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The Big E – Endless Possibilities

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222 – November/December, 2018


Moving through our lives in Dogdom is an organic process. We start at one place, acquiring a dog. Over time we morph. We may get another. Perhaps we decide to show our dogs in a single event, a few, or many. The progression may go onto being a breeder, a club member, show chair, or legislative activist. A myriad of possibilities present themselves. Along the continuum, opportunities exist for being a delegate, club official, or, even, a judge. Is it possible to partake in all of these? Yes. It is. Does that appeal to everyone? No. Is it right for everyone? No. It is not.

My first step was the purchase of a Cavalier puppy, bought as a companion with no thought of doing or being anything else but a cherished pet. It wasn’t until we completed puppy kindergarten, started obedience classes, and made friends at the obedience club that we thought differently. Suddenly going to weekly training sessions, group practices, and match shows on the weekends was what we did. Eventually, Sophie and I thought we were ready to enter obedience trials. Months and months later, she got her Companion Dog obedience title and her Canine Good Citizen Title. Although we kept on with our training for her Companion Dog Excellent title for an extended period of time, her newfound fear of jumping and my many failed attempts to help her left us unable to get the last leg for the title.

By that time, Fannie, our beautiful young black and tan Cavalier with a noted pedigree, had joined the family. Purchased as a show potential puppy, her unfortunate undershot bite kept her out of the conformation ring. Then I began my quest to find another more suitable show prospect. This time I became a student of the conformation ring. I got a catalog, sat at the ring, watched the judging, and developed an eye for what I liked. I would go home, write down the breeding behind the dogs which attracted me, and look up other dogs with similar breeding. It took time, research, and determination to find exactly what I wanted. Going to specialties, delving through past and current yearbooks, and learning the English and American lines in the breed all lead me to the same place. Eventually, I could spot dogs from that kennel the moment I saw them. Now I had to convince the breeder that I was serious and to sell me a bitch. Yikes!!

Click here to read the complete article
222 – November/December, 2018

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