This was one of the most exciting doggy weekends of the year. In a wild roller coaster of a ride, the top ten dogs jockeyed for position in the backstretch as they head for the end of the year and a permanent place in the record books. By Monday morning the two big winners were black dogs with wiry coats, one large, one small. The Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit, dominated the big shows in Columbus Ohio, taking three of the four BIS, the last on Sunday from Judge James Frederiksen at the Central Ohio Kennel Club show. The Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, managed to win one at the same location on Friday, but in the end decided discretion to be the better part of valor and adjourned to Syracuse NY where she picked up a top prize from Judge Donald M. Bookbaum at the Central New York Kennel Club show. When the points were all tallied Spirit stood with a firm grip on the number one ranking with a 2,500 lead over Holly.
Meanwhile, the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug, also exited Ohio on Sunday, after tiring of watching the big dogs swap wins. He surfaced in sunny Florida at the Greater Ocala Dog Club event in Ocala FL, of course, accepting the BIS trophy from Judge May Lou Kniola. His defeat of 1,273 dogs was good enough to hang on to the number four spot and the title of Best Toy Dog. The Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade, squandered the opportunity to overtake Taser, failing to keep pace with the little, black dynamo. Lincoln started the weekend promisingly enough with a BIS on Thursday, but failed to make it out of the Toy Groups on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, finishing 3rd, 4th, and 3rd, respectively. When the dust settled Taser was sitting on a better than 1,500 lead over Lincoln.
An editorial aside, We’ve been around this game a long, long time, and we seen a lot of very wealthy dog owners go after a national title with a vengeance. However, we have never seen a better combination of a great dog, a superb handler, dedicated owners, and smartly spent dollars. Special congratulations to everyone involved in the 2008 campaign of CH Tamarin Tug. Besides, no other dog has afforded us such an opportunity to print some of the worst puns in the blogosphere. Shocking!
And, yes, Virginia, there were other top ten dogs in action this weekend, including Yes, the Standard Poodle, CH Randenn Tristar Affirmation, who decided to take it easy, close to home, competing at the two Whidbey Island Kennel Club shows in Monroe, WA. Blasé as only a Poodle can be, she still holds on to the number three spot by more than a 1,000 points on the strength of a big Best In Show win on Sunday over 1,778 other dogs. On Saturday, Yes was bested by the Siberian Husky, CH Karnovanda's North By Northwest. Rusmore, who is handled by Randy Schepper, has been one of the country’s top working dogs for the last three years. He was bred by Judith Russell & Donna Beckman, who co-own him with Maryl Foster.
Two of the top ten were in Tucson AZ (How’s that for alliteration?). The Scottish Terrier, CH Roundtown Mercedes Of and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH Conventry Vanity Fair, shared a trio of BIS with the Vizla, CH Coppertone Classical Minuet. It was the first Best In Show for the stylish bitch from Palo Verdes, CA. She was bred by the doggy conglomerate of Mark & Bonnie Goodwein and Alyson & Sid Lyons, who co-own her with D. Stankey & Pam Lambie. Congratulations to all. Meanwhile, down in SOCAL (For our non-US readers, that’s southern California), the Scottish Deerhound, CH Jaraluv’s Ouija spent two days at the smallish San Luis Obispo Kennel Club’s double header in Paso Robles CA, watching the Bichon Frise, CH Paray’s Paragon, and the Puli, CH Bokar Barney Rubble RN AX AXJ, take BIS. Ouija’s Group one and Group 4 did little to close the gap beween her and the Number One Hound, Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition.
Coda, in very workman like fashion, found a cluster close to home and spent the weekend there giving it his all. The four day literarily named Leatherstocking Cluster in Syracuse NY allowed him to pick up a Group four, a BIS, and a couple of Group firsts and over 1700 points. Coda also got the opportunity to witness the rarity of a a Field Spaniel going Best In Show. Judge Douglas C. Taylor gave CH Evan’s Rumor Has It his first top prize. Rumor was bred by Sarah W Evans, is owned by Cheryl McGowen of Silver Spring MD, and handled by Sam Mammano. Field Spaniels are incredibly versatile dogs, equally at home on the sofa or on the hunt. Too bad there were less than 200 registered in the US last year. At least we all got to see this excellent example win a Best In Show.
The remaining top ten dog out and about this weekend was the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, who picked up three Group firsts and a BIS in the DC suburbs. On Sunday another rare breed hit the jackpot with a BIS at the Upper Marlboro Kennel Club show in West Friendship MD. American Foxhounds rank 155 out of 157 breeds in the AKC registry. So we are very about CH Kiarry's Reflections Of The Sun getting the nod from Judge Col. Jerry H. Weiss. Congratulations to owners/breeders Les Millman, Donna Millman, and Lisa Miller.
Be sure to let your elected officials at the metropolitan and state level know that mandatory spay and neuter regulations are threatening these rare breeds. Think about it, this is a breed established by George Washington, the first President of the United States. Are we going to let a bunch of terrorists disguised as animal rights activists steal our history? Doesn’t your family pet deserve the same protection as any wild animal threatened with extinction? Wake up people. (Soap box stored until provoked again)