Friday, October 20, 2006

I am having trouble all of a sudden getting pictures uploade dto my blog. You can see most of the pics on my web site at

Well, now that Lady Bear has finished I can devote some attention to few other things in my life. Amy is expecting in December and she already is quite Wadley (if that's a word.) The house we have been remodeling all summer is starting to come together. The cabinets are on order and I finally have the tub/shower in the bathroom (of course I have a giant hole in the side of the house now :)
I plan to start working my derbies more. I do have a few I like a lot. I went out running last night. I really dislike running after dark but between work and the house I just can’t get away any earlier. I took a pair of my brood bitches out last night. One is from Sarge (Cocoa Bear) and the other off Smoke (Cocoa Bear), see a trend here. Classy is the one off Sarge and she is breed to Star now. They looked pretty good for a pair that has not had the proper amount of tracks on them. I have to be up at Friendship Hill next week to judge the big males and I might as well have something to runt he next day. I think these two females will do nicely. I will try to get them a dozen or so hours running this next week.
Let me know what you thing of this picture of Ashlyn and I on our mules? I am on Rudy and Ashlyn is on Small Fry. Small Fry is a pony mule.

I've also got very interested in breeding Neapolitan Mastiffs. What are they you say? The Neo, as they are called for short, is an Italian breed of dog that was discovered by the allies after WWII. The common belief is the Neo is nearly identical to the dogs used in war as late as the time of Alexander the Great. Why would I have a dog like that you wonder. I sure never expected to be interested in a giant dog. Several months ago I had my tools stolen from one of my buildings here at home. When talking this over with friends it was pointed out to me there was a bright side. The tools that were taken are replaceable, at least non of my beagle were taken. This really worried me as I have a few brood bitches that are essential to what I am trying to accomplish. I've never been one much to lock things up as that makes me feel like I'm living in fear. The problem is when we are working the place is quite vulnerable. I remembered as a kid my family always had a large dog around. I started doing my research on property guardian dogs and found the Neapolitan Mastiff. One of the key features to this beastly looking creature is it's desire to protect property and stay home. You see in Italy this was the dogs primary purpose. He has been breed to stay home and protect, just like we have breed the beagle to pursue Mr. bunny. I did a little searching and found a Neapolitan. She was a coming two year old about 25 inches at the withers and weighs in at about 100 lbs. Her name is Josie. Josie took right to us. She especially loves my six year old daughter Ashlyn.
Since I got Josie I have been looking at some of the breeders sites. Their really are some magnificent Neo's out there. My research has shown me that the Neapolitan world goes through fads just like the beagle world! In fact from the photos of the neo's I could find from the 50's -70's in Italy the dog has been changed some by the show fanciers in the US. That's not to say some super looking dogs don't win shows in the US but it appears the "culls" from the top breeders may leave something to be desired in the guard dog end of the business in that they seem to lack a little temperament as well as ferocious looks. Keep in mind I am a complete beginner to the Neapolitan and my experience is limited.
I decided I would try my hand at breeding these beast in an attempt to get a better specimen than Josie. She has some great qualities but I wanted to see if I could do better. I searched all over looking for a stud but could not find what I wanted exactly. Finally I met a lady that had a young male of just 17 months old. His name was Thore and I went to look at him. My first impression of Thore was of wonder. It was obvious this lady was not very experienced with the Neo herself as Thore was some what under weight for his breed but in very good shape as far as most breeds go. He had a huge head that pictures do not do justice. Thor's best asset, his temperament. There is no way I would get out of the car uninvited at that house! I believe Thore would Perform what he Proposes.I took this picture of Thor with Josie (remember Josie is 25" and about 100lbs.) I hope I get good pups. We'll just have to wait and see where this goes. In the mean time I don't have to worry so much about any beagles being stolen.

Monday, October 09, 2006

It is way more difficult to keep up a blog than I had ever imagined. One would think it not that difficult but I must admit I have had a hard go of it. Maybe it is just something I have to get in the habit of.
I find it easier to write this morning as I have something great to write about. FC Tate's Lady Bear!
Lady Bear was bread by JW Orvin of Baxley Ga. JW and his Grandson Tate Carter are co owners of Lady Bear. The first time I saw Lady run a rabbit I knew she was a special hound. I tried for an entire summer to buy Lady Bear. I don't have access to a lot of money and I offered Mr. JW $1500 for this super little Lady. Mr. JW was appreciative of the offer but told me he and Tate would just keep her. I later learned that JW had turned down nearly three time the amount I had offered. Well, I was persistent and finally Mr. J.W., knowing my only real concern was that Lady Bear be exposed to the beagling public so that everyone could see what this bloodline can produce, made me a wonderful offer. He said he would hand Lady Bear over to me for rabbit hunting and Field Trialing. I was to compete with Lady, raise a litter of pups and then return her to him. Needless to say, this was the perfect solution! I picked up Lady bear in August of 2005. She was a bit too heavy and out of shape as the rattle snakes around Baxley makes for treacherous running in the warm months. I brought Lady home and started working her at once. The trial season was coming on quickly and there was not much time. I slowly started taking the weight off Lady Bear by feeding her a steady diet of rabbit tracks and Purina Pro Plan Performance dog food. Lady was ran in the hear of the day. I constantly pushed her to see just how good this girl was. Finally Thanksgiving came around and rabbit hunting season began. Lady was quick to make her self one of the dominant hound in the rabbit hunting pack. She took quickly to producing rabbits from the South Carolina Pine thickets. By the time December rolled around Lady Bear was ready to win. She was taken to Rocky River Beagle club in NC where she came home with her first win. A few more weeks of rabbit hunting and then we were off to Robeson County Beagle club. Once again Lady was able to win the trial. January and February was filled with 2nd and 3rds for Lady Bear. She was super consistent but for one reason or another just kept coming up a little short. I ended the 05-06 trial season with only two of the three wins needed to male Lady Bear a Field Champion. Summer came and summer left. October was here and the 06-07 season was upon us. I took Lady Bear to Mountain Valley Beagle club where she got her final win and was was named AKC field Champion. Lady Bear has is indeed one of the great ones!