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Never Too Old

By Amy Fernandez

“I’m getting too old for this” is a common refrain this week. Then again, “you’re as old as you feel.” And one old girl is definitely proving that point this weekend. A little Smooth Coat Chihuahua, GCh. Ayrwen Star Kissed Delight, better known as Dee Dee, made the last flight out of River Falls, Wisconsin before Thursday’s big storm. She hit the ground running Friday going BOV at Progressive, and pulled it off again on Sunday at the Chihuahua Club of Greater New York specialty. That time she went from Veteran Bitch to BOS. The point is that Dee Dee is 10½. Do the math. (No one under age 75 has any business whining about this exhausting week.)

This isn’t Dee Dee’s first rodeo as a veteran. As her breeder/owner/handler Gloria Johnson puts it, “She’s maturing very nicely.” Perhaps that understates the case. Dee Dee has won two regional specialties from the Veterans class. But Johnson admits that Sunday’s win under Norm Patton was something special. Dee Dee and Norm, they got history.

Johnson had been out of the Chihuahua ring for 23 years when Dee Dee arrived in her second litter by Ch. Dartan Grand Slam out of Ch. Dartan Star Queen of Ayrwen. “She had a great show temperament from day one. Nothing phased her,” she says. Apparently not.

At six months she made her ring debut at the CCA national where Norm Patton awarded her Best BBE and Winners Bitch. Ten years later, Norm still liked what he saw. He’s not the only member of the Dee Dee fan club. She is the top winning Smooth Coat Chihuahua bitch. [Editor's note: GCH. Sonnus Filho (Sanchez) is the top winning Chihuahua of all time (all coats) with 48 all breed Best in Shows. We apologize to Sonnito's owners, breeders, and handler for the earlier post]. Her 18 all breed BIS wins broke the breed’s 30 year record. She’s also racked over 20 specialties, three Toy Group shows, over 90 group wins, three Westminster BOV wins, …you get the idea. Along the way, Dee Dee also whelped two litters and she’s got a son and daughter waiting in the wings. But Dee Dee isn’t ready to retire just yet says Johnson. She says, “At one specialty I didn’t realize her lead broke until we got around the ring. I looked down and I’ve got half a lead and there’s Dee Dee right in step. She could probably go in the ring and do it by herself.”

“After all these years and all these wins it takes my breath away. It’s been such an exciting experience to show a dog like this. Everyone has been so supportive,” she says. And that, Johnson admits, has been the most gratifying part of it. She says, “No matter where we go, people really appreciate the chance to see her in the ring. She’s very into herself, very feisty.” Dee Dee’s got attitude, and a stunning head…let’s just say there’s a lot of quality in that little Chihuahua package.

But what’s the real secret of Dee Dee’s dazzling success? (It’s the duck), a little, yellow terrycloth ducky. “She’s had it since she was six months old. Some days she won’t play with the duck. Then she gets it out again. She takes it everywhere. There’s a lot of mileage on that ducky. So far, it’s undergone one surgical squeaky replacement and it’s looking pretty ragged but, like Dee Dee, it’s gonna keep going.

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Posted by on Feb 14 2017. Filed under Dog Show History, Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • February 2019