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Archive for June, 2008

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Tammy came all the way down from Bothell, Washington to groom Cooper before the Clackamas KC dog show in Canby, Oregon (about 45 minutes south of Portland). His fur had grown out some since the Puyallup show a couple of weeks ago, so it’s closer to the “ideal” long leg fur. Closer, but not long enough yet. Maybe by August…

She did a great job (again — as always), so Russ took these pictures in our backyard after the Clackamas show to help us remember what Cooper’s topknot, ears, flanks, tail, chest, and face should look like. (Of course, he “needs” longer leg fur.) In the picture at the top, I’m brushing the leg fur up to get more of that columnar look.

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When you’re the only dog (as in male dog) in the show, you stand a much better chance of doing well. Lucky Cooper — all his competitors were bitches (female dogs). So, being the only dog, he won the first competition, which was dogs in his class (Open Dogs). Then he won Winner’s Dog — that competition would have included all dogs from all classes (Puppy, Open, American-bred, etc.), had there been any more dogs.

In the next competition, he faced off against the Winner’s Bitch. (There were three bitches in their competitions). Lo and behold, halleluiah, and can-you-believe-it, Cooper won Best of Winners.

Next, there was Best of Breed. Because he’d won Best of Winners, Cooper competed in BOB. But at that point, dogs and bitches who have already earned their championships can also compete, and a lovely champion bitch took Best of Breed.

It worked out exactly the same way both Saturday and Sunday, so Cooper now officially has 2 points toward a championship! I guess he can be a show dog.

The picture above is Cooper being shown (handled) by Luke Baggenstos on Saturday. The pictures below show Cooper with Rowan (an associate of Luke’s) and the judge on Sunday.

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Tammy is doing her best to make Cooper pretty. (Well, he already is pretty — and he knows it. Apparently, he informed a local pet psychic that he knows we call him Cooper, but his real name is Pretty Boy.)

Anyway, just a month ago, thinking that we weren’t going to show Cooper until the IWSCOPS specialty in August, I asked Colleen to help me clip him to about 3/4” length. Colleen kept asking me, “Are you sure?”

Well, sure. I figured he’s not showing until August, and his fur grows fast. (He takes after his dad that way.) So we clipped him to his sportsman cut, very handsome, very sporty, and very EASY for me.

So a couple of weeks later, Tammy emailed and wants to know, do we want to show Cooper at Puyallup? OK, I said, but he’s short. That’s OK, she said.

So here’s Tammy doing her best with what he fur he has. Based on what wins conformation dog shows, his leg fur is way too short. The winning dogs have these columns of fur on the legs, blown straight out.

I still don’t get that — these are hunting dogs, for heaven’s sake. Long leg fur just collects every known bit of debris, seed, grass, twig, bramble, thorn, and sticker. I think the 3/4” length sportsman cut is perfect.

But what do I know? I still think Cooper is a companion pet. I just haven’t gotten it into my head that he’s a show dog.

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This show, in Puyallup, Washington, is Cooper’s third show. As you can see from this picture (Cooper is being shown by Jayme, in the green shirt), he still doesn’t have a clue of how to behave in a show ring.

You’ve seen those pictures of the winning dogs: They’ve got their legs nicely placed (the placement is called “stacked,” a word that has entirely different connotations for non-dog show people), and they’re looking forward off into the distance (or at least out toward the piece of liver hidden in the handler’s hand). But not Cooper. No.

The picture is very grainy because I (Patrice) was hiding. The theory being that seeing me would be a distraction to Cooper. As if he could get any more distracted…

I could hear Cooper thinking, “Why is this weirdo grabbing my legs? Next he’s gonna go for my balls, I just know it. Better cover them up with my tail.”

After Jayme and Cooper, is Rebecca and Seamus, and then Tammy with Mowgli (Cooper’s much better trained and behaved brother). Seamus won 1st, and Mowgli got 2nd.

Later, Jayme told me that Cooper behaved much better during Sunday’s show, but I think that only a very discerning eye could see that.

But we’ve got to give the boy a break — it’s only his third show, and he doesn’t practice every day maintaining a stiff upper lip while strange people feel him up.

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