CWCCA National Specialty 2017

 

Trophy Cabinet

Another National is “in the bag” so to speak and what a busy National it was.   Not only were there my eight entries, but there were another 8 dogs also representing the kennel, so lots of classes to watch!

Of course the trip would not be complete without the usual “disaster” – this year it at least wasn’t auto related :)

So pour yourself a coffee, sit back and read on the saga of the “Great Diamond Heist of 2017″.

April 29th

 

No specialty seems to be complete without things going wrong.   It has been a trend, however, that the more that goes wrong, the better the resuts are in the end.   If I can forget my clothes or have a breakdown for some reason the dogs seem to do better  :lol:

The first disaster, as usual, was U-Haul.   Every year I reserve the trailer in plenty of time.  Every year U-Haul manages to screw up the reservation.   This year, they never contacted me with a place to pick up the trailer.  When I realized it and called, there were no 5×8 trailers to be had in Orangeville, since it is the weekend all the students are moving home from college.  As well, although my reservation showed a charge for 10 days ($179.95), they had only reserved a trailer for one day, April 29-30.  So once again I neeeded to spend hours on the phone trying to straighten out the mess.   A trailer was finally located for me in Owen Sound, and I drove up to get it.   As usual, once it was hitched up the lights didn’t work.  :-x

For once though, karma was on my side.   As the clerk was trying to change the reservation to give me a 6×10 trailer for the same price, someone came in to return a trailer 3 days early!  The clerk checked it in and we were able to snatch it since it wasn’t immediately booked out! 

 May 1st

PepeLePew Monday morning went fairly well, and we were only 45 minutes late getting on the road.   I am glad we planned on leaving early in the morning as several delays happened enroute.

Angelika had hoped to see some Canadian wildlife on this trip, especially a moose and a skunk.  Unfortunately (or maybe that is fortunately) moose don’t venture this far south.  And the only skunk we came across was a pancake on the QEW I tried to avoid!

When we got to the Duty-Free shop to pick up some “supplies” for the week, the odor of skunk was in the air.   I told Angelika to have a good whiff, and be thankful we weren’t closer to the source.

As we got to the border crossing I grabbed my passport folder, and Angelika’s passport and handed them to the Border Agent.   He opened my folder and said “It’s empty!”   I immediately panicked thinking I had somehow taken it into the house.   The agent asked what was in the trailer and if I knew the license number, which of course I didn’t.   He walked to the back to get the license, and when he returned said he smelled a skunk.   I told him we smelled one back at Duty Free – he said if you smelled it there, and  I smell it here – it must be on the trailer!   And it was….it followed us all the way to Huron.

The agent then asked for my license as identification and told us to go inside for secondary inspection so Angelika’s passport could be stamped.   I parked the van and grabbed the dogs’ binder off the dash, and my passport fell out.   I remembered the customs agent had asked for the dogs records on the way back last time, and I must have put the passport into the binder without its cover.   So a minor disaster was averted.  After fingerprinting Angelika to make sure she didn’t rob any banks we were processed and allowed to proceed.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, except for the occasional whiff of Pepe Le Phew and we arrived at a decent time, got the truck and trailer unpacked, and left the trailer a ways away from the rooms to hopefully air out over the week.

May 2nd

Jack Rally Trial 1

Jack and I tried something new this year.   I have not been in an obedience ring since 1991.  Jack needed to take up something that was fun and would build his confidence.   As a result, we took up Rally.   We had a half dozen lessons in the fall, and then started to do some practice at home in the weeks before the trial.  

My armband number was 5 meaning I was the first dog in the ring for the Novice A class (numbers 1-4 are never given out).   However, as the classes ran backwards from excellent, through advanced and ending with Novice A, I actually had the chance to watch other teams in action. 

We finally got to our turn and it turns out I’ve got a future obedience star on my hands.   I spent the last three weeks before the trial working on “down” and “down-stay” because I didn’t realize that they were in the group of signs that could be used for Novice.  It turns out it wasn’t needed – neither sign came up in either trial.    We were first in the ring for Novice A, and I thouight we had done pretty well.    Someone told me my score was 94.   Later I was told we were running in 3rd place.   So what a surprise to find out that Jacks score was changed to a 96 which at a quick glance appeared to be 2nd place.   Not so!   Jack was tied for FIRST place, and when all the qualifiers were called into the ring – he won on time!

Trial 2 Jack rocked another 96 score, however this time another dog scored a 97, so he earned a 2nd place.   I’m very proud of my little Rally Star!

JACK SELFIE1

Each night I took a picture of our trophy collection, and this was the first night’s shot.

JEWELS DAYS 1May 3rd

Wednesday was Sweepstakes and Megan day starting with Veteran Sweeps.  The day started on a great note!

Dragoon sweepsWho would have believe in January, watching Dragoon drag his right leg that this would have every been possible?   Dragoon proved what a trooper he is once again winning the 7-9 Veteran Sweeps class.

DRAGOON 1ST SWEEPS small

The young boys showed well, but unfortunately weren’t in the ribbons.   The evil twins though did very well!

HOPE AND SUSIE SELFIE

Hope and Susie placed second and third respectively in their large sweepstakes class!

And Day 2′s trophy picture

 JEWELS DAY 2

 May 4th

Thursday was the boys turn.   There was no love for Guinness who is going through the “brown bag” stage.    Rico unfortunately is taking after his father who took a long time to mature and looked small compaared to the other dogs in his class.

In the 12-15 class Taz earned a fourth and his brother Sully appeared to be in contention also.

Taz Selfie  

 Chronos and Angelika won the Amateur Owner Handler class.

Chronos

 Jack showed well in Bred by Exhibitor but again there was no love (I guess I should not be exhibiting!), and Gryphon placed 3rd in the Open Dog class.

Gryphon open 

And although he gave it a valiant effort, Dragoon placed second in the Veteran class, meaning he would not go on to the Best of Breed competition.

Dragoon vet class

So at the end of the day this is how our ribbon collection looked.

RIBBONS DAY 3And to wrap up the day – Dolly earned her CGCA title!

May 5th

Friday was the girls day – and they had a great day!

First Susie won the 12-15 month class!

SUSIE SELFIE

 Then Hope came second in the Bred By Exhibitor Class!

HOPE SELFIE 2

And then Jolene won the Open Class.   What a thrill to have two of the class winners in for Winners Bitch.  While she didn’t follow in her momma’s pawprints, Jolene went on to Reserve Winners Bitch, for a 3 point major to finish her championship!

JOLENE SELFIE

Finally Dolly was in the 9-11 Veteran class, and placed third.   She looked great for a girl who has been out of the show ring for many years.

DOLLY SELFIE

 

And the final counts for ribbons and trophies:

 

 

RIBBONS DAY 4 JEWELS DAY 4

All of this could not have been accomplished without Angelika helping out the entire week, and Tim and Tracie presenting the kids to perfection.   What a great team, to make the kids all look their finest, and a team of great dogs who get to come home which is the best prize of all!

Crossing the line into Dogsnobbery

While the word “Dogsnobbery” has not yet made it into the Miriam-Webster dictionary, it is a common enough term that Googling it brings up over 3.5 million references!  

What is dog snobbery?  It is the feeling that purebred dog owners are superior to mixed breed dog owners, and by definition breeders of quality purebred dogs are superior to those breeding lesser quality dogs. 

What it also is – is a condition that is going to cause the purebred dog world to implode upon itself.    As breeders of health-tested quality dogs, we want to segregate ourselves from the people supplying the pet market and breeding crossbreds, and dogs that don’t meet the standard.   Yet, in doing so I see so often people alienating the very market that they are trying to provide puppies to.

First, I have seen many posts in the last few months about a new website called Paws n Pups  that appears to have scraped club databases for information on breeders.  Yes, this site is advertising crossbreeds also which we as “preservationist” breeders abhor.   But if you look at the listings for your breed, you will most likely find it is a who’s who of your National Club’s breeder’s directory.  

Yet people are horrified at being listed on this page without their knowledge and consent and are notifying everyone that they know of that is listed on it.

My opinion, although it may be unpopular, is different.   I don’t mind being listed on these types of websites.   I look at it as an opportunity to educate.   If someone reaches out to me about should I buy a Cardigan corgi, or  a Pembroke corgi or an “American” corgi (a cross between the two breeds for those unaware) – I WELCOME the opportunity to educate that person and to give them the information that they require to make a good choice.   I will tell them what they should be looking for, how to approach breeders, and give them recommendations to those I would buy a <insert breed here> from if I were in the market for one myself.    So why NOT have your name on there and increase their chances of making contact with someone with ethics and knowledge instead of distancing yourself from Joe Public who may not KNOW to look at the AKC or CKC websites or the Breed Club directories.

And that brings me to my second point I feel really needs to be made about dogsnobbery.  There are some breeds I have a really difficult time referring people to breeders for.  One of the ways that we used to differentiate ourselves from the breeders just out to make money was that we did health testing when they did not.   I have been on the health testing bandwagon for 30 years – testing dogs long before it was fashionable to do so.    But now the pet breeders are starting to health test, and they are winning the battle.   While their puppies may not adhere to the breed standard and many are barely recognizable as far as “type” – again that does not matter to Joe Public.   He wants a dog that is going to live a long and healthy life.   It does not matter to him that his dog is a little long on leg, or the ear set is wrong, or even that the head looks more like a collie than a corgi!  He cares that he is not going to have a dog become incapacited with a shortened or severely restricted life because it is affected with a disease that there is a known test for, even if the science is not perfect.

Preservationist breeders argue that we can’t throw out the baby with the bathwater and maintain type.    Yet look at all the breeds that have eliminated issues, or were recreated by going away from type and carefully breeding back to it.    There ARE breeders who have managed to eliminate those testable issues from their lines and gone back to winning specialties with dogs clear of the health issues.   There was a dalmation with pointer in its background that won at Crufts.   I wrote about my own problems eliminating health issues in this blog post – Pruning the Tree Helps it Develop Stronger.

It can be done     In my mind Dogsnobbery is going to kill the demand for purebred dogs far faster than any of the crossbreeding will.   Just look how quickly Labradoodles and Goldendoodles proliferated.  It isn’t that people don’t WANT a purebred dog – or they wouldn’t give them fancy names and they wouldn’t buy into the “hybrid vigour” myth.   People want a HEALTHY purebred dog, and they need to be able to find the good breeders to get them – those who work to eliminate the genetic junk from their lines.   So before you get on your high horse and ride off into the sunset with the most “award-winning” elite, be sure that your boots are clean of the genetic muck you may be carrying on them.

2016 Wrap up – Beginnings and Endings

So 2016 is drawing to a close, and so are some hopes and plans.   Its been a rough year, and no fairy god mother, knight on a white steed, or lottery win has appeared.   So changes are going to have to be made, and there will be a number of young dogs available for sale or for lease. 

We finished up the year at the Elora Gorge Kennel Club show.   An ending of sorts, but a beginning too, as two of the babies made their ring debuts.

guinness-bbpig

My ribbon is almost as big as **I** iz!!!

 

Guinness was entered in Baby Puppy (3-6 months) at 16 weeks of age. He looked like a midget, especially compared to the German Shepherds and other large herding dogs, but he held his own and although he didn’t show well with anyone else, he did great with me the last day earning a Best Baby Puppy in Group. Here is his profile in the Best Baby Puppy in Show ring. Lots to love about this boy.

guinness-in-bbpis-elora-gorge-2016

And an entirely new chapter was written with the introduction of Annik.   It’s funny how many people in the show community now don’t remember that my first love was the wolfhounds.

me-and-ruari-st-martin-nb ruari-group-4-nbkc-2000

Long before the Dolly and Dragoon days – there was the Donovan and Ruari days!

But even though I can’t do that seven year heartache ever again, I needed a large dog in the house, and brought home Annik last summer.

She has gone through some wonky growth periods where I wasn’t ready to let the world see her, but Annik made her debut this weekend also.   Unfortunately as the ONLY Swissy she had no competition and no points, but it gave her lots of opportunity to go from goofball to “almost a show dog” over the weekend.  Thank you Dennis for your patience with her and her antics.   I have lots of high hopes for her in the future, and will need to get the website re-worked again to include her!

Here is her progress over the first show.

 So while it may not have been a “wildly” successful year, it was a good one.  Dragoon ended the year as #1 Cardigan Welsh Corgi in Canada, and #22 Herding dog.    Jolene won the Canadian National and will end up as #7 Cardigan, Hope as #11 and #2 puppy, and Susie will tie for #15.  Gryphon, Natasha and Sean are all close to championships.

In the U.S. there has been several major awards won by the youngsters, and titles earned in Europe also.

But breeding quality dogs is not easy, and without anyone to share it with, is no longer really feeding my soul.   Where at one time there was Chris, and there was a partner to share the joys and sorrows, its now all on me.   Joy is multiplied when shared, and burdens are eased when divided. 

So while there will be Yasashiikuma dogs out representing us, as things stand right at this second, you most likely will not see me. Good luck to all of you who are there to continue to carry the flag, I will be with you in spirit.  I hope all of your show days are successful ones.

Shelley

Cardigans and kids

When people ask me how Cardigans are with children, I always say that they are good with children as long as the children are good with dogs.   By that I mean I don’t expect any dog to put up with hair pulling or fingers in the eyes, but Cardigans are smart enough to remove themselves from the situation and go to a safe place.  Then it is up to the parents to teach the children to respect the dogs wishes.

But sometimes I place dogs in famiilies where children aren’t there where they first go home, but have arrived later.   What happens then?   Well I’d like to share  some photos of  Cardigans who are totally besotted with their new protegees.

badger-and-hugo-feb-2016I’ve been watching these two grow up together for almost two years now, and the close relationship between Badger and his little brother in every photo from infancy through toddler has given me damp eyes to see.  I love the frequent updates of their kinship.

15033963_10157676690445335_1724957623_oDuke has a new little sister to whom he is slavishly devoted.  He is never far from her according to mom, even sleeping under her high chair.

peppers-baby

And Pepper also has a new baby in the family, and this is where she can be found whenever the baby is accessible.  

So we know that young dogs can definitely adapt to having a new arrival in the house.   But what about an older dog?   One that is used to having its own space and own toys and mom’s complete attention for 7 years.

julies-babyJulie is Dolly’s sister, and her mom reports that Julie has taken on a whole new youthful attitude now that she has a baby brother to look after.   Here she was even bringing him one of her toys to play with.

Aren’t Cardigans just the most wonderful dogs in the world?