Old English Sheepdog Breed Magazine - Showsight

their feet lifted for examination in the ring, but if you find it necessary in your evaluation, go for it; just do it last, as the dog will probably move around. MO: Bad feet, bad dog if the dog has herding or another job to do. I do examine them! Correct shape and size can be assessed by feeling the toes and the shape of the foot. If the toes are well arched and the feet small and round, pads are generally thick and hard. I also feel or pull back the hair to make sure that feet point straight ahead because trimming of a very hairy foot can produce an illusion! CO: Feet are important, particularly if the breed was meant to work all day, and strong thick pads are necessary. How do you feel after standing all day in shoes with no support vs. standing on nice cushioned soles? Think of the poor dog who has to work all day on flat feet. You can see the shape of the foot as the dog moves away, and most times you can judge the thickness if you look closely. I don’t believe most OES are accustomed to hav- ing their feet lifted to be examined; I haven’t personally felt the need to do so. LS: The breed standard is very clear about feet: “Small and round, toes well arched, pads thick and hard and should be examined.” 14. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? MAB: This is a two-part story. Many years ago I was shop- ping for balls for my puppies. I was shopping at Doggie Lodge, a fixture at the shows. I asked the proprietor Gibby if he had “bells in his balls.” A quiet quickly settled over the vendor space and he simply replied, “No, not the last time I checked.” The other patrons burst out laugh- ing. I was red faced and very apologetic. Later that day I was in a large class of open bitches, probably 20. I was at the end of the line chatting with another exhibitor, Frank Richie. While we waited I conveyed my embarrass- ing story. I did not notice that the judge was picking up pieces of the story. While this could never be done today, he stopped judging and came to the end of the line, and asked to hear the story. I quickly told him the story, he laughed loudly and said the next time he hears bells he was going to see who might be nearby. My bitch won the class and went on to Winners Bitch. My fellow exhibitors were sure it was the story and not my bitch that won! SC: Florida January circuit, years ago, at the polo fields that were underwater. You could not put a dog in a crate and pull it through the grounds due to the mud from days of rain. A friend carried my special to the ring for the group so she stayed dry and white. He (my friend) looked like he had been to the mud races, I wore rubber boots, but the dog looked wonderful until she had to slog through 3 inches of standing water. It was not fun at the time, but we were all in the same boat (literally) and the polo grounds were lost forever to dog shows. EDB: The funniest thing I saw had to be Michael Suave (may he rest in peace) in the ring with a potbelly pig in the Terrier ring.

DM: A handler in group, showing outside doing his indi- vidual gait down and back. It was a hot, humid, late July day and it had rained very hard the night before. Com- ing back to the judge with his dog, his shoe got stuck in the mud and it was sucked off of his foot and went so far down into the mud you couldn’t see it, but he contin- ued on as if nothing went wrong. The show must go on! EM: Perhaps, early on with one of my Siberians, and me a bit nervous, when the judge, with my dog’s head in his hands, looking at her expression, asked, “How are you doing today?” and I answered “Her or me?” To which he replied, “If she answers, you are both wasting your time here.” I later became good friends with the judge and this incident still brings a smile to my face whenever I think of him. MO: I think the funniest, and so typical and illustrative of the OES as an independent thinker and master enter- tainer, is something that happened to an OES friend who exhibits in Obedience as well as conformation. She is an excellent trainer and used to precision performances from her trainees. At one of the National Specialties, of all places, the bitch she was showing suddenly decided that instead of just halting and sitting, she would halt and roll over. After doing it once, the bitch obviously decided that rolling over was infinitely more fun and got a more interesting and rewarding reaction than a plain, boring old “sit”, and proceeded to repeat it at every halt, thoroughly enjoying the laughter of onlookers and totally relishing the embarrassment inflicted on her astonished trainer/handler! CO: Probably the funniest thing that happened to me was the first time I showed my dog in conformation. I went in the ring, and the judge said, “Take your dog around” so I made a pivot and the dog did a small circle around me. I noticed a lot of people were laughing, but I had no clue what was so funny. The judge said, “When I say take your dog around, I mean all around the ring, not a little baby circle.” Talk about being embarrassed and red faced! Every now and then a new exhibitor does that in my ring, it’s a reminder to me that we all started in this sport as novices and with a little encouragement, will stay in the sport a long time. LS: Years ago, while campaigning my dog Ch. Sniflik’s Warwyck Forecaster ROM aka “Yoda”, I was coming back up to Judge Donald Booxbaum with Yoda. I was aware that Mr. Booxbaum liked to see a dog self stack naturally. On the final down and back Yoda, as usual came back and stopped squarely with Mr. Booxbaum. Immediately upon stacking, Yoda crossed one front leg across the other leg. Mr. Booxbaum looked up at me in amazement. At that point, I knew there was not a placement in the group for me. I simply looked at him and said, “Do you want to see what else he can do?” Fortunately, the next time under Mr. Booxbaum I took a Group 2. Mr. Boox- baum always reminded me with a laugh when we saw each other.

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