Roux came to me exactly one year ago, just days before her breeder, my best friend, Alyce Gilmore (Bayou Oaks Beagles), died of pancreatic cancer. Roux was the puppy that Alyce kept from her 2017 litter by BISS GCHB Shadynook McDreamy At RK Tooker, “Trey”, winner of the 2011 NBC National Specialty. Her mother, CH MG Lisboa, won the Mexican National Specialty in 2016 and was 15″ RWB at the 2016 NBC National Specialty. Trey is a dog that Alyce and I have both admired and used in the past. Lisboa is a bitch whose pedigree combines both Bayou Oaks and Talbot Hill. For Alyce, Roux was to be a new beginning…a return to breeding after several years away…until she received her tragic diagnosis.
Alyce bred beautiful dogs under the Bayou Oaks prefix. Her beautiful breed type and knowledge of the breed were recognized and admired around the world. Alyce served on the judge’s education committee for the National Beagle Club and chaired the committee which created our current visualization of the standard. She has left a lasting mark on our breed and on the breeders whom she mentored.
Alyce died just days after Roux arrived at Talbot Hill and tragically and unexpectedly, our own “Herbie”, BIS/BISS CH Talbot Hill’s Thyme After Time died just five days later. He’d had an annual check up just two months before but it was clear that his time had come as well. Herbie was the #2 15″ Beagle in the country in 2008, he is the great-grandsire of Roux, and the sire of “Hanne”, CH Talbot Hill Dukeang Thyme Signature who I will introduce you to tomorrow.
I flew to Louisiana in December 2017 to visit Alyce and see her new litter of puppies. I wasn’t going to get a puppy from the litter but I was eager to see Alyce and the first litter of Bayou Oaks puppies in several years. From the beginning, Roux stood out to me as the pick of the litter. She has lovely breed type, dead-level topline, perfect tail carriage, and good feet and coat. Her sidegait is nice; coming and going is a little suspect, however…which is why Alyce wanted to breed her to BIS CH Bayou Oaks English Leather…”he can fix the movement on any bitch”.
I never had an opportunity to see BIS CH Bayou Oaks English Leather, “L”, in person. What I know of him I know through what Alyce has told me, through other breeders and through photos. What I will get in this litter will be interesting…and, what I will be getting is Alyce’s dream, her wish for the final Bayou Oaks litter: English Leather x Roux. These are very “precious” puppies (to use a word that Alyce so often used) and their homes will be chosen very carefully. All puppies will be registered with the Bayou Oaks prefix and all show puppies will be co-owned with me.
I don’t typically do an ultrasound or x-ray when I have a bitch in whelp, in fact, Roux’s ultrasound earlier this month is the first that I’ve ever done. It’s hard to get an accurate count from an ultrasound or x-ray and rather than spend $135 to confirm pregnancy, I’m content to wait a week or two until the belly begins to grow and the obvious signs appear. With that said, there were some unknowns for me regarding Roux and it’s a great privilege to have been entrusted with breeding Alyce’s final litter so I did an ultrasound this one time. It was an emotional moment to see that tiny Bayou Oaks heart fluttering inside and while we can’t be certain, it appears that there are three, perhaps four, puppies on the way. They will all be tri-color.
BIS CH Bayou Oaks English Leather was not only a Best in Show winner in his own right, he was also the grandson of BIS CH Keith’s Wilkeep Nicodemus and the sire of BIS CH Bayou Oaks Smudge, a small 15″ male noted for his beautiful sidegait. Smudge was the sire of BIS CH Bayou Oaks Tiger Woods and grandsire of 2006 NBC National Specialty winner BISS Bayou Oaks Longhorn Trouble and BISS CH Ha-Penny’s Too Much Trouble. The semen used to breed this litter was collected in October 1995, still quite viable after all these years and it’s exciting to introduce old genes back into the gene pool.
Roux is a lovely bitch to live with. She has a calm, steady temperament that is the “Yin” to Hanne’s “Yang”…but they are best friends and constant companions. I don’t usually have two litters at once…frankly, that’s insane…but the timing of these litters gives us something positive and hopeful to look forward to as we remember the passing of Roux’s breeder and Hanne’s sire next week. For a variety of reasons it made sense to have two litters at once this time and the current COVID19, stay-at-home, work-at-home situation is actually working out perfectly with two litters on the way.
Tomorrow I’ll introduce you to “Hanne”, dam of the second litter that I’m expecting in April.