Just returned home from a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska to judge the Collie Club of Nebraska’s 100th Specialty. What a delightful weekend! Due to a couple of injuries and health issues I haven’t judged recently and had seriously considered calling it a career. This weekend reminded me how much I’ve missed judging and that even though flying can be a pain, it’s not impossible. Though I have no interest in judging a lot at this stage of the game, if I stay healthy we’ll play it by ear.
The show was held in the Lancaster Event Center on Saturday Oct. 4, 2014 and the ring was spacious with good footing. The entry was great with 4 points in dogs and five points in bitches. Since there was a move up in each sex the final points may have been affected, but the quality certainly wasn’t. The entries came from a wide cross-section of the country and after the judging I enjoyed checking out the breeding and locations represented. The exhibitors showed good sportsmanship and were a real pleasure. What a day!
There are some special thank you’s to people who helped make this show so special. First to Greg McCary and his wife, Ruth Ann who took us to dinner and got us to the show. Greg is the club’s designated “gopher” and I’ve known he and Ruth Ann for years. Carolyn Foreman, club president, and another old friend who seemed to be everywhere and worked tirelessly to make things happen. To Janet Hitt who judged the Friday show, thanks for getting me such a good entry. Last, but certainly not least my friend, Larry Willeford, who was my steward and kept the old dinosaur moving along.
Since it’s not possible to mention all the good Collies present, I’ll just dwell on the top two. As I mentioned during the finals, it was a shame either one had to lose. BV Smooth was the striking blue bitch Ch. C and J Silver Charm of Chrysalis. She came from a small, but quality specials class and was owner handled. BV Rough was the Glorious tricolor Ch. Colebrae After Midnight who was also owner handled by her breeder, Jennifer Laik. Both these bitches made the whole picture with soundness, showmanship, and lovely head and expression. The Rough tri went on to BB and either one can come live with me if their owners think they’re too expensive to feed. Dinosaurs aren’t noted for their memories, but I doubt I’ve had two better bitches competing in a long, long time.
The after show dinner was held at our hotel, Country Inns and Suites, where we also enjoyed a delightful complimentary breakfast and had a first rate room. Since the specialty didn’t start until Saturday afternoon, Phyllis and I were relaxing after breakfast when a knock came at the door. The dinosaur almost had a heart attack to find our daughter, Alexandra, standing there. My dear wife, Phyllis, who is full of surprises had her drive out from Des Moines, Iowa to watch Dad judge. Just one more special moment in a memorable weekend.
The auction to benefit Houston Collie Rescue did very well and I heard they were up to $1400 and still counting. Larry Willeford took home the book I donated, Dr. O.P. Bennett’s The Collie, which originally had come from Steve Field.
At the after show dinner, which was very well attended, Carolyn Foreman asked all present to speak of a memorable moment in their Collie careers. Steve Field of Parader fame affected so many people in so many ways and was noted as a student of the breed as well as a teacher for many who were present. Phyllis had apparently bribed a few people to say nice things about me and our daughter was suitable impressed. It was a memorable weekend in so many ways and some of the experiences brought tears to the eyes.
This dinosaur thanks the members of the Nebraska Collie Club, the exhibitors, and all involved with this glorious weekend. You reminded me of all I’ve been missing. I’ve often wondered why God has kept me around for so long. This show made me think about a possible answer to that question. Over the years the many times I judged in this area and enjoyed visits with Steve and Lena Field made me feel as though this was a “homecoming.” Perhaps if I had driven out to the old home of Parader Collies I could have heard the barks of Parader, Image, and Bold venture and other caning ghosts who will never die or be erased from pedigrees. We’ll see where the road leads.
Think about it and thanks for the memories!