Mamba – The Manager


About Mamba

Mamba was our first Pack Manager. From the day she was born, her mission was to know where all pack members are at any given time: her littermates at first, then humans – in case food or play were involved; her sister Leeloo – she’s hiding bones or toys somewhere for sure; then the youngsters: her son Ozzy, niece Bella and that crazy Rachel – most likely causing mayhem in the yard!

Growing up, Mamba had a lot of respect for her Mom Starr. As a puppy, she would try really hard to get close with little success. Her Mom was just too busy “herding” her littermates and keeping everyone in-check. Mamba learned rules of the house and all good habits from her Mom. She was an excellent student! Over time, Mamba established her role as the Alpha and she understood the value of leadership. Emoticons and cuddles were not quite in her job description. She rarely let her guard down, but when she did, her love and affection were deep and unconditional. I’ll never forget my special “Mamba’s hug” and our evening treat routine at bed time.

Mamba’s job was to make sure The Pack stayed together. If anyone strayed – intentionally or not – human or canine – she immediately would do her best to fix the situation, bring the dogs and people back together or at least let us know who was out of line. Unless of course the ‘nose’ took over for a short minute or five.. but then she’d jump back into her mission. She was the happiest when we all watched TV on the couch – that’s when she could close her eyes, take a nap and stop managing for a moment.

Mamba was the third puppy: all black with brown markings on her chest. She was born breach = feet first. We joked that even in the womb, she had to turn around and see who was behind her.  Manager in the making!  Her management nature was easy to spot almost immediately. She was very confident and ruled her sisters and brother from day 1. At ~4 weeks old the coat on her neck started growing straight up . It made her look like a little dinosaur.  Definitely someone in charge!

As a puppy, what made Mamba special was her interest in spending time with people.Mamba - Week 7 She could be playing with her siblings and the second a human entered the scene she felt it was her responsibility to meet & greet. She probably figured our that winning our hearts was her ticket to stay with us. And then there were the eyes!  Beautiful dark eyes with black eyeliner. It later became her trademark and she passed that characteristic to her children and grandchildren. Amazing! Mamba never avoided eye contact. Furthermore, she demanded it.  She made up her mind to stay with us forever and we never questioned her decision.

As the matriarch of our Pack, Mamba continued to supervise all activities around the house. You could count on Mamba to keep an eye on the youngsters playing around, on humans doing daily chores and just knowing what is going on. She also called the pack to action when she picked up an exciting scent in the field. Mamba generally did not bark or howl, but when she did, we all knew there was a good reason, most likely she found nice, fresh scent of a rabbit and we should all follow her lead. Bella quickly figured out that Mamba is her best teacher in the field and at home. Smart girl!

Carmel CA Beach (3a) Mamba @ Melrose (4) At the Beach (4)

Motherhood made our Mamba even stronger and more confident Pack leader. In 2010, she had her first and in 2012 – her second litter. She was an excellent Mom and the trouble was, she had a hard time believing that anyone else could raise puppies better than her.

Day 11 - Mamba Watching the Puppies When Leeloo’s March 2012 puppies were born, Mamba was surprised and could not figure out why she could not step in and just take care of them. After all she’s already been a Mom! It took Mamba a few days to finally accept the fact that the puppies were not hers. She was watching them from a safe distance, eagerly waiting for a moment to meet them. When Leeloo finally accepted help from the Pack, Mamba was in heaven. She was patient and happy to spend every minute caring for them. Big Auntie in action 🙂

Day 27 - Mamba & Puppies (1) Day 34 - Edward & Mamba Mamba & Bella (1a)

As Mamba got older, her involvement with our puppies evolved. In 2014, when puppy Khaleesi arrived, Mamba was settled in her management position. She was curious about the new puppy, but not too interested in taking over maternal duties. I guess beauty sleep became more important than chasing a puppy around. She would stay close but left the playtime and caring to Bella and Ozzy.

Then came Bella litters: Puppy Wookiee (2015) and Puppy Avengers (2017) and Addie’s Gr8full Eight (2016). Mamba chose to be the observer and supervisor: she always knew all about “who”, “what” and “where”, but she would let the young Blue Fairy Mothers do their duties. Playing a “Granma” was much more fun!

Day 28 (With Aunt Mamba) Day 58 (Waiting for Dinner with Mamba) Day 52 (Hanging out with Mamba)

With Rachel joining the Pack in 2016, Pack dynamics changed again. Mamba was now almost 9 years old and ready to pass on her management role to the next generation. She continued being involved in Pack activities but now valued more her time on the couch and lounging in the sun enjoying the ‘view”. Let the youngsters do the running, guarding and managing.

Mamba left us in April 2018, at 10.5 years old, due to a rare condition called Chylothorax. She took her last breath on my lap at home, being loved and feeling warmth of the afternoon sun. She will be missed forever.

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The Name

Black MambaMamba’s name was inspired by Quentin Tarantino movie “Kill Bill”. As a puppy, Mamba had a scary encounter with the neighbor’s Akita. The experience was very traumatic. We were joking that when our puppy grows up she will overcome her fears and will show the Akita her true strength – just like Uma Thurman’s character, the assassin Black Mamba. Well.. It never happened 😉  But, the name stuck: the puppy was black, confident, and full of energy. Most importantly, she started responding to her new name “Mamba” right away.

Mamba at the Beach (Day 56) Mamba (April 2014)

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The Talents

Mamba had a rare quality in Otterhounds: the obedience gene. Because of her management tendencies, she was very eager to please and participate in all activities. She simply wanted to prove her talents. This made her an excellent candidate for obedience training: on and off-leash. She not only responded well to “Come” command but also made sure that the other pack members hear it too. Extremely important ‘feature’ during our off-leash runs in the fields! Mamba was the first Blue Fairy Hound with Good Canine Citizen and Rally Obedience titles. Leader of the Pack!

Mamba exceled in conformation – she obtained her AKC championship title at 11 months old and received 1st Award of Merit @ AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Dog Shows in 2008 and 2009.

In 2010 Mamba completed requirements for an International (IABCA) Championship title. IABCA offers European-style International Dog Shows with international judging panel and written critiques for each dog, encompassing 12 different parts of dog’s body and movement. Mamba received top breed ratings and multiple hound group placements. Made us proud 🙂

For more Mamba stories, accomplishments, pictures and videos, continue exploring Adventures pages on our web site: AKC Canine Good Citizen, Rally Obedience and Dog Shows

Ashka & Mamba (5)Mamba Swimming 004

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The Mother – Litters Whelped

Day 29 - Mamba & Kids (2)On Christmas 2010, Mamba delivered her first litter of puppies: two males and a female. From the very beginning, she proved that her management skills were invaluable in caring for puppies. She exceeded our expectations and showed us that our assistance was appreciated, but not really needed. She had it all under control. She balanced daily exercise routines with the Pack and motherhood like a Pro, keeping the puppies fed, warm and entertained.
For detailed account of Mamba’s breeding and puppy adventures (pictures and videos) follow the link to page Puppy Patch: Puppy Chronicles 2010/2011.

Day 18 - Mamba & PuppiesJust before Halloween 2012, Mamba became a Mother for the second time. This time she delivered two males and three females, all black & tan. Her maternal skills only got better. She was attentive to the puppies and maintained her exercise schedule with the rest of the Pack. She knew exactly what to do and when to do it. A big difference this time was that our pack was bigger. Bella and Ozzy were eager to help with the puppies from the very first day. It was up to Mamba to decide when she needed their assistance. Another exciting Pack experience 🙂
For details about our fall puppies adventures, weekly updates, pictures and videos, please visit Puppy Patch: Halloween Puppies 2012.

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