Showing posts with label WESTMNINSTER. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WESTMNINSTER. Show all posts

Friday, February 6, 2009


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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Among the good news stories this week (and believe me, I have to look for a good news story) is the report of a lost show dog that has found his way home. CH Brigadoon It's All About You, a Bearded Collie, had bolted his home in Stamford, CT, on September 17. Bailey, the 2007 Westminster breed winner, was bred by Penny Hannigan and owned by Michele and Scott Piskin of Stamford, CT. Happily, he was found in nearby woods two days later and was returned home. The Piskins had equipped their property with an “invisible fence”, but had removed Bailey’s collar while indoors. When Bailey was startled by the sounds of power tools during a home renovation, he made a run for quieter spaces.

CH Brigadoon It's All About You

I am not a fan of the so called invisible fence. My brother, who owns miniature dachshunds, equipped his yard with such an underground stun gun. At one family barbeque, my brother-in-law, encouraged by an alcohol induced curiosity, decided to test the effectiveness of the fence. He removed the collar from one of the dogs and approached the fence. A moment later he laid on the ground, the collar in one hand, an empty beer can in the other, and an amazed look on his face. My brother had a conventional fence installed the next week, under threat of neutering from my wife and daughter. Albeit a bit of Monday morning quarterbacking, this old dog recommends that dogs be locked up when there are workmen are in the house.

CH Bohem C'est La Vie

Nonetheless, we are happy for Bailey and his family. Way too many dogs go missing each year. Our readers may recall the 2006 Westminster entry, the Whippet, CH Bohem C'est La Vie, who escaped her crate at JFK airport enroute home to California. “Vivi” was never found. It is somewhat comforting to remember that these incidents are rare. Most dogs make it to and from shows without any problem. Yet, we all can identify with the heratbreak of those who have lost their pets. Keep a watchful eyes on your dogs!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Most of my non-doggy friends and family question my obsession with the dog show game. During my life I have spent a lot of money and time attending more traditional sporting events like football, basketball, and baseball. I've also had a couple of expensive and time consuming hobbies like boating and cars. My friends and family thought that all of these pursuits were wholesome and normal. Yet when I tell these outsiders that I just spent $1500 for a puppy or I'm driving 400 miles to attend a dog show, they act like I've taken leave of my senses.

Well, here's a couple of life lessons I've learned from the dog show fancy:

1. Dog show people live forever...or at least way longer than the average NASCAR fan. Last year, I attended a local show and a Japanese Chin exhibitor asked me to handle her class dog, while she showed her champion in best of breed ring. The judge was Maxine Beam. I first met Maxine in 1974 when we were both members of an all toy dog club in New York, now defunct (the club, not Maxine). I won't say Maxine is old, but she was "mature" in 1974.

Maxine Beam

2. Dog people know how to succeed. The dog fancy is a subjective sport and, like all subjective sports, accusations of favoritism and politics abound. In 1973, after a particularly long loosing streak , I asked one of the most successful professional handlers of the day, Bob Forsythe, if he had any advice for a novice like myself. Bob told me, with typical modesty, "If you bring a OK dog in the ring, I will beat you every time. But if you have a really special dog, you will win your share." The next dog I exhibited went Group Three from the classes at his first show.

Years later, my son came home from basketball tryouts, grumbling about how he had been cut because of favoritism and politics. I told him, "Next year you will just have to be so good they can't overlook you." He made the team that following year.

Robert Forsyth

3. Dog people are tenacious. Back in the day when we had a lot of benched shows...benched shows, for those who have never exhibited at one, require that an exhibitor and his dog remain in the show hall during show hours, even after your dog has been judged and failed to win anything. This was done so the dog owner could meet and greet spectators while coming up with creative excuses for the failure to finish in the ribbons....but I digress. At one of my first shows in Philadelphia, which was benched show, I returned to my bench at 10:00 AM, after taking a reserve winners, to await for the warden, I mean show chairman, to release us from the show hall at 4:00 PM. I struck up a conversation with a fellow detainee, uh, exhibitor, an elderly woman accompanied by a particularly ill tempered Pekingese. Explaining that Pekes were bred to be guard dogs for the emperors of China, she regaled me with a story of how she had, in the 1930s, attended the Crufts Dog Show.

Crufts is the world's largest show, with over 22,000 dogs, and believed by many, especially the English, to be even more prestigious than Westminster

At that show she witnessed a magnificent looking Peke being disqualified for attempting to bite the judge. She approached the owner and told her that it was a shame that such a beautiful dog had been dismissed. The exasperated owner offered to sell her the nasty animal at a bargain price and before the afternoon was out my fellow detainee had a new stud dog. The next day the lady and the Peke boarded the Queen Mary for the trip home to New York. Once they were settled into their stateroom, she decided to get acquainted with her new dog. A few minutes later she rang the steward for some iodine, bandages, and a pair of heavy work gloves. The way she told the story, by the end of the week long crossing, she and her bad tempered buddy had gained a lasting respect for one another. That dog went on to win several best in shows here in the US.

CH Chik T'Sun of Caversham with handler Clara Alford. Ossie was the top winning Pekingese in history with 126 Best In Shows. Ossie was NOT the bad tempered Peke that my friend imported.

The only life lesson I ever learned at a football game was how to balance a beer and a dish of nachos in my lap at the same time.