Friday, September 7, 2012

Girl Model

Cora Cora Cora. It's hard to believe how much I like Cora's personality. She is a strange little goofball sometimes and she makes me smile for one hundred different reasons every day. She reminds me of her mother at the same age, an odd enigma that a person was drawn to no matter who she met. People love Cora as they loved Leeloo and it has nothing to do with her quality or even her breed for that matter. She is just easy to like. Some dogs are difficult to like, they don't have an open or earnest expression that invites you to approach them. Some Ridgebacks have what I call a 'hard eye' as opposed to the soft eye that I get from my dog's pedigrees. Ridgebacks with a hard eye tend to stare at you, it makes a person uncomfortable, whereas Leeloo and Cora look at you, sometimes into your very brain, and it doesn't take long before you are giving them whatever they want. A dog with a hard eye doesn't compell you to stay, it encourages you to leave and I don't want anything like that in my house. This is why it's a good idea to go to shows and see the different types that breeders offer. I have been told on more than on occasion that although someone may love the puppy or dog they got, once they saw other dogs of the same breed, they realized they preferred a different type and their next dog would be from a different breeder.

When at the show last weekend Sandra, who is Raylan and Archer's Mommy, took some nice photos of Cora while she was showing. This is from the first day and Cora is a little anxious but slowly relaxed the longer she was in the ring.

This is the first show she's been to where she has been in the ring a little longer than usual. She definitely needed the time to be in there with the other dogs and see that it wasn't so bad. She hardly paced at all - something she does when she's anxious - and she will one day be a lovely happy show dog.

As I've said, I'm in no hurry with Cora. She will finish when she finishes and I am determined not to be pressured or swayed by any deadlines. Some people think there is a certain number of weekends your dog should finish in but I think that's horse hockey. If you are going to show after show with a mature dog and never winning, never getting reserve against actual competition or never getting encouragement from judges then perhaps you do need to look at whether you should be showing that dog. But, if you have a young dog who just needs to mature, be it in mind or body, then keep at it, don't stress and let the wins come to you.

I did ask myself leading up to the Halifax show what was the point in going. I had no bitch competition and did I really want to spend $150 in gas for Cora to get experience. I can think of a lot cheaper ways for her to do that! In the end I went to support Luke and his owner Stephanie, and to just see what Cora could do. She rewarded me with leaps and bounds of improvement - although the day she won was her worst behaved day - and I do recall spending more money on a single point at a Prince Edward Island show for her mother!

Since this coming weekend may be her last show of the year I am hoping for a couple more points and then we can let her mature over the winter and see what 2013 has to offer. We may hit one more show in November but it will depend on the timing of a trip to the Caribbean for me. I don't mind waiting, I don't need the 'winningest' young Ridgeback in Canada, I need a nice stable solid start for a young dog and that is exactly what I'm getting.

Showing is not the be all, end all of dog-dom. Some things are more important than a show record. Ninety percent of my quality time with Cora is not spent in the ring, it's right here ...

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