The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 6 Sept 2020
Doesn’t time fly? I had my first training class since before lockdown and my operation earlier this week. I go with Elinor Anderson, who you will remember had three hovawarts over several years a while back, representing Wales in obedience at Crufts on one occasion with I think it was Nettle. Anyway, this was the first opportunity for us to go in over 6 months, although before all the difficulties it was at least once a month. It was brilliant to get proper training again, you don’t realise how much you have let it slip until an expert puts you through your paces. I am ashamed to say that our every-inch-a working-dog youngster Thursday was called, quite rightly on reflection, by our trainer nothing but a chubby, sleepy domestic pet !!....and I so want her to be a lean, muscled and trial-fit working dog. Never mind, I am …excuse the pun…back on track now, and both dog and handler are reducing their food intake sharply.

When talking to our club secretary Liz the other day, the subject of the older dog came up, I think as a consequence of John starting to take the human version of YuMove, because the results with our Acorn, now well into her twelfth year, have been so impressive, and you know with a dog there can’t be a placebo effect. Liz and Lynne have Mist, of course, who is Acorn’s age, and also her mother Drift, now rapidly closing in on fifteen. Apparently Drift had been experiencing restlessness at night, which Liz put down to her day-night balance being out of kilter. After trying various remedies, Liz tried dosing her with melatonin, produced naturally by the pineal gland, which can become less “active” in the older dog. This worked really well, and now everyone chez Liz gets a proper night’s sleep. I understand this drug helps humans with hyperactivity, restlessness, sleep disturbance and jet-lag, and is also thought to help in cases of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (dog Alzheimer’s)

Sadly, she also told me about two of Mist’s brothers who have died recently, and this adds to what has been a growing list over recent weeks, several of them males in that vulnerable age range of nine to twelve, although there have been a couple of younger boys too. It is always tragic to lose a friend, especially before what might be regarded as a good long innings, but after the hurt dulls down, happy memories will keep them alive in your heart. To reinforce that memory process, we plant a tree or bush in the name of the dog, so that each time you look at that plant, happy thoughts of good times past come flooding back.

Keep walking, the nights will soon be darker, keep well and hug your dogs every day.

Elaine Sharpe

01743 891310
This article was posted on: 07-Sep-20