Family Fun Day (Chesapeake Mastiff Club Fun Match)

Spanky had a little family reunion today. We went to the Chesapeake Mastiff Club Fun Match for a little pre-show practice. “Practice” started by throwing Spanky in the run with his cousins Charlie and Cayenne to burn off some of his excess energy and excitement!

Spanky and Charlie (Woodmarks Flirt N With Fire)

Cayenne (SpiceWoodMarks Sheza Spicy Blond)

Charlie, Spanky and Cayenne

His cousin Ryan was the next to arrive and Spanky went for round two with his new friend.

Kelly, Spanky and Ryan

Ryan stretched his legs in the practice ring. Handlers are for suckas!

Ryan (Candy Lanes Fields of Athenry)

Ryan (Candy Lanes Fields of Athenry)

Spanky’s little half brothers and sister also came out to play!

Baldur (Himinbjorg puppy)

Leif (Himinbjorg puppy)

Ambrosia (Himinbjorg puppy)

He made a new friend in Clio, who at 7 months, had the same ideas of fun and pouncing as Spanky and the two of them watched eagerly from the sidelines.

Clio (Greiner Hall Making History)

Spanky and John

And of course, the family reunion wouldn’t be complete without some updated photos of Spanky with his Daddy Lincoln (CH Woodmarks Lincoln of Goldleaf). The resemblance between them is wonderful to watch as it unfolds. With any luck, he’ll continue to take after his Dad in both looks and personality.

Daddy Lincoln and Spanky

Daddy Lincoln and Spanky

Diane, Daddy Lincoln, Spanky and Me

For the full set of photos from the day, click on the Photo Album

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Woodmarks Diesel RE, CGC, TDI (07/05/2005 – 09/04/2010)

Kisses from Diesel

I know that this is Spanky’s blog, so you’ll have to excuse this little excursion.  Today is the Rainbow Bridge Anniversary for our first mastiff, Diesel.  It feels right to post this here, since I know we never would have gotten Spanky if we had not loved Diesel as deeply as we did.  I think of him often and what I would do if I could have just one more day with my sweet boy.  I miss him so…

One Fine Day

We would wake early
I wouldn’t waste a single minute

We would go to the creek
Your favorite friends would meet us there
You would all splash around 
Until finally you’d find a deep spot and lay down in it.

Later I’d spray you with the hose
While you tried to catch the water in your mouth
And we’d sit in the grass while you dried 
Snoozing a little and watching the neighbors
Children would stop and say hello
And you’d thump your tail for them

Then we’d take a nap together
Snuggling in bed
You were a great napper

I’d grab a book and sit on the balcony with you
The cats would rub against you
I’d share watermelon cubes with you
And you’d wrestle with your Daddy

At the end of that fine day, I’d whisper in your ear
How you made my life better, happier, fuller
How much I loved you, and still do
And how you changed my life forever.


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Camp Jarvis

Spanky visited Camp Jarvis for the first time since he was only a few months old. He had a blast running around with his big brother Jaybear, who can still make him look like a pipsqueak! I was happy to see Spanky give Teagan the proper respect as Queen of the household, and also how nicely he played with all the other pups who were visiting too.

Jaybear and Spanky on the run

"Follow Me!"

"Hey, we're not done already, are we?"

"Come on Brudder! Get up and play with me."

Alright Kid. You asked for it!

Jaybear resting

Spanky was also thrilled by the discovery of Pat’s baby pool. Good thing, it has nice strong sides or Spanky would have crushed it. It took him a few tries, but he finally figured out how to squish his big ole body so he could “submerge.”

Spanky discovers the baby pool

"Hmm... this could be better."

"I think I've almost got it."

"Oh yeah, that's the ticket."

And then finally, Jaybear showed off his water catching skills!

Spanky and Jaybear play with the hose

Jaybear catching water droplets

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Blue Ribbon Baby!

It’s official!  Spanky is a show dog.

For his debut, we competed in the Southern Maryland Kennel Club Dog Show at the Bel Alton Fairgrounds on July 2, 2011.  Thanks to Pat Jarvis for the wonderful photos! 

The show catalog and results:

We arrived early so I could walk Spanky around a bit and let him get used to things.  He was THRILLED to be there.  I had to keep a 2-3 foot radius from the other dogs though, because as far as Spanky was concerned, the dog show was some new and fabulous dog park.  He couldn’t wait to meet all the people and other dogs.  

Spanky waiting ringside

In the ring, I couldn’t have been prouder of my boy!  The judge caught us a bit by surprise and I didn’t get a chance to fully stack him up before she started her exam.  But Spanky showed off his bite and bits like a champ.
Stacking for the judge

He moved out and gaited just like we practiced and wagged his happy little tail the whole time.

Spanky gaiting


Winners Dog Line-up

 We went home with our first blue ribbon: 1st place in the 6-9 month puppy dog class! 
1st Place in the 6-9 Month Puppy Dog Class

For our 2nd show, we went to the Catoctin Kennel Club Dog Show at the Howard County Fairgrounds on July 7, 2011.  Thanks to Kim Blankenship for the wonderful photos! 

The show catalog and results:

 Everyone warned me that this particular site is difficult, but I was still not prepared.  It was noisy and miserably hot, with very little room to move the dogs around, but Spanky did me proud once again.  He was completely unphased by all the commotion.  The heat was another story and I filled his bowl three times while we were waiting and he kept laying down on the concrete to cool off.
As it turns out Spanky is a patriot.  At the start of the dog show, they started playing the National Anthem and everyone turned and was very respectful .  Spanky noticed what was going on and sat up to see what everyone was looking at! 

Spanky listening to the national anthem

Such a busy-body:  watching all the other breeds in the ring while we waited our turn.

Spanky waiting to go in the ring


By the time it was our turn, Spanky was wiped, but he stacked up and and gave it his all. 

Stacking for the judge

Spanky on the move

The judge won points from Spanky by squeaking a little toy to get his attention: a big plus in Spanky’s eyes.  And Spanky got 1st Place in the 6-9 Month Puppy Dog Class and Reserve Winner’s Dog for his effort!

Spanky says, "Give me the ribbon!"

 But we were both very happy to get out of there and into the air conditioned car.

Packing up

 New ribbons for the wall!


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Spanky Learns to Swim

So I had this crazy idea that I wanted Spanky to learn to swim. My logic was as follows: any mastiff who lives long enough is probably going to get arthritis. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great to introduce swimming when Spanky is young so that when he is older, he can enjoy the therapeutic aspects of it? Plus, I figured Spanky was just bold enough and nosy enough to be teach-able in this way.

I don’t think I’ve even mentioned that my nut-puppy, who will stick his head into the dryer, the refrigerator, the shower (while I’m in it), the sprinklers and the hose… will not put his Princess paws into a puddle. That’s right. After a rain, this puppy will walk all the way around to avoid getting his paws wet. So I figured this might be a challenge.

I looked online and I found a place that is pretty close to us: The Canine Fitness Center
in Crownsville, MD and I made an appointment.

I was surprised how large the pools were, since I thought they looked like two little wading pools in the photos online:

The Canine Fitness Center Pools

I think we were both a little anxious at first. Me, because I really wanted it to go well and I really had no idea what to expect. I think Spanky was feeding off of me a bit as place was like nowhere else he had ever seen before, but as always, he walked into this new situation with such enthusiasm! He was happy that the lobby was fully of toys and people happy to pet him.

Waiting in the lobby

The first step was getting fitted for a life jacket.

Safety First!

Our trainer, Seth was very patient and encouraging with Spanky, who needed a little coaxing to get into the pool. But once he was in, I was surprised and so pleased by how well Spanky did! He swam around the pool like a champ.

Getting to know Seth, the Trainer

No way, Jose

I'm outta here!

First steps in the pool

Incredibly, this boy never once tucked his tail. I’m constantly amazed by how willing Spanky is to try new things. The dogs stay on a long lead at first to keep them from trying to climb out the side of the pool, but after only two laps, Seth set Spanky free and he just followed me around the pool, swimming free. What a brave puppy!

Life with Spanky is FUN and the video from his Swimming Adventure are at the end of this clip:

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Best in Play

Spanky went to the Chesapeake Mastiff Club Fun Match today. He had a blast leaping on any dog that ventured within reach and torturing his littermate sister, Darla.

It was also Spanky’s first long car ride, so I was a little anxious about how it would go. He only recently started riding loose in the cargo space of my station wagon and I was very happy with his good behavior! Spanky slept most of the trip and I only saw his head pop up in my rear view mirror a few times, and then he entertained himself with a squeaky toy in the back. This was a wonderful reward for all our training: this was a puppy who cried and whined horribly for his first few car rides. Multiple short car rides per week with yummy goodies, followed by fun and games have paid dividends!

Per his usual self, he popped out of the back upon our arrival, happy to explore the new grounds. Not a hint of hesitation! Well, maybe one hint. But it was short lived, and who wouldn’t initially run when a 240 lb mastiff comes barreling at you? That’s right. Spanky met his Daddy, Lincoln! It took only a second for Spanky to see that this big guy was all love and sweetness and then he was quickly wrestling and jumping.

Our first practice effort in the “show ring” was less spectacular. Spanky was perfectly happy to run around the ring, but more at a gallop than a gait. Good thing we start handling classes in two weeks!

All 100+ pictures from our fun day

A mini family reunion!

Spanky, Daddy Lincoln and Litter-mate sister Darla

Spanky, Daddy Lincoln and Litter-mate sister Darla

Spanky’s litter-mate sister, Darla

Pretty Darla

Darla and Frank

Darla and Robert

Phaeton tries to make a break for it!

Phaeton tries to make a break for it

Handsome Phaeton

Gorgeous Cayenne



Baby Bentley

Diane and Bentley

Handsome Rowdy


John and Rowdy

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Say Cheese!

My friend Bryan is a talented photographer who would probably own all manner of giant smooshy-faced puppies, if he could. He has a knack for capturing the animal’s spirit and personality, that can only come from being a true lover of all creatures, whether furry or scaly! Here’s his website: Bryan Sirotkin Photography

About a year ago, we scheduled a photoshoot for two very special subjects… my boy Diesel and his French bulldog puppy, Ziggy. The boys had a blast and were a huge hit! (See their video below)

So of course it seemed fitting that we would introduce Ziggy to Spanky. Spanky was smitten with Ziggy and spent the entire shoot chasing Ziggy down and using his giant paws to his advantage.

Ziggy and Spanky

Spanky took the photoshoot very seriously.

Spanky sitting pretty

At least for as long as his puppy attention span could manage (read: about 15 seconds).

Wanna play?

He made sure the lens was clean and freshly washed.

Spanky looking into the camera lens

And generally enjoyed being the center of attention!

Spanky wants a close up

For a little stroll down memory lane, here’s Diesel and Ziggy:

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