March 31, 2004 – October 11, 2013
sired by BIS BISS Ch. Brunswig’s Cryptonite out of Cambria’s Irish Rose (Ch. Cambria’s Cavalleria x Ch. Orion’s Rasberry Beret). Brentina’s offspring by Ch. Trotyl de Black Shadow are shown in the gallery below.
This was written in March of 2012: It’s hard to even begin to talk about Brentina and her contribution to our lives, and to the breed. She is a beautiful, amazing, loving, generous spirit, who has become an irreplaceable part of our family. Brentina turned eight in March of 2012. She still rules this home with absolute authority. This is first and foremost Brentina’s place. Our other dogs are here at her pleasure. I start each day with a cup of coffee and Brentina at my side… and I end each day with a huge and kiss for her as she settles in at the foot of the bed.
Brentina’s offspring are the rock upon which Logres is built, and like all solid breeding programs, it ALWAYS starts with a GREAT bitch. Brentina embodies all that a great Doberman bitch should be.
Brentina and her littermates:
Ch. Logres’ Tungsten (red dog) OFA EXCELLENT DNA vWD Carrier Mich. St. Thyroid Normal
Ch. Logres’ Titanium (red dog ) OFA GOOD DNA vWD Carrier Mich. St. Thyroid Normal
Logres’ Brentano (red dog ) OFA EXCELLENT DNA vWD Carrier Mich. St. Thyroid Normal
Logres’ Brentina (red bitch ) OFA GOOD DNA vWD Carrier Mich. St. Thyroid Normal
Logres’ Morgan Le Fay (red bitch)
Logres’ Charisma of Juris (red bitch) DNA vWD Carrier
Logres’ You’re It (fawn dog) not tested
From 10 -17-2013 We lost Ahb last Friday… this is what I wrote the day after she died:
It was gray and drizzly today. I was reminded of the line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, “A gloomy peace this morning with it brings – the sun for sorrow will not show its head.”
She is gone. And while I knew this day was coming, it is too soon. If it had been twenty years from now, it’d still have been too soon. A part of me is relieved that we did not have to deal the cancer returning – but this is too soon.
Over the years I have seen impressive tributes to dogs who have passed – dogs that have done this or that in the show ring – and left a mark for the world to see. I have seen these dogs in person, and I know the money that was spent to show and advertise them. I have known the greats in this breed. Many of them were nothing more that smoke and mirrors. They leave no legacy of any kind for the breed. By any measure Brentina is every bit their equal – and more.
Brentina leaves behind paw prints that few will be able to fill. All that we have we owe to her. But the world will not mark her passing, and I accept that. While others spent their time and resources amassing great show records, playing at dog shows, Arthur was deployed to Iraq – defending this country. By the time he was home again, and we were able to show, Brentina was too set on her ways to be a show dog. She wanted no part of it. I have always accepted that. But as a producer Brentina shines. Her legacy will outlast all of the others. Years from now – good breeders will treasure her in a pedigree. And that can not be said of many.
I have known Ahb since she drew her first breath. And since that moment, I have never been without her. She has been the most constant source of love in my life.. She has given everything, always – without hesitation. In recent weeks it became apparent that she had mild dementia. Friday morning she wandered into the road and was struck by a car that has slowed to avoid her. There was not a mark on her, she walked over to a spot by the crape myrtles and laid down. She went into shock. We called an equine vet to come to our home and have her humanely euthanized. Brentina died in my arms right where she was laying, and was buried under the tall pines by her brothers and her mother. I want my last moments with her to fade away. I want to remember the thousands of beautiful things that define Brentina and what she meant to me.
Ahb was the purest, truest soul one would ever meet. She never faked anything, not a feeling, not even a tiny gesture. If she loved you, you knew it. And if she disliked you, you knew that too. I can think of only two people she ever disliked, and I agree with her assessment of both. Brentina was the most incredible dog, with the extraordinary ability to quickly understand complex situations and respond accordingly. She was kind to both humans and her puppies, and the even her daughters and sons puppies, but she was a tom boy in every sense.
Brentina used to love to get her brothers Titan and Brentano to chase her. When she was young she ran race track circles around all of our bushes, and the picnic table, with the boys chasing behind her. If they got tired of the game and stopped, she would harass them until they’d play again. There were nights when I’d call Ahb in for dinner, and she’d be out in the bushes with the ball, and only her head visible, refusing to come in because she still wanted to play “chase me.” Her brothers had given up the game hours ago and were inside eating dinner. Brentina was outside stuck in a bush, still hoping to entice someone to play with her.
For those who do not know, she got the nickname “Ahb” when she was very young. I found myself saying, “Ah, Brentina, put down that rock.” Or, “Ah, Brentina, let go of your brother’s head.” Or, “Ah, Brentina, come inside now.” I said the phrase so often it was eventually condensed to “Ah B” and then “Ahb.”
Ahb ruled this farm with an iron paw. She was fiercely loyal, unendingly loving, and deeply connected to the people she loved. She was my best friend and my most loyal companion. With Brentina at my side, the world was always a safe place, no matter where we went and no matter what we were doing… if she was with me, all was good. Still, she has odd idiosyncrasies, for example, she was never willingly without her blue ball. She carried it everywhere and even slept with it. And NO ONE ever dared to touch Brentina’s ball… not ever. It was hers. In all we probably purchased about half a dozen of those balls over the years… they’d either wear out or get lost outside. For the most part Brentina knew that the blue ball was an “inside toy.” She would usually drop it by the door just before she went outside.
Brentina hated showing. She was only shown on one circuit – the Tarheel Circuit, back in 2006, with Lance Deloria. That year the circuit was six or seven days. One afternoon, towards the end of the circuit, Arthur and I were walking Brentina and Titan around the show grounds, just to get them out of the crates for a while. We’d brought the blue ball with us. Ahb was carrying it in her mouth as we walked around the building. When we went to exit the building, she dropped the ball – at the exit door of the Jim Graham Fair Building – because she knew it was an “inside toy.”
Brentina loved to have a parade of dogs chase her. Her first time in the ring, in AOAC, the catalog order had her first in line. The handler behind Brentina let their bitch run up on Ahb. Lance was so furious that he literally chased the handler from the ring and across the show grounds – called her something I can not repeat, and almost got benched for it. Brentina could not have cared less. In fact, she absolutely loved being “chased” around the ring by the class trailing behind her. For Ahb, it was her dream come true. A whole group of dogs chasing her. The only thing that could have made it better was if she had also had her blue ball in her mouth. Brentina won open AOAC 5 times on that circuit and went Reserve to a five point major. She loved Lance, but clearly did not want to be a show dog, and we loved her enough to respect her wishes.
Brentina was born obedient, and she was born competitive. She loved to run the farm with her brothers, and never willingly gave an inch to them in any “puppy competition.” She dominated them, by sheer force of will. Titan was faster, and Brentano was stronger, but she was “The Best.” Brentina had far too much pride to ever be second to anyone.
When Brentina was about 5 months old we lived at a rented farm, that had a large stream – called James Creek, running through it, with a bridge crossing the creek at a point the local’s called “Moccasin Crossing.” I think you can even find the spot on local maps, it was rather well known. And to be clear, the area was not named this way because of frequent sightings of tan leather loafers. There were snakes, and lots of them in this stretch of the creek, which had a back-up pond of slow moving water that was an ideal habitat for Water Moccasins.
So, one day Arthur was out on the far side of the creek, walking in the large hay field, with the horses and the dogs tagging along. That side of the pasture had been hayed and the grass was about 10 inches tall or so. To get to this far side of the pasture Arthur and the dogs and the horses had to cross a very substantial bridge over Moccasin Crossing. The bridge was about 10 feet or so above the creek, and sturdy enough to accommodate large hay trucks, mowers and farm equipment. Arthur had Ahb, Titan, Cartier and Brentano with him. I had stayed behind, and was hanging by the gate close to the house.
All of a sudden Arthur shouted out, “Snake, I see a snake, and I think it’s a Water Moccasin!”
“Run” I yelled back. “Run!”
Then I thought of Cartier and the puppies, who were playing in the pasture all around Arthur. Any one of them could encounter the snake Arthur saw – at any moment. So I called them. They all came running, ahead of Arthur.
Cartier, Titan and Brentano took the obvious path, back over the bridge. But not Ahb. Even at 5 months she was the most obedient little Doberman on the planet. I had called her, so she took the most direct line to me. And to my absolute horror – that straight line to me meant that she was going to swim across the creek rather than taking the bridge.
So, in a blink of an eye, before anyone could stop her, my precious Brentina galloped down the bank of the creek and jumped in, not realizing that she was immediately in over her head, in the water, at Moccasin Crossing, where Arthur had just seen a snake.
Brentina had never been in deep water before, she’d never had her head below the surface of the water before, and she’d never had to swim before. Her first challenge was very straight forward. “Don’t drown.”
It took Brentina a moment or two to figure things out. She was trashing around a bit before instincts kicked in. But finally she started swimming – in my direction, which was the very worst thing to do. Brentina had no way of assessing that the only good way out of the water was actually back the way she’d come. The creek bank on the side she’d jumped in on had been mowed by the farmer several times a year, so the vegetation was not allowed to become too over-grown. There were several places along the bank on that side of the creek where Brentina would have access to get back out of the water.
They did not hay the pasture on my side of the creek. It was allowed to become very over grown. And recent rains had made the creek unusually high. There was no good path out of the water on my side because no creature on earth ever went anywhere near the water from my side. Even the deer and the horses avoided it completely. And worse, Brentina would literally have to launch herself out of the water, while swimming, in order to get out of the creek. That would require incredible strength, and would be difficult task for even a well-muscled adult. Brentina was a 5 month puppy.
Arthur was almost at the bridge, so were Cartier, Titan and Brentano -and the herd of mares and foals. At about this point Arthur saw what Brentina is doing and he too was horrified. She could drown;, and equally frightening, there are very likely snakes in the water with her. Arthur stopped about mid-point on the bridge, undecided for a moment about whether to go back or keep coming. He was not at all thrilled with the thought of having to jump in to save Ahb.
About this point I was running towards the bank of the creek on my side. I’m not sure what was going through my mind, not sure what I thought I was going to do, but I was like a Grizzly Bear protecting her cub. I remember thinking, “I’ll rip the head off of any snake that hurts her.” And, “We really need a command that says, ‘Wait!!! Go back!!!’.”
And then I stopped. The ground on my side of the stream sloped markedly downhill towards the creek. So with every step I took, I was coming closer to a point where I would not be able to even see Brentina in the water. That terrified me as much as anything, because I would not know where she was exactly by the time I reached the creek.
I stopped at a point where I could still see Brentina, she had reached my side of the creek, but was stuck in the water. She was having trouble finding footing. She looked very tired. She kept trying to launch herself out of the creek, but the water was too deep, and the bank was too steep. For a moment it looked like she was so exhausted she was going to give up. I feared that she had used up all of her energy, and was approaching the point where simply keeping herself above the surface of the water would be too much, and she would drown before Arthur or I could reach her.
And I kept thinking about what I’d read about why water snakes attack people and large animals in the water. It’s because a snake has very poor eyesight. They hunt by scensing heat from their prey. They sense the amount of heat a mammal gives off and estimate the size of the prey by that amount of heat. In the water, we all give off less heat because the water is cooling us down, so the snake thinks we are the size of prey they can deal with. And worse, any creature who is panicked and thrashing in the water is sending distress signals that are like ringing the dinner bell to a snake. And, snakes tend to hang out in large groups when the habitat suits them. Sometimes these “ideal habitats” are so perfect for snakes they are even named by local folks- you know, like – “Moccasin Crossing.” And then, as if that wasn’t enough, there is the scene of the river crossing in the movie Lonesome Dove that suddenly became very vivid and real.
“Swim Ahb! Keep Swimming!!!”
Then I completely lost sight of Ahb. Those were the worst moments, when I could not see her and didn’t know what was going on. There was this long pause, time stood still, I was wondering, “Has she drown? Did she get bitten? Is she in the water, in pain, fighting with a bunch of frickin snakes? I swear I’ll kill each and every one of them if they so much as touch her.”
And then, all of a sudden, little Brentina popped out of a nasty tangle of bushes, absolutely covered with mud, stickers and water plants … and god-only-knows-what-all else. She paused only a moment, then shook vigorously, spraying a 10 foot wide circle of slime in a perfect arch around her. Brentina took one look over her shoulder at the thundering herd of Dobermans and horses headed towards me, turned back to me, took a deep breath, and then, with mud and a few water plants streaming behind her, she was off again, picking up traction with every stride. It must have felt good to have dry land under her, within seconds she was at a dead run, like a bullet fired from a gun. And somehow – magically – she was still ahead of the entire herd who’d taken the bridge.
And so, with them all trailing a good 500 feet behind her, little Brentina accomplished her goal. She’d won!!! She’d beaten Cartier, her brothers and the horses to me by a wide margin.
That was Ahb. Life didn’t kick her butt, she was always victorious, and always left the others in her dust. And I suspect that competitive spirit saved her life.
As a 5 month ball of fire and determination it was possible to overlook some statistics that made Brentina exceptional. Most obvious of which was her pedigree. Her sire was the great BIS BISS Ch. Brunswig’s Cryptonite a.k.a., Kafka – the Top Winning Doberman Of All Time, who was also the Top Winning Working dog of All Time and the Number Six Top Wining Dog of All Breeds of All Time. Kafka amassed the most extraordinary combined show and breeding record of any Working Dog who ever lived. Kafka held title to every Working [Group] Dog show record in existence. And he competed back in the Golden Age of Dogs, when entries were typically 3,000 and up per show. The bigger shows were often 4000 to 5000 dogs. This is what was written of Kafka when he retired from the ring.
“Kafka” completed his championship on February 21, 1988. He retired on April 5, 1992, winning 2 out of 3 Best In Show that weekend. Of the 428 times “Kafka” was shown, he won the Breed 392 times (92%). The 392 BOB wins resulted in 350 Group Placements (89%). Of the 350 Group Placements, 258 were Group Firsts (74%). The 258 Group Firsts resulted in 124 Best In Show (48%). And it is important to note that the previous Working Dog record of 121 BIS had not been broken since 1956. Numbers themselves can not be the measure of a great dog’s true worth, unless we know what those numbers actually reflect. In this case, they tell the tale of one of our greatest show dogs. Kafka is also the sire of over 150 AKC champions. For many years he held the record as the top producing Doberman Sire in the history of the breed. That record was eclipsed by his grand son, Ch. Cambria’s Cactus Cash.”
Brentina was the result of a frozen semen breeding. Kafka had passed about ten years before she was born. Brentina’s dam was the spectacular Cambria’s Irish Rose, a Cavalleria daughter out of the Eddie daughter – Ch. Orion’s Rasberry Beret. There is not a better Doberman pedigree in the world.
These following videos were taken a few months before Brentina died. I was feeding the fish, on a warm sunny Autumn day. Brentina’s son Warkant was in the pond eating the dog food I had thrown in the pond for the fish.