Well, it’s official. Cooper qualifies.
The Irish Water Spaniel Club of America awards a Certificate of Recognition called the “AKC All-Around Irish Water Spaniel” to IWS that are AKC Champions of Record (CH), have earned an AKC obedience title of CD or better, and have earned an AKC hunting title of JH or better.
And today, the AKC officially recorded the last of the necessary titles to recognize Cooper as an All-Around IWS.
He earned his JH first by qualifying in the Umpqua Valley Retriever Club 2010 June Hunt Test on June 19, 2010.
Then, after more than three years of showing in the conformation ring, he got his second major and last points to earn his CH at the Dog Fanciers Association of Oregon show (part of the Rose City Classic set of dog shows) on January 22, 2011.
And finally, he qualified for the third leg of his CD at the Mt. Hood Keeshond Club Obedience and Rally Trial on March 18, 2012.
Like all owners of All-Around IWS, I am very proud of my dog’s achievements. But I am most proud of the fact that Russ and I — 1st time IWS owners, 1st time show dog owners, and 1st time performance dog owners — did it (mostly) ourselves.
- Russ handled Cooper to all 4 of his JH legs (and all 4 legs of Cooper’s SH, too).
- I handled Cooper to 11 of his 15 conformation points and both of his majors (of the remaining points, 2 points were won when handled by a pro, 1 by Jayme, and 1 by an available stranger when I couldn’t be there).
- I also handled him in all 3 of his Obedience legs.
We did it ourselves, but of course, we didn’t do it by ourselves. We had help, and lots of it, with training, grooming, transportation, housing, more training, more grooming, and untold amounts of emotional support.
So a lot of thanks are in order.
For the JH, thank you to Andy Fontenot who trained both Cooper and Russ in the ways and means of the hunt test game. Thanks also to Tellus, Hank, Holly, Janice, Norm, Matt, Christine, Rod, Renae, and Martyn, and all of our hunt test friends, training groups, and members of the LCHRC who helped Russ and Cooper with training scenarios, advice, stories, real hunting experience, commiseration, and encouragement.
For the CH, thank you to Tammy, Colleen, Jayme, and Rebecca for their skills and hours of grooming help. And to Jayme, Tammy, and Emily Fish for training Cooper and me to run properly around and up-and-back in the conformation ring. And to Dorothy, Liz, Colleen, and Sharon, and all the other IWSCOPS and IWSCA members who applauded our efforts at shows and specialties.
And for the CD, my gratitude goes to my teachers Joan Armstrong and Cindy Leung. And to Tammy who encouraged me and let me cry on her shoulder, and to Jayme and the trainers at the Academy of Canine Behavior. And to Rod, Renae, Russell, Jayme, and Paul for their help at the dog show that tried to kill me. And to Dee and Lee for letting me practice with them in their back yards, to Donna for letting me join in her practice sessions, and to all the members of the Sherwood Dog Training Club who set up matches and played judge for Cooper and I to practice on.
And most of all, thank you to Rosemary and Tammy, who placed Cooper with us. And to Russ, for everything.