On Saturday, April 11, I didn’t get to show my dogs at the Blue & Gray cluster because I had been asked to organize a Herding demonstration for the public to enjoy.
The Blue & Gray cluster is 4 days of dog shows that are held in the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. Each day the show is hosted by a different Kennel Club. The show that is hosted by the Harrisburg Kennel Club is also filmed to air on Animal Planet as part of the “Animal Planet Dog Championships”. On the Animal Planet website it says, “Experience the thrill of canine competition in a multi-city tournament series featuring three of the American Kennel Club's largest and most prestigious dog shows.” Wow. I am a member of the Harrisburg Kennel Club. I can say that as far as dog shows go, this weekend has a unique feel and it really something to experience. If you click on the links I have provided, you can get a feel for this event.
Many different specialty clubs take advantage of this unique experience to host specialty shows. The Harrisburg Shetland Sheepdog club has been one of those specialty clubs and this past Saturday and Sunday were there specialties.
In 2006 the sheltie, Ch. Pop Star SS of Northern Farm was Best In Show. This win not only gave “Pop Star” a Specialty “Best”- but also an all-breed “Best” at a Nationally televised show. A great day for this sheltie and for our breed.
Back to my herding demonstration. I organized a “Parade of Herding and Livestock Guard breeds” to start the demonstration. I had the dogs lined up grouped by country. I thought it would be interesting to have the Hungarian Puli and the Komondor next to each other. I also wanted the Briard and the Pyrean Shepherd next to each other and so on and so forth. I talked about how different traits were selected in different geographic area to reflect the terrain, the climate, and the personalities of the people. I also talked about how many of the “herding” breeds had multiple responsibilities and therefore they were not “just” selected based on herding traits. It went well.
I was SO THANKFUL to the people who brought their dogs to participate in this part of the event. They may not have felt it was much- but I sure did!!
I had 3 dogs to demonstrate the actual herding. We started with a Border Collie (which is what everyone expected to see of course), next I had a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and I ended with a Smooth Collie. The BC and the Corgi were both upper level herding dogs and the Smooth Collie was less experienced, but I felt gave the audience a good demonstration of “instinct” (along with training). This collie gave me the opportunity to talk about how dogs change with experience. I thought he was a very good addition to this demonstration.
Animal Planet came to the arena at 9:30am that morning and interviewed me for about ½ hour. We demonstrated with each of the dogs for them too and they then asked me for commentary on each of the dogs. They said they would come back to film the “public demo”- but I have no idea if they did or not. I am sure they will reduce my interview to one or two lines and then my reaction to each of the dogs herding. I sure hope it turns out ok. It will be aired on Animal Planet in July.
I also really need to thank my husband, Mike. He gave up a day and a half to load sheep, transport sheep, help me do last minute running around, and lend support. It really is amazing how many people it takes to do “a simple demonstration”. Thank you to EVERYONE who had a part in this event. It went so well I fear I will be asked to do it again next year.
Well I couldn't be more pleased!! Way back when- at the beginning of the "dog discussion"- when the AKC was asking "What breed should the Obama's get?" - and DIDN'T offer the Portuguese Water Dog as a choice! I put my .02 in on the subject (on this blog of course) and stated I thought the First Family should get a Portie. THEY HAVE!!!
Congratulations! Of course the Animal Rights people are disappointed that the dog is not a "shelter dog", but I am so pleased that the President didn't bow to the tremendous pressure these groups were putting on a very personal decision. I am so glad this family did what was best for THEM. I love all dogs (and we have a mixed breed too)- but the RIGHT to CHOOSE is a strenght of our Country and I am just so glad that our President did just that - make a choice based on HIS family needs- not the desires of the vocal Animal Rights groups.
I am also pleased that the girls have gotten a puppy rather than an adult. Now- they didn't get the cute, cuddly, 8 week old, but my guess is that the White House would not be the best place to house train a puppy anyway- so 6 months old is still "puppy enough" for the girls to enjoy.
Congratulations to the First Family and the new First Puppy! I hope that this dog enriches your life as much as my dogs enrich mine.
This past Sunday, the Harrisburg Shetland Sheepdog Club had a specialty show in conjunction with the Blue and Gray Cluster. Fresca won Runner-up Best In Sweeps! I am very proud of her. She also won her regular class. I will post her picture when I get it.
Some of you will find this post funny. I am not known for my great ears. It seems that I am always talking to fellow breeders who consistently have nicely tipped ears and asking them to “show me again what you do”. Long ago I did conclude that my “technique” was fine, but my “timing” was lousy. Over and over the breeders whose dogs have nice ears tell me, “you must keep them over. You can’t wait a week between the braces coming out, and new ones going in.” I have a bad habit of “if they look nice when the I take the braces out……..”
Step 3: Preparing your moleskin
- peel the backing off of the moleskin and place them sticky side up on the paper plate. Apply adhesive (skin bond or spray adhesive- #5 in the list). Regardless of which adhesive you use, you will need to let it get a little "tacky". If you just put the adhesive on the moleskin and then apply immediately to the ear, the moleskin might slide.
Step 4: Putting the moleskin in the ear
-personally, I find it easier to have someone holding the puppy so it is facing me. Some breeders can do this alone by putting the puppy on a grooming table, in a chair, or some other place where you can keep the puppy reasonably still, but I find a patient spouse or friend to be ideal.
- place the larger piece of moleskin in the bell of the ear, all the way to the button. Make sure the straight side of the moleskin is even. Your adhesive should allow you move the piece a little if you need to make some minor adjustments. HOLD for a few seconds so it adheres to the ear. That part is critical. If you don't hold it to allow some "setting time", when you put the cross brace on and apply pressure, the cross brace could cause the moleskin in the bottom of the ear to "slip".
- place the top piece of moleskin in the ear. Again, HOLD for a few seconds.
- Using your fabric glue, attach the cross piece to the bottom piece of moleskin. Place this along the top edge.
Thank you Utley- our model. He is owned, loved and spoiled by Sally and Dave McKeever and he came to visit to have his ears done.
This is my husband Mike relaxing with Utley. Mike helps hold the puppies for me while I do ears. Another site to go to for pictures and an explaination is http://www.bronwynshelties.com/helpful_tools/ear_pattern.php