Inspiration Is Where You Find It!
Being an avid fan of westerns, I sometimes hit on something that gets my attention. I like these shows because they portray life outdoors, feature animals, and generally have good guys winning over bad guys and leave you with a happy feeling. Kind of like the old Walt Disney movies made when Disney was still alive.
A quote in an old episode of “Gunsmoke” got my attention recently. I wrote it down, but lost the note, so this is the best guess from my not infallible memory. “The further you slip down the mountain, the more clearly you remember the view from the top!” This was spoken by a retired gunfighter who knew his day was over and wanted to start new life. It reminded me of my career in dogs.
The years of preparation which included match shows, buying dogs that didn’t work out , rejoicing over a class ribbon, the first reserve winners and all the things that led to later success. All my dogs were owner handled so it may have taken longer, but the successes were oh so sweet. The first champion (Ch. Wind Song Dealer’s Choice) finished with three majors and a group win. From there it was onward and upward.
Starting in the 1960’s and culminating with the second CC of A Best of Breed in 1976 my dogs were competitive all over the country with me showing or those I sold with others handling. The quest was to be the best and with two CC of A Best of Breeds, a Breeder of the Year award, and many other goodies the goal seemed attained. When I gave up breeding and showing in 1976 there were no more worlds to conquer and my time was spent judging, writing, and speaking.
For a time the demand for my time in those new arenas stayed very high, but little by little it faded. The people who had seen me at my peak left the game, found new heroes, or didn’t have good memories of the young guy so driven to succeed. Joyce Hauser of Twin Creek’s fame paid me a compliment when she said “he’s more fun to show under than to show against!” Perhaps my wish to win was too strong, but it drove me in dogs and my career with Owens-Illinois and it worked for me. I can live with being a “has been” easier than a “never was.”
The March 2014 CC of A Bulletin surely brought back lots of memories as I review the pictures of CC of A winners. The differences in grooming and photography are very evident and unfortunately some photos do no justice to the dogs shown. In spite of that my hat’s off to Laura DeLaurentis for reminding me of some old friends and a few new ones. Of course, some are even before this dinosaur hatched.
The first one to catch my attention was Ch. Honeybrook Big Parade who is behind virtually every Collie winning today. Ch. Braegate model of Bellhaven was Van Dyck’s favorite of the Bellhaven dogs. Ch. Gaylord’s Mr. Scalawag was the double grandsire of my first champion. I never saw Ch. Parader’s Bold Venture or Ch. Cherrivale Darn Minute, but both were behind some of my dogs. I did see Ch. Jorie’s Mr. G win at Morris and Essex under Mrs. Rudolph Engle. What a glorious showman he was. This was the great Morris and Essex show with Mrs. Dodge still in charge. Winners Dog that day to Windswept Domino Jac who later did much winning for the Honigs.
Ch. Stoneykirk Reflection I first saw in the classes when still owned by his breeder, Priscilla Alden. Bill Trainor’s grooming job took my breath away! Ch. Windcall’s Night Hunter stood next to me when Alex Gibbs gave me BB. In 1967 with Ch. Jadene’s Breezalong. Ch. The Clown Prince of Florivale beat Breezy out in Columbus under Dale McMacken. He had a brother who didn’t show as well but may have been better, Ch. Floravale Perfect Gentleman.
Breezalong and Daily Double bumped heads a lot in the east and each had a CC of A win. The Gladiator put John Buddie on the map and started Tartanside. Ch. Gingeor’s Indelibly Blue was the last dog I showed competitively. Ch. Tamarack Asterisk came down from some of my dogs, and I never put him down when judging. He’s also one of my wife, Phyllis’ favorite dogs. Ch. Rio Brand Achilles is the dog who won after I told Debbie Falk, his handler, to change her shoes. Ch. Azalea Hills Top Man I put up in Memphis at a good specialty.
Ch. Tel Star’s Cosmic Capers was Reserve from the puppy class to Steve Field’s Parader’s Regal Lancer. That finished Steve’s dog and he was Steve’s last champion and the only dog of his I ever put over the years. Ch. Tartanside apparently won a major under me and was one of my favorite Tartanside dogs along with the sable bitch who won BIS for John. Ch. Marnus Gold Medalist was one I put up until he encountered Marion Liebsch’s lovely Ch. Pebblebrook Intrigue. This bitch was the dam of the tri Ch. Pebblebrook Show Biz who I put up at Presque Isle and he got Winners Dog at the National under Les Canavan.
Ch. Highcroft Lode-Ark’s Legend I gave first points to at Nebraska CC. The lovely tri Ch. Fantasy’s Rising Dragon sired by the sable dog from Japan who I put winners at Presque Isle CC. There are many recent ones I don’t know, but I hope you’ll pardon my trip down memory lane. It was fun to remember some old friends and how they fit into my life and the world of Collies. Don’t ever lose track of your roots your teacher’s, and your competitors. They show you how to reach for the stars. They are “the wind beneath your wings!”
Think about it!