Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm Back!

Eeeek!! It's been a month and a half since I last wrote! Apologies to my ones and twos of readers! I'll try to be more consistent in the future. But heck, it's MY freakin' blog, after all!!
Anyway, despite the mood swings (hahaha) things have been going pretty well at House of Danes. The pups turned 6 months old on Feb. 27 (incredible to think how tiny they were when they were born, now they're about as big as their mother) and that is the minimum age for showing in the AKC. So we entered our two plus Gus (that's his new name, he used to be called Hunter) who we show for his owners, in their first show on the first weekend of March. Actually we just entered Saturday - we thought that judge would treat puppies well and thought one day would be enough. You don't want to wear them out, and we wasn't familiar with the judge on Sunday. Most judges treat dogs, and especially puppies, very kindly. But occasionally you get a judge who is brusque or even a little rough with the dogs - you never want to show to a judge like that but you DEFINITELY don't want to risk that with a youngster.
They did great! With babies our only goals are: 1. that they have a good time and B. that they mostly behave themselves. In other words, we view it as a training experience. And that was a success - they walked into the show building like "Cool!! Lookit that! And PEOPLE!! Oh, boy! Can we have treats??? Please???" but they weren't maniacs and definitely weren't freaked out by all the dogs and people. And they showed well although they all had puppy moments in the ring. The kicker was, Gus won Reserve Winners Dog! Which doesn't get him any points but it means he was second place to all the non-champion male dogs there! The judge really liked him, but he's still too immature to really win.

Baby Gus's first show picture!!

Then later in March we had our Dane club's specialty show - meaning that it was a show limited just to our breed, instead of being an all-breed show. Again, they did GREAT! They behaved even better than at the first show. 4 of the 5 pups were there which was great. The absent puppy is gorgeous but I doubt he'll ever be shown; his new owners just aren't interested in that and that's OK with us. They adore him, travel with him everywhere and he has a terrific life plus he gets well socialized with all the travel, so he's not missing out on anything! It still would have been great to see him again, but they were out of town. Hopefully I'll get to see him soon.
Anyway, the 4 dogs we had there at the show all did great! We had also entered Kinsey, their mom, in obedience and Best of Breed competition. The obedience classes also were open only to Great Danes, which is fun. They started before the conformation classes but ran a bit late so I was in the obedience ring with Kinsey when it was time for the pups' first class in Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes is a competition separate from the regular show, open only to puppies. The judge doesn't have to be an AKC judge and in fact judging Sweepstakes is one way that people who are applying for a judges' license can get some experience judging. You can win a little money - like $15 or $20 - but there are no points. Like all shows, the males are judged first then the females, and in both sexes the youngest puppies go first. So our "little" boys would be first in the ring, hence my conflict. So Kinsey's breeder agreed to take Teddy into the ring for me. She's met him several times of course but has never shown him so I didn't know what would happen - at the least I figured it would be good experience for him to learn to be handled by another person, and of course she would be good to him.
Well, what happened is that he won Best of Sweepstakes!! He was a jewel, and she made him look VERY good. It was pretty exciting.
(I wasn't going to brag on my dogs here.. but again, it's MY blog so if I can't brag here, well... screw it!!)
So then the regular classes started and I showed Teddy in his class. He didn't win this time, in fact he came in second to his brother Gus but the Judge was very complimentary. When it was time for the females to be judged Ronnie (my hubby) took their sister Topper in and when the judge was examining her she told Ronnie "You breed beautiful puppies!" How nice is THAT!! Ronnie handled Gus in his class and we told her (after she'd placed Gus and Teddy 1st and 2nd in a nice class) that they were littermates. Anyway, when the dust was all settled Topper won Reserve Winners Bitch! Another nice Reserve like her brother - again no points but since it was a big entry it was REALLY exciting!
Stay tuned... it seems like they're on a roll!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Well done! Puppies are fun, aren`t they!