Monday, August 31, 2015

Isabella - Monday, August 31, 2015

Jennifer Sanders and Isabella (officially Stefsstells Ingalo Isabella, bred in Iceland by Stefanía Sigurðardóttir) earned a BIS (Best In Show) at the International dog show here in Michigan last weekend. (I will add a show photo as soon as one is available.) Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Isabella, BIS
Mornings the east view is never the same - duh - of course. It's delightful watching the first light and then the sun rising with either a cup of coffee or a cup of English breakfast tea. Mmmm!

This bonsai hibiscus has never had as many flowers as it has had this summer. They are about the size of my thumbnail and a lovely, very pale pinkish-blue, which does not show up in the photos; Korpur loves to eat them! Although it's not a classically beautiful bonsai form, the flowers more than compensate.

I planted three different bare root climbing roses along the south fence of my east facing yard this spring. They've survived, in spite of the rabbits, and perhaps next year I'll get some vertical growth (sleep, creep, leap). Regardless, the few flowers have been lovely. I am not a rose person. I like tough plants; normally I plant Rugosa roses for that reason

British mysteries are my favorites. This photo was taken from "Endeavour" because of the Buddleia (butterfly bush) in the foreground. Because of the milder climate than what we have here in Michigan, butterfly bushes grow and spread almost like weeds, like dandelions.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Vinlands Sisters

The Vinlands Icelandic Sheepdog girls born last February15, 2015 recently had their six month birthdays, have entered their teenage months, and have shot up in height.

Vinlands Elisabeth - Lizzie

Vinlands Kathleen - Kitty
Vinlands Tully Lulu - Tully
Vinlands Kippa Jane - Kippa - First Point
St. Clairsville Kennel Club Show (Ohio)
AKC Judge Ms Kristin L. Francis and Handler Joe T. Caton
Females are sometimes overlooked by breeders when planning litters. It is my opinion that they provide  half, and probably more, of the potential for their puppies. It is not wise to consider only the male's contribution when  planning a litter, in my opinion.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


Here's a note from David, Melanie, and Bastian and some recent photos of their Icelandic Sheepdog puppy Vinlands Tully Lulu.

It's been quite the busy summer.  Tully will be 6 months old this weekend and I can't believe how fast the time goes by.  Here are some photos of Tully from the last two months. (Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

Posing on Cobblestone beach.  She is very striking.

She's a bit over 23lbs is cutting in her final set of molars. 

Tully enjoying a good splash in the pool.
She just finished her first training class (not counting puppy kindergarten).  She started out as the "Barkiest" of the bunch but by the end she was a perfect lady.  She is quite smart and was really enjoying her final few classes.  I can't wait for her advanced class and recall class we'll be doing over the next 2 months.  Such fun! 

 Tully enjoying her first camping trip.

Tully has been very busy over the summer going on camping, hiking and beach trips.  She got to watch an amazing 4th of July fireworks presentation on the Washington coast and had no issues with them (we worked on that beforehand). 

 Bastian and Tully are eating alpine strawberries (which is allowed).

Everyone that meets Tully loves her and the breed.  I enjoyed getting to see the recent photos of Lizzie as she and Tully are so similar. 
 Tully and her best friend Amber are both exhausted after romping around for an hour.

I saw you are contemplating repeating the breeding.  Based on how amazing the pups are I would lean that way myself, assuming you and Totty are up for it. 
 Tully loves to dig in the sand and is quite good at it.
(She's only allowed to dig in sand.)
Take a look back at the recent blog for Lizzie! They really look like sisters, don't they? They both have sable (darker hairs) along with their tannish hair. Tully's are black, Lizzie's are chocolate-brown. If you've never tried Swiss Alpine Strawberries, you really must. Eating them is almost like eating perfume. They are amazing. Mine are white when ripe and I prefer them because the birds don't realize they are ripe. I do not share mine with my dogs however! Ha!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Returning from an ophthalmologist appointment I came across several Lythrum plants along side the road a few miles from home. Lythrum is an alien species which means it's not native to North America. It used to be very widespread because it had escaped from people's gardens and prospered. Then people declared war on it - I suppose because it's a non -native (alien) species. However, I've always loved it because it's very pretty and it thrives.

I don't understand "why" war was declared on them. Dandelions are aliens; so are phragmites, several kinds of orchids, etc. and they live relatively unscathed.

In point of fact a great many plants we routinely grow for food and for beauty are "alien" to North America. Who gets to decide which ones are good aliens and which are bad ones. (That's a rhetorical question.)

I would not be surprised to see them escape along my stream.

This weekend is the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Royal Oak. It's a huge event which brings close to two million people to show off classic cars as they drive slowly along Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Bloomfield Hills. My former home was just off the main staging area. I do NOT miss the Cruise.

A storm is rolling in and bringing Turner clouds along with it. Did anyone paint clouds better? Does anyone? Just asking. Click on photos to enlarge them.

Went to dinner at Uri's last night and then to The Barn for a very good play: - "The Outgoing Tide". I left at intermission; the subject matter was the aging husband's increasing dementia and it brought back too many memories.

Tomorrow Calvin and Totty's pups will be six months old.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I am so incredibly lucky to have the ever changing gorgeous views of Lake Huron from my home.

The white hollyhock is a volunteer from my Royal Oak garden. I noticed one lone seedling germinating last summer. It's not where I would have planted it but volunteers always have the right to stay where they take root. I will scatter some seeds around the property.  Two stalks have blown over but that one plant is putting on an impressive display.

I'm actually surprised that my garden is doing so well; this is only my second summer here. Yes, I am one zone further north so things come up later and go dormant sooner but I do not care.

Below is the view of my north garden and the house from what Jon calls "the Point'. Thankfully, it's virtually impossible to sit anywhere in my yard without one or more dogs by me. I love that. The sun shines brightly on the faces of Kata and Totty almost obscuring them.

The next few shots were taken from the path along the back of the north garden. Things are doing very well there. The tangle of undergrowth, grapevines, broken bottles, intact bottles, spent shotgun shells,  and jetsam and flotsam. ( Jetsam is short word for jettison. Flotsam comes from the French word floter, to float.) So I know I've not used the two words correctly. However, "odds and ends" sounds rather ordinary and some of these found objects are kind of nice.

Faithful Kata

Monday, August 10, 2015


Icelandic Sheepdog puppy Vinlands Kippa Jane has been doing some moderate and low stress agility obstacles. Suzanne, Kippa's guardian, has exposed her to some agility obstacles like the tunnel, the A-Frame, etc. and KJ enjoys doing them.

Kippa emerging from her tunnel

Kippa tunneling

Note the tossed ball to make tunnels a game

Kippa making "contact" on an A-Frame.

Puppies and young dogs are anxious to learn and to explore new things. It's extremely important to get them out in the world where they can meet new people and other dogs. They need to be socialized early in order for them to develop normally and integrate into their world successfully.

Enroll puppies in classes for their benefit and for yours too. I believe that Icelandic Sheepdogs are one of the smartest and friendliest breeds of dogs around; just like human babies need exposure to new  places, people, objects, and experiences in order for their minds to develop normally, it is critical to take your puppies out in the world in order for their minds and temperaments to develop normally.

Puppies will do anything you ask of them. However, please don't ask them to do too much. Studies have shown that puppies should not run a lot, or jump a lot, or play a lot. Until their bones have finished growing it is possible to damage the soft growing ends of the bones by excessive "playing".

Normally children and puppies play until they are tired and then take little naps or rests. Urging them to run, jump, or play longer may result in irreversible damage to their bones. Monitor their activity and don't ask them to run with you when you jog or ride a bike, go for long walks, jump over and over and over, etc. They'll do it, of course, just to please you and because it's fun. But they should not.

Kippa has two at-genes and therefore is black & tan. She also has Irish spotting which means she has some white, in her case on her chest and toes. She is a gorgeous tricolor. (See previous blog entry.)


Here's a recent short note from Donna who along with husband Dr. Robert are the guardians of their Vinlands Elisabeth. In a few days (August 15, 2015) this year's Icelandic Sheepdog litter will be six months old. Wow! That's hard for me to believe. I'm going to try and post recent six month old photos of all six puppies in the next few days.

I've been wondering if I should repeat this breeding. The puppies from this litter are gorgeous - imo. Should I?

"Here are a few current pictures of the little girl.  She continues to grow like a weed.  I'm very pleased with her. Please fill free to use any you wish for your blog."

Lizzie looks like she is going to have a lot of sable on her back.

When a tan shaded dog has lots of black hairs mixed in with any of the tan shade colors from cream, wheaten, beige, tan, yellow, yellow gold, gold, red gold, red, etc., I call the resulting black hairs "sable".

Sableing should not be confused with tricolor. Tricolor dogs can be either black & tan with white or chocolate & tan with white. The gene for black & tan (and chocolate & tan) is called the at-gene. Dobermans, Rottweilers, some German Shepherds, Welsh Terriers, Airedale Terriers, etc. have two at-genes and therefore are black & tan.


Icelandic Sheepdogs also have Irish spotting genes so they also almost always have some white on their bodies usually on their feet, sometimes up their legs, on the tips of their tails, often as collars or half collars, as blazes, forehead "stars", white bellies, etc.

Icelandic Sheepdogs often have at least three colors. Lizzie has three colors. Tan. Chocolate. White. She has some chocolate hairs because she has two b-genes which turn any black hairs into chocolate-brown hairs. Her sister Tully in Oregon has only one b-gene so her black hairs are really black. She is also a three color dog.

Technically only dogs that have two at-genes and are therefore either black & tan with white or chocolate & tan with white are actually referred to as "tricolors". I know how confusing that is. Three colors is not the same as tricolors. Oy!

We're about to have a thunderstorm here which means I could lose my satellite connection and anything I've typed so far so I'm posting this now.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Courtney sent an update on Vinlands Bangsi her Icelandic Sheepdog.

This last weekend we went camping up in Cobscook bay and Bangsi spent his first night in a tent! We also took him over to Campobello International Park in Canada for the day. Here are some photos of his escapades.
Courtney, Jeff, Bangsi
He did very well camping. He was not sure about the tent at first, but he got used to it very quickly. The border agents were quite enthralled with him as well. He is always much loved wherever he goes.

Clicking on photos enlarges them.

One of my co-residents has a Cavalier King Charles and they love to play together. He went over to his buddy's house the other day and got to play free range in their fenced yard with his little friend while the adults had dinner out on the patio.

He is also getting along much better with his big sister the cat these days. They will even snuggle sometimes now although he can still get a little over excited for her liking. All in all he is just a delight!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Are these 'Turner' clouds or what? Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Sunset - looking east over Lake Huron
Sunset looking east

Sunset looking east

Sunrise looking east

The weather news this morning showed two areas of rain near the Canadian coast of Lake Huron. While I cannot see Canada from my home and I cannot see boats in Canadian waters, I can see clouds over Canada. Sometimes the storms are amazing.

I am north of Port Sanilac very close to the Huron county/Sanilac county border which is between Bad Axe and Port Sanilac. Looking at the photo of the TV weather below you can see the two "clouds" above the timer near the Canadian shoreline.

 Looking at the clouds on the horizon in the photo below you can see the two areas below the clouds where rain is falling on the Canadian waters of Lake Huron.

Sunrise with rain looking east

Sunrise with rain looking east