A weekend to remember!

Last weekend was one where the good news started early in the morning and just continued to come in!

On Saturday morning, I got an early morning call from Joan in Denmark

Denmark BOB at a show in 2011


Norton, Yasashiikuma Born to Be Wild,  finished his Danish Championship at a large show with over 80 Cardigans entered.

I then had a very nice day out on the bike and came home to a message that Dragoon had picked up a Group 2 under Tom Alexander!

Dragoon & Tim in the Megan

Dragoon & Tim in the Megan

 I couldn’t help but think that it was just about as awesome a day as I could possibly hope for, but it wasn’t done.


Baden in Open dog at the CWCCA National

Shortly afterwards another text came in, this time from Sheri Hurst that Baden, Yasashiikuma XIV K Scout’s Honor, also finished his championship – this time an American championship.   He sure has grown up from the puppy who was Reserve Winners Dog at the National last year!   Two champions and a group placement – what a fantastic day!

But it still was not done for the day!   Over in Russia, Baden’s sister Bronya, Yasashiikuma Do A Good Turn, finished her Russian Championship also!

Bronya Russian Champion 20140512

Bronya – Russian Champion – May 10 2014

Three championships, three continents and two group placements for the Dragoon was the final count for the weekend.  Congratulations to Joan and Jens (Kennel Smarti, DK), Sherri Hurst (XIV Karat, Texas)  and Charlotte Lamont, and Anna Zhudlova (Zhacardi, RUS) on your accomplishments and thank you, as always to Tim & Tracie for you excellent work with Dragoon.

Next weekend I hope will also be a fun one, as Sean makes his official debut in the show ring in PA.     Its going to be fun to see what this little guy does!


Another CC winner and an upcoming epic European battle

Last summer I had two wonderful litters and the puppies are approaching their first birthdays in the next few weeks.   There have been some phenomenal wins by many of the puppies,  and already many best of breed wins in North America and Europe.  Some of the puppies were pulled from competition so that they could continue to show in classes at the specialties, and one has already achieved a Dutch Youth Champion title.

This coming weekend, two of the boys who have gone to Europe and had amazing achievements of their own, will meet once again in a head to head battle 🙂

Draco (Yasashiikuma Dragon Defender) has just come off a show weekend where under UK breeder-judge Sarah Taylor, he was awarded his first CC for the U.K.     He was handled to this win by his owner Rachel Dijkhorst, who has already taken him to many Best of Breed wins and his Dutch Youth Championship.

Draco winning Best Male under Fran Fricker (Kerman, UK)

Norton, (Yasashiikuma Born to Be Wild) is a more recent emigrant, having stayed in North America for 10 months, and showed two weekends ago at his show in Denmark.   His new co-owner Joan Rogers was very excited to be awarded Best of Breed and earn HIS first CAC towards his Danish championship.

Norton winning Best of Breed in Denmark - May 5, 2012

This weekend, for the first time since my riding accident in October, the two cousins will meet again. It will be fun to see if they remember each other, or if six months is just too long a separation.

However, they will both be in competition for the Junior World Winner title, at the World Dog Show in Salzburg, Austria. There will surely be lots of other good competition, but I will be rooting for my two little Canadian representatives.

Hopefully good news to follow on the weekend!

News of ribbons and tadpoles

Norton has arrived at his new home in Denmark with Joan and Jens Rogers.   Not wasting any time, he was entered in his first show last weekend at Roskilde.


His first show was very successful and he won Best of Breed from the puppy class.   Since I am still getting used to the European championship requiremenets, forgive me if this is incorrect, but I believe this win gave him his first CAC of the three required for his Danish championship title.  Apparently, like in many places in Europe, he must win at least one CAC after the age of 18 months to finalize the title.   I actually like this system as it would weed out many of the pretty puppies who fall apart at a year of age!


While that has been going on, I have been running the Hormone Hotel and Infirmary here at home.   It appears that a mild form of Kennel Cough came home with many of us from the National, even in vaccinated dogs.  It is making its way through the youngsters here.  Add that to the fact that Dash, Naomi and Jade are ALL in season, it is a little nuts on the home front.   Even Hunter is taking part in the love ballad chorus, and with four boys here (Brogan, Chip, Dragoon and Hunter) the range of harmonics is quite interesting.

The lucky guy though arrived by test tube.   Jade has been undergoing progesterone testing for the past week, and the tadpoles from Powell arrived on Thursday and Friday.   I truly wish that FedEx could get itself oranized!!!   The shipment from Wednesday was supposed to arrive at the vets Thursday afternoon.   I was in the vicinity of the airport at a CKC Audit Committee meeting.    On my way to the vets to collect Jade, I called and was told that it hadn’t arrived.   I got on the phone and found out it was still sitting at the airport, so I arranged to turn around and pick it up.    I asked how could I avoid the problem with the shipment for the next day, and I was told to tell the shipper to mark the package to be held at the airport depot for pickup the next day.

When I got to the vet, the ice pack in the “Puppy Pack” had thawed, but thankfully the semen was still viable.   Later, I got a call from the vets office in Texas saying that FedEx had refused to take the shipment marked as we were told, so they had to ship it to my vet’s office again.

I called in the morning to interrupt the shipment while it was still in customs to ask them to hold it at the airport again.   On the way down, I got a call telling me it had been put on a truck to Cambridge.   Thankfully I hadn’t reached the airport yet, so I detoured west and picked it up.   This time the frozen pack was still mostly frozen and we had another successful AI.

All being well Dragoon should be a big brother on or about July 9th.   Fingers, toes and paws all crossed!



Choosing an attitude


So another Nationals has come and gone and once again I have had a typical “Shelley’s Road Trip Adventure”.    I’ve developed a new mathematical equation – “The ease of the road trip to Nationals (R) is inversely proportional to the success in results (S)” or S=1/R  🙂   As the simplicity of the road trip decreases, the success of the results increases.    Yes, that is making light of the difficulties encountered, but that is the attitude I am choosing to take.

So Monday morning, we headed out bright and early for Ohio.  Well, maybe early (9 am) it wasn’t so bright.  It was kind of cloudy up here, and as we got closer to the border, it started to rain, so that when we got to Niagara Falls, it was not going to be a pleasant day for Joan and Jens who were visiting to see the Falls.  We decided that we would continue right through to Ohio, and they would come back to visit on another day before flying home.   We did decide to stop on the American side so they could take some pictures.

Fate stepped in, by me choosing the wrong road to turn down to get to the State Park in Niagara Falls, NY.  I instead turned down a driveway for a government building, and had difficulty backing out with the trailer in tow (I took my motorcycle along this year).   While we were trying to get out I heard a “bang” but the engine seemed to be running normally.  A security truck from the building helped me to get turned around further down the driveway, but by that point, my power steering wasn’t working, and my alternator light was on.  As I got back on the road I noticed the temperature climbing and pulled over immediately.    Looking under the hood, the “bang” was the serpentine belt breaking – leaving me with no fan, charging system or power steering.   After some finagling with CAA and AAA the car and trailer were towed to a nearby Chev dealer who replaced the belt quickly and reasonably while we had dinner.    So we were a little later arriving into Huron than we had hoped but the repairs didn’t put too big a dent in my pocket.

The results at Nationals were quite good.  I was a little disappointed that Dragoon didn’t go as far as I would have hoped.  He made the preliminary cut in the Megan and since his number was called twice, was obviously a selection of both first round judges.  However, he went nowhere in the second round.  In the specials for some reason he didn’t even make the first cut.  More important, to me though, was the comments from several of the exhibitors who felt that he was going to be their main competition for the breed.

Naomi made the cut in her class, but neither she nor Shadow placed in their respective classes.  Dash and Norton both came third in their classes, and Dolly received an Award of Merit – even out of coat.  That is four years running she has been in major awards.   As for the babies in other homes, Justin and Bling both looked fantastic but there were not enough ribbons to go around, and Darren came first in the regular class and second in Sweeps. Maple placed third in the 9-12 puppy bitch class.  All in all, a very good showing for my kids and grandkids, and a lot more than many others came home with.

The sad part was taking Hunter in for the Parade of Titleholders.   As we went around, it hit me that this was probably the last time he and I would enter a ring together.  Even if he is still with us next year, it is unlikely that I will make the trip to Tucson, and if I did, I wouldn’t take him on a 5 day road trip.  I wish we had been able to get a photo of Hunter and his descendants at Nationals, but everything ran far too late, and everyone was far too tired.

Norton was supposed to go  live with his new co-owners…more about that in another post.   However, there were issues getting paperwork done in the U.S., so he had to come home to Canada to have the paperwork done.

So on Sunday morning, all was packed up to head back home, and I stopped at Tim and Tracie’s to pick up the rest of the dogs.  So far all was good, but about 20 minutes down the road on I-90, in my side mirror, I noticed blue smoke coming out from under the van.   Never a good sign!!   I immediately pulled over, and shut down the van and then looked underneath to see if I could see the source – and saw transmission fluid (I know my colours!!) pouring out from the front of the truck.

I called CAA/AAA again and got a truck to come out.  Tim and Tracie came and rescued all the dogs from the truck and took them home, while I waited for the drivers to come and get the van and trailer, again.   Tim gave me the address of his mechanic, and we towed the van there and left it.  The tow truck driver was especially nice and took me back to their house, instead of leaving me to arrange my own transport, which was all he was really required to do.

Since I had to get Norton back to Canada, and I also had a very important meeting about a job to attend Tim then took me all the way to Cleveland airport to get a rental car.  They also fed me and sent me on the road.  I made it as far as Niagara Falls, before I finally had to pull over and get some sleep.    Monday morning, I set out very early on the road again, and made Norton’s early morning vet appointment.  Unfortunately, the Agriculture Canada vet was on a bit of a power trip, and was difficult (same guy that messed up my flights for Crufts) requiring another trip back to the vet again, but all worked out in the end.    Late in the day I heard from the mechanic that it was only a transmission line that let go (when they put in the transmission cooler they used cheap hose), and thankfully I pulled over soon enough that I did no damage to the transmission.

Tuesday morning, I set off into Toronto for my meeting.  From there, I once again hit the road for Ohio to drop off the rental car, and pick up the truck, and trailer, and the rest of the dogs.    As I got out of the car and was taking out the crate and blanket we had put in for Norton, unfortunately my Iphone slipped out of my hand, and hit the concrete, resulting in a spiderweb of shattered glass on the front.  The screen protector though, held it all together.   I just made it before the rental location closed for the day, so I was able to turn it in and only pay 2 days rental instead of the 3.   Tim came out and got me, and I picked up my truck.  We then hitched up the trailer, loaded the dogs, and we all went out for dinner before I headed home.

I made it as far as I could before booking a motel in Hamburg, NY.  I stopped at the rest stop in Angola, and walked all the dogs so they wouldn’t disturb everyone at the hotel, and then checked in at midnight.

Wednesday morning, I was beginning to question the sanity of long distance truckers who do this for a living!  I don’t know how they are able to concentrate on the road, when one day just blurs into another.   By this morning, I was blaring my music as loud as I could stand, and singing along (couldn’t have been too bad as none of the dogs were howling!) 🙂    just to keep my sanity.    So I arrived home just after 12:30 and started to unload.  Larry came over and helped get the bike off, and some of the heavier stuff in.  My living room looks like a warehouse, but I’m pretty sure many others who went to the nationals are in the same state.    And then the final leg of the journey began.    I had to return the trailer to Georgetown, and Carrie to Toronto.   And then on the return trip, pick up Jade who has finally come into season.

So the whole trip was fraught with perils, and yet for some reason it hasn’t really upset me.  Maybe its because I’ve decided to change my atttitude about how I am looking at it, and taken a page from the 12 steps to “Let go and let God”.   No, I’m not an alcoholic (of the five  bottles of wine I took to Nationals, shared one, gave away two, and brought two home), but I’ve attended their meetings with people I have been close to who are.

This story, another one that has made the internet rounds, came to mind during all of this.   Even though I consider myself a spiritual, but not religious person, I couldn’t help but think of how it all pertained to this trip.

Me (in a tizzy) : God, can I ask you something?

GOD: Sure.

Me: Promise you won’t get mad?

GOD: I promise.

Me (frustrated): Why did you let so much stuff happen to me today?

GOD: What do you mean?

Me: Well I woke up late,

GOD: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start,

GOD: Okay….

Me (growling): At lunch, they made my sandwich wrong and I had to wait

GOD: Hmmmm..

Me: On the way home, my phone went dead, just as I picked up a call

GOD: All right

Me (loudly): And to top it all off, when I got home, I just wanted to soak my feet in my foot massager and relax, but it wouldn’t work. Nothing went right today! Why did you do that?

GOD: Well let me see….. the death angel was at your bed this morning and I had to send one of the other angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that.

Me (humbled): Oh…

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that might have hit you if you were on the road

Me (ashamed): Uhhh …………

GOD: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick and I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work

Me (embarrassed): Oh…..

GOD: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give a false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered

Me (softly): I see, God

GOD: Oh and that foot massager, it had a short that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m sorry, God.

GOD: Don’t be sorry, just learn to trust me ……… in all things, the good and the bad

Me: I WILL trust you, God ~!

GOD: And don’t doubt that my plan for your day is always better than your plan

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, thank you for everything today.

GOD: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I love looking after my children.

If Joan and Jens, hadn’t wanted to stop to see the Falls from the American side, I wouldn’t have turned down that driveway in error.  If I hadn’t made that turn, I would have been on I-190 when the belt let go – and there would have been no one around to help with the dogs.  As well, the dealership was courteous, helpful, and fixed it quickly, and all at a reasonable cost!

When the transmission line let go, I was driving in daylight.  I could have been driving at night, and not seen the smoke, and would probably have cooked the transmission.  As it was, it was again a minor repair.   All totalled, both incidents came to less than $300 to fix.

When I broke down I was on I-90 and the vehicle, and by being in it the dogs were in peril if someone struck it.  I am thankful for good friends like Tim and Tracie who rushed out and got the dogs to safety, and then looked after getting me settled!

I am thankful for another special friend, Carrie, who offered to stay an additional couple of days to look after the rest of the pack so that I could make the trip back to Ohio to pick up the truck and dogs.

I’m grateful to the tow truck driver who said he would not leave me sitting alone in a parking lot off the highway.

And I have to thank God, or whatever spirit was looking out for me on the highway, and timed these breakdowns in a way, that we were all safe, and had friends we could rely on nearby.

Instead of bemoaning the extra expenses, today I have chosen to change my attitude- and be thankful for these things instead.

And, oh yeah, Applecare has decided they would replace my Iphone too!!