by Penny Pyrbred
The National Specialty has come and gone, and what a great experience! The National Capital Area GPC people and Pyrs pulled out all the stops to make it one of the best Nationals yet!
The obedience judging was at the crack of dawn again, and even though Penny tried to put Conrad Gill on a strict training schedule and poured coffee into him Wednesday morning, he had some problems. To be fair, he was coming off an injury, but the crowd was really glad to see him compete, even if he didn't qualify. Patrick Alleman, who was Penny's charming escort for much of the National, did manage to qualify in Novice A class. Congratulations to both him and Stephanie.
It was a real thrill to meet the famous Ernie (CH Tip'N Chip Magnums Pride, CDX, CGC) from California, who just missed qualifying in Utility A class, but ended up with the high score in Open B class and the match. Ernie is one cool surfer dude (click here for photo)!
Conformation results are contained elsewhere in this issue courtesy of Maria Worley, but Penny would like to send special congratulations to Woody Simon for taking the Puppy Dogs 9-12 Months class. Penny had the honor of being present when Woody went Best of Winners at the Harrisburg KC show on April 12th, his very first dog show! What a handsome fellow.
Congratulations also to Gunner Migas for taking the American Bred Dog class at the National. Dianne and Joe were thrilled to receive the Edith K. Smith Memorial Trophy, honoring judge Seaver Smith's wife.
From a Pyr perspective, however, the highlight of a National Specialty is not the showing or the awards banquet (a people-only affair). For many years now the Pyrs of the host club have thrown a Pyrenean Ball coinciding with the people's banquet at some undisclosed location in the show hotel (which is sometimes disclosed to Housekeeping the next morning).
This year's ball was magnificently organized by Patrick Alleman and the NCAGPC Pyrs and a record number of us danced the night away to the romantic music of Bayou Bleu and the Pyrtones (an all-Pyr orchestra). Imagine everyone's surprise when Clondike Kintsfather showed up on the arm of Barney Huggard, a charming gentlePyr with a distinct Southern accent. When Clondike first met Barney, she did not seem to be impressed (click here for photos).
Barney was having some joint problems so he didn't dance too much, but he made the best mint julep Penny has ever had and told lots of entertaining stories of life in the deep south. He later gave Clondike a candlelight tour of his motor home (the candlelight necessitated by the generator having been disabled, perhaps with Pyr hair) and Penny can't imagine how Clondike is going to explain this if it gets back to her Aussie boy toy.
The very concept of Clondike at a National Specialty boggles the mind. She ostensibly went to participate in the Canine Good Citizenship test, which she passed with flying colors. She spent the rest of the time holding court at ringside, greeting lots of fans who became familiar with her exploits through Penny's web page. Penny managed to remain in the background, even at the party for web surfers, where her modest publishing efforts seemed to be appreciated. All-in-all, a great National!
In Penn-Dutch news, the Spring Walk-in-the-Woods was a big success, with Majic Lamond running rings around the other Pyrs, and off-lead at that! He is one amazing dog. While Penny prefers more sedate and urban recreation, she salutes Jeff and Patti Bechtel for organizing these excellent events.
On a sad note, we mark the passing of the magnificent veteran, Wizard Simon (CH Euzkotar Whitehope Wizard) and Rescue Pyr, Dynna Schneck. Wizard thrilled Penn-Dutchies for years in the show ring, while Dynna was with us for all too short a time.
On a happier note we welcome some brand new Penn-Dutch Pyrs. Congratulations to McKee and Sylvie Cox on Sylvie's first litter!
Looking ahead, make sure you have July 26th marked on your calendars. The Pyrenean Fun Day is going to be the highlight of the summer social season with lots of food, fun, games and demonstrations. Lancaster Central Park is always the IN place to be the last Saturday in July.
See you there.