The Mason City Kennel Club hosted back-to-back shows this past weekend in the Iowa city bearing its name. Judges Carol White-Moser and Houston Clark selected as their Best in Show winner both days the Bichon Frise, GCh. Vogelflight’s Honor to Pillowtalk. I wrote about his sire, Am. Eng. Ch. PaRay’s I Told You So, recently in Fancy That, but I didn’t mention that ‘Honor’ has a dam that was a major player as well.

Ch. Pillow Talk’s No Secrets, bred by Lori and Tracy Kornfeld and Mary and Kathie Vogel, was Number 9 among all Non-Sporting dogs in the U.S. in 2005. Like Honor, she was handled by Lisa Bettis, and she was, of course, a multiple all-breed Best in Show winner. But ‘Carly’ saw great success at the breed level as well. In 2006 she won the National Specialty, and in a historic moment Ch. Pillow Talk’s Faraway Scuttlebutt, her litter brother, was Best of Opposite Sex at that National. The fact that Honor was Winners dog at the 2010 National Specialty points, I think, to the extraordinary breed type this line possesses.

Lisa Bettis handled Ch. Pillow Talk’s No Secrets to Best of Breed at the National Specialty in 2006 under judge Ann Hearn.

Just two other competitors won back-to-back Groups in Mason City. Winning the Hound Group both days and Reserve BIS on Saturday was Longhaired Dachshund GCh. Hundeleben Queen’s Armada SL. Better known as ‘Cheese,’ this lovely dog also has a rock-solid legacy behind him.

Cheese’s sire, GCh. Homar’s Solo Aviator, was a multiple all-breed and specialty BIS winner and the Number 1 Longhaired Dachshund in 2008. His sire, Dual Champion Solo’s Premiere SL, ‘Primo,’ was a multiple Best in Show and Specialty Best in Show winner, and won the National Specialty in 2005 and 2010. Primo’s sire, amazingly, is probably the most recognizable Dachsie name of all. Among many other wins, Ch. Pramada’s Curmudgeon L, also known as ‘Ben,’ was the 1998 Westminster Kennel Club Hound Group winner, the only Longhaired Dachshund ever to earn this prestigious honor.

Although many breeders have been involved with the four dogs listed above, and we don’t want to slight them, the overall common denominator in the succession from Ben to Cheese is Carlos Puig. Carlos handled Ben throughout his career, was a breeder/owner-handler of Solo Aviator, and he is the breeder/owner-handler of Cheese. He has been so devoted to this breed as both a handler and a breeder, and the results speak for themselves.

Rottweiler GCh. Hemlock’s Jack of Hearts, owned by Karen and Richard Bang, also won two Groups, as well as Reserve BIS on Sunday. ‘Trapper’ is a multiple Group winner and as of the end of August was the Number 2 Rottweiler in all-breed systems, but, with his owner, has also earned his Rally Novice and Rally Advanced titles and an HIC (Herding Intermediate Course C) title. On September 30 he won his first all-breed Best in Show, so he is truly an all-around winner.

Saturday’s Sporting Group winner was GCh. Waterway Game Crk Hot Diggity, who also made a recent appearance in Fancy That. Billy Wheeler and I have both reported that ‘Digger’ is the first American Water Spaniel in many moons to win a string of all-breed Best in Shows. I have a sense that, if he continues on his current trajectory, this young dog may become the top-winning dog of his breed ever. We’ll keep you posted on how his career progresses. Digger is breeder/owner-handled by Linda Hattrem, also owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Rose and breeders Jon Hattrem and Pamela Boyer.

On Sunday Clumber Spaniel GCh. Nexus Total Eclipse won the Sporting Group. ‘Eli’ had an impressive start to his show career when, in 2011, he was Best Puppy at the National Specialty and the following day was Best of Winners for a 5-point major at the Clumber Spaniel Club of America regional. He was also Best in Sweepstakes that day. You’ve noticed that this was just last year… As icing on the cake, in 2012 this very young dog was Best of Breed at the National Specialty! Kassie Hamaker handled him to these wins. Eli is now handled by Laura King. He was bred by Collette Jaynes and Shirley Fankhauser, and is owned by Shelley and Chip Miller and James Fankhauser. Looks like he’s in for an exciting career.

On day one the Mason City KC Terrier Group was won by GCh. Meadowlake Simply Sinful. ‘Maya,’ owned by Kiki Courtelis and Joyce Wilkinson, is breeder/owner-handled by Karen Fitzpatrick.

Karen’s Meadowlake Border Terriers have really become a force in the breed. For the last eight years or so, there has scarcely been a time when at least one Meadowlake Border was not among the breed’s Top 10, and often more than one has achieved high rankings. In 2009 and 2010, four dogs bearing the Meadowlake kennel name were among the Top 10, and last year three occupied the list. What is perhaps most impressive is that several ladies around the country have owner-handled their Meadowlake dogs to top rankings and Group and Best in Show wins, just like Karen has.

Miniature Schnauzer GCh. Allaruth Just Kidding v Sole Baye, handled by Bergit Coady for owners Billie Phelps and Ruth Ziegler, was the Terrier Group winner on day two. It has been more than a decade since a Miniature Schnauzer was among the Top 10 Terriers in America, but ‘Justin’ is currently the Number 5 Terrier and going strong. His owners have devoted many, many years to the breed, and I know the Schnauzer community is delighted with the winning Bergit and Justin are doing this year.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel GCh. We-Syng Royal Etiquette took home the Toy Group First ribbon on Saturday. Owned by breeder Nanette Wright with Gayle Reardon, ‘Kingsley’ is handled by Laura King, and this is the second year he’s been among the country’s top Cavaliers. On Sunday the Toy Group was won by Pomeranian GCh. Tradewind Amazing Grace. She is owned by Glenda and Gary Shaffer and Juanita Fiddick. Her dam, Ch. Pom Acres New Days Dawn, was among the Top 10 Pom bitches in 2001, also owned by Juanita Fiddick.

The Herding Group was won on the first day by Australian Cattle Dog GCh. Duwest Jackrabbit. He is owned by Amy Turner and was bred by Lori Pruett. His sire, Ch. Duwest Lil Man Tate, is another multi-titled dog who has accomplishments in more than one arena, as he acquired a CD obedience title, a rally title and a herding title. Nothing is quite as impressive as seeing our conformation show dogs have success in other disciplines.

On Sunday the Herding Group went to Bouvier des Flandres GCh. Frontier’s License to Carry at Margaux, handled by Doug Carlson for owners Pricilla Martin, Sandi Lyon and Lee Calhoun. Her sire, Ch. Frontier’s Top Gun at Margaux, was a multiple Group and all-breed Best in Show winner in 2007 and 2008, handled by Lisa Bettis, and the 2011 top Bouvier sire. I have to admit that I was delighted to find, however, that three generations behind Top Gun is the great Ch. Galbraith’s Iron Eyes, Number 1 among all breeds in the U.S. in 1990 and Number 4 all breeds in 1991.

Bouvier des Flandres Ch. Galbraith’s Iron Eyes was Group First at Westminster 1992 under judge Lou Harris, handled by Corky Vroom. Photo by John Ashbey.

‘Iron’ was handled by Corky and Sue Vroom for Nat and Gloria Reese. Corky handled two other dogs to Number 1 all breeds for the Reeses: the Doberman Pinscher bitch Ch. Galaxy’s Corry Missile Belle, Top Dog in 1973, and the unforgettable Greyhound bitch, Ch. Aroi Talk of the Blues, Top Dog in 1976.

The thing I always remember most about Iron was that he didn’t go Best in Show at the Garden. That isn’t exactly accurate, because of course I remember what a great career he had, but as Gloria Reese said in an interview in the New York Times in February 1992, “Westminster has been the Waterloo of many a great dog,” and it was indeed a disappointment for this great one.

In February of 1991, fresh off his great achievement as Top Dog the prior year and as the top-winning Bouvier of all time, Iron and Corky went to New York, naturally, with high hopes. Instead, Iron won the breed, but was second in the Group to the Old English, Ch. Lambluv Moptop Showstopper, under judge Lynette Saltzman. Corky brought him back the following year, won the breed under Stan Saltzman, and then the Group under Lou Harris. But in the final, judge Mel Downing awarded Best in Show to Wire Fox Terrier Ch. Registry’s Lonesome Dove, who herself had been Top Dog in 1991. Corky Vroom is arguably one of the most accomplished handlers in the history of our sport, yet sadly he never took the top prize at the Garden.

That wraps it up for the winners in Iowa. Results from other shows this past weekend can be found on Billy Wheeler’s Dog Show Poop. I’ll be back next week with some of the skinny on the weekend’s winners.