Skip to content

A new venue and more new letters!

January 16, 2017

New puppy, new experiences!  This weekend Caliwags and I stayed in the Metro area and competed in the International All Breed Canine Association (
shows.  These are international style shows where each dog receives a written critique and a ratings card that earns their title.  The IABCA offers what they call the baby puppy class 3-6 months which was just right for 5 month old Cali. 

This venue offers 4 sets of shows on a weekend with an entry of 150 -200 dogs per show (guessing, I didn’t count).  Additionally they offered an Express show where a dog could earn a 5th
rating card.  The Express shows are simply an evaluation and not a competition between dogs.  It is done individually.  The judges we showed and were critiqued by where:  Mrs. Patricia Nemirovsky de Alsina (Argentina), Mr. Robert Schwalbe (USA), Mrs. Janet
Schwalbe (USA), Ms. Luanne K Dunham (USA) and Ms. Juliann Bitter (USA).  Groups were done by a 2 judge panel, we were also judged by Mr. Steven M Jeffery (USA) and Ms. Gloria Kerr (USA). 

Each judge provided written comments on the following:

Overall Impression







Front Quarters

Back Quarters




Cali received 5 SG-1 ratings which is the highest rating a puppy can receive and in doing so earned her IABCA National Baby Championship (NatBA), International Baby Championship (IntBA) and her Honors Championship (HnrBA).

IABCA NatBA CH, IntBA CH, HnrBA CH Stornoway Hot Tamale aka Cali 

Here are just some of the critique comments:

Overall Impression – “Excellent type”, “Nice puppy, typey, well built”.  Head – “typey, pleasing planes, fits the dog”, “Beautiful – Feminine”. Movement – “Excellent side gait, down and back very clean”, “sound and true”.  Front
& Rear Quarters
“Good shoulder layback and Good rear angulation”. “Excellent”.  “Well angled, muscular” Ears – “Correct shape, well used”. “Well set and carried, excellent size.

In addition to earning her puppy titles she also did well in the groups, she was awarded one Puppy Group 1s and 4 Puppy Group 2s.

The breeds representing the herding group at these shows were: Australian Shepherd, Beauceron, Belgian Malinois, Border Collie, Canaan Dog, Catahoula Leopard Dog, Collie (Rough), German Shepherd Dog, Puli, Shetland Sheepdog, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and the
Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

All in all it was a fun weekend.  Coming from an AKC background there is some frustration in the hurry up and wait scheduling that goes on.  Posted times are sometime just a suggestion and when you are used to the regimented AKC schedule where it is calculated
at 2 minutes per dog it gets a bit much when you think you have a 15 minute break and it turns into an hour + break.  But on the plus side, judges are not in a hurry, they give you time to set up, in addition to the critique they will chat with you about your
entry.  The ring waits for you if needed.  I saw one judge bring a novice GSD handler back into the ring with a more experienced handler to show her the right way to present her dog.  I saw a steward got to the other side of the building to round up some sheltie
folks so they wouldn’t miss their ring time.

The waiting also gives you time to hang out and chat, my BFF Leslie and her Keel Mountain Pembrokes also showed this weekend and we had time to chill, play with our dogs and talk and talk and talk.  We got to talk to our neighbors and some of my kennel
club friends and watch other breeds.  Cali and the Pem girls Edith and Eleanor got lots of training time too (along with some nice wins for all the girls).

Some of the other less appealing things were that there were no breed specialist although all the judges were AKC and/or FCI judges.  The other thing is paying for your title certificates, $25 for puppy titles and $40 Adult titles can add up with all the
titling options.  I remember I had to pay fees for our Mexican title certificates too and they were big fancy certificates so I will probably do it.

Probably the thing we liked the least was that there was no food vendor and nothing close enough to go fetch food with all the hurry up and wait.  We were there from 8:00am to 5:30pm and we humans were getting really Hangry and I know it tainted our opinion
of the day.

I thought it was a great opportunity for Cali to start her show career at these shows, less formal with more time.  She learned a great deal and was 100% better from Show 1 to Show 4, it was nice to have some outside feedback and confirmation on how Cali
is growing up.  There is another IABCA show schedule for later in the year and if the schedule allows I will go again.

 Cali says we conquered this show thing!

I’m proud of the baby girl, but I can tell you she was TIRED! At the end of the day.  She debuts in AKC next week in the 4-6 puppy class, we will see if she remembers what she learned this weekend.




Start and Finish, Finish and Start

January 9, 2017
tags: , ,

I am a bit late recapping 2016 but it was a good dog year, but every day with the dogs is a good one.  This was a year we tried some new things and added a new family member.

Our credits for the year:

Lindy finished her Open Barnhunt title.  She won’t go farther because at 11 I worry about the height of the bales in the more advance classes but there will be “B” Barnhunt classes in the future so she will still get to have a good time.  Even more exciting Lindy received the Registry of Merit – Versatility designation from the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, we are so thankful for all of Lindy’s kids who helped her achieve this honor.

PJ, my main man!  I made him work a bit, you know his favorite thing is hanging around the house.  This spring we joined the Keel Mountain team at the International Canine Kennel Club shows and PJ (although evaluated as out of condition which he was) earned both his ICKC Intercontinental and International Championship.  Mostly he just ruled the house and yard.

Frosty tried some new stuff, she could have cared less about running CAT, she told me in no uncertain terms that she had no interest in chasing a trash bag.  She also tried Barnhunt and on the last day of 2016 earned her Barnhunt instinct RATI.  She also earned her Canine Good Citizen designation.



Bailey was the workhorse of 2016, like her daddy PJ, Bailey also earned her ICKC Championships.  She ran a lot this year, she finished her Coursing Ability Advanced title and is 9 passing runs from her Excellent title.  She ended the year as the 3rd fastest Cardigan in the AKC and is currently the only GCH running Fast CAT.  She has 137.5 of 150 points toward her BCAT, Fast CAT title.   We also started working on Nosework.  She loves finding stuff so we are excited to try it for real in 2017.  Barnhunting was a challenge for Bailey this year as she is in the Master’s class.  The dark and twisty tunnels have been our downfall this year but we will get there.


Sweet Banner, Ban is the stay at home girl but this summer I took her to Nosework class and she seemed to like the work she just doesn’t handle being away from home so I doubt we will go forward with competing but she has fun playing the game at home.


And then there is Cali, a highlight of our year is adding her to our family.  She has been busy learning how to be a good girl (she is a brat) but she did earn her AKC STAR Puppy certificate and is starting her training for all kind of things in 2017.


A sad note is that our Stoney took his journey to the Rainbow Bridge.  Stoney was my first Cardigan, my 1st Mexican Champion, my first Agility partner.   He spent his last few years with my dear friend Janne in El Paso instead of making the trip to Florida.  He had a great last few years as an only dog and I am forever grateful to Janne for making his last few years so comfortable.


So what are our goals for 2017?

Of course Cali will be a big part of our dog schedule in 2017, she will start her conformation journey in February and she will also start also start some other sports.  Lots of fun plans in the future.

Bailey will continue to chase the “bunny” and work on her CAT and Fast CAT titles and she has started work on the Barnhunt Crazy 8 title as well.  She is entered in her first Nosework test in February so we will see how much fun she has with that venue.

Frosty earned her 1st Novice Barnhunt leg on January 1st so we will continue to work on that and I might start her in Nosework and I still want be a better trainer and do some Advance Rally with Frost.

Personally, I am excited to be going the Westminster this February, Leslie and I are spending a week in NYC and I can’t wait.

I am planning on going to the CWCCA Nationals in Ohio in May which is always a wonderful time.

I am in my second term as the President of Atlanta Obedience Club and as always I am looking forward working with the club members to make AOC a great place to train and compete.

As always I hope to be able to help others and be a good sport.  I hope I can always remember that it is my privilege to work with my dogs and I look forward to all the fun we will have in 2017.




Of Merit

January 4, 2017

“The quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward

Several years ago I was very happy to be designated a Breeder of Merit by the American Kennel Club. It takes some time and work to earn the designation. AKC Breeders of Merit must demonstrate the following:

•Has a history of at least 5 years involvement with AKC events.

•Earned AKC Conformation, Performance or Companion* event titles on a minimum of 4 dogs from AKC litters they bred/co-bred.

•Member of an AKC club.

•Certifies that applicable health screens are performed on your breeding stock as recommended by the Parent Club.

•Demonstrates a commitment to ensuring 100% of the puppies produced are AKC registered.

Right before Christmas the dog that helped ensure that I had the qualifications to earn that designation was herself awarded a designation of Merit.


The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America has a Registry of Merit (ROM) program for Sires and Dams who are successful producers. There are 3 levels Gold, Silver and Bronze and there is the ROM and the ROMV (the V stands for versatility).

BRONZE LEVEL ROM, a stud must have offspring who have earned a minimum of 15 credits; a brood bitch must have offspring who have earned a minimum of 7 credits. Also, to qualify a stud dog must have a minimum of 10 different offspring having at least one credit each; a brood bitch must have a minimum of 4 different offspring having at least one credit each.

SILVER LEVEL ROM, a stud dog must have at least 15 offspring earning a total of at least 30 credits under the guidelines; a brood bitch must have at least 6 offspring earning a minimum of 14 points.

GOLD LEVEL ROM, a stud dog must have at least 20 offspring earning a total of at least 50 credits under the guidelines; a brood bitch must have at least 8 offspring earning a minimum of 25 credits.

A Versatile ROM (ROMV) requires get to attain points in both conformation and performance/companion events. The number of get needed for Gold, Silver or Bronze remains the same.

My darling Lindy Hop who produced two litters with a total of 8 puppies earned the ROMV designation. Five of Lindy’s 8 puppies contributed to her point total. I am so proud of all of the puppies and thankful for their great homes. The puppies that contributed points to Lindy’s ROMV are:

From the Lindy x PJ litter

Solstice Flying Ace, RAE, CD, GN, NHIC (Charlie)

Arylan Flight from Justice, RN BN, NHIC (Bonnie)

GCH. ICKC CH Solstice Flying Start, CAA, RATS, RATI, NHIC (Bailey)

From the Lindy x Oz litter:

CH Arylan Custom Goldwing (Rider)

Solstice Fly Girl, RN CGC (Phoebe)

And if points could be earned from fabulous companion homes, Solstice the Flying Farmer (Zippy), Solstice Manhattan Project (Einie) and Solstice Pin Up Girl (Mandy) would contribute too.

I am so proud that Lindy has been included in the Cardigan Breed History as a ROM-V producer.

CH Arylan Flying Start, RATO, RATI, ROM-V


The Winter Solstice 

December 21, 2016

As the circle of seasons once again comes to a close and the earth begins its renewal, we celebrate the season of light, love, and hope.   As darkness gives way to light my hope for each of you is that no matter how dark it seems, Joy and Light are just
a heartbeat away, just wait, the dawn will come.

May you and yours celebrate your faith, your culture and enjoy your traditions.  Love your family and friends.  May you remember and rejoice in those that have gone before and count your blessing both great and small.

As always I am thankful that you are all part of my circle for you make my life richer.  Bright Blessings on this winter night.


Trying new things

November 25, 2016

I have been reviewing products for for awhile now.  Mostly we choose treats to review as the Cardigans love to eat.  When Cali arrived we started trying lots of things that she could chew on and the nice folks at Chewy welcomed Cali to our family and sent us some fun thing to try.  We did a review of the Busy Buddy Bone.  She really likes it and is a favorite distraction in her puppy pen.


She is awful cute so in addition to our review I tweeted this photo to #Chewy and got a nice response back.  Cause let’s just say it awwwww, she is cute!

The November product we chose to review were the Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones

Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones Dog Treats

They worked really well for puppy teeth, Cali spend a couple of days at the Atlanta Obedience Club at our November Obedience trial and if you have ever been to an Obedience trial you know that barking puppies are not welcome.  These Soup Bones were handy as it took her awhile to make them disappear.   They have more preservatives than I would like but not bad as softer dog chews go.  I do think the big dogs would make them disappear very quickly.  It was a good distraction to keep the peace at the obedience trial and I would use them again for the little one.

It has fun to review products for #chewy and of course we use the autoship options for our dog food and have had opportunities to experience their superior customer service but I was so very surprised (and touched) when they stepped it up a notch.

Remember the photo I tweeted of Cali with the Busy Buddy Bone to Chewy?  The one at the top of the page?  Well, last week I came home to an envelop from Chewy, what did I order? Apparently nothing, but #Chewy knew I needed something.  Here is what was in the envelop.

How special is this?  So wonderful, You gotta love Chewy!  Thank you Chewy for the great products and over the top customer service (I training customer service reps for a living) and the special relationships you have with your customers.  Well done on so many levels.



A month of Sundays 

October 24, 2016

Caliwag the Scalawag has had a busy month since she joined the Solstice gang, her social schedule has been packed with events and activities.

In addition to learning about her new family and her home, she has been to Nosework class and Rally Trial at the Atlanta Obedience Club, she visited our favorite Pet Boutique aka The PawStand and visited with the good folks there.  She also has been to
2 local all-breed shows and a FAST Cat trial.  On Halloween her version of Trick or Treat was starting her STAR puppy class and making new friends.

Her Grandma Ginger, is spoiling her during the work day and she is has had several Chewy orders (need stuff checkout for stuff and great customer service).  Chewy even sent us some samples to try, one of which is the Busy Buddy Bone which she thinks is great fun.  They also sent us some Get Naked Digestive Health Dental Chew Sticks which she loves and Grandma Ginger uses them to negotiate her return to the “pen” in the afternoon.

She has some favorite toys, the best ones are Frost, Lindy, Bailey and Banner.  The girls are so good with her.  The actual favorite toys are what we call the Cali Catcher which is one of those whip toys, she loves chasing the (do I see CAT and FAST Cat
in her future?) and a hairy yellow squeaker that we affectionately call “the Trump hair”.

Below are some photos of the little stinker during her first month with us.

Love us some Caliwags!

Mission Cali!

October 11, 2016

So what’s new at here at Solstice?


It’s Mission Cali!   The mission began on Saturday, right behind Hurricane Matthew I braved I-75 and headed toward Middleburg, FL to meet the love puppies bred by Paula Clariday of Stornoway Kennel.  I was determine to make it down the road along with the folks returning home after evacuating from the Hurricane and I did!

Paula introduced me to the puppies and specifically the puppy called Simmer.  She had been my favorite from the start and we were thrilled to meet each other.


After a nice visit, we loaded back into the car and headed north to Georgia.  With only a little fussing we were on our way.  Thanks Paula for an easy traveler.

Of course after a long ride we had to play when we got home and Momma dog Lindy took care of puppy duty and finally about 3:00am she flopped and we were able to go to bed.


Sunday was a big day meeting all the other dogs and learning our new home.




We also had a mission for Sunday, she needed a name!  The litter was born on the hottest day of the summer so Paula had a “Hot” theme for the litter, they all had hot baby names, Simmer, Sultry, Sizzle, Ember, Fever and Smoke.  Now all the current dogs at Solstice have a flying theme to their names and we looked for one that worked, went to our social media friends but nothing really fit so we broke tradition and found a fun name that fit her sassy personaility.  After much discussion by her TEAM, we chose Stornoway Hot Tamale!

Of course you can’t call by her long formal name, she needed a call name other than Puppy, Puppy or “hey you”! so again we tried some on and Grandma Ginger suggested Cali because she is Spicy and Caliente so Cali she has become.

Mission Cali has lots of help, in addition to myself her TEAM includes Grandma Ginger and all the Solstice Gang.  She has her other local mother and competion trainer, Cody Smith who will make sure she will get her Obedience foundations and although far away from us Kathy Davis will be her biggest cheerleader and advisor.  We are all excited to watch her grow.

So without further ado we introduce Cali!

Stornoway Hot Tamale


GCH Kingsbury Red Dragon of Claymore x CH Show N tail Turning Tricks

Stay tuned for more from Mission Cali!