Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Pondview Man in Black


CH Pondview Hawksmoor Best Case Scenario RN CGC TKN


Pondview Hawksmoor Hello Dolly

12 weeks


Friday, January 27, 2023

Not Just Labs

 I wrote this in 2009 as a personal essay model for my 4th grade students. Not sure why I never put it to my blog post but it is time. 

On the PETA website, I noted an outrageous generalized statement that reminded me of this piece and so prompted me to find it and post it now, 14 years later. Seems like a lifetime ago but clearly still relevant. The dogs that I wrote about in this piece are now gone except for Glory, who was only 2 at the time. She is now only 3 months shy of 16 years and although she doesn't jump for apples, forage for tomatoes and find a stuffed toy for her mouth, she does search for berries from the Bradford Pear and follows me about up and down the hill in the yard. 

Not Just Labs

By Cheryl Mousseau

                Labradors are often described as bouncy, enthusiastic, cheerful, with a tail-wagging attitude towards life. There are plenty of websites and books that give owners more information. For instance, the Labrador Retriever thrives on exercise and their athletic abilities make them great for hunting. They are even tempered and dependable, get along with other animals, eager to please and easy to train. While I would not disagree with any of these statements, these are definitely generalities. Every dog does have a personality type that is quite obvious to its owner.

            As a breeder, potential owners often contact me inquiring about Labrador puppies because they believe that a Lab will make a wonderful family pet. They ask me if my dogs are good with children, obedient, and calm. They want to know if they jump or dig or if they chew a lot. What some people need to know is that any dog can do all of these things. Dogs, even within a certain breed, are as diverse as people in their personalities.

Potential owners should definitely do their homework, ask questions, and make smart choices in the breed that fits their family and lifestyle. Even after they have made that decision, what many people don’t realize is that the puppy they bring home will never be exactly like their neighbor’s Lab, even when that puppy is an adult. This reminds me of a couple that had seemed to be the perfect choice for one of my puppies. After weeks of interviews, their names continued to be on my list. Still, something did not seem right to me, so I asked to make a home visit to see where my puppy was going to live. They told me that they loved the Lab down the street and hoped their puppy would grow up to be just like that. The wife showed me her white carpet and furniture and said that the dog would stay in the kitchen area and learn not to go beyond the threshold leading to the living room. My eyebrows went up. We walked outdoors to the perfectly landscaped yard. “Oh, a great pool!”, I commented. “My Labs love a swim in our pool.” However, I learned that the dog would not be allowed in the pool. They proceeded to show me an area under the hemlocks where they expected their puppy to go to the bathroom and then wondered if they should put up more fencing to protect the begonias planted along the borders of the shrubs.

Perhaps, I said politely, this is not the dog for you. I had already decided that this was not where my puppy would be living. How, I thought, would that pup ever be able to develop his unique personality. The people were upset with me, they were disappointed, they were angry because they really thought they would be good owners, and I am sure they would have tried. But what they wanted was the dog down the street. They were not ready to accept a unique little bundle of energy into their home and accept it for who it was.

Seven furry bodies crowd down the stairs. Lisle hangs back, Alex and Bounty have raced ahead to be down first but turn to make sure that everyone is following. Caroline, Glory and Meadow, scramble together, three wide all clamoring to hold onto the fluffy pink pig toy. That leaves James to walk with me, glued to my side, trying to keep my pace and share the step with me. Reaching the bottom, all six plus me, I turn back and coax Lisle to hurry along. As each one of my Labs repeats the daily routines, it makes me realize how uniquely different each one is. They are all dogs. They are all Labradors. Yet each of them is as different in their personalities as people are.

My Labradors are spread across generations. Some old, some middle-aged and  some young.  Lisle, now 12, and Bounty, 11,, are now showing their age. They are not as energetic as they used to be, quite content to spend many hours curled up in favorite places, like the leather couch, and snooze. They retire early and are happy to grab their treat rather than take the last let out of the night. The five others are ready at the door in a moments notice, day or night, and race to the kitchen at the first hint of food. They love attention, they love to be near my husband and me, and vie for attention whenever anyone new arrives. That is where the similarities end. Each one of my dogs’ stories would fill a book, easily proving their differences in personality.


Opening the door, the cold chill of winter hits my sleepy body. I pry Brad’s socks out of Meadow’s mouth, cleverly hidden in her Labrador muzzle. Every morning it is the same. Mostly it is socks but sometimes even underwear and if she makes it past me, we later find the dirty laundry strewn across our lawn. Bounty grabs a toy, much more obvious. No soft toys allowed outdoors. She always tries. Glory hesitates, dashes back for the large stuffed bone, but at the last moment abandons that for her large pink pig and races past me. She knows I will not stop her because she is the only one who understands that she must bring it back in. If she forgets, I say, “Toy, get your toy!” I marvel at her intense study of life as she whirls in her tracks and speeds back to the spot where she dropped her toy to retrieve it.

Predictably, I know who will be in first and who will still be out poking around. Bounty and Alex are the first at the door, so worried that they might miss out on their breakfast. Simultaneously, James, Caroline and Glory(carrying her toy) follow. I holler for Meadow and Lisle. I know what they are doing. Lisle is the oldest, at 12, she is slowing down. Her eyesight is not so sharp anymore and she hesitates on the shadowy garage stairs, but this is not why she and Meadow are the last ones in. They are both searching the yard for whatever they can pick up before I can get to it later. A disgusting habit which I have tried to break them of, I have finally resigned to a measure of prevention which means me getting out in the yard to pick up before they can do it. Not always possible at 5am in the dark of winter.

          Finally they are all in again. Meadow and Bounty begin their frantic whine yowl cry as though they have never been fed. Their whole bodies dance, feet barely touching the floor. Their frenzied behavior gets everyone else excited and the bowls cannot be placed quickly enough. Alex sloshes some of his food out of his bowl, predictably, every time, then cleans up when he is done. James leaves his vitamin pill in the bottom of his bowl, everyone else eats theirs. Meadow has moved her bowl 5 feet across the room in her frantic attempts to finish before the rest. The young girls, Glory and Caroline eat in their crates. Clang, clang, clang! Glory bangs her dish against the crate but not because she is bumping it while she eats. She is done but she pushes it purposefully, over and over, perhaps hoping that she will get my attention to let her out or give her more.

          “How can you tell them apart?” friends often ask. It is true that the black Labs look very similar. The two yellows are easy, since Meadow is a girl and Alex is a boy. Of course they really do look different. But I can tell them apart more by their behaviors and personalities rather than looks. Alex is the only one who will lay next to my husband on the couch and continually paw him to be petted. If my husband stops, Alex hits him with his paw again. The only dog that ever lies under the coffee table is Caroline, although if Alex abandons his spot on the couch she will often curl up until she gets too hot, then returning to her favorite spot again. James can be found lying on the dog bed on the opposite side of the room, sucking on his fox’s nose. He is very particular and only chooses the fox, however none of the other Labs suck on their toys. Glory makes sure that she chooses the larger couch and spreads completely out so even I have to squeeze into a small spot to sit down. Bounty and Lisle head upstairs to their beds early. It is as though they understand that they cannot compete for the prime spots. But maybe it is because they are happy to have the solitude of the bedroom before the rest join and crowd in later. Meadow heaves a big sigh,  as if trying to decide if the quest for the space next to Glory is worth it. Most often she chooses the rug but watches for her opportunity to take Glory’s coveted space.

          When they are outdoors, it is Glory who pulls up large clumps of grass and shakes them like they are living beings. It is Glory who hops into the vegetable garden to steal the tomatoes and Glory who nibbles the blueberries and jumps to reach the apples. Caroline kicks up her back legs like a rabbit and pounces like a cat. In the winter, it is Alex who pushes his head down into the snow, rolls to his back and slides downhill like a seal. We say it must be his father’s Canadian blood. James can always be spotted, waiting patiently, with his favorite blue ball hanging by the handle from his mouth. As the rest roam the yard, or romp and play, he sits and watches. Bounty will only retrieve a tennis ball. She loves tennis balls. Meadow loves to retrieve too but is not so picky. She will chase whatever she sees others are interested in, always trying to grab it away from them.

          The examples that prove my dogs’ unique personalities would fill volumes. Samuel D. Gosling, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin stated that many researchers are reluctant to believe that dogs have unique personalities. However, if you ask dog owners if they believe that their dog has a distinct personality, they would most certainly agree that they do. Dog personalities are real. I have 7 uniquely different furry personalities, just as different as each of us. Each one is special and just as parents love their children, I love them, for who they are. Not because they are Labs, not because they are my dogs, but because I know them as individuals. I know who they are. They are not ‘just Labs’.



Thursday, January 5, 2023

CH Pondview Hawksmoor Best Case Scenario CGC RN TKN "Case"

 Case is the son of Int CH Carpenny Scenario, the first litter bred in the US and only a few litters since that time. Such a special line breeding back to Carpenny Walpole and Hawksmoor Webster, who was the top stud dog in the UK in 1998-1999. He has a beautiful head and expression, easy temperament and short backed compact correct conformation. 

He has produced some lovely progeny.  

CH Pondview Hawksmoor Jazz Man CGC RN TKN "Louie"

Louie has 3, 5pt GCH majors. He has sired multiple litters with lovely sweet temperament, gorgeous heads and correct conformation. Check out all his clearances on his page. Two beautiful progeny here at Pondview, Amber and Dolly, can also be seen on their pages. His pedigree demonstrates strengths in Hawksmoor, Balrion, Windfall and Hyspire.