I am somewhat recovered from my last outing, December’s AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando FL, recovered enough to strike out again. This time I’m headed to the opposite corner of the US, the Pacific Northwest, to Portland OR for the Rose City Classic.
The Tualatin Kennel Club and the Dog Fanciers Association Of Oregon’s four big all-breed shows in January make up one of the biggest weekends in the US. Only the Kentuckiana Classic in Louisville KY and the AKC/Eukanuba Championship and its three warmups in Orlando can claim to be bigger. As such, I expect to see dogs from all over the US and Canada show up seeking a share of the big points. However, as I do at every show I go to, I try to seek out the breeding programs I have admired over the years.
I will be checking out the breed rings to see if Shelley Campbell’s Windbourne Farm has a new Black & Tan Coonhound coming out. There aren’t too many Scottish Deerhound entered, but I hope one of them is one of Ray Brinlee’s Jaraluv Deerhound. I will also drop in on the Soft Coated Wheatens to look for the latest Doubloon Wheaten from Elena Landa. I frequently see professional handler Ed Thomason, breeder of Alpine American Staffordshire Terriers, around the US, but this will be the first time I get to see him in his backyard. I also look forward to seeing Michelle Edling and one or more of her Belgian Tervurens.
Since this is my first show of 2013, I will be seeking out the Chinook and the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno exhibitors to tell me more about these new AKC breeds. I am fascinated by the Chinook, a sled dog bred to be both strong and fast, with a close, dense coat unlike other Nordic breeds. The Podengo is a natural for a Terrier guy like me. It’s a rabbit dog, with either a smooth or wire single coat. The Podengo claims a sighthound heritage and gets along with other dogs, unlike many of the Terrier breeds.
As much as every one of these “marquee” shows reaffirms my love of the tradition of our sport, seeing new competitors every season and new breeds almost every year keeps the game new for me. Plus, I always come away from a show with the memory of a pleasant conversation with a fellow fancier. So I begin my 45th season in the sport with as much enthusiasm and eagerness as I did in my first. And that’s today’s Back Story.