Chase is one year old today (October 17). How did he come to live with me in New Mexico? It’s quite a story.
First there was Kip — such a sweet, willing, happy dog. but Kip was lonely, being an only dog and all. So, I promised I’d get him a dog. I posted a request on the Cardigan Chat list. Jeri (sometimes known as Stubbydog) told me she had a friend with a wonderful red/white girl that was soon to be retired from showing and breeding. I spoke with C-Myste and made arrangements to meet Carolyn and the dog in Portland. We went to a friend’s home and the red/white girl — you know her as Inca — began following me around. She knew she was destined to come to the high desert southwest to steal hearts. So, I brought her home.
Really everything was fine then. The two dogs loved each other (as long as Kip did not challenge Inca’s status as Empress of the Known Universe). So, I could have left well enough alone . . .
. . . but somewhere along the way I got the bug to have a puppy for conformation. So, I told C-Myste that I really needed a puppy. Carolyn had decided to breed her Alice one last time. There was extensive husband-hunting, considering and discarding, weighing virtues. I fell in love with Hunter, an old guy who lives in Canada (at the end farthest from Oregon). Happily Carolyn decided that Hunter was the right choice for Alice. Alice was driven from Medford to Seattle and then flown to Toronto for the brief, but fruitful, interlude.
C-Myste wanted a girl puppy, I wanted a boy (a girl would have rocked Inca’s boat). Alice delivered five puppies of each sex on October 17th, 2007. For the following weeks, I was glued to the puppy cam and checked every hour to see if new photos were up. I had memorized the pedigree, looked up every dog on the OFA web site, and combed the CWCCA Register of Merit.
In November when the puppies were 5-1/2 weeks old, they had their first outdoor adventure in the puppy yard. One puppy took off on his own to investigate. Either Tom or Carolyn snapped a photo of him meeting his older brother. When that photo appeared on the C-Myste blog, I sent an email asking Carolyn to put a yellow sticky note on the inquisitive puppy indicating that he was mine.
His litter name was Ikey, he’d been the smallest at birth (6 oz.), it was difficult for them to photograph him because he never stood still, but I just knew he was the right puppy for me. Two weeks later, this photo made it to the C-Myste blog, and I was positive Ikey was my new puppy. Look at that little fat face!
In January, I flew to Medford to fetch the new baby. Carolyn had decided the theme for this litter would be the US Constitution. I immediately called dibs on “Pursuit of Happiness”. Propitiously, the AKC granted more letters in dogs’ registered names so we could spell out his entire name as well as both Carolyn and Mandy’s kennel names. “Pursuit of Happiness” translated into “Chase”, and it has indeed been a merry chase.
As Chase grew older, he was looking very handsome. So we diverted from puppy agility to a conformation entry. Chase began the journey to his Championship at his very first show in May with five points (two points on Saturday, and then on Sunday his first major and a puppy group I), three weeks later he was royally dumped in Flagstaff, then earned a major reserve in Oklahoma City, but no points. He went to Houston and won classes, but earned no points. Then in early August, he went to Corpus Christi and took Best of Breed both days for a total of four points — and a puppy group II. The next Thursday, he was Best in Sweepstakes at the Manhattan Kennel Club supported entry, the following day he was Best of Breed for a five point major at the Topeka Kennel Club and went on to take a Herding Group IV. That same evening he was Best of Winners for another five-point major at the Three Trails Cardigan Specialty. He’s earned four Bests of Breed since then.
He’s been our “Chase-puppy” for the past nine months, but it’s now time for him to stay home and grow up, to sleep on the bed with us, learn some useful skills, and to make me smile a lot. He really does all those things when he’s here. Henceforth he shall be known as “Chase-man”. (Sweetie, your tie is crooked.)
HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, CHASE-man — and many more. Best wishes to the rest of the gang: Ace, Bogie, Clem, Eagle (“Flash”), Feather, Golda (“Libby”), Heather (“Molly”), and Jiggers (“Pilot”).