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!


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


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.


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


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

And Day 2′s trophy picture


 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.


 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!


 Then Hope came second in the Bred By Exhibitor Class!


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!


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.



And the final counts for ribbons and trophies:




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!

The Tale of the Dragoon

Running between Tennessee and North Carolina is a highway favoured by  motorcyclists and car enthusiasts.   Since I was going to be so close to it, and wondering if my riding skills would be up to it, I decided that it was going to be a must see on the way to Chattanooga, along with visiting the Smoky Mountains so Dolly could show her children their “heritage”.

 On the way we passed through some beautiful areas. Unfortunately to drive and shoot pictures wasnt possible so the only really nice picture I was able to get with this panoramic view from a lookout.

Panoramic view

In the center of this map is an 11 mile section of road which is the actual “Tail of the Dragon”

Tail of the Dragon mapWithin that small little radius is this road:

map of the tail

This is a video about the route:

Thankfully tractor trailers have now been banned from the road!  It was challenging enough without that worry!

We came into the tail at the bottom – and decided to drive UP instead of downhill.  Thankfully we did!!

"Casper" and the U-Haul on the way up the tail!

“Casper” and the U-Haul on the way up the tail!

Never before have I driven a road where I needed to ride the brakes going UPHILL!!  It was a fantastic drive though and amazing to watch the bikers on their way down the tail.

When we got to the top Casper needed to have a rest as the stench of the brakes was horrible, and the dogs all needed a break also.

Killboy store

Killboy store

Although we arrived just as the store was closing Nancy Johnson was gracious enough to invite us in to look around and get some souvenirs.  She also met all of the canine crew and was totally charmed by Dragoon :)  She agrees it should be renamed “Tail of the Dragoon” :lol:

 Below are some of the pictures that we took

Pop machine First is the pop machine at the store – showing the curvaceous route that we had driven.

Parking lot tail Sculptures at the store and the hotel are made of motorcycle parts.

Dragoon and the Dragon 2We had to get some pictures of the Dragoon and the Dragon!!

Dragoon and the Dragon

Tree of shame Across the road is the famous “Tree of Shame” where parts from motorcycle wrecks are nailed.

Vertical dragon

And Dragoon needed to make friends with all of the Dragons ;-)

So after taking all of pictures and giving all of the dogs a chance to stretch their legs, we decided NOT to drive back down the Tail, but to go the longer way around and give Casper a break.  Nancy gave us directions on how to get back to I-75 and gave us some memorabilia and sent us on our way!

One of the places she mentioned was Fugitive Dam, where this scene from the movie “Fugitive” was shot.

 When we got to the dam, I went to take a picture of it, and realized I didn’t have my camera!  Since there was no way to turn around we drove a bit further on to Tapoco Lodge, turned around and headed back to the store.    Unfortunately it was closed already.  I was pretty certain I must have left the camera in the store and figured I would call the next day, and check on it.

So we headed back on our way and I grabbed this photo instead with my phone.  It looks a lot more peaceful in this photo.

Fugitive damWell it turns out that I never needed to make that phone call. 

When I got to the motel and checked my email, there was an email from Nancy saying she had found my camera and sent a biker from the motel out in search of us.   I guess he must have gone by when we were turning around at the lodge.

Well Nancy was sweet enough to make sure that my camera was back in my hands before I left Tennessee.  And today I finally got the chance to download it and had a very nice surprise!!

Meet Nancy and her dogs!  Thank you again Nancy for your tremendous effort in returning the camera!  Hopefully next time we meet I will be on the bike!



CWCCA Plaque for Group 1 placements in 2014

And one final photo! Here is Dragoon’s recognition plaque from the CWCCA for his group 1st placements in 2014. Never even thought about it – that was another pleasant surprise!

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

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.


  • 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 :)