AKC National Championship

Each year, in December, I attend a week long dog extravaganza in Orlando, FL. This year there were approximately 7,000 entries competing in Dock Diving, Agility, Obedience and Conformation at what has become the largest dog show in the United States. While I attend the event primarily to work, photographing all the lovely dogs, this year we entered a couple of dogs into the show.

Tuesday, Salty showed in conformation where she earned Best of Winners for a point.

Saturday, Gabby came down from Mississippi and earned Best of Winners for a point and an Award of Excellence. I haven’t seen Gabby since she had a litter of 17 (yes, 17) a year and a half ago. I was very pleased at how great she looked and how well she did. I was also thrilled to spend a little time with Gabby’s owner, Pam, who I should visit more often.

Friday night I was joined by Dyane Baldwin of Pond Hollow Chesapeakes (Salty’s breeder) and Laurea Griggs of Laurel Wood Chesapeakes (who owns Fen) for a great night of Italian food and dog talk. We were having such good discussions that we literally were the last patrons in the building.

I was glad, also, that Dyane got to see and spend a little time with Salty…giving her the opportunity to see how Salty was maturing and an added bonus was that she got to see a grand-pup of hers, Gabby. Gabby’s sire was the product of a breeding I did with one of Dyane’s dogs eight+ years ago.

Saturday and Sunday several other Chessie friends helped setup and staff a meet the breed booth, which was a great success.

It was an exhausting week with long hours and a lot of running around. Every year when I ask myself why I attend, I reflect on the week and remember why. I participate for the love of the breed, spending time with wonderful friends, and to celebrate dogs.

Hopefully next year I’ll say the same. 🙂


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