Orangeville Show: Still Not White Enough

In a previous post, I mentioned that we had entered Canyon into the Caledon Kennel Association’s conformation dog show in Orangeville.

Today was the first of three days.

There were ten males and about nine females entered today. Canyon was the only male entered into the Canadian Bred category, so he was immediately awarded first place lol! He then went on to compete for Winner’s Dog. He competed with two other males and we don’t truly know what he ended up with because of a mix-up in communication between the judge and Huib, but we do know he didn’t get first place, so he wouldn’t have gone on to compete anymore today.

Like our last three shows, Canyon was the darkest male of them all. I don’t truly understand why the white/cream coloured golden retrievers keep winning, when that is not a golden, but they do and it’s kind of frustrating.

Tomorrow we have a different judge, and my friend Amy is taking a turn at showing Canyon, so we’ll see how he does.

Caledon Kennel Association

Yesterday was the final day to enter the Caledon Kennel Association’s conformation show. The show will take place in Orangeville, the weekend of November 23rd.

We have entered Canyon into all three days. Huib will be his handler Friday and Sunday, and our friend Amy is going to show him on the Saturday. Amy’s female dalmatian has already obtained her Championship so Amy asked if she could try showing Canyon for us. Showing golden retrievers and dalmatians is similar, but she would like to get some experience showing another dog that isn’t hers. Canyon knows her well, so as long as we can tire him out a bit, I think he’ll do okay with her, but Huib will be ready just in case lol!

I’m not holding my breath, but it would be really cool if he obtained a couple of points at this show and then finished off in December at the Elora Gorge Kennel Club show where Canyon made his debut.

But, we’ll see what happens 🙂

In the meantime, Canyon is wearing some of Huib’s old t-shirts to prevent him from scratching (he hasn’t been in weeks, but we don’t want him to start), and I’m not playing fetch with him in their play area, but in the side yard, so that he doesn’t end up injuring himself again, running into the end of the deck.

My friend told me “to be careful you don’t turn into one of those crazy show people who don’t allow their dogs to do anything”, and it got me a little worried, but I’m not really convinced I’m being like that – what do you all think?

Oakville Show: Just A Little Too Small…

Today was the final day of showing.

Even though he didn’t end up winning, I’d say this weekend’s show was the best canyon has ever shown. He just seemed to know what he had to do, and did it with such grace.

As I mentioned in the last entry, the other males and females at the show were lighter, so Canyon came in last yesterday (being the darkest of all entries).

Today’s judge though, had a lot of trouble selecting his winning male, so ended up resorting to the breed standard and Canyon lost because he was slightly smaller. Huib says the judge made his final decision after taking a long time to really measure and feel the boys for shoulder height and width.

I found this show to be one of the friendliest we’ve ever attended. We heard people congratulating other competitors. Random people came up to us to ask about Canyon, and to learn more about Rogue. I even had a Leonberger come over and climb into my lap…lol!

I think the point at which I truly knew how well Canyon had shown, was when a professional handler we didn’t know, came up and asked about him and then gave Huib one tip. he said that they had looked really good in the ring, but that he should try having Canyon hold his tail a little lower. there were no suggestions on grooming changes. No suggestions on stacking better. He just suggested that he shouldn’t hold his tail so high…

Usually we take Canyon for a long hike, or play a really long game of fetch before his bath, but this past weekend had been quite rainy, so it wasn’t possible to tire him a bit – maybe next time 🙂

Unless we find an earlier show that interests us, Canyon won’t show again until the end of November 🙂

Oakville Show: Not this Time…

Today was the first of two days for Canyon at the Oakville & district Kennel Club Show.

Even though Canyon showed flawlessly, the judge didn’t feel he was as good as the other two lighter coloured males competing for Winner’s Dog.

The dog who earned first place, was from the same breeder as the one who won several times at Canyon’s first ever show in December.

Prettiriver Bluenoser Ambercroft, went on to compete for Best of Breed, but was only awarded Best of Opposite, losing to a lighter coloured female.

Maybe Canyon did something wrong that Huib didn’t notice, but from the results, I’d lean more towards the judge liking lighter coloured golden retrievers (and maybe it helped that the other two males had their whiskers plucked?).

tomorrow is a new day, so let’s hope for some different results 🙂

Back To Conformation

After a summer of rest and relaxation, Canyon is re-entering the conformation ring 🙂

On Saturday and Sunday, Huib and Canyon will be strutting their stuff at the Oakville & District Kennel Club’s, annual conformation dog show.

We received our arm band number (145) and a list of how many entries are in each breed, so it looks like there are just eight other golden retrievers entered, but we aren’t yet sure how many of the three other males are in the Canadian Bred dog category.

As long as Huib can keep Canyon focused on him, and not on the other dogs around him, I think they have a pretty good shot at competing for Best of Breed, but who knows, right?

At their last show in April, they came home with a Reserve Winner’s dog, but didn’t receive any points towards Canyon’s Championship so they’ve got 5 points to earn this fall and winter.

I will try to get some pictures of them in the ring and will post the results of each day as soon as I can.

Canyon The Baby

About two weeks ago the black flies and mosquitoes started coming out. I tried spraying the dogs with deet-free repellent each time they went outside, but after about a week of this, I found it almost futile. The dogs see the sun and immediately want to go outside, so we’ve started to allow them, hoping that sooner than later, they will become immune to the numerous bug bites they’re getting.

Canyon seems to be having a lot of difficulty dealing with the resulting itchiness. He scratches, and scratches almost constantly from the time he wakes up, until the time he goes to bed. We have been giving him Benadryl for the itchiness, but he still seems to be scratching enough to start de-furring his armpit area.

Since we want to show him in the August new Liskeard show, we had to put a stop to this obsessive behaviour. With it being so warm, we decided putting a shirt on him was not a suitable option, so we decided to break out the all-season Muttluks and have him wear them during the day. At night, we give him a Gravol to make him sleepy and allow him to settle before getting a chance to remember the itchiness. We don’t want him wearing the boots 24/7 because that may lead to additional issues, so we hope the boots during the day and Gravol at night will do the trick.

Normally Canyon is an easy going guy, but for some reason he seems to be the biggest baby about any little discomfort.

Chatham Show: No Good

This past weekend was the kent Kennel Club show. Even though Huib and Canyon didn’t end up gaining points, I’m quite proud of my boys.

the show venue was horrible. It was crowded and cramped. There were too many competitions going on. Not only were there dogs showing, but there were also dogs competing in obedience and rally-obedience. The rings where the show organizers had the dogs showing were poorly situated and during at least one of the three days, they had the larger breed dogs showing in a small ring, while the toy breeds were in a large one. To add to all the chaos of the small venue, Huib also found the judges themselves to be poorly organized.

On Friday, Canyon was the only dog competing in the Canadian Bred Dog Category, so of course, he ended up with first place and went on to compete for Winners Dog. In the winners Dog ring, he was competing against three other dogs. Huib knows for sure that they did not end up with first place, but that’s about all he can say for certain. The judge had them standing in the spot where the second place dog stands, but she did not give anyone other than the first place dog a ribbon and she didn’t tell anyone else a thing.

On Saturday, Canyon was again the only dog entered into the Canadian Bred Category, so went on to compete with the Open Dog (who was also the only dog entered into his category). Normally, the judges have the puppies enter and then call the adults, so Huib ran over to the crate area to grab some extra treats. For some reason, the judge decided to do things differently and called Canyon in first, and about four minutes earlier than scheduled. All Huib heard was their number being called and the words “last call”, so took off running into the ring with Canyon. canyon showed flawlessly, but Huib was flustered so didn’t show him as well as he could have. We can’t say for certain that Huib’s emotions didn’t effect their placement of second place (out of two dogs), but from watching the results of the females competing, I think it was Canyon’s colour (not Huib) that influenced the judge’s decision.

We saw the female puppy from the show in December that canyon got Best of Opposite with and her owner/handler said to Huib as she passed by “see, it’s a white weekend”, so I’m not too discouraged by our results. It’s really frustrating to see how much personal preference effects the show scene, but then, I guess I knew from the start what we were getting ourselves into.

Our next show will be in august. As I mentioned in my previous post, we’re taking the summer off from showing to start learning the sport of drafting.

Showing In Chatham

This coming weekend is the Kent Kennel Club’s conformation dog show in Chatham. Canyon and Huib are entered into the Canadian Bred Dog category for Friday and Saturday. We have a judge from Columbia on Friday and then an Ontario judge on Saturday. We decided to forgo Sunday’s show because the judge is an actual golden retriever breeder who likes their white goldens over the Canyon-like ones. We got our confirmation letter in the mail today and it looks as though there are five males (not sure what ones are in which categories) and four females entered.

Canyon injured his right front leg somehow last month and we’ve been working really hard to have it healed up in time for the show. It is completely healed as of late last week, but he still wants to lick the area while the hair grows back in, so we’ve been making him wear one of Huib’s old long sleeved shirts. He doesn’t bother it at all while the shirt is on, but for some reason when it is off he still insists on licking at the old injury. We aren’t totally sure how he injured it, but we noticed a medium sized scab and immediately made him begin wearing the Elizabethan collar (cone) and treated the area with antiseptic spray. We’re not convinced the hair will be totally back by Friday, but we’re making Canyon continue to wear Huib’s shirt so that he has the best opportunity of regrowing his hair back in time.

If Canyon doesn’t do well on Friday, Huib is thinking we’ll forgo the Saturday showing because I have a final exam for my Business Law class on Friday so cannot come with them, which means after their showing on Friday they are driving back to Guelph. Chatham is about two and a bit hours away from Guelph, so Huib is thinking that there is no point in doing the extra driving on the Saturday if Canyon’s not even going to have a chance of doing better than last place. I told him he didn’t have to come back to Guelph after the show on Friday and that he could stay with Canyon in a hotel that night, but being Huib, he knows I really want to come watch them Saturday so he is doing the drive out of love 🙂

After looking at the various shows scheduled this summer, Huib and I have decided to make this one the last for a few months. We are going to focus on teaching Canyon to heel properly and begin learning the sport of drafting. We have a drafting workshop in May and are thinking that this might be the next adventure for us to take with our golden boy once he finishes up his Canadian championship title.

Please wish them luck!

Family Frustrations

I apologize to those who follow me on Twitter and get regular updates on what is going on with me, but i really felt I needed to share my reasons for not blogging in so long.

Over the past two weeks my step-dad has been staying with us. My sister needed a break from having him constantly around, so Huib and I asked him to come visit. he isn’t a horrible visitor. And he isn’t overly demanding. but, he really isn’t a dog person, so having him here has been a little stressful.

the first annoying thing he has been doing, is constantly telling the dogs to “go lie down” in an unfriendly tone. this isn’t horrible, but I feel as though he needs to understand that the dogs live here and he does not. We allow the dogs to follow us everywhere and are totally used to them being in our way – they’re our family! I have tried to explain this to him, in a polite manner, but he continues to tell them to get out of his way.

The other thing which has caused me stress over the past two weeks, is that at one point Rogue was in the way and almost tripped my Dad, so instead of telling me to move her, he told her to “go lie down, or I’ll smack you”. I was so angry! I was a good girl though and bit my tongue, but since that moment, I have constantly worried about the dogs getting in his way and getting smacked. We do not raise our hands to the dogs and as everyone who reads this blog knows, we do not use compulsion based training methods, so having my dogs threatened really bothered me.

In order to keep my sanity and to protect the dogs, I have been trying to keep Rogue on leash while Huib is working and continue to ask the others to stay near me. I’m not sure Dad realizes why I am being so protective of the dogs, but I really hope he notices and will think twice before threatening them again.

I definitely know I will be thinking twice before inviting him to visit again.

To add to the stress of Dad’s visit, my sister has begun to be a pain in the ass. She had agreed to meet us in North Bay so that we would not have to drive the entire way to Huntsville, but she has now told us that she has no gas money and that she cannot come meet us. She was totally ready to come get him from our house earlier in the week, but we told her it was fine and he was having a good time so not to worry about coming. Now that Dad is actually ready to come home, she has totally changed her tune. I feel as though she takes us for granted. She seems to know the right words to say when we confront her about this fact, but within days she is back to her old tricks and it is getting to a point where both Huib and I are sick and tired of dealing with her.

I know she’s trying her best to make enough money to support herself and that it is stressful for her to constantly have Dad around the house, but she needs to realize that we are also helping her as much as we can and that she can’t continue to treat us like crap.

She also needs to understand that Huib did not marry me to take care of her, and that we do not have to continue to put up with her princess mentality.

I know all families have their issues, but I sometimes feel my family takes the cake.

**Just a note, Blogger will soon be implementing their inaccessible platform, so this blog may be moving to WordPress**

**And finally, I called the Canadian kennel Club and they told me that Canyon earned 3 points for his win at the Windsor show!**

Whirlwind Travelers

Last week, as you all may have guessed, we packed up the dogs and headed to Southwestern Ontario.

Our first stop was Huntsville where we stayed Thursday night and spent some time with my step-dad. My sister had to work, so Huib and I took her a coffee and visited for a few minutes with her, but otherwise we didn’t really get a chance to see her much.

Friday morning we packed up the Expedition once more, and headed towards Windsor, making stops in Etobicoke to see Phoenix’s foster family and Guelph to drop off Aspen with Kelly and pick up Canyon’s new show leash. Phoenix’s foster family are doing well. Ray is still getting the occasional chemo treatment for the bladder cancer the doctors found over a year ago, but otherwise they are healthy and happy. In Guelph we did a little shopping at Ren’s because we had forgotten to get some smelly treats for Huib to use with Canyon in the ring and the dogs always need a new toy, right? The treats we chose this time were wild rabbit flavor ones by Zuke’s. Canyon absolutely loved them and we were able to get a larger bag, so have enough leftover for the Chatham show. After picking up the treats and a little stuffed bunny that squeaks, we drove to Kelly’s house and had some pizza and garlic bread.

Canyon’s show leash is beautiful! It has black, tan and reddish colour kangaroo leather braided together with beads in three different spots. Huib ordered it from a woman in Victoria British Columbia (Hitide Creations) who makes only show leashes.

After dinner, and once we knew Aspen was settled, we piled the other three dogs into the truck and headed to Windsor. It was a long day of driving, so we were relieved to finally reach our hotel room and crash.

Saturday morning we woke up around 5:30am and began our pre-show routine. First Huib took Canyon and Rogue for a walk. Then he put Canyon into the tub and began scrubbing and rinsing with lavender scented baby shampoo. On the first day, we usually always use baby shampoo since it’s cheap and does an awesome job at getting rid of all the dirt and odours from Canyon’s coat while still keeping it shiny and silky smooth. After the bath, Huib began to blow dry Canyon, which was totally not a happy time for the golden boy. First he tried jumping onto the bed beside me and hoped that I wouldn’t make him get off and return to Huib – but of course I did lol! Then he tried moving around, so that Huib would run out of cord length and stop, but that also did not work. We have to blow dry him so that we can comb his fur flat while it dries, or it tends to be a little wavy. Once his fur was three quarters of the way dry and his ears, tail and feet were trimmed, Huib gave him some banana bread the hotel had provided with their continental breakfast and took some time to get dressed himself. About an hour before the show began we piled everyone back into the Expedition and headed to St. Clair College’s gymnasium where the event took place.

Saturday afternoon we did some shopping at the Columbia outlet store and then met up with my friend Kris, his wife Tania and their daughter Olivia. I have not seen Kris in over six years so it was really nice to see him again. We used to go to the University of Guelph together and had regular movie dates until he moved to Windsor about ten years ago. We had left Cessna and Canyon at the hotel and just taken Rogue out shopping and for dinner, so it was a good opportunity for her to work around a young child. Olivia wasn’t totally sure about Rogue, but after a bit started to play with her and Rogue really enjoyed the attention.

Sunday morning we woke up a little later because Canyon’s ears, feet and tail had already been trimmed so he only needed the bath and blow dry. This time we bathed him with NuHemp’s moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, so that his coat didn’t get too dried out from the frequent bathing. We also decided to show up at the college half an hour before the start of the show since it was pretty busy and there really wasn’t a lot of room for us to move around. After his dismal showing, we began making our way back to Guelph – making stops in Cambridge to pick up some stuff at the Pet Smart and Kitchener to look for a black tie for Huib.

Kelly had dinner plans, so Huib and I got pizza and then treated ourselves to ice cream at Marble Slab Creamery. I had never been to this particular ice cream shop so had a tough time picking out which ice cream and topping I really wanted. Huib got white chocolate ice cream with bits of coffee crisp mixed into it, while I got cheesecake ice cream with Reese peanut butter pieces mixed in – it was delicious!

On Monday I had my appointment in London with the pain clinic. I was really hoping that they would be able to suggest something to resolve my constant migraine issues, but it ended up being a total waste of my time. First they had us fill out a 20 or more page questionnaire that asked questions about the types of headaches I was having, what sorts of symptoms each had, how long they lasted, how often they occurred, whether I lived my life around the ability to take pain medications, what medications I had or are taking, and a bunch of other questions I cannot remember. I’m thinking the questionnaire was meant to weed out people who are addicted to pain medications and that could be dealing with withdrawal symptoms. After the clinic nurse had taken my blood pressure and oxygen level, we were escorted into an examination room, where I was instructed to remove all of my clothing and put on a hospital gown. A medical student then came in to do a neurological exam.

He had me:
• Follow his finger with my eyes;
• Look straight ahead while he looked into the back of my eyes with a light;
• Touch his finger and then my nose;
• Raise my shoulders and not allow him to push them downwards;
• Tell him if I felt the same sensation on both sides of my feet, face and hands when he touched them with a semi-sharp object;
• Move my chin to my chest and then towards each shoulder; and
• Tell him if it hurt when he put pressure on various parts of my head.

I’m sure I missed some of the things he asked me to do, but I’m sure you get the point. After the neurological examination, he left the room to get the doctor while I got dressed. The doctor came in and pretty much just said he would send my family doctor a list of three different preventative medications he thinks I should try and that he doesn’t see any other reason for my headaches. He also eluded to the fact that some of my headaches could be withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to go a week without any medications at all and see where I got pain wise. I am now on day five and nothing really seems to have changed, except that I am tired and the pain is still the same as usual.

After the appointment, we left the building and walked over to the CNIB, which just happened to be across the road. I got my CNIB card renewed and then toured the gift shop, but found nothing that really interested me.

When we got back to Guelph we were so happy to see Rogue again. I had decided to give her to my friend Kelly for the day so that she could experience university life, and work a bit with someone else. Kelly said that her leash manners were horrible, which we already knew, and that she settled well in her classes, but that she seemed nervous of random people (no barking though) and of different spots in her classroom building. We weren’t completely surprised about her nervousness around random people, but we didn’t really understand her reactions to different spots in kelly’s classroom building. She said she had trouble walking through doorways and this shocked us because it was not something she had ever shown nervousness around before.

Since Kelly had to do some school work, Huib and I decided to take Rogue out to dinner with some friends at Eastside Marios. She was awesome. She fell asleep beside my chair without an issue, and when we first arrived she thought my friend’s boyfriend’s feet needed to be cleaned. After dinner we asked my friend’s boyfriend to greet Rogue and she showed absolutely no fear of him – good girl! We then all decided to walk over to the mall across the road to do a bit of shopping and grab a tea from a specialty tea shop. At the mall Huib got Rogue to approach a manikin and she showed no fear, but checked its hand to see if there might be a treat – silly girl! My friend also approached a couple of guys and asked if they would come and greet Rogue, which they did and Rogue thought this was great! Before leaving the mall we each picked out a tea and then drank them as we walked back to our vehicles – I got a chocolate mint one.

On Tuesday we packed up our Expedition and then left the goldens at Kelly’s house while Huib, Rogue, Cessna and I went to meet up with Carin, Steve and Trixie for lunch. It was great to see them because it had been such a long time. We talked about old times, we updated one another on people we both knew, and we laughed every time Rogue decided to lick Steve’s feet. After lunch Huib and I went back to Kelly’s house to pick up the goldens and then made the three hour drive back to Huntsville. We decided to stop in Huntsville again to stay overnight because it seemed to break up the long drive nicely. The only issue was that my sister was in a horrible mood so it was a bit tense and unpleasant, but my step-dad tried his best to be a good host.

On Wednesday morning we (with the addition of my step-dad) started our long journey back to the north and have been relaxing ever since.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I’d share our journey with you all.

P.S. While we were driving to Huntsville the first day, I got a really unexpected call… An adoption worker from Child and Family Services called to set up a meeting to get to know us! I am really excited about this development and will keep you all posted.