Ask anyone who has known me for any length of time and the last thing I could be called is “like most people” but I am like the large number of Juniors I had the pleasure of meeting through Alberta Junior Handling. Up through the ranks, learning as they go, with a coach like Loren Bresser and some helpful pro handlers like Peggy Mignon, Shannon Scheer, Wes Larnie, and Milton Lopes and the breeders who have had influence on many of those in the business today.
One of them was Susan Milton-Lloyd and MacKendricks Bostons. As a Breeder she has had a parade of Juniors under her wing and made sure they had the best Boston Terriers available to show. Learn how to care for them, show them, work with a set up with many dogs and many events. As her Junior I accumulated a half-dozen best of Breeds and helped or finished 3 champions.
Provincial Junior Championships
Juniors was good to me. I was in four consecutive Alberta Provincial Junior Handling Finals (2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), twice the only competitor in both Handling and Obedience.
2013 was fun. Headache was gone, incision had healed. School was…. and my final Provincials appearance in March 2014 went well considering. I trained with Thor, a Giant Schnauzer from Asgardian Giant Schnauzers, with the plan to show him at Provincials. A few weeks before the final he was incorrectly deemed ineligible so Peggy Mignon and Katie Chappelle came to the rescue and lent me Vogue, BPIG Ch Valby Dane Designed For The Runway, a beauty Great Dane co-owned by Margaret Luker. Unfortunately for the second year in a row I fell just a little short and placed second, again, to the Provincial Champion.
The 2012 Provincials was very satisfying for me. I was second in my age group to the eventual Provincial Champion, and Dexxter won the Teranjo Trophy for top Labrador in Junior Handling. I was awarded a little prize from the Juniors recognizing the rather unique journey I had getting to the finals. I made it through the season despite the medical issues with my fewest conformation podiums ever, only 22, but 9 of those were wins, 2 with Dexxter in addition to the 2 we picked up in Obedience along with another half dozen podiums. Dexxter had a blond moment in the Obedience final.
Norman and I made a run at the 2011 Provincial age group title after a good year in Juniors; my highest point count and 26 podium appearences including 2 firsts, 2 seconds and 2 thirds with Dexxter. The one win, at Lower Mainland Dog Fanciers Canadian International was the day before Dexxters big win in All Breed. A very good weekend considering I ended up in hospital the next day!
Dexxter and I made our first Provincial Championship appearance in 2010. Even though we were a Junior Novice and Puppy combo Dexxter had by this time attained his Championship title as well as his CGN and his first Rally and Obedience titles. I didn’t get my first Junior points (a fourth) until the summer, five months after my first junior show. We did well after that with 5 wins in conformation and 2 in obedience and 17 more podiums, 9 with Dexxter.
Getting Started in Juniors
At age 13 I decided I wanted a dog. A good dog. Debbie Waterer at HoboCreek Labradors wisely insisted I had to learn how to show him and train him before I could own him.
What is a dog show anyway? I had never even been to one. What’s a junior novice? How do you enter? I had no family in the business to guide me along. What I did have was Loren Bresser. She had classes for newbies like me. I met Kathleen and Sara, veterans of a whole year of training. Sara and I continued to show our own dogs for the next four years.
Loren had Junior friendly Dachshunds. For my first Junior Handling show experience I had Ally. As the courses continued Dexxter and I learned a few things, one was speed. Big dogs go fast. Sort of forgot that when I took Ally in next show. Did you know Dachshunds can fly? Apparently I had Dexxter’s speed down but forgot I had short leggeded Ally in tow.
For the first few years my rather interesting vision issues made for some equally interesting Dog Shows. Look at the Judge, Look at Your Dog, etc. For the longest time I couldn’t convince people I could do both without moving my head, or explain why I could see right across the arena but couldn’t see them when they walked by. The hardest for them to fathom was why I couldn’t do paper work! Juniors are supposed to fill in their own entries. I am probably the only 17-year-old Junior who had to have their Dad fill in her forms. As I said, not like most people.