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Expect the Unexpected

I’ve said it before and here I go saying it again: “Expect the unexpected.”

The other weekend I attended shows in Chula Vista, Calif., otherwise known as the Bahia Sur Kennel Club.

Now I knew these would be smaller shows – I was thinking maybe around 800 dogs each day. So when I finally got to the show site, I was kind of bummed out because it seemed even smaller than in previous years.

Initially I thought, “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s going to be a great time.”

So, long story short, I really expected nothing spectacular to happen. I don’t mean this in a negative way. It’s just that at the past few shows I’ve attended, I had some great moments that I will remember for a very long time. I guess my thought process was that those previous moments couldn’t be topped this weekend.

Oh, boy, was I wrong! I had two almost heart-stopping moments that I will indeed remember for a very, very long time.

First thing I do when I get to a show is to sort of peruse the area, see who’s there and what’s going on. Then I get my camera out.

So as I was checking things out, I stumbled upon the Siberian Husky ring, where I found a dog that, honestly, I didn’t even think would be there. It never even crossed my mind as a possibility.

The dog was, of course, Stacy, my “goosebumps” dog from a previous DFR. Once again, I was standing there in utter shock when I saw her. It was like lightening striking all over again! So I quickly pulled out my camera just in time to catch the end of her winning the breed.

In my opinion, this is the best part of Stacy’s performance. Right after she wins, she gets so amped up and excited. It’s something you definitely have to see for yourself, but hopefully this picture will do for now…

The second big moment of my weekend was seeing one of my good friends go Best in Show.

Joe Berkau is one of the people who taught me the most about assisting, as well as the ins and outs of the handling-assisting world. I have known, watched and learned from Joe for more than seven years now, and I still remember my very first day on the job.

I was so lost and confused that day, but Joe helped me through everything. His attitude with the dogs and his personality in and outside of the dog show world are truly one of a kind. I couldn’t be more blessed to have been able to capture the moment of his first all-breed Best in Show. It was one of those, “I was meant to be there” kind of moments!

I’ve said it before and here I go saying it again: 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!"
  • John Rosenbaum July 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Stacy always knows when she wins. When the judge points to her first she is all happy energy, otherwise she pouts and sulks. Although funny to watch, it’s also sad to see her disappointed.
    My little red girl is amazing.
    Thank you Kayla for seeing her as I do.

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B July 16, 2012 at 7:57 PM


      I am so glad to be a “Stacy” fan! And you are right, although I haven’t seen her sulk, I don’t think I want to. When she wins though, she is so excited it just automatically makes me smile! She is such a special girl!


  • Jill Hopper July 2, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Really a nice, positive article. Great to hear the “positive” side of everyone and to learn a bit more about the folks you see (nearly) every weekend at the shows!

    • Kayla Bertagnolli
      Kayla B July 16, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Hi Jill,

      Thanks for the comment, and I agree! That weekend could have very easily been negative for me, but little did I know the turn of events! So happy it turned out the way it did!

  • Yelena Rosenbaum (Alnisar's Siberians) July 2, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Thank you Kayla!!!!! It is amazing picture of Stacy’s win :) She all this know when she get it!!!!

  • Kayla Bertagnolli
    Kayla B July 16, 2012 at 7:59 PM


    Yes, she does know! She is so smart and special!!! Thank you! (:

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