Monday, March 30, 2009

CH Emmy and the Eventful Weekend

It was a great weekend for Winjammin' and our partners at Foggy Bottom in the cold and snow (yuck!) in De Witt, IA.

It all started with an 8am Saturday ringtime...Double YUCK!!! I don't know about all you other dog exhibitors out there and whether or not you are morning people. We all are NOT morning people. So, these god-awful early showtimes are not fun to deal with, and it's funny to say, but the dogs don't do early mornings either!

So, here we are with the Pembrokes right at 8am, and Ransom and another class dog are first in the ring. The judge greets us and then we start the showing routine. No mysteries here...around the rather large ring (which he cut in half by using a folding chair as he said Corgis don't need that much room to move) and on the table. Exam is over, and then he says, "Ok, now give me an L pattern". There were a rather large *POP* in my head as I tried to wrap my sleep-fogged brain around the fact that I had to remember how the $#@% to do an L pattern at 8 in the freakin' morning. Thank goodness the other class dog had to go first so I could watch out of the corner of my eye, as I was setting Ransom up on the table. turn.

Exam over, Ransom was a little wiggly, but if you know Ransom, he is always wiggly ;o). Now for the pattern. Down to the corner, turn left, turn around and switch hands so the dog is on the inside of the ring, and then one last lead switch back to my left hand in the far corner to complete the pattern. This was the first time I had done an L in an actual show. I've done them in practice matches and handling seminars, but never in a show. Ransom had never done one period, and he handled it with his usual flair...looking at me for cues as I was doing the lead switches, and then smiling at the judge right after each switch to show him that yes, we did do it correctly. LOL We were told after we came out of the ring that we deserved an Awart of Merit for being the only exhibitor to correctly do the pattern. Thanks Laura!!! :o)

We go on to win Winner's Dog for a point, and then it was time for the Cardigans. Bear was the first Cardi in the ring, and he did pretty well with the strange pattern, only a few struggles with the lead changes. The judge really seemed to like him and gave us first in the class. Brother Frankie goes in for BBE and shows like a seasoned vet and wins his class. One more class dog and then it was back in the ring for Winner's Dog. The judge sat back against the exam table and just watched and watched Frank and Bear, and you could just see his mind turning, trying to decide who he liked better. Of course for Alec and I, we didn't really care who won, as we win either way since we co-own both boys. Finally, everyone was back up on the table again, and once more around the ring....and the judge points to Frankie. Bear got bored had started to act a little squirrelly so I'm sure it didn't help his case any. Then the judge pointed to Bear for Reserve. Good deal!!

The girls were the big entry for the weekend, so we all had to split the handling duties, and we were without our Ringer, as Meredith had a previous commitment and wasn't there. So, we enlisted Bekka to show Dove, as a warmup for her showing "her" dog Cristal at the National. This was Bek's first time in the ring, and she handled it like a seasoned pro. She had watched what was going on, Dove just let her take control and they made a great team. Emmy went in and showed just like she always does...always on her game and always the consummate professional. No flash, no antics, just all business. Now, some judges hate that, but this judge just loved it and awarded her Winner's Bitch for her last major and final 3 points to make her a champion. She will now and forever be known as CH Camelot's Maiden Voyage.

Now it was time for Best of Breed, and there was a lot of scrambling going on, as we had Russ, Phantom, Frank, and Emmy all in the ring at the same time. So, the roll call went out and Cindy took in Russ, Rus had Phantom, Alec had Frank,and Bekka had Emmy. Russ is getting better by the show and is really starting to come into his own. Give him a little more time to mature and get a few more shows under his belt, and he's going to be one tough customer in the breed ring!!! Phantom was at Camp Foggy Bottom all week shacking up with his girlfriend Shooter, so he had girls on the brain but still managed to pull himself together enough to make us look respectable. The class kids kept getting better the more they were in the ring, and with the other 4 specials out there, it was a large class of very nice looking dogs. I didn't envy the judge one bit. It was going to be one tough pick.

The final tally was CH Turnkey's Little Big Man for BOB (and later a Group 3), CH Bendi's Little Piece of Heaven for BOS and Frank was BOW for the major.

Then it was off to Kim's and Gibson Ranch for the Italian feast and lots of wine and conversation. After way too much wonderful food, Sherilyn's awesome unknown cheesecake, more wine, after dinner cocktails, and did I mention the wine? We had a great time, and even the dogs seemed to sense the party mood and everyone had a WONDERFUL time. Eventually the early morning caught up with us all and everyone was off to bed at a decent time....well at least for us.

The next morning greeted us with snow and sleet on the gorund which made for a slower drive to the show. Thank goodness for later ring times!!!

Ransom was first up again, and unfortunately, the other exhibitor was not feeling up to snuff, so she stayed home (probably smarter than we were!). So Ransom won Winner's Dog by default, and then won Best of Opposite Sex to the special.

Bear repeated his performance with a Reserve again, only this time to Connie's Levi. We moved Emmy up to Best of Breed, so we had no girls to show, but Meredith was back and showed Dove so well that they were awarded Winner's Bitch for Dove's first points and major. The whole audience exploded with applause and a stunned Meredith collected her ribbon. I think she finally smiled a little bit when she got back to her mom and got a hearty pat on the back from everyone.

Then it was time for Best of Breed. Alec went in with Russ, Rus had Phantom, Cindy took in Emmy, and Meredith had Dove. Russ is still coming on strong and showed well. Phantom took the breath away of several people with his movement, and many a "Oh my!! How pretty!" were heard. Cindy and Emmy were quite the team as well....all business all professional....all the time. Meredith and Dove also kept getting better and better, and I don't think either one of them had a foot out of place all day.

Phantom was pulled out for comparison with the eventual Best of Breed and Opposite Sex winners, but got nothing in the end. Sonja's Maggie was BOB with Chelsea on the lead, the Turnkey dog was BOS, and Meredith and Dove were BOW.

Then it was time to pack up and load down Kim's Suburban with all of the show gear, which she is most graciously taking with her to Nationals.

All in all....3 major wins on 3 different dogs, one new CH, 2 Reserves (one to a major), and 3 WD wins on two different dogs. That's a pretty good weekend in my book!!

On to Kansas and Chasing Rainbows!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Foggy Bottom Visit

Cindy and Alec came for a short visit and to do a doggie swap on Saturday morning. Boo went back to Cedar Rapids with them so he could go visit the FB girls for the week, while Grandpa Fred stayed behind to keep order, and the boys in line. It was a fun time and Cindy and Alec even brought along a few hitchhikers, in the form of Moose, Merlot, Shooter, and Turner. Turner decided he'd much rather stay out by the truck, so he camped out outside, while the other three (four counting Fred) came in to say hi to the Corgi 9.

Shooter was content to roam the back yard and take in all of the good "city smells". Moose and Merlot came through the door like they've lived here for years, instead of being frequent visitors. Moose planted himself on the couch after a brief "hello" with his best buddy Boo. Merlot was promptly pounced upon by Chianti and Cristal and the frap was on!! All of the other dogs frantically scrambled to get out of their way as they rolled, chased and nipped each other, and anyone else who got in their way (mostly Bear).

By the time the girls got their running out of the way, they were a little winded and actually stopped long enough to compare the length of their tongues. We're not sure who they decided had the longer tongue, but we'll let you, our faithful readers, vote. So, here they are...from left to right: Chianti, Cristal, Merlot

Monday, March 16, 2009

Doin' It Ransom Style!!!

Ransom decided that last weekend's Dubuque, IA dog show was a fine time for a coming out party. And boy did he ever do it with style!!!

He was Winner's Dog, Best of Winners and Best of Breed for 1 more championship point under judge Carl Gene Liepmann on Saturday. We were very proud of the little man, as he is now truly figuring out the show thing, and realizes that he gets the "good cookies" at the shows. This day, the mystery "good cookies" were beef and chicken fajita meat.

He was so into the bait that by the time we got to the group ring, he was positively humming with anticipation. As the "short dogs" in the Herding Group, the Corgis are last in line, and he loves being the last of the last in line. When it became time for him to show to the judge, he just had to do it "Ransom style".

His bunny butt was just wiggling all over the place when the judge walked up to examine him on the table. She said, "My, we have the wiggles today!" She sweet talked him into holding still for exactly 7.5 seconds (not really), so she could examine him, before allowing him to get one more wiggle in.

Then it was off the table, straighten any mussed fur (there wasn't any), hike up the collar and off we went. The arena absolutely exploded with cheers and applause, as he went for his down and back. He was flying right along and just ate up the cheers. We get back to the judge, he turns so his whole judging side is facing the judge, plants his feet better than I could ever do it, and just stands there, rock solid....not moving a muscle. There was this VERY audible "OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH and AAAAAAHHHHHHH" that came from the crowd as the judge walked a 360 degree circle around him. This specific moment in time is, in the dog showing world, called a "Kodak Moment" because the dog is letter perfect. It only happens once in maybe 100 shows for a dog but you really know when it happens. Well, this was Ransom's Kodak Moment.

The judge told us to go ahead and move back to our position in line, and right after I spun him around to go back to our spot, he turns his head to the judge, bats his eyes, and gives her this HUGE grin that said, "You GOTTA love me!!" and off we went to another thunderous applause. Onlookers swear the judge melted at that look.

Now we are stacked and ready for the judge to do her final look around. Again, Ransom is feeling it and is letter perfect, and not moving. Then the judge is walking past us and looking, looking, looking. Ransom looks over at her, acknowledges her presence, and then looks back at the cookie. Then she turns and walks away towards the front of the line. I slip Ransom a little treat, quickly pull my hand back and count my fingers. Yep...all there.

Now the judge is pulling what we call her "laundry list" or some people call it the "short list". She goes all the way down the line pulling out what will eventually become her top 6, of which 4 will get a placement. She points at us!!! WHOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!

We quickly move to the end of the shorter line but have to wait behind the Sheltie for everyone else to clear the ring!!! I start to sweat at this point, as some judges won't wait and keep going, which never bodes well for the dogs in the back of the line. But, this judge just stands there, and waits patiently for the ring to clear and then for us to get in place on the mat and get stacked up. Then she sends everyone around one at a time. We go trucking right along, and as he goes past the judge, yep, you guessed it, he looks right at the judge and SMILES!!!! That little snot!!! In the same motion, he turns his head back and keeps right on going.

We get back to our place in the back of the line, again the judge waiting on us to get set, and then she starts picking....Old English Sheepdog....what's this??? She's coming right at us, and POINTS!!!!! Oh my Dog!!!!! She puts us in the 2nd slot, and then points to the Briard and the Sheltie. Then she points 1-2-3-4!!! The place erupts again!!! You could have bowled me over with a feather!!

We then go to get our picture taken and her comment to me was, "He's an onery little snit, isn't he?!" I replied, "Yes he is....every day, but we love it." She chuckled and said, "So do I".

Thank you Mrs. Edna K. (Katie) Gammill for putting up our 12 month old puppy for a truly wonderful win!!

Sunday rolls around and Ransom is a total slug first thing in the morning. We think he's tired from all of the excitement of yesterday. He finally wakes up right as he walks into the ring, as he remembers the fajita smell from yesterday and immediately tries to eat my fingers instead of the bait. Yep, they're still all there...but just barely. He's still a little flat as we go around the ring, but still manage to hold on to win Winner's Dog, Best of Winners, and Best of Breed under Mrs. Gammill, for one more point.

We put him in his kennel to rest and by the time I had his lead put away, he was on his back and unconscious....snoring....LOUDLY. Great....this'll be fun later.

We roust him up about 45 minutes before group starts to see just how tired he really is. Yep...pretty darned tired and he still has to survive the group ring. Cindy makes a hasty run to the local Irish tea shop for some honey straws. We need sugar....well, HE needs sugar!! While Sherilyn is grooming him, Alec is sitting nearby keeping Ransom company, eating some of his mom's homemade snickerdoodles. He waves it in front of Ransom's nose and he about flies off the table. HEY!! New bait!!! So, our mystery cookie for this day is Snickerdoodles. I break up two cookies, and hold a small piece of chicken breast in my pocket for emergency reserve. We're ready to go!

For the most of group, it's a repeat of the day before. He's wiggly on the table, thunderous applause, and a big smile for the judge after a SECOND Kodak Moment, that again, elicited many oooohhhhs and aaaaahhhhhs. We make the cut again!!!! But, unfortunately, we didn't get pointed at for the big ribbons, but that's ok!!! He was in the top 6 for the second time in as many days.

What a weekend!!! Holy smokes!!

Oh, and as far as the rest of the crew goes, Ransom's partner in crime, Bear, won Winner's Dog and Best of Winners on Saturday for two more points, and little sister Cristal finished second in her class behind littermate Merlot (aka LS) at the fun match.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Columbia, MO show

We went to the Columbia, MO show last weekend and had a real fun time with the folks down there. Everyone had their dogs out getting them ready for the National, so we had a large entry, with lots of nice dogs.

Our own kids represented us very well on Saturday. Bear was Winner's Dog out of the Bred-By Exhibitor class and went on to win Best of Winners for a crossover 5 point major!! He showed his heart out for us and acted VERY pleased with himself the rest of the day, and yes, he had Outback steak as part of his dinner. Phantom was Best of Breed both days over 3 nice specials (there were 4 on Sunday after Dave and Cathy Porter moved their just finished Zoey up). He also got pulled in group. Emmy was her little professional self as always, but was 2nd in her class. Ransom also won his class but went no farther.

Sunday wasn't as good, but were still very pleased with the results. Bear was still able to win Reserve Winner's Dog after being spooked by the slamming doors that sounded like gunshots going off while he was showing. I'm not sure if he ever put his ears up while he was in the ring. Emmy was 2nd in her class again, and Ransom was also 2nd in his class.

It was good to see the MO crowd again, and touch base with those who we hadn't seen since the last National. We can't wait to see everyone again next month at the National. It hardly seems possible.

Here are the results, and congrats to all the winners:
Sat -
BOB - Phantom
BOS - Marion Johnson's Lilly
WD/BOW - Bear
WB - Dave and Cathy Porter's Zoey (congrats on finishing her!!)

Sun -
BOB - Phantom
BOS - Marion's Lilly
WB/BOW - Don and Jacque's Lilly (I know, confusing, right? ;o) )
WD - Dona Caldwell's BBE boy (Notzmo Motley Blue)

P.S. - Hey Dave, so much for Zoey not listening to you while Cathy was showing another dog, huh?? ;o) Congrats again to you both!!

P.P.S. - Hey better make sure you know where your little Valhund baby is next time we're at a show together!! ;o) She's ADORABLE!!!!!!! Are we going to see her again at Nationals???