Five Generations Under One Roof
and (Micro) Chaos Theory
but•ter•fly ef•fect (noun)
(with reference to chaos theory) the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
With Pippi’s litter, we have five generations under one roof.
Their stories, and the story of how I came to be writing this blog to you about this litter, is as good an example as any of how the butterfly wing can move.
If you ask me the secret to having such longevity in our dogs, I can’t really say for sure. Yes, we feed raw organic and grow much of what our dogs eat. Yes, we do limited vaccinations and we spend an astonishing amount at the vet each year. We've got a nice fenced acre for them, and they all get lots of enrichment and interaction with us. But really a lot comes down to the luck of the draw, and we’ve been very fortunate through the years.
Ruby - Great Great Grandmother
(Ch Corsaire Carpe Diem of Madcap VA, RN, NA, NAP, NJP, RL-2)
Ruby’s our grand dame – 14.5 years old and as vital as ever. Victoria Corse called me out of the blue in April of 2001 and just said, “You’re taking this puppy.” I went to see her and, indeed, she was a stunner. She showed like a house on fire in the breed ring, is fun as heck as a pet and was a terrific performance dog. She also wants to mix it up with just about any dog she meets. As you can imagine, getting her to reliably perform around other dogs was a feat. Anyone who’s taken my Attention as a Behavior seminar can thank Ruby, because she taught me everything I know about teaching a dog to ignore her surroundings.
A great photo of a great show girl. I do, however, remember being terrified when this picture was taken as she'd spotted a dog walking nearly within striking range. Note the death grip on the leash. Good times.
Yes, I showed her in agility and rally and she loved it. She was in the top 5 APDT Level Two Rally dogs one year.
Augie - Great Grandfather
(Ch. Madcap Veni Vidi Vici, RL-1)
I bred Ruby to the most sweet, soft Bull Terrier we could find (who conveniently also had the beautiful shoulder construction that Ruby needed) and produced Augie, who truly looks and acts like Ferdinand the Bull. Lover of cats, foster mother to orphan puppies, surrogate parent to guinea fowl keets, tireless puppy babysitter - he’s just a happy and sweet guy.
He’s gorgeous, moves like a dream, and also happens to have one of the prodigiously bad under bites I have ever seen. The fact that he could finish his championship with that bite is testament to just how beautiful he is. As it turns out, that bad under bite is possibly one of the best things that ever happened to me. More on that, later.
A head like his mother - beautiful in profile and still filled and powerful right down to the end of the muzzle.
Augie didn't so much jump as fling himself at the obstacles with abandon.
Did I mention how smart he is? That's him on the cover, BTW.
Zulu - Great Grandmother
(Ch. TNG N Buoy's Concrete Blonde ROM, VAX, RA, NA, NAJ, AXP, OJP)
I kept running into June Krukenkamp with her young white bitch at the specialties. The bitch was pretty but still immature and kept getting passed over, but I really liked her and made it a point to spend time with her. Her temperament was beyond delightful - a perfect combination of Bull Terrier spark riding on a "hail fellow well met" attitude. When June mentioned that she was thinking of placing her, I jumped at the chance to lease her and breed her to Augie.
That killer front!
I had no intention of keeping Zulu, but Zulu decided she was mine and was not taking no for an answer. And she's turned out to be so wonderful and so deep in so many ways, I'd really need a whole blog just to talk about her. She's the start of our "can do" bitches - whatever we ask of them, they deliver in spades. Best of Variety at specialties? Sure. ROM championship? Of course. Group placements? Roger. ROM champion offspring? Absolutely. Neutral dog for seminars with reactive dogs? Yes. Puppy socializer? Affirmative. Agility, obedience, rally, water sports? Yes, indeedy. Zulu can never die; I don't know what I'll do without her.
Daphne - Grandmother
(GCH Madcap When in Rome ROM, NAP, NJP)
This photo tells you everything you need to know about Daphne. She's as cuddly as she looks.
So then came the wonderful Augie x Zulu of nine, one of which is Daphne. She's following in her mother's "can do" footsteps in every way, except now she's added Movie Star to her resume - Daphne and her first litter are the subject of our film Puppy Culture. As of this writing, Daphne has produced two AKC Grand CHampions and two ROM champions, and there's more where that came from. Right now she's delighted to be retired from the whelping box and moving on to the agility ring.
Pippi - Mother
(GCH Madcap Jump the Broom ROM)
She quickly earned her Grand Championship and ROM Championship and she's taking her first turn in the whelping box with this litter.
We bred Daphne to frozen semen from a dog who, in my opinion, never got the recognition or or use that he should have because he was tri colored (long story, but Bull Terrier people don't like tri coloreds). We got a super litter, one of which is Pippi. Pippi is really different from other Bull Terriers that I have known and is incredibly socially motivated - she does agility with me for the pure joy of it, no food or toys required. She's also the only Bull Terrier I have ever observed who learns by imitation - she learned to sit up on her hind legs by watching the other dogs do it.
Pippi at work
Daphne and Pippi were line bred, so we chose to go out to an English dog named Ch Emred Devil's Spy when we bred Pippi. We are super fortunate that it appears to have clicked, and so far the puppies look outstanding.
So that brings us to the fifth generation, which are these little babies - but first a small back track...
What Was That About Augie's Bite?
So, in that Augie x Zulu litter, there was a puppy that I called Nora. Nora was a "wow" puppy. She was my pick from the start and I just adored her. As luck would have it, she also turned out to be the only one out of those nine puppies to inherit her father's horrendous bite. At about 5 months old, her bite shot under so fast and so far, I swear you could hear it move. I was devastated, of course, but I decided to keep her anyway.
This was perhaps not the greatest situation as I was running on two other littermates and already had four big dogs and I was single at the time and had a more than full time corporate job. So when I got a long and heartfelt email from a guy who seemed to offer the perfect home in every way, with the added bonus that he was looking for a Bull Terrier to do agility, I made the heartbreaking decision to place her.
Nora returned here to live with me again only five months after I sold her, and she brought her owner - that nice guy, Mark Lindquist - back with her. Mark and I got married and now we're breeding Bull Terriers together, so there you go.
Mark may not get sexy billing in this enterprise, but he's IT logistics, fulfillment, and customer service and has a hand in all the editing and creative decisions. I never would have or could have made Puppy Culture without him. So if you enjoyed watching Puppy Culture, you can thank Augie for passing his bad bite on to Nora.
This article has been about our dogs, but really this story is every dedicated breeder's story. Any long time breeder who looks at a five generation pedigree sees not just names, but dogs, stories, people. Overflowing memories of places and events, happy and sad times, people and dogs loved - some of them lost, some still with us, and some of them yet to come - and the shiny threads of serendipity that hold them all together.
So when I look at this litter of tiny babies in the whelping box, I can't help but wonder what mountains these butterflies will someday move, and I'm in awe at how unknowable and wonderful the possibilities are.
This article was originally published at puppyculture.com in 2015
Referenced Courses and Titles
About the Author
Jane Messineo Lindquist (Killion) is the director of "Puppy Culture the Powerful First Twelve Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppies' Future" as well as the author of "When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs" and founder of Madcap University.
Jane has had Bull Terriers since 1982 and she and her husband, Mark Lindquist, breed Bull Terriers under the Madcap kennel name.
Her interests include dog shows, dog agility, gardening, and any cocktail that involves an infused simple syrup.