Friday, July 12, 2013

My Road to an AKC Championship

Maya Winning Her Championship
Our blessed Chihuahuas we love them like they are our children and think they’re the cutest dogs on earth (of course they are). I purchased Maya (CH Misty Morn Just Call Her Sam) as a show dog, a wonderful hobby that I learned from my daughter. Maya had an impressive pedigree, but was a little thin, and needed some TLC—otherwise, she was quite the little diva.
Maya and I started attending conformation classes, and after a few weeks I took her to a small show in North Jersey. She was entered in the 9-12 month puppy class, but was the only Smooth Coat Chihuahua in attendance. By default, she won Best of Variety, though I had no illusions. The judge told me I needed to work with her more, an understatement. I did have the show photographer take a picture since it was her first show. Though I was a little embarrassed at the time, I am now so glad that I have that picture. Maya’s transformation amazes me every time I compare her first photo to her championship win. No one would believe it’s the same dog!
I had many handling classes yet to attend before Maya and I would be working as a team. Most of the dogs in the class were larger breeds, and she was always the smallest, being placed at the end. The scary thing was the Great Danes would be the first to go round the ring, and then they would line up behind my terrified, three-and-a-half pound baby. The staring and drooling, the big dogs waited for their chance to play my live squeaky toy.
We stuck with it, however, and in the show ring Maya became very assertive with other dogs. She walked around the ring like she owned it. Her first points came at the National Dog Show, held by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. She won BOV and progressed to the Toy Group, and had a two-second spot of TV fame on Thanksgiving. More points came in Bear Delaware, followed by a three point major in Ludwigs Corner, PA., and a four point major in Bel Alton, MD. She had a couple of frustrating reserves in Bethlehem, PA where five point majors were up for grabs, but by this stage Maya only needed one point for the coveted Championship title.
I then received news that my company was transferring me to Utah, and there was only one show before the big move. If we failed to get the point, we were going to have to wait until we got settled in the West. Maya and I headed to Federicksburg, Virginia for the weekend. Saturday came, and we got another disappointing reserve.
Determined to do something different, I went to the mall and bought a new suit. Though only the handler, I figured that new clothes couldn’t hurt. We arrived on Sunday and my heart sank. The other female Chihuahuas were absent. Disappointed, I figured I might as well show her as long as I was there…but then something clicked in my head. There was one point for the males. If Maya could take Best of Winners, she would get the much coveted and desperately needed single!

I put on an air of confidence and we paraded into the BOV class. The number one bitch in the United States, was entered as a special (now that’s enough to make anyone nervous). Maya and I were last in the ring behind the Winners Dog. Patiently we watched the specials as they were examined on the table and expertly performed their down-and-backs. The judge asked all to go around the ring one more time. He pointed at CH Arwyen for Best of Variety.  That was expected, so I didn’t let it unnerve me. He then eyed the other dogs, and pointing at Maya, he cried, “Best of Winners!” Maya did it! My heart did back flips! We drove home with the single point we needed and a few weeks later Maya received her AKC Champion certificate in the mail. Today it proudly hangs on the wall in my office, and Maya has a special bed under my desk where she dreams of show ring success.

If you love dogs, you might be interested in my contemporary romance, Chihuahua Momma, hitting the shelves on July 28!


10 comments:

  1. WOOO!!! That's an awesome story :) Congrats!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay, for you and Maya! I don't know how you do it, dog showing sounds unnerving. But I do enjoy observing, I've been a handful of times and love seeing all the different dogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's about the dog...no need for the handler to get nervous!

      Delete
  3. How exciting for you! I must admit that I don't like dog shows, however, I'm sure your furry family (unlike some dogs) are well taken care of.

    I wish you well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *claps hand to chest* You don't like dog shows? LOL

      Delete
  4. What a great story!! Love it! Congrats!

    My Muses are chihuahuas (old school confirmation - would never make it today), both rescued. Hubby didn't want "little dogs" but like any Chi - they won him over LOL They currently are sleeping under my desk with their new bed.

    Thank goodness for little packages with big hearts :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi TJ--once men have a little dog, they never go back ;-)

      Delete
  5. Is she really pure white? A little ghost dog? She's adorable. I can't imagine showing a dog since I end up with rescue dogs of questionable parentage with more quirks than sense. I love them anyway.

    ReplyDelete