Lahav RIP

Daniela Imre’s Lahav, one of the greatest dogs I have ever known, is dead at 15. He was her constant companion, a coursing champion, a hunter, a defender and guardian. He distrusted most male humans and would threaten them for their presumption if they got near Daniela. She called him the Munchkin: I, “The Muncher of Kin.” He was huge for a saluki and he delivered a credible threat if he wanted to, though he was the most lovable of dogs to friends

He was sometimes a clown. I was one of the exceptions to his  dislike of males, as was John Burchard (probably less any personal virtues, and more like our smelling of saluki and talking their language), and when they lived here I would often walk up the dirt road to Daniela’s house. He would hear me from hundreds of yards away, and start yodeling the distinctive Salukoid greeting– I guess he knew the sound of my steps. I knew my role was to howl back until I reached his fence. What the neighbors thought is not recorded.

In his old age he was sire to other splendid dogs, like (with our Lashyn) Daniela’s Shunkar and John’s Jengiz. I am sure that if more exist Daniela will let us know. Meanwhile our condolences to her. Here is a small portfolio, including Herb Wells’ famous  shot of him diving in front of (good) greyhounds to snatch up a hare.

With his son, Shunkar

Old and still beautiful

Great Granddoggery

Shiri’s photos of ornithologist and falconer Octavio Cruz, artist Melanie Keithley, a friend, and at least two (or one two- headed?) great granddogs. I will let the younger folks sort out who is who other than Tavo & Melanie, but these dogs are WINNERS. On a sad note, I hear Dutch Salmon just lost a fine dog in a freak accident- she broke her neck in a tumble while running. Our condolences…

Plummer lurcher: March 1 1999- Dec 13 2012

My old dog Plummer is gone. He was born (bred for us, a Hancock designer NM blend of greyhound and bearded and border collie) in David Hancock’s kennel in an England that still allowed hunting with dogs, and died in his bed in his home in New Mexico. Once the greatest single- hand hare dog I have ever owned, he was failing badly the last few days, and falling down constantly. Loyal, rambunctious, sometimes loud, overbearing, smart and cheerful, he was one of a kind, very unlike the tazis, though descendants of his mating with Lash still win in New Mexico meets. I doubt I will ever have another dog like him. Lib may write more.

His birth announcement: I assume most can still recognize a Polaroid!

With David

Scenes from a life

A note of congratulations from Terence Wright’s late Logan longdog on his first hare; another…

He liked hunting, water (much more than salukimorphs), and food, and comfort…

He grew old with his friends, and will be missed…

(And thanks once again to Terri Gonzales, DVM)

“Dirtwinger” videos

Warren Spencer, seen here at the wedding below, has been putting up videos of our falcon- tazi- lurcher teams at “Dirtwinger”. Most if not all dogs here bred by us or “granddogs” of our stock…

Here are two of them of Warren’s breeding (we own all grandparents) with Terence’s late Gyr- Prairie tiercel Cog on a hare.

Riss Intent

Larissa like her mother is sure coyotes should be dealt with summarily. More heart than brains on this one– they are too small, and likely to be ganged up on. I am always relieved when they come back after looking like this on the runout…

Birds and Dogs on YouTube

Walter Hingley sent an interesting if rather relentless clip of a 40 ounce white gyr tiercel taking down a 15 pound Canada goose. The tenacity of the “little” falcon shows why eastern cultures, who appreciate a good fight as much as they do a good flight, prefer gyrs and sakers to peregrines.

Browsing in the sidebar revealed two clips, one delightful, the other exciting, of “relatives”. The first shows a gyr feeding a saluki; Daniela confirmed the place is Alberto’s in California, the dog her Blaze’s 8- month old sister Gigi. Commenters express amazement; folks, ALL our dogs and birds interact like that, as proper teams have for thousands of years! Some pix will follow…

The other clip is of Terence Wright who often appears here, with the late lamented mostly peregrine tiercel Zhel, the classic lurcher Percy, and longdog Gobi (bred by us). It is the best look at our style of hawking I know. I never tire of watching Terence’s perfect team; look how the falcon tosses up into the air in full flight to gain energy for his stoop. Bravo!

UPDATE: Paul reminds us the first flight is a falconry bird– clear at the end but not before, as it is wearing no jesses; birds with human partners take larger game– herons, cranes– because they have backup. He suggests this amazing video of wintering gyrs, prairie falcons, and bald eagles preying on wintering ducks in Alberta, with wild birds doing stunning stoops; if anyone is skeptical about stoops that knock quarry from the air, dead or dying, watch this! Lots of other interesting behavior too.Watch the falcon let a rough legged hawk, a tiny- footed mouser, bluff it off a kill– for a moment. I suspected the next act before the buzzard started to cringe– the falcon left so she could strafe her tormentor from the air. Remember, these can kill herons in a single strike or kill hares in mid- leap.

A few characters– click or double click to enlarge as always. First, Blaze in the window, Cog (next photo) on the roof, by Daniela:

Dog and bird rolling on quarry (a later Terence team)

Zhel and Percy, hot pursuit:

Tuuli and Kyran feeding