IT CAN BE DONE! AN OWNER-HANDLER’S JOURNEY TO BEST IN SHOW Y ou have a very lovely dog, by HEATHER TAUER-REID but a very naughty puppy,” the judge said as she hand- ed me the second place rib-
to myself. Well, as most of you reading this know... not so much. I was lucky in that I started with a great dog. Coming from horses, I knew about pedigrees and the importance of good breeding. I studied my breed and got a dog from a good breeder who had the lines that I liked. Although, she was in New Jersey and I was in Texas and it didn’t allow for much in the way of mentoring. So, when it came to learning to show, I relied on books. One said to find classes, but finding a handling class was next to impossible. My only connection to the dog show
world was an elderly lady who had Miniature Schnauzers and was willing to teach me what she could. She was patient and kind and she had me posi- tioning the front legs of my 130-pound 7-month-old Mastiff by grabbing his pasterns; I still groan and roll my eyes at the thought of how this must have looked to the other exhibitors that first morning of the show. I eagerly stood ringside at 7:30 am ready for our 8 am ring time and introduced myself to anyone else who was holding a Mastiff, announcing happily that this was our first show.
bon for the Puppy Group. I was ecstatic, although exhausted. It was July 21, 2001 and it was my first dog show. When I got my beautiful Mastiff puppy, Max, I just knew that I wanted to do something competitive with him, where we could be a team and conformation seemed to me to be a logical starting point. It couldn’t be too difficult, right? I mean, all he had to do was stand there and gait around the ring. ‘Easy peasy,’ I thought
226 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2017
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