Saturday, November 8, 2008


When you campaign a top dog, it’s easy to forget that most dog fanciers lose more than they win. However, true that may be, I’m sure that it is no solace to the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition, who Friday for a second day in a row failed to get noticed in the Hound Group in Fitchburg MA. Judge Monica Canestrini passed over Coda and chose four other dogs, including the Pharaoh Hound, CH Hallam's Bekenkhons Ra Qena as number one Hound at the 2008 Souhegan KC show. Bek, the nation’s number one Pharaoh Hound, was bred by Dominic Carota & Dr Stephen Sipperly, and owned by the breeders and Nancy Sowerbutts of Selkirk NY, and handled by Stacy Snyder-Work. Carota and Sipperly’s Hallam Hall Kennels have produced the US’ number one Pharaoh Hound for the past six years. However, Group 1 was as far as Bek got on Friday. Judge Dr. Robert A. Indeglia awarded the BIS to the Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe s Hidalgo At Goodspice.

CH Hallam's Bekenkhons Ra Qena

Charmin’s win was made a tad easier by the absence of the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, who had won the BIS the day before. Likewise The country’s number one dog, the Giant Schnauzer, Galilee's Pure Of Spirit decided to move, this time from Thursday’s Alabaman venue and try her luck at the Maryland shore. It proved a profitable choice as Spirit managed to catch the eye of Judge Sandra M. Lex and garner another top prize. I sometimes wonder how these handlers manage to move from one location to another so rapidly. As I mapped out this weekend shows, I noted that almost all were, to be polite, off the beaten path. If I were to try to pack up my SUV after a final seven in Priceville AL and overnight it to Salisbury MD, I’m sure I would get lost and end up in the clutches of banjo pickin’ hillbillies. Hey, that’s just part of the adventure that is dog shows.

Friday, November 7, 2008


The dog show weekend started yesterday with all breed events in Massachusetts and Alabama with five top ten dogs getting major awards. In Fitchburg MA the temperature was an unseasonably temperate 58 degrees while Judge Christine E. Pollender-Calcinari gave the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, another Best In Show. The Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, took a Group 1 at the same Cheshire KC event.

CH Rokeena Carte Blanche

Another top ten dog would fail to make the final seven. In a show with only 53 hounds competing, Hound Group Judge Marjorie Martorella found four she deemed better than the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition. One can't quibble with her Group winner, the Petits Bassets Griffons Vendeens, CH Rokeena Carte Blanche. CeeJay, an Australian import, is the 2008 PBGVCA National Specialty Winner and a multiple BIS winner in Australia and the USA. This brilliant mover was bred by Robin Wallis of Gisborne, Australia, and is owned by Robin and her, husband, Russell, and Jose, Yvonee, & Christina Herrera of Thonotosassa, FL. See him and handler Jane Myers before he returns to Australia after Westminster 2009.

Down south in Priceville AL it was a perfect 68 degrees for three top ten dogs. The country’s two top Toy dogs squared off in the Group and it was the Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade who was left holding the second place rosette and watching the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug advance to Judge Norm Patton’s final seven. Also at the last dance was the country’s number one dog, the Giant Schnauzer, Galilee's Pure Of Spirit. However, it was Taser’s day, as the little monkey faced dog took home the title of 2008 Decatur Alabama Kennel Club Best In Show winner. Taser and Lincoln have been playing a game of canine leap frog, swapping turns as the nation’s number one Toy Dog. This win puts Taser back in the top spot, if only for a day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Just when I was starting to have buyer’s remorse over our Presidential election along comes something to remind me how lucky I am to live in the US. Now don’t go hating on me. I really admire a lot about other countries. Regular readers will know that I am an Anglophile, admire the way the French live, think no country is as stylish as Italy, believe the Japanese are incredibly hard working, and find India a fascinating culture. However, when it comes to pet ownership, the Brits can be a little extreme.

Too Much Malamute

While waiting for show results, I stumbled across this headline, “Barking mad: Owners of obese dogs and fat cats could face jail under controversial new rules”. While dog owners in the UK were napping the British animal rights nutcases managed to get the Animal Welfare Act passed which includes a provision to fine pet owners 20,000 pounds ($31,127 at today’s exchange rate) and jail them for up to 12 months (a lifetime in the US). Now, when I first read this I thought it was a joke. But, it is for real. You guys in the UK need to slap your elected officials up side the head with a box of doggy treats. Did you really survive the Blitz, to have some frumpy woman in sensible shoes and a bad haircut tell you what you can feed Fido?

Plus Size British Subject

I have owned a pudgy puppy or two and I, myself, have been on the plump side for the last 20 years (OK, OK, I’m fat.) However, I and my dogs live pampered, indulgent lives, and we like it that way. So I will put on my Harris Tweed jacket and my Gucci loafers, and get in the Honda and go down to my local bakery and buy two croissants, one for me and one for my Scottie, Cairn and two Poodles to share, while I read them this article under the headline, “Britain soon to become nation of fatties”. Wonder if they’ll put her husband in jail?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Well, the election is over and we can get back to a normal life and for us that means dog shows. We have a larger selection of smaller events this weekend, with a couple of clusters for those of us who have lots of free time to spend in one place. First, we have the Breeder’s Circuit in Fitchburg MA, with four all breed shows Thursday through Sunday. Fitchburg is about a hour west northwest of Boston. Look for entries of about 1,000 dogs. There’s also the Cotton Cluster in Priceville AL, about an hour north of Birmingham, on the same days and about the same size, but with warmer weather.

Slightly fewer days and slightly larger entries are available in the “M” states of Maryland and Michigan, with three day clusters in Salisbury MD, and Grand Rapids MI. The Eastern Shore Classic in Salisbury is a three day event, Friday through Sunday, 100 miles south of Baltimore. Or if you like cold weather and don’t like hockey you can opt for the West Michigan Harvest Cluster, an icy 150 miles west of Detroit.

For traditionalists and those who work five days a week, there are Saturday and Sunday events in Greensboro NC, Brooksville Fl an hour north of Tampa, Houston TX, Springfield MO, Shakopee MN outside Minneapolis, Pueblo CO, Napa CA, and Salem OR. Finally, in a spirit of inclusiveness, there is the tiny (less than 400 dogs) Cook Inlet Kennel Club show in Palmer AK, spitting distance from Wasilla. I understand that Sarah Palin will be dropping the puck now that she’s no longer needed on the campaign trail. You betcha!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Our longest weekend ever ( it began last Wednesday in Virginia Beach) ended yesterday in Fort Wayne IN with the Northeastern Indiana KC show. It was the largest gathering of top ten dogs this year with five our our exclusive club attending, the Pointer, Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee’s Pure of Spirit, the Scottish Terrier, CH Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot, the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug, and the Brussels Griffon, CH Celleine Masquerade. Only one failed to make it to Judge Loraine Boutwell’s BIS ring, the BG, Lincoln, finished Group 3 behind the Affenpinscher, Taser, and the country’s number five Toy Dog, the number one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, CH Mondrian V H Lamslag. Modrian, a Dutch Import, was bred by J G A Boelaars and owner handled by Janet York of New York, NY (more on Janet later). At the end of the day it was the Scottie, Sadie, standing alone with the judge, the show chairman, and all the hardware.

CH Mondrian V H Lamslag and Owner Janet York

Now we direct your attention to the left sidebar. As I predicted, this marathon weekend did shake up the standings, if ever so slightly. Spirit tightened her hold on the number one spot nearly doubling her lead on number two, Holly. A little over 2,000 points now separates number three Yes from number six Taser. That’s right, Lincoln now lays claim to the number five all breed position and the number one Toy Dog slot by the slimmest of margins. With two Best In Shows this week Sadie sits securely at number seven. Ouija, who was no where to be seen this week, is now in a virtual tie for the number eight spot and the title of top Hound with Coda. Rounding out the top ten is Carly who is practically guaranteed to finish the year in the top ten and hold the title of top Herding Dog.

Janet York's Wizard of Oz Poster

Now, I promised you more on Janet York. I spent the first five years after college living in New York City and I found that New Yorkers are among the friendliest, most interesting people on the planet. I don’t know Janet personally, but I sure find her story interesting. Janet has owned Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for 25 years. Unlike most Toy breeders, she is not satisfied with just having lovely, little companion dogs. She has trained her dogs in obedience, agility, therapy, and even field. Joy is an artist and her web site is one of the most entertaining dog sites I‘ve seen. If you read my post on doggy movies (see the archives on the right sidebar), you may recall I recommend the sly dog show spoof, Best In Show. Janet has a series of Broadway show posters on her site that recalls the tongue in cheek Shih Tzu calendar in that movie. Visit her and her CKCS at You’ll be glad you did.

Monday, November 3, 2008


On the eve of our Presidential election, Americans eyes are on the swing states of Virginia and Indiana. However, it was dog lovers watching these two states, where most of the countries top 20 dogs gathered for the weekend. As we reported, the weekend began early In Virginia Beach VA on Wednesday with a limited breed show for Hounds won by the country’s number two Hound, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition. Coda started off the all breed competition with a Group 1 on Thursday, followed by a BISs on Friday and Saturday. Sunday Coda did not make it to the final seven to watch the Toy Poodle, CH Smash JP Moon Walk, accept the top prize from Judge Madison Weeks, finishing Group 2 behind the Basenji, CH Klassics Ms Mata Hauri.

Back in Indiana, there were four shows and lots of surprises. They started off predictably enough with all four of the top ten dogs represented in the BIS ring. The Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, the Scottish Terrier, CH Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot, and the Brussels Griffon, CH Celleine Masquerade were all there to watch Judge Ralph Lemcke give the BIS to the country’s number one dog, the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee’s Pure of Spirit. However, on Friday the weekend started going off script. First, the Pointer, Holly and the Scottie, Sadie, would finish second in their respective groups and number one dog, Spirit, would watch number six dog, the Brussels Griffon, Lincoln receive the the big rosette from Judge Ed Bivin. Saturday Holly would seek greener pastures in Knoxville TN and leave Spirit, Sadie and Lincoln to sort things out in Fort Wayne. All three would make it to Judge Norman Kenney’s BIS ring and once again Lincoln would prevail. Sunday, Spirit would take a disappointing Group 3 and Lincoln would be flying under the radar with no group placement, and Sadie made the most of it taking the BIS from Judge Robert Filburn.

CH Westwood Aladdin

Down in Tennessee Holly’s long drive paid off with Saturday’s top prize, but Sunday Holly watched Judge James Frederickson give the nod to the Rough Collie, CH Westwood Aladdin. Congratulations to breeder/owner/handler Kathy Drabik of Lebanon, VA. The Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug, celebrated Halloween in Bloomsburg, PA, with a BIS at the Bald Eagle KC show. However, the Sealhyam Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, did not make it to Judge Jacqueline Rayner’s final ring, finishing second in the Terrier Group ring. Saturday, the Affenpischer, Taser, would jet off to California (didn’t anyone tell him there’s an energy crisis?) and leave the Sealie, Charmin, another shot at the top award. However, Judge Bernard Schwartz was impressed by the impressively large Irish Wolhound, CH Dun Myrica Speaker Of Eagle. Judge Levi Marsman would also tap the giant hound for his best on Sunday, leaving Charmin back in the Terrier Group with another second place ribbon.

CH Silveroaks First & Foremost

Meanwhile, our jet lagged Affenpinscher, finishing second in the Toy Group, would also fail to make it into the final seven to watch the American Eskimo Dog, CH Silveroaks First & Foremost, take the Best In Show from Judge Robert Stein at the San Gabriel Valley KC in Irwindale CA. “Primo” was bred by and is owned by Ruth Sampson and handled by Randy Benns. Taser did make it to the final on Sunday in Irwindale, but it was the Boxer, CH Ein Von’s Just A Rumor who took the title from Judge Tomas J. Tracy. Oh well, there’s always the frequent flyer miles.

CH Yings Miss Congeniality

There was another cluster of dog shows this weekend, in Tulsa, OK, and there were top ten dogs present. The Standard Poodle, CH Randenn Tristar Affirmation and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH Coventry Vanity Fair showed for Friday’s Tri-States KC event to watch the Shih Tzu, CH Yings Miss Congeniality win a BIS from Judge Donelle Richards. The Poodle, Yes, and the PWC, Carly, both took Group 1. Yes would go Missing In Action for the rest of the weekend, while Carly collected two more Group 1s. Another MIA dog this weekend was the Scottish Deerhound, CH Jaraluv Ouija. We’ll try to track her down and give you skinny on the slender hound as well as more show results and the current standings when we return tomorrow.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Knoxville, TN, is relatively close to Fort Wayne, IN, a little over 400 miles, a pleasure drive for dog show enthusiasts. So we are only a little surprised that the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, decided to leave the hot competition and cold weather behind and show up Saturday at the Tennessee Valley KC show for more agreeable company and weather. It proved a smart decision Holly picked up another BIS and 839 points toward her quest for a national championship. Among the doggy bridesmaids in Judge W. Everett Dean JR’s final seven was the striking multiple BIS winner, the Rough Coat Collie, CH Sylvan Argent Simply Irresistible. “Sax” is an ensemble production bred by Dr Cindi Bossart, James Efron & Connie Dubois, owned by Dr Bossart, DuBois, Nancy Comparato, Debbie Green & Leah Warner, and handled by Diane Steele. Whew, I’m out of breath and you will be too once you’ve seen this beautiful bitch.

CH Sylvan Argent Simply Irresistible

500 miles to the east in Virginia Beach, VA, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition, continued his winning ways under the eye of Judge Lee Canalizo. Again Coda would be challenged by six other BIS winners, the Weimaraner, CH Colsidex Seabreeze Perfect Fit, the Boxer, CH Dramatic Story Of Sherry Shoot JP, the Kerry Blue Terrier, CH Perrisblu Paris, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, CH Pinecrest Rock The Boat, the Standard Poodle, CH Anastasia Da Maya, and the German Shepherd Dog, CH Woodside Pacino. There’s still a lot of weekend ahead, but Coda is making a serious move on the two dogs ahead of him in the standings.