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Archive for August, 2013

Griffin (the former Mr. Blue) has a new family! He went home to a nice young family of three. I’m sure they will have the energy and love (and hopefully the patience!) to keep up with him.

Blue_Elise_Nicole_130830Nicole and her daughter have been coming over almost every weekend to watch the pups grow, observe their various qualities and quirks, and think about what they want in a dog.

Nicole endeared herself to me right away when she told her daughter, who had just expressed a preference for the puppy with a favorite color for a collar. “We want the best dog for our family,” she said, “not the one with the prettiest rickrack.”

Right on.

I’m sure Mr. Blue has found himself a great home, and I’ve very pleased for all of them.

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Russ came with me to the IWSCOPS Specialty this year, and since that event is held on the grounds of the house where the Tooey x JJ puppies are lodged, he took that opportunity to capture some more portraits. He got out his gear and took these just before we left to take Tooey home with us.

So here are the Tooey x JJ puppies, in birth order:

Mr. Blue

Mr. Blue

Mr. Red

Mr. Red

Ms. Pink

Ms. Pink

Ms. Yellow

Ms. Yellow

Mr. Green

Mr. Green

Mr. Teal

Mr. Teal

Mr. White

Mr. White

Ms. Lavender

Ms. Lavender

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Back six years ago, four Nova x Balloo puppies came to the 2007 IWSCOPS Specialty. This year three of those same pups were there together again: Cooper, Mowgli, and Maggie. The top photo shows them as they were, and the bottom shows them as they are now.

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Cooper, Mowgli, and Maggie, 2007 and 2013

Their people were there, too, proudly showing off their dogs:

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Patrice and Cooper, Tammy and Mowgli, Amy and Maggie

It was a pretty good specialty this year. Cooper took a Judge’s Award of Merit in the Saturday conformation show; Mowgli earned a leg on his RAE title each day on Friday and Saturday, plus High Combined Rally on Saturday; and Maggie did her best to delight all onlookers with her beautiful self.

Love these Realta dogs!

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Ever since Cooper got his show championship, I’ve continued to show him in one class at one show every year: the Field Dogs class at the IWSCOPS Specialty.

I have never expected him to win Best of Anything, but I did want him to be recognized. He’s one of those relatively rare Irish Water Spaniels who have beautiful conformation, have earned obedience and hunt test titles, and who actually do what they were bred to do: hunt and retrieve birds for the table.

So every summer, I’ve been growing out his hunting coat, keeping it (and him) in good trim, and then begging my friends for grooming help.

This year I lucked out. Both Jayme and Colleen got their scissors and combs out, and turned my roughed-in trim into a beautiful boy.

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Cooper rested in his crate while most of the judging went on. We waited while all the boys showed until Winner’s Dog was chosen, and then the girls for Winner’s Bitch. While the veterans showed, I went to get Cooper out of his crate and Russ went and hid (read the previous post to see why). And then it was the Field Dogs turn to strut their stuff.

As usual at IWSCOPS since I’ve been showing, Cooper was the only dog entered in Field Dogs, something that always amazes me. But it means that he got a first prize ribbon and a beautiful medallion. But my second-favorite award for entering this class this year was when the judge turned to the crowd and announced, “This is the only one here who earns his keep.”

Cooper limped a little at first while in the Field Dogs class, having broken a nail just 40 hours before. But then I got the hang of how to support him, and when we entered the ring again for the Best of Breed class, he floated around that ring with me, strong and beautiful, with grace and power.

As expected, he didn’t get Best of Anything. But I knew something was up when, after awarding Best of Breed, Best of Winners, and Best of Opposite, Select Dog, and Select Bitch, the judge looked back and forth between Cooper and a veteran bitch several times, and then told us all to “stay put” while leaving the ring to go talk to the Show Superintendent.

When he came back into the ring a few moments later, he pointed to both the veteran bitch and Cooper, and awarded us both a Judge’s Award of Merit.

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I thought my smile would split my face. So many people in and out of the ring turned to smile at me, give us a thumbs up, or clap their hands. They’ve seen me come back many years in a row, show my boy, and leave with a 1st place ribbon for being the only dog in the Field Dogs class. So maybe they realized how much this means to me, this JAM award. Or maybe they don’t.

But I treasure this award — finally someone has really seen my hunting dog pretty boy for the wonderful dog that he is, the one who earns his keep and warms my heart.

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I had high hopes. I really did. Tammy had challenged me to a Realta brothers showdown at the IWSCOPS Specialty. We would both enter Rally Excellent and Rally Advanced, me with Cooper and Tammy with brother Mowgli, and see which brother (if either) would win the High Combined Rally award.

Well, let’s just end the suspense. Cooper didn’t win it. Not by a long shot. (Mowgli did, though.)

Cooper and I had been practicing all the hard (for him) exercises: three steps backwards, jumping over broad jumps, heeling in a figure 8 with toys set out as distractions. And he was doing really well. Like I said, I had high hopes.

Here’s the Excellent course, with Cooper’s path on it:

CooperRallyEx

Rally Excellent course, IWSCOPS specialty, August 24, 2013

As you can see, Cooper left the ring. I wish someone had video-ed it. He did a beautiful leap over the high jump at station 5, but he didn’t come back into heel. No. Instead he ran to the ring gate, jumped over it, and then onto the couch that was sitting ringside.

And why? Because Russ was sitting on that couch.

Russ has never been to an Obedience or Rally trial where Cooper has competed, and we’ve never trained for what I know now is a very big distraction.

I was embarrassed, but, of course, Cooper wasn’t. He seemed to be very pleased with himself. And the crowd was entertained.

After that, Russ left the building. I let Cooper search for him for a few moments, and then it was time to go back into the ring for Rally Advanced. Cooper was still a bit distracted, but even so, we got an 85 and 4th place.

Sigh. We coulda been a contender. But, oh well…

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Cooper and I are hanging out at the park.

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It’s going to be a long weekend of Cooper being in the car or a crate.

It’s the weekend of the IWSCOPS local specialty, and most of that time, at least for the dog, is spent waiting for his turn in the ring.

So we are out at the park, burning off a little energy before we go to the you-bathe-it place for Cooper’s pre-show bath.

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The Tooey x JJ puppies are still very cute puppies, but now they are starting to move and look like dogs. And, since they’re nice and clean, it’s time for some 6-week-old-puppy pictures.

(Note: The puppies’ coats are actually nice and dark. These pictures may have been taken in full sun, which could make the coats appear lighter than they actually are. The color will depend on your computer monitor, too.)

Mr. Blue

Mr. Blue

Mr. Blue

Mr. Blue

Mr. Red

Mr. Red

Mr. Red

Mr. Red

Ms. Pink

Ms. Pink

Ms. Pink

Ms. Pink

Ms. Yellow

Ms. Yellow

Ms. Yellow

Ms. Yellow

Mr. Green

Mr. Green

Mr. Green

Mr. Green

Mr. Teal

Mr. Teal

Mr. Teal

Mr. Teal

Mr. White

Mr. White

Mr. White

Mr. White

Ms. Lavender

Ms. Lavender

Ms. Lavender

Ms. Lavender

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