Monday, March 10, 2008

Dog Show Success

As owners, we feel pride when our dogs win; as handlers we feel relief, but it is as breeders that we feel satisfaction when our dogs win. We place our faith, beliefs, and hopes on the line every time we walk into the ring to show; the faith and beliefs we have in our breeding program and our dogs that we are doing what needs to be done to improve and breed the best. The belief and the hope that others will see what we see in our dogs. After almost 25 years of showing, I can tell you that anything can happen.

Boudi Winning Winner's Bitch Under Judge Arley Hussin for a 3-point major!

For those who don't know, in order to get an AKC championship a dog must win a minimal of 15 points; and in it's wins two of the wins must be majors. Majors are wins where a dog is awarded a 3, 4 or 5 point win. Often getting those "majors" are all that keeps a dog from becoming a champion. Getting down to the wire and needing those majors has kept many a dog show person on the road in search of a few last wins. It has also made a few quit.

With the economy tighting, folks are being to show less and the dog show entries are down making it difficult to find shows where there are "majors". Combine that with the games some people play--I.E. Some folks enter and never show up--change their mind at the last minute. A few go the first day, get beat and leave. Some will show up, see who is entered and either pull their dog or leave if they don't think they can win.--and the owner/handler has a difficult time finishing a dog. A few of us old timers consider these actions to be "sour grapes" and just a case of poor sportsmanship and manners. It's truly a case of "when the going gets tough--the tough get going." One needs to have a strong sense of faith and belief in themselves and their dog to keep on entering and going to shows.

I have been in that position some time while showing Boudi. She is my big beautiful brindle girl that personifies all that is correct in a Mastiff. As anyone who has ever shown a Brindle will tell you--It often takes much more effort to finish that championship. Some Judges just don't like brindles and there is definitely a "color prejudice" in the Mastiff ring. Only the toughest of Mastiff owners show brindles. At time, It takes a stout heart and a tough hide to survive the dog show ring with a brindle. This past weekend we finally accomplished our goal--we obtained our championship.

We entered the shows in Hilton Head, SC and with the help of a few good friends--we built majors so as some of us could have a shot at finishing our dogs. It takes the cooperation of other breeders, owners, and handlers to show and finish dogs. NO one can finish their dogs by themself. We all must work together. We enter puppies to help make entry numbers often knowing that in most cases--they are not going to win because the older more mature dogs usually win. Each of us know that in time as our puppies and young dogs matured, our fellow exhibitors would be entering their young dogs so as to provide numbers enough for us to finish our dogs. As my grand mother would say" one hand washes the other." Thank you to all my fellow exhibitors for coming, showing and staying with your dogs. I couldn't have done it without you!

Boudi winning Winner's Bitch for her second 3-point Major and completing her new AKC Championship under Judge Robert Shreve

Boudi did go Winners Bitch both days giving her two very coveted 3-point majors and awarding her an AKC championship. By winning her championship, Boudi also help place her Dam, Ch. Clas Myrrdin Morrigan owned by Jim Bennett in Carrolton, Ga into the MCOA Hall of Fame as a top producer. For me, this is a doubly sweet victory for Morrigan is the grand-daughter of my own beloved Maddie. As I gave Jim the good news on Sunday, he was standing by the grave of his beloved Morrigan. Both Jim and I cried as I told him the news. This is a well deserved honor for a wonderful dog and owner and I am so happy that we could be a part of it.
Gidget (Kiokee Against All Odds) winning Best Puppy. She also placed 4th in the Puppy Working Group!
On Saturday, Boudi's daughter, Gidget--Kiokee Against all Odds- won Reserve Winner's bitch from the 6-9 month old class. This was Gidget's first show weekend and she hit it full stride showing the world that she is going to be a wonderful show dog. Gidget also won Best Puppy on Saturday and then won Fourth place in the Working Puppy Group later that day! What a way for a baby to begin their show career. Thank you to Crystal Landreth of Pisgah Forest Mastiffs for showing my little demon in the Winner's class and Best Puppy competition. I couldn't have done it without you! I can't want to see the Photo of the win!

It has been said, that "Joy shared is Joy doubled". For me, the best win is a win that is shared and I do share this win with all those who help make it happened. Crystal & Matthew Lambeth and Sara Elkin for your friendship and support; Jim Bennett for my Boudi and giving Morrigan a wonderful home; Kathy Roberts and Jennifer McKemie for your undying friendship and staunch support; Mitch, Leila, and Amiee--my family who has always supported me and shared my dream. You made this day very special to me. Thank you all.

Last July when Boudi and her puppies were so ill --I didn't know if I would see a day when one of Boudi's puppies would enter the show ring. To have Gidget survive was a miracle and to see the blossoming potential in her gives me hope as a breeder. To know that my win is also the win of a friend is truly sweet. This is why I own, breed and show my dogs. This is my definition of success.

Boudi Chillin' after a hard day at the dog show!