Thursday, January 1, 2009


While we entered the year late, we have become very fond of our 2008 top ten dogs. So here is our farewell top ten countdown.

photo courtesy AKC

Number 10. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH Coventry’s Vanity Fair, “Carly”, bred by Steven Leverly, Lisa Weiss-Nolechek, Bill Shelton, & Becky Williams DVM, owned by Kevin Foist, Kerry Kirtley, Deborah Salow, & Bill Shelton, and handled by Bill Shelton. Carly, this year’s Number One Herding Dog, started off 2008 with the biggest of bangs winning the over 4,000 dog Palm Spring Kennel Club show on 5 January.

photo courtesy AKC

Number 9. The Scottish Deerhound, CH Jaraluv Ouija, “Ouija”, bred by Ray & Janna Brinlee, owned by the Brinlees & Steven & Eileen Biles, and handled by Bill McFadden. Ouija won the first of her 16 BIS in 2008 at the prestigious Golden Gate Kennel Club show, one of the few benched shows left in the US, on 27 January. Ouija and Bill McFadden also provided us with one of our favorite photos of the year taken at this year’s Eukanuba National Championship.

Number 8. The Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition, “Coda”, bred by Jeff & Barbara Fox, Linda Johnston, & Susan Lowder, owned by Susan and Dr. and Mrs. William Truesdale, and handled by Kim Pastella Calvacca. Coda, 2008’s top Hound, was our rare breed poster child this year. Everywhere he went, people would say, “That’s a Harrier?” and we would answer, “Yes, the best one anybody has ever seen.” We feel very lucky we lived to see him.

Number 7. The Scottish Terrier, CH Roundtown Mercedes Of Maryscot, “Sadie” bred by Mary O'Neal & Anstamm Kennels, owned by Amelia Musser, and handled by Gabriel Rangel. Sadie is another great Scottie from Miriam “Buffy” Stamm, the AKC 2008 Terrier Breeder of the Year. As Scottie owners we are always excited to see one of our own at the top and Sadie is one of the best we’ve seen. She was not campaigned as aggressively as some of our other top ten dogs, staying close to home most weekends, but she still managed to win 24 Best In Shows.

Number 6. The Sealyham Terrier, CH Efbe's Hidalgo At Goodspice, “Charmin” bred by Frances Bergeron, owned by Margery & Richard Good & Sandra Middlebrooks, and handled by Margery Good. Charmin, the 2007 Eukanuba National Championship winner, has been a top ten dog the last two years and is one of the most recognizable show dogs in the US. He dominated his group like few of the other top ten dogs, winning 147 Terrier Groups, including the largest of all limited breed shows, Montgomery County.

The next two placings require an editor's note. Our numbers have the number five and number four dogs separated by the amazingly narrow margin of just 68 points, with both dogs collecting over 67,000 points . Quite frankly, it's more important that one is the top Non-Sporting Dog and the other is the Number Two Toy Dog. Certainly the breeders/owners/handlers should be proud of what they have accomplished this past year. Our numbers are preliminary numbers subject to final verification by the AKC, but we have never been one to shrink from making a decision. We are, therefore, calling it as follows:

photo courtesy AKC

Number 5. The Standard Poodle, CH Randenn Tristar Affirmation, “Yes”, bred by Dennis McCoy, Randy Garren, & Joe & Joan Lacey, owned by Toni & Martin Sosnoff, and handled by Timothy Brazier. Yes, the Number One Non-Sporting Dog, is another hold over from the 2007 top ten. Another dog that liked to stay close to home, she won 48 BIS in 2008, including the Del Valle Dog Club Of Livermore on 19 October, one of the ten largest shows in 2008.

Number 4. The Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade, “Lincoln“, bred by Denise Barney, owned by Mamie & Evelyn Gregory & Harlow & Anne Jahelka, and handled by PaulCatterson. Lincoln was one of two spectacular Toy Dogs in our top ten, collecting 42 BIS, including a double header in Louisville KY on 15 & 16 March, the third largest weekend in 2008.

Number 3. The Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug, “Taser”, bred by Terry & Jackie Stacy, owned by Phil & Patty Smith, and handled by Jorge Olivera. This dog with the shocking name, electrified the show ring, and astonished the dog world as he bolted from locale to locale to maintain his Top Toy Dog status. He also afforded us with the opportunity to populate these pages with a plethora of puns (alliteration and puns in one paragraph, we are in Heaven) We have rarely seen a campaign so perfectly managed. Congratulations to everyone involved with the top Affenpinscher in history.

photo courtesy AKC

Number 2. The Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, "Holly", bred by bred by Cheryl S. Laduc, A. Cantor, & A. Walker, owned by Sean & Tammy McCarthy & Helyne Medeiros, and handled by Michael E. Scott, PHA. Holly and handler Michael Scott gave us one of the most exciting finishes to any campaign that we can remember, coming from behind with a flurry of BIS wins in the fall. In the end, she would finish the year with 96 Best In Shows, 25 more than the Number One Dog, the last being the coveted 2008 Eukanuba National Championship. As heroic as the charge was, it was not enough, as she fell just a few hundred points shy of the top spot.

Number 1. The Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit, “Spirit”, bred by Maryann Bisceglia & Mary Hayes, is owned by Mary Hayes & Joe & Carla Sanchez, and handled by Taffee McFadden. Spirit was the consumate warrior princess, fighting off every challenger. She dominated the year defeating nearly 120,000 dogs, 25,000 more than 2007’s top dog. Spirit and handler Taffe McFadden traveled across the US and dominated in every section of the country. Hopefully, you were one of the lucky ones that got to see this memorable duo in 2008.

We bid a fond farewell to our top ten, and send them back to their loving families with our gratitude for sharing the excitement with all of us this past year.


  1. Thanks for a great year and great dogs! It couldn't of finished any better! My pick ended up on top... go Spirit and Taffe!

  2. Taser is the most perfect dog in the lot. He is my personal pick for the first Affenpinscher to win Westminster BIS!

  3. Taser is pretty awesome dog to watch. He sure does own the ring, doesn't he?

    Spirit and Taffe were also quite breathtaking to watch.

  4. Thanks for the tribute to each of the Top Ten dogs and the wonderful photos. It was a fun year.

    It's also worth mentioning thatCharmin was the winner of the World Dog Show in Sweden this year with over 20,000 dogs competing. :)