class and received her first Certificate of Aptitude for Slovak Championship (CAC) and on top of that, a Reserve Certificate of Aptitude for International Championship of Beauty (rCACIB)! On both days there were 30+ Czechoslovakian Vlcak in the shows (and more just as spectators) and we enjoyed watching them. It was fun for us to receive these placements and titles and Morrow definitely did not disappoint my expectations of 'holding my hand' while we went around the ring.. ~_~
While in Bratislava we traveled with our good friend Saša and her dog Frei Maly Bysterec for a few days of sightseeing. One of the 'hidden' places we visited was the historic site of one of the former military kennel installations of "z Pohraniční stráže" near Malacky, Slovakia, where Czechoslovakian Vlcak were originally bred and refined. We also toured Spis castle and the beautiful glacial mountain lake of Štrbské Pleso in the High Tatras before crossing over to Poland and meeting up in Krakow with our friends from "z Karpatskej stráže" kennel on our way up to the XV. Meeting of CzW owners & XIII. Hoky's Memorial at Pozna, Poland.
The Pozna camp which we originally attended for the first time in 2013 is one of the largest social gatherings for Czechoslovakian Vlcak and even with the hot weather we were pleased to see many of the dogs and owners in attendance from all over Europe - Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Spain... Saturday was a day of training and the XIII. Hoky's Memorial obedience competition, divided into a youth division and advanced division based on age of the dog. Morrow came away placing 6th overall out of 30-some entered teams. She was somewhat absent-minded and not as focused with the huge amount of distractions but we are happy with how she did and how she behaved for the entire weekend. Overall it was a great weekend full of good Polish food and spirits, conversations, and of course, lovely dogs.
Following the Pozna, Poland camp, we crossed over into Northern Germany for a few days of much needed rest and relaxation. I really love Germany and Slovakia and the ability to go to zoos, on trains, in many restaurants with your dog without hassle, so we made the most of the opportunity and visited Hanover zoo and the Luneburg heathlands and some amazing restaurants with Morrow. She was very impressed with the lions at the zoo, but her favorites definitely were the prairie dogs...... 😀
On the last leg of our trip, we took a very relaxing train ride down to Mannheim in the south-western region of Germany. It is the heart of Germany's wine-country and also where our friends who manage the European Wolves at Kurpfalz Park live near to. I was so pleased to be able to see the wolfpack there again, this time in the summer. The Kurpfalz Park pack consists of four males. I really love to see the wolves in their summer coat as it's much easier to study their overall build than in their massive winter coats. Personally, it is important to review the general build of wolves in real life and to apply it to the relevant areas in the standardized description of the CsV breed, instead of depending on my own pre- and mis-conceptions of what or how a lupine build is like. I'm very thankful to again have this opportunity to review some of these individuals up close.
On the last weekend, we attended the German CsV Camp weekend in Freudenburg am Main. This year the German breed club held a social, their club meeting, the first FCI Derby Show, and a youth presentation and adult bonitation. Morrow finished our Summer 2016 trip with an Excellent rating and first place winner of the female intermediate class on Saturday, as well as completing her Youth Presentation with a rating of VV - Viel Versprechend/very promissing - the highest mark for a young dog on Sunday. The judge remarks critiqued her croup, longer tail, stronger rear angulation and visible forehead wrinkling, but also wrote the following (by English translation): "64,5 cm high (at withers), very beautiful typical female with a beautiful head and light eyes. Good pigmentation, correct ears, front, front assembly, good coat structure, color, mask, typical movement. Good temperament." We are pleased with the assessment and satisfied also with the critiques.
Our Summer 2016 trip was not only 'work and no play' for Morrow.. she enjoyed a lot of swimming in the multiple lakes and ponds, drinking tons of rainwater (both of which we do not have here in California 😀 ), and seeing again her old friends and original birth family, both canine and human. We also met the majority of the males I had set out to see in person so our trip was satisfying if only based on this. Thanks to all of our friends new and old who made our trip not only possible but also filled with tons of adventures and misadventures, food, conversation, and hospitality. I hope to meet you all again soon!