Western Reserve Day 2

Saturday was a bit of a repeat of Friday, but the final results were mixed, better in Sweeps, worse in the breed.

Amigo - Best of Opposite in Sweepstakes

Chaverah - 1st - 9-12 month sweeps

 Both Amigo and Chaverah were first in their Sweepstakes classes under Susan Lasilla, and Amigo was awarded Best of Opposite Sex in Sweeps – way to go little man!

Dragoon - Reserve Winners Dog

Poor Dragoon, was once again Reserve Winners Dog, this time to a different 6-9 month puppy.   He must be feeling like the bridesmaid who is never a bride.  This is his THIRD Reserve Winners in the last 4 Western Reserve specialties!

Although Dolly made the cut for bitches, she didn’t even get an award of merit.  Hunter came second in the stud dog class (a mixed emotion since Amigo was progeny of the 1st place Harvey), and Rocky again won the Brood Bitch Class.  

I think this was Hunter’s last specialty to actually compete in the classes.  He can still go into the parade at the National but there are a lot of young veterans now who can outmove him.  Just don’t tell him he’s old, he hasn’t figured it out yet.

Personal unforgivables!

I was talking at ringside on the weekend with a breeder judge, and we both agreed that the faults that we, as breeders, work the hardest to remove from our own lines, are the ones that we seem to be the most unforgiving of when we are doing ringside evaluation of other dogs.

I had the opportunity to watch a lot of the judging this year, since my dogs were handled by others, and I realized that the two things that I have the most trouble moving past, are bad toplines and restricted movement. I can forgive a head that isn’t “pretty”, a slightly longer coat, less clarity of colour, and feet that aren’t as “fat” and round as they should be, but I still can’t get past a herding dog that can’t move.

I love digital because it gave me a lot of opportunity to shoot and shoot and shoot without worrying about the developing cost later. Here are a few of the things I noticed in my own dogs.

Amigo - 10 months

 Amigo at 10 months, is a little high in the rear.    I love his rear and I think when he gets himself levelled out and in total control he’s going to be quite the contender.  He has tremendous reach and gets his rear well under him too.  He’ll be a lot of fun in the future!

Chaverah - 10 months

 His litter sister has grown at a much more even rate.  Although she wasn’t my pick bitch from the litter, (Miss Amie Fluffernutter appealed to me more structurally), she definitely has virtues that are well worth carrying on with.    For what I consider a short upper arm, and a straighter reat than I prefer she does exhibit good reach and drive, and that topline!   I couldn’t ask for that to be any better.   In both these puppies the issue I’ve been battling recently of tail carriage doesn’t seem to be a problem at all.

Dragoon - 22 months


 Then there is the Goon.  It was hot, and he was already worn out by the time that this picture was taken.  Just like Amigo I love the rear on this big boy, and he too has that great reach and drive.  I love the croup and tailset and I can’t wait to see what his first two litters look like!

Dolly - 3 years

And then there is the Princess, Dolly.   The thing about Dolly is that she just floats and never really appears to be working hard.    She has what I would call a  true “farm dog” demeanor – she would move along with those cattle all day and never get weary.   Like Chaverah, yes I would like to see a little more rear on her, but perfect has not yet been achieved. 

What I do stress in all four of these photos, is that nowhere is there a roach to be found, and none of them are restricted to not being able to move their rears beyond the vertical.   To me, those are two serious breed issues, and if I had to pick numbers three, four and five – long tubular bodies, temperaments and coats.   I saw a lot of all three  and I hope that we aren’t going down those roads because we will take a long time to recover from the trip!

Western Reserve 2010 – Day 1

Another hot and muggy yearly trip to Ohio.  I think they need to move the show to October! 

This show has become a hard trip for me. Emotionally, its the last place Chris and I travelled to together before he went into the hospital, so every corner of the town has memories.   Our usual evening walk to the ice cream store or the candy store, is something I now don’t want to do  alone.   Plus because it is such a big show, and everyone has so many dogs entered not a lot of socializing gets done during the day.   This year the heat zapped people so badly there wasn’t any socializing in the evenings either!

Physically, I always seem to do myself in at this show.   The Sunday before leaving I tried to get something out of the glove box of the van, leaning over the seat, and pulled a muscle in my back.  Chiropractic treatements Monday and Tuesday at least had me walking normally again.  However, after the long drive Thursday, I put it out again trying to set up everything by myself.  So again I had to rely on everyone else to do my work for me 🙁

Chaverah - 1st - 9-12 female in Sweeps

Chaverah and Amigo both won their sweepstakes classes on Friday under Kathy Davis, but progressed no further.

However, in the regular classes we had quite a successful day. Our judge for Friday was Simon J. Parsons, from the U.K.

Amigo - 1st - 9-12 month Male

Amigo won his 9-12 puppy male class with Katie Brooks handling him. Katie and Amigo have already earned one major in the U.S. plus a single.

Dragoon - Reserve Winners Dog

Dragoon and Tim won the Open Dog class. In Winners, the judge pulled Dragoon, and then Amigo, and then Kathy and Cathy’s Ramsay (the 6-9 month winner). Unfortunately for me, (good news for them!) Ramsay was Winners Dog, and Dragoon was Reserve. There is no Best Puppy award at WR – so Amigo went no further.

Chaverah - 1st - 9-12 month female

Chaverah again won the 9-12 month class in the regular show, but also went no further.

Dolly - Select Bitch - and NEW GRAND CHAMPION!

The highlight of the day was that Dolly was awarded Select Bitch, for another 5 point major. This completed her American Grand Championship also. In the photo are Tracie Zeitz, who handled her to this win, and Katie Brooks, who put the first 23 points on her in 3 weekends.

1st in Veteran 13+ and Stud Dog

The two old-timers did well for themselves too. Hunter won the 13+ sweeps and regular class, and Best Stud dog, and Rocky won Best Brood Bitch (she was too young for veterans at this show).

A nice load of ribbons (especially that Select Rosette!!), a nice bunch of trophies, and a new Grand Championship – not a bad day at all!

The Canadian National Specialty 2010

Five weeks after the American Nationals – the clan travelled west with Marlene Ness and Mark Ragusa to compete at the Canadian National Specialty in Edmonton. Once again, even though I couldn’t get the time to make the entire trip, I did manage to fly out Friday for the judging, getting home almost midnight on Sunday and going into work from a motel near the airport on Monday morning.

The Canadian National was judged this year by Diane Baillie – a Pembroke breeder/judge from Australia. Sweepstakes were judged by Dave Brunnel, a German Shepherd breeder from the west.

In Sweeps, all of the puppies won their classes, Amigo, Dragoon and Chaverah, but the only other dog entered won Best in Sweeps. Chaverah was the Best of Opposite in Sweeps (pictured here with the specialty judge who gave her 1st in her class).

Hunter was the winner of the Veteran Sweepstakes.

The specialty itself was a bit of a juggernaut for us, with dogs I own and dogs of my breeding bringing home everything but the bitch and unofficial classes.

Amigo (Yasashiikuma Friend of Mine) won the 6-9 month old class and brought home Reserve Winners Dog and Best Puppy, just like his mother, when she was Reserve Winners Bitch and Best Puppy in the Yukon in 2004.

Chief, Yasashiikuma Burning Issue, from the Fire litter (Sonny x Cinder) finished his Canadian Championship by going Best of Winners from the Open Dog class. I am very proud of his 11 year old owner/handler Eden Dale from B.C. who earned all of his points herself. Job very well done!! I think you could have knocked her over with a feather though when the judge pointed to her 🙂 I’m not sure if her feet have touched the ground for the past month.

Dolly achieved another milestone in her career – winning Best in Specialty and Best Canadian Bred. Another goal ticked off on the “to do” list. She is now a Best in Show and Best in Specialty winner, in addition to being the only Grand Champion Cardigan in Canada.

Although he made Mark work hard to earn it, Dragoon came home with Best of Opposite Sex in Specialty. He was unfortunately showing that he really is still a puppy, even though the body may appear grown up and wanted to goof around instead of showing. But to Mark’s credit he didn’t lower the boom on him, and kept his sparkle up, tough as it must have been!

The old man gave Dragoon a run for his money though. The judge said afterwards that she had actually considered him, but couldn’t give it to him because of his eyes (at 14 they are starting to cloud). He still gave a good account of himself and the judges I was mentoring at ringside were very impressed that a 14 year old could still keep up with the youngsters.

Since we were unable to get the judge for photos after the specialty (she judged Bouviers until 9:45 p.m.!!), and we weren’t sure if everyone would be around Sunday, we got this family portrait done just in case.

In the back row are:
Hunter – Best Veteran in Sweeps, Best Veteran in Specialty – with Annie Willaims.
Dolly – Best in Specialty, Best Canadian Bred – with Marlene Ness
Dragoon – Best of Opposite Sex in Specialy – with Mark Ragusa

and in front:
Amigo – Reserve Winners Dog, Best Puppy – with me
Chief – Best of Winners – with Eden