This weekend marks the first of December, and I’m sure you all are starting to get in the festive spirit. I have decided this year not to put up our Christmas tree. With a young puppy in the house, it’s just not worth the hassle. I suspect Maverick will also be trouble with a tree, so it’s best not to tempt fate. Pele is such a good boy, last year he never even attempted to swipe any of the decorations, but did like to lie underneath the tree, so we had to keep an eye on him, so he didn’t topple it over! But by the end, he was an expert at getting in and out from under the tree without so much as a rustle of a bauble! Maverick is not so delicate, and I can imagine that he would end up sitting on top of the tree! Starla is also very mischievous and can be quite sneaky when it comes to stealing contraband. Shisuka, thankfully, is also very quiet so I suspect she would simply ignore the tree. So instead, I might just put out some ornaments around to take the bare look off the place.
With the weather so bad, we’ve been getting cabin fever lately, so hopefully the forecast rings true this weekend, and we get to go out for a walk. Starla also needs some more lead training, as she’s now nine months old, so should really learn to walk without swinging out of the lead and jumping all over the place! If she’s anything like her older brother, Pele, she will learn to do so at about two years of age, and even then it’s not guaranteed!
Last weekend we had Cloghran Championship Show in Ireland. I wasn’t showing myself, as my mother was judging breeds in Group 6 and 10. Instead, I offered my services as a steward and scribe. I was stewarding for four different judges in our ring, breeds in Group 6, 10, 5, 1 and 9. It was fantastic to see such a wide range of breeds, as you don’t really get a chance to watch other breeds when you are showing.
I also was given the opportunity to scribe for the lady who was judging the poodles. This was fascinating. I relished the opportunity to get the chance to discuss the breed with the judge, and to learn more about the finer points of poodles, their breed defining characteristics and desirable traits. It is true, that every breed does have desirable features and characteristics that are unique to them, and characteristically make them what they are. It’s what I love so very dearly about our Havanese. They have so many desirable aspects and breed defining features that make them uniquely Havanese. From the unique outline, to the head, they truly are a pretty, yet sturdy little dog. Which is why it really troubles me to see so many Havanese with small heads and short, snipey muzzles. Marianne Septier (Coeur de Masai Havanese) recently posted on her Facebook Page wonderful photographs of a cut down Havanese, displaying the correct head. The muzzle must be exactly the same length as the skull, which is broad and the dog must have a correct underjaw. We are now, sadly, seeing so many Havanese with small, little doll faces that are narrow, with eyes too close together and short muzzles with no underjaw. The FCI standard is quite clear that the size of the head is to be of medium length, and in relation to the length of the body is to be 3/7 (when measuring from the withers to the base of the tail). This is not a small head, and indeed, although the Havanese is a small dog in terms of height, he is to be sturdy and have medium bone. They are not a dainty, delicate little dog, and again, the FCI Standard is quite clear on this point. I you get a chance I would encourage you to have a look at the Bichons Havanais Coeur de Masai Havanese Facebook Page, and look through those photographs of the cut down Havanese. You will notice the correct head, ample forechest, correct shoulder and upper arm, plus you will notice how sturdy this little dog is when you see his bone.
Cloghran Dog Show is always a great show for promoting new and progressing judges. On her first appointment for group 9 breeds, well know rhodesian ridgeback exhibitor from Northern Ireland, Gail Patterson, was judging Havanese for the first time. From her entry of six, she had one absentee. She selected Rutzel’s Am Ch Kolmar’s Painted Masterpiece as her Green Star Dog and BOB winner. Reserve Green Star Dog went to Michael and Dolores Kane’s Karvil’s Runaway Baby. Green Star Bitch was awarded to V & J Dowty & Connnolly’s Los Peritto’s Lisbeth Taylor at Clynymona. Reserve Green Star was awarded to Michael and Dolores Kane’s Christa’s Jumpy Clown Only For You.
Antrim and District’s Christmas Open Show takes place this Saturday. Although I am entered, I sadly won’t be able to make it, as I am attending the Def Leppard concert in Dublin Saturday evening. So instead, I will have a lie in Saturday morning, and chill Saturday afternoon before leaving for Dublin. Entries closed last night for the Combined Canine Club’s Christmas Open Show, but entries are still open for our Drogheda Open Show, so get your entries in! We have trophies for all Group Winners, that you can keep, plus rosettes for all Best of Breed Winners, Stakes Placings, Group Placings and a monster raffle. We also have pet classes, with prizes up for grabs for the dog with the waggiest tail and the dog the judge would most like to take home. So get your entries in – a warm Droichead Atha welcome awaits you!
If you have any news, results or information that you would like included in the breed notes, please feel free to drop me a line. You can contact me either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on Facebook through Facebook Messenger. Olivia Carty-Parge