Saturday, February 7, 2009


We want to remind our readers that you are all invited to the Dog Show Poop Garden Party, Monday and Tuesday nights, 9 & 10 February, from 7:45 PM EST to 10:15 PM EST. The Westminster Dog Show is on the menu and our loyal readers are the entertainment.

Here’s the dance card:

Monday, it’s the Hound, Terrier, Herding, and Non-Sporting Groups, first on USA network from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM, the switch to CNBC from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM. Tuesday, we’re with USA network all night long from 8:00 PM to 11:00.

We will have some special features, including I-reports from Julia Weiskopf of, Julia, the niece of Joan Weiskopf, the dog nutrition author, will be giving us a Seventh Avenue look at the show. We also have several people who have promised to check in with ring side reports.

The format will open house and all comments are welcome. You don’t have to be an experienced exhibitor, but we sure welcome you if your are. So join us Monday in the Garden. Ladies, hats are optional.


These are some of the more interesting links I've come across on Westminster. So check them out and see if you get a different spin than what you see here. We won't bother to describe all of them. We'll just tell you to be sure to investigate the "When They Were Young" gallery on the Time Out New York Link.


At Thursday’s Westminster Press Conference, the club’s urbane media liaison, David Frei, introduced one of our own I-reporters, Juli Lacey-Black of Lacey Kennels, and her Border Collie, CH Invisible Red Touch From Borders Paradise, known to the family as “Brendan”. But he wasn’t always known by that name.

CH Invisible Red Touch From Borders Paradise

In December 2007, Juli got a call from a fellow Border Collie breeder, Cindy Geiss of Cashel Kennels, that she and several other breeders had been contacted by a man desperate to rehome an imported dog that after a few shows had suddenly become vicious and unmanageable. In February 2008, after two months of negotiation, including contracts releasing him from liability, Julia convinced the man not to destroy the dog and allow her to take a shot at rehabbing “Touch“.

Juli took the dog home and immediately renamed him Brendan, a symbolic and practical new start for them both. Julia found no sign of the claimed vicious behavior, though Brendan’s previous home had obviously created some shyness in him. Additionally, he was in poor condition, overweight and matted. By May, after three months of loving care, Brendan’s emotional and physical condition had progressed to a point that Julia decided to revive his show career. That first show was rough on Juli and Brendan, but they persevered and by July Brendan was winning the breed and placing in the group. In November, Brendan finished his championship at a show with a Border Collie supported entry.

Brendan Greets Charlie, The Norwich,
at Thursday's Westminster Press Briefing

Juli reports that, although she has shown over 100 dogs to their championship, it was the most gratifying win she has ever had. And what do dog owners do to celebrate a big win? No, they don’t go to Disneyland. They go to Westminster. And that is where Brendan and Juli are, kicking off their visit with a featured appearance at Westminster’s Thursday Press conference.

We wish Juli, co-owner, Cindy Geiss, and Brendan luck Monday, but what ever the outcome, we think they are winners.

Friday, February 6, 2009


We showed Maltese for several years and I always poke fun at myself for going from a big, slobbery Saint ( a dog very much like me) to a immaculate little white dog with bows on its head (a dog nothing like me), but they were wonderful pets and the people that own them were as nice as they could be to two newbies, my wife and myself. One of our fond memories of those days was the Toys only Progressive Dog Club show, more like a high tea than a sporting event, it took place in a hotel ball room with boiserie (yeah, I read Architectural Digest) and lit by crystal chandliers. And the best Toy Dogs from everywhere came.

Today a Toy Dog even I can identify with, the Pug, CH Tupelo Shoboat Tu China Tu, won the all Toy Westminster warm up at the New York Pennsylvania Hotel (Mezzanine Level), the official hotel for Westminster. Judge Shirley Limoges selected "Boo" as her BIS/Group One. The remaining rosettes went to the Toy Poodle, CH Smash JP Moon Walk, the Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade, and the Pomeranian, CH Velocity's Shake Ur Bon Bon. While these pre Garden garden parties are always interesting, don’t bet your lunch money that these wins will be repeated come Tuesday night. But you can enjoy the Boo Vanity video above.


What to Watch for at Westminster The Herding Group

Herding dogs are among man’s oldest domesticated species. The Herding Group also includes dogs that contribute in very real socioeconomic ways to mankind. The Border Collie was recently ordained the “most intelligent breed”. Obviously, they never asked my Toy Poodle, Fannie, her opinion.

CH Coventry Vanity Fair

The number one Herding Dog in 2008 was the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH Coventry Vanity Fair. “Carly” won 26 BIS in 2008 and a phenomenal 106 Group Firsts. She won some of the toughest shows and groups of the year, including a BIS at Palm Springs KC show and the Herding Group at the 2008 National Championship. Carly is another breeder/owner handled dog. Bill Shelton shares the load with co-breeders Steven Leverly, Lisa Weiss-Nolechek, & Becky Williams DVM, and co-owners Kevin Foist, Kerry Kirtley, & Deborah Salow.

CH Woodside Pacino

Although he started his 2008 campaign late the German Shepherd Dog, CH Woodside Pacino, managed to work his way into the top twenty all breed dogs, winning 16 BIS and 88 Groups, the same number of BIS and Groups won by the number nine dog (We’re not sure what that means, but we thought it an interesting coincidence). So far this year he has picked up one BIS. Owner handled by Mr. GSD, James Moses, “Tony” was bred by Sandy Anderson & Linda Wheeler and owned by Moses, Roger Reichler & Janet Lange. James Moses is the only handler among all those we have mentioned in these seven groups, who has previously won a Best In Show at Westminster, the only one ever won by a Herding Dog, one of the more than 1000 BIS he has won. We don’t know if that’s a record, but we sure are impressed with the number.

CH Cordmaker Field Of Dreams

The 2008 number two Herding DoG, the number 16 dog over all, is the Puli, CH Cordmaker Field Of Dreams. “Conrad” won 14 BIS last year and was BOB at Westminster in 2008. He has shown true grit this year hitting 13 shows and winning three of them. Conrad was bred by the quartet of P Turner & A Quigley & A & S Lawrence, is owned by Susan Huebner & Jackie Beaudoin, and handled by Linda Pitts.

CH Lambluv's Daydream Believer

Our final DOG2WATCH at Westminster is the Old English Sheepdog, CH Lambluv's Daydream Believer. He won four BIS last year and was one of four Lambluv OES at the Garden last year. , In five outings this year he has already won two BIS. Owner handled by Jere Marder, the three year old male, was bred by Ronald Szekeres & Kathleen McBride, and is co-owned by Szekeres & Gail Radke.

Check back tomorrow for show results and more Westminster background.


What to Watch for at Westminster
The Non-Sporting Group

Evaluation of the Non-Sporting Group presents some problems for us. First, there was only one Non-Sporting Dog among the 2008 top twenty. Now that does not mean that there were not quality dogs aplenty. It simply means that they were not as visible as some of the other top dogs. First the Non-Sporting Group is the smallest of the groups, with 18 breeds (We are counting the Poodles separately). Second, few, if any, of the Non-Sporting dogs campaigned outside their own region.

CH Randenn Tristar Affirmation

Even the 2008, number one Non-Sporting Dog, the number four dog over all, the Standard Poodle, CH Randenn Tristar Affirmation, pretty much spent 2008 close to her home in Washington state, rarely leaving the West Coast. However, she made the most of it winning 48 BIS in 2008. “Yes” ended the year by winning her group at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. In her first outing this year she went three for three, winning BIS all three days in Puyallup WA. Yes was bred by Dennis McCoy, Randy Garren, & Joe & Joan Lacey, is owned by Toni & Martin Sosnoff, and is handled by Timothy Brazier.

Last year’s Westminster Non-Sporting Group Three winner has a daughter that just hit the show circuit, the Bichon Frise, CH Paray Rime Time. “Sloan” started off her 2009 campaign with a bang winning the group at the US’ largest show, the Palm Spring KC. She then thrilled the crowds at the giant Portland shows by winning one of the four Non-Sporting Groups and placing in the other three. Since then she has won the group at both shows she entered. “Sloan” was bred by Deb Wentz, is owned by Laura Rosio & Dr Martin Winston, and is handled by Raymond (Tray) Pittman.

CH Hillwood Dassin De Lovely

We will be watching the Standard Poodle breed judging closely as the four most famous names in Poodles field their latest entry, the Standard, CH Hillwood Dassin De Lovely. The three and half year old bitch completed 2008 with eight BIS and 35 Group firsts and, in a textbook illustration of momentum, has won ten of the last eleven groups she has entered. Breeder/owner/handler Dr. Joseph D. Vergnetti of Medina, OH, co-owns the country’s number two Standard Poodle with Ellen Charles, Karen LeFrak and Wendell Sammet. Dr. Vergnetti is the top champion-producing Poodle breeder of all time.

CH Player’s Protocol,

Another second generation Westminster entry is the Tibetan Terrier, CH Player’s Protocol, whose father was the breed winner in 2008. The three year old bitch won one BIS in 2008 and 30 Group Firsts and a very impressive Group 4 at the National Championship. This year she has won four Group Ones in five outings. She was bred by David Murray & Laurel MacMinn, is owned by DavidMurray & Louis Krokover, and is handled by David. Krokover was a consultant for the film, “Best In Show”, coaching the actors on how to be believable show dog handlers.

Next, the Herding Group


What to Watch for at Westminster, The Toy Group

The Westminster Toy Group always draws a lot of attention from the general public, but with three of the 2008 top eleven dogs coming from the group, handicappers are looking at them for a potential BIS winner. In fact, those three dogs all made it into the Toy Group final four at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.

CH Cilleine Masquerade

The Dog that won that group is the Brussels Griffon, CH Cilleine Masquerade. “Lincoln“, finished second in last year’s Westminster Toy Group and proceeded to win 42 BIS in 2008, including a double header in Louisville KY on 15 & 16 March, the third largest weekend in 2008. So far this year he has collected three more. Lincoln was bred by Denise Barney, is owned by Mamie & Evelyn Gregory & Harlow & Anne Jahelka, and handled by Paul Catterson.

CH Tamarin Tug

The top Toy Dog in 2008 and the number three dog over all is the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug. “Taser”, named after the police stun gun manufactured by the children of his owners, was the rock star of the season. He has his own website, his own vanity video, and, we suspect, his own private jet. Taser amazed us again and again showing up in three locations in one weekend, thousands of miles apart, to take BIS after BIS. Taser lived up to all the hype, winning 44 BIS and 125 Toy Groups, and BOB at last year’s Westminster. Taser was bred by Terry & Jackie Stacy, is owned by Phil & Patty Smith, and handled by Jorge Olivera.

CH Tupelo Shoboat Tu China Tu

Barely missing last year’s top ten all breed dogs, the number eleven dog, the number three Toy Dog, and 2008 Westminster Toy Group Four winner is the Pug, CH Tupelo Shoboat Tu China Tu. “Boo” is built like a miniature Mack Truck and he has run over his competition like one. Boo finished 2008 with 16 BIS and is well ahead of that pace with four already this year. Owner handled by Doug Huffman, Boo’s breeder is Karen Thompson. Co-owners are Jamie Danburg, Pat & Ray Kolesar, & Michele Molnar.

CH Smash JP Moon Walk

The Group Two winner at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is the Toy Poodle, CH Smash JP Moon Walk, the latest star from the triumvirate that brought us the top Toy Poodle in history, CH Smash JP Win A Victory. “Walker”, was only campaigned seriously for the last half of 2008, but he still managed seven BIS. This year he has been nearly perfect. In six shows he has won six Toy Groups and three BIS. Walker was bred by Yukiko Omura, is owned by Ron Scott & Debbie Burke, and handled by Kaz Hosaka.

Next, the Non-Sporting Group


With all the anticipation leading up to Westminster we have neglected to tell you that there are shows this weekend. Yesterday at the first of a quartet of shows at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix AZ. the Affenpinscher, CH Tamarin Tug, took advantage of the many dogs that have already left for New York, by running off with another BIS, this one from Judge Alice Watkins.

CH Tamarin Tug

Picking up Group wins were the Labrador Retriever, CH Ridge View’s Magician, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, CH. Pupukearidge Ikaika O Sprngvly, the Saint Bernard, Alta Vista’s Billion Kilowatt CD, the Airedale Terrier, CH Huntwood’s Wildest Performance, the Standard Poodle, Truly Southern’s Practically Perfect, and the Bouvier des Flandres, CH Bon Idee’s Garden Party. The weekend continues today with the second show from the Lost Dutchman Kennel Club show and wraps up Saturday and Sunday with two events hosted by the Sahuaro State Kennel Club. There will be no classes for Labrador Retrievers at Friday’s show or for Great Danes at the Sahuaro State shows because there will be independent specialties. So if you live in Phoenix and haven’t a prayer of getting to New York for any one of the dozens of Specialties leading up to Westminster, check it out

Thursday, February 5, 2009


What to Watch for at Westminster, the Terriers

Ch Braeburn's Close Encounter with handler, George Ward

The Terriers always get a good look at Westminster. As a matter of record, Terriers have won BIS 44 times, three times more often than any other group. Wire Fox Terriers have won BIS 13 times, twice as often as the second most successful breed…Scottish Terriers with seven. One of the top winning dogs in AKC history was the 1985 BIS winner, the Scottish Terrier, Ch Braeburn's Close Encounter, who won a incredible 214 all breed Best In Shows.

CH Dersade Bobby's Girl with Handler Peter Green

No one knows Terriers better than this year’s Terrier Group Judge, Peter J. Green. Peter Green is one of two people to win BIS both Westminster, which he has done four times, and Crufts, the giant (20,000 dogs plus) British dogo show. He also was the handler of five number one all breed dogs. He judged the FCI World Show in Sweden in 2008 and will judge Best in Show at Crufts in March this year.

CH Efbe’s Hidalgo At Goodspice

One of Green’s Westminster wins came with the Sealyham Terrier, CH Dersade Bobby's Girl, and 2008’s best Terrier, the Sealyham, CH Efbe’s Hidalgo At Goodspice, is the winningest one ever, with a lifetime 91 BIS, including four this year. “Charmin”, the 2007 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship winner and the 2008 Westminster Terrier Group winner, was bred by Frances Bergeron and is owned by handler Margery Good, Richard Good, and Sandra Middlebrooks.

CH Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot

Last year‘s Terrier Group runner up and the 2008 number two Terrier is the Scottish Terrier, CH Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot. “Sadie” won 24 BIS last year and has won two this year. Sadie was bred by Mary O'Neal & Anstamm Kennelss (2008 Terrier Breeder of the Year), is owned by Amelia Musser, and handled by Gabriel Rangel. However, last Sunday, Rangel won a BIS over the number one dog in America, the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit, with a West Highland White Terrier, CH Arbroath’s Rosewood Rise ‘N’ Shine.

CH Hi-Kel Terrydale Soldier of Fortune

The Lakeland Terrier, CH Hi-Kel Terrydale Soldier of Fortune, returns to Westminster hoping to better her breed winning performance last year and the odds are good that “Ranger” will do so. She finished 2008 twelfth over all and third among the Terriers, with 24 BIS. She is well ahead of that pace with five BIS already. Ranger was bred by Maripi Wooldridge & D Hull McIndoe, owned by Carol Dowd & B Dowd & C Ruggle & Terrydale Kennels, and is handled by Scott Sommer.

CH J'cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice

Westminster is often a coming out party for dogs beginning a national campaign. One such dog is the young Smooth Fox Terrier, CH J'cobe Kemosabe Vigilante Justice, who last month took three out of four rounds with the Sealyham, Charmin, winning three Terrier Groups and a BIS along the way. “Dodger” was bred by William Dalling & Stacy Turner, is owned by William Dalling and Phil & Amy Booth, and handled by Amy.

CH Sanherpinc Paisa

Another new kid on the block is the Welsh Terrier, CH Sanherpinc Paisa, who came out of the classes in December to win the Terrier Group at the Shoreline DFA of Orange County, beating the Scottish Terrier, Sadie. Since that time, she has never looked back winning the group on both days of the Palm Springs, Kennel Club, the country’s largest shows and snagging his first BIS She capped off January with her first BIS on 18 January. “Paisa” was bred by Santiago Pinto, is owned by Bruce Schwartz & Larisa Hotchin, and is handled by Terrier expert Wood Wornall.

Next, the Toy Group.


What to Watch for at Westminster, the Working Group

CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit

The Working Group is dominated by the 2008 highest scoring dog in conformation, the Giant Schnauzer, CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit. Spirit didn’t just beat the competition, she obliterated it, defeating 45,755 more dogs in 2008 than any other dog that will be at Westminster. Spirit won 71 BIS 2008 and has already added seven more including the two Palm Springs shows, the largest shows in the US. Spirit, bred by Maryann Bisceglia & Mary Hayes, is owned by Mary Hayes & Joe & Carla Sanchez, and handled by Taffee McFadden.

CH Cambria’s Victoria’s Secret

But this is Westminster and the normal rules do not apply. Many a favorite has come to the Garden and left with a consolation prize. Every Westminster veteran will tell you that the Breed and Group rings are nerve racking. Among the dogs gunning for the front runner is the 2008 number two Working Dog, the Doberman Pinscher, CH Cambria’s Victoria’s Secret. “Reginy” picked up 13 BIS last year, good enough to put her in the top twenty all breed rankings. Reigny grabbed a Group 2 last year, but will have to fight her way out of the breed.

CH Allure Blazing Star Alisaton

The new girl in town is the Doberman Pinscher, CH Allure Blazing Star Alisaton, a three year old bitch who has caught fire in the last month, winning three BIS in January, beating Reigny twice in the breed. CJ was bred by Carmen Pitts & Gwen DeMilta, is owned by Pitts, Nancy Bosley & Julie Porter, and handled by DeMilta’s daughter, Carissa DeMilta Shimpeno.

CH White Eagle's Celestial Sky

A breeder/owner handled dog, the Samoyed, CH White Eagle's Celestial Sky, finished 2008 as the fourth highest scoring in her breed, but she won one more Working Group than the top Samoyed and won the same number of BIS (3). However, in just three weekends last month, “Celeste” won two BIS, four Group Twos, and one Group 4. Celeste, bred and owned by Rev Terry Litton & Mary & Jim Augustus, is handled by Mary.

CH Drakyi Gold Standard

Our dark horse in this group is the first Tibetan Mastiff to win a BIS, CH Drakyi Gold Standard. “Midas”, was bred by Rick Eichhorn, who co-owns the four year old dog with handlers Michael & Linda Brantley. Midas, the number one Tibetan Mastiff of all time and the 2008 Best TM, is rolling into Westminster with three Group 1s in a row, including the one on the way to that historic Best In Show.

Next, the Terriers.


What to Watch for at Westminster, the Boxers

We started reviewing our notes on the Working Group and soon realized that a separate discussion of Boxers is called for. Before we go any further, we should caution, that we do not know for certain if all of these dogs will be at the Garden. Exhibitors at this level of the dog game are very circumspect about their plans. We have heard from some of these dogs and we are assuming that the others will be present and you know what they say about that. If we mention your dog, it’s because we admire your dog and we have been told by others they admire your dog. Feel free to correct us. We are never shy about admitting we were wrong.

CH Ein-Von's Just A Rumor

In the top 20 all breed dogs in 2008, the top winning Boxer is CH Ein-Von's Just A Rumor, with ten BIS. Jasmine is also the defending Westminster BOB winner. She was bred by Leontine M Branam & Zwei A Pierson, is owned by Jefff Bennett & C Desmond & Z & V Pierson, and is handled by Kimberlie Steele-Gamero, daughter of Boxer legend, Gary Steele.

CH Dramatic Story Of Sherry Shoot Jp

Also in the top 20 all breed last year was the Boxer, CH Dramatic Story Of Sherry Shoot Jp, who finished just behind Jasmine with eight BIS. The four and half year old bitch was at Westminster last year, but failed to collect any award. However, last August in Ballston Spa NY, she went BIS defeating three top ten dogs along the way, including the Giant Schnauzer, Spirit, the Pointer, Holly, and the Deerhound, Ouija. “Jane” was bred by Shinoyo Teragaki, owned by Teragaki, Dr & Mrs William Truesdale & Masao Hanabusa, and handled by Kim Pastella-Calvacca.

CH Hi-Tech's Southern Belle

However, Kim has been seen lately with another, younger, Boxer bitch from the Truesdales, CH Hi-Tech's Southern Belle. Dixie is only just two years old and has been consistently winning Groups, the latest coming last Saturday at the Boardwalk Kennel Club in Wildwood NJ. Dixie was bred by G Alix & T Alix & Zoila Truesdale & Dr William Truesdale, and owned by Jeri Poller & Tina Truesdale & Gail Alix. In a small dog world aside, Dr and Mrs Truesdale are the co-owners of the number one Hound, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition.

CH Capri's Magic Maker Of Sassy

Finally we come back to the man whose name is synonymous with the breed, Gary Steel, who showed up last month in Puyallup WA with CH Capri's Magic Maker Of Sassy, a four year old dog, and won back to back Working Group firsts over some very stiff competition. “Dante” has been out and about for the last two years with different handlers and owners, but seems to have new life with Gary. Dante, bred by Sydney Brown & Kristine Anderson and owned by Richard & Marsha Servetnick & Barbara Bachman, closed out 2008 by beating the top two Boxers of 2008, Jasmine and Jane, at the Oakland Kennel Club show on 30 December.

Next, the rest of the Working Group.


Mark Twain is alleged to have said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”, and we have learned that announcing the retirement of the Scottish Deerhound, CH Jaraluv Ouija, the top deerhound in history, requires some amendment.

CH Jaraluv Ouija & Breeder/Owner Ray Brinlee

Ouija is at home with breeder/owners Ray & Jana Brinlee in Walla Walla WA, taking a much needed breather before Westminster. However, Ray Brinlee tells us that Ouija, who is not yet four years old, will be at selected shows in the future, most notably, the Scottish Deerhound National Specialty in May at Purina Farms, in Gray Summit MO. Hopefully, Ray will give us a heads up when she is out and about, so we can let you know where you can see this beautiful example of the breed.

Jaraluv, which stands for Jana’s & Ray’s Love, was established in 1980 with their foundation bitch, CH Shanid Guinevere (Gigi). Since then there have been 72 more Jaraluv deerhounds, averaging one litter every three years. With just one Norwegian import, 71 were bred by Ray & Jana (including eight stud fee puppies) and an impressive group they have been, 54 champions, 24 Group winners and ten different BIS winners.

Five members of the Jaraluv "K" Litter At 2002 SDCA National Specialty, L to R-
CH Jaraluv Keep The Faith with Ray Brinlee (BOB)
CH Jaraluv Kempthorne with Mike Stone (BOS)
CH Jaraluv Kinetic Energy with Mary Dukes (AOM)
CH Jaraluv Kobe with Jana Brinlee (AOM)
CH Jaraluv Kassandra with Steve Gibbs (AOM)

Ray and Jana have especially fond memories of one litter of twelve, the “K” litter, all of whom became Champions. One was shipped off to Norway, but the remaining eleven went on to win Hound Group placements, ten won Hound Group firsts, and three became BIS winners. Eight members of the litter had a family reunion at the 2002 National Specialty of the Scottish Deerhound Club of America. Seven made Swedish judge Ray Lindholm’s final cut before he gave five of them awards, BOB, BOS, and three AOM. One of the the litter, CH Jaraluv Keep The Faith, Ouija's dam, is the only Deerhound to have won the SDCA National Specialty three consecutive years. Another, CH Jaraluv Kobe, is the sire of CH Jaraluv Michael, Ouija's father. Michael is the top male Deerhound in history with ten BIS.

The Brinlees have kept a tight focus on consistency and uniformity of type and believe large numbers are not necessary to success. Today, the Brinlees keep between four and six adults, all in their home. There are no kennels, just a puppy paddock and a big back yard. It is a model that works in an environment of restrictive zoning and a community sensitive to animal rights activists. The Brinlees tell us their goal was to leave the Scottish Deerhound breed better off than we they began. We think they have been a shining example of how to do it right.


What to Watch for at Westminster
The Hound Group

The Hound Group will be judged by the most successful breeder/owner/handler in Westminster history, Patricia Craige Trotter. Pat won the Hound Group there an astounding ten times with her Vin-Melca Norwegian Elkhounds. You may remember her from the BBE final seven at AKC/Eukanuba National Championship where she and CH Vin-Melca’s Margretta represented the Hound Group.

CH Kiarry's Reflections Of The Sun

One of the breeder/owner/handler’s we expect to see in the Westminster Hound Group will be Lisa Miller. Her American Foxhound, CH Kiarry's Reflections Of The Sun. Sunny was the best American Foxhound in 2008 with seven BIS and was the BOB at last year‘s show. This year he has won two BIS, including the one that stopped the Best In Show winning streak of the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, at ten. He has also won the Hound Group at the Sand and Sea Kennel Club last week finishing ahead of the 2008 top Hound, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition. Sunny, bred and owned by Lisa, Donna Millman & Les Millman, co-owned with Harry Miller, Lisa's husband.

CH Downhome Family Tradition

The aforementioned Harrier, Coda, finished 2008 with 22 BIS, but has not won a BIS yet this year. However, Judge Trotter has awarded Coda the top award in the past, though that is not a reliable predictor of success at Westminster. Coda, the top Harrier ever, was bred by Jeff & Barbara Fox, Linda Johnston, & Susan Lowder, is owned by Susan and Dr. and Mrs. William Truesdale, and handled by Kim Pastella Calvacca.

CH Jaraluv Ouija

Less rare than the Foxhound or Harrier, but more ancient, is the Scottish Deerhound. The best Deerhound in 2008 and the number two Hound is CH Jaraluv Ouija. Ouija won 16 BIS last year, many of them coming as she competed with kennelmate CH Galilee's Pure Of Spirit, the Giant Schnauzer, the number one dog in 2008. Ouija has been resting up after the 2008 campaign at home with breeders/owners Ray & Jana Brinlee (She is co-owned with Steven & Eileen Biles), but is entered. She would have to be on any Hound Group judge’s short list.

CH Rokeena Carte Blanche

One other hound that has caught fire lately is the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, CH Rokeena Carte Blanche, an Australian import. CeeJay has already won three BIS this year. 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, is owned by Robin and her, husband, Russell, and Jose, Yvonee, & Christina Herrera, and handled by Jane Alston-Myers.

Next up, a look at the Working Group.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We have learned that popular AKC judge, George J. Heitzman passed away yesterday, with wife, Barbara Dempsey Alderman at his side. Barbara is also an AKC judge. George had suffered a severe stroke back in November while in route to a show.

AKC Judge George J. Heitzman

George spent nearly sixty years in the dog game. He was known for his Doberman Pinschers, serving two years as the President of the Western Pennsylvania Doberman Pinscher Club. In 1953 he began a career as a professional handler, a career that spanned 32 years during which he personally owned and exhibited 11 breeds from five groups. He retired from handling in 1985 and starting judging in 1986.

George was known for his patience with juniors, frequently giving junior handlers helpful critiques. As per George’s wishes he has been cremated. Plans for a memorial service are pending. Our sincere condolences to Barbara and the entire Heitzman family. Another gentleman of our sport has passed.


What to Watch for at Westminster
The Sporting Group

While we would have liked to have seen the Pointer, CH Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry, competing at Westminster, we admit that her absence opens up the competition in the Sporting Group and gives all the bookmakers something to ponder. Here are the dogs we think you should be watching.

CH Chebaco Blames It On Trabeiz

The English Setter, CH Chebaco Blames It On Trabeiz, was the number two Sporting Dog in 2008, winning 15 BIS last year. However, Ross’s most prestigious win was the Bred By Exhibitor Best In Show at the 2008 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Ross, the breed winner at last year’s show, has already logged two BIS tis year. Breeder/owner/handler Eileen Hacket’s partners include breeders Kate Hanlon, Carlos Puig, Peg Ziebart and co-owners Pat & Don Coller.

CH Lydgate Rise N' Shine

The ASCOB Cocker Spaniel, CH Lydgate Rise N' Shine, ended up as the fourth best Sporting Dog last year winning five BIS and 39 Sporting Groups. “Dylan” copped a Group 3 at the 2008 Westminster show and has one BIS on his 2009 resume. Breeder Deborah Knight co-owns with Jacquelyn Beaudoin & Mary Walker while Linda Pitt does the handling.

CH Toasty's Treasure Island

The number seven Sporting Dog in 2008, the Golden Retriever, CH Toasty's Treasure Island, is another breeder/owner/handled dog. Breeders Jerome and Pamela Oxenberg co-own “Treasure” with Jane Bates & Carolee Douglas. Jerome Oxenburg has the lead. Treasure, the 2008 Westminster breed winner, won seven BIS in 2008, but she has already won three this year.

CH Ashton Peaceful Easy Feeling

Our dark horse (and we don’t even know if she will be at the Garden) is CH Ashton Peaceful Easy Feeling , 2008’s number two Irish Setter. Easi won two BIS last year, but hasn’t won one this year…yet. However, she was very impressive at the giant Portland OR shows in mid-January. Breeders/owners Janet Jenkins Hylton & Gary Hylton co-own with N. Godbey, while Jennifer Holmgren has the handling duties.

We will be back with more Westminster picks. In the meantime, tell us who you like for the Sporting Group.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


In a a predictable political punt, President Obama told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the first family was delaying acquisition of a puppy until spring when, “ Sasha and Malia would be more enthusiastic walking a pet.” In an interview to be aired tonight at 10:00 PM EST, President Obama also stated that the family had not decided on a breed. We suspect the family has a reservation in for a Portuguese Water Dog and does not want to spoil the puppy’s coming out party with a pre-announcement. We have been unable to get a independent confirmation on our original source, but still feel confident that the First Dog will be a purebred PWD. Come on, now, one of your Portie people know something. Fess up.


CNBC, which is airing the second half of Monday night’s Westminster broadcast, is airing a behind the scenes look at the show on Thurday, 5 February at 9:00 PM EST. The special, “American Originals: Westminster Dog Show” is hosted by Trish Regan, co-anchor of CNBC's "The Call". Regan interviews handlers, owners, and judges about the money, time, and dedication required to compete at the Westminster Dog Show. Go here for more on the program.


We stumbled across this background story on the Presidential pooch search. Seems Bethlehem PA Mayor John B. Callahan, who has a five year old Portuguese Water Dog, has been lobbying the President on behalf of the PWD.

Bethlehem PA Mayor John B. Callahan

Although he was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton, Callahan jumped on the Obama bandwagon early enough to be included on a couple of the administration’s transition teams and may be in line for a midlevel appointment. Can you say Political Portie Picked for Presidential Pooch?


What To Watch for at Westminster.

Many of our readers are intimately acquainted with the Westminster Dog Show and have been attending and exhibiting for decades, many are familiar with the show and are aware of the status it holds as America’s most prestigious show, and some of you may have a vague idea that it an important event because it’s been on TV for several years. So if some of what we are going to add to these pages over the next week you already know, bear with us. If some of this needs more illumination, ask us, we love talking about this subject. I any event, we hope you find it entertaining.

CH K-Run's Park Me In First
2008 Westminster BIS Winner

This will be the 133rd presentation of the Westminster Dog Show. It is the second oldest continuously held sporting event in the US. Only the Kentucky Derby is older. This year, there are 2522 dogs entered, all of them champions, from 49 states, including 265 from California and 235 from New York. There’s a good bet that this year’s winner will make history. Of the breeds represented by our top ten dogs from 2008, six have never won a Westminster BIS. Neither the Giant Schnauzer, the Affenpinscher, the Brussels Griffon, the Harrier, the Scottish Deerhound, nor the Pembroke Welsh Corgi have ever taken the top prize.

CH Felicity's Diamond Jim
2007 Westminster BIS Winner

Breed popularity is not an advantage in the final seven at the Garden. The number one breed in AKC is the number one entry at Westminster, with 47 Labrador Retrievers entered, but surprisingly, no Lab has ever won BIS, (Sorry Marley) nor has a Golden Retriever, Dachshund, or Shih Tzu. There has only been one Yorkshire Terrier, one German Shepherd Dog, and one Beagle taking the heavysilver. The Bulldog has won twice and the Boxer four times, but the Poodles have won nine times, two Toys, three Miniatures, and four Standards. By contrast the Sealyham Terrier, which is the seventh least popular breed, with only 56 registered last year, has won four times. And we do have a Sealyham in contention this year as well.

Next, our group by group picks.


We now have the rest of the finalists from yesterday’s Union Country Kennel Club show in Wildwood NJ. Judge Joan Goldstein not only selected the Pug, CH Tupelo Shoboat Tu China Tu , as her BIS, she had the pleasure of going over the German Shorthaired Pointer, CH Fieldfines Back In Action JH, CGC, ROM, the Harrier, CH Downhome Family Tradition, the Samoyed, CH Pebbles’Run Hammy Davis Jr., the Bedlington Terrier, CH Velvety Angel Eyes, the French Bulldog, CH Justus I’m Your Man, and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, CH Sunrunner Chippewa.

CH Justus I’m Your Man

The 16 month old Frenchie, “Farron”, was handled by Michael Scott, whom we are used to seeing with a Pointer in the BIS ring. Farron was bred by Suzanne Orban Stagle & Ronald Readmond and is owned by Justus Kennels.

Monday, February 2, 2009


We have avoided this subject, partly because it smacks of the kind of Lindsay Lohan/American Idol/TMZ journalism we try to avoid and partly because it is way too close to political discourse which is anathema to a peaceful doggy dialogue, but hey, a scoop of this scope is not to be taken lightly.

CH Pouch Cove's Monkey See Monkey Do
Number One Portuguese Water Dog 2008

We have heard from a reliable source that the Obama children will soon be the proud parents of a purebred, AKC registered, Portuguese Water Dog. You may have read that the pick for Presidential Pooch had been narrowed to the PWD and something called a “Labradoodle” (excuse me, but that was my gag reflex). Our new President was trying to be PC in his choice for First Dog and had expressed a desire to get a shelter dog, but apparently someone did their homework and decided that the only reliable way to get a suitable pet for daughters Sasha and Malia was to buy a purebred dog from a reputable breeder. Exit Labra-whatever.

We suspect that the same influence that decided to eschew DC public schools decided that selecting a purebred dog was the best way to ensure a healthy pet of sound temperament for the daughters. Whatever your politics, it’s one decision all dog fanciers can agree with.


CH Tupelo Shoboat Tu China Tu

Bruce Springsteen may be “the Boss” in new Jersey, but today it’s the Pug, CH Tupelo Shoboat Tu China Tu, known to his friends as Boo. Boo closed out our weekend with a BIS win at the Union County Kennel Club event today in Wildwood NJ. That’s number four for Boo this year and number 25 lifetime. Nothing like updating the resume for Westminster. Congratulations to breeder Karen Thompson, owner/handler Doug Huffman, and co-owners Jamie Danburg, Pat & Ray Kolesar, & Michele Molnar.

We'll be back later with the rest of the finalists and now we have to recalculate our rankings.