And… We’re Off!

York County KC of Maine (Southern Maine Coastal Classic Cluster)
May 19, 2013
Best of Breed, Beginner Puppy


Little Rowan made her debut in the Beginner Puppy (4-Under 6 Months) ring last weekend at the local show cluster. This is my local club’s show weekend, and I was too crazy busy playing chief steward to be able to show her myself. Val offered to take her around the ring for me. (Rowan loves Auntie Val. She remembers that we’re all road-trip buddies.)

Rowan was the only Bearded Collie there, so all she really needed to do was show up and not go for anybody’s jugular — but we can now truthfully state that she went BOB her first time in the ring. She might have fared better than 5th in the Herding Group had she decided to go in one direction instead of heading toward all of the 16 compass points while gaiting… but it was her first show. We can cut her a break, and keep working in handling class. The judge got a kick out of her, Val got a kick out of her, and her buddies Storme the GSD and Darla the OES went on to get group placements (4th and 2nd), respectively. Rowan even brought her own cheering section!

Rowan even had her own cheering section!

Because Rowan will be all of 6 months and 4 days at her second dog show, this was her first and last appearance in Beginner Puppy at a show. She makes her “for reals” debut in the 6-9 Month class at Ladies’ next weekend.

A Quick PSA

Penny Cary’s Petiquette website is down, but she is about to start a new session of handling classes in Saco. Come be classmates with about half of the York County Kennel Club! Contact Penny for more information.

Return of the Newbie

It’s said — mothers of small children will have to help me with this part — that after you give birth, you gradually forget about the pain you went through. Otherwise, every mother would have only one child. I’ve felt that way about finishing Dinah sometimes — but even through the fifteen gazillion broken majors, the terrible coffee, rain, snow, dark of night, and pre-dawn alarm clock settings, we’ve had ourselves some fun. Haven’t we?

This spring, I found myself with some time at home after completing a contract assignment at the end of February. It seemed like the perfect time to stay home and raise a puppy, soooooo… before I had really grasped what was happening, it was St. Paddy’s Day, and Val and I were squinting through a snowstorm as we drove past Erie, PA with no other company but the “Les Mis” soundtrack.


Meet Rowan (Burlesque Doing It Her Way)! She comes from our friend Laura, and was born at Laura’s mom’s house. I’ve been a fan of Rowan’s dad Bean since I saw his first show photos, and I’ve admired Rowan’s mom Leeza’s parents for ages. (Beanie also goes back to Dylan — Am/Can CH Breaksea Gone West — so he’s distantly related to Dinah and Badger.)

Rowan is currently 5 months old, and she’ll be making her ring debut in the 4-6 Month (Beginner) Puppy ring at our local cluster shows, the Southern Maine Coastal Classic. She becomes an honest-to-goodness class bitch at BCCME’s Regional Specialty on June 1, when she’ll be exactly 6 months and 4 days of age.

We’re currently practicing our ringcraft on Thursday nights with Penny Cary, the trainer and handler who helped finish Dinah’s CKC championship. We’re in good company over there; a number of my kennel-club compadres and their class dogs have joined in the fun.

Come by the show on May 19 and look for Rowan in the 4-6 Puppy ring! Auntie Val will show Rowan while I’m off playing at being Chief Steward.

About the New Newbie

We were waaaaay overdue for a move from Blogger and a site redesign. A thousand thanks go to cartoonist Michele Trifiro of Kabuki Cartoons for allowing us to use one of her hilarious works as our new site header.

If you’re on Facebook, you can visit Kabuki Cartoons’ Facebook page to see more of Michele’s works. Tell her Dog Show Newbie sent ya.

If you find that a particular cartoon really describes your dog-show experience, you can always visit Michele’s Zazzle store and order a copy of your very own, printed on apparel, drinkware or other goodies.

Public Service Announcement: Toys-Only Handling Class

Do you have a toy breed dog that you’d like to take to handling class, but are worried that s/he might have a hard time among the Labs and Goldens and other large dogs?

Penny Cary of Petiquette would like to put together a toys-only handling class at Finish Forward in Saco, if there’s enough interest in holding one. If this sounds like something you’d like to join, contact Penny or contact Shannan at finishforwarddogs.com. (links to come later)

— Post From My iSomething

Location:Finish Forward Dogs, Saco, ME

Dog Show Judging Newbie

When a friend of mine at the Lewiston-Auburn KC asked me if I’d judge at their match, I didn’t know whether to faint or to giggle. After spending the past few years on the other side of the dog, and then on the other side of the stewards’ table, I figured there had to be some mistake. I’m a little too goofy to present much in the way of an authority figure. All the same, I was tickled pleased that she’d asked me!

My assignments: Working, Herding, and Miscellaneous Breeds. What was I going to do? Memorize all of the standards for every breed in anticipation of getting at least one of everything? What were the odds of an American English Foxhound entering my ring?

Believe it or not, help came in the form of an iPhone app called iKnowDogs. Although the app is designed for the casual user — the person trying to find the right dog, or trying to find out more about a particular breed — each page contains a link to the official AKC breed standard for that breed. You can even filter then by group, so if you need to see just certain groups, you can set up rules to display them or hearts to “favorite” them. Much as I wish that iKnowDogs contained the breed standards within its own screens, the app simply wasn’t designed for judge wannabes — nor should it be, really. Anyway, I used the app as my own portable study guide — on my lunch hour, waiting at the dentist’s office… anywhere I could get a cell signal. Thanks, guys!

When Match Day dawned, I

Breaksea Beardies at Crufts 2010

Memory Lane

Talkin’ ’bout