Feature Articles

Volume 4, Number 1

"A FAITHFUL PARTNER GOES HOME AT LAST, COP FULFILLS VOW TO DOG KILLED IN ATTACK ON TWIN TOWERS"

"Taking a Close Look at Heads"

Owner Handling Pioneers

AKC - Eukanuba American Dog Classic

Westminster Kennel Club 2002

Home Brags Cabbage Patch Show Results


A FAITHFUL PARTNER GOES HOME AT LAST, COP FULFILLS VOW TO DOG KILLED IN ATTACK ON TWIN TOWERS

Editors note: The Springer Showcase is very pleased to bring you this story from ground zero. Our canine friends gave their lives in the tragic events of Sept. 11th, 2001 and to honor them is to live with freedom! This article is reproduced with the permission of “The Record” of Hackensack, NJ.

Friday, January 25, 2002

By NICOLE GAUDIANO

Staff Writer The Record

Port Authority Police Officer David Lim's last words to his partner on Sept. 11 were: "You stay there. I'll be back for you."

After four months, Lim can finally say he fulfilled his vow.

Workers at Ground Zero on Tuesday recovered the remains of Sirius, a yellow Labrador retriever believed to be the only canine to die in the attack on the World Trade Center.

 "I've been waiting to find him," Lim said Thursday. "I fulfilled my promise to him because I came back and I took him home."

The remains of the bomb-detection dog were found beneath the debris of Tower Two, in the Port Authority's basement kennel. Lim left Sirius there and went to help with the rescue effort, but didn't make it back -- he became trapped himself, in Tower One, and wasn't pulled out until more than five hours later.

Workers immediately called Lim to the scene Tuesday when they found Sirius. They carried out the remains with full honors, complete with a prayer and a salute.

 "There was a flag over his bag and I carried him out with another officer, John Martin," Lim said. "Everyone saluted. All the machinery was stopped -- the same thing that is done for human police officers and firefighters. I thought it was very nice."

Lim, who was heralded for his rescue efforts that day, had placed Sirius in the kennel moments after the first plane hit Tower One. Then he rushed to help people down the staircase, shouting, "Down is good."

A 20-year veteran of the towers, Lim had climbed to the 44th floor of Tower One when Tower Two was hit. When he heard the call to evacuate, he made his way to the fifth floor, where he stopped to help carry a woman.

"We got as far as the fourth floor and the building collapses on us," he said. "It was like an avalanche. We were just waiting there to die."

Lim escaped to the sixth floor -- which eventually became the top of the rubble. He was finally rescued after 3 p.m. He had suffered a mild concussion, but no serious injuries.

 The Port Authority has listed 37 of its police officers as missing or dead as a result of the attack. Lim believes that number should be 38.

Sirius, who was 4 years old, searched commercial vehicles coming into the trade center. He had worked with Lim since March 2000 and helped clear the way for visits by such VIPs as President Bill Clinton, Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

"He was my partner," Lim said. "I got really attached to him. I still step over the spot where he used to sleep in my room because I forget he's not there."

Doctors would not allow Lim to search at Ground Zero because of the emotional toll it could have taken on him. But he has kept tabs on the rescue effort, checking in periodically to ask whether they had made it to the kennel area.

In the first few months, rescuers had to build a road over it to get to another area. When they found his jacket recently, Lim knew they were getting close.

Lim was training his new dog, a black Lab named Sprig, when he got the call from Ground Zero on Tuesday.

He found consolation in the fact that his partner died instantly. It appeared that the kennel collapsed.

Sirius' remains were cremated at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County, N.Y. Lim collected the ashes Thursday and will keep them in an urn at home until April, when he plans to hold a memorial service. He hasn't yet determined where.

"We expect hundreds of [police] dogs to come," he said. "It's going to be very big."

Editors Update - At the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show I had a chance to interview David Lim and here is the updated story.

I introduced myself to David and told him of “The Springer Showcase” and the next thing I said was “I am so sorry for the loss of your partner”. David replied with tears welling up in his eyes, “This is the first place I have been where someone recog-nized my loss. I have been on the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America” and the hardest thing I had to do was say “I know this was only a dog”. “This dog slept at the foot of my bed - was a constant companion, my friend and my partner.” I told David that those of us that live with and love our dogs understand his loss and we are so proud of his accomplishments. David’s new partner “Sprig” is young and still has a lot to learn, but he has a good nose and will prove himself to be a worthy partner to David. The Memorial for Sirius will be held at Lincoln Memorial Park and Sirius will receive full officer honors.

Printed on the back of Sirius’ Memorial Card is a beautiful little story, called “The Rainbow Bridge”. It touches the heart and lifts the soul. It is printed here for you to enjoy.

Thank you, David and thank you Sirius, we will never forget you. - SS

The Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of it’s many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge, there is a land of meadows, hills, and valleys with lush green grass. When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm Spring weather. Those who have been maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other. But there is one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on earth. So each day, they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up. The nose twitches, the ears are up, the eyes are staring and then one suddenly runs from the group. You have been seen and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again. You look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be apart.


"Taking a Close Look at Heads"

Copyright 2001 by Kathy Lorentzen

The English Springer Spaniel breed standard describes the correct Springer head in great detail. Therefore, it stands to reason that proper head type is important in defining overall breed type and character.

The Springer head is quite different from that of all the other Spaniels. Our standard has distinct requirements that don't appear in the standards for any of those other breeds. This article is designed to look closely at the characteristics that make the Springer head unique.

First, and most importantly, we must remember that this breed was developed as a companion hunting dog-first used to 'beat' game out of cover that was then brought down by hawks or coursed by hounds, and later refined to find, flush and retrieve both furred and feathered game within gun range. The sportsmen who created this breed utilized in their breeding programs only those dogs that could, with ease and efficiency, do the job that was required of them. The defining physical characteristics of the breed were established over time as a direct result of selection that was based on job performance. In the same manner, temperament was refined, as dogs were selected for intelligence, willingness to please and accept training, the ability to live and work together peaceably, and kindliness and stability towards people. These temperament characteristics are readily expressed in facial expression, which is an important part of head type.

Figure 1. Early 20th Century English heads, clearly exhibiting the features described in the breed standard.

 

Breeders and judges must always look to the history and development of the breed for the reasons behind the standard's requirements. Failure to do so will result in the Springer becoming just a 'generic' show dog, a path down which far too many sporting breeds appear to be heading. In this day of "fancy show dog, big hair, runs fast" breeders need to put aside petty differences and work together to maintain the integrity of this wonderful breed.

One of the ways that makes it easier to understand really correct head type in the Springer is to realize that Springers and Setters had common beginnings. In fact they were often divided by being called "springing spaniels" and "setting spaniels". Really good Springer heads have a number of things in common with proper Setter heads, many of them being characteristics which set this breed apart from the other Spaniels.

Our standard calls for the skull to be "flat on top" which is very setter-like. However, the Springer skull rounds gently into the arch of the neck with no prominence of occipital bone, different from the setters with their prominent occiputs which give a much sharper angle to the back of the skull. Also in common with the setters is the requirement for a straight nasal bone, the line of which should lie in a plane parallel to the line of the back skull. These two features (flat skulls and parallel planes) are in danger of disappearing from the breed entirely if breeders don't make a conscious effort to breed from and select for dogs that possess them. Historical photographs prove that flat skulls and parallel planes were the norm in the breed until the later half of the 20th Century, when they began to disappear. In their place today we frequently see high foreheads, round skulls and planes that diverge sharply, literally starting at a high point right behind the eyes and failing in opposite directions.

Figure 2. Artist's rendition of the head described in the breed standard.

 

Our standard also calls for a muzzle that is the same length as the skull, another similarity with the Setters. The muzzle should be broad and deep enough to facilitate the easy carrying of a large game bird. A broad muzzle also allows room for large, properly placed teeth, another important functional requirement. The standard says that the jaws should be "lean". This does not mean narrow or thin-instead it means "not fleshy", allowing for the bone structure of the foreface to be easily seen. In profile, the muzzle should taper little, if any, from stop to tip; instead, the depth of jaw and squared off covering of lip should carry well forward, giving strength and balance to the entire head.

The amount of stop in this breed should be MODERATE. In profile the correct Springer head appears to have more stop than really exists due to the development and placement of the eyebrows. The eyebrows should be up on the same plane with the back skull; the skull should never round up behind the eyebrows-that creates a very Cocker Spaniel profile that is totally incorrect in the Springer. Springer eyes should be set fairly deeply in their sockets, and the eyebrows rise up and set over the eyes. This is critical for protection when the dog is pushing through heavy cover. A prominently set eye is much more prone to injury. A Springer should look at you "out from under" his eyebrows. And the eyebrows should be very mobile, which adds greatly to expression. The other typical component, which adds to the illusion of more stop, is the groove that rises up between the eyes. Dogs that lack groove will appear "flat" between the eyes or somewhat plain-faced.

Figure 3. Correctly shaped and placed eyes, "looking out" from under the brow.

Deeply set, the properly shaped eyes contribute tremendously to characteristic expression. Eyes should always be oval-a perfect eye will appear somewhat "openly triangular" in shape. Round, prominent, light eyes, especially in combination with pale eye rims, create a "startled" or harsh expression, which is totally foreign to this breed.

Dark, deeply set eyes, well-developed mobile eyebrows and delicate bone chiseling around the eye sockets combine to let the Springer's temperament shine through in his expression. Happy, sad, quizzical, or having a pout-all these can be read like a tickertape across the correctly made Springer face. Faults that produce untypical hard, staring or vapid expressions should be considered very undesirable.

A good Springer head is more than just a pretty face. Many of the "glamorous" heads seen in the ring today share a number of faults so commonly seen that they have been accepted as normal. The breed standard clearly describes the correct, functional (and beautiful!) Springer head. Breeders and judges should work together to restore this wonderful, unique feature to the breed.

Correspondence is always invited.

Kathy Lorentzen

vincefan@concentric.net


Owner Handling Pioneers

By Joyce Johnson

In 1960 we acquired our first Springer. There were no owners handling their own dogs in this area at that time. All Springers in the ring were shown by hired, professional handlers. Some of the well known ones were Ray McGinnis, Walt Shallenbarger, Ric Chashoudian, Dick Webb, Ken Neill, Joyce Neilson, and her apprentice Charles Oldham, and of course, Harry and George Sangster. I might add that Corky Vroom apprenticed under the Sangsters. Most of the others are now judging.

Our mentor, Floyd Winslow and his wife Virginia, of Snowgate fame, were to guide us into the world of showing dogs. One of their dogs, Ch. Black Raider of Snowgate, was the sire of the black and white Springer we purchased. They encouraged us to show him. It was one of Floyd's dreams to see Springer owners handle their own dogs. Anyone who knew Floyd understood that he was a bit of a maverick. Through his persistence that dream became a reality, and we became the pioneers in owner handled Springers. Floyd would be very pleased to see the Springer ring today, with almost 100% owner handlers, although some of us cannot, or do not desire to show, and thus, we need the professional.

Floyd arranged for a Springer judge, by the name of Walter Tetley, to come to his home and teach us the fine art of handling Springers in the show ring. He gathered together some people who had Snowgate Springers, and the ones he thought had show quality dogs. We were all novices to showing, so we had no bad habits to correct. Hence we started from square one.

We were taught how to stack, how to move the dog, ring procedure, ring etiquette, and many little thing judges may do in their examinations. We learned many hand signals, the proper way to enter the ring, and many other bits of knowledge that popped into his head during each session. It was hands on learning, and most of it remains with me today, although I am no longer physically able to do it.

The importance of how you enter the ring was stressed. Many judges watch as the dogs come in. Very often the judge will make his pick right then, if the dog measures up. He taught us to always enter as though we were showing the dog, go to a spot and stack our dog. The importance of always having your dog well presented in the ring was also stressed, even if it is not your turn. Many times a judge will look back down the line to make a comparison between a dog they liked and the one they just went over.

We were taught the correct conformation, movement, faults, and fine points of the overall specimen. Grooming and presentation were discussed, although I have never had a desire to groom. We had a course of many weeks until we were thought to be ready for an actual experience. My dog, Smokey, grew quite large and had a large head. He was shown a few times and was always in the ribbons, but never first. But, he was my leaming experience, and a handful at that.

Thinking I was capable, and ready, the Winslows' encouraged me to show one of their bitches, named Julie, at the Pasadena show. I was honored, but, also very nervous at the thought of being the only one in the ring, who was not a professional handler. Floyd told me to give it a try and not to worry. He said there are always more losers than winners, and it was not a disgrace to lose. As I entered the ring, I received many stares of incredulous disbelief, but did my thing as I had been taught. Later, in retrospect, it amused me as I realized how much harder the pros were suddenly working. Well, we went through the entire procedure. Lo and Behold, Winners Bitch, A THREE POINT MAJOR, was Julie! I felt so many emotions that I couldn't begin to describe them sufficiently. I remained calm on the outside, took the ribbon, thanked the judge, and left the ring with decorum. From then on I was hooked. It was such a wonderful feeling.

Smokey was not a dog that would finish easily, so the Winslows' offered me a lovely little liver and white bitch to show, and eventually to breed. She was Misty, Merry Mist Of Snowgate and a one of a kind. She was sweet, through and through. We went to matches, while she was growing up. She did extremely well. In those days Springers were fairly large. Misty turned out to be a very nice specimen, but barely 18 inches at the withers. When she was later bred, I chose to give my daughter, Peggy, the pick bitch in the litter, for her eighteenth birthday.

I then proceeded to teach [Peggy] her everything I had learned. She was enthusiastic, and Holly turned out to be a lovely bitch in so many ways. She became Peggy's first champion, CH. Lady Holly Of Snowgate CD. It was fun to watch her enter the ring with her own dog and watch the pro handlers suddenly feel threatened. She could handle with the best of them, and became an extremely good groomer. She watched and observed how the handlers groomed their dogs and followed suit. Many times, in the ring, she had to draw on some of the hand signals and things that she at first thought were not necessary to learn. She handled against the best handlers and did her share of winning. It was still a handler's world, though.

As time passed, Bonnie Besse of Springcrest fame, decided if Peggy and I could do it, so could she. We encouraged her and she started handling her own dogs, and encouraged her puppy buyers to do the same. She held handling classes and taught anyone who was interested. Before long, Springer people were trying their hand at the show ring, and loving it. Besides, it saved them the professional handling fees.

Later, when Holly was bred, Peggy kept the pick bitch of her litter. Her name was CH. Sandelwood's Centerfold CDX. Candy was chosen to be Winners Bitch, Best of Winners, and Best of Opposite at the 1976 National, from the Open Bitch class. She was not only a homebred, but owner handled. She won over many top bitches in the country, including CH. Salilyn's Sophistication, and I might add, many of them with professional handlers. She won over 190 bitches that day. Candy went from the open class, to the winner's class, and to Best of Breed. She did not let down the whole time. And, to make it even sweeter, she earned an Obedience leg that same day.

We look at all of the owners in the ring today, handling their own dogs, and know we were the pioneers. It makes us feel very humble, but also very proud. Thank you Floyd for your dream. You truly left a legacy.


AKC - Eukanuba American Dog Classic

"The Dog Event of the Century"

By Lynda O'Connor

The AKC Eukanuba American Dog Classic was held at the TD Waterhouse Centre and Exposition Centre in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday Dec 12, 2001. It brought together some of the top show dogs in the country to compete for the highest cash prizes ever offered in the dog sporting world, as well as, a unique Bred-By competition. The top 20 dogs, calculated by breed points earned through Oct. 10, 2001 in each of the 157 AKC breeds and varieties were invited for this inaugural event. Animal Planet filmed and will televise this event in February 2002.

Then Invitational had an entry of 1,527 dogs which included 68 Junior Handlers. There were no American Water Spaniels entered so this was the only AKC Breed which had no representative at the show. The largest entries were Pubs and Finnish Spitz with 16 dogs each. The fewest entries were Saint Bernards, Skyes, Wire Fox Terriers and both varieties of English Toy Spaniels, with 3 each entered. There were 448 entered in the Bred-By-Exhibitor class. This inaugural event offered the largest cash prizes in dog show history. More than $225,000 was awarded to the winners. This record setting prize money was thanks to the support of the Iams Company and other major sponsors.

The breakdown of prize money was as follows;

Best In Show $50,000

Breeder of Best-In-Show $25,000

Group 1 Winner $1,500

Group 2 Winner $1,250

Group 3 Winner $1,000

Group 4 Winner $750

Best of Breed Winner $250

Best of Opposite Sex $150

Best Bred-By-Exhibitor $250.

Scholarships were awarded to the top four (4) Junior Handlers.

Since many quality dogs are never heavily campaigned and may not be ranked among the top 5 or 10 in their breed, the American Dog Classic offered breeders and owners the bring theses worthy dogs to this unique competition with the added incentive of a substantial cash prize for the best-Breeder-Owner-Handled dog in every breed. Only the American Dog Classic will offer this competition. To be eligible for this award dogs must be:

- Ranked in the top 20 of their breed (by breed points only) from Jan 2, 2001 to Oct. 10, 2001.

- Owned by at least one of the breeders of record at the time entries close.

- Shown by one of the Breeders of record.

Judging Procedures: The stewards catalogue contained the dogs and bitches that were eligible to compete for th Bred-By award; the judges book did not. When a dog or bitch selected as Best of Breed was eligible for Best Bred-By-Exhibitor, the award would be automatic. If the Best of Breed dog or bitch was not eligible, the steward would ask the eligible dogs and bitches to remain in the ring to compete for the Best Bred-By-Exhibitor in Breed award.

The show was held in (2) two separate buildings located a long block apart. This made it very difficult if you were showing more than one breed. Hopefully, next year all the rings will be more centrally located.

137 breeds were presented to the public by their parent clubs in a “Meet The Breeds” exhibit. Our breed had a very nice booth organized by Marilyn Thomas and others (sorry I do not know the names of everyone involved). They had dogs there to greet the public as well as several informational hand-outs. They answer questions about our breed throughout the day.

In the Springer competition the top 20 English Springers that were invited to the classic were:

Ch. Esspecial Stormy Weather

Ch. Brightwater Gilchrist Jewel

Ch. Wil-Orion’s Heartbreaker

Ch. Pawmarc’s City Lights

Ch. Tiffany Esspecial Sharper Image

Ch. Jester’s Abracadabra

Ch. Carousel Silverhill Ante Up

Ch Capulet’s Lovenote

Ch. Dartek’s Expedition

Ch. Breakaway’s Crownroyal Mr Tea

Ch. Streamline’s Put’n on the Ritz

Ch. Salilyn’s Turblance

Ch. Silverbow’s Casino Casanova, OA, OAJ, CGC

Ch. Keswicke Rembrandt

Ch. Stonihill Lordillea’s Footojnic

Ch. Studio’s One Fine Day

Ch. Seldum Dull’s C-Note

Ch. Keepsake Frist Draft

Ch. Kehre’s Gotta Have Moxie

Ch. Lordiellia’s Stonihill Foto-Op.

Of the top springers invited the following springers accepted the invitation:

Ch. Breakaway's Crownroyal Mr Tea

Ch. Brightwater Gilchrist Jewel - ABSENT

Ch. Carousel Silverhill Ante Up

Ch. Dartek's Expedition

Ch. Salilyn's Turblance - ABSENT

Ch. Esspecial Stormy Weather - ABSENT

Ch. Jester's Abracadabra

Ch. Keswicke Rembrandt - ABSENT

Ch. Seldum Dull's C-Note

Ch. Wil-Orion's Heartbreaker - ABSENT.

Judge Maxine Beam, had only 5 Springers to consider. She choose for Best of Breed: B/W Bitch - Ch. Jester's Abracadabra. For Best of Opposite Sex: L/W Dog Ch. Breakaway's Crownroyal Mr. Tea. And, Award of Merit: L/W Dog Ch. Carousel Silverhill Ante Up. There were 2 entries in Best-Bred-By-Exhibitor: Ch. Dartek's Expedition and Ch. Seldom Dull's C-Note the Best of Bred-By-Exhibitor went to Ch. Dartek's Expedition. Congratulations to the winners.

Our breed was not very well represented with only 5 dogs competing and 10 entered out of the 20 dogs invited. It is to bad that there could not have been more of our top springers at this inaugural event to represent our breed.

It was obvious that the organizers of this show were aware of the historical importance. Even the catalogue for this show was different. It was an 8.5 x 11 inch bound book with a photo of each dog for every entry.

The Junior Showmanship Finals, Group and Best In Show Judging began at 7:00pm in the evening. The evening began with the presentation for the Best Junior Handler. Then the Honorable David Merrian and AKC President, Al Cherau, made a special presentation to the Search and Rescue dogs from the September, 11th disaster. This was very emotional and all the dogs and their handlers got a tearful standing ovation.

The Group and Best-In-Show judging was very nicely organized and conducted as if it were a Broadway Show. The Best-In-Show Judge Dorothy Nickles was very beautiful in her red and white sequined evening gown (I and only hope, I will look half as good as she did, as I approach her age).

The Best-In-Show line up was one of the best I have ever seen. Dorothy Nickles choose for Best-In-Show the Bichons Frises,

Ch. Special Times Just Right, "JR". He is owned by Eleanor McDonald, Cecelia Ruggles and Flavio Wernick. This was a very special win because JR's owner Flavio was tragically killed in Brazil in an automobile accident, along with his wife, just weeks before this show. They left behind 2 young children.

AKC hopes this will become an annual event. With the 2nd annual Invitational Show being held again in Orlando at the same location - TD Waterhouse Centre and Exposition Centre on Dec 11th 2002. For 2003 the location has not been determined.


Westminster Kennel Club 2002

By Kathy Lorentzen

My annual trek to Westminster brings back a multitude of memories from year’s past and never fails to create new ones. I’ve been attending this special show off and on for considerable years, and have tucked away in my mind the images of some incredible dogs and some remarkable performances. I was there the night the electrifying Afghan Hound, Ch. Kabiks the Challenger, was breeder-owner-handled to BIS. I was there the night the record breaking, much loved German Shepherd Dog, “”Hatter” was BIS. I was there the night one of my very best friends in dogs, Doug Holloway, went BIS with “PA” the Standard Schnauzer. (Got to go to the BIS party that year, too!) And most importantly, I was there the year “Robert” gave Julie Gasow the one achievement that had for so long evaded her in the sport of dogs, and I was there seven years later when his daughter “Samantha”. looking like she had a light shining on her from heaven, brilliantly closed the Salilyn chapter of our breed by becoming the only second generation Westminster BIS winner in history.

I’ve seen a lot of changes at Westminster over the years. The crowds have gotten thicker, the television coverage has gotten slicker, and the thought has occurred to me on more than one occasion that perhaps this dog show isn’t so much about the dogs anymore as it is about the promotion of the pure-bred dog industry to the general public. This year in particular the group judges seemed to have been coached in how to run their rings and how to stay within the time constraints of the TV coverage. There appeared to be strict procedural guidelines that the judges were required to adhere to. I will even go so far as to say that in a couple of instances the groups seemed to have almost been “”pre-judged”,, and what was actually going on in the ring was the “”first act” following dress rehearsal. I heard a lot of sentiment expressing the same feelings that I was having, so I feel pretty certain that it wasn’t just me having a “”mental pause” moment!

I’m not for a minute suggesting that the success this show has in promoting the purebred dog fancy to the world is a bad thing. Westminster is far and away the best PR the dog world has in this day of all of us having to constantly combat animal rights extremists. I just wish there could be a bit more balance of “”dog” along with the “”show”. So, call me a crabby “fossil” - I’m used to it!

For all the complaining all of us do about how difficult it is to maneuver at the show, Sporting Dog day (Tuesday) is still my very favorite dog show day of the entire year. I arrive before eight in the morning and stay on my feet until breed judging is finished late in the afternoon, and I make every attempt to see as much of it as possible. Simply put, this is the place to learn if you are a serious student of purebred dogs. This is the best place to grab a respected breed mentor and watch judging and learn about the fine points and intricacies of type while seeing the best that a breed has to offer. I go away from this experience richly rewarded every year, and I encourage all of you to create the experience for yourselves whenever possible.

On to the Springer ring! The entry this year was 23, which was quite good. With a couple of exceptions, last year’s top winners were present and competing, which always makes for great fun for the audience and high nerves for the owners and exhibitors. Mrs. Marilyn Spacht presided over the Springer ring this year, and I thought she handled her ring extremely well and gave each exhibit every opportunity to shine.

 

When the dust had settled, Best of Breed was awarded to 2001’s reigning #1 Springer, Ch. ESSpecial Stormy Weather, piloted as always by her co-owner, co-breeder Monica Bowers for owners Karen Bolt, Kris Lozette and Alan Kalter. “‘Lena” currently lays claim to 12 All-breed Best In Shows and 18 Specialty Best of Breeds. She had had a few weeks off following her 2001 campaign and looked rested and more than ready to be back on the road. Best of Opposite Sex went to Ch. Carousel Silverhill Ante Up, bred by Geri Roy and presented by his co-owner Julie Kay for owners Rhonda Groves and Eva Scanlan. “”Brett” appeared to be enjoying himself tremendously, giving Julie a great show. While not as heavily campaigned as some, Brett currently holds title to one all breed Best in Show and a hefty number of Specialty Best of Breeds. There were three Awards of Merit available this year, and they were awarded to Ch Brightwater Gilchrist Jewel, “Jewel”, Ch Capulet’s Satisfaction and Ch. Silverbow’s Casino Casanova, OA, OAJ, CGC, “Rudy”.

 

 

Later that evening, in the Sporting Group that was judged by Erik Bergishagen, Monica and Lena gave a sparkling, flawless performance and were rewarded with a Group 4th placement. They were in excellent company as nearly every top Sporting dog from the past year won its breed and it was the strongest Sporting Group possible. And, as I’m sure you all know, Best in Show was won by the Miniature Poodle, Ch. Surry Spice Girl, who lists as one of her breeders Mrs. James Edward Clark, who her-self piloted three Poodles to Best in Show at Westminster in the past.

A number of days following the dog show I had the opportunity to sit down with Monica and ask her what her thoughts were at the show and what the win this year meant to her personally. I was so struck by her response that I asked her permission to share it with all of you. She said her mind set was totally different this year than last. Last year she was in the midst of a hard fought campaign, and she wanted to win because it would most likely give her dog great exposure and be a boost to their career. This year, she wanted to win, but it was for a totally different reason. In fact it was simply for two people-Monica’s father, and Andrea Charleton. Monica lives a long distance from her father and doesn’t see him frequently. He is not at all involved in the dog show world, but he keeps up with what she is doing and is proud of all she has accomplished. Very recently he was diagnosed with aggressive, un-treatable cancer. He was so anxious to see Monica on TV at the Garden this year, and she was all too aware that this was more than likely her last opportunity to shine for him. She phoned him from outside the ring immediately after the breed judging to tell him that she had in fact won and would be on TV that night, and he was thrilled.

Andrea Charleton and her husband Dave are Lena’s co-breeders. Lena was born and raised at their house until she went to live with Karen Bolt. Andrea has been battling cancer also and Monica so wanted to give a lovely memory to this lady who played a great part in Lena’s formation, and therefore her success. It was pretty obvious that Monica wasn’t nervous at all in the Sporting Group on Tuesday night-she had accomplished everything she set out to do that day and was just there having fun with her dog, knowing that she was giving back something to two people who had supported her along the way.

So, another year, another dog show? Hardly-Westminster is anything but just another dog show. It is exasperating, frustrating, expensive and claustrophobic; and at the same time exhilarating, spectacular, educational and definitely the ONLY place to be on the second Monday and Tuesday of February. Hope I see you there next year.

Editors note: I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Kathy for her review of the Westminster Dog Show. There are so many wonderful and heart warming stories for each and every dog, owner and handler. It is truly a great honor and priviledge to be a part of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

This year was especially exhilerating, being in NY for an event that symbolizes American freedom and the desire to pursue our dreams - no matter what they be. - SS


Home Brags Cabbage Patch Show Results