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I would like to send our belated condolences to Ceri Collen-Boot on the loss of her mother. The holidays can be very difficult for someone who is recently bereaved and we want to know Ceri that we are thinking of her.
I've been going to the BUBA championship show for the past 16 years and I don't ever recall such a high rate of absenteeism. The weather certainly had an impact. Canaan Dog judge, breed specialist Jan McLeod, had drawn an entry of 12 Canaans, but there were 7 absentees, which was a real shame as that was a very nice entry. Mrs McLeod chose my 1 year old Anacan Issachar ('Izzy') for her BD & BOB. BB & BOS was Izzy's dam, Anacan Glory Bea, also owned by me. I was delighted to say the least. We did stay for BIS, and though 'Izzy' didn't 'get a looking' in the big ring, at least the breed was represented, which I think is important.
Once again the breed standard has been brought up on one of the Canaan chat lists I'm on. The current standard for Canaans in the US allows for, among other things, a dog which is much longer in body than the 'square' dog described by the breed's founder, Dr Menzel. And while some of the US dogs are, in my opinion, too refined and exaggerated in some points, I have in my 26 years in the breed seen some dogs in my travels which on the other hand I feel are too coarse and lacking in breed type. A Canaan Dog should be medium-sized and without exaggeration. Dr Menzel described the breed as 'noble' in appearance so the breed should have a certain elegance or nobility, but without too much refinement, for it should still have the appearance of a dog that could survive in the wild. It would be wonderful for the breed if we could have a universal standard so all breeders could work towards the same goal, but it is difficult enough to unify the breeders and fanciers in one country, never mind universally. Well one can dream and perhaps the New Year will see the beginning of a dream coming true.
On the DOG WORLD website there have been comments from Jill Terry and Pam O'Loughlin regarding my 12th November breed notes on my comment that I didn't think one should enter a show that they were not going to go to because the absenteeism looks worse than not entering. Both ladies claim that I had entered another show on the same day as Midland Counties, but didn't go. Not only had I not done so, but I don't know which show they are even referring to. I do co-own a Canaan with Christine Goldspink (Powley), but have an arrangement with her and she does not have to advise me of any shows she has entered the bitch. I can only assume that she had entered and this is the dog they are referring to. If so, her entry and subsequent absenteeism had nothing to do with me.
The Canaan Dog was represented at Discover Dogs, Earl's Court, as it has since the events inception. Members of the Canaan Dog Club of the UK, and some of their dogs, were on hand to meet and greet visitors and answer their questions. For many, it was the first time they had the opportunity to actually see a Canaan Dog in the flesh. The organizer for the Canaan Dog Club of the UK, Richard Minto, set the booth up on the Friday and he and our Izzy (Anacan Issachar) were in the booth both days of the event. They were filmed, a short video clip, by people from winkball.com, and can be seen, along with all the other breeds on display on that website. In the booth on the Saturday along with Richard and Izzy were Martin Moulding and his Manny (Anacan White Knight), long-time Canaan owner, Elisabeth de Boisgelin, and Natalie and Stephen Leader with their Laila (Anacan Yesmina). The Leaders, Elisabeth and Richard were back on the Sunday and were joined by Julie Hughes and her Tiras (Anacan Future Legend) and another long-time Canaan owner, Ann Hutchinson. It was nice for the public that different colours and colour patterns were there to be seen and I understand from speaking to them that all that helped out really enjoyed themselves as well. Ann Barclay and her mother, Monica Mills, stopped by the booth, but I understand Monica became unwell and had to go home. I hope she is feeling better by now and if not, we send our best wishes for a quick recovery.
As I write these breed notes it is Thanksgiving Day back home in the USA. It is a lovely holiday as it gives one pause to think of all those things you should be thankful for – your family and friends, a warm home, enough to eat – things you sometimes take for granted, and it gives you an opportunity to share your blessings, usually be having a big turkey dinner with family and friends. I add my beautiful Canaan Dogs to the list of things to be thankful for, along with all the wonderful people they have brought into my life. So many of my close friends, both here and abroad I met through the dogs – one of the advantages of owning a numerically small breed - and they have been a real blessing to me.
Midland Counties gave classes for Canaan Dogs for the first time and judge, Mr Frank Kane, drew an entry of 7. However, only two dogs showed up. My Anacan Issachar was BD & BP and Patrick & Barbara Gold's Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia was BB & BOB, but a win with no competition isn't very much fun, and the lack of entries was disappointing to the judge.
I don't know why people enter a show they will not be attending as, personally, I think all the absenteeism looks worse than not having an entry. I put out a plea to Canaan Dog exhibitors to, as we used to do, get together and decide which shows we will be supporting and then give them a good entry. The club, the judge and the breed will all benefit.
I understand that Lorna Hastings judged the Israel Canaan Dog Club of America's National Specialty this past weekend and I will give a report on the winners as soon as they are available.
Mr David Robins judged Canaans at the Darlington Championship Show and drew an entry of 12 with 5 absentees. BD & BOB was Hastings' AM/LUX/IR CH Lorianna Sirius Star. RBD & BP went to Ellen Minto's Anacan Issachar. BB was awarded to Patrick & Barbara Gold's Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia and RBB was Minto's Anacan Sheeza Gem.
There were 5 Canaans entered at SWKA with 1 absentee. BD & BOB was awarded by judge, Mr Dave Close, to the sole dog entered, Hastings' AM/LUX/IR CH Lorianna Sirius Star. BB went to Anacan Sheer Elegance, co-owned by Christine Powley & breeder, Ellen Minto and RBB was the Gold's Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia.
There are many disadvantages to owning a numerically-small rare breed. Without the backing of wealthy breeders or a wealthy patron, it is a constant struggle to attain and maintain breed credibility or to progress within the KC. There are no CC's to vie for, and therefore the impact on entries in the current economic environment is even more pronounced than on the CC breeds. When money is tight you will think more than twice about going to a show when the best you can hope to go home with is a piece of cardboard. (See the reports on the shows above and note the low entries and high absentees.) In a numerically-small breed, any rifts or divisions will have a far greater impact than they would in a numerically-large breed. In a numerically-small breed, a particular dog or breeder will have a greater influence for the better (or worse) than they would in a breed that is strong in numbers.
Conversely, in a numerically-small rare breed such as the Canaan Dog it is easier to know and communicate with other breed fanciers all over the world. For me this has been one of the best, if not the best, rewards of being involved in Canaan Dogs. Because of the dogs I have met and befriended so many wonderful people throughout the UK, Europe, the US and Israel. Through the miracle of the internet we learn of and rejoice in each other's accomplishments and births of litters, and we can learn together as well as grieve with each other when we suffer a loss. We Canaan owners have a golden opportunity to make and implement the decision to work together for the good of the breed in a way those in the numerically large breeds could never do. We have the opportunity to ensure that the breed is recognizable, healthy and sound everywhere it is found. I hope that more people will dwell on the positives and embrace the opportunities we have.
Julie Hughes has, amongst other things, embraced the opportunity to try out Canicross with her lovely boy, Tiras (Anacan Future Legend). She told me that the East Anglian group has just formed and they had their first meeting this past Sunday in Thetford Forest. She said that when they were running with the dogs at a relatively quick pace they disturbed a group of red deer and ran alongside them for a few minutes before the deer headed back into the forest. How great is that! It seems to me you have to be very fit to participate in this discipline so I'm afraid I'll look forward to hearing about Julie and Tiras' adventure in Canicross rather than trying it out for myself. Good luck Julie and Tiras!
Richard and I had a weekend of mixed emotions. On Friday, 10th September, we had to say our final farewell to our Beulah (Kibutzer Kween In Kofyn), who was 16 years 2 months of age. Bred by Jan Smith & Lez Mozley, Beulah came to Anacan in 1999 when she was 4 years old, having already won BOB at Crufts twice -- in 1996, 1997. She was BOB at Crufts for the third time in March 2000 after whelping her first, and only, litter. At Crufts 2001 she was Best Bitch and Best of Opposite Sex, and at the first Canaan Dog Club of the UK Open Show on the 11th November 2001, Beulah was Reserve Best in Show. She made an appearance at this year's CDC of the UK Fun Day, held at my premises on the 8th August and everyone was surprised to learn her age as she was in such good health and condition. But no dog lives forever and Beulah just suddenly started to fade and that difficult decision to release her from this life had to be made. We were very fortunate to be able to share 12 years of our lives with this wonderful Canaan Dog.
On a happier note, we had a visit from Christine Franklin and her daughter, Anna who hail from Bermuda and arrived on Saturday the 11th. Anna came to England in April for training at Youth With A Mission and will be staying in England for 3 years. Christine & David Franklin own a litter brother to our Ziggy named Bda CH Anacan Cause to Celebrate (Branny), and our friendship began after his acquisition. The entire family, which includes a son named Micah, came over to England to visit us about 10 years ago, but we continued to email each other and speak on the phone occasionally throughout the years. This past year they acquired a puppy bitch from us, Anacan Ariella, to keep 14 year old Branny company, so Christine was delighted to be able to meet 'Ella's' sire, dam, litter brother, and grandparents. We had a great weekend talking Canaans. Ella will be making her ring debut in October, and we hope she does as well as group-placing Branny did in his heyday.
There were only 2 Canaans present at the Richmond show. Judge, Miss Dianna Spavin awarded BB & BOB to Diane Collins, Danehaven Ashkezar ('Chela'). Both Natalie Leader and her puppy bitch 'Laila' (Anacan Yesmina) made their ring debut there winning BP & RBB. Natalie was delighted with Laila's behaviour in the ring. She told me that the judge was very encouraging, telling her that Laila is a smashing dog and that Natalie just had to get her handling skills up, which she already knew. Well done to Chela and Laila for flying the flag for the breed.
Perhaps there would have been a better entry had Richmond made the CDC of the UK aware that they were giving classes for the first time. I've had one email from someone who was surprised to find out about the classes after the fact. I only found out today that Midland Counties is also offering breed classes for the first time. Canaan exhibitors are used to having classes offered at only certain championship shows, so any new ones need to be well-advertised as it is a numerically small breed with a limited number of exhibitors. So please club secretaries, do your club a favour and contact the secretary of the CDC of the UK if you are going to put on classes so she can try and drum up an entry for you.
From the US, Alan Gersman writes, “This past weekend in Northern Virginia, USA, the weather was great and so was Minnie! In a fairly large (2 rings/2 judges) AKC (American Kennel Club) Agility Trial Minnie running in the 24" height class (her normal class height is 20") placed 3rd on Saturday in the Standard Class (AKC runs 2 classes each day). The Standard Class has the teeter, A-frame, etc. On Sunday Minnie placed 2nd in the Standard Class and then to complete this fantastic weekend Minnie took 1st place in the JWW (jumps and weaves) Class.” How fabulous is that!
I will continue in this column to extol the virtues of the Canaan Dog. I am often asked if Canaan Dogs are easy to train. Canaan Dogs are very intelligent and learn quickly and easily. Because of their innate cleanliness, housebreaking is seldom a problem. But because they learn so quickly they quickly bore with repetitive commands in formal obedience training. You must motivate them by challenging them with new tricks and varying routines. If you and your Canaan are well bonded and you use training methods tailored to your dog's personality they can be very successfully trained for obedience, agility and herding. There is a woman in Alberta, Canada whose 3 Canaan Dogs are actually employed by her neighbour to help herd his cattle. In the U.S. several have also been certified for therapy dog work and a number have passed tracking trials. I would daresay that if anyone made the attempt to train one, Canaans would do well in heelwork to music as they possess both the agility and grace to make 'good dancers'.
Grooming a Canaan is a doddle – a real perk in my opinion. The correct Canaan coat is of such a texture that it does not absorb dirt. So if, for example, they get muddy, as soon as they dry, the mud brushes right off. They require no clipping. Just the occasional bath, a nail clip, and a good brush and comb and they are ready for the show ring, or the front room settee. Other than during their moult, Canaans do not shed excessively. But if you diligently groom them during this period using one of the many good tools available specifically for moulting dogs, they are back to their pristine selves in a few days.
Canaan Dogs do not need that much exercise to stay in good condition. They are happy to take as much exercise as you want to give them, but they are not demanding of it. A couple of walks a day and time to run around the garden is all that is needed to keep them well-muscled. They are not a hyper breed and when in the house are happy to just lie around – in your lap if you let them, or just as happily in their crate. I must admit that my Canaans are spoiled and I allow them up on the furniture. After working all day, I really enjoy having my dogs curled up next to me while I watch the telly.
Canaans are wonderful companions – loyal and affectionate with the entire family. Their wariness is saved for strangers and strange situations. At home with their loved ones they are never happier than when interacting with their family – being stroked and cuddled and nudging your arm to tell you not to stop. Patient with and protective of little children, they truly complete a family.
Last, but far from least, the fact that dogs are still taken from the wild and introduced into the genepool by the Israelis, along with the Canaan being a little-known, and therefore not one of the popular, heavily bred breeds has contributed to the breed remaining a generally healthy and long-lived one.
In summary, the Canaan Dog is a healthy and adaptable dog, which needs an owner with a firm but loving hand. They are an excellent family dog, easily trained, but also easily bored with repetitive commands. They need moderate exercise, are very clean, with frugal eating habits and their grooming needs are minimal. Though wary and somewhat aloof with strangers, Canaan Dogs are very loving with the family and really enjoy being stroked and cuddled. For those who appreciate a natural, intelligent breed, one can do no better than entering into a relationship with a Canaan Dog.
At Welsh KC, Mr Bob Gregory drew 5 entries, but only 1 dog actually turned up on the day -- that was Patrick & Barbara Gold's Anacan Shoshannah At Amicitia who was awarded BOB. It is a shame that entries have fallen and at one time we never had absentees. I hope that with new people coming into the breed this problem with soon be rectified.
The Canaan Dog has too often been the subject of undeserved denigratory remarks emanating, from of all people, others involved in the dog fancy. Too many people have come to judge a dog as having a “good” temperament only if it greets everybody like a long lost friend, jumping up on them (slobbering on them), tail wagging furiously. To me, a dog that exhibits such behavior is rude and ill-trained. Far more desirable is a dog that will sit or stand quietly allowing a stranger to touch them only when the owner says 'it's okay'. But that is what I like in a dog, and I understand that is not to everyone's taste, which is part of the reason that there are so many breeds of dogs in the world. I am going to use this column, and at least the next, to hopefully give people a better understanding of the breed and to extol the virtues of the Canaan Dog, of which there are many.
To better understand the breed, one must take into account that the breed has not been domesticated for that long. It was only in the 1940's that Dr Rudolphina Menzel captured one of these pariah dogs, which she named the Canaan Dog for the land in which it was found, and started a breeding programme. Even today Canaans can still be found in the wild and around the Bedouin camps. From time-to-time, the primary Israeli breeder, Myrna Shiboleth, will take dogs from the wild or get one from the Bedouins and add it to her breeding programme in order to broaden the genepool. The subsequent offspring are judged at a year of age as to whether or not they conform to the standard, a process called 'miun' or literally 'sorting', and if it is agreed that they do, the Israeli KC allows the puppies to be registered and may also register the dog or bitch that produced them. (My husband's “Bobby” -- Minto's Libyan Jewel, who he got from the Bedouins, and her litter sired by a registered Israeli import, went through this process, adding, at the time, much needed new genes.) The fact that the breed took, and still takes, to domestication so well is indicative of their intelligence (being fed and cared for is a lot easier and nicer than having to fend for yourself) and good temperaments.
The breed's often maligned wariness is a survival trait which it has not lost. Don't you teach your children not to take anything from, or allow themselves to be touched, by strangers?” Yet some people expect a dog to do exactly what you wouldn't want their child to do. The show ring is slightly different and a Canaan must be trained to stand and tolerate a stranger's touch, but that doesn't mean they have to enjoy it. However, out in the real world there are a lot of dog-haters and your dog is a lot safer if it won't allow a stranger to feed it or take it from your garden. And even people who are tolerant of dogs don't necessarily enjoy having a strange dog run up to them and jump up on them.
The breed's wariness and territoriality also makes it a superb alarm dog without being a liability. That is, it will sound the alarm if anyone or anything which doesn't belong on their territory trespasses, but they are not people-aggressive. They will bark, look threatening, but not attack. Years ago I sold a puppy named Levi to people on Long Island in New York. It was the 4th of July weekend, a national holiday, and in the early hours of the morning Levi, then 6-months old, started barking furiously. The owners came downstairs and tried to quiet him, to no avail. Finally he stopped barking and the owners went back to bed. In the morning they found out that every house on that estate, except for theirs, had been burglarized the night before. Obviously Levi heard the intruder(s), sounded the alarm, and that coupled with the lights coming on, scared off the perpetrators before they broke into the house. To that family Levi was a hero and I still have their letter telling me so. (I have a number of other such stories, but I will save them for my book I keep promising to write.)
Even amongst CD breeders there is disagreement as to whether or not the Canaan Dog makes a good choice for a first-time dog owner. Well I say unequivocally that if the breed is the right one for them, it makes no difference that they've not owned a dog before. As a matter of fact, I have found that first-time owners are more likely to listen to what you tell them and to seek help when needed and therefore make more successful CD owners. It is often the long-time dog owner who thinks he or she knows everything they need to know and so turn out to be the ones who have problems. Not only should breed characteristics be taken into consideration when training a dog, but also the individual's character and personality. Just as in human children 'one-size of training and discipline does not fit all' and problems occur when the owner thinks that they can raise a CD in the same way they did their previous breed, which may have been, for example, a gundog or a guard dog – as different as night is from day to a Canaan Dog. It makes me angry that at the moment you have some behaviorists and trainers trying to push as acceptable only their way of training a dog (food-based reward training) when some dogs are 'soft' and others need a firmer hand, and some dogs (many Canaans) do not respond to food rewards.
In general, and probably to most people's surprise, Canaans are 'soft', responding well to tone of voice and body language. In my time I have seen Canaans which were placed in the wrong home become completely different dogs, even as to looking different, when re-homed successfully. Canaans, probably more than any other breed, mirror their owners and a problem owner will create a problem Canaan. This is why it is so very important for a breeder of any breed to vet their potential buyers properly. Just because someone thinks that a Canaan would suit them doesn't mean it is so. We try to have anyone who contacts us because they are interested in owning a CD to come visit and see all our dogs, which at the moment range in age from 16 years down to 10 months. Some of our dogs are very wary, others are quite outgoing, with most somewhere in-between. In addition to learning about the person(s) lifestyle, what they want from a dog and what they have to offer, the way our dogs react to the visitors, and vice versa, give us a good idea as to whether or not the breed is suitable. I have on more than one occasion recommended a different breed which I think would make a far more appropriate choice for that person because, in the end, we are talking about sentient creatures and as a breeder their happiness and welfare should be your uppermost priority. Because someone would not make a good Canaan owner does not mean they would not make a good dog owner.
To be continued.
At Paignton Mrs Clare Coxall drew an entry of 5 Canaan Dogs with 1 absentee. BD & BOB was Lorna Hastings AKC Ir Ch Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star with RBD awarded to Kessem Yanis Orly To Khandikhaine ('Jaedun'), owned by Nishma Shukla & Richard Crowfoot. BB was Hastings' & Coombes' Lorianna I Will Survive ('Georgie') and RBB went to Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia ('Rosie') owned by Patrick & Barbara Gold.
The Canaan Dog Club of the UK's annual Fun Day was, as one of the attendees stated, “Just what it said on the label – a fun day.” The weather was very cooperative – sunny, but not too hot for the dogs, or owners. The raffle table had some excellent prizes and, as usual, there was too much delicious food. Everyone enjoyed the games with, I believe, Richard Minto's Treasure Hunt and the sack race slightly edging for being favourites. We had a phone call or email from all who were there saying how much they enjoyed it and that they are all looking forward to next year's event.
The CDC of the UK's 2011 calendar made its debut at the Fun Day and is now officially on sale. Anyone interested in obtaining one can contact me.
Alan Gersman, Virginia, USA, writes: “I am pleased, no actually quite excited and happy to announce that MACH2 Mazel Tov Minnie Pooh CD XF has gone where no Canaan Dog has previously gone: Minnie earned her 2nd AKC "Master Agility Champion" title -- MACH2 last Saturday at the Norwegian Elkhound Club of the Potomac Valley Agility Trial in Fredericksburg, VA.” What a fantastic accomplishment and what wonderful PR for the breed!!
East of England does not give classes for Canaan Dogs, but the AVNSC Utility class was practically a breed class. Our judge, Mrs Jill Peak, drew an entry of 7 of which 5 were Canaan Dogs. BD & BP was my Anacan Issachar ('Izzy'), who at 7 months was making his ring debut. RBB went to the LD, Ian & Jill Terry's Babrees French Resistance ('Rene'). RBB was also a Canaan, the LB Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven ('Summer') owned by Christine (Goldspink) Powley. It would have been lovely had a Canaan won BAVNSC, but alas that accolade went to the BB, the Japanese Akita Inu Tsoyu Amaya. Congratulations!
Bedford & District Canine Society are scheduling, for the first time, 3 classes for Canaan Dogs at their open show on Sunday 26 September at Moulton College Equestrian Centre, nr Northampton. This centre has fabulous facilities and is not like some equestrian venues we have all frequented. The Canaan Dog Club of the UK is supporting the classes and Stella Coombes (Mystarz) will be judging. The schedule and an entry form can be downloaded from the club's website, www.bedford-dcs.co.uk.
The weekend of the 7th of August is going to be a very busy one for Canaans and their owners. As reported last time, the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom will be holding its annual Fun Day on Sunday the 8th August at my place, Anacan Boarding Kennels, Little Lane, Irby In The Marsh, Lincs. I have recently received an email from the British Canaan Dog Society (proposed) secretary, Anne Barclay, giving me the following information. The BCDS will be holding its Annual Rally and Match on Saturday, 7th August at Willowdale Farm, Moyses Bank, Marshland St James, Norfolk. It will be run in conjunction with eye testing with Prof. Peter Bedford. Eye testing commences at 10:00 am, rally at 11:00 am and the match at 12:30 pm. There will be a Bar-B-Q, raffle and competitions. All breeds are welcome, not just Canaan Dogs. For more information or to book an eye appointment, contact Anne Barclay on 01303 259739, or alternatively by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations are in order for Lorna Hastings and her 'Blaze' (AKC Ir Ch Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star) on his winning BOB and the World Winner 2010 title at the recent World Show in Denmark. Lorna said that in addition to the BOB wine, Blaze also made the cut and was in the final 8 in the group. Lorna's Border Collie, 'Bob', also gained his World Winner 2010 title. What a fantastic day for team Hastings!
On the 5th July our Beulah (Kibutzer Kween In Kofyn) celebrated her 16th birthday! Beulah, who was bred by Jan Smith & Lez Mozley, came to us when she was 4 years old, having already been BOB at Crufts twice. She had one litter for me, sired by my Digger (The Lion of Judah At Anacan), whom Beulah always fancied, which produced the 1st CD in the UK to win an open show BIS - Anacan The Israelite At Dunline, owned by Rob & Jan McLeod, and my Anacan Masterpiece who won BOB at Crufts 2004 and has been BIS at our club show on 3 occasions. Beulah was BOB at Crufts for the 3rd time in 2000 and RBIS at the first CDC of the UK open show. Beulah is a character – very talkative, and can be quite stubborn at times. She has been an great ambassador and asset to the breed and we are very pleased to have been able to have her as part of the Anacan family all these years.
The Canaan Dog Club of the UK's annual Fun Day will be held at my place this year – Anacan Boarding Kennels & Cattery, Irby In the Marsh, Lincs – on Sunday, 8th August. There will be a raffle, a barbeque, games and a chance to socialize with other dog lovers. The theme for our popular Fancy Dress competition is “native costumes of countries of the world”. Start time is 12:00 noon. Bring your own meat for the barbeque and a dish to share! This venue is only 8 miles from Skegness, so why not make a weekend of it and visit the lovely beaches and nature reserves of the area?
The Canaan Dog Club of America, Inc held their national specialty on Friday, 18th June in Troy, Ohio. There were 74 dogs with a total entry of 103, including 12 obedience and 23 rally entries. The judge for the conformation classes was Mr Houston Clark. Mr Clark's choice for BISS was the 6 year old dog CH PLEASANT HILL MAGNUM OF SAMARA, owned by Pamela Stacey Rosman and handled by Bruce Schultz. BOS was CH MAD RIVER COOL BREEZE BLOWING, owned by Rosette Davila-Sargent & Charles H Sargent MD and handled by Mrs Linda A Clark. I understand that these two went on to take BOB & BOS respectively at the supported entries at the all-breed championship shows on the two following days with 'Magnum' winning Group 1 and then BIS at the Sunday show. How exciting is that!
The rest of the winners follow:
Best of Winners, Winners Dog & BP - TAHOE'S SIRIUS BLACK N WHITE, Owner: Robin C Prince & Noelle Renteria
RWD - RIVER ROCK NO ILLUSIONS, Owner: Christina Miller
Winners Bitch - D & J HA'ARETZ GOT MILK MADELINE, Owner: Jackie & Donna Davison
RWB - BLUE SKY DESERT STAR LUNA ECLIPSE, Owner: Norma Bennett Woolf & Thomas Woolf
BV, Best Stud Dog & 1st Award of Merit - CH ROSENDOG'S HE WHO MUST BE NAMED, Owner: Judy March Rosenthal & Amanda M Pough
2nd AOM - CH ARAYL'S RIVI'S RUMOR, Owner: Denise A Gordon & Elizabeth Hebert (also from Veteran class)
Best Brood Bitch - CH BABREES CRYSTAL GALE, Owner: Noelle M Renteria & Robin C Prince
Best Jr Handler – Ethan Miller
Obed HIT - ANAK ADOM ME BEIT ALPHA, Owner: Dr Victor Kaftal who earned both a CD and a RA
Congratulations to all the winners and to the CDCA on another successful show. For anyone interested in looking at proof photos from the CDCA specialty, the link to the official photographer's website is www.vwperryphotos.com/DogAlbums/Speciality_Canaan/index.html While viewing the photos I found it interesting, that as we tell attendees at our breed seminars, to see that many of the dogs do not have their tails carried over their back when on the move (see photos of conformation classes) and many of the dogs are shown holding their tails in different positions as they move around the ring.
The CDCA is currently working on rewording the AKC Canaan Dog breed standard. They have a breed standard committee assigned to formulate the wording, which will then presented to the club membership for a vote, and then finally forwarded to the AKC for approval. In most cases, as long as it follows their format, the AKC will approve the changes as they are willing to accept that it is the owners and breeders who know most about their breed. Again from the US, Alan Gersman and his 'Minnie' had another wonderful agility run and placement at the Rocky Mountain Regional -- USDAA in Salt Lake City. Performance Grand Prix Regional - 16 Inch - Judge: Tom Kula - Distance: 174 yards SCT: 51.00 seconds. Score: 0.00 (Q) Time: 48.94 seconds 4th Place. Congratulations from across the pond to Team Gersman!
Judge, Mr Rob McLeod, drew an entry of 12 Canaan Dogs with only 1 absentee at Bath Championship Show. BD & BOB was Lorna Hastings' AKC Ir Ch Lux Ch Lorianna Sirius Star. RBD was awarded to Julie Hughes' Anacan Future Legend. BB was Hastings' & Coombes' Lorianna I Will Survive; RBB was Christine Powley's Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven and BP was Nishma Shukla's & Richard Crowfoot's Kessem Yanis Orly To Khandikhaine. Well done to all. Sorry I couldn't be there.
On 1st June my Shandy (Anacan Sheindela) celebrated her 14th birthday. Shandy is a very special girl. For one thing she was out of the first litter I bred after coming to this country. Her sire was the wonderful The Lion of Judah At Anacan and her dam was Mornavega The Chosen One of Anacan. Shandy has also been a very good producer for me with several of her children doing well in the show ring and going on to produce well themselves. On the 9th June our Anacan Ziggy will also celebrate his 14th birthday. Those who have kept up with Canaans over the years know how well he has done in the show ring and in promoting the breed. He, too, has done well for me with the quality of get he has sired. Both Shandy's and Ziggy's health and vigor belie their years and visitors can never believe their age. In this, they are typical of the breed, something all Canaan lovers are proud of.
It's hard to believe that just over a week ago, we had frost in our field when I went to do the morning walks. Today we are feeling the heat and trying to make sure the dogs cope well with the sudden onset of summer (they are, and far better than I am). People think that since Canaan Dogs are desert dogs, they have no problem coping with heat. What they forget is that they originate in an area of the world where they have a dry heat and, therefore, they find the humidity as uncomfortable as any other breed. When the days are really hot and humid they will find a shady spot to rest until it starts to cool in the early evening. In the heat of summer some show benching areas, under enclosed marquees, become very hot and humid. I like to bring along some ice cubes to put in the dogs' water bowls, along with a spray bottle of water with which to spray their tummy and extremities to keep them cool and comfortable. It is important to keep an eye on your dogs and make sure they don't become distressed using whatever methods you find work best for you.
Numbers of Canaans being exhibited are down at the moment. It seems the breed goes through periods when there are reasonably good entries at every show, and then suddenly entries drop off again for a time. Along with attrition, as would-be exhibitors find that Canaans are not a breed that gets the respect in the ring which they deserve and soon drop out of the show scene, the recession, rises in the cost of entries and petrol certainly don't help the situation. This also makes it difficult to encourage newcomers into the show ring. I know of a couple of new Canaan owners just waiting for their puppies to be old enough to go into the ring and, hopefully, with the proper encouragement they will enjoy themselves and continue to show their dogs. I believe, that as in the past, the breed is just going through a temporary setback.
At The National judge, Mike Window, had just three entries with one absentee. BD & BOB was Lorna Hastings Am/Lux/Ir Ch Lorianna Sirius Star and BB was Patrick & Barbara Gold's Anacan Shoshannah For Amicitia. I'm sure both exhibitors would have liked some competition and it must have been disappointing for Mr Window, as I do not believe he has had the opportunity to judge the breed before. At least he had two good Canaans to go over.
At the Scottish KC show judge, Mr J Bispham, fared a little better with 6 entries and 1 absentee. Again BD & BOB was Hastings' Am/Lux/Ir Ch Lorianna Sirius Star. RBD was Christine (Goldspink) Powley's Danehaven Xtra. BB was Anacan Sheer Elegance, owned by Christine Powley & Ellen Minto, and RBB was Christine's Anacan Maid For Glory At Danehaven.
On one of the American chat lists that I belong to, they have been discussing the AKC breed standard and changes they would like to see made. There, just as here in the UK, and probably most other countries, there is a sharp division between those who would like to see the breed preserved as close as possible to the free-living Canaans found in Israel and the Middle East, and those who are looking to make changes in order to make the breed more saleable and to make it a stronger contender in the show ring. I feel, as do many others that Canaan owners and breeders should take more pride in the breed and stop allowing the people in various KC's and judges who don't really have an interest in the breed try to tell us what the Canaan Dog should act like or look like. The Canaan is a unique breed whose intelligence, character and natural beauty make it a wonderful companion for those who appreciate a natural dog. As an owner of a boarding kennel I can say the breed's temperament is as good, if not better, than any other breed, and it's a far easier dog to live with then a lot of the more popular breeds. Perhaps it's time for a Canaan pride parade. I love my Canaans just the way they are and I hope time doesn't see it turned into another generic show dog.
Last night I had a phone call from Ann Hutchinson with the sad news that she had to have her 'Siri' (Anacan Sheeza Delight) euthanized that morning. 'Siri' was just a month away from her 14th birthday. It is always difficult to lose a beloved dog, and the longer you have them, the more difficult it is to let them go. We send our condolences to Ann at this sad time.
On a happier note, from the USA comes that news that Alan Gersman's 'Minnie' ("MACH Mazel Tov PRTMJL Minnie Pooh, MAD, RM, JM, GM, XF, CD") last Saturday got her 4th placement in the past 3 weekends of AKC Trials, coming 3rd overall. Minnie has 12 USDAA titles and 14 AKC titles in agility, which is a fantastic achievement.
Another fantastic achievement from the US - Charley and Rosette Sargent's bitch, CH Mad River Cool Breeze Blowing got her 11th Group 1 at the AKC Baytown Kennel Club Show in Beaumont, Texas under judge, Donovan Thompson and then capped it off by winning Best in Show under judge Vincent To Grosso. This was Breeze's second all-breed BIS. Congratulations to Breeze's owners, her breeder, Cindy Grupp, and her handler, Linda Clark. Oh for the day when Canaan Dogs receive such recognition here in the UK.
I'm happy to report that two of our Canaan Dogs had something to shout about recently. Julie Hughes' 'Tiras' (Anacan Future Legend) was BIS at West Acre Companion Show in Norfolk on the 18th April under judge, Mark Pooley, going over approximately 50 dogs. While that may not seem such a big deal to some of you in the more mainstream breeds, it is quite an accomplishment for a Canaan Dog as our breed is still overlooked most of the time as most judges have no idea what a Canaan Dog is. Kudos to Mr Pooley for being able to see a good dog for what he is. The show was in aid of West Acre Village Hall Restoration Fund and I hope they did well.
On the same day over in Ireland Kim Warm's 'Naomi' (Anacan Akilah) went BOB for her second green star at the Banbridge show under Mrs D. Dinneen. Kim said she is trying to make sure she enters as many shows as she can over there so that we can keep the breed classes that already exist and try to get some more for next year. Kim's new puppy dog, Anacan Aden, will soon be able to be shown and 'join the crusade', as she puts it, and Kim is very excited about that.
Well done both to Julie and Kim for working so hard to promote the breed, as the above are not singular events for either of them. We all need to keep working together if we are ever to see the day the breed has CC's in this country – the only county in which the breed is recognized, but cannot win a championship.
Over in the US many Canaan owners are involved in performance events with their CDs – rally, obedience, agility, tracking and herding, to name a few. I wish I were younger and had more time as I would really have liked to get involved in at least one of these sports and I encourage anyone with a Canaan Dog to consider doing so. The dogs love it and it is one more avenue to be used to help promote this wonderful breed.
The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom held its 10th annual single-breed open show on Sunday 11th April. The venue, Stanground Community Centre, is excellent and the weather was lovely-- always a bonus -- slightly cool but sunny. There were 23 dogs entered with 34 entries. The judge was Mrs Vanessa Williams-Wegmann, who judged the breed at Crufts 2005. She was also a competitor on the March 28th broadcast of the popular show “Come Dine With Me”. This caused our caterers to be a bit worried as to whether their fare would meet with her standards, but it turned out that they had no reason for concern as they provided the judge, steward and show secretary with a wonderful meal – 10 points all around. Kudos to Simon Demetriou and Manuela Herrera for the great sustenance and libations they provided for the exhibitors and spectators as well. The atmosphere was friendly and the ring steward, Mrs Pearl Chadwick, commented on how nice everyone was and how lovely that everyone clapped for each placement, right down to VHC. The results follow:
Best Dog, Best Veteran and Best of Opposite Sex to Best In Show was ANACAN ZIGGY – AGE 14 years this June - (Gvir Me Shaar Hagai At Anacan ex Minto's Libyan Jewel), breeder: Ellen Minto, owners: Richard & Ellen Minto
Reserve Best Dog was ANACAN FUTURE LEGEND (Sheleg Harishon At Danehaven ex Anacan Glory Bound), breeder: Ellen Minto, owner: Julie Hughes
Best Bitch and Best In Show was ANACAN SHEER ELEGANCE (Anacan Masterpiece ex Anacan Whole Lotta Class), breeder: Ellen Minto, owners: Christine (Goldspink) Powley & Ellen Minto. “Ellie” was also BB at this year's Crufts.
Reserve Best Bitch and Reserve Best In Show was ANACAN SHEEZ THE ONE (Anacan Ziggy ex Anacan Sheez The One), breeder/owner Ellen Minto
Best Puppy In Show was KESSEM YANIS ORLY TO KHANDIKHAINE (Melech Adom Me Shaar Hagai For Lorianna, Imp Isr ex Lorianna Magical Star With Nosregor), breeder: Mr J G Rogerson, owner: Richard Crowfoot & Nishma Shukla
This will probably be the last time that Richard and I exhibit our Ziggy, but we feel that it's important that people see the older Canaans as we Canaan owners are always bragging how the breed is generally long-lived and healthy. What better way to prove it than taking them out to the club show! There were a few families in attendance who had come, at my invitation, to meet Canaans for the first time in view of possibly getting one, and they got to meet the 9 veterans there -- the youngest being 9 years right on up to Ziggy, who was the oldest. They also got to meet a couple of puppies who were entered NFC so they saw both ends of the spectrum, age-wise, as well as a number of dogs whose ages were somewhere in-between.
Of course, there was an impressive raffle table and our Show Secretary, Pat Selby, went home with an armful of prizes, but she did buy quite a few tickets. As the cliché goes, “A nice time was had by all”, and we look forward to next year's show.
As predicted, it was 4:00 pm before Canaan Dogs got into the ring at Crufts. I think the dogs had held up better than their owners with the long wait. Judge, Christine Owen's selection for BD & BOB was Lorna Hastings' Am/Lux/Ir Ch Lorianna Sirius Star (Re-imp). RBD went to Julie Hughes' Anacan Future Legend. BB & BOS was Anacan Sheer Elegance who is co-owned by Christine Powley (Goldspink) and this writer. This was 'Ellie's' Hat Trick as she was also BB at Crufts in 2006 & 2008. RBB was awarded to Chaniah De Solemel Avec Nizzana (Imp Fra), owned by Ivan Kaye, Alison Byrne & Anne Barclay. It was lovely to have some die-hard breed supporters around the ring, despite the late hour as it is a bit soul destroying when you wait all day to go into the ring and there is no one around to watch.
The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's Open Show judge, Mrs Vanessa Williams-Wegmann, has drawn an entry of 23 dogs for 34 entries – quite a bit up on the Crufts entry. It will be held on Sunday, 11th April at Stanground Community Centre, Peterborough and judging will commence at 12:00 noon. There is no entry fee for spectators and the show presents a great opportunity for those interested in the breed to come meet some dogs and their owners.
Alan Gersman (USA) writes that in the past month or so his Canaan Dog, Minnie, has earned 3 agility titles! In USDAA Minnie has earned her “Jumpers Master” and “Relay Master” titles, and in AKC Minnie has earned her “Excellent Fast” title. Alan, who is concurrently also competing with his Border Collie, Hummer, in agility (with great success) also writes “I have found while working with Canaan Dogs that they are excellent jumpers. Minnie and I practice with the jumps at 22” (Minnie is 20” tall), but at any given weekend I might ask Minnie to jump 16”, 20”, 22” or 24” jump heights. What Minnie does extremely well is she adjusts to whatever height I ask her to jump, that is, no wasted motion or space. In the last 3 AKC Trials Minnie has earned multiple placements in the Standard run at the 24” jump height. Minnie earned her FAST Title at 24” and her USDAA Titles at 22”. In 2 weeks Minnie will run 16” – a very versatile breed!!” If any of you with internet access would like to see Alan and Minnie running an agility course, you can log into youtube - Minnie running an AKC Excellent Standard agility course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMm52EO2-dA and Minnie running an AKC Excellent Jumpers agility course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyvJfYnPAOs What an inspiration!
The CDC of the UK held its AGM on the 28th February. There were a number of new, enthusiastic members in attendance and the meeting was very productive. The positivity generated and the desire to work for unity within the fancy to ensure the breed's promotion and betterment inspires confidence in a bright future for the Canaan Dog in the UK.
As we are not a CC breed, the CDC of the UK instituted its own awards a number of years ago to help encourage members to get out and show their Canaan Dogs. The SHEBABA TROPHY, donated by the late Mrs Connie Higgins, is awarded to the Canaan Dog that accumulates the highest number of points during the show year January through December. This year's winner was ANACAN MASTERPIECE ('Remy'), owned by Richard & Ellen Minto. The TIRON TROPHY, donated by Mrs Mary MacPhail (Blackforest) is awarded to the Canaan Dog accumulating the second highest number of points during the show year. The winner of this trophy was Patrick & Barbara Gold's ANACAN SHOSHANNAH FOR AMICITIA ('Rosie'). Last, but certainly not least, the GOLDA TROPHY, donated by Mrs Gina Pointing, is awarded to the Junior Canaan Dog (under 24 months of age) accumulating the highest number of points during the show year. This year's winner was ANACAN SHEEZA GEM ('Ruby'), owned by Ellen Minto.
There was a fantastic raffle table, with everyone going home with something, and the club cookbooks sold out. The chocolate muffins brought by Manuela Herrera & Simon Demetriou to go along with our teas and coffees were also a big hit, as was Natalie & Stephen Leader's puppy, 'Laila', whose behaviour was impeccable. All and all, it was a very good day.
The Canaan Dog Club of the UK has set up a new online breed forum to allow not only current Canaan Dog owners to discuss the various aspects of the breed, tell stories about their own Canaans, post photos and chat, but also to allow people with an interest in the breed to ask questions and learn about the breed. If you are a Canaan owner, or prospective owner, and wish to participate in the forum, go to http://canaandoguk.proboards.com/index.cgi.
In the daily papers this week there was talk of more dog legislation and it has been suggested that people be made to pass a test before they could own a dog. It is this writer's opinion that good breeders are already making sure that their prospective buyers can provide the right home for their puppy. Richard & I have lots of visits each year from people interested in owning a Canaan Dog. We feel strongly that as the Canaan is not a breed you will likely be running into on the street or local park, if you are interested in the breed you must meet a number 'in person' to see what the breed is like so you can make an informed decision. When they visit we can also evaluate the person's situation and lifestyle to help decide whether a Canaan or another breed or no breed is most suitable to them. We have Canaans ranging from 15-1/2 years to 3 months of age who run the gamut of typical Canaan behaviour, so visiting us gives people a pretty good picture of the breed. We also encourage the prospective buyers to meet some pet owners who will most likely give them a slightly different perspective of the breed than someone who breeds and shows their dogs, and the CDC of the UK Fun Day is a great venue for people to do this. This is why we are also very enthusiastic about Discover Dogs as, though there will be far fewer Canaans on view than can be seen at our house, it does give people a chance to meet the breed and ask questions. It is this writer's opinion that there are already too many laws on the books. We don't need dangerous dog laws; we just need the laws against anti-social behaviours to be enforced properly as it is usually the owners at fault when the dog is a problem.
I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of coverage More4 will give to DFS Crufts this year. Hopefully it will be more balanced than previous years with a bit more emphasis on the actual show. I also hope that there are no disturbances caused by animal rights groups. I wish they would focus their energies and getting laws passed that allow dogs to be able to behave like dogs, i.e. barking (within reason of course), guarding their property, chasing off other dogs who come bounding up sticking their face into a strange dog's face with a growl or snap without being classified as 'dangerous dogs' when they are just protecting themselves from privacy intrusion... that kind of thing. They could learn to work together with responsible breeders instead of against them and then the dog will really benefit.
It won't be long now until Crufts is here. Judge, Mrs Christine Owen (Owainglyndwr) has drawn an entry of 13 Canaan Dogs – 4 dogs and 9 bitches. Canaan Dogs will be shown on the Saturday, 13th March, Hall 4, ring 20, after Shar Peis and Boston Terriers, so it will, once again, be late afternoon before we are in the ring. It is a lot to expect the Canaans to be on the bench all day before being shown, as by 4 pm they are getting pretty fed up, as are the owners. We have, on two occasions, gotten into the ring at 1-1:30 pm which was so much nicer for both the dogs and exhibitors. Perhaps next year?
A friend in the US sent a link to a very excellent article called HE JUST WANTS TO SAY HI!, by Suzanne Clothier. She tells all her puppy buyers to read it and I think that there are people who have been 'in dogs' for years who should have a read as well. In it Ms Clothier talks about rude dogs and their owners. Richard and I have often spoken of exactly this, not only with our own puppy buyers, but also when we give a breed seminar. Rude dogs are those who go right up to any dog and stick their nose right into its face, or jump all over it and when the 'victim' of this rudeness retaliates with growling or snapping, the owner of the rude dog says, “He just wants to say hi!”, and then accuses the owner of the 'victim' of having an aggressive dog. At an outdoor championship show last year, a woman with 3 terriers stupidly allowed them to go right up to my Hayyim and jump up on his chest. Fortunately, I always hold my dogs on a short lead and Hayyim just stood there without a murmur, but it could have been otherwise. Even so-called trainers will expect a dog to put up with this kind of behaviour from rude dogs, or else it is accused of having a 'bad temperament'. If you would like to read this article, and I urge you to do so, go to www.nesr.info/images-english-shepherd/He-just-wants-to-say-hi.pdf – it is very much worth the read. And if you have a rude dog, PLEASE teach it some manners.
The Westminster Kennel Club held its 134th Annual Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on the 15th & 16th February. Canaan Dogs were judged on the Monday by Dr. Klaus Anselm. There were 6 Canaans entered (only champions of record can be entered). Dr Anselm's BOB was the dog, Ch Pleasant Hill Magnum Of Samara, bred by Donna Dodson and owned by Pamela Stacey Rosman. BOS was last year's winner, the bitch, Ch Mad River Cool Breeze Blowing, bred by Cynthia Grupp & Leal Grupp and owned by Rosette Davila-Sargent & Charles H Sargent MD. An Award of Merit was given to the bitch, Ch Renegade Camber, bred by Evan & Renee Kent and owned by Amy Preston & Renee Kent. Judging of the breed can be seen on the Westminster KC website, www.westminsterkennelclub.org. Wouldn't it be nice if TKC also offered video streaming of all the breed judging?
Schedules for the Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's 10th Single-Breed Open Show on Sunday 11th April 2010 are now out and can be obtained from the Show Secretary, Miss Pat Selby, Tel/Fax: 01623 870 278; E-mail: email@example.com. They can also be downloaded from the Club's website www.canaandogclub.co.uk. Just click onto the “Upcoming Events” page. The judge for this event is Mrs Vanessa Williams-Wegmann (Essvanna). The show presents a good opportunity for those interested in the breed to come and meet some Canaan Dogs and their owners in person.
On one of the American Canaan chat lists I belong to, a new Canaan owner started a discussion on the breed standard, and some of the comments on breed type, which included coat markings, confounded me, as did the authority with which this new owner passed judgement on the standard. In TKC's “Glossary of Canine Terms” type is defined as “Characteristic qualities distinguishing a breed.” What are the characteristic qualities which distinguish a Canaan Dog from say, a Husky? The Canaan Dog is a medium sized, well balanced, strong and square dog resembling the wild dog type with a strong distinction between the sexes. The head is well proportioned, blunt wedge shape of medium length, appearing broader due to low set ears. The skull is somewhat flattened with some width allowed in powerful male heads. The stop is shallow but defined and the muzzle is sturdy, of moderate length and breadth. It is alert, quick to react, and wary of strangers. To me the dog's general appearance in profile teamed with correct character is what defines breed type.
We can go further in this discussion. I found the following with which I am in total agreement. To quote E. Katie Gammill © TheDogPlace January 2009 – “The Best of the Best or one that looks like the rest? Let's be honest. Something called “preferred type” is flooding the rings today and in many breeds, it has little to do with the Breed Standard. When “current type” does not equal correctness, the best dog can lose because in many rings, the fatal flaw is being a stand-out. “ She goes on to talk about the fact that the best dog you ever breed can also be the hardest to win with because the judges don't bother to know the breed standard or lack the courage to pass up the dog with the “flash” to put up the one that is correct. Then you have the breeders who will breed for what is winning rather than what is correct and breed type is lost. Let's hope that this doesn't happen in our breed.
We had a miserable, rainy day for Manchester Champ Show, just like last year. And just like last year, Canaan Dogs had to wait around all day to be judged. Again, like last year, it was requested that the breed be moved to a different ring as at 3:00 pm we still had 40 Chows to be judged ahead of us. But, unlike last year, one of the Canaan Dogs had been entered incorrectly in a Rare Breed class rather than the breed class – whether it was the printer's fault or the owner's, I don't know – and we had to wait over 40 minutes for judging to start while the error was sorted out. As the owner had been at the show all day exhibiting another breed, I think this should have been sorted well ahead of judging time rather than hold everyone up as it did. If I'd not actually been attendance at the show, I would have been misinformed by the results on the Higham Press website. Lorna Hastings actually had 10 entries with the 2 entered in JD/B both absent. The website shows no entries in this class. Miss Hastings awarded BOB to Pam O'Loughlin's Babrees Desert Orchid Via Caoilta, and gave RBOB (not RBD as shown on the website) to Rob & Jan McLeod's Anacan Call Me Ishmael At Dunline. For some reason the website shows BB & RBB as “not awarded”, which is misleading as they were mixed-sex classes, so only BOB & RBOB and no best sexes are awarded. Additionally for some reason BV was not awarded when both the BOB & RBOB were veterans and therefore, the BOB dog should have been given BV as well. Unfortunately, the whole thing was a bit of a mess.
The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom's 2010 Judges' List is now available from the club secretary in either printed or pdf file form. Any club secretaries who would like a copy can contact me by phone on 01754 811232 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is for me, as it probably is for many of you, always a bittersweet experience when my puppies leave for their new homes. Even though all new owners have been vetted, and many eventually become friends, I can't help but shed a few tears as they drive away with the little lives I helped bring into the world and have taken care of for the previous 8+ weeks. The Saturday and Sunday after Manchester was spent answering the last minute questions of my puppies' new families, taking photos, and giving good-bye hugs to them. Happily I have already had good reports, and some new photos, from everyone. One only hopes that the pups will all grow up to be good ambassadors for the breed and that their owners will take an active part in the breed's promotion.
Happy New Year to all of you. Let's hope it is good one for everyone.
I'm sad to report that Sarah Hemstock's nan, Eunice Forster, passed away on the 13th December. I believe she was 98 years old. Mrs Forster, like Sarah and Sarah's late mum, Jo Hemstock, was a supporter of the Canaan Dog breed and a long-time member of the Canaan Dog Club of the UK. She was quite a vivacious lady, and still enjoyed a pint. Though she had a long life, it never seems long enough to those who care about you. Our condolences to Sarah on her loss.
In my breed notes of 18th December 2009 I discussed the meaning of 'breed specialist' and asked for readers thoughts on the matter. In reply to my request, I received the following comment from Jan McLeod (Dunline). "The question "what makes a breed specialist" is interesting but not that difficult to answer. Most of us in dogs have an interest in and a care for all dogs so with that as a given how do we spot the specialist? There are many on a judging list who don't even pause to observe the ring when passing the breed being judged – this is not a specialist. When wills are being made a specialist will remember that breed (rather than the general canine charity, etc.) Ditto a habit of mine to make donations to welfare at Christmas to those breeds in which I specialise. And talking of welfare, although we're dog lovers and will help where we can, the specialist will make the extra effort for the breed in which he specialises, making room where it may not be that easy. The specialist contributes to the breed, be that financially, serving on a committee, working in breed rescue, promoting the breed at every opportunity, offering advice and assistance and standing up for the breed at every opportunity. The specialist, in his capacity of judge, recognises his duty to learn over time not just to pass a test, get on a list and move on to the next breed, but as an ongoing process over the years, acquiring knowledge wherever and whenever he can bring a critical base to the ring when judging his chosen speciality that no non-specialist can. He will observe, and then follow their development into maturity. He'll defend them when non-specialist misunderstand or misrepresent them and no non-specialist will know the feeling of living with them, loving them, and coping with them.
The specialist will stick with the breed not just for the lucky few years of good show results or until another breed takes his fancy but for the long run, with the breed at heart. For the good of the breed a specialist will decline judging invitations which might otherwise improve his CV. The specialist will go the extra mile." Well-written Jan. Thank you for taking the time to send me your comments.
Jan also advised me that just in case anyone looks at the Dog World Planner, the dates for WKC are incorrect and should read Friday 20th August until Sunday 22nd August 2010. Utility breeds will be shown on the Sunday.
I had a telephone call from Mary Drysdale (hope I spelled that correctly) of Guildford, who has Italian Greyhounds. She just wanted to let me know how interesting she found the article on the Indian Spitz and how much she enjoys reading my breed notes. It is gratifying to know that people actually do read them and I did appreciate that Mary made the effort to let me know. Thank you.