Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sharing the Wealth ~ Letting Go

Tomorrow morning, we say goodbye to Arrow; Ch. Xtacee Cowboys- N- Indians. Arrow will be boarding a plane for a VERY long ride to Alaska and will become a cornerstone for their breeding programs.

It was not an easy decision to make, to send Arrow that far away. Lisa and I had decided that we were ok with placing him. And, we had decided that he was way-to-nice to put in a pet home! (Finishing his Championship undefeated in 5 shows with 4 majors had "something" to do with that...) Arrow needed more attention then he was getting here, and yet didn't have the personality or the attitude to "make it" as a special in our very competative East Coast dog shows!

But... There is more to this strange turn of events that led Arrow to be Alaska bound...

Just about the time Arrow was born, my dear friend and Mentor, Marieann Gladstone judged in Alaska. Following her assignment, we talked about the entry, and she commented about a conversation she had with one of the exhibitors up there, and that she had suggested Arrow's father, Nicky, for their bitch. That breeding never came to pass, but as soon as I posted that Arrow was available, lo and behold, an email came from Alaska. I can't help but think that Marieann had something to do with putting this all together!!

I am excited about the opportunities for Arrow! He is such a quiet, unassuming dog. He doesn't ask for much of anything except love (and food), and gets along well with just about everyone. He has an exceptional pedigree that will work well for our breeders to the far north, so I am looking forward to seeing the influence he has on their puppies. And, I am very happy to have made new friends in Alaska~ maybe now I will have an excuse to go visit there someday!!

I just wish he didn't have to be in a crate for 20 hours to get there! Thats a really long time for a little-bit-spoiled Arrow!

Best Wishes, Michieal and Eric-- and Arrow!

Monday, August 16, 2010

This is Why We Do This...

I am often asked why I breed and show dogs. I have to admit, sometimes I scratch my head and ask myself the same question!
Why do I spend the majority of my weekends, all of my discretionary income (and some of my not-so-discretionary funds) to have some person pass their opinion on my beloved dogs? Why do I lose hours of sleep and burn miles of rubber traveling to shows? How come I live in a house that has been modified for the comfort and convenience of my dogs, rather than myself?
This past weekend, I was reminded why I do this... in Spades!
At the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of the Western Reserve Specialty, I had the pleasure of watching one of my "puppy people", who has become a very dear friend, finish her very first conformation title on her very first Cardigan!
Terri Clingerman and "Cricket", aka Ch. Xtacee Over the Moon (Ch. Kimberwicke Domino Effect x Ch UlaMauna Xtacee YahooDoray RA, CGC) completed her championship under judge Janet Robinson on Saturday by being awarded Winners Bitch from the 12-18 class; and then topped it off with an Award of Merit. The following day Cricket was awarded Best in Sweepstakes!
Admittedly, Terri's home is a special home. Terri came to me looking for a multi-purpose Cardigan; her main focus was performance. She also wanted something that she could play with in the breed ring. Finishing Crickets championship was a goal, but not the primary goal. The fact that Cricket finished so quickly and well is an added bonus!
Terri trained and handled Cricket completely on her own. Because she had never shown in the breed ring, everything was a new experience. I enjoyed watching her grow as a handler, and am particularily proud of how much she has learned about Cardigans in the short time she has been part of our family.
Which brings me back to the question of why we do this. As a breeder of well over 20 years in Cardigans, I feel its my responsibility to be there for new Cardigan owners. I also feel I am obligated to only place in show homes those puppies that are truly worthy of being shown- in other words- nothing less than what I would show myself.
While at Western Reserve this weekend, I had a conversation with another Cardigan breeder/judge on this subject. There seems to be a multitude of new Cardigan owners out there; the majority of which seem to be floundering about with a lack of direction. What happened to their breeders? Where are their mentors? Its important that breeders understand that their responsibility does not end when the check clears!
I wanted to publicly congratulate Terri for a wonderful job with Cricket- and hope that she enjoyed her Western Reserve Specialty=-= as much as I enjoyed watching from the ringside!
Congratulations to a great team!