Two years ago a litter of puppies was born in a heated whelping box to a Champion Smooth Collie named Izzy. Four short months later their human leaves this Earth for a better place, Heaven.
This human had great plans for two of these puppies, a little girl and little boy. You see this was supposed to be the first, of many, litters born of her own champion stock. The human's daughter was lost and didn't know what to do as she was not of the "Dog Show World".
|Hank and Ivy 2009|
As you can guess, the human is my mom, and I am the daughter.
I've attended shows where my mom was subjected to the ugly side, the political side, of this world. Where other handlers, owners, fanciers shunned her, told her she was nothing better than a back yard breeder and she'd never produce anything of quality. Her and I both knew all of this was because they were scared, scared of her dogs and what she was doing to better the Collie breed.
Since my mom's passing I've handled Izzy and my dog Chase in confirmation classes. My experience was worse than moms. I was told my mom would disapprove of what I was doing. That the puppies, Hank and Ivy, that Lorie was showing were pet grade and would never be anything special. That I completely ruined Izzy (a multiple Best in Show, and Best in Speciality Show winner) and she'd be nothing more than a brood bitch.
|Izzy Best in Show|
Mom had come so close before in qualifying for Eukanuba National Champion Dog Show, I believe she was 1 point away from qualifying when she was campaigning Shade.
|Right to Left: Best of Breed Judge, Theresa (Shade's handler), and Columbus Collie Club President and of course Shade|
Then Lorie and Hank started winning all the Best of Variety / Best of Breed's or Best Opposite Sex to Best of Breed/Variety (means he is the best "boy" in the ring and a "girl" won Best of Breed). They were winning every weekend they went out. He qualified for and we received an invitation to the Big Show so off to California we went.
|Hank with his own Hollywood Star|
Sunday morning helping Lorie get Hank ready for the show ring with a picture of mom close at hand the realization that we were completing something mom worked so hard to achieve hit me like a ton of bricks.
|Me, Lorie, Mom and Hank|
It was very hard to keep the emotion under control and I finally gave up and just had my moment of tears. Lorie and I shared a big hug and Hank licked my hair and then we moved on to the business at hand.
|Hank and Lorie|
|Hank and Mom|
|Lorie, Mom, Me and Hank|
This show was different, while there was the tenseness of the competition, for the most part all the competitors were friendly and respectful. We never encountered, nor heard any of the snide catty-ness that is often heard at the small shows. Every class I watched; the judging was fair. Each dog was given it's fair look over, logical questions about confirmation were compared animal to animal. It wasn't obvious who would win here the moment they entered the ring. It was very refreshing to see the best dog win, and not an animal that either meets a minimum of breed standard, can not move with fluidity, or shows none of the Collie temperament.
As my husband stated earlier today, I am energized about this adventure. I'm making breeding plans and will again enter Chase in local shows to brush up my handling skills.