9th December 2003 - I don't know why I had this silly notion that things would get easier as you got older and you'd have more time for yourself. No way! The last few months have been hectic, to say the least. As Secretary of The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom, my work burden has grown tremendously. Last month, besides our Club's annual Open Show on the 8th November, we had a Special General Meeting with regard to revising our breed standard on the 16th; followed by the Nordic Open Show on the 22nd and Discover Dogs at Earl's Court the same weekend; followed by our Club's breed seminar on the 30th (which is given by Richard & I); followed by the last championship show of the year which gives classes for Canaans, BUBA, on the 6th December. In between all this I went to work and, with Richard's help, took care of Tara's puppies. I also had the heartbreak of having my first litter of Tibetan Spaniels in this country turn out to be one male puppy who died minutes after birth. I bred this litter for myself and was excitedly looking forward to having these puppies. I also have a club newsletter to get out before Christmas. Sorry everyone, no Christmas cards this year. Anyway, one of the things I've promised myself for the coming year is to allow more time for myself, and my dogs.
Beulah at Discover Dogs -
So it's catch-up time once again. Tara's puppies are doing really well, and their ears have all begun to go up to different degrees. They will be going to our veteriarian for their health check and first vaccination this Thursday coming, and will start to leave for their new homes this coming weekend. I will be bathing the grey newsprint out of their coats and taking some up-to-date photos tomorrow. I'm hoping to having their KC registrations back before they go and then will let you know their registered names. They all have different, but great personalities, with the little red-patch girl being Miss Bossy Boots. We have some wonderful homes lined up and regret that we could not fulfill the desire to own one for all on our waiting list.
The Canaan Dog Club of the UK's third single-breed Open Show went well, but I hope that there will be greater support next year when the new Canaan owners will be able to enter. Our judge was Mr Bob Brampton who awarded Best In Show to Lorna Hasting's "Simi" , and Reserve Best In Show to his dad, our "Remy" (Anacan Masterpiece). Best of Opposite Sex was awarded to Lorna's "Amber" (Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna), a daughter of our "Digger" and "Jasmine". Best Puppy was Lorna's "Blaze", Best Veteran was our Anacan Ziggy and Best Brace went to our brace of "Sheindela" and her daughter, "Honey". The Club has an outstanding trophy table and Mr Brampton donated some specials, which can be kept by the winners.
Richard was the person responsible for convincing The Kennel Club eight years ago to allow The Canaan Dog Club to have a breed stand at Discover Dogs at a time the Rare Breeds were not invited. We have been decorating and manning a booth at this event for once, and now twice yearly, ever since. For those not familiar with it, Discover Dogs was created by TKC as a means of educating the public about the various breeds and responsible dog ownership. It has been very successful in doing so, and it has allowed the Club to showcase and promote our wonderful Canaans. Each year we have a good response which usually leads to at least one or two new club members and, in some cases, to new Canaan owners. This year Richard went straight from work to Earl's Court in London on the Friday to decorate our booth and to leave the handouts we use. Then we were off to the Nordic show on Saturday, while Alison Byrne, Anne Barclay & Elisabeth de Boisgelin manned the booth for us. Sunday we were at Earl's Court, along with Patrick & Barbara Gold to man the booth.
getting ready for Christmas
We had 15 in attendence at our breed seminar, amongst them a number of well-known judges. The seminar was once again very well-received despite technical difficulties (my laptop wouldn't "talk" to our projector) and I have had 4 letter from attendees telling us how much they enjoyed it and how much they learned. We have also had two applications for club membership and 3 applications for our judges' list. I would call that a success.
The Nordic was the first show to give classes for Canaan Dogs, so we always try to support it. This year's judge, Mrs Christine Owen, had 17 entries with 3 absent. Richard & I were surprised and delighted when Mrs Owen found her Best of Breed in our little "Honey" (Anacan Sheez The One). "Honey" followed up this success by going Reserve Winner's Bitch to Lorna's "Amber" under judge, Mr Roy Metcalfe at the BUBA championship show. Still young and immature, "Honey's" superb movement and conformation capture the judge's eye and admiration. She will be a real cracker once she grows up! Not to be outdone, our "Ziggy" was Best Dog and Best of Opposite Sex at BUBA. "Amber's" win secured her the Pedigree/Dog World Top Canaan Dog 2003 title - the 9th year in a row an Anacan has done so! "Ziggy" is overall top male Canaan with 2 open show group placements under his belt this year. Not bad for a veteran! We are also very proud that our "Digger" (The Lion of Judah At Anacan) is Top Stud Dog 2003, his second year running to win this title.
29th October 2003 - Happy Halloween (almost). I know it's been ages since I last updated this page, but it has been a very busy year for me, not only in my private life, but as The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom Secretary as well. I am going to be skipping around a bit here and will update you on show results later next week.
All of Lottie's puppies are esconced happily in their new homes. We are delighted with the families they have gone to and it seems that all the families are delighted with their new puppies! "Levi" (Anacan Color of Night) was the first to leave, and he joined Annette Kane and her family. She tells me she cannot believe how bright he is. "Leah" (Anacan Touch of Class) was the next to say goodbye. She has joined David & Julia Close and their Tibetan Spaniels. The Close's were amazed at how very quickly "Leah" settled in and at how clever she is. Margaret & Ian Maxwell came to pick up "Mona" (Anacan Mona Lisa) from Richard while I was in Florida delivering "Pandora" (Anacan Pandora) to her new adoring owners, Roger & Lori Monday, and their Canaan Dog, "Chai". I was sorry not to be here to say goodbye to "Mona", but had met Margaret on several occasions, so I knew she was going to a lovely home. Margaret has since reported that all is going very well.
As their wasn't much difference in price to send "Pandora" on her own, or for me to accompany her, and Richard knew I'd be happier if I could go with her, he paid the difference in airfare as my anniversary present (we had our 9th wedding anniversary on the 27th September). I had been corresponding with Lori & Roger for almost two years, so I was looking forward to meeting them. "Pandora" surprised me with how well she weathered the 9-1/2 hour flight. She didn't even soil her crate! She came out of it on the other end with a little trepidation and then said, "I'm home". She settled right in and amazed us by learning how to use the dog flap to the backyard by the end of her first day in her new home. The Mondays were wonderful. They showered me with hospitality -- I could not have asked for a warmer welcome. I was taken to see the Salvador Dali museum and got to take in an exposition on the Titantic during the 3 days I was there. Lori is a wonderful cook and she made me a number of delicious (and huge) meals. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. As I said, these four puppies all have wonderful homes.
I got back home on Monday; went back to work on Tuesday; and they called my boss on Wednesday to say I wouldn't be into work as "Tara's" temperature had dropped and I knew she would be whelping her puppies before the day was over. Sure enough at 5:26 pm her first puppy emerged. In all she had 3 boys (all sand-coloured) and 2 girls (1 solid red and one red-patched exactly like "Tara"). They are 2 weeks old today and are all fat and healthy and "Tara" seems very happy. We have a number of people waiting to see if they will be one of the lucky ones to adopt one of our puppies. It is quite a responsibility to try to home the puppies with the families to which they are best suited, but we try our best.
15th June 2003 - It's all been a bit go around here lately. Bath Championship Show was on the 26th May and judge, Mrs Christine Hughes awarded Best of Breed to our "Ziggy" and Reserve Best Bitch to our "Honey". The Best Bitch, Anacan Forever Amber With Lorianna, was also bred by us. This win has put "Ziggy" in the lead for the Pedigree Top Canaan Dog award. But their are still 6 more championship shows this year which give classes to our breed. (These are the shows that count towards the award.) So only time will tell if "Ziggy" can hold the lead. He is, at 7 years of age now, in his best condition ever, so I think his chances are very good. Keep your fingers crossed.
On the 30th May we went to Southern Counties Championship Show and our "Tara" surprised and delighted us by winning Best of Opposite Sex in the AVNSC Utility class, beating the Schnauzers to do it. The judge was from Finland and familiar with the breed. She commented how much she like "Tara". I believe had "Tara" been a bit more ringwise, she could have won Best AVNSC. Click on "Tara" to read about her and see her photos.
Yesterday we went to the Newmarket Open Show and judge, Juliette Cunliffe, awarded Best of Breed to "Ziggy". "Tara" won her class, beating two males -- one a World Winner. Then the icing on the cake, "Ziggy" was awarded a Utility Group 3 by judge, Norman Butcher out of an group of 19 dogs!
Our "Lottie" is doing well, for all those who have asked. I will desperately try to get a new photo of her before she puts on 'baby fat'.
25th May 2003 - Great news! 'Lottie' finally came into season and she and 'Remy' had a breeding yesterday. We're jumping up and down with excitement!
So with luck, we should be hearing the patter of little puppy paws around the 26th July. As you may have read elsewhere on this site, 'Lottie' was Top Canaan Dog Brood Bitch in the UK 2002, and that on the merits of the one litter she has had sired by our 'Digger'. We are hoping for a repeat performance.
'Tara' is settling in very well. It's only 'Honey', 'Lyndsay' & 'Beulah' who still don't get along with her, but I think they will given a bit more time. It's basically a pecking order and jealousy thing. Funnily enough I thought it would be 'Lottie' who would have given 'Tara' the hard time as she is very dominant, but because 'Tara' shows her the proper respect, no problem!
I will try to get some updated photos of the 3 youngest, as well as 'Lottie'. The problem is neither Richard nor I are very good photographers, though we do get the odd good snap, and it is not often that both our work schedules and the weather cooperates to get some good ones. But we'll do our best.
It's off to the Bath championship show tomorrow. I hope it's not as muddy as last year.
29th April 2003 - I was hoping that by now I could say we had bred our 'Lottie'. Both her younger sister and half-sister, as well as her mother, have all come into season, but not 'Lottie'. It is frustrating for us and for those waiting for a puppy from us. But it will happen when she is ready. 'Remy' is really looking forward to it!
Our 'Tara' has returned to us, almost 3 weeks ago now. Unfortunately for her owners, their daughter developed an allergy to the dog. Actually the child has been coughing for 10 months, but they didn't want to consider giving up 'Tara'. Their GP didn't think it was the dog, but the hospital was insisting it was. When on holiday, minus 'Tara', the little girl stopped coughing and resumed doing so upon her return home. The family tried sending 'Tara' to the home of a relative for two weeks and sure enough, their daughter stopped coughing. It was very difficult for them to give 'Tara' up because, as the woman told us, 'Tara' was more like a sister than a pet to their daughter. 'Tara' is in beautiful condition and you can tell she was well-loved and cared for. We feel very sad for the family. But as some of you may remember, it was very difficult for us to decide which puppy to keep from that litter (we ended up keeping her sister, 'Lyndsay'), so we aren't really upset about getting her back. When I get a chance I will take some photos to post for you to see.
The breed seminar which Richard & I did for The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom on the 12th April went very well. It was probably one of the most interactive ones we have done and we think that added another dimension to the event. We are now planning our next one, to be held on the 30th November at Baginton Village Hall, nr Coventry.
23rd March 2003 - We've been very busy this month as we had our club AGM to prepare for on the 2nd March, then Discover Dogs, which ran in conjunction with Crufts 6th-9th March. I am the manager of a canoe & kayak retail shop and the weekend following Crufts we were back up to the NEC manning a stand at the International Canoe Exhibition. We got back Sunday at 11:30 p.m. and by the time I could take a day off, I had been working 10 days on the trot. My back was really playing up by then and so I had to work in an extra appointment with the chiropractor.
For the first time since coming to England, I did not exhibit a Canaan at Crufts, even though we had qualified 6 of our Canaans. This was due to the selection of judge by the Crufts committee. We, as a club, complained about the choice and tried to have it changed for the past two years, but to no avail. We felt strongly that this person, an ex-club member, was not qualified on a number of grounds, not least of all the fact that she is not on our club's judges' list. Of the 28 Canaans qualified to be shown at Crufts, only 13 were exhibited, and none of the top-winning dogs of 2002 were present. However, I did show my Tibetan Spaniel, 'Willow', and was delighted when she placed 2nd in Mid-Limit Bitch in a strong class with 11 entries, all present.
Yesterday, 22nd March, we attended what was our second show of the year with our Canaans, the BUBA open show. We we very pleased when judge, Sarah Hemstock, a charter member of the Canaan Dog Club, awarded BOB to our 'Ziggy'. We were even more delighted when 'Ziggy' was shortlisted in the Best In Show ring, and then awarded Best In Show 3! (See his rosette below.) To explain to our non-British friends, some shows here are not judged on the group system. At these shows ALL Best of Breed winners go into the Best In Show ring at the same time. So though a BIS 3 is similar to a Group 3, you have to beat a lot more dogs from a number of different groups to gain this award.
We received congratulations from people in a number of different breeds, as well as a few judges. I believe this was the first time a Canaan has done so well at BUBA, and it was good publicity for the breed. Several people, including our ring steward, said they could remember when there was no type in the breed in this country and how it used to be difficult to identify a Canaan as such. Things have changed, and happily for the better.
19th February 2003 - This past Saturday, 15th February, we went to the City of Bristol Open Show, which was our first show this year. The venue was not very nice at all -- very cold and dark with slippery floors, and no where to sit. However, there was a nice group of Canaan people there, with good friends, Barbara & Patrick Gold & Kate Poxon (Barbara's mum) along to support all of us. There were 10 Canaan Dogs entered under judge, Ian Prentice, and he chose our 'Ziggy' for his Best of Breed. I also showed my Tibetan Spaniel, 'Willow', under Mr Prentice in an entry of 30 Tibbies (one of which was a Fr/Ger/Bel, Int Champion) and she too was awarded Best of Breed. Now the dilemma of taking two dogs into the same Group ring. By now my back was beginning to hurt after standing on concrete all day so Richard, who really does not enjoy being in the ring, took our 'Ziggy' while I showed 'Willow'. Well you can imagine our delight when judge, Sheila Thompson, awarded the Group 2 to 'Willow' and then Group 3 to 'Ziggy'. I guess that was a personal best for us -- two dogs getting a group placement on the same day.
Oh, an interesting bit of news. Last year 28 UK Canaan Dogs qualified to enter Crufts 2003, but only 13 have entered. (I understand there is at least one foreign entry in this total.) I am pleased that so many exhibitors felt strongly enough about the judge to forego entering what is usually an exciting and looked-forward to event. It's a shame that The Kennel Club thinks so little of the numerically small breeds that they will give a judging assignment for such a prestigious show to someone that the majority of the exhibitors refuse to show under.
3rd February 2003 - Just after midnight on the 6th January 2003 we got a phone call to tell us that Richard's mum had died. I loved my mother-in-law very much, but it was, of course, much harder for Richard as he never lost anyone that close to him before. The middle of three boys, it fell to Richard, by his father's request, to make all the funeral arrangements - a task I assisted him with. Due to the backlog that had built up over Christmas, we could not have the funeral until the 22nd January. Then I received a phone call from our friend, Norma Barnes on the following Sunday to tell us that her husband, and our dear friend, Brian, had passed away very unexpectedly two days after my mother-in-law. His funeral was to be held on the 24th of January, just two days after Richard's mum'.
It was a very difficult week for us both, but the strain was really showing on Richard's face. I suggested we go away for the weekend and just try to relax. So we spent a the rest of Friday and Saturday in Canterbury just looking at the sights and met up with some good friends for an evening meal on the Saturday. On the way home we stopped into a birds-of-prey centre called Eagle Heights, which is located in Eynsford, Kent. The birds were beautiful and obviously well-cared for. We both are enchanted by these lovely creatures, but I especially love the owls. I was happy to find that they have a number of species of gorgeous owls, and we were also surprised to see some Bald Eagles. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit , which was very informative, and intend to return in better weather.
Our little 'Honey' had her first season and finished just around the time of mum's funeral. She is growing up and turning into a beautiful young lady. I need to start working with her, but I feel confident that she will do well in the show ring in due course. Our first show for this year will be the City of Bristol Open Show on the 15th February. I'm not sure we're quite ready, but we will enjoy ourselves just the same.
I have suffered with a bad back on and off for a number of years, but I have been experiencing a lot more pain and a lot less mobility over the past two years. Last year my right leg became badly affected with numbness and pins and needles, and the pain began affecting my sleep. My GP basically tried to say it was my age and told me to 'just get on with it'. I finally got him to send me for an x-ray which showed that I am suffering from spinal degeneration, but all I got was 3 weeks of physio. My employer broke his back several years ago and told me that he was helped by a chiropracter, the same one that treats the British Rugby team, and he urged me to give him a go. So I have, today, gone for my second treatment with Mr Metcalfe. He told me that he can't give me a new back, but he hopes to return me to a pain-free state. If I can regain even 75% of my mobility, I will be overjoyed! It has been a real struggle trying to show the dogs and getting them out for socialisation and training, and forget housework. So with any luck in a few months time I will be able to run around the show ring properly once again and do my dogs some credit.
5th January 2003 - Happy New Year to all of you! If you pick up a newspaper or watch telly, it's hard to imagine that 2003 will be any better than the last year. However, if we all think positively and do our bit to make our immediate world a good one to live in, we can change things. Just as parents want a better world for their children, I want a better world for my dogs!
Richard's mum went back into hospital on the 23rd December, where she still remains. This on top of our 'Bobby's' passing could have made for a very sad Christmas, but despite it all, Richard & I and Richard's dad, along with the dogs, had a good Christmas and New Year's Eve.
As newsletter editor of The Canaan Dog Club of the United Kingdom, I spent the run up to Christmas not only getting ready for the holiday, but also putting together an end-of-year newsletter and a club calendar. There were lots of late, late nights involved. By Boxing Day all I could only muster up the energy to sit in front of the telly and I am only now beginning to feel rested, thus the lack of updates on this site.
We have been fortunate in that we have not been directly affected with flooding hitting so much of the UK, but the terrible wet weather has made for lots of muddy feet and difficulty in getting the dogs out for exercise (on our part, not the dogs). We are certainly looking forward to warmer, dryer days. If all goes well, we will be breeding our 'Lottie' this spring. Watch our Upcoming Litters page for details.