Phew..... where do I begin?
It started back on April 19th. I had Rita VanHorn and The Lassila's stop by on their way to Nationals to help evaluate the litter. I had my ideas on who I liked from the litter but hadn't had the help to stack them and stand back and really go over them. A few things I knew and they agreed with were they all had really pretty heads. Nice moderate bone and round, tight, feet. Carrie was there to take her show girl home and she chose Duffy. Wine, and good conversation late in to the night finally wore us all out and we went to bed late, to get up very early.
Friday afternoon the 20th, I had my first guests arrive for the puppy party! Lynn and her boyfriend Jeff came to stay over and it was a much needed get together! I hadn't seen either of them in a long time and it was fun to catch up again.
Saturday morning the 21st the house became instantly busy and we had guests from 10am (excluding Jeff and Lynn) up until about 6pm. the second puppy Delta, left for her home in Plymouth and even though there was non stop play for the pups, they didn't seem phased by the amount of dogs, people and commotion in the house. It was a great day with lots of laughs, good food, wonderful people and a huge thank you to everyone who came to see the litter and brought their big cardigans with too. The adult cardis were more pooped than the puppies were!
Sunday the 22nd I left for the Nationals with 4 adults and 5 puppies. I dropped two off in the Minneapolis metro for socializing and another went to her show home in California. The couple flew in to pick her up and I couldn't be happier with the placement. I ended up driving to Monroe to stay with Kelly and Mike, some Shetland sheep friends before heading out again on Monday.
Sunday was also the day I became a Grandpa! Ava's littersister, Minnie, gave birth to 7 puppies! 3 blue males, 2 blue females and 2 black females were born that evening via one natural whelped and the remainder by c-section. some big pups were in there but all were alive and are doing well!
Sunday Brewer also became a champion by earning his third major (another 4 point!). Many thanks to Mandy for all your dedication to this boy!
I arrived at the Sawmill Resort in Ohio mid afternoon. I made great time got the grooming area set up and dogs pottied and played with. I delivered a show boy, Dietz to his new owner Krystal and couldn't be happier with the placement. Monday Brewer earned his first Grand CH major (4pts) by going Select over another special, to his dad who went BOB.
Tuesday I was supposed to help with the agility but got so involved in the going ons in the grooming area that I barely had enough time to bathe my two girls who were entered in the Megan Competition. It was my first Megan and I entered Ballantyne in black bitches and Ava in blue bitches. I believe there were 10 or 11 black bitches and Ballantyne made the cut to the top 5!! She was the youngest and smallest bitch in the remaining top 5, but it was a thrill to be recognized by fellow breeders (and longtime breeders at that!). Ava was then shown in blue bitches. There were only 4, but she made the cut to the final two and ended up Runner Up blue bitch! I was told it was a close call, but Ava too, is still quite young, so was very proud of her and ballantyne for doing so well in my first Megan!
Wednesday was Sweeps. I had showed both Cass and Campbell in sweeps but they were JUST about a year old and out of coat, gangly, tubey and very much in their 'teens'. I didn't think they'd be Mandy's style and I was right, but I was told ringside by several that they liked my kids and that was very nice to hear.
Thursday I didn't show Cass as I felt he was too immature to be competitive. Friday I showed Campbell and although she showed well, again was just too immature and out of coat to do much in the classes.
Saturday was Best of Breed and I had Ballantyne and Ava both entered in it. Ava went first, and made the cut. Ballantyne was in between Libby and Dolly and to be in such great company was quite difficult! ballantyne was out of coat, and smaller and although the judge gave her quite a bit of consideration she did not make the cut. I am glad however that she saw merit in her enough to consider her for the cut. Ava went back in for another cut and made that one too! out of 36 bitch specials, Ava made the final cut and top 7 bitches! I was so tickled!! I had no intentions of making the cuts at all, just wanted fellow breeders to see my dogs, and so i was floored, honored and humbled that my girls would be considered even for cuts, and was even more thankful for the ringside congrats.
I was really happy that Higgins (the sire of my current litter) received an Award of Merit at the National, as well as Brett (cousin and family to my merrymoon/pluperfect stuff) receiving an AOM too. It was a very lovely lineup at the end and it could have had many other lovely dogs in it to receive AOMs.
I have to say that the dog showing is all great and wonderful but I missed half of the classes getting ready to show my own dogs. I will have to see the videos at some point so I can look at all the dogs that I missed! I also was told that I have continued to improve as a handler and showed my dogs very well, to the best of their ability. And I heard that from several people so that was fantastic. Onward and Upward!
I was able to room with several different friends and had a great time doing so. thank you's go out to Jessica viera and Kim keifer, as well as Karen Lyons for all putting up with me :) I've been told I'm an 'easy keeper' so it wasn't too stressful on them, and many laughs were made along the week.
As always at Nationals, there was so much to do and see and so many friends to sit and talk with. I felt like I didn't get to see anyone, yet talked to so many people and was able to go over dogs, ask questions and learn a lot. nationals are always about learning more, renewing friendships and solidifying those I've already made. I can't believe I am already home and the dogs are back to their daily 2 mile walks.
On the way home Cass was dropped off to his new home in Milwaukee where he will grow up some before he shows, and my pick boy is now with Jeri and her family in Denver, getting spoiled rotten and socialized beyond belief.
Thank you everyone for making this a Nationals I soon won't forget!! Truly Ebonwald was well represented in all venues :)