15th December 2008 - Another very sad day for us as we had to have a sweet Simene euthanised this morning. Simene, a Swedish import, was only 4 years old. She had developed an almost imperceptible head tilt the day after our club show, which became more noticeable during the week. The vet first thought she might have had an inner ear infection and treated with intravenous antibiotics and steroid. The next week we were sent home with some oral antibiotics and ear drops. But with each day she grew worse and as time went on she could barely open her mouth, so couldn't eat. Even drinking became a problem. Our vet said it could be a brain tumour, but of course without a scan, we couldn't know for sure, but the cost was prohibitive. When Simene began falling over, we made the decision to end her suffering. She was the sweetest girl -- everyone who met her loved her. I believe that I will be reunited in heaven with all the pets I've lost over my lifetime and Simene, and Digger, and Monkey and Jasmine will be healthy and happy again.
19th November 2008 - Richard just got back from Heathrow airport after collecting our new Canaan bitch from Sweden, Chancos Charmani At Anacan, or 'Ami' as she is called. She is a little doll, so very sweet, and I thank Maria Selin for allowing us to have this beautiful girl to help expand our genepool. She will need time to settle in, but she will be an asset to Anacan.
10th November 2008 - The year is almost over and I haven't updated our news once this year. I am going to start from now and work backwards, updating our news both backwards and forwards as time permits.
The very sad news I have to break is that we had to release from this life our wonderful "Digger" (The Lion of Judah At Anacan) on the 7th November. Digger, who would have been 15 years old on the 19th December, never fully recuperated from a mild stroke he had last year, and the ravages of time were taking their toll. You could see in his eyes that he was no longer enjoying life. It was a terrible decision to take, but we knew we had to let him go. I believe Digger will be there waiting for me in the next life, along with his mother, Bobby, our Jasmine and Monkey and all the other dogs I have lost over my lifetime.
Digger's contributions to the breed are undeniable. He was shown the first time on his 6-month birthday at a local exemption show -- and won Best in Show! Digger was also very popular in the local park where he and his mother, Bobby, would run with a number of other dogs we got to know, on a daily basis. He was beautiful and sweet and everyone loved him. When he first began his show career in earnest, it was only the Nordic open show that had classes for the breed. We were shown in AVNSC (Any Variety Not Separately Classified) at every other show, including Crufts. The breed had no credibility and were often targeted with sarky remarks at the shows by other exhibitors, like "what's that mutt doing here?" But Digger's beauty and incredible movement soon won him an army of admirers who would say, "Look, it's that Lion dog" , and slowly, very slowly the breed's credibilty began to grow as he placed over champions in other breeds.
Digger had an enviable show career. He was the Pedigree/Dog World Top Canaan Dog 1996, '97, 98, 2000 and 2001, and the only dog I know of in any breed that had a critique in which the judge (Mr Keith Nathan) said that he "was the blueprint for the breed". But Digger's biggest contribution was in the wonderful puppies he sired. Though he produced only three litters, he was Top Stud Dog in 2002 & 2003. Anacan Forever Amber and Anacan Sheindela were two gorgeous bitches out of his first litter with our Jasmine. "Shandy" went on to be a star in the litterbox and "Amber" in the show ring. "Amber" won Best of Breed at Crufts in 2002 over an international champion and Best In Show at the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Open Show in November the same year. Digger had two sons from his second litter out of our Beulah who also made their mark on the breed. Anacan The Israelite At Dunline ("Abraham", owned by Rob & Jan McLeod, was the first Canaan Dog in the UK to win a Best In Show. His litter brother, Remy (Anacan Masterpiece), who lives with us, won Best of Breed at Crufts in 2004 and was Best In Show at the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Open Show in 2004, under Mrs Zena Wallace and again in 2007 under Mrs Helen Lightfoot, BA, DC, MMCA. Digger's son out of his last litter out of our Lottie, Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline ("Jacob"), also owned by Rob & Jan McLeod, was Best of Breed at Crufts in 2007 under Mr Keith Nathan and at the Darlington Champion Show in September 2008 he became the first Canaan Dog to win Utility Veteran Dog 3rd in Group. Digger has many winning grandchildren in this country and winning great grandchildren in the USA.
Despite our pride in Digger's wins and the wonderful Canaans that have descended from him, he will most be remembered as a treasured part of the family. He has left a big hole in our lives and we will never forget him.
12th October 2008 - The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's single breed open show was held today. We had a good day as the atmosphere was great, everyone was friendly, the judge had a nice approach to the dogs, and our dogs did themselves proud. You can read a full report on the show and the winners in my breed notes of 15th October 2008 (click here). I want to take this opportunity for all the Anacan Canaan Dog owners who exhibited their dogs on the day and had them in such beautiful condition. Here's to next year!