Ever since I got home from the Collie Club of America National Specialty Show (held this year in West Springfield, MA, at the Big “E”) I’ve been struggling with a lot of things—first of all is finding a topic for this blog. Exhaustion hasn’t helped and neither has four days of dog shows three days after my return home from CCA.
At the CCA show, our little set-up was a haven from drama. We chose to make it a “drama-free zone” and for the most part, it worked. There were a few hitches, but we got through those. What I found most interesting about this year’s National was I wasn’t at all nervous about showing any dog in the set-up, including the Van-man, because I honestly had no expectation of doing anything with him. However, I was incredibly nervous to walk him into the ring and the spotlight for the Top Ten Invitational. It was worse than the first time I ever walked a dog into the group ring.
|ringside candid from specials' class (photo by Johanna Lance)|
For inquiring minds—here’s how I did at the Nationals. I won the American-Bred rough bitch class with a gorgeous little puppy bitch bred and owned by Joyce Weinmann of Vennessee Collie fame. (Look at just about any pedigree of the top winning collies in the past twenty years, and you’ll find a dog with the kennel name “Vennessee” on that pedigree.) Bailey—Vennessee’s Made to Order—was an utter joy to walk into the ring. In the American-bred rough dog class, I placed fourth with an exquisite tri dog—Bandor Mar-Jo’s Midnight Interlude—the Mighty Moe. In the AOAC (any other allowed color) 9 – 12 month puppy bitch class, I placed 4th with another of those lovely Vennessee collies. In the American-bred smooth bitch class, I placed second with the exquisite Bones—a striking blue girl who should sail to her championship. In the 6 – 9 month smooth puppy bitch class, I placed 4th with an angel wearing a tri-colored coat. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Glitter can play dog show with me any time, any where. I love that little girl. In the rough stud dog class, where the get and not the stud dog are evaluated, I placed second with Tucker—an impressive tri dog with a glorious coat, incredible attitude, and a beautiful outline. His get are as lovely as he is. I showed other animals, too, and even though they did not place, did me proud. There was Gracie, bred and owned by Rayleen Hendrix. I was honored to present this lovely sable rough girl. And then there was O.T.—the “Other Travis”—a very happy sable rough boy who went into the ring with his new friend Grace Hein. Even though he didn’t place, he needed to learn the ring was a fun place where he got fed a lot of cookies. Grace did a wonderful job with him. There was also Harley—who though she didn’t place, did a great job of playing dog show. I am looking forward to showing her again, too.
Oh, and Vander was select dog...
Oh, and Vander was select dog...
|Bailey--Vennessee's Made to Order (photo by Tenna Perry)|
|Harley (photo by Tenna Perry)|
|The Mighty Moe (photo by Tenna Perry)|
Now comes the very public acknowledgment of the people who helped to make this year’s National such a success and in no particular order: To David Perry, for being such a good man and doing all the heavy lifting and toting. I know Tenna is aware what a gem you are, but I also want to say you are an absolute keeper. To Jacque Bailey, for helping with the grooming, the loading, and for making Moe look like a million bucks; to Nancy Hehre for all the help your provided; to Tenna Perry for brushing and brushing and brushing; to Joyce Weinmann for those amazing head trims; to Gwen Means for making me smile; to Rayleen Hendrix for being a source of constant encouragement; to Grace Hein for everything you do; and to Laura and Shelley Bergstrausser, for providing comic relief and for giving Vander a bath the morning of smooth specials—from the bottom of my heart and with my deepest gratitude, I thank each and every one of you. My success in the ring is dependent on the assistance I receive and I am so grateful for your help but most of all for our friendship.