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My Handler Laughs At Me

by Sherry L Shivley, 2014 Journalist Award Winner

Hobby Horse Ranch Paints and Boxers


As a matter of fact, many show people laugh at me. You see, I don’t go to a dog show expecting to win, place, or even make it into the ring.


I’ve found that if you don’t expect to win, you are pleasantly surprised each time you do! I do have one Champion- Rustys Road Glide RN. He hated conformation, but loved working. He would have finished earlier, but some pilot error slowed him down. HE knew what he was doing- It’s just those darned humans that can’t concentrate!


Owner handling tipsMy first big win also had my friend and dog show co-conspirator Karen rolling on the floor laughing. She had taken Glide to a UKC show while the Hubs and I went to a wedding. She called while we were enroute to tell me “I just don’t know about this dog- His first show and he takes BOB and Group. I just don’t think he will amount to anything”. Being so green I could hide in the lawn, I told her I understood and maybe he just wasn’t cut out for showing. She burst out laughing and said “didn’t you hear what I said??


He took BEST OF BREED AND A GROUP WIN”. I sat there stunned. I could not believe that MY dog had done so well! After that he seemed to think he had reached his pinnacle and really quit working in conformation. That’s when we switched to Rally, which he loved. He has a strong work drive, and enjoys the time spent practicing- And the cookies. He always enjoys that.


I wanted a conformation dog though. Enter Hunter Creeks Kachina Dancer at Hobby Horse Ranch. A Fawn Boxer with lots of attitude and kinda homely. His feet were huge, he had no stop, his head was out of proportion, and when you called him, it was obvious he had selective hearing.  I was in love. This big, awkward ugly puppy had so much charm, I forgave him for eating my husband’s recliner, chewing up the sofa, and destroying every bit of paper in the house.


He harassed the older dogs, peed on everything, learned that kitties have sharp feet and to leave them alone. He was a mess. I worked for hours to get him to stack, to heel, for his ears to stand, so he wouldn’t drive us nuts when crated. Coming to his name was a suggestion he decided to ignore.


At one hotel following a show, my friends Schipp was startled and shot from my SUV with Hobbs right behind him- Hobbs had a grand time barking at dogs the size of ponies and running from me. I had a bag of treats and was mincing around in the snow calling “Hobbs!!! Cookie Cookie Cookie!!!” My deaf dog just ran with happy abandon from one dog to another in the field by the hotel barking and enjoying himself while I was getting dirty looks from the owner/handler. The hotel is very close to the interstate, and I could just imagine him running out in front of the cars. He finally paused to lift his leg and I grabbed his leash.


After that, he wore a training collar. If he ignored me, he got zapped. He was much more intelligent than I gave him credit for, and his hearing improved. Two times and he had perfect recall.


He earned the nickname Hobb Bob last year when my Friend and Hobbs’ handler, Janine Leonie would come out of the ring hand me the ribbon and tell me Congratulations, now stick around. I would ask how he did, and she would look at me strangely- See above paragraphs about not expecting wins- and she would tell me Best of Breed. The Bob at the end of his name is short for Best of Breed. He won several last year. We pointed out of singles, and have been in the hunt for Majors ever since.


Majors are a rarity here in Colorado for Boxers. For some reason AKC put us in with Texas, which is a country in its own right.


Handsome dog with shorter ear cropWe are lucky if we have a total of 4 Boxers show at any one time. This past weekend in Cheyenne WY we went in hopes of getting at least one of the two 3 point Majors he needs for his Championship. First, I was not nervous because I figured someone would pull and break the Major as they had all year long. Second, there were some wonderful dogs and bitches that could kick our hinnies. I really was not expecting anything.


Saturday Hobbs showed like he hadn’t been out of the ring for months. He took Reserve Winner. Thanks for playing and donating to the cause.


Sunday was raining when we woke up so we hurried to pack and get to the show sight. Janine arrived a good half hour before we did. Determination lit her face as we hauled in our crate and dog.


I tried to get Rich Mysliwiec to let me tie his shoes since he won the day before, but he didn’t think that was a good idea- He must have seen the glint in my eye. Or maybe it was the threat earlier to trip him at the gate...


The classes were called, and it began. The Hubs began recording and dropped his phone. It took a while to put it back together. But he came through when it counted. Hobbs took Winners Dog.


Of course when the Judge pointed to Rich and his lovely fawn bitch for Best Of Breed, I was planning ahead to the next show to chase those Majors. It did not dawn on me that Hobbs had placed. I was waiting at the gate for my dog, when people started congratulating me. Someone said that he got his first Major- it had to be a crossover from Bitches, he was the only dog in there, I looked at Janine -she was glowing. She started laughing at me and said “Sherry just woke up”. The light bulb above my head must have come on. I grabbed her, Hobbs, and everyone close by for hugs. I thanked the Judge a million times. She must have thought I was insane.


For me, every dog show is like Christmas. You never know what you are going to get- and sometimes the surprises are Magical!


So please everyone, be patient. I am sitting here not expecting anything . And having a Grand time!! EST 1998 © 1411



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