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A cautionary tale - all people and places and dogs in this article are fictitious. The original author wishes to remain anonymous.

I found this excellent forum almost a year ago, and I am an enthusiastic reader of all the stories and discussions. Over the last few weeks I have had an experience worth writing about.

A New Litter

This story starts in the summer time a year or so ago, we had just had a litter. We found new homes for the puppies leaving us. One of the boys went abroad. The new owner (I will call Mr. X), visited him constantly during the first eight weeks after birth. We asked about where Mr. X lived and if he had a garden etc… he answered that he was moving to a house with a garden, because he currently lived in an up-stairs flat. He took the puppy home with lots of good advice about how to bring up a puppy. Mr. X seemed highly committed and gave us assurances about the new house and care of the puppy. Mr. X looked so happy with his new puppy, Elton.

We met him and Elton a few months later at a dog show. Elton looked good, a little thin, seemed to love Mr. X, but we were alarmed by the development of his legs.  But Mr. X said that Elton should improve now as he had no stairs to climb anymore.

At the next show, the judge told him that she couldn't give Elton a positive judgment, as he was too thin and his legs too bad. Mr. X was very angry and left the show without saying goodbye to us.

We wrote several emails to him, but we didn't get any answer until several months later.

Months to Live

Eventually we had an email reply, in which he accused us of selling him a sick puppy. Elton was terminally ill, a renal disease with heavy diarrhea. He would only live for a few more months. There was absolutely nothing that could help him. Naturally we asked him for the diagnosis and clinical findings. We offered to take Elton back, so that we could take him to our vet.

He answered, that he didn't want to unsettle Elton in his last days, he would not bring him back. So we wrote again offering to fetch him. His answer was a blackmailing letter, that he would inform the breed club and veterinary profession that we used ‘bad' bitches. He demanded a lot of money to stop this from happening.

We were lost for words!!!!!

We wrote back, offering to contribute towards the cost of treatment, on the proviso that we could take Elton back. We even considered dog-napping Elton, but MR. X had moved house without giving anybody his new address.

A horrible week passed, we didn't know, if Elton was alive, or already dead. But then Mr. X. agreed to our terms and return Elton to us. An exchange was arranged at a motorway service area.

The Exchange

On the morning before the proposed exchange my partner telephoned me, very upset, we have to fetch Elton immediately, because he wouldn't survive the night – or so Mr. X had told him. We left our families and diners behind and drove to the meeting place. Meanwhile I called the vet to warn them that we would be coming with a very sick deerhound.

At the crowded service area, we met MR X. Elton was confined in a cage only half as big as the boot. What a shock to see him in such a little cage!!  Then Mr. X took the money, gave us the vaccination card and gave us Elton without any lead. He drove away. It looked as if we had just conspired to make a drug deal.

We rushed to the clinic, thinking it was life or death for Elton. The waiting room of the clinic was really overcrowded with dogs and cats. Elton was still alive. The vet did a blood count, Elton had diarrhea and was almost starving. However, we could take him home! There was nothing wrong with Elton that couldn't be cured with antibiotics and special prescription food. There was no renal problem at all.

What a relief, and what a feeling of rage against Mr. X!

Back at Home

But we had a problem, because we thought, that Elton was to stay at the clinic, we didn't have a place for him to stay immediately and all our girls naturally decided to be in heat together. Therefore, I took him home to my husband and his parents who had been staying with us, but were not altogether really in love with big dogs… My parents in law, left very early the next morning…..

Elton smelt, I never had a dog with such a foul smell. The first two nights I rose every four hours, until the antibiotics started working. Elton had two kinds of bacteria causing the diarrhea. So I learnt something about zoonosis, googling the bacteria, what a luck no humans started with diarrhea at that time!

The second day we showered Elton and now we had a good smelling dog with huge appetite. Day by day Elton changed from a weak apathetic dog to a 90cm puppy from hell, doing nothing but deerie mischief! It was such a good feeling seeing Elton become a normal deerie.

The whole January until now (today we got the papers back!!) Mr. X continued to make trouble. He wrote to the club with his lies, but we set the record straight and got help and assistance. Then Mr. X accused us of steeling Elton, that he was still the owner. We consulted a lawyer and wrote some very angry emails. With all that help Elton is now officially our dog again. He will stay with us as long as he lives (hopefully a very long time)!

We are absolutely adamant that this Mr. X will never get Elton back or any other deerhound. He almost let Elton die, probably because he wasn't successful at the shows. It is almost unbelievable how people could pretend to be someone who loves dogs and in reality only loves the money.

Some further advice for Breeders:

  • Keep written records of everything.
  • If we had paid the full amount of the purchasing price when we took Elton back, that can be interpreted as a restitution of the contract of sale. Even if Mr. X only confirms the amount or if we'd had one or more witnesses.
  • We informed our kennel club immediately after the first email from Mr. X. We sent all emails to our breed club as well, so that they were informed, when the blackmail and accusations arrived.
  • A good vet, for a second opinion.
  • Essential is a lawyer who knows his stuff.
  • Good nerves, friends and if all else fails… enough money!
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The narrative in this great video is as old as time with the central theme of the hunted and the hunter, the hunter being the horned god known variously as Cernunnos, a European name, or by his British name Herne and as Master of the Hunt known as Herne's Rade he is depicted with the antler of a stag or horns of a ram which have associations with fertility and, of course, he is accompanied by his pack of hounds. He is featured on the Celtic Gundestrup Cauldron for example. The hunt motif can also be interpreted less literally as it could be a metaphor for the rounding up of souls to bring them to the otherworld but he is more usually the god of the woodlands, animals and male fertility but there are other stories some connecting him to Windsor Forest
Katherine Briggs, a famous academic who has written widely on the world of fairy, relates that in 1915 one of the teachers at her school in Edinburgh told her that the father of this teacher, a retired colonel with apartments in Windsor Castle, used to see Herne the Hunter on moonlight nights standing under his oak. She also relates a story she was told in 1964 by a member of the English Folk Dance and Song society which concerned some youths up to mischief in Windsor Forest one of whom found a horn in the bushes and proceeded to blow it. 'The horn gave such a groan and a blast he nearly fainted and as he stood shaking there was a terrible yell among the trees and great hounds baying.' Some of the other lads made it to the safety of a church while the pursuit continued and they listened to the hounds baying and heard the twang of an arrow and the victim's scream but there was no arrow through him nor any hounds or hunter to be found.
Other motifs in the narrative are the old men and women with symbolic objects such as the fish, the bird which they hold up. Finn/ Fionn/ Fingal, for example, gained his esoteric wisdom when he burnt his finger on the salmon of knowledge by accident and then licked his finger to cool it.
The narrative ends with the hunter and his hounds meeting the hunted who is then transformed by light as essentially both are in reality one. The hounds by chance, who I have to say performed brilliantly, also brought out the duality in the contrast of the black with the silver hound.
And you thought this was just a video!

Thanks to the Helps family and, of course, Beardswood Marmion and Greyfriars Gille of Beardswood as well as 'After the Ice' themselves.

©Scottish-Deerhound.Com. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permission.

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Manticorns Inaria - Inna

It’s been a tough decision, but we’ve settled on a winner for the cutest puppy competition. I emailed the winner, Pia Erasmie in Sweden to ask about her beautiful hound.


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We coundn't go on like this!We have two dogs and a young son. We often travel with large amounts of luggage visiting dog shows and family around the country. We bought a used Fiat Scudo ‘Combi’ van which is essentially the same as the Peugeot Expert and the Citroen Dispatch. There are two rows of three seats and a large ‘boot’. We needed to make the car dog friendly with the following requirements:

• a tailgate guard allowing us to open the back doors open, but keep the car secure;
• a dog guard behind the rear seats to keep the dogs out of the passenger area; and
• a removable divider to create separate areas for dogs and luggage.

Having looked at various guards in other peoples’ cars we shortlisted Athag, manufacturers of the Guardsman dog crates and guards.

After an initial telephone conversation and quote for the work I drove the van to Athag’s premises near Atherstone to discuss our requirements. They made the basic frame whilst I was on site. There were various factors I hadn’t considered and Athag’s experienced staff knew all the pitfalls. They quickly came up with a design and also suggested some extra features. Removeable HatchThese included two ‘escape’ hatches (easily removable panels); one to be placed at floor level in the divider to allow the dogs to travel between the two halves of the boot, and the other to be placed at high level behind the back seats. This would allow me to carry long objects such as ladders inside the van without having to remove the guards.

Welding at AthagThe dog guards took about four weeks to produce. Athag's staff have a demonstraited a thorough understanding of our needs and requirements, they are without doubt extremely experienced and skilled. I returned to Athag to have the completed guards fitted. Athag can also arrange delivery if required.

The guards are fitted without any drilling or damage to the vehicle. Rubber backed metal feet are tightened into position then locked into place. The end result is a very stable and strong ‘structure’. On the drive home the guards were silent, no rattling and no creaking.

The quality of fittings is very high. The guards themselves are coated in a tough black finish, which is very stylish. There is a choice of coatings; the toughest is a zinc coating (silver in colour). For aesthetic reasons we chose the black finish. The doors are lockable either with padlocks or optional fitted key operated locks. We chose to use our own padlocks.

Quality Fittings

Three months on our guards are functioning perfectly. We have made several long journeys requiring the car to be fully loaded with dogs and luggage. There has been no movement in the position of the guards and they are still solid and silent.

Fitted Guards


We have stopped at motorway services with a fully loaded car and been able to leave the dogs in a safe and comfortable environment. We can access the luggage without risking letting the dogs out and vice versa. Everything is safe and secure.

I did catch the guards with the sharp end of some copper pipe, but this easily touched up with a dab of black paint. They have suffered no damage through normal day to day use.

The design offers us a lot of flexibility without having to remove the bulk of the structure. In our old car we regularly had to remove all the guards and store them in the house. This was a long job and the guards were bulky and difficult to store.

If we are going away we put the dogs in one half and the luggage in the other. Once at our destination we unpack and remove the hatch, which is small enough to store behind the front seats, and the dogs have the full space. Our dogs are lurchers and two fit comfortably in one half of the back. There is only room for one deerhound per side; this is a limitation of the car, not the guards.

We paid £620.52 for the guards. Spending the money has meant our car is the perfect vehicle for our needs, without compromise. We simply factored the cost of the guards into the cost of buying the car. If I needed to ‘convert’ another vehicle I would buy them again in an instant.

We always secure the rear doors of the van using a Ventlock device. This allows you to lock the doors open.

This review is independent. We paid for our guards and had no obligation to purchase from Athag. Other manufactures produce guards and cages. I have included a list of useful resources below below.

Thats better!Athag produce custom made dog guards and cages. They are also listed in the deerhound directory.
Ventlock manufacture a device for locking your doors open.
Barjo and Lintran also produce dog guards and cages.


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Congratulations to Lonnkyle Enya of Tannochbrae JC, the ultimate sleepy deerhound!

Sleepy Deerhound

Well, I'm just thrilled to be a finalist!!! That photo of Enya was a once-in-a-lifetime situation of having a camera close to hand at the right time (for a change!) -- I'm so glad others have enjoyed it.


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