The name ThistleDew came from my parents.
They owned a boat when I was young and that is the name they gave it.
"Thistle" (sounds like) This will....and "Dew" (sounds like) Do. Hence...This will do!!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Tad Brooks of Meisterhaus Basenjis and Whippets


I feel it is the time for me to let the Basenji/Whippet World know what happened between Tad Brooks of Meisterhaus Basenjis and Whippets, my husband Steve and I. Tad and I had been great friends for well over 12 years. Our first Basenji Miss Sydney "Meisterhaus Jungle Jezebel" was born in Dec.2001. She passed in Sept. 2010 from Fanconi. Tad and I talked (mostly texted) for the most part a couple of times a week if not more. We were more than Basenji acquaintances. I considered him my best friend. There were times in his personal life that I communicated with him 10-15 times in one day. Supporting him through some of his very darkest of days. I even checked on the welfare of Basenji babies that came from Meisterhaus for him. I have went to bat for him with others he had difficulties with over the years. That is why what happened between us hurt me to the core. Tad is one of the very best Breeders and Showmen in the Basenji and Whippet Breeds, but he is NOT a business minded person! He in my opinion needs help. A lot of help in this area. He has no communication stills in business management. I did sign an agreement with our first basenji Sydney to show her. I had never owned a basenji and when Steve and I fell totally "Head Over Heals" in LOVE with our Miss Syd I explained to Tad that we could not let her leave us to show and Tad understood that. I do thank him for understanding. Then came our Sheldon "Meisterhaus Yabba Dabba Do!" Sheldon was brought home when Miss Syd was 4 years old. Sheldon too had a show contract. He at 6 months started spraying our bed. Not pee, but something manly! It was gross. I explained that to Tad. I told him we need to have that stop and getting him neutered was the answer. Tad understood that as well and we thanked him for that. After Miss Syd's passing we decided we needed to get another Basenji and we got our Princess Clarice. "Meisterhaus Signet One 'N Only":  http://www.meisterhaus.com/basenjis/clarice.htm You can see there just how well she did in the "Show Ring" winning her puppy class at the Basenji Nationals in 2011 when she was shown by Tim Huff. Also you can read that Tad says a Big "Thank You" to Steve and I for all of our support while Clarice was showing. The short of this long story comes when we decided to breed Clarice in the Fall of 2013. I did not know exactly how the whole process would work. I asked Tad on more occasions than I can count to sit down and discuss this with Steve and I. He never would. He would never give me a straight answer. I have everything I am saying either in text or emails. I had even told Tad Brooks I was uneasy breeding Clarice as I did not know what to expect once the puppies were born. Going back to the showing of Clarice. In her contract we did agree to pay all expenses incurred in finishing her to her Championship. Only one time did Tad ask for money and he was paid. We wanted to birth Clarice's babies here in our home. The day came on Friday Dec. 14, 2013 at 3:00am. She gave birth to 3 boys and 2 girls. I was scheduled for total knee replacement on Feb.14, 2014. Once the puppies were moved to a whelping box in our kitchen I stumbled twice cleaning the box. It scared me that I could have fallen on one of the babies, or even further injure myself. I asked Tad if he could bring Clarice and the babies into his home. Once they were in Tad's care they got a virus he brought home from a show in Indy. Two of the babies were near death, so Tad said. He refused to let us see them. Then I was told they were in Georgia while he rid his kennel from "said virus." He never told us they were placed elsewhere (Georgia), nor did he even care to ask to see if they could come back home. Once Tad got physical custody of our babies our contact was down to "NILL." He did not reply to texts, nor did he reply to emails. I even called and left messages and got nothing in return. Is this the way you treat a friend? I am sure Tad has a different story. He is real good as saying people are crazy! I have heard that on more than one occasion about someone who he had problems with. Tad lacks in good communication skills as well as "Business Skills." Yes we did owe Tad Brooks for showing our Clarice, but how he handled it is totally wrong in my book! Steve and I wanted to see the puppies on more than one occasion and we were denied that time with Clarice's babies. I resent that more than any words can describe. I am hurt beyond words. Tad Brooks registered the litter and each of the 5 puppies behind out backs. He sold them without our knowledge as well. He would not reply to texts, emails nor phone calls. It wasn't until I called the AKC did I find out what he had done. Below is a copy of one of the last letters I sent to the AKC. I am also sending a copy of the letter to the Louisville Kennel Club as well as The Basenjji Club of America.
                                                             From the desk of 
                                                             Melanie J Pierce
August 20, 2014
Dear Ms. Johnston,
I did have a signed contract with Tad Brooks that I was responsible for any fees associated with showing our Bitch CH Meisterhaus Signet One ‘N Only, HP399437/03 “Clarice.” to her AKC Championship. Tad only asked for money one time and that was after The Basenji Nationals September of 2011 when Clarice won her class. I paid him what was asked from me. I was never asked for money again. I never received a bill, invoice or statement after any shows Clarice was shown at. To this day I have not received any kind of correspondence with any amount of monies owed to Tad Brooks.
I asked Tad to sit down with my husband and myself many times so we could discuss breeding Clarice and also to discuss how the sale of her puppies would work. Tad never agreed to. I even told him I was uncomfortable breeding her because of my concerns about “how it would work out.”
Tad Brooks was a very dear friend of mine for well over 12 years, but I could not ever get him to sit down with me to discuss and agree to how the breeding and sale of Clarice’s puppies would work. I did tell him on several occasions what I thought was fair. Here is exactly what I said to Tad Brooks.
I wanted Tad to have the pick of the litter to cover all costs of what he had spent on finishing Clarice to her AKC Championship.
A. The second puppy I wanted to pay my 1/2 of the Stud Fee which in total I was told by Tad that it was $600.00. I had to have total knee replacement surgery on Feb. 11, 2014. I stumbled twice cleaning the whelping box. I could have injured a puppy or puppies. I could have even furthered my injured knee. I talked to Tad Brooks and asked him if Clarice and the puppies could come there. The puppies were pictures of health when Tad agreed to take them and Clarice at 5 weeks old. Tad contracted a virus at a show in Indy and 2 puppies from Clarice’s litter were at the Vet’s office for a week. Near death I was told by Tad. I was very concerned about them and wanted to see them and he told me no I could not see them.
B. From the sale of the second puppy I also wanted to pay my 1/2 of the vet expenses for the 2 sick puppies.
The sale of the 3 remaining puppies Tad Brooks and I would split. During all of the time I tried to communicate with Tad Brooks I never gave him my verbal permission to register the litter and puppies with AKC, nor did I give him my written permission to register the litter or each puppy.
I kept in touch with Tad concerning the ill puppies. I told him my husband and I wanted to see the puppies. Tad told me no. That he didn’t want anyone coming to his home and that he had sent our puppies to Georgia while he rid his kennel of the virus. He did not contact me about bringing them back to our home. Tad went behind our backs and did what he wanted to do. I was very upset with him at this time because Tad would not answer my emails nor texts.
Tad Brooks Registered the litter and each of the five puppies without my written permission. Tad Brooks never had my verbal permission either to register the litter or each of the five puppies. Tad sold all five puppies without my knowledge as well.
Tad Brooks actions were unethical and in direct violation of AKC regulations. Failure to get written permission from co owner to register and sell a litter in writing is in violation of AKC rules.
In the letter that I am replying to concerning what Tad Brooks had to say it mentions that I signed a contract where I am responsible for the expenses for showing Clarice to her Championship. The letter also states that Tad and I had an agreement that the proceeds for “the puppy” would pay for those expenses. That is exactly what I told Tad Brooks I thought was fair. The pick of the litter would go to Tad for said expenses. Still we never sat down like I asked numerous times to come to an agreement as to how the sale of the puppies would work. To me that is totally unprofessional. I called Tad out on his business practices as well. If I were in a position where I showed and bred dogs and had an agreement with the co owner that they were responsible for all costs for showing their dog I would see that the co owner got an invoice when I came home from each show and they picked up their dog. I would have a break down of all expenses for that show and would expect payment within a certain amount of time. Tad Brooks only asked for money one time and I paid him.
Tad Brooks says he is a “Breeder of Merit.” Here is what my dictionary says “Merit” means:
merit |ˈmerit|
noun
the quality of being particularly good or worthy, esp. so as to deserve praise or reward : composers of outstanding merit.
• a feature or fact that deserves praise or reward : the relative merits of both approaches have to be considered.
• Brit. a pass grade in an examination denoting above-average performance : if you expect to pass, why not go for a merit or a distinction? Compare with distinction .
• ( merits) chiefly Law the intrinsic rights and wrongs of a case, outside of any other considerations : a plaintiff who has a good arguable case on the merits.
• ( merits) Theology good deeds regarded as entitling someone to a future reward from God.
verb ( merited , meriting ) [ trans. ]
deserve or be worthy of (something, esp. reward, punishment, or attention) : the results have been encouraging enough to merit further investigation.
PHRASES
judge (or consider) something on its merits assess something solely with regard to its intrinsic quality rather than other external factors.
ORIGIN Middle English (originally in the sense [deserved reward or punishment] ): via Old French from Latin meritum ‘due reward,’ from mereri ‘earn, deserve.’

In closing and in my opinion Tad Brooks is not a “Breeder of Merit.” My husband and I are victims of Tad Brooks greed. We never had a verbal nor written agreement as to the sale of Clarice’s 5 puppies. I never gave him my written nor verbal permission to register the litter nor the 5 puppies. The 5 puppies were sold without my knowledge. The 5 precious babies were stolen from us. This has been the most heartbreaking time of my 57 years of life. My husband and I birthed these babies in our home and it was the most beautiful time with our Clarice. She was an awesome mother. I do have 5 weeks of memories with the puppies that I will carry close to my heart forever. I do have photos as well, but I tell you I have never in my life been hurt by anyone like Tad Brooks has hurt me. He needs to be held accountable for his actions.
Thank you very much for your time in this matter. I do want to see that the AKC Registration for this litter is revoked and well as the AKC Registration for each of the 5 puppies revoked.
Sincerely,
Melanie J Pierce

I do not wish Tad Brooks of Meisterhaus Basenji's and Whippet's any ill will. I just feel like we were robbed of time with our babies, and also done wrong in that Tad totally cut off communication once he received the litter. I am thanking God that we did get our Clarice back! ❥ He did us wrong. He was not man enough to sit down and discuss the whole process with us. One thing that helps a little is the memories we have of the birth of each precious baby and helping bring them into the world. We have so many photo's and video's as well of the first 5 weeks. Once I received information from the AKC about each puppy and their new owners I have been able to find Clarice's first born boy and also her first born girl. They are so beautiful and they live near each other and spend time together. That helps my heart heal a bit, but I am still missing 3 other puppies..

Some interesting additional information on A Tad Brooks/Tad Brooks/Meisterhaus Basenjis and Whippets

Thursday, September 12, 2013


So many Blessings have come my way in the past week or so. A piece of my work was included in an Etsy Treasury on Sept.7!

Vintage Scroll Heart

I am so new to Etsy I am not sure how they work, I just know it's a "Good Thing" if your work is included in one. I noticed I had more traffic coming to my shop as well.

Then again on the 10th another piece of my work was in a second Treasury! You can pinch me now to see if I am dreaming.

Round Keepsake Box

Shortly after the second Treasury I had my first sale! Nothing huge, but a sale just the same. So I am pumped up. Our Annual Key~Mammoth Cave Polymer Retreat is just around the corner Oct. 24-27th and it is always my favorite time of year. I keep in touch with many of our groups members through Facebook and email. Every once in a while my cell phone will ring and my dear friend and fellow Artist Debbie Jackson will be on the other end. Debi was a guest artist 3 years ago at our Annual Retreat and we instantly connected.  It just amazes me how God brings people into your lives and I am truly Blessed to have the friendship I do with this beautiful woman! Check her work out folks!

I am busy in my Studio (de-cluttering) I listed 2 items on Facebook (our local town's yard sale group) and sold both within 15 minutes. I better just keep on keeping on with getting things I don't use, nor need out of the way. Once I get things in order I will be back at my work table probably making something with the Pardo Translucent Art Clay.
Blessings~Melanie:)



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Grand Opening

The doors are open in my Etsy Shop! It's been a labor of love. You will find a link on the right on my home page here. I hope you find time to stop by and see my work. Blessings~Melanie




Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's been some time...

.....that it has. I was looking at the date of my last post and it was July 29, 2011. It's been 2 whole years. I really enjoyed having a blog, so I am not shutting her down! I am at a turning point in my life. I guess you could call it that. It's all good. Something that has been on the "back burner" for some time. I have continued working in Polymer Clay. Attending our Annual "Key Mammoth Cave" Polymer Retreat the last weekend in October each year. I met some fellow Polymer people in groups from Ohio and Indiana that came. I attended the 10th Anniversary "Buckeye Bash" this year, where they are from and made so many more new friends. *I am so Blessed... :) I have learned many new techniques from classes taught at these Retreats by some of the best in the Polymer World. 

Well "Nuff Said"....I am back and have been setting up Shop on Etsy. *That would be the turning point I mentioned. I will have a working link when the doors open there. In the meantime I will share the name. Of course I carry my family name on over there as well. *Love and Miss you Mom and Dad. "ThistleDewtoo" I will be spending some time here giving the blog a face lift. Sweep out the dust and cob webs. Post a few photos. Catch up with ya real soon. Blessings~Melanie




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Friday, July 29, 2011

Big Huge Giveaway - that's the BHG!

Thanks Heather for having a Huge Giveaway
and getting me back to my blog....
I would never let the chance to get my hands
on your beads pass me by!
It's been very hard since the loss of our Precious Basenji Sydney. :(

Huge Humblebeads Giveaway Peeps!!
Go to the link above to enter. Heather's beads have been featured in so many bead magazines I couldn't begin to list them all! Her work is fabulous! Very Earthy. My favorite in her mass collection is her "Dogwood Blossom" bead...you can click on the link and go to Heather's Etsy Shop and have a look around! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!
Blessings~Melanie

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In Memory of our Baby Girl Sydney

Meisterhaus Jungle Jezebel
Our "Miss Syd"

On this what would have been Miss Syd's 9th Birthday I found it only fitting to put together a memorial page for our Sweet Baby Girl Sydney. We woke up this morning to the most beautiful snowfall. I know it was sent from the "Heaven's Above". One week ago last Sunday Nov. 21, 2010 our little girl lost her battle with Renal Failure.

In 2001 a dear friend of mine and at the time she was my Yoga teacher had told me about her recent addition to her family. A Basenji named Miss Ellie. I had never heard of a Basenji. They come from Africa and sometimes are known as "The barkless dog". I did some searches online and Steve and I decided a Basenji was what we wanted to add to our family. I contacted several breeders, visited with them and chose Meisterhaus. A very dear man named Tad Brooks was expecting 2 litters that winter of 2001. I had my heart set on a red/white girl but when we visited in December when the pups were only a few weeks old this Brindle girl found her way quickly into my heart. She chose me. We brought Sydney home the end of January 2002.

She was a handful. I have never in my life faced such a challenge with a puppy. Basenji's are definitely not for everyone, but once they know who is Alpha (Mama of course) then things get easier! I would have to put her on her back in my arms, grab her muzzle and tell her "No Bite". Or whatever the struggle was we were facing at that moment! I hated the term "Bitch" that breeders use for the females, but I tell you *That term fit Miss Syd to a T! That's where the "Miss Thing" , "Miss Syd", "Miss Bossy", and "Miss Bitchy" names came into play! :)

Once a Basenji owns you, you will find a love for a fur baby like no other. They are so intelligent. I tell people when I talk about our Miss Syd, and little man Sheldon that they are smarter than most people I know. They are clowns! They have you wrapped around their little hearts in no time.

When Sydney was 4 years old I talked to Steve about how hard it would be if we were to lose Sydney. How lost we would be without her. I begged Steve to let us bring home another Basenji. At first Steve was against it, and being Steve he just had a hard time telling me no. That's when Sheldon was added to our family. OMG it was a nightmare when he came home. Miss Syd did not want any part of "look Syd here is a baby boy for you to love"... LOL I think her feeling was "Oh Hell No", not in this house! She beat him up. Now it sounded like blood was flying, but it was all noise. No bite marks. But regardless Sheldon took a beating from Miss Syd. I called Tad and said "I have got to bring Sheldon back" it just was not fair to this beautiful boy. I took him back to Meisterhaus. When Tad and I talked he said he put Sheldon back with his litter mates and he just sat in the corner of the pen. Then Tad thought he would put Sheldon with the older "Bitches" and the same thing. Sheldon missed me. His mama.

Sheldon and I had bonded and his heart was broken. Well Miss Syd and I made a trip back to Meisterhaus, visited a bit, Sheldon was brought into the room to see what Sydney's reaction would be. Still she could care less about Sheldon. Sheldon had spent the nights in our home with me and he would lay up by my head suckling on my ear lobe.

I told Tad "I have never failed at anything I have set my mind to accomplishing", and so Sheldon was brought back to our home. As Sheldon grew he started to tower over Miss Syd, and he also didn't take any of her crap!. But, Syd was the leader and Sheldon would follow one step behind her. Always. Our hearts are so heavy over the loss of our Miss Syd. We have our good days, followed by our bad days. Today is a very difficult day as I said, "It would have been Sydney's 9th Birthday". When she was admitted to the Vet and put on IV's I told Dr. Weakley we were planning the Biggest Birthday Party for when Sydney came home for good. That won't happen as Miss Syd has left us and taken a BIG part of our hearts along with her. When Sydney was admitted to the Vet's office Tad had told me about a Dr. Gonto. He is a people doctor, but he had a Basenji boy who came down with Fanconi and finally went into Renal Failure. But while facing this battle for his boy he developed a protocol that the Basenji people follow to treat Fanconi. It is not just something fur babies can develop, humans as well can. I kept in close touch with Dr. Gonto during Sydney's battle. Once you meet a fellow Basenji person you have an instant friendship. When I contacted him about our loss of Miss Syd I got the most heartwarming email. Here is just a piece of that email:

**At this point, I have no doubt that Syd has found Topper. I sent a little prayer asking him to keep an eye out for her. They can both figure their way around the best sunshine spots in heaven together.***

Topper was Dr.Gonto's boy. Yes he has suffered that loss of his baby boy as well. Just a week or so before we lost Miss Syd. Sheldon is glued to my side 24/7. He is so lost. We have stopped everything we are doing to console our boy. We try not to say Sydney's name out loud so he doesn't constantly look for her. I know time heals all wounds, but this is such a heartbreaking day for the Pierces... :(

Why do we put ourselves through all this pain? Bringing fur babies into our lives only to lose them way too soon? Because their love is like no other. It's unconditional. They greet you at the door when you come home like they haven't seen you in ages! They lay with you and console you when you are having a bad day. When you look into a Basenji's eyes you are looking straight into their soul.

Rest in Peace "Miss Syd" We will find you when it is our time to leave this Earth *At Rainbow Bridge*

"Sleep in Heavenly Peace" Baby girl. You will always be with us in our hearts.

Love Mom, Dad and Sheldon Pierce


A page from Sydney's Scrapbook


The day we brought her home Snuggling in Mom's lap

See the #1 on the back of her neck?
Sydney will always be our #1 Basenji :)

It just doesn't get any sweeter than this!

Our baby girl experiencing her first Snow Fall

All Stretched out on the deck steps to our pool

What a beautiful face

Sydney's first boat ride

Her first dip in the Lake :)

One of my favorite pictures! Ashely and Miss Syd fishing

Our "Keepers of the Heater"

This is a rare photo of Sydney and Sheldon laying together. I had just gotten up from the lazy boy and they were in my lap. This is the way they ended up and only lasted long enough for me to grab my cell phone and snap this photo.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wee Memories~ BIG Giveaway


I just ran across a post on facebook about Tami's blog "wee Memories" and a give away! i just have to share with you!
So run, don't walk over and see for yourself! :)
and enter to win one of these Awesome Color Cubbie's!

Be sure to check them out HERE... and the owner, Tami, is such a sweetie so be sure to go on over to herblog and let her know how much you like them. So sweet she was kind enough to let me give one away to you! Thats right! One lucky follower will win one of these awesome storage systems. How cool is that?

Heres what you have to do to win one of these:

- Become a follower here if you haven't already
- Post about this giveaway in a blog post or on your sidebar, help spread the word about Studio 3 Solutions and this great storage system!
- Leave a comment here letting me know you have done these and what you think of the Color Cubbie

Thats it! This giveaway will run from today until next Wednesday the 8th of Sept. Good luck!! :) :) :)

Blessings~Melanie:)