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Did You Know? – Buy A “Show Dog”… See The World!

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172 – May, 2024

By Michael Canalizo

In 1960, my parents (Jim and Lee Canalizo) were a young married couple with three small kids. After the loss of an infant brother, Lee wanted a dog in the home. She was attracted to the Afghan Hound after seeing Ch. Shirkhan of Grandeur go Best In Show at the 1957 Westminster Dog Show. Maybe because his breeder (the ubiquitous Sunny Shay) was “now” a local legend…it wasn’t hard to find her kennel that was within 10 miles of our home.

Off we went, packed into the back of a Ford Station Wagon with no seatbelts, no air-conditioning, no power windows, or door locks, etc. We “arrived” at the famous Grandeur Kennel. Perhaps for us kids we could only see all the dogs and other exotic creatures (Monkeys and Macaws). I have no recall of any of the other obvious impressions of the property, but years later when I would frequent Grandeur often, I had the feeling not much had changed in upgrading the “rustic” environs. I do remember my sister being enthralled with one of the Monkeys (until it decided to take a taste of her finger!) I recalled seeing these odd-looking cars in the backyard pens with dogs all over them, inside, outside, on top…such a funny scene. I would come to learn of Sunny’s infatuation with the Citroen car: A highly stylized, aerodynamic French car that “rode” on a pocket of air. To this day I (subliminally) find myself drawn to the car. Maybe some day I will own one in Sunny’s honor.

Okay…so now, apparently, my parents were looking at puppies in a pen. During the typical excitement of seeing all the pups, my Mom saw ones she liked and Dad asked “how much is that one” …Sunnys replies: Oh she is $100…and then another pup comes into view and Jim asks, “How much is this one?” Oh, she is $150. Of course, the next question was, ‘Why is that one $50 more?’ “Well, Deary, the $100 pup is a pet and the $150 one has “Show Potential”. Then Jim asks, “What’s the difference?” After a quick explanation, Jim asks Sunny, “So, which should we take?” Without hesitation and with a bit of excitement Sunny chirps, “BUY THE SHOW DOG…YOU’LL SEE THE WORLD!”

Well, truer words were never spoken. Both Lee and Jim would become BIS level judges that traveled the globe and I, as of this writing, have been to every state in the USA and I am about to visit my 51st country–all because of a $50 judgement call.

Click here to read the complete article
172 – May, 2024

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  • June 2024