Page 232 - ShowSight - August 2019
P. 232

                  Miscellanous Q & A
children—and to find the two of them snuggled up in her crate sharing a lollipop was heart stopping. All I could think of at the time - what if that child had climbed into one of the surrounding crates where the dogs were crate protective.. the parent was located on the opposite side of the arena taking it in stride that a perfect stranger should walk up with their child in hand. Another time, a group of nursing home residence came to the show—one elderly lady was hugging on Dyna who dearly loved anyone in a wheelchair. She patted my hand and said I had a wonderful Chihuahua. Beauti- ful temperament - She was so sorry I had spent the money on a Chi that had the wrong ear set. She knew all about the Chi’s because she used to raise them. In the face of elderly knowledge, it was best to thank the woman for showing my dog a kindness and seeing the good in her.
We live in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. Luke is an Attorney practicing Employment and Civil Rights Law, Zan is a retired pilot, now home with four of our five kids and some dogs.
How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We are very close, down to the last 15 dogs and two litters, all of the other AKC criteria have been met . Hopefully the litters and numbers cri- teria will be met before the end of 2019 or at the latest first quarter of 2020. The goal being Morris & Essex as the National Specialty as a fully recognized AKC Breed, October, 1, 2020. The American Belgian Laekenois Association has worked hard to get across the finish line by putting on really fun events, showcasing the excellent temperaments and versatility of the Laekenois. As well as including other FSS/MISC and all breed clubs to enjoy dock diving, fast cat, herding, temperament testing, judge’s education and conformation. Laekenois are an incredibly capable breed able to quickly move from the herding field to a dunk in the stock tank to cool down and then immediately off to the conformation ring, with nothing more than a shake off to be dry enough for conformation exam. As it should be, a breed with purpose, capability and beauty all at the same time appearing in all events in a natural coat condition.
What activities I do with my dogs? What don’t Laekenois do is more the question, Herding, Agility, Obedience, Barn Hunt, Fast Cat, Dock Diving they can do it all and still have an off switch where they are easy to live with. At Chiens de Rafale we work a lot in herding as it is our daughter’s favorite as well as being one of the most challenging of dog sports. We also travel and have fun hiking and swimming with our Laekens. Also we enjoy them at home and at the office.
Do I show in other registries? Some of the Laekenois folks are active in UKC, some more than others.
Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Yes, The breed would be seen as a viable option for folks, as Laek- enois are the best kept secret in the world of dogs and not being accepted by AKC has kept it that way. The key here is preservation of the breed, we really cannot afford to not breed or the breed will vanish, we do not want to go the way of some of the rare breeds nearing extinction. The biggest obstacle has been the lack of avail- ability of the breed here in the US, causing people to make another choice in breed, missing out on an incredible opportunity for a spectacular relationship with very special breed.
The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? When our daughter’s dog rolled in a dead opossum just before loading her in the van for National weekend, after two days drive with the lovely fragrance, we arrived at the show with 30 minutes to spare due to weather delays. We rolled out of the van like clowns out of a tiny car and got her dog bathed and dried with two minutes
to spare. She got Reserve Winners Bitch in a large entry and the judge never knew it was a true “Southern Dead Opossum Rolling Dog”. We have laughed about this often, as those who saw it unfold thought it was hysterical.
I live on 15 acres in Benson, Arizona, a very rural location. Is there a life outside of dogs? I am fortunate to now be able to live my dream. I love showing my dogs, herding with my dogs and breeding and raising puppies. In addition I still work full-time for the USPS to help fund my passion and am fortunate to have my parents liv- ing in my guest house to help me. I am also looking forward to the birth of my first grandchild in November. That will probably rival the “dogs”!
How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Our growth has been slow and steady. We are achieving our markers and hopefully will move up in the average 2-3 years in misc. I am looking forward to it!
Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Our breed is already gaining in popularity and I am sure as there are more out there it will continue. I do not think it will all be due to just the show ring-although I am certainly doing my part to promote and educate about the breed via the show ring. My goal is to go to Westminster and The National Dog show the year we reach full recognition with my best dog and bitch. I do believe that more conformation people might be interested in our breed once we achieve full recognition. Not everyone wants to do the “misc.” thing. At one of my recent shows the judge was very complimentary about my dogs and said they were sound and a good foundation for my breeding program. He told me he looked forward to us getting recognized and more popular so that he would have the opportu- nity to judge more of them. (Mr. Charles Trotter) I appreciated his kind words. I appreciate getting feedback from judges immensely.
Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Our club numbers ebb and flow as most clubs do. There is usually a core group of people who do the majority of the work. We could always use more workers, but you go with what you have.
Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I am already continually growing my program with the future in mind. I am currently the only “regular” breeder I guess you could say. All of my dogs are health tested and all puppies are recorded with AKC FSS. I strive to breed true to the standard with sound structure and temperament. I currently have the top winning Mudi with five CMs and Multiple Best in Open Shows and Best in Misc. and he was the first Mudi to win Best Of Breed at the AKC Nation- als in Orlando. I also have the youngest Mudi to earn a CM. My plan is to have a litter with them next year. I do not think that achieving full recognition will impact my breeding plans. I have already imported three puppies last year—two more this year and am looking to bring in three adult males. All these dogs are solid color dogs as we have too many merles and a huge lack of qual- ity males to use for breeding. I also currently have three bred-by dogs out of my bitch. So my growth has been with the future of my breeding program in mind as well as what will help out the other breeding Mudi we have here in the states. So far I have been very fortunate to be able to bring in some very nice examples of the breed to add to my program. I am also very proud to say I am the first AKC breeder of Merit for the Mudi. I absolutely adore this breed.
The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Well the most memorable was in December of 2017 at the AKC Nationals Week in Orlando. In the last Open Show of the week on Friday my Bred By Boy Ryder got Best of Breed. In the FSS Group Competi- tion as we were doing our individual go round for the judge a lady
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