Monday, June 1, 2009

I Love my Irish Setters

This past weekend was the Irish Setter Club of Southern California Specialty. It was a bitter sweet day.

I had three of our dogs entered. The baby, Drew (15 months old) went Reserve Winners Dog. Monet (2 years old) placed 2nd of 5 in American Bred Bitch. Then I entered my heart dog, Jewel (10 1/2 years old) in the parade of Champions.

When Jewel was two she won an ISCSC Specialty going Best in Specialty Show from the open class. Several years later she went Best of Opposite Sex. Last year, at the ISCA National Specialty, I retired her. 10 months prior, unbenownst to many, Jewel had cancer - an injection site carcinoma from her rabies shot. To get all the cancer part of her tendon had to be removed. While healing she put all her weight from her left rear on her left front leg. She did have a limp which is now gone. Actually today she had a senior check up at the vet and her movement and range of motion is once again 100% - no less than a miracle.

Jewel loves to show. Actually Jewel is the reason I love to show. She taught me showing is more than winning - showing is about joy - the joy of accomplishing something with your dog - the joy of making friends - the joy of celebrating with others - the joy of camaraderie.

I put Jewel in this show - in the parade of Champions. She was not in competition but she didn't know that. She ran around the ring totally acknowledging the applause of those outside the ring. Her pace quickened and tail wagged more when people started clapping for her. It took all my strength to hold back my tears. I wish she would live forever.

I love our dogs and love to show our dogs. To us - it is just another day at the park - a time for treats and pets and simply having that special time together.