Quest Does it Again!

Quest does it again and goes winners dog in tough competition, and then Best of Winners! He is now up to nine points and both majors. Six more to go! Here’s a recent photo of Quest, right before he headed off on his adventure with his breeder/handler/co-owner Anya. We are so thankful and proud!

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Another Point for Quest!

Quest hasn’t been shown since he grabbed two majors at ten months old back in March. He’s showing this weekend in New York with his breeder/handler Anya Dobratz. On Friday he earned another point, and we await results for today! So excited about this gorgeous boy. He’s up to 8 points and both majors now, at a year of age and with very limited showing. Here he is enjoying hotel life with Anya and his buddy Heathcliff!

To show or not to show?

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Erika is an NGA dog. That means she’s race bred, and registered with the National Greyhound Assocation. She’s a beautiful dog, but she’s not the type that is generally shown at AKC shows. She lacks angulation front and rear. She is short coupled, leggy, and built for pure speed. On the other hand, she has a beautiful head, underjaw, wonderful feet, pasterns, and a pleasant outline. She’s a lovely bitch, and I’d certainly take great pride in seeing her earn a championship in AKC. I have a feeling UKC is a more reasonable goal for her. There’s a greater appreciation for sport and working bred animals there. Now, you know me. I love my show Whippets and my show German Shepherd Dogs. But I can appreciate any quality purpose bred animal in my breeds.

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In the interest of practice and evaluation, I’ve spent some time the last couple of days stacking and posing Erika. She really is a lovely bitch, and I’m happy to have her. She’s a worthy animal to breed from and carry on some of the finest lines in American greyhound racing. As we fast approach a dark time when our sport is only history, I can only hope that others will join me in preserving the pedigrees and the hounds we love.

One Year Ago Today

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One year ago today, I let my beloved Willow go. She is now named Mia, and is a beloved, treasured family pet. I’ve missed her dearly, wished at times I had her back, but mostly I know I did the right thing. Sometimes I miss training her- we clicked in that way for sure. But, dogs come and dogs go, and doors open when others close. My choice allowed me to bring home a very special puppy of a very special breed. My Quest, and the American showline German Shepherd Dog, have changed my life forever. They have brought me more joy, new friends, and fun than anything else in a very long time.

Yesterday before herding we went to the lake, to the very spot I spent so many hours and so much time with my Willow. I am playing with a different dog at the lake now, but the memories are still wonderful, both old and new. Life comes full circle.

I Herd That…

Quest had his third herding lesson yesterday. The last time I took him herding, I was very unsure of myself. I am not good under pressure, I’m not a fast learner of physical tasks, and I have many physical issues that make being on my feet on uneven ground, and working a dog in such a situation difficult. The dog himself is fantastic. The problem is definitely me. I had a great deal of dread and concern about this lesson, and had even considered sitting it out. On top of all this, I have an additional leg inury at the moment that is temporarily holding me back even more.

As it turns out our friend Jackie ended up being there too. She’s got tons more experience than I do at herding, and has the confidence to perhaps get the dog to work with her (he would also work for the instructor, and to a point for Scottie- but he’s also learning, albeit faster than I am!). I stood in the pen with Jackie and Quest and reassured him he should go work the sheep with her much more experienced guidance, and it went perfectly. Once he knew I wanted him to do that, he herded like I have never seen him do before. Beyond instinct and into learning some finer aspects of the task.

I may or may not ever trial or work him myself, but as a physically limited person who does not enjoy being in the ring myself (including the show ring) I’m all too happy for someone capable and willing to handle him at events for me. His awesome breeder Anya shows him for me, and I’m extremely happy with that arrangement, too. She is a professional who knows exactly what she is doing and brings out his best. I totally have respect for those who own and work and show their own animals, but I feel no less proud and thrilled when my dog succeeds with someone else in the spotlight.

At any rate, I’m super thankful for my friends in this awesome breed community, and for all the opportunities Quest and I have thanks to all of them. We wouldn’t be able to take our herding lessons at all without the help of Zee, who drives us there and is great company as well. Her beautiful little collie did amazing also. Watching these dogs grow and mature and learn their ultimate job they were born for is an amazing experience.

Here’s some pictures of our awesome boy from yesterday: