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 ;)
Westminster or White House bound? This is the week for puppy evaluations and how exciting it has been! Well, most likely the pick of the litter (if we decide to keep one) won't make it to Westminster simply because we're not rich and that requires specialing a dog and entering a dog show pretty much EVERY weekend however, they would be Westminster worthy for sure. White House bound? Well, seems like United States presidents of late just don't understand the value of pugs ....so, more than likely none of these pups will be going to the White House. HOWEVER, if they did well in the temp tests, it IS likely that they WOULDN'T BITE someone like, ahem, one of the dogs there now! (Poor guy. I'm on the side of the dog always. I'm sure it was provoked by someone who didn't speak Dog.)
Anyway, we can't thank several AMAZING experts enough for helping us to evaluate this litter. It started last week when they were 7.5 weeks old with their temperament evaluations. We followed the Avid Dog eval and the results were fascinating. This past Saturday, another amazing expert (lifelong dog person, breeder, handling class teacher, judge etc.) helped us with the first of a few conformation evaluations. She is a stickler on structure and movement so it was SO helpful getting her input. And, did I mention how much the pups liked her? We have another amazing pug breeder from CA who has agreed to help us evaluate virtually and I'll be heading to FL in 2 days for the last of the evals with another incredible pug expert breeder/handler etc. THANK YOU EVERYONE. SO MUCH. We are so in love with all 3 pups that it's very difficult to be objective ;) but, honestly, all 3 pups from this litter could easily finish an AKC championship in our mind. They are gorgeous inside and out. Here are some hi-lights and we'll post more from our Florida adventure later this week when we make our final decision on puppy placements.
Here they are getting ready for the big day .... goat milk for breakfast just before their gruel mixture (today Farmina N&D, softened, with green tripe! Esther C, and added colostrum powder). They each practiced their sit and stay for the camera ;)
Go Lilibeth, Pickwick's Show the World How to Smile. She just received in the mail this wonderful recognition from AKC for Puppy of Achievement award because of all her wins (best of breed, Toy Group winner, and even a couple of Best in Shows BPUP and Winners Bitch against older seasoned pugs in Perry 6-9 puppy class). We love you Lilibeth! And, you really do make us smile. We totally lucked out with your show name!
What a fun trip to the Perry, Georgia dog shows this past Thursday-Sunday. Robert had SO much fun showing won BOB (Best of Breed), and 2 BOS (Best of Opposite Sex) Thursday-Saturday but wasn't able to show Sunday since I didn't have enough hands to take him into the Best of Breed ring (since Lilibeth won Winners Bitch! see below). MOST importantly, he was always smiling with an occasional subtle tail wag (a good thing ... just enough for him to tell me he's having fun, but not enough to be distracting for the judge lol). He's a natural show dog now and it's effortless handling him (except when he sometimes is so happy he does a little hop ... so I say "walk" and he behaves ;) Here he is at our campsite being mighty proud of himself since he finished his grand championship on Saturday under the esteemed pug-breeder-judge Charlotte Patterson.
Lilibeth won Winners Bitch out of the 6-9 month puppy class (which is a pretty awesome win since there were some Specials with Grand Championships and such in that ring and some amazing girls). I was so proud of her. Each day she easily won her class. The first day in the winners bitch ring she was the last in the lineup, (as the youngest one). It was tough for her on the go around and she pulled (HARD) on the lead trying to catchup with the rest of the gang .... so we trained that evening with different things such as changing directions and re-directing just before we start off, and she nailed it the Friday-Sunday. Wow, to me that is incredible to learn something like that SO fast. She's a brilliant little thing. Because of her incident getting herself tangled up in my bra (sigh) when she trapped herself in our bathroom, there was a mark on her coat where some hairs were broken. It was pretty significant and I'm sure that ruled her out the first 3 days for winners bitch or other awards BUT, at the Rally Obedience trial with Marie Claire, (of all places!), I met an amazing professional handler who generously showed me how to camouflage the area a bit with some thinning shears and such, and, on Saturday Charlotte Patterson told me to use Mink Oil. We purchased some amazing shampoo products from Puffy Dog and had an awesome bath/blowout Saturday night at our campsite and voila, something more akin to the "pre-bra-Lilibeth" emerged. Not perfect, but in a few more weeks with continued mink oil we're hoping she'll be back 100%. But you know? I'd rather have these sort of challenges resulting from Lilibeth living with us in our home, as opposed to being confined to a crate all the time like so many show homes do. But, wow, a bra? You can't make this stuff up. That's why I love pugs so much. They find joy and silliness in life where no one else can. Here are some photos of her by the fairgrounds at Perry ... at almost 6.5 months old.
At a dog show there can be lots of wait time ... but that's great for catching up on beauty rest, like Lilibeth and Marie Claire are doing here while waiting for the Rally Obedience trial.
Lilibeth kept everyone entertained at the campsite in the evening. Marie Claire didn't seem quite as impressed with the shenanigans, though lolz.
But now our attention will be turning to Lilly and Buttercup for the hopeful adventure of puppies this summer. Lilly's radiograph from this morning confirmed the ultra sound from a couple of weeks ago .... 3 puppies! So, that's our next adventure here at Pickwick Pugs for summer 2021.
We just donated to support the research being done on Parvo Virus. Here's the link regarding Revival's contributions to research and all about "Healthy Puppy Month"! Home | Healthy Puppy Month
Lilibeth and Robert had fun at the Asheville, NC shows. It was wonderful seeing some friends and their new pugs and the weather was divine (not too much rain on one day :) for the outdoor venue. Here they are showing off some of the ribbons they won (and Lilibeth won a toy!)
Robert (shown by me in owner-handled) won select to the #2 pug in US (shown by M. Scott, a professional handler) and Lilibeth won Best of Breed AND the Toy Group in the 4-6 puppy. Alas, a Frenchie beat her in Best in Show. The outdoor venue was challenging for her (little tiny puppies in tall, wet grass with LOTS of smells provides for major challenges!) Sadly, she could only compete Sat. because Robert's best of breed conflicted with her ring time on Sunday.
They had SO much fun on their trip into downtown Asheville. We headed to "3 Dog Bakery", parallel parked (wahoo!) and then walked a few blocks toward the bakery. En route, I noticed the pugs stopped at one window of a vacant store to sniff .... but I kept looking for the sign. We walked a block or so beyond the bakery's address and couldn't find it anywhere! Turns out that the vacant store the pugs were so interested in was the bakery .... which was unfortunately a victim of the pandemic.
So, we headed to another dog store which was really awesome and even got some raw meat and treats AND a cool bandana that said "stay weird, Asheville, NC" and awesome Asheville cookies.
The best part of the trip was the drive home where we stopped at several overlooks and trails in the Great Smoky Mountains.
They were patient with me in the hotel while I had to judge 2 major piano competitions virtually (about 7-8 hours of work each) but we still got lots of adventures in. Lilibeth even saw a DOUBLE RAINBOW!
Robert wins best of breed & Lilibeth wins Best in show & Marie claire receives qualifying score in her 1st rally obedience trial!
Robert (CH Hill Country's I'll Bee Your Shining Star) wins Best of Breed against many amazing specials and another 5 point major toward his Grand Championship!
Lilibeth wins 3 Best of Breeds and 2 Best in Shows in the 4-6 Puppy!
And Marie Claire receives a score of 83 at her first Rally Obedience Trial!
The 1st part of spring break involved a solo camping trip (Amy) with pugs Marie Claire, Lilibeth, and Robert. Tent camping at that! It was quite cold some nights on the Mountain (Monte Sano Mountain, Huntsville, Alabama) so we purchased a "lil buddy" propane heater which we could use inside the tent. We trained and enjoyed the woods (lots of ticks out, so it was good we used some Frontline before the trip).
After the tent camping trip, I think the pugs were glad to head to a hotel for the dog show in Jackson, TN. It was our first time to be at this venue which was quite nice, not too stressful for the dogs, and had some fabulous judges. The folks running the event were also super nice. I hate that they had to cancel the last day (Sunday) because of the storm damage and that they had to have added stress to running such a big event ... however, I'm so glad everyone was safe and no one (especially all those folks staying in campers at the show site) was hurt.
Honestly, I was SO surprised when Scarlett J. said she'd be willing to show Robert for us ... for free! She must really like him a lot lolz ;)
Lilibeth not only won Best of Breed in the 4-6 Puppy but also the Toy group AND THEN WENT ON TO WIN BEST IN SHOW for the BPUP against some really nice dogs including all sorts of hunting breeds, bull dogs, samoyeds, terriers, Cane Corsos, Papillons, Dachshunds, and more. I was so proud of her and she just wowed the judge! She also won Best in Show again 2 days later and Marie Claire competed in her first Rally Obedience trial (and got a qualifying ribbon toward her title!) What a great weekend. Alas, the final day/Sunday was canceled due to bad weather. The tornado sirens went off Saturday night necessitating us to bunker down in the hotel bathroom. Thankfully, there were no touchdowns in our area of town but the show site suffered some flooding (evidently, the grooming area was 3 feet under water!) But what an awesome weekend and special quality time with these 3!
Amy Aberg McLelland, owner Pickwick Pugs