Debby on…New Champions and Old friends

What a great few days it’s been! For those few days, the kennel was renamed the trailer park. I like trailer parks…especially old ones with big shade trees. A bit cozy, but comfy.

A week ago Friday I met Melissa ‘for coffee’ at the airport, 7:30AM sharp. She flew in from Minneapolis to hand deliver Josie for a mating to Edmund. She arose at 3:30AM. I got up at 4AM. Marlena – as in Bette’s Marlena – met Melissa in the parking lot of a pet store (notice how things, things as simple as where to meet, center around dogs) and drove her to the airport. My dogs ate an early breakfast. Those going to dog class were loaded in the dark into my car. Away we went ‘for coffee’ with Melissa. We sipped coffee, talked dogs, dog training and even a non-doggy topic or two. When I looked at my watch, 3 hours had passed. Edie’s Rally Course started in 45 minutes, on the other side of Denver!

For months Melissa and Julie had planned driving to Colorado with Josie, visions of a long relaxing weekend in the mountains, hanging out, going back to Minnesota after the mating. Not exactly how it worked out…which was probably a good thing. I don’t know how we would have shown all the dogs without Melissa’s help! Melissa flew back home several hours after handing off Josie. She returned to Colorado Wednesday, driving out with Julie.

Kathy and Joe stopped by the Specialty Friday, camera in hand. I love this photo of Julie, Rumor and Melissa. It was taken during Best of Breed competition. Although you can’t see him, Julie is handling Fernando. Rumor had been awarded Winners Bitch. Melissa, with her calm, knowing hands, took Rumor back in the Best of Breed ring. Rumor, a stunning Apso, is tentative in the show ring, startling fairly easy. Julie is taking advantage of an opportunity to encourage Rumor…

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Friday, Jill started us off  with Best in Sweepstakes, followed by Keeper being awarded Winners Dog…

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 Along with the previously mentioned Winners Bitch, Rumor was awarded Best of Opposite Sex over the bitch special. This was an award she repeated all three days – interpret that to her being judged the best female Lhasa Apso all three days. Keeper was awarded Best of Winners, picking up his first major.

Saturday was Ginny’s Day! Ethan, looking fabulous, was awarded Winners Dog and Best of Winners to finish his Championship. Ethan is Ginny’s third Champion, her first Bred-By-Exhibitor Champion. I am so proud of her! Rumor, too, finished her Championship. Two FFT Champions in one day! Does it get any better than that? Well. Actually it did. Fernando won Best of Breed over the #1 Lhasa Apso in the country, and placed 4th in a strong Non-Sporting group.

Sunday…we all should have stayed home, slept in, hung out – just like Melissa, Julie and I originally planned for Josie’s Long Weekend. Keeper was awarded Winners Dog. Since he was the only class male entered, he needed to go Best of Winners to pick up Championship points. The judge didn’t do that. Rumor was awarded Best of Opposite Sex; but I’m thinking if we could have looked in a crystal ball, seeing the outcome of the judging, we would have given up that win for a relaxing day.

Ya win some. And ya lose some. There’s always another dog show. I had a great time with friends. Near-by friends. Far away friends. It was the kind of weekend that keeps me inspired, willing to create a trailer park in the kennel when needed. With near-by friends, we groomed, we exhibited, we talked, we ate. And, of course, we drank a bit of wine. Each night, with my far away friends, we talked, we munched, we talked, we feasted. And, of course, we drank wine.

Listening to music, watching music videos on YouTube, we came up with cool dog names. Even Rick got into it. He brought up some Tommy Bolin music, which in turn brought up old memories. The first dog Julie purchased from me was Tommy. Her litter mate’s name was Willie. Both were females. Willie’s name was to be Red Red Wine, a Willie Nelson song. Tommy’s name was originally to be  Sweet Burgundy, a Tommy Bolin song. Julie asked if Tommy could be registered as Fleetfire Shiver Me Timbers’, incorporating her last name. That’s what we did, but Julie kept Tommy’s call name.  Tommy was one of her two foundation bitches – eventually becoming a Register of Merit producer and a Champion. She is behind the two new Champions.

It is these things that inspire me, re-motivate me to continue the never-ending work – work it is!! – of maintaining a breeding kennel. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, in the first half of the book, describes perfectly, poetically, the day-to-day work involved. Except the Sawtelle dogs didn’t require the kind of grooming Lhasa Apsos do!

As I mentioned, ya win some, ya lose some. Dog shows aren’t always about the apparent wins. ‘Winning’ can be other things. Like Zen getting her tail up during seminar, actually happy and excited to gait around the ring. Like Dante giving Vickie eye contact at the end of his individual gaiting.

Old friends. New Champions. Old Champions. New puppies. The interwoven fabric of my life.

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