There are so many people that I need to thank, because without you this never would have been possible. I’m trying for chronological order here, and please don’t be offended if I miss you – its just Part-zheimers and believe me any assistance I received was greatly appreciated.

First – my daughter Robyn and her other half Kevin. Robyn looked after the homestead and the animals left behind so that I could go! Kevin was the muscle behind unloading and reloading the van 🙂 (of course he is also the one who didn’t take the garment bag…but we won’t hold that against him!) They were also there to help unload the important stuff when I finally made it home even though Kevin has to leave for work at dark o’clock in the morning.

Then there is Deirdre Samples-Marr who put a Herding Instinct title on her Hunter son, Petey, and helped me unload the van on arrival and kept me company the first couple of nights. I wish she had stayed longer, but I hope that she enjoyed her first “National” and will be back!

Lori Kopreski who helped me groom dogs. I admit, I love them, and I have an eye for them, but I’m no groomer and no handler! Lori also gave me a corgi angel who is watching over my desk.

Penni & Carolyn who dealt with my meltdowns every time I missed Chris, my total grooming ineptness, and my panic attacks about tight closed in spaces. Penni wasn’t showing, except to handle Chase in Stud Dog class, and made herself useful in a million and one different ways, getting food, water, walking dogs, locating poop bags, taking photos, making our door and grooming table signs, all of which she wrote about on her blog in a post called “The Duties of a Bucket Bitch”. Without Penni I would still be taking down the grooming space in Topeka 🙂 Carolyn also tried to give me grooming tips, and showed Libby to second in the 12-18 month class.

Photo courtesy of Laura at Coopercreek Cardigans

Thanks to Leo for being our “height” to get the rainbow on our rainbow canopy!

To Emily for the beautiful pin of Chip and a dragonfly, and to Chase for my dragonfly earrings. You’ll notice that I never took them off after that first day!! (too superstitious to change anything that worked!)

Thank you to all of the other exhibitors who came up and expressed congratulations on our wins, your comments were greatly appreciated. And to the show committee for a great (if very busy!!) show.

Thank you to our judges who found my dogs despite my inept handling – Peter Clifton from the U.K., and Mandy Bossi who selected Dolly in the preliminary brindle bitch class in the Megan. And to Jonathan Kimes for selecting Dolly as Best of Winners, and Hunter as Best Stud Dog at the National and Gayle Garvin for awarding her Winners Bitch and Award of Merit at the Three Trails specialty.

To the Wisonski’s who put up a very weary traveller and allowed 6 bored dogs to use their yard as a race track a very big thank you. Your kindness to a stranger was greatly appreciated!

The Three Trails Specialty & The Return of Murphy

Its been a few days where I have had minimal time where I was both conscious and not looking after dogs but I seem to have caught “the bug” that was making the rounds of the show, so I’m home a little early and I’ll try to catch up.

The National dinner barely had time to settle by 4 a.m. when I awoke Sunday morning. I knew I had 5 dogs to get ready myself for the ring because Carolyn was on her way home, so I wanted to be down there as early as possible to get started.

Poor Dolly got an ice cold bath, because there was no sun to warm up the water in the hoses. Hunter got a bath on the table like one of those toy poodles.

At 8 a.m. judging started. Denise Waiting agreed to show Chip so I could buy a little extra time to groom the girls.

Unfortunately Ember was still being a little spacey. During the Megan competition she got spooked by things being dropped, and during sweepstakes by boxes being punched open. After that she was continually looking around for where the next noise was going to come from. Looks like I’m going to need to spend some time in noisy places with her.

And then it was Dolly’s turn.

And once again she won the Open Bitch class, and Winner’s Bitch. Unfortunately there was no break for photos so we didn’t get a digital picture of her win….we’ll need to wait for the official photo.

Then the old-timers showed and Hunter won 11+ Veteran so I needed to find a handler for him quickly. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea of this girls name, and if anyone can tell me so I can thank her properly I’d appreciate it.

One nice thing about Hunter, he couldn’t care less WHO is on the other end of the leash as long as they have food!

There were a fair number of specials entered and the judge wheedled them down. Hunter made the first couple of cuts but was eventually culled from the remaining group.

When all was said and done, Dickens won the breed, and Dolly won an Award of Merit. As I said, photos to come.

No sooner was the show and photo session over than Murphy raised his ugly head again!!

First I lost my van keys. I knew I had brought a spare set with me, but I couldn’t find them either! Penni, who was staying another night, was trying to help me pack and her hotel billed got crossed with her handlers, so she had to go back to the hotel. I had asked for a late checkout – and then extended it – and then Penni had to extend it again.

I went back to the hotel to get the stuff from my room and a convention of seniors from the “Eastern Star” (whatever that may be) were checking in and had queued up for the luggage carts. (I have it after Ernie, and he’s getting it from Mildred, who will get it when Fred is finished with it….) The concierge stole some sort of wheeled trolley for me from the kitchen and it took two trips to get down with all the luggage, the refrigerator (have I mentioned that I had to buy a refrigerator to store the dogs meat??!?), my travel box with dishes, laundry detergent, cutlery, etc, and the miscellaneous assorted goods that one collects at the National (goodie bags, souvenirs, etc).

Dolly also won a wooden chest, and a chair and a grooming bag that also needed to be put into the van. Lets just say it was a wee bit “snug”.

The keys were finally found where I put them down when I moved an ex-pen from the back to the front. We finally got everything loaded, Penni was headed back to the hotel with the trolley………and the van wouldn’t start……..again. 🙁

This time though it was just flooded, and letting it sit for a while it did finally turn over.

I had promised Penni lunch before I left, but we ended up with more like “lupper” – a late afternoon snack in the bar since the restaurant wasn’t yet open for dinner. John, the concierge, must have felt sorry for me by this time, and offered to take my cooler of dog meat out to the truck and put it in. I think I must have looked like death warmed over.

The 4 a.m. wake up combined with the late start, prevented me from getting very far that first night. It took me about 3 hours to get to Bethany, MO and that is where I bunked for the first night.

The next morning, once again the rains had started. The dogs got very quick potty trips and didn’t really want to go. It felt like I was driving forever and I should have gone the same route that I came down. There were definitely more trucks on this route, and more contruction sites! By six pm I was starting to fade quickly, and I had sent a email to some of my dog email lists to ask if anyone had a place I could let the dogs have an hour run.

Penni took up the challenge and started to phone people in the Chicago area, and found Judy Wisnoski who invited me to bring the dogs and let them run. You’ve never seen such happy puppies after 9 days on the road and showing. Not only did the Wisnoskis rescue my dogs, they also rescued me, insisting I stay the night with them. The break was very much appreciated!!

The third day on the road continued to rain. We crawled along until we were past Chicago and then started to make decent time. As I neared the border I called home and had my daughter check the Border exemptions allowed for being out of the country for over a week and totalling my clothes, my refrigerator, and the trophies. All for nothing – the border guard asked where I’d been, if I had the same number of dogs coming back as going down, and that was it!

I arrived home at about 8:30 p.m. – very exhausted, but glad we made the trip!

The Dreams you don’t dare to Dream….

There are some things that you don’t even dare to think about doing, or having, or even accomplishing. As I said in the previous post going Winners at the American National specialty, was a dream, and one that I didn’t expect to accomplish, but did this week.


…never did I even dare to allow myself to dream that Dolly would go BEST OF WINNERS!! But that is just what my little girl managed to pull off today. Best of Winners at the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America National Specialty, something I didn’t feel ready or worthy of accomplishing.

Being in the ring with some of the greatest dogs in our breed with my homebred mush Dolly was in itself a high. Ending up in that coveted second place in line had me literally shaking 🙂

That Dolly’s first points – and a 5 point Specialty Major is nothing to sneeze at!

We also managed to get a picture for Chip’s 3rd place in Open Dogs, although shooting over the photographers shoulder Penni cut off Jon’s head. 🙂

and here is our now “OBSCENE” (according to Penni) display of ribbons:

The long green and white ribbon on the left is Alice’s (Libby’s Mom’s) Award of Merit ribbon – she earned the first Award of Merit given out by Jon!