It’s not a glamorous job, but I’m the mom of the McHughs Family Circus. Kids and dogs are under my daily command and believe it or not, the train’s still moving and usually it’s on time. It’s a busy life with two kids and three dogs but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Our Vizslas a.k.a. “the girls” are as much a part of my day as our two human kiddos and life wouldn’t be complete without either of them. To be honest, I think I have the best gig you could ask for because I get to spend days with my kids and the girls. Not too shabby.
I grew up in Littleton, Colorado and although compared to my husband I’m definitely the city-slicker of our dynamic duo, I love being outside and doing fun stuff with the kids and the girls. Sitting idle is not my style. We’re always doing something at our house be it hiking, running, afternoons in the park – you name it as long as there’s a good dose of fresh air involved. Just ask any of our friends and they’ll confirm the stories of a crazy lady (that would be me) running through Denver neighborhoods with a double jogging stroller and three Vizslas. As the city-slicker, I didn’t grow up hunting like my husband did, but I can tell you I love going out in the field and watching Brian work with the girls when I can. Watching your V at work in the field is truly a delight – it’s like watching your kid at Disneyland.
I’ve learned much about the breed over the last 10 years and most importantly I am still learning. There is so much yet to learn and there’s a wealth of folks out there who have been in dogs much longer than we have and we make it a point to seek their guidance and use them for support and seek their knowledge when it comes to decisions we make regarding the girls. We’re founding members of the Rocky Mountain Vizsla Club (www.rmvc.org) and are Vizsla Club of America (VCA) members as well. Most importantly, we abide by the code of ethics set forth by the VCA which means to me that we hold a true commitment to doing right by the breed.
On a more personal note, much of why I personally became passionate about helping the breed and breeding Vs the right way is compliments of our first V girl, Ellie Monster. She is very special (and that can be used to describe her in many ways) but we got her the wrong way. We didn’t do our homework, we didn’t go to a good breeder, and Ellie although a pretty healthy 11-year-old Vizsla now, had a very rough start in life. Thank goodness she ended up with us though because we were committed to doing whatever it took to keep her with us, but many dogs like Ellie either don’t make it or they end up in rescue. Although I wouldn’t trade Ellie Monster for all the tea in China, I quickly realized that Vizslas, like all dog breeds, should be bred to create a healthier more sound dog than what you had before. Quite simply, you should breed to better the breed not breed to make a buck or because you think you have the best dog on the planet. When you follow the later, all too often, you unfortunately end up with dogs that have health problems like Ellie.
While that mission means that we will breed only dogs that are conformationally sound and proven in the field, at the end of the day, after the show is over, after the hard day of doing bird work is done, what the mission of Telihold Vizslas means to me in real terms is breeding vizslas that can be a healthy, happy, and long-time members of your family and ours.