A weekend to remember!

Last weekend was one where the good news started early in the morning and just continued to come in!

On Saturday morning, I got an early morning call from Joan in Denmark

Denmark BOB at a show in 2011

 

Norton, Yasashiikuma Born to Be Wild,  finished his Danish Championship at a large show with over 80 Cardigans entered.

I then had a very nice day out on the bike and came home to a message that Dragoon had picked up a Group 2 under Tom Alexander!

Dragoon & Tim in the Megan

Dragoon & Tim in the Megan

 I couldn’t help but think that it was just about as awesome a day as I could possibly hope for, but it wasn’t done.

Baden

Baden in Open dog at the CWCCA National

Shortly afterwards another text came in, this time from Sheri Hurst that Baden, Yasashiikuma XIV K Scout’s Honor, also finished his championship – this time an American championship.   He sure has grown up from the puppy who was Reserve Winners Dog at the National last year!   Two champions and a group placement – what a fantastic day!

But it still was not done for the day!   Over in Russia, Baden’s sister Bronya, Yasashiikuma Do A Good Turn, finished her Russian Championship also!

Bronya Russian Champion 20140512

Bronya – Russian Champion – May 10 2014

Three championships, three continents and two group placements for the Dragoon was the final count for the weekend.  Congratulations to Joan and Jens (Kennel Smarti, DK), Sherri Hurst (XIV Karat, Texas)  and Charlotte Lamont, and Anna Zhudlova (Zhacardi, RUS) on your accomplishments and thank you, as always to Tim & Tracie for you excellent work with Dragoon.

Next weekend I hope will also be a fun one, as Sean makes his official debut in the show ring in PA.     Its going to be fun to see what this little guy does!

SEAN CWCCA 2014 2 SEAN CWCCA 2014 3

CWCCA Nationals 2014

Its been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to post. Good intentions aside, life has just been too crazy.

April, however, is the time for the annual trek to the CWCCA National Specialty. This year it was in St. Louis, but the events were not held at the host hotel as they usually are, but instead at the Purina Farms facility. The facility is gorgeous, lots of grooming space, lots of power, temperature controlled, etc. The problem was that I am not a person who likes to leave my dogs overnight at the facility, so it requires triple crating – one set for the hotel, one set for the van, one set for the venue. Start adding three sets of water bottles x 8 possible dogs – that is a lot of “stuff” to transport and creates the need for a U-Haul.

No specialty is complete without its disaster. Whether it be the non-starting van of 2009, or the forgotten show clothes also of 2009 (that was an exceptional year!!), or the broken serpentine belt of 2012, there has to be something that goes wrong with the departure. This year it was the U-Haul.

I wanted to be on the road Sunday morning, so I rented the U-Haul to pick up Saturday morning. The previous Saturday I got a call that the U-Haul was waiting for me to pick it up at the location I selected – unfortunately a week too early. Then they found me one for the next week 45 minutes away. I went and got it for 10 am Saturday morning, but the right signal didn’t work, and driving at highway speeds signals are important (at least to me!). I took the trailer to where I was originally to pick it up and they spent 3 hours trying to repair it – but the entire trailer needed rewiring. So at 4 pm I am desperately looking for a trailer for the week. I found one over in Stayner and managed to get it, leaving very little time to pack before dark and having to cancel a dinner invitation.

Thankfully that was the entire disaster of the trip this year. It seems the worse the trip, the better the results, so this year was pretty good results, but not the great ones of prior years.

Dolly, unfortunately has not been co-operative about getting into shape for shows this year.  At Westminster she was totally naked.  For the Nationals she has refused to lose weight despite a very restricted diet.  She is convinced she is going to die from the lack of food and is playing the part of “Pathetic” very well.

So only Dragoon showed at the Megan on Tuesday night.   He looked fabulous, and in my opinion out-moved most of his competition, but he only made the preliminary round.

Dragoon & Tim in the Megan

Dragoon & Tim in the Megan

 

We had a fantastic photographer doing candids at the National this year and she captured some amazing shots of some of the dogs   Comparing this photo to the information in the CWCCA trifold brochure, I think this is a pretty near perfect movement picture.

MOVEMENT

  • Free and smooth.  Effortless.  Topline level.
  • Legs do not move in exact parallel planes,
    but incline slightly toward center.
  • Forelegs reach well forward with little lift;
    hind legs reach well under the body,
    driving well beyond the set of the tail.
  • Equal reach in front and drive in rear.  Proper
    sidegait should be strong, workman-like, balanced.
  • Tail can be lifted when moving, but
    shouldn’t curl over back.

She also got this very nice standing photo of them.

Getting Mr.ADHD's attention is not an easy task!

Getting Mr.ADHD’s attention is not an easy task!

The next day, Wednesday, was puppy and veteran sweepstakes, and although I had nothing entered it was nice to see Hunter’s grandaughter win the puppy sweeps from the 6 to 9 month class

Thursday was class boys, followed by the 4-6 month old puppies.   In 4-6 there is no class placements, simply a best baby puppy and best of opposite baby puppy.  I handled Sean, and Natasha and Paula Weller handled Patrick.

Patrick smallThe puppies were narrowed down to two boys, and two girls for the final awards.  Paula and Patrick made it into that group but unfortunately it was the other boy that was selected.

Friday was the girls turn.  Both Dash and Cara were entered in the Open class.  I handled Dash, and Tim handled Cara.    Although Dash showed well for me it was Cara’s day.

Cara small

Cara – 2nd in Open Bitch

And then it was finally Saturday  – Best of Breed day.  All the specials had to be in the ring for 8 am check in,  which meant 5 am wake up , to be at Purina for 6 am.  Although Dolly was still fat (although less fat!) I thought she had to show in Best of Breed in order to show in Bitch.

Dragoon was in the first class of males, and made it through the first two cuts of males.  Darren is back from from the U.K. and made the first cut of males.

Darren small CWCCA2014

Dolly was the very last special.  When the whittling down was done Dragoon was awarded an Award of Merit

Dragoon - Award of Merit

Dragoon – Award of Merit

After the Best of Breed the unofficial classes began.   Dolly was in Brood Bitch and Bev Mercer and Laura Marocco assisted handling Cara and Dash, helping Dolly to win the brood bitch class.  :)

Dolly - Best Brood Bitch 2014

Dolly – Best Brood Bitch 2014

So there were highs and there were lows.  On the positive side, the dogs received some nice awards, the Purina venue was beautiful, lots of grooming space,  power, places to walk the dogs etc.

On the minus side, not having everything in one place made the trip harder, made socializing more difficult, and I missed the two things I am sure to attend every year – breeders education and judges education.    There was also a problem with food, and I was glad I had a mini-coffee maker and lots of cereal bars and protein drinks with me.  Of course the trip home had to be a challenge.  There were two major lines of storms tracking across the southern states and I was driving  north between the two of them.  With the torrential rains, and winds trying to send the van and trailer para-sailing I was driving with a death grip on the steering wheel for 21 hours.  Now my carpal tunnel has flared up so badly I can’t hold anything and I’m wearing braces on both arms.

I honestly don’t think, at this moment, that I will attend the 2016 National, unless Purina has built a hotel on the grounds by that time.  I have to realize I am getting older and the trip is getting harder each year :(   If I do consider it, it may be sans dogs, or with just a single one.  I will definitely go to Ohio for 2017 though!

Now all thoughts turn to finding suitable panels to show in Ontario, until the big trip west in the summer :)