I went to my first dog show in 1968. My family had just purchased our first AKC registered dog, a Saint Bernard, we called Brandy. I remembered that none of the dogs looked like any of the dogs in my neighborhood. That show was won by the Afghan Hound, CH Dahnwood Gabriel, the top Hound of 1968, handled by Michele Leathers Billings. The two of them were like rock stars, glamorous and larger than life. I was a short, plain looking kid with glasses from Memphis, Tennessee, and, for me, these two were celebrities. Now, I knew I was never going to be another Elvis or James Dean, but here was a world where mere dog owners were superstars.
Now 40 years later, Elvis and James Dean are dead, but I'm still going to dog shows. I never did achieve that rock star fame (Success is just as elusive in dogdom as it is in music or films), but I've shown at Westminster (the Garden), Philadelphia, Santa Barbara, San Francisco (the Cow Palace) and Portland (Oregon). I am one of those people that recognized all the characters from the movie Best In Show. I remember best in show rings at big shows the way some people remember touchdowns at Super Bowls.
I took a break from showing to pursue a career and raise a family, but now I am retired and the children are grown. I have acquired a 13 week old Cairn bitch puppy. We have named her Shadowland's Devil in Disguise.
Dee Dee is the granddaughter of the top winning Cairn Terrier in history, Ch. Rose Croft Best Foot Forward, and niece of this year's Westminster best of breed, Ch Ashwood Kenric's Wicked. Hopefully, Dee Dee will continue the family winning tradition. Our heartfelt thanks to Dee Germany of Shadowland Kennels for letting us have this little girl. Win or lose, we and Dee Dee will visit several shows in the future and will share our adventures in and out of the ring here in this blog.