Really, it is so odd to me to roll out of bed, give my dog a groom, jump in the car and run over to the dog show just prior to my ring time, show, hang out with friends for a while and then head home. But that is just what I did this past weekend at the Cherokee Rose Cluster. I entered PJ on Saturday and Sunday of the 4 day cluster. My main man PJ just needs a few single points earn his Grand Championship so off we went.
Thursday and Friday our breed’s top winner the lovely Coco was awarded Best in Show so we knew going in it would be working for the Grand Champion points that would be awarded for Best of Opposite and Select Dog. Mr. PJ did both, on Saturday he was awarded Select Dog and on Sunday he was Best of Opposite behind lovely Coco. So he earned a couple of single points leaving him just 4 to go.
PJ is always fun to take to the shows, he is fun to hang out with, always happy to make new friends especially new friends with benefits (also know as FOOD). He takes everything in stride and makes me look good by being so cute. What more could you want from a day a the dog show.
Being a show dog is hard work, you can tell he missed his doggy nap time. But who can blame him, he did what I ask of him and he deserved his nap time.
In my professional life I train adult learners and I always say in my intro that I show and train dogs and if I give them a cookie, I promise it will be a people cookie. That always leads to questions about the dogs during the 6 to 10 weeks of training. Most think it is cool but it there is often a question of why?
So I thought I would think about the why? What is my why? What motivates me to get out of bed at zero dark thirty to drive to a fairground or expo center to spend under an hour trotting around a ring with my dog to win a scrap of ribbon and “points” and pay $30 for the privilege?
I am a competitive person but not so much so that my identity is tied into winning. I hope I am a graceful loser and seen as a good sport. So my why isn’t about WINNING. I think my why really is about the dogs.
I find dogs to be highly entertaining. Their joy at life never fails to bring joy to my life. Of course I could just have pets and be joyfully entertained. I think showing for me is a visual art form. Beauty come to life, a masterpiece on four paws. I think it is the celebration of dogs that draws me in, the events themselves, the circus atmosphere, the gypsy lifestyle of the people.
I have had lots of hobbies where I shared experiences with other like-minded people and enjoyed them fully but with dogs and their people it is like joining a tribe. To quote a favorite author it makes me happy to be in “a nation within”
Yes I did it but why? I admit I thought it was a fun idea to get people together to support a charity that works to cure a horrible deadly desease. ALS kills the body while the mind still lives.
Yes, it was fun thinking about how to include the dogs and what I would say and who would I call out in challenge. But why did I do it? I did it because someone I didn’t know well but was much respected was lost to ALS and because of her I have a little bright spot in my day, everyday.
So I did the silly #IceBucketChallenge and dontated a little money, along with lots of famous, infamous and not famous people for fun, for awarness and with thanks for making my life a better place.
This bit of silliness was for you Helen Jones.
I’ve renamed myself:
As they say perception is reality and for many the word breeder is a dirty word. What is the difference between me a responsible breeder and a commercial/profit breeder, a backyard breeder or the horrific puppy mill breeder? Sometimes it is hard to tell if you are not a “dog person” and you are just trying to find a nice puppy for your family. So what am I in reality?
Let’s face it Legacy Breeders like me are never, ever going to produce enough dogs to satisfy the dog loving general public. There are lots of puppy buyers out there that might be wonderful homes but don’t meet the criteria that I set out for my placements. In reality, commercial/profit breeders are going to take the place of what we now call “responsible breeders” and they will be selling dogs that may have some health testing etc, since that is what much of the public now expects. So how do we the “responsible breeders” of today educate the public on the difference?
Education, anyone can talk about breeding dogs. Why should someone listen to what I have to say? Why? Because I am a legacy breeder, that is why. My job is to protect and support the breed and as such I should be mentoring anyone interested in the breed. Does mentoring mean I’m going to sell you a puppy? No, but it does mean I’m going to give you the best information I can and give you the tools you will need to make an informed decision on how best to choose a dog for your lifestyle.
So who made me a Legacy breeder? Well I made myself a Legacy breeder and I did that by hard work. First I know that I have Cardigan Welsh Corgis, dogs that meet the breed standard. How do I know that? I took them to 3rd party experts for evaluation. That’s right I took them to DOG SHOWS! There was enough consensus that they met the breed standard that they were awarded Championships. These dogs that look like Cardigan Welsh Corgis but do they that act like Cardigan Welsh Corgis? Well, yes they do and I know that because I have them in working events and out in public where their temperaments are tested so I know they are smart and loyal and bidable and act like a Cardigan should act.
Ok, so now as a breeder, I know I have dogs who look and act like Cardigan Welsh Corgis but are they healthy? Genetics, environment and plain old luck can make a difference in the health but as a Legacy breeder I am doing what I can to make sure the dogs that I am using in my breeding program are producing healthy puppies. Many breeders do health testing but using the test to produce superior puppies that look and act like Cardigans are what should be expected from a Legacy breeder.
Now as a self-proclaimed Legacy breeder whose job it is to protect and promote the breed I have put in a lot of hard work to protect the breed. I’ve bred to the standard, I’ve made sure my dogs are temperamentally sound and Cardigan like. I’ve done my health testing and made it available to interested parties. What else should I be doing to protect and promote the breed? I should be educating and mentoring people who are just discovering our breed. That includes telling potential puppy buyers that a Cardigan might not be the right breed for them. Helping new people at dogs events, any new person, not just the people who got puppies from me or my friends. People who get a Solstice puppy will know because I am a Legacy Breeder and that they can always count on me to assist them with their dog and I will be supportive of their success and failures
I should also be serving the breed by working with other Legacy breeders and the parent club to promote and protect the breed. By educating I should be helping the public understand the difference between a Legacy breeder and others who breed for profit. I should educate not preach.
So as a self-proclaimed Legacy Breeder have I fulfilled the requirements what I believe separates me from profit breeders?
1. I’ve bred to the standard and have had 3rd party experts judge my dogs and confirm that they look like Cardigans.√
2. I’ve training my dogs so that they can perform tasks in a public setting and have been rewarded with titles to show we were succesful.√
3. I’ve performed health checks on my dogs and made the information available.√
4. I’ve not only joined my parent club but work with the membership to promote and protect our breed.√
5. I am an AKC Breeder of Merit. Some would argue that, “that isn’t saying much” but to me it means I belong to a dog club that is working to promote our breed and/or dog sports and I have agreed to abide by their code of ethics and conduct. I have promised to provide adequate health testing for my breed, I have promised to register and place my puppies wisely and it shows that I have bred dogs who meet their standard and have been rewarded for other working activities.√
6. I use this blog and social media as an outlet for education about the breed and dogs in general. Open lines of communication and a commitment to work with other Legacy Breeders on the health and welfare of our beloved breed.√
Yes, I think I have met all the criteria I have set forth to be labeled a Legacy Breeder, do you agree? Do you think having a title or description would assist those of us who have always been termed “Responsible Breeders” but go a lot further for our chosen breed be distinguished from those commercial/profit breeders who meet minimum responsiblity requirements?
How about a poll to see what you think?
Whoop whoop! PJ is very proud of his red son Finn formally known as Rockie Top Fire and Smoke, CD, PT. Finn is from PJ first litter with the multi talented CH MACH 2 Pippin, etc. His breeder/owner/handler Polly Cole reports that they earned a perfect score of 100 and High in Trial at a recent herding trial.
PJ and Frosty are proud to be related to such a talented boy and I am proud that Polly chose PJ to sire Pip’s only litter.
High in Trial, Polly, Finn and judges.
Obedience at the nationals
Just hanging with his mom.
Thanks for sharing your success with us we couldn’t be happier for you.
Hugs from Nana.
That is the proper greeting now that I’m a Southern girl living in Georgia. I haven’t had a Frost Report in a long time, my Mom is mean and won’t type for me.
The Solstice gang is living the life here in Georgia, there are so many more things for us to do. One of the things I must tell you about is the SQUIRRELS! We have them and we love to chase them. I don’t think we will ever catch them because we can’t help ourselves, we are not stealthy and they hear us coming from a mile away or at least from the top of the deck. Mom feeds them so they keep coming around.
We still get to do Watermelon days, now that we live where they grow things Mom gets them fresh at the Farmer’s Market, sometimes we get to go to the market too.
Since I finished my Grand Championship last year I haven’t been to any dog shows but I have been going to Good Girl classes, Mom calls them obedience classes. I am a very smart girl and I like going to school. Daddy and Bailey still get to go to Dog Shows since they aren’t Grand Champions like me, ha ha!
Mom has been to a lot of shows, she goes with our Auntie Leslie and those silly tailess Pems.
Another thing she has been doing is hunting rats, well Mom hasn’t been hunting them but Bailey, Sienna and Lindy have been hunting the rats at Barn Hunting trials. Both Bailey and Sienna have their Novice Barn Hunting titles along with their Instinct certification. Lindy has the Instinct certification. Little Sienna was the 1st one of her breed, Brussels Griffon to ever get a Barn Hunt title. We are all proud of her.
See what I mean, about lots to do in Georgia, we have a great yard and deck. there are lots of places for dogs to go and see and be seen. I went to a big dog festival, Daddy went and partied with a rock band, Lindy went to brunch (she got bacon, I really hate her!) Mom, took me swimming, Bailey and Sienna went to the Farmer’s market and who knows where we are going next! So that is it, stay Chilly my friends,
Have I said lately that I really love Barn Hunting, if not I will tell you I really love Barn Hunting.
On Saturday, I attended the Family Pet Obedience School’s May Barn Hunt trial. My main goal at this trial was instructional. I entered Lindy Hop in Instinct and Novice and then my plan was to spend the day working at the trial to learn more about the sport.
Now Lindy, has very limited exposure to Barn Hunting and has had no practice at all but since I wanted to go I took her along. She very successfully found her rat in the instinct test and earned her RATI and during the actual Novice runs she found her rat very quickly but failed to do the climb element. I can teach her to climb straw bales, but I can’t teach instinct so I am OK with that. She had fun and I was proud of her good work. Silly Momma dog!
After our Novice runs I spent the rest of the day scribing for the Open, Senior and Master class. It was a joy to see the dogs work. I helped lay some bales for the course and did a bit of rat wrangling when needed. I am excited to learn more and get back into class so we can practice. I really think I want to judge this sport.
I don’t know if I bragged or not but little Sienna, the Brussels Griffon is the first of her breed to earn a Barn Hunt title, there are others now but she was the first. My Mom was proud!