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December 16th, 2003

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01:26 pm - Back in Киёв
Москва was exhausting. Physically, and particularly on the last day, mentally. Great city, but I am thinking I may like Киёв better. Slower, at least. Less overwhelming. I'm not really in a mood to write here on this LiveJournal thing, now, sorry. But for those of you who actually have an interest in the Borzoi thing, I'm attaching my (probably, hopefully) last email back to the owners on the matter. This isn't even close to the whole story, but that will be filled in. Mostly at importborzoi.

To: Victor, Danielle
Subject: And back in Kyiv

Either you will read this message before you head out, or you will read
it when you get back; if the latter, the contents of this message will
be either of great interest as to what went wrong... or, hopefully, of
historic interest as to what went right. I've not been sleeping much
the past two days from anxiety and nervous exhaustion, and reluctantly
wait the hours til I can call at a civilized hour (once I figure out how
to do so).

If you read this before you depart, I've probably alarmed you with the
first paragraph -- my apologies. I believe everything has been executed
correctly, and believe there will be a lovely dog in the air or the
airport at this time -- and appropriate compensation for the breeder and
our Moscow dealmaker.

Moscow has been exhausting, and yesterday more so than most. Very few
things worked out, with a lot of misses. And it took at least an hour
longer than I had hoped or anticipated in my rendevouz with Andre. But
I did eventually intersect, and handed the pouch -- and responsibilities
-- off. On an escalator descending into a bomb shelter that doubles as
a Metro station. But I'll save the stories until a later, less anxious

At this point I am but a relic of this adventure. The documents:
diplomas, pictures, awards, and so on, should be received by Andre when
he gives them the payment for Vlastelin. He has been instructed to
send them by secure and expedited message service to Danielle's address,
which he has. At this point, though, details like diet, hunting
preferences, and training discussions would be best done directly with
Elena or Andre. My usefulness as a middleman has expired.

At this point, I'm just hoping for happy messages from you. And being
in a place where I speak the language.

All the best. I hope to sleep tonight.


On Sun, 14 Dec 2003, Victor Beltran wrote:

%>Good job; the description of the dog is great, I don't understand why
%>he is so thin, but is not a problem, he will have a good food in US.
%>We have a big storm this morning from 1:00 AM to 11:00 AM about 6-7
%>inches, is my understanding that Danielle will go w/me to NY this
%>coming Tuesday and be ready to pick the dog up from the airport at
%>3:00 PM Eastern Time. Please don't forget the photos-album of the
%>dog, commands in russian, diet.
%>Once again, thank you for your help.
%>On Dec 12, 2003, at 11:13 AM, dan vogel wrote:
%>> Danielle, sorry I did not call you as I said I would, and I apologize
%>> for the delay in sending this message. There was nothing so urgent
%>> that I was motivated to immediately figure out the international
%>> dialing
%>> situation here, nor wake you up. And I figured an email message would
%>> be better to convey to you and Victor a balanced account of what-all
%>> has happened so far. There is a convenient, fast Internaet machine in
%>> the lobby of my hotel here, so followup messages should be easy. I
%>> also
%>> have enough bandwidth that researching phonecards is plausible.
%>> Our flight departed from Kyiv at 7am this morning, which means, with
%>> transit for the crate et al, I was up around 4. Our flight arrived in
%>> Moscow about 9:45am, and once they figured out how to get the crate
%>> from
%>> behind the scenes to the customs area, we had no trouble. Very very
%>> small terminal.
%>> And then the panic set in, as we were on the flipside with no woman
%>> with
%>> dog or dog picture. Fortunately, within 10 minutes she arived, and my
%>> dad spotted the Borzoi in hand, and navigated her to our stuff. Not
%>> that the crate wasn't pretty obvious, mind you.
%>> She brought the dog over and we chatted briefly. I was a little to
%>> flustered to do a thorough inspection, but I believe -- or rather, I
%>> /will/ have a chance to do a more intensive scrutiny. But this is
%>> what I got, which I present to you with a request for guidance.
%>> First of all, he is physically intact (I don't know if he is Intact),
%>> that is, he has all of his limbs and full use of them.
%>> His temperament is spot on, and his training is excellent. She had no
%>> trouble walking him into a semi-crowded area, bringing him over to my
%>> family, which went crazy on him. She was able to command him into the
%>> (still half-size) crate without issue. He immediately got into the
%>> crate in the car after we loaded it in there (the crate is now
%>> thankfully out of my hands).
%>> I believe her when she says he blew his coat -- it is definately thin
%>> from the pictures, but consistently so... and still at least as lush as
%>> Nico Borzoi. His markings are the same as in the picture, with the
%>> following deviations: the black spots, in particular the one on his
%>> lower back, is more grey than the pictures indicate; and the bronze
%>> rings around his eyes are more pronounced in person (a striking, nice
%>> look).
%>> Now, the points of concern. At this point, we've surpassed the bits
%>> that I feel confident on making an Accept/Reject call.
%>> He's very thin. Elena said, before I even touched him, that this is
%>> because he's been spending the last hunting (rabbits,
%>> mostly, I guess) and as such has slimmed way down. Is that plausible?
%>> He's bony thin -- fully spin and hip exposure. But he didn't seem to
%>> be impared as a result. He has a lovely floating gait.
%>> The other problem is scars. He has two scars, that I could see. They
%>> are on either side of him, in the area around his front shoulder --
%>> roughly bicep/rib region. They are somewhere between the size of a
%>> quarter and a silver dollar (maybe a bit more), and are healed
%>> and hairless -- and with his reduced coat, visible without moving the
%>> hair. I don't know how big of a deal that is. My parents' puppy has
%>> recently acquired one herself, a small gash that she worked into a
%>> bigger scar. Elena explained that this is the work/result of issues
%>> with her second male. I guess they /really/ don't get along, as we had
%>> hypothesized.
%>> So, I present this information to you -- I didn't take pictures, but I
%>> wouldn't have the capacity to do anything with them at this time
%>> anyway.
%>> I know this description is going to be tantilizing and frustrating for
%>> want of more details, so... here's my general assessment:
%>> Elena seems to be a competent dog person, if a bit sparse -- the back
%>> of
%>> her wagon had the back seat in a permenant position, a "Borzoi on
%>> board"
%>> sign in the window... and a single small blanket. Also, most of her
%>> sketchiness regarding money appears to be social based on my
%>> interactions with other russians -- one of my dad's students here is
%>> native Russian, and seems to be very edgy regarding cash-in-hand,
%>> reimbursements, and distrust of credit... and he's an MBA student
%>> working on a mortage bank having worked for major financial companies
%>> in the US (and just got his citizenship). Regarding her delay in
%>> relaying information... I don't know. I do know she seemed very uneasy
%>> speaking with us, and got very confused when I used words like
%>> "where?".
%>> Regarding the paperwork... it sucks, but it seems like it is what it
%>> is;
%>> like the crate, it is a bottleneck and there is nothing we can do but
%>> proceed as it has to be done. The dog can't ship until the papers are
%>> done.
%>> Regarding the dog... he seems happy, well-mannered, and mostly healthy.
%>> The thin thing I'm sort of inclined to believe her -- because he seems
%>> so happy and healthy otherwise, and I don't understand why she would
%>> purposefully starve him. If he really is 99lbs at this point, he's
%>> going to be /big/ if/when you got him up to weight. The scars? I
%>> don't know whether that hurts you or not, whether they would be better
%>> without additional aggrevation, and whether a more full coat would mask
%>> the whole thing. I didn't spend a great deal of time scruntizing his
%>> lines and structure, but he looks really well constructed. My family
%>> totally fell for him at first sight, and have a better appreciation of
%>> why you both are going through this level of headache. They still
%>> don't
%>> understand me, but whatever.
%>> ...
%>> So, I trust you have read this far because this is pretty important for
%>> you. I hope so. Anyway, it sounds like the next step is to call
%>> Andrew
%>> and come up between the three of us a place to meet tomorrow to go over
%>> more of this. She seemed very anxious that I get in touch with
%>> "Andre";
%>> I suspect a lot of it was language barrier. After I send this message,
%>> I'll give him a call.
%>> I don't have a sense of what my number here is, if I do I'll pass it
%>> along. And I'll go figure out how and how much it will cost for me to
%>> call the US to get faster feedback. I trust, Victor, that you will
%>> call
%>> Danielle and make her aware of the contents of this if she doesn't
%>> check
%>> it before she goes off to work. Or vice versa.
%>> From Moscow,
%>> dan

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2003 07:20 pm (UTC)
way to pollute the livejournal namespace.
[User Picture]
Date:December 18th, 2003 07:59 am (UTC)
Well, people like my dad, and most of the other people I've told of the Quest, are interested in a more formal writeup. Rather than point them at my blog, I think it is better to have a separate page. And the tools for constructing the page, and my idea of doing it as a series of entries "as it happens" (which didn't quite work out, considering the bandwidth of Kyiv) meant Livejournal was a natural fit. It is entirely possible that when it is complete I will move the entire thing off as a static website. For your benefit, I will then delete the journal and free the username for future journal writers.

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