Greater Muskegon Kennel Club: Monday, May 28, 2012
It’s the last day of the West Michigan Apple Blossom Cluster, and I see no lag in enthusiasm among the exhibitors or the terrific cluster committee members. Temperatures are already in the 80s, so I am confining myself to the indoors. Happily, there are breeds from all seven groups inside today. I’m starting with Louise Palarik and her entry of 11 Briards, a breed we don’t see enough of. The Briard is one of the larger Herding dogs and has a unique appearance with its large feathered ears. The Best Of Breed today was GCH CH Lighting Strike El Xargall.
Next up for judge Palarik were five class Pulik (the plural of Puli). While most dog lovers are familiar with the dog with floor-length dreadlocks (cords), most people, including show folk, have never seen Pulik in various stages of coat. I highly recommend the experience. Today’s breed winner, Prestige Iris Gem of Prydain, from the Amateur Owner Handler class, is only 11 months old and has a coat that looks like that of a Poodle on a bad hair day. Bet she’ll be a beauty at 3.
I haven’t spent much time with the Non-Sporting crowd this week, and I am remedying that by visiting Norman Patton’s ring where he is starting with 27 Bulldogs. I, like most Americans, adore Bulldogs, and I have become very protective of the breed since the animal rights loonies have targeted them. Here in the U.S., the Bulldog is the sixth most popular breed. Today the most popular Bulldog in Kalamazoo, MI, was CH Mytoy’s Epic Against the Wind.
Next, judge Patton took on 13 Chow Chows, the breed with the unique blue-black tongue & a perpetual scowl on its face. The thick coat with the impressive lion’s mane is more suited to the Michigan winter than this hot Memorial Day. The dogs seem to enjoy the air-conditioned building as much as I. The one that enjoyed himself the most was the Best Of Breed winner, GCH CH Imagine Loves Second Chance.
Twice this week I have been asked, “which one is the Icelandic Sheepdog?” It’s pretty amazing that most show folk, even some of those in the Herding Group, still get confused. So I dropped in on judge Linda Robey to watch her go over six Icelandic Sheepdogs. While I am less confused, I think I still might mistake an Icelandic Sheepdog for a Norwegian Buhund…unless it was judge Robey’s Best Of Breed today,
Another special event at the Apple Blossom Cluster is the Best Junior Handler in Cluster. All the winners of the previous five days of competition competed in their respective divisions, then the three finalists were judged by all three judges. The winner of Best Junior Handler in Cluster, and a $500 scholarship, was Megan Livingston, flawlessly showing her Tibetan Spaniel, CH Salishan Oh My Gosh It’s Josh.