Catch up post – the Summer of 2016 – CCCC Specialty

So the specialty weekend for Canadian National was in Halifax this year. Since my son’s family is down in Nova Scotia it became a family vacation combination along with an opportunity to take in the Specialty. Along the route I picked up my good friend Helen who came along to give me a hand with the crew since I went a little over board on the entries, with three All-Breed shows as well as the Specialty.

Show #1 on Friday was judged by Nancy Popovich. She awarded Dragoon a Group 3rd.

Show #2 our judge was Michael Hill. He found Dragoon for Best of Breed, Jolene for Best of Opposite and Hope for Winners Bitch for her first 2 points.  He then gave Dragoon the Herding Group!


Group 1
Michael Hill



Best of Opposite Sex
Michael Hill


Hope - Yasashiikuma Dare T'Believe Winners Bitch/Best Puppy Michael Hill

Hope – Yasashiikuma Dare T’Believe
Winners Bitch/Best Puppy
Michael Hill



Saturday at noon the Specialty began with Puppy Sweepstakes judged by Jean Clifford of Trailwyn Cardigans in New York.


Hope – Yasashiikuma Dare T’Believe
Best in Puppy Sweepstakes
Jean Clifford

 Hope was awarded Best in Juvenile Sweepstakes, and Gryphon Best of Opposite Sex in Juvenile Sweeps. In the Veteran Sweepstakes Dragoon was Best in Sweeps and Dolly was Best of Opposite. The Regular Specialty was judged by Kristen Francis of Stonecroft Pembroke corgis, in Ontario. First Gryphon was awarded Winners Dog.


Gryphon – Yasashiikuma Heart of a Lion
Winners Dog/Best of Opposite in Juvenile Sweeps
Kristen Francis/Jean Clifford

Then Hope was awarded Winners Bitch, and Dolly  Veteran Bitch.

With Gryphon, Hope and Dolly all needing to go into the Best of Breed ring it was necessary to wrangle extra hands and I thank Addison White for taking in Gryphon and Stepanie Toman for going back into the ring with Dolly, while Helen showed Hope, Shannon showed Dragoon and I took in Jolene.

It was a blur, but in the final line up Jolene won Best In Specialty, and Best Canadian Bred.  My little baby girl, at 17 months is now a National Specialty winner!


Jolene – CH. Yasashiikuma Jaunty Jolene
Best in Specialty/Best Canadian Bred
Kristen Francis



Dragoon – Am/Cdn GCH UK,FR, NL, Lux CH. Yasashiikuma Lest We Forget – RWW-’11, EUW-’11
Best of Opposite Sex/Best in Veteran Sweeps
Kristen Francis/Jean Clifford



Dolly – Am GCH/Cdn GCHEX Yasashiikuma Smoky Mountn Maid, CGN, CGC, TDI, TT, HIC, ROMB
Select Bitch, Best Veteran, Best Sexually Altered/Best of Opposite in Veteran Sweeps
Kristen Francis/Jean Clifford


And baby Hope at all of 6 months and 1 week was Best of Winners and Best Puppy


Yasashiikuma Dare T’Believe
Best of Winners/Best Puppy in Breed
Kristen Francis


Sunday, Dragoon again was Best of Breed, and Hope Winners bitch  for another 2 points.  And then he was in the All-Breed Veteran Sweepstakes – and won Best Veteran in Sweeps!


Best in Veteran Sweeps
Dr. Alison Jones


It was a whirlwind trip and I am still pinching myself! 




Catch up post – the Summer of 2016 – Western Reserve

There never seems to be time to actually post the news from the many things going on.   So I will try and catch up in a few posts so as not to be overwhelming by putting them all in one.  So first in the list – Western Reserve weekend 2016

This specialty had some interesting twist and turns.

The Western Reserve specialty #1 was judged by Sandra Wolfskill.    We passed on morning sweepstakes so as not to put a friend the judge in any type of compromised position.


In the first show Gryphon was first in the 9-12 month old puppy class, Jolene was first in Open bitch and Dragoon won the Veteran Dog class.


The second specialty a great family affair in the results.    While sweepstakes were not good  for the kids, the regular specialty results were under judge Mary Anne Brocious


First Patrick was Winners Dog.   This is his third time going WD at the Western Reserve weekend (he was WD/RWD/BOW/RWD 2 years ago) and this finished his American championship. Now American, Canadian & UKC Champion Yasashiikuma I Am Not a Number, and he was moved up to specials for the rest of the weekend.


Then his son Gryphon (Yasashiikuma Heart of A Lion) was Reserve Winners Dog! This would have been enough for the day but it continued.


jolene-reserve-winners-bitch-cwccwr-2016-smallJolene (Yasashiikuma Jaunty Jolene) repeated her win from the puppy class last year going Reserve Winners Bitch!

dragoon-aom-cwccwr-2016-smallDragoon (Am/Cdn GCH UK, FR, NL, Lux CH. Yasashiikuma Lest We Forget) was awarded an Award of Merit.

At both of the Lorain KC shows we ended up with judge replacements.  The first was announced change to judge Ole Nielsen from Ontario.     Unfortunately most of the dogs did not do as well as the rest of the weekend


Gryphon was Best Puppy in Sweepstakes under judge Sharon Ipser, a Bearded Collie breeder from Ohio.


Jolene, however, had a good day going Winners Bitch for her first U.S. Major. 

And then on Sunday we had another unexpected judge change 15 minutes before ring time.  All of the exhibitors were brought together outside of the ring and given options to replace the judge who had been unexpectedly detained.   The majority of the participants voted to have the Show Chairperson. Joe Holava judge, however that caused a scramble for handlers due to a conflict.   Again it was Gryphon’s day, this time going Winners Dog for his first U.S. major, handled by Betsy Nesselhauf.



So all in all, a very successful weekend. A new champion, two winners dog placements, a Reserve Winners Dog, A Reserve winners Bitch, and two U.S. majors….not a bad haul for a specialty weekend!


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” 😆

 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!

A clean sweep


I did not think that much could top the results of Saturday’s dog show, but I was totally unprepared for the results of the show on Sunday.   I was hopeful when I saw the judging panel that a foreign judge might recognize Dragoon’s quality and be willing to put their neck out to reward him over the more common group winning breeds.   I didn’t even dream about a full sweep!

In the breed, the results were the same as Saturday with the exception that Jack was awarded Baby Puppy instead of Jolene.


This last two points finished Patrick’s Canadian Championship   He is now CKC/UKC Ch. Yasashiikuma I Am Not a Number!  His pictures were so lovely I couldn’t decide between the full profile that showed his lovely arch of neck or the 3/4 head shot, so I had the photographer do a collage to show both.  I adore this boy’s head with its full stop and beautiful parallel planes!

Then we went on to the groups.


First little Jack like Jolene was awarded Best Baby Puppy in Group!


Then Dolly was awarded Best Veteran in Group again!


But the topper was watching Edgar and Dragoon win the Group!   I don’t know if that has ever been achieved before to win all of the groups!

Unfortunately, no love for any of them in Best in Show, but what a thrill to be able to watch all of them in the big ring!

I really could have floated home!