Blogger In Chief Billy Wheeler is live in Louisville for four days to give you The Back Story on the Kentuckiana Cluster. Check back regularly as he updates this blog. To see photographs of winners and the day’s results, click on the blue Kentuckiana logo at the top of the page.

Louisville Kennel Club: Sunday, March 18, 2012

LKC/2 Bouvier des Flandres BOB GCH CH Rocheuses Me and My Shadow of Cornus (Photo by Krista Droop)

1:30 p.m.
Bouvier Casper Going to Group for Third Time This Week
My last breed stop of the day was to watch Bill Shelton take on 20 Bouvier des Flandres, including the top two Bouviers, both of whom are in the Top Five Herding Dogs, GCH CH Rocheuses Me and My Shadow of Cornus & GCH CH Quiche’s Grand Finale. His Best was the former, Casper. Handler Heather Johnson and Casper advance to the Herding Group for the third time this week.

LKC/2 Siberian Husky BOB CH Kontoki’s Isaiah A Little Prayer For You (Photo by Krista Droop)

Kontoki’s Isaiah A Little Prayer For You Is Today’s Top Husky
There are few people in dogs that I admire more than Michele Billings. She has given me many of my favorite dog show memories, including my first time at a dog show. So I stopped by to watch her go over 24 Siberian Huskies today. I was impressed with her thoroughness in examining both the class and specials dog. One got the feeling that she made her decisions knowing every detail of each dog. The one that got the ticket to this afternoon’s Working Group was CH Kontoki’s Isaiah A Little Prayer For You.

LKC/2 English Setter BOB CH Stargazr’n Wingfield Time Will Tell (Photo by Krista Droop)

10:30 a.m.
Time Will Tell Headed to Fourth Group of Cluster
Paula Nykiel had 22 lovely English Setters from which to choose her Best of Breed. Her choice was CH Stargazr’n Wingfield Time Will Tell, sending him forward to his fourth Sporting Group of the set.

9:30 a.m.
Natural-Eared Boxer Is Winner Dog
While I can’t stay to see Clay’s choice for Best of Breed in Boxers, I did get to stay long enough to see him choose his Winner Dog, a handsome brindle with natural ears, Sharledar’s The Spitting Image. I talked with a number of Boxer breeders about cropped versus natural ears. While everyone preferred the cropped ears, most found the natural ear acceptable, but noted only a dog with an exceptional expression could carry it off. Next up, English Setters with Paula Nykiel.

8 a.m.
The Kentuckiana Last-Day Challenge: Which Ring?
I arrived at the Kentucky Exposition Center here in Louisville at 7:45 this morning. Like a kid determined to get the last smear of ice cream out of the bowl, I don’t want to miss anything on this last day of the Kentuckiana Cluster. One of the challenges here for the spectator is which of the huge entries do you want to watch. To continue the ice cream metaphor, it’s kinda like taking a 5-year-old to Baskin Robbins and telling them you can have all you want…for the next ten minutes.

Yesterday I sat down at Melinda Lyons’ ring to watch the 72 Bedlington Terriers here for their National Specialty. I did get to stay long enough to see all 72, but unfortunately had to leave for the Group ring before Ms. Lyons chose GCH CH First Class Syrah D’Hermitage as her BISS.

Carlos Puig spread Irish fun with with lighted green sunglasses. (Photo by Krista Droop)

Handler Carlos Puig celebrated his win, and  St. Patrick’s Day, by wearing a pair of kelly green sunglasses adorned with flashing green lights in the Terrier Group and Non-Sporting Groups.

Today, we are starting our day at Clay Coady’s Boxer ring to see as many of the 87 entries as we can before we head for Paula Nykiel’s English Setter ring at 9:45. Check back with us frequently for more of The Back Story from Louisville.

Evansville Kennel Club: Saturday, March 17, 2012

1:30 p.m.
For the Love of – Afghan – Hounds
The very first AKC dog show I went to was won by an Afghan Hound, CH Dahnwood, 1968 Hound of the Year. I’ve loved the breed ever since. However, I will give the breed my “Ugly Duckling” award as the youngsters are pretty odd-looking, with profuse “monkey whiskers.” The ugly duckling does grow into a beautiful swan that always draws “oohs” & “aahs” from the gallery.

There were 22 Afghans in Elizabeth Muthard’s ring today. The one she liked the best was GCH CH Xenos Jimlet.

Scottish Deerhound BOB, GCH CH Dhu Mohr Pennant's Quilleran. (Photo by Krista Droop)

11 a.m.
Deerhound Dhu Mohr Pennant’s Quilleran Going to Group
I’m here at Terry Stacy’s ring to watch the Scottish Deerhounds, 44 of them. This is one of the most successful Breeds in the show ring with two Top Ten All Breeds in recent years and a Westminster Kennel Club BIS in 2011.

Yesterday we were treated to a breed win and a Hound Group One by an 8-year-old bitch from the Veteran class, CH Witsend Satine. Today it was the 3-year-old dog, GCH CH Dhu Mohr Pennant’s Quilleran, going forward to this afternoon’s Hound Group.

9:00 a.m.
Bo-Bett’s First Class on a Roll in Louisville
We started our day here at the Evansville Kennel Club show in Louisville, Ky., with the Italian Greyhounds, the newest breed in my own household. The breed has fascinated me for a while. It is one of our more ancient breeds. IGs were found among the remains of Pompei…one wag even suggested that the Latin warning “Cave Canem,” most commonly translated as “Beware of the Dog,” should actually be “Don’t Step on the Dog.”

As a former Toy breeder, I’ve often wondered why we don’t see more Iggies winning Groups. I used to think it was the lack of coat, but our current top Toys include a Miniature Pinscher & a Pug. IGs are the epitome of elegance and as the tallest of the Toy Dogs are hard to overlook in the group ring. They come in a surprising array of colors and patterns. I am told the Basenji-like “Irish” pattern is preferred, but this Terrier guy much prefers the pied, which looks like a racy Smooth Fox.

IGs are usually well-represented at the show (there were 23 here today), and owner/handlers outnumber the professionals. I will say that living with an IG is a challenge. While they are the sweetest animals, they do suffer from separation anxiety and insist on being wherever you are.

Judge Ken Delaney’s breed winner today, CH Bo-Bett’s First Class, has been getting noticed, picking up a Group Two on Thursday & making the cut on Friday. Not bad for an 11-month-old IG.

Louisville Kennel Club: Friday, March 16, 2012

Louisville Kennel Club BOB Brussels Griffon, GCH CH Marsdon Frankly Speaking with Blake Hansen (Photo by Krista Droop)

2:30 p.m.
Marsdon Frankly Speaking a Surprise for Griffons
Brussels Griffons are always a presence here in Louisville, and today Kent Delaney had 77 Griffs to consider. His Best of Breed, GCH CH Marsdon Frankly Speaking, a very worthy dog, was a surprise, beating two BIS-winning competitors to advance to the Toy Group. One item of interest in both the Miniature Schnauzer and Brussels Griffon rings was the presence of dogs with natural ears. While I generally don’t like to see breeds presented in anything other than traditional form, I have to admit that the natural ears on the Schnauzer and Griff were quite appealing. It does beg the question of what the standard says about ears. Both standards provide for a natural ear, but the Griff Standard says only, “carried semi- erect,” a bit vague in my estimation. The consensus around both rings was that natural ears were a handicap in the show ring. I suspect a really good set of ears would be frosting on the cake.

11:30 a.m.
Number One AmStaff Takes the Blue at LKC
I am a Terrier guy, so I took up residence outside of Virginia Lyne’s ring next to watch the American Staffordshire Terrier Best of Breed. Yesterday, there was a three year old surprise winner from the Open Dog class, Italian CH Lobotown Puppy, in an entry of 43. Today’s breed winner was AKC’s Number One AmStaff, GCH CH Alpine’s Highwayman, over 48 competitors. Next up was a huge entry of Miniature Schnauzers, 43. I do not know why we don’t see more of the only German Terrier. Today’s BOB was the West Coast resident, GCH CH Allaruth Just Kidding of Sole Baye.

Louisville Kennel Club BOB Pug, GCH CH Riversong's Doc Holiday (Photo by Krista Droop)

9 a.m.
Riversong’s Doc Holiday Wins in LKC Pug Ring
I’m live from Louisville, Ky., where the hometown Louisville Kennel Club is up today. My day began at the Pug ring to see one of the Top Five Toy dogs, GCH CH Caper’s Sirius Endeavor. Elizabeth Muthard had a very respectable 36 dogs to choose from. The one she chose was GCH CH Riversong’s Doc Holiday. Just 19 months old, this guy is starting to be noticed.