Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 in Review

Well, as for many folks--2009 was a long and at times, a difficult year for us. We had a lot of changes and experiences, but we all worked together and muddled through it all.

We lost Mitch's dad in March 2009. Pop developed kidney failure and required dialysis 3 times a week. It took everyone's cooperation to care for him, but we were able to keep him at home. Pop was a proud man, strong willed and a bit stubborn--but we loved him and honored his wishes. The last few months were hard, but he knew we loved him. We will miss him.

In April, Mitch went out on the road driving long distance. For 6 months, he gave it his best shot--but he just was not happy being away from home. So back home he came. He got lucky, and took a job here close to home--so now I get to cook every night! LOL!

We had another big event in April--my daughter Amiee and her husband, JR became the proud parents of a baby boy--John Richard Snow. FINALLY! We have a boy in this family! Needless to say, we all think he is very special. John is named for his grandfathers--Amiee and JR's dads. I think he is going to be a redhead--so he does have just a little bit of Cook (my maiden name) in him after all! LOL!

Both my old ladies--Vidalia and Zena made it through the winter. Zena had been completely deaf for the last 3 years, and her eye sight was failing her. At one point during the winter, she stopped eating--and I felt sure the end was near. But she improved and began eating again, and was her old self again. Zena would spend most of the day lying on the south side of the house, waiting and watching for me to come home each day. She would always greet me as I opened the car door to give me a kiss. Vi developed problems with her right front leg--Initially I thought is was arthritis in an old elbow break--but an x-ray showed a tumor and we suspected the worst.

Both these grand old ladies left me in April. It was a sad day and extremely hard to say good bye to both of them on the same day. Zena was 1 month short of 13 and Vi was 2 months short of 12 years. These old girls were the last of my Maddie daughters and the heart of my breeding program. I see so much of each of them in their kids and grand kids. They will always be special in my heart.

In May, we went to Fontana Dam, NC and the MCOA National Speciality. So many beautiful Mastiffs from all over the country--what an experience. Diesel got 3rd in Open Fawn--Jimbo made the cut in the 12-18 month class, Gracie was shown in the BBE class, and Cooter was showed in the BOB competition. It was a great experience and one I hope to be able to repeat again.

We also showed at a few shows in June. Gracie's litter sister--Hope (Ch. Kiokee Lionhearted Hope and a Prayer) won BOB over 7 male specials at the Asheville, NC Show. Hope was proudly shown by her owner. Lillian Tolley Welenc. It was a wonderful win for Hope and Lillian.

In July, we finished Gracie (Ch. Kiokee Lionhearted Amazin" Grace) at the Greenville, SC shows. Gracie finished from the BEE class and is qualified to be entered at Eukanuba for 2009 & 2010. Gracie also turned 2 in July. When we get her health testing completed, we have a lovely breeding planned for her in 2010.

We spent most of August and September raising a litter of puppies--Rose & Leo's-- that we co-owned. It was a lot of work, but it was a good change. This was the first litter we have had here in almost 2 years. Rose was a wonderful mother and she produced some lovely puppies.

In October, we welcomed a new face here at Kiokee. A beautiful bullmastiff girl--Starrdogs SYLO at Kiokee--bred by Kathy Roberts of Acworth, Georgia. From day one, she came into this house and stole our hearts--esp. Mitch's. Sylo is a bundle of energy and very different from the Mastiffs! She is best friends with Gidget. She reminds he of her sire--Ch. Starrdogs He's A Player--who was one of the top ranked Bullmastiffs in 2009. We look forward to showing her in 2010.

In November, Our Mona delivered us 2 beautiful Brindle boys that look so much like their sire--Boss. Sadly we lost her a few hours after the c-section. Although, I know this is a chance we take anytime we breed one of our girls--Mona was the first Mother I have lost in 25+ years of breeding. The first few days were rough, but both of these little men (T-Beau and Piggy) were robust and healthy. I think they will do their Momma proud.

We hope to get back out and start showing again in 2010. We have some nice breedings planned and we have a few changes planned for 2010. We hope that all of our friends and family have a warm and happy holidays.

We wish you a happy and healthy 2010. Catie