Sunday, February 5, 2012

Her Crowning Achievement

Home! After a long show weekend it's nice to be back home. The house was so stuffy I opened windows and retreated to the porch to watch the dogs frap a bit on their home turf.

On the drive home, I reflected on Scout's "career" - lots of which was never supposed to happen. I did not get Scout as a "show prospect." I got her as a pet, performance dog, and companion for Spencer. Her breeder suggested going ahead and showing her for fun while I waited her to grow up and do other things.

At six months old, I took her to our first specialty. On the way to Fort Mitchell, I stopped in Gray TN and showed her in an all breed show, just so that my first time in a conformation ring would be somewhere other than the National Specialty. Ungroomed little Scout got her first Reserve. At the Specialty, she made it to the final cut of eight in a huge 6-9 month class.

She picked up points here and there for the next several months. She went Best in Sweeps at the big Lexington Labor Day Weekend show. On the day before she finished, she got her first BOB over specials and her first Group 2.

As a special, there were many high points - two group 1s, several group 2s and 4s, but oddly enough, no Group 3s that I can remember. She was twice Best Herding Titled Bitch at Nationals, was Runnerup to Best in the Megan (Cadno Award) and second Award of Merit. She was BOS at Western Reserve and Westminster, and recently got second Award of Excellence at the AKC National Championship.

Scout has been showing sporadically over the last year and a half - taking time off to have puppies, and I was very surprised when she qualified for Eukanuba in the top 25 and even more surprised when we got an invitation last week for the Top Twenty match at the Three Rivers Specialty in Kansas City. She is only a few points away from her Bronze Grand Champion status.

I thought of all this today as I reflected on what may be Scout's crowning achievement. She produced (with a little help from Chase :p) a daughter who could best her. Today little Lowri, not quite 14 months old, took Best of Breed over specials including her mama. She went on to show well in group competition and made the cut in a very strong Herding Group.

Afterwards a friend came up to congratulate me, but said "too bad it had to be over Scout." I told her that was not the case at all. I bred Scout because I knew that she had something to contribute to the future of the breed. Today we saw the first glimpse of that. I could not be any prouder of Scout than I am today.

Today was Lowri's day, and I look forward to more great days from her, Tommy, Ginger, Alli and maybe even my goofball Sally in the conformation ring. And of course, all of them, including Abby, David and Big Nick, are champions of the heart to the wonderful families who love them, and that does my heart good as well.

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Long Dog Show Weekend

Four day shows are not for the weak! Thankful for late ring times - more time for dog frapping and hooman laziness in the motel.

Good weekend. A new champion and Gch points for Scout and Lowri. Scout is close to the Bronze level. We plan to go to a couple more shows this spring, then we'll concentrate on other fun things.

Love this portrait I had made yesterday of my beautiful girls.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day!

Ok, I know. Long time no post. I'll try to do better.

"Groundhog Day" is one of my favorite movies. Bill Murray plays a tv weatherman who gets a wonderful gift - the chance to relive a day over and over again until he gets it right.

Scout was restless last night in the hotel. I took all the dogs out about 3 AM to see if that would help her settle down. She snuggled up with me after, but by then I was wide awake.

As I laid there I remembered that it was Groundhog Day. I wondered what the day would bring for me and Sally. Would it be yet another Reserve for us, or would this finally be the day we got it right.

I am happy to report it is the latter. I now have my first bred-by Champion, CH Mockingbird Practical Magic, my sweet and silly Sallywags.