Lilibeth won Winners Bitch, Best of Winners, Best of Breed, and Best of Breed Owner Handler out of the Puppy Class, beating out a lot of incredible specials, at the Cherokee Rose Cluster in Atlanta this past weekend. Thank you Dr. Steven Keating for recognizing her exceptionalism. I love her movement and the fact that I have to hold back and wait for the other pugs to get ahead before starting to keep up with her awesome gait. She has GREATLY improved on pulling on the lead (ahem, like she did in Perry) thanks to a private session with the amazing teacher Vicki Ronchette but, alas, she still hates the table. We have lots of work to do in this department but, honestly, since her first training sessions on the table as soon as she was barely able to stand, she has never liked heights. I think it's in her dna lol. As a piano teacher, I always take the blame when a student is not as successful as he or she should have been .... so, I take the blame here, but sometimes you have to just wonder. As Dr. Keating said, "that's ok, it's not her thing!" But, as a piano teacher and rally obedience enthusiast, we still must master performance .... so. We have some time now before her next show in perhaps November, so we will keep working on the table exam. If only we had a class to attend regularly. The pandemic has not been kind to indoor dog handling classes .... and pugs need the indoor AC in Alabama ;) during the summer.
What do I love most about Lilibeth? Her spirit. Her sweet and gorgeous face. Her movement. Her soft coat. The fact that she is out of my heart dog, Miss Dior. Her show name, "Show the World How to Smile" truly fits her because she honestly makes people smile.
She had just started showing signs of coming into season at this show (actually after we got to the show) so she was a bit squirly. Perhaps she will get her game back on by next November. I (Amy) showed her in the Breed, but when I saw the amazing handler Cheyenne walking out of the previous group I asked her to handle Lilibeth in the Toy Group so that I could get some video footage. Plus, Cheyenne (who started as a horse person) has this incredible confidence that just radiates and Lilibeth sucks up. Not to mention skills. It's fun watching "dog whisperers" at work. What's amazing to me also about Lilibeth, is being able to hand her off to a stranger and she adapts and works for her. She's a smart, thoughtful pug, so that's not a given. Go Lilibeth and Go Cheyenne. Here is Lilibeth in the Toy Group with Cheyenne ... Lilibeth saw her first Maltese (check out the end of the video) and it is HILARIOUS. She's like "what on earth is THAT?" with her double take!
No pancaking on this conformation table! (That's what she did at her first BPUP ... but she still went on to win the breed and Best in Show!)
Another day, Lilibeth didn't win anything (other than her class and all) but her brother, Pickwick's Casanova in Disguise (Luke) who is now owned by the sire's breeder, won Winners Dog and Best of Opposite Sex! Go Luke!
Our jobs will be consuming us for the next month and we have 2 beautiful girls who will hopefully be having puppies at the end of September, so no shows for awhile for Lilibeth. But that's fine with her. As long as she gets enough loving. Here's the day that Marie Claire (who was entered in rally ... but EVERY SINGLE DAY the rally conflicted with the conformation), Robert, and Lilibeth didn't win anything. So we enjoyed a day of rest and lots of love. That's what dog shows are all about .... a chance to spend quality time with your pack.
With a ring FULL of major professional handlers (yes, ALL of the major handlers seemed to decide to come to Salem, VA lol) and the ONLY pug in the ring with an owner-handler, Lilibeth showed amazing spirit and resilience in not only overcoming her sudden fear of the table (she is entering her 2nd fear phase, which we didn't realize until just a few days prior .. these fear phases are normal as hormones kick in ... think pre-teen and teenager ... but not all dogs would be able to push through and bounce back so beautifully). Thank you to all who helped us (Valentina Farias! Cheyenne Tippens, and others) and thank you Mrs. Houston (Toddie) Clark for recognizing Lilibeth's beauty, structure, spirit, and movement. Congrats on yet another "Winner Bitch" win, beautiful Lilibeth. You are amazing.
Continuing with our search for choosing the Pick of the Litter who will stay with us and, hopefully, become a part of our grumble and breeding program, we traveled to Destin to get the advice of a longtime pug breeder, professional handler, and judge. We truly respect her opinion and are so humbled this multi-time Westminster judge took the time to evaluate our litter. She honestly loved them all but we did settle on one girl in particular. Meanwhile, we also sought the input from another major pug breeder/AKC judge in California as well as another in Michigan. We are so VERY grateful to all of you for your help and advice. Thank you. These are people who truly care about the future of the pug breed. These are the people who truly make this world a better place! Here are some scenes of the pups' first visit to see the ocean (safely from the germ free environment of their trolley ;)
Amy - Concert pianist, composer, lecturer, teacher, adjudicator, pug lover, dog trainer, soap and candle maker, owner Unique Boutique for Pet Owners, and co-owner Pickwick Pugs along with her husband, Dr. Jeff McLelland, concert organist, music director, and awesome care giver of the grumble.