Flirt; A True Athlete

Now,  I’m pretty picky when it comes to what I will refer to as a canine athlete. I have a life long history of loving and admiring sigthhounds, and over two decades owning performance sighthounds. I have even worked professionally with racing Greyhounds at two different facilities. The average dog running about is not going to impress me a lot.

That said, my little out of coat mama dog, Flirt,  is a true canine athlete. She is built for it. Here she is this past week, out of coat, free stacked and holding a stay in my driveway. Because she lacks coat right now after her recent litter, you can see every inch of her.

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Today on our lovely walk in the woods and through the park, she demonstrated impressive athletic ability,  and the brains to back it up.

In this move, she is leaping over her daughter to avoid a collision at full speed:

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Here she is simply racing full speed towards me as I called, but about to go around me:

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I frequently say that drive without brains is meaningless, and I truly believe that. All the speed, desire, and athletic agility in the world is not any use if you’re injured or dead because, to be frank,  you’re a fool. I love that Flirt is so agile and fast, but also smart and bodily aware. Her daughter Fontana is no slouch, and is still young, but is built just a touch more like a show Golden. This isn’t shocking, since her father is half American show lines. She has a touch more bone than her mother, a slightly longer body, and a bit less leg. She is still far more athletic than the majority of Golden Retrievers I have encountered, and only time will tell if she catches up to her mother at maturity. What Fontana definitely does have is bodily awareness and a lot of intelligence and desire to do what you ask her to do.

Although it’s a shame it’s blurry, here she is trying hard to catch up with her mother:

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Fontana will be bred to a very athletic field trial bred male, and I am very excited to see the results. Her show type sire improved shoulder layback, and gave her a touch more “type” than her mother has. This makes me question if that “good front” is really actually better in the end. Flirt’s is more typical of actual fast and agile working dogs of almost any breed.

Here is another photo of Flirt, also taken in the last few days, standing naturally and watching my room-mate pull into the driveway.

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At any rate, I am very proud of these girls!

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One Fit Little Pup!

Windridge A Starry Night, better known as Lyric, lives in Iowa with her loving and adoring owner. She is from our Nature Litter, and she was born in July of this year. She is a service dog prospect, and apparently shows amazing promise. We could not be prouder of both this puppy and her handler! What is also interesting and pleasing to me is her structure. She has lovely angles and amazing muscle tone. She also has a pretty head.  I wish every puppy in the world was kept in this type of condition. I love my puppy homes so much.

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Enjoying a Gorgeous Tuesday

Today was one of  those perfect days that is meant to be relished. The sky was clear and blue, the air was crisp, and the temperatures were chilly but tolerable. The dogs were absolutely in their bliss, and it seemed like the ideal day to work them out, take them for walks, and capture some photos. I am so much happier here in Ohio than I was in Florida, and the climate is certainly a major part of it. The rippling, muscular bodies of my dogs, young and old, are proof one can see of how well we are doing here. These are some of my favorite pictures from the day.

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Flirt may still be out of coat, but she’s totally back in shape almost four months after whelping her litter of nine! Here she is playing with Zoom, who is six and a half  years old. Both dogs enjoy the flirt pole on a daily basis. 
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Fontana (behind) is in great shape, and she’s giving Willow (front, leaping) and Andi (with the toy in her mouth) quite the workout every day. These sisters are also best friends.
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Fontana is 11 months old and in her first heat cycle. She enjoyed a leashed walk today, too.

Apollo, the English Throwback!

We received this photo today of handsome Apollo. He is an 11 month old son of Flirt’s, and is Fontana’s littermate. In color and head type, he is most certainly what people would call an English cream, or UK show-line Golden Retriever. Except, he’s not. Many generations go back before there are English imports of any kind on either side of his pedigree. Genetics, man! Amazing. We are proud of this handsome guy, and he’s a wonderful companion.

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Sammy

Marlene’s sweet, beautiful Sammy  Forever loved and missed. I had the wonderful experience of watching this puppy (and his wonderful humans) grow up over years and years on the Golden Retriever Forum. Now, he has passed on from this life, but he will always be remembered and loved. It was a joy to sketch him and his unique ears and his classic Golden smile.

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