It's the buzz...
I'm proud to present my new champion!
I'm proud to present my new grand champion!
The January 2018 American Spaniel Club Flushing Spaniel Show was
enjoyable even though the show venue was not attached to the host hotel, as
preferred.  We were provided shuttle service to & from both, which I believe
went pretty smoothly.  The venue was large enough with space for seating, the
few vendors attending, and limited food.  The handlers had the convenience of
having plenty of space at their setup including space for their xpens.  A big
letdown was the very limited Holiday Inn menu & when we did dine there only
twice, the food was terrible.  Fortunately, the area has plenty of great
restaurants from steak & seafood to short ribs & pizza & everything was
delicious!  These were within walking distance or via the hotel shuttle.  The
ASC Saturday evening "reception", formerly known as the ASC meeting &
party, was a disappointment, but with the lower entries we've experienced in
the last decade or so, nothing's quite like the days that many of us still
remember fondly.  I wonder if it could ever be the same again
- so prestigious.  
Admittedly, some of us haven't entered a futurity puppy since the rules became
more cumbersome, but there's no going back now, even knowing they may or
may not be the best puppies out there.  Somehow they're supposed to be much
healthier, as if eye & hip checks are the bulk of Cockers' health issues.

Still, I very much enjoyed conversation with all the long-time judges/breeders,
from the states to countries outside of the U.S., who I was happy to see were
still carefully watching all the new blood amongst our own dogs with years &
years of our kennel names behind them.  Some still presenting their special
dogs to us in the ring, some now watching their dogs & handlers from their
reserved seating.  This was the very first time I went without showing my own
dog, but Stacy Dobmeier made me proud presenting my guy, Buzz.  There
were, of course, many missing names this year; but those who will never really
be forgotten in the Cocker kingdom.  So great to see my old friend, Mike
Bothwell, back in the ring again!  The quality of the dogs, for the most part,
was very good, even though the very handsome & flashy parti BOV entry came
from the classes for the win, brought to us from a lovely group from Japan this
year.  But, we were charmed by Per's adorable Sussex
, Bean, (who later won
the Sporting Group at Westminster!), and of course Mike Pitts with the
awesome ASCOB boy, Striker, burning up the ring & taking Best in Show!
Congratulations to all the winners!

Buzz, with all his coat flying & a foot of snow on the ground, enjoyed a
well-deserved romp in a desolate dog park on the way home!