I’m so blessed to be part of the American show-line German Shepherd Dog community. It’s been like no other breed I have been involved with. Sure, people argue, bicker, or just don’t care for each-other now and then. They’re human, after all. That said, the community has welcomed me in a friendly, casual, and truly helpful way. Friends I have made online have sent me helpful tips, endless emotional support, advice, and good humor. Friends I now know in real life have done the same. These people are not uptight. They are not like some of the other breed communities I have been involved with.
All of this is to say that I couldn’t be more excited for Quest and I to attend our first AKC all-breed show together soon. We are practicing a lot, but always keeping it fun. His motto is, “If you’ll throw the ball, or give me some love, I’m ready to try anything!” He’s the sweetest, best puppy, and nothing could change my mind, whether he wins big, or not at all.
I’m beyond thrilled with his type, movement, structure, and everything physical. I’m even more delighted with his mind. I never thought I’d get another best friend, sidekick, world class dream dog. I had mine. But now I have another. My boys, Rigby and Quest will never meet. And while they couldn’t be more different in some ways, or more alike in others.
Although I cannot wait to see where it all takes us, for once in my life I’m learning just how precious the whole journey is.
The Saluki has always had my heart.
When I was a small child, I had an imaginary friend. She was a pure white Saluki named Saphire. She had blue eyes. I was only five, so forgive me!
Years later, I had several of various origins, but as they passed on, or got adopted (many were Elektra situation rescues), I let the breed go for a while. Many in the community were quite unpleasant. And many of those rescues had taken pieces of my heart with them. I saw things that no young person should ever see- no person at all, really.
Months, years, a decade passed.
I was sitting in my Canfield, OH temporary motel residence this past Spring, when my frend told me I should contact Shiri Hoshen about some real desert bred, amazing Saluki puppies that she was planning.
Maybe. I’d be moved before they were born and ready.
So maybe. I guess.
“Did you contact Shiri, yet?” my friend asked.
Okay, fine. I’ll do it. I did it. I talked to Shiri, and she was lovely. The two parent dogs were and are amazing and beautiful. I recognized animals behind them that I’d admired in the past.
But, was I ready to let this breed back into my life, to open that raw wound again?
Months passed, and puppies arrived. Silver brindle boys struck me. They were so, so, so beautiful. It wasn’t long before I lost myself in the excitement and joy of bringing home one of these special, primitive, beautiful, elegant, and truly magical hounds back into my home and my heart. They are not German Shepherds, or even Whippets. They fill a different space in one’s life. When I say jump, Quest wants to know how high, and if I’m coming. Streamer wants to know why, and if I’ll go first to test the waters. He’s a companion whose affection and trust is earned, not bought or demanded or assumed.
I must have done something right, because he is utterly and completely mine, and mine alone. His eyes are wise and knowing, far beyond his tender age. The wisdom of a thousands years and then some is deep in his breeding and his quick mind. He is already royalty and devotion and elegance and power and speed.
I’ve let him in, and he’s let me in.
I once again belong to the companion of kings, the dog of the desert, of the Saluki.
I’m so thankful, both to his breeder, and to my friend who prodded me just enough to get me to reach out. Streamer and I have many adventures ahead, and it’s so good to have this part of my heart and soul full again.
Hoshen’s Strike in Flight at Windridge:
His first shows are coming up very soon! This is always an awkward age (and I overstretched his rear a hair here), but he’s a beautiful, classic Whippet puppy male. Even better? Scottie plans to show him for at least one of the two shows!
Scottie and I discovered a gorgeous place to walk dogs, and we couldn’t be happier. Today I had a dreamy session of photo-taking with my beautiful, beloved, and most favorite puppy- Quest ❤ He is now six months old. The scenery here is stunning, as is my boy (not that I am biased!).
It means the world to us to have a truly ideal place to run, swim, and hike with our dogs. Enjoy!
Last week my darling, beautiful, sweet little Quest went off for an adventure. His breeder offered to take him to the German Shepherd Dog Club of American national speciality show in St Louis. The show was just days before Quest’s six month birthday, so he’d be shown in the baby puppy class. This was exciting news to me. I knew that with his stable, wonderful temperament, he’d have no trouble with the journey, the crowds, or the show itself. I figured it would be a good experience for my future hopeful. While I was disappointed I couldn’t go with him, I knew he was in the best hands he could ever be in with Anya, his breeder at Hammersmith German Shepherd Dogs.
All of this was exciting enough, and then I realized that the judge was none other than James Moses. Yes, that James Moses! The handler and breeder of so many incredible GSDs, including dogs like Dallas that are behind Quest himself. There’s no one whose opinion of my puppy I could possibly value more, at least not from a conformation, movement, and show perspective. We all know that *I* already think Quest is perfect!
We waited for weeks, conditioning him and working with him. I gave up on getting that perfect stack, but was assured it was fine, since he’s just a baby. We did, however, get him moving very well, totally perfectly leash trained, and we got him quite fit and in great condition. Scottie and I played ball with him and took him for tons of walks. He already was used to travel, and loved the car.
The big day arrived, and we met Anya late the night before she was to leave for her long drive. She also was amazing enougn to transport my then-foster dog, Killian, to his new owners too! More about him in another post.
Days went by, and we enjoyed hearing about his antics, and how much fun he was having playing with his litter brother, his mom, and all his new friends at the dog show. On the day he was meant to show in the national, I had all kinds of life stuff going on. Scottie was doing laundry or something equally unexciting, and I was cleaning house, washing dishes, and running dogs.
Pat, an Aussie person and friend of Anya’s, had agreed to show Quest, since handlers like Anya cannot show in that particular class. Pat had worked hard with Quest since they met on this trip, and they were a great team. I didn’t particularly expect him to win anything. His class was big, many other puppies, all of them beautiful.
After washing a large load of dishes, I sat down to rest my back. Pat had messaged me and told me I should check Anya’s wall on Facebook if I had a chance. I clicked over to her wall, figuring I’d get a run down on puppy antics and good “puppies-first-show” experiences. Well, I was wrong.
Quest had placed 2nd in his large class, and his brother Clavo had placed 3rd!
This may not sound like much to some people, but at the breed national, and under a judge like this, and in a good sized class- this is a BIG deal. I will admit, I got a little bit teary eyed. Then the happy bragging and sharing began, along with the count down to picking up my sweet, silly boy a few days later. To add to the excitement, his prize was a good sized, shiny, beautiful silver trophy!
I will never forget the few hours after his win. It remidned me a lot of my heart dog Rigby’s big first show weekend. I was still beaming when we picked Quest up a few days ago. He was very happy to see me, and the feeling was mutual. His trophy shall forever be prized by me, as well as serving as a reminder of good friends and good memories, even if I couldn’t be there.
I want to take the time to thank everyone who made it possible- Anya of course. Pat for showing him and putting up with my cluelessness and my spoiled puppy, and Scottie for always being the best, and most supportive.
I can’t wait to see what my little brown (sable) puppy can do from here… the future looks very bright, indeed.