Perception vs. Reality

“The life you see this very moment isn’t necessarily the life of your future. You might be viewing things through the eyes of your fears, limitations and false assumptions. Once you clean up the stained glass window you see the world through, guess what? A whole new set of possibilities appear. Remember, we see the world not as it is but as we are. That idea changed my life.”Robin Sharma

 The past two months have been extremely emotional ones for me.   There have been highs and lows, successes and failures, joy and profound sadness.   I love Robin Sharma’s discussions on stained glass windows – that what one person sees is not necessarily what another does when looking at the same item or event, because we each look at it through a window coloured by our life experiences and events.   Where one person might say something is horrible, another says it is beautiful, and that is okay – each is putting it into their own context.

The death of Robin Williams yesterday has opened a new well of feelings, and a renewed need to really look at the joys and successes in life.  

Over the past two weeks, I did a lot of traveling and spent a lot of time in the company of the dogs.  I knew that this was Dolly’s last outing as a special, but really didn’t announce it, just kept it to myself, lest I be accused of trying to influence the results.  Only after our last showing on Friday night, did I celebrate her career as I posted in previous blog post “Wasn’t that a party?”

So, the results of the shows we attended weren’t “SPECTACULAR”, but in retrospect they were pretty darned great!!   Now that I have had time to digest it all, the kids were consistently “in the ribbons”, and the more I think about that, the more I realize that really, that result almost says more than had they been spectacular.

The Canadian specialty, although I had hired a handler, he unfortunately got stuck in another ring, and didn’t make it for specials.  Would the results have been different? Who knows.  But with a fairly incompetent breeder-owner-handler Dolly still managed to win the Award of Merit, and I’m actually checking with CKC on whether she should have also had the Select.   That isn’t too shabby for a 7 year old bitch, who has had 3 litters!

At the first Western Reserve specialty Dolly was Select bitch.  Again, given the excellent quality of the entry, I am pretty proud of my girl for that achievement.  Did she beat the #1 Cardigan in the country? No, but with 20+ specials in the ring I was pretty happy! 

Patrick had an amazing run for his first outings.  After his UKC successes, he was Best of Opposite Sex in the Puppy sweepstakes to an older puppy at the Canadian National. 

patrick cccc

At the Western Reserve Specialties and associated shows, he was Winners Dog at the first specialty, Reserve Winners at the second specialty and supported entry, and Best of Winners at the final all breed show!  Two four point majors his first weekend in the U.S.!

patrick cwccwr1

Patrick’s brother Sean, also placed very respectably placing 2nd or 3rd in every show.  This is a shot of this duo a couple of weeks ago.


Duffy, had a blast, but is suffering from teenage boy ganglies!  He reminds me of his mother at this age, and hopefully he will come into himself just as beautifully.  The structure is there, he just needs some body around the framework! 😀

It wasn’t Cara’s weekend to shine – but that’s okay.  Cara is a bitch you love or  you hate and I still love her despite her brattiness.  Only one token bark this year, no grabbing the leash and barking at Tim all the way around the ring!

And then there was the Dragoon.   I’m very proud of how he did!

 Dragoon CWCCWRDragoon was Select 3 of the 4 days, and 1st Award of Merit on the fourth.   At Thursday’s specialty he was pulled out behind Zorro, a grand 14 year old special who we have watched grow up over the years with his former Junior Handler Philip Myers.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when this pair won the specialty!  Congratulations to the Myers family, Tim & Tracie, Stephanie Hoyer and Bob Caldwell who were all involved in his creation and development!  It was a beautiful moment, and I hope that my guys will still look that good at that age!

Interesting to note that Zorro’s dad, Oban, is also Patrick’s father, so together with Dolly and Dragoon’s Select awards and Patrick’s Winners Dog, it was all in the family!

On the second day of the specialty the dog winners were Jacque and Don Glenn’s Oscar (a red boy I adore) and Cindy Bossi’s Leo (another boy I hope to use in the future).  Lovely males that there was no shame to be behind in the line up.

On the third day another nice young male, Keats, owned and bred by the Beshau family and Nancy Willoughby was the breed winner, and on the last day Cracker, a male bred the Anthonys.  

Looking at it in retrospect, although he never won the top male prize, Dragoon was consistently #2 or #3, while the winner each day changed.  I am pretty pleased about that also.  It may not garner him points in the rankings, but it definitely felt good that he was always in that final line up!

So while the reality is, no we didn’t win the breed at any of the specialty shows, my perception is that we still had a very good showing.  Maybe if my dogs and I were consistently top contenders I wouldn’t feel the same about being the bridesmaid, but right now that spot feels pretty good!



Wasn’t that a party?



This has been quite the week, and I can finally get around to updating the blog and dedicating this post to my very special girl Dolly.   I made a decision about a month ago, that this week would be Dolly’s last week of showing as a “special” (a champion), in shows.  She is 7, she is a mother of 19, wonderful puppies, and I arranged to hopefully send her out with a bang, showing her at three specialties the last week of her career.

Last week we travelled to Calgary, Alberta to show at the Alberta Kennel Club shows, and the Canadian National Specialty.   Dolly placed Best of Opposite Sex or Select in the 4 all breed shows, and at the Canadian National was Award of Merit, Best Brood Bitch, Best Veteran and Best Brace with her son Patrick.

Unfortunately the photo taken there was so ugly, I didn’t purchase it – so we have nothing to share from that weekend.

We then travelled down to Ohio, for the CWCCWR specialties where there were more dogs in the specials class alone than there were total entries at the Canadian National.   On Thursday, under judge Emily Fish Barnhart, Dolly and Dragoon were Select Dog and Select Bitch – an amazing end to her specials career.   


In addition to this her son Patrick (Yasashiikuma I Am Not a Number) was Winners Dog the same day.


On Saturday night, I posted an invitation and invited people at the show grounds to “Dolly’s Retirement Party”.

While she didn’t “go out with a bang” as I would have hoped she had a very respectable week of showing as an end to what I can only call a phenomenal show career.


Seven years ago I could never have imagined what a wild ride this little puppy would drag me along on at the end of her leash!


She finished her Canadian Championship easily in 3 weekends including going Best Of Winners at the booster preceding the specialty in 2008 in her underwear!  What a little tube she was!

Three days later, at the CWCCWR specialty in August 2008, she was Reserve Winners bitch under Gayle Garvin.

Just after this, I lost Chris, and disappeared from the show scene for 6 months coming back out at the CWCCA National specialty in Topeka KS, April 2009.  Despite the early end to our show season, Chip still ended up as #1 Cardigan in Canada that year, and Dolly as #5.

Dolly’s show career kicked into high gear with her Best of Winners Award for 5 points at the specialty under Breeder Judge Jon Kimes, and the following day Winners Bitch at the Three Trails Regional Specialty under Gayle Garvin for another 5 points.

Dolly began accumulating group placings in Canada, and in September was awarded an All-Breed Best in Show by Cheryl Myers-Egerton, the first Canadian bred bitch to achieve this award, and she did it in her underwear!


This qualified Dolly for an invitation to the Show of Shows in November 2009, where she again made history as the first Cardigan to even place in the group, placing 2nd behind the current #1 herding dog in the country.

In 2010 we returned to the US for another Natrional Specialty, where she was again awarded Winners Bitch to finish her US Championship with 3 5 point majors.

In August 2010 Dolly headed out west for the Canadian National Specialty – and won Best in Specialty!  This win also gave her the final qualification for her Canadian Grand Championship Excellent.  To date she is still the only GCH EX Cardigan.

Following this in July 2010, Dolly went down to the US for a short visit with Debbie and Katie Brooks to pursue her American Grand Championship also.   For the first two weekends she was undefeated, and would have completed the requirements the third weekend except for the final judge.    So she went into the CWCCWR specialty in August 2010 needing that last point.


Instead she picked up 5 points, and Select bitch under judge Simon Parsons, from the UK!  This made her the first American Grand Champion bitch!  And she is still the only Dual Grand Champion!

Next on her agenda was the Chesapeake Cardigan Corgi specialty in October 2010.


Dolly achieved a specialty Best of Breed  in the US with her incompetent breeder/owner/handler on the other end of the lead!   After this she went into the Group with Howard Huber, and came out with a group 3.

April 2011 – we once again headed south for the CWCCA National – this time in Houston under James Reynolds.


At this show, Dolly was 3 weeks pregnant with her first litter – the Double D puppies – Dash (Dare to Dream Big), Darren (Double Dare), Draco (Dragon Defender), Justin (Dancehall Doctor) are all Champions at this time.  Darby, Thor, and Bunny were all placed as pets, and Daisy was unfortunately placed with a friend who abused my trust.

In December 2011 Dolly and I travelled to Florida for the Eukanuba Invitational.  At this show Lois Demers handled her to the 1st Award of Excellence.


Then in March of 2012, I made the trip over to the UK for Crufts with Dolly and Dragoon to fulfill a bucket list item – to show at Crufts.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to handle her to Reserve CC under breeder judge Kim Neilsen.

In April of 2012 we headed to the US again for the CWCCA specialty and Dolly won an Award of Merit

Dolly CWCCA 2012


Shortly afterwards Dolly was bred for her second “lit” (not a full litter) resulting in my beautiful Cara.

In April 2013 we headed down to Arizona for the CWCCA National and Dolly brought home Runner up Brindle Bitch in the Megan, as well as Brace.

At the end of the year she had the Spy litter, and was not quite back into “fighting shape” at the 2014 National.  However her kids did her proud and she brought home Best Brood Bitch

Which brings us to this weekend, and Dolly’s party. 🙂

Dolly and I would like to thank everyone who stopped by to share in cake, drinks and treats.   Dolly herself would like to especially thank those who slipped her cheese, and meat snacks 🙂   Here are a few photos from Saturday afternoon.  Thank you all for your support of us over the years.   As the Irish Rovers sang “Tell me, me oh me oh my,
Wasn’t that a party?”

 DSC01726 DSC01725 DSC01724

Dolly enjoying a tiny corner of her cake!

Dolly enjoying a tiny corner of her cake!

DSC01720 DSC01722 DSC01723 DSC01718 DSC01717