Editor's Page: Showing in Canada, Eh?
See what an impact Canada has on the dog show scene
As a dog-obsessed kid growing up in Canada in the 1960s, inhaling my monthly issues of Dog World and Popular Dogs, I remember what a thrill it was to exhibit for the first time to visiting “American royalty” like Ramona Van Court, Alva Rosenberg and Louis Murr. Now, decades later, living in California, it’s fun to see my American dog friends and colleagues get excited to show, perhaps for the first time, to knowledgeable Canadian all-rounders. Within the last year I’ve seen Bill Taylor, Jim Reynolds, Ginny Lyne, Dick Meen and John Reeve-Newson, Phyllis Wolfish, Jan Buchanan, Allan and Thora Brown and Cheryl Myers Egerton judging in the U.S., and breeder-judge Allan Pepper will be doing a Whippet specialty a few hours north of my home in two weeks’ time. Pretty cool, huh? Or is that “eh?”
Because we speak the same language – more or less; I was never called “dude” much in Canada — and share a physical border — the geographic boundary, not the collie or terrier — I find that most Americans don’t consciously think of Canadians as different. That’s a compliment because it speaks to the affection and closeness we feel for one another in the dog game. But it’s also a frustration to passionate, patriotic Canadians who don’t blow their own horn in public — it’s considered terribly crass in Canada to do so — but would like all our great, influential dogs, breeders and judges recognized as Canadian. Does the average American exhibitor realize, for example, that the Number 1 show dog of all time, Jimmy Moses’ immortal German Shepherd bitch Ch. Altana’s Mystique — with 275 all-breed BIS and 30 specialties to her credit — was bred in Canada?
In every Variety Group, important Canadian kennels have sent breeding and show stock to the U.S. and abroad, and changed the face of their breeds on the world stage. To name but a few, consider Anne Hutchinson’s Serenade English Springers, Virginia Lyne’s Ranzfel English Cockers, Alison Strang’s Westerlea Tollers, Audrey Benbow’s Sirhan Borzoi, Dick Meen’s and John Reeve-Newson’s Kishniga Borzoi, Guy Jeavons’ and Mark Macmillan’s Grandgables Miniature Dachshunds (and Shelties), Barbara Heidenreich’s Fernhill Scottish Deerhounds, Starr and Randy White’s Windstorm Salukis, Ben and Shirley DeBoer’s Sher-Khoun Boxers, Brian Casey’s and Pat Blenkey’s Wrath-Liberator Dobermans, Lana Sniderman’s Simca Dobermans, Betty Hyslop’s Cairndania Cairns, Don Emslie’s and Tim Doxtater’s Annfield Miniature Schnauzers, France Bergeron’s Efbe Sealyhams, Mike Macbeth’s Glahms Dandie Dinmonts, Nigel Aubrey-Jones’ and Bill Taylor’s St. Aubrey-Elsdon Pekes, Betty-Anne Durrer’s Yorkies, Kim McKay’s and Murray Berg’s Arkeno Papillons, Christine Heartz’s Chriscendo Poms, Amanda and Wendy Kelly’s Fwaggle Toy Manchesters, the Odenkirchens’ Mi-Pao Chows, Jean Lyle’s Wycliffe, Susan Fraser’s Bibelot and Linda Campbell’s Dawin Standard Poodles, Wendy and Richard Paquette’s Wenrick Shih Tzu, and (no relation) Elaine Paquette’s Quiche Bouviers.
Karin Klouman and her Kyon Norwegian Buhunds first put that breed on the map in North America while Dawne Deeley’s pioneering efforts on behalf of her beloved Karelian Bear Dogs were acknowledged by no less than the Finnish government who sent dignitaries to her Vancouver Island home to bestow a national medal upon her.
With the Japanese Spitz and Shih Tzu lurking in the Canadian Non-Sporting Group and six Dachshunds waiting for you in the Hound ring — not to mention the Norrbottenspets! — there are just enough tweaks and twists to keep a judging assignment or showing weekend interesting.
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