Yesterday was a very exciting day. We went to a dog show in Letohallen about 40km outside of Oslo and we were showing our girl, Birdy. Birdy is a special girl, her dad was my soul dog, Ben. Ben is a dog you only get once...MAYBE twice in a lifetime if you are lucky. He made me laugh, cry, get angry, be extremely happy....everything. He was my shadow, where I went he went. When he couldn't go, he'd wait for me...he began to know the sound of my car and my husband said he could lay outside in the yard and just lay there sleeping with other cars passing by, but when he heard my car he would get up and excitedly run to the driveway entrance as if he had been standing there wagging his tail the entire time!! He was so wonderful....I tried showing Ben many times but he never did really great in the show ring, he got a CAC (cert) and he got a reserve cacib (an second place international cert) he even got Best in Opposite once but he never went all the way to the top. I would write often to breeders who had lovely ladies suggesting Ben might be something for them but seldom heard anything back. Until one time I got a letter from Finland from four different breeders. They wondered if I would let Ben come to Finland and breed six different females. All very nice looking females of course and this was like a dream come true with a sharp edge to it, Ben had to leave me for several months in order to service these ladies. I wanted desperately to have something after him and thought this might be my one and only chance so I reluctantly agreed to send him. My (at the time) friend began driving him and hadn't gotten outside of Norway before I called her and asked her to bring him back, I couldn't do it. I wrote the breeders and explained I'd be happy to send semen or they could come to Ben but I couldn't send him. Most of the females were first time breeders so artificial insemination wasn't an option and many didn't have the rabies vaccination to come into Norway. So almost everyone said thanks but no thanks...except for one...a lovely breeder named Sarianne had a gorgeous girl named Muska and she would love to come to Norway and breed her to Ben. She saw the same Ben I saw, even though he wasn't a champion she loved him just as I love(d) him. So she and a friend drove Muska in the middle of winter all the way from Finland to Norway and Ben and Muska had a wonderful couple of days together. 63 days later in the middle of May 7 pups were born, 5 survived, three girls and two boys. They were wonderful and I followed along eagerly every day and was satisfactorly supplied with endless photos of all my grandbabies....Sarianne was insistent that the red girl would come to us...she was the biggest and prettiest girl and this was the one Sari wanted me to have. So when she was 7 weeks old Stig and my son Thomas took a short guy trip to Finland and picked Birdy up for us. We decided to call her Birdy because her dad was completely fascinated with Birds...at the time we lived on the coast, right against the ocean and he would often swim way out into the fjord to try and catch seagulls. They always let him get so close then flew off the moment he was about to get them!!! It provided a lot of entertainment for us and a lot of frustration for Ben....so when his little girl was going to come live with us, she couldn't be called anything else then Birdy. Birdy was a dark beauty from the start with a face that reminded you a lot of her dad. She grew into a lovely young lady with a dominant tempermant...she is sweet and loving as her dad, but loves to be the boss and let everyone know about it...we have learned to deal with her strong personality over time and she is calming some with age, reminding us more and more of her dad who loved everyone and everything, but she is still a guard dog...will protect us with everything she is and won't take anything from anyone if challenged.
We haven't been avid dog show participants. I have a very conflicting feeling about dog shows. I understand to know if a breeder is following the stanard of the breed it's important to have your dog judged, still I think many judges are bought and corrupt. It's refreshing when you see a judge pick the dog and not the person showing the dog. Well, after Ben's daughter and son in Finland became Finnish champions I promised Sarianne I'd make Birdy a champion in Norway...in order to do this we had to go to some shows. I entered her in six shows after making that promise and in her first four shows she managed to become Norwegian champion as of yesterday!!!! She was also Best in Opposite which means she was not Best in breed, that was a male but she was Best in opposite (best opposite sex from best in breed). Now my beloved Ben has three of his five children with champion titles and I think this speaks volumes about him and the dog he was to have produced such lovely children not once or twice but three times. The fourth child, his second son, is well on his way to becoming champion also in Finland but took a break to have some kids of his own.
My goal is to travel to Sweden and Finland next year and make Birdy a Nordic Champion and then if all her health tests are ok, she get the chance to be a mamma next winter if I can find a boy worthy of her.
Enjoy the photos of my beautiful dogs...the last five photos are Ben...who we had to put down a few days before his sixth birthday and the other photos are his beautiful daughter, Birdy. Today we will go back to Letohallen and compete for the first time in Champion class...keep your fingers crossed for us!!!