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A Goose Bumps Moment

Occasionally we all get that excited feeling of butterflies in our stomachs when we see a really great dog.

For me, the sight of a dog very rarely moves me emotionally. So when I felt the hairs on my arms stand on end and the goose bumps rise as I came across a dog I’d never seen before, I automatically knew this dog must be something special.

It was as if something inside just clicked.

As this uncommon moment happened to me on the Mission Circuit recently, I could not for the life of me remember the last time I’d had that feeling.

After my initial surprise, I stood motionless in the middle of a crowded exhibition hall trying to remember when I’d last been moved in this way. I’m sure people were staring at me as if I was completely lost or totally insane.

I caught myself thinking, “What’s going on here?”

Well, as this particular dog entered the Group ring, everything came together in perfect harmony. The handler and the dog were so in tune in every way possible. As I watched them go around the ring just once, I experienced such strong emotions of wonder and awe.

It was a great feeling, actually, and just thinking about it now makes me smile.

Here is a photo of the very special dog that turned my world around with just one go around in the Group ring. I can’t wait to see you again!

On average, I would say that most people – myself included – get that feeling about their own dogs and dogs we’re associated with. There’s always something special about the connection we have with our own dogs on a personal level. And let’s be honest, it’s always exciting to win with our very own dog!

I eventually figured out when I last had this feeling – or one similar to it. I remember being in the photographers’ pit during Group judging at the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club. I’d never experienced anything like that before. In fact, I’d only been to the Garden on one other occasion.

But in February of this year, as the lights were dimmed and the Group winners took one last go around the ring, I felt those butterflies and that rush of strong emotion.

Experiencing this feeling of excitement twice, just a few months apart, has been an incredible thing for me. Wouldn’t it be great if this happened to each of us more often at dog shows? Then again, if it did, I guess it wouldn’t make each moment seem as special.

Now might be a good time to take ask yourself, “When was the last time I felt goose bumps at a dog show?” I’d love to hear your story!

It’s just one more reason Dogs Freakin’ Rule!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"
  • Kim Estlund June 7, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Kayla, so glad you posted this story! I agree and love that moment and agree that this is one of those teams! such an inspiration! :)

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      Thanks for the great comments Kim! I’m glad you got to see this!

  • Leslee June 7, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    Love this article Kayla…….you are awesome!
    I have had that feeling at a dog show for sure but the last time was when I was feeding the giraffes! :)
    Keep up the great work.

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      Awe, thanks Leslee! I bet that was an amazing experience feeding the giraffes!

  • aussiesrule
    Michelle Steigmeyer June 7, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    I have it every time I see one of The Great Ones show. Oakley and Fifi come to mind. Win or not, when they’re in the ring you know you’re looking at one that people who don’t even like the breed can appreciate what stunning specimans they are. MS

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Michelle, I agree! Isn’t it just magical! Thanks for the comment!

  • Yelena Rosenbaum (Alnisar's Siberians) June 7, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Thank you very much Kayla for very nice story about my girl, you made me cry… It is very emotional for breeder owner handler to see some body feel the same about your daughter what I never had.
    Yelena Rosenbaum

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      Yelena! I am so happy you could see this! Its not everyday I see a dog like that everyday! She truly is amazing, and I can’t wait to see her again!

  • Kathie Isenberg June 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    I too have felt those “goose bumps” the day Casandra Clark, granddaughter was Best Junior at the Westminster Kennel Club in l997 – I still get that lump in my throat when I think about her win – also with a red Siberian Husky, Apricot (BISS CH Artik-Sno’s Apricot Flambe). Congrats to the Rosenbaum’s beautiful bitch Staci – she deserves the “bumps”.

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      Kathie, thanks for the wonderful comment! Knowing Cassie and from talking in depth about that moment still gives me a little lump in my throat when I think about it too (although I wasn’t there). Apricot was a beautiful dog as well, must be something about those red Siberian’s! Thanks again!

  • Yelena Rosenbaum (Alnisar's Siberians) June 7, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Thank you very much Kayla for very nice story about my girl, you made me cry… It is very emotional for breeder owner handler to see some body feel the same about your daughter that I never had.
    Yelena Rosenbaum
    Alnisar’s Siberians

  • KEVEN HARRIS June 7, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Certainly know the goose bump feeling from many years of personal success, each one as special as the last, but more recently confronted with the a BIS line up that would be any judges wish list, at AVKC.. At the end of the day, for me, a competition in two, the eventual winner, The Boxer, Gr Ch. G & R’s Mystical Dancer and what would be in my country Runner up BIS the Whippet, Gr Ch.Starline’s Chanel. A great honor to have been able to go over these two beautiful specimens!!

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      Kevin, what a special experience for you! Thank you for sharing your insight, and bringing a different light to the “goose bumps” kind of moment! (:

  • Robert Galusha June 8, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    The dog & handler mentioned in this article are an incredible owner/handler team. Truly one of the best hard working & most beautiful in the ring. I’m very proud to consider them my friends & when they beat me, they always get my applause.

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 6:23 PM

      Thats so kind of you Robert! They really are incredible! Thanks for the great comment!

  • Kayla Bertagnolli
    Kayla B June 8, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Just had to share this wonderful comment I received via email:

    “I want to thank you for your article about my girls, Stacy the red Siberian and Yelena.
    It was such a surprise to see her and read your amazing and kind words. I told my wife Stacy was spectacular that Sunday and to see that you also saw what I saw and then put into words was fantastic. We will see you soon. John”

    Once again, thanks for this wonderful comment! I’m so pleased you both could see this, and I can’t wait to see you all at another show!

  • Lindsay June 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    My first goosebumps moment in dogs came at a National. It was fairly early in my dog showing life and I was still learning. As I watched the Best of Breed competition, I remember seeing this stunning, powerful, masculine dog come into the ring, moving at the end of his lead. Eating up the ground as he went around, I remember my heart pounding and the hair on my arms standing up. That dog never missed a beat, never let down, and I kept having to pick my jaw up off the ground as he performed. It was an image that will never be erased from my mind, and I don’t ever want it to be. These are dogs that you never forget. They will always be remembered as greats in their breeds.
    This particular dog went on to win Best Of Breed at the National that year and has continued to do amazing things for his breed. He is a dog that will always be known by call name alone. Pretty sure you will always remember him by name too, Kayla. His name is Parker.

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B June 11, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Lindsay, just reading your comment gave me goosebumps all over again. That is so touching, and sweet of you to share your memory! *speechless* and yes, of course Parker will always, always hold a special place in my heart, I will never forget his name.

  • leahb
    Leah B June 12, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Thank you Lindsay for your Goosebump moment regarding “Parker” I am so lucky to have this special dog in my life! Reading your comment gave me Goosebumps as well 😉

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