Monday, June 25, 2007

Dogs of our Past--The Kiokee Boys

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is about my "foundation dogs"--or the dogs behind in my pedigrees. Most people know about the better known dogs. Since few people have any of my basic Kiokee lines, I would like to introduce you to those dogs--the dogs of our past.

Ch, Kiokee Tuff-E-Nuff


Paternal Grand-Sire:Ch Deer Run Ezekial (Fawn)

Sire: Ironhills Stay The Night (Apricot Brindle)

Paternal Grand-Dam: Christian Bristol Cream (Apricot Brindle)

Maternal Grand-Sire: Ch. Ironhills Lionsire Poldark (Fawn)

Dam: Ironhills Hope Springs Eternal (Fawn)

Maternal Grand-Dam: Verdune's Tolkien Dreamer (Fawn)

Tuffy was the first male Mastiff I bought as Show quality. When I first saw him as a 7 week old puppy he weighed 9 lbs.; he was covered with seed ticks, dehydrated, and extremely hot to the touch. Even to my novice eye, I knew he was a very sick puppy. He was so sick he could not stand up when the co-breeders placed him on the ground. I picked him up to hand him back and to tell the man "no deal"; when he looked me in the face. Something in his eyes told me, "No, wait. I'll be worth the effort." Common sense said not to keep him, but my heart said not to let him go.

I paid the man a pet price for him--because I wasn't sure he would live; but I also had the fear, this very sick puppy would never live if he left that night. I bathed and dipped him for ticks that night--in my mop bucket. I sat on my front porch steps and combed out over 500 seed ticks off him. I sat up all night and gave him pedilyte to hydrate him. The next morning , I took him to my vet--he had a 105 fever and still could not stand up and walk; we suspected tick fever and paralysis--we started him on antibiotics. He was full of worms--hook, whip and tapeworms.

It took weeks for him to turn around--followup lab work showed he did not have liver damage from his poor care, but I felt sure he would never be as large as he could have been. It didn't matter to me; I had decided to keep him. He was a happy, loving dog--eager to please us.

Tuffy grew into a small adult male--he never weighed more than 150lbs. but he had an awesome head and movement, a strong rear and proper front, and was a loving devoted family companion. I was just learning to show dogs--so I made lots of mistakes. Tuffy and I had to back up and relearn many things, but we did it together. He hated the show turmoil outside the ring (he had gotten jumped at ring side as a puppy--mistake #1), and he really didn't care for men (lived in an all female house--Mistake #2).
We had gotten down to the all important final major--we just needed one more major to finish. As Fate would have it--Tuffy swallowed a piece of a cow hoof and blocked his small intestine. The Vet and I opened him up and took out about 18 inches and sewed him back together. Over the next few weeks, I saw him lose down to 95 lbs.--I didn't know if he would live. Through care and love, Tuffy pulled through and slowly began to recover. I felt sure, his show career was over.
Almost 18 months later, I stood looking at him in the yard ; he had recovered and looked as good as he ever had. The Charlotte, NC shows were coming up and both judges loved good movement and were female. So I entered him.
On the first day, we had a judge change to Jack Dexter--who would bend over and run his hands up under a dog's chest. I knew Tuffy would never stand still for that--so I pulled him after asking the advice of my friend, Nora Lee Reece, who agreed with me. Sunday's Judge was Helen Miller- Fisher, a German Shepherd breeder who loved side movement. Tuffy absolutely floated when he moved: so I knew we could hold our own under her.
As we stood outside the ring on Sunday, Tuffy sat with his head hanging--too many dogs and people for him to be comfortable. I bent down and whispered in his ear, " Tuffy, old boy. I love you. Just go in this ring one more time for me and win, and I will never make you go to another dog show as long as you live."
When we entered the ring that day, it was like you had flipped a switch--Tuffy became a different dog. He held his head up, arched his neck, and as we walked down the open Dog line to our place at the end, he looked every dog in the eye. When we got to our place, he turned and placed himself, stacked, and looked at me and gave me the "face." I never touched him. After 18 months, and with no practice before hand--he had remembered everything and did it perfect.

Tuffy showed that day like a Best in Show winner; never a misstep; he did everything perfect. On his down and back he stopped in front of the judge, looked her straight in the face, ears up and expression perfect. As we gaited around the ring, the judge's eyes never left us. She didn't even wait to look at all the dogs again or let us come to a stop; she moved us up to the front of the line and gave us 1st place in open and then winner's dog. He was the smallest male and the only brindle there that day.

When I came out of the ring, I was so nervous--all I could think of was going back in to get best of Winners (since I thought the only major was in the bitches) so Tuffy could finish. Nora Lee asked me,"Did you finish him, Catie?" "No," I told him" we need 7 dogs for a major--there was only 6." Nora Lee looked at me funny, "No, Catie, there was seven." I stood there and silently began counting the dogs in my head; and I realized, I had forgotten to count Tuffy. There was 7--he had finished.
An overwhelming sense of relief flooded me; I bent down and hugged my boy, and I cried from sheer relief. Tuffy just sat at my feet-- happy and at ease--he knew he had done well and he knew I loved him. When a dog goes forward and does his best--even if it's something he doesn't like--he does it because you asked him to do it--that's a true champion. We did get Best of Winners for a 4-pt major that day, but it was all anticlimactic at that point. Tuffy was the first Mastiff I ever finished by myself.
Yes, I kept my promise--Tuffy never went to another dog show. He sired some wonderful puppies--he was bred three times. Everything I have ever bred from him is well over 190# including the girls. He produced size & Bone, type, trainability, good temperament, and intelligence. All of my dogs have descended from this "titan" of a dog.
He was a devoted family companion and home guardian. I used him in rehabbing rescue dogs with temperament problems. He slept at the foot of my children's bed. When one of our dogs was sick, he slept next to them and guarded them until they recovered. He guarded and "fathered" our Irish setter puppies--because it was his "job." He was a blood donor for my Vet. He gave us unconditional love and devotion.
He did at age 11; I held him as he left this world and told him what a wonderful dog was and I thanked him for the love he had given us. He was a much loved and treasured family member. I had him cremated and his ashes are to be buried with me; in my afterlife, I want him to be by my side.
Good job, boy. I'll always love you and be thankful you came into our lives.

Ch. Kiokee Devil Came to Georgia


Paternal Grand Sire: Ch. Kiokee Tuff-E-Nuff (Apricot Brindle)

Sire: Kiokee Walk Your Talk (Fawn)

Paternal Grand Dam: Caviness Jetta Junior (Fawn)

Maternal Grand Sire: Ch. Patrices Prince Smokey (Brindle)

Dam: Rocky Top Lady Eowyn Natura (Fawn)

Maternal Grand Dam: Natures Acres Adorable Katie (Fawn)

Taz was a grand-son of our Tuffy. His sire Walker was bred only once producing Taz's litter of 3 fawn males. The breeder kept the Pick male--because he was going to "show" him. I took the second pick male--so that the breeder could keep his "pick" male. The breeder sold his two puppies--he didn't keep his male as he said he was going to do. I placed Taz on a co-ownership show contract and with a payment plan.

Well, after the deposit was made, no other payments were ever made. I made multiple inquires, but always got all kind of excuses. Then one day, the wife called me--she couldn't control the dog and her husband was away at sea ( he was in the Navy). She needed someone to come and get the dog--because she couldn't control it. Taz was basically a big unruly teenager--he had never been taught to mind. His co-owners bought a house , 2 new cars, had a second baby--but didn't pay for or train their dog.

So, I went and got my dog; put him through "boot camp" and began training him to be a good canine citizen. I kept him for 6 months; and at this point,I asked them to finish paying for him. Instead they decided to "sue" me for "their" dog. At no time did they ever acknowledge they owed me over a $1200.00 balance on the dog, nor did they offer to pay me any compensation for boarding & training their dog.

It didn't take long for them to realize that the courts agreed with me--that they had never met the conditions of the sales contract, and had over a year PAST the agreement date to pay in full. Because they had chosen not to pay a legal due bill after multiple requests, the courts ruled they did not have a legal claim to the dog. You can't claim you own something if you have never paid for it. Hard words were exchanged but I stood my ground and enforced my contract.

It took months of hard work to retrain Taz. He had learned to be a "bully" and had never listened to any human. Well, living in a house of alpha women cured his hearing problems and within a few months, be became a new dog.

He finished in just a few weekends from the 12-18 month old class. I also showed him as a special and he won multiple Best of Breeds and several group placements over the next few years. He was over 35 inches at the shoulder and weighed a solid 240lbs; he was solid muscle and bone. He love people and he loved going to the dog shows. He was the first dog I ever showed who loved the ring. It was sheer pleasure to show him.

Our greatest wins was at a NEMF supported shows in Virginia where Taz went BOB over 2 national ranked dogs. Only a handful of people knew me--our win came as a big surprise to most outside the ring on the first day--and then we won on the second day. It was a wonderful weekend for us.

Taz was bred once--to my Maddie for her last and third litter. From this breeding, I got 2 females--my Vesta (Ch. Kiokee Vesta) and my Vidalia (Kiokee Vidalia). I never got a son from him, but I do have his daughters. Grand-daughter Reba has the same sparkle in her eye as Taz and the same mischievous streak. His spirit lives on.

Taz lived to be 10 years old, he laid down and left us one night. I buried him on the hill where he use to lie and watch over our home at night. Sleep well friend.

Kiokee Conqueror


Paternal Grand-Sire: Am.Can Ch. Colton's Beaugard (Fawn)

Sire: Rocky Top's Flaming Gambit (Apricot)

Paternal Grand-Dam: Ch. Rocky Top Dark Shadow (Apricot Brindle)

Maternal Grand Sire: BISS Ch. Pinehollows Caledonia's Jackson (Fawn)

Dam: Ch. Matic Lady Madolin of Kiokee (Fawn)

Maternal Grand Dam: Ch. Pinehollows Beansi Buffamatic (Fawn)

Hercules is a littermate to our Zena and Boudi's Grand-dam, Little Ann. In all my years, I have seen very few mastiffs who have his deep, rich apricot color. Hercules was owned and loved by my daughter, Amiee. He was a great big mush cake who hated to show, but loved people and all creatures. He was happiest just lying around the backyard playing with his little dog friends. He was a true example of a "gentle giant".

We only bred Herc once, to my Tina--and Midnight is the only puppy ever bred from Hercules. He was 8 years old when she was bred. He died when Midnight was 4 months old from complications secondary to renal failure. We hope to bred a lovely apricot grand-son sometime in 2007-2008.

Thank you Hercules for teaching us it's OK to just be a dog. Slept well.

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