Wishing you and yours a very safe and wonderful holiday!
Many folks who know me personally know how long and hard I have campaigned in the ADBA with Ryker, my brindle guy. In a conformation ring where conditioning matters, a brindle dog is at a disadvantage under many judges because it’s a million times harder to see the muscle tone in the coat pattern unless it’s a really light brindle color. To add insult to injury, I didn’t really get started in the ADBA ring until he was in one of the hardest classes around – the 2-3 year old class.
We had many shows where he didn’t even get looked at. He was flashy, he was fiery and he was more than willing to show himself but he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and in classes with 10-12 males his own age doing just the same thing it was a hard pick. We started to get noticed finally, though. I got better at conditioning and handling in that venue and he learned how to conduct himself better and hold a free stack longer while running off at the mouth (which he enjoys doing at every corner!).
We didn’t travel often so he only got shown at a handful of shows a year (with a max of about 4 show weekends) so it was hard chasing those points. We also were double committing and weight pulling at the same time for his Ace (which he still needs to earn!) so we had to pick and choose but at the Fox Valley show under honorable judge Mary Cullifer we finally did it. It was the 5 and Over class and there were some pretty darn nice dogs in his class but he pulled a first off and came home with 109 points – 9 points more than he needed to become an ADBA conformation Champion.
It was a long road. We had many, many people tell me he just wasn’t the right fit for the ADBA but I knew, in my heart of hearts that he was and he could do it. I wouldn’t have traded the learning experience for all of the tea in China though. He and I learned a lot with the help of many good friends and it will only lead to better chances available for future dogs with his legacy.
Congratulations, Ryker. You earned this and you deserve it!
Seriously, has it been seven years already? It’s honestly hard to believe that such a vast amount of time has passed since your little wiggly puppy self came into this world. In these many years, you have taught me so many valuable lessons in not only “dog stuff” but also a few lessons on a personal level as well. You were not only the dog I wanted but the dog I needed and for that, I am beyond grateful for you to have come into my life.
The trials and tribulations we’ve faced over the years are nothing in comparison to the fun adventures we’ve had. There are those special moments in time when I could have just hugged you to death because we faced something as a team that I had some serious measure of doubt in – like our first UCD leg. No matter how terrified I was or how utterly unprepared I felt, your cool brown eyes looked into my soul with an “I got this, Mom.” look and I knew we had it.
Here is to many, many more years, my friend and partner. You are my heart and soul. You are my teacher and my student. I don’t know what I would do without you. Happy birthday, baby boy.
On the weekend of June 1st and 2nd was the Great Lakes Pit Bull Club’s annual show. This year, the club was joined by the Southeastern APBT Club from North Carolina. With four shows and two weight pulls, it was a long and grueling weekend since we worked the club being members of the Great Lakes club but it was absolutely amazing.
In recent years, many clubs have seen a massive decline in entries due to a variety of reasons with the largest one being economic and financial setbacks. The ‘North Meets South’ event, however, didn’t seem to have much of that concern with well over 100 entries in conformation alone for each show. Weight pull was no different with record numbers coming to pull. We had some Class A pullers from all across the US who rocked it out on a less-than-favorable track and had two dogs finish their Ace titles as well! (Congratulations are in order to Clay of Team No Fear with Boogieman and Dave with Bende.)
Our own personal crew did pretty well despite the fact that my husband and I were both running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Ryker took three 3rd place ribbons and a 2nd which gave him the elusive 99 points – one point shy of finishing his ADBA Champion title. Mika was shut out all weekend and Lyric made her debut as an ADBA pull dog and landed a 2nd place (and first 5 points of 100) toward her Ace title.
All in all, the show was a huge success. Both hosting clubs did exceptionally well and the exhibitors all seemed to have a good time (I know we sure did!) and many said they can’t wait for our next one. Here’s to many more phenomenal shows and a fantastic rest of the show season.