Down yonder in the US of A there is a dog who is from my second litter with Halo. Brother to 18 other siblings, this dog is making quite a name for himself and giving the competition a run for their money.
I speak, obviously, of Zero. Officially known as Am. Gr. Ch. Invictus Nightmare Before Xmas JC, Zero is one of those dogs who was born to show, just like little Esme. Who knows how or why some dogs bring a light into the show ring with them, it's an uncanny ability to draw your eye, a 'look at me' attitude that is hard to ignore. The more you show them the more they love it. They know they are being admired, praised and talked about and they love it. I imagine, even for a dog, it's addictive.
In order to achieve what Zero has done, to reach the #4 Ridgeback in the USA(based on dogs defeated) and be multi-group placing in some pretty tough competition, takes dedication, money and time. Zero is shown by professional handler Juliet Clendenon almost exclusively, and occasionally shown by Erin Coogan. This team has a winning formula that gives them an edge, that edge is that Zero adores his people and will work for as hard for them as they work for him.
How do you pick a dog like Zero out of a litter of 12? I can tell you, it's not that hard. He was a stand out, plain as day. Not that other puppies in the litter weren't very nice breed representatives, just that he drew your eye. I remember standing in my kitchen when Zero was about 7 weeks old and talking to Erin about why I was not keeping the best puppy in the litter (besides the fact that she wanted him). He was the kind of puppy, I insinctively felt, that would need more than I could offer in the way of showing and international exposure. I am happy to be able to say I was right.
The Ridgeback National Specialty Best of Breed judging is at the end of this week and Zero is entered. He is young yet and just at the start of his show career but I do hope he gets a good look. It goes without saying he will show his heart out. Best of luck to Zero and his fabulous team of supporters, to Erin and Juliet, thanks a million for helping this boy shine!