Sunday, November 23, 2008

Oodles of Poodles

My poodles had a big day at the grooming shop yesterday, and since they're all nice and clean and in my good graces for right now, I thought I'd write about them. The big guy sleeping on the couch is my oldest standard poodle, Spenser. Spenser's official name is Champion Cadbury's Spenser for Hire. He's 12 years old now, and he is my first champion and the love of my life. When I look back at his show career now, I have to shake my head and wonder about my sanity. It took almost 3 years--and a ton of money, blood, sweat, and even more tears--to get him finished. I can remember the day he finished his championship like it was yesterday. It was a March afternoon in 1999, and I was playing hooky from work. (Shhh--don't tell anyone!) He was one month shy of his 3rd birthday, and I was desperately hoping he would finish before then. My friend who was actually in the ring with him had an asthma attack while in the ring with him, and I'm not sure how she made it around the ring with him. She did, though, and we spent the rest of that weekend on cloud nine.

The lovely girl in the second photo is Rory, now almost 7 years old, officially known as Champion Cadbury's Evening Star. I got her and Spenser from the same breeder, thus accounting for their kennel names. Fran Fischer of Cadbury Standard Poodles, is best known for her brown standards, but Spenser and Rory, as you can see from their pictures are both black. Fran knew that I liked black dogs, so I was lucky enough to get these two from her. In this picture, Rory is being shown at the 2004 Poodle Club of America show. While I (and a friend) showed Spenser to his championship, Rory went to a handler to be shown. It took her significantly less time to finish than it did Spenser, no doubt because her handler knew what she was doing. Rory is a real pistol. Even as she moves into middle age now, I never know what to expect from her. My couch is in the middle of the living room, and Rory never walks around it in order to get onto it or off of it; she sails over the back of it as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

The little brown girl in this picture is Rory's daughter, Emmy. Her registered name is Cadbury's Terms of Endearment. Fran and I bred this litter together, and Emmy was the puppy that remained at home with me. I had high hopes that Emmy, too, would be shown and become a champion, but her temperament is not well suited to the show ring. She is a baby, in every sense of the word. It's hard to tell from the picture, but she is pretty small for a standard poodle. She doesn't like to go places, and she gets nervous if too many people look at her. At home, though, this little girl is a demon. I've lost count of the number of shoes that she has eaten. Yes, I said "eaten." I wish she just chewed on them. I might be able to salvage some of them if they just had teeth marks on them. She has finally trained me to put my shoes up--way up.

The black boy in the last picture is Emmy's brother Ace, also known as Cadbury's Helpful Hardware Man. Ace and Emmy are 2 years old. Ace lived for a while with a friend of mine in Wisconsin, but for various reasons he came back home to me this past summer. He was a delight as a puppy, so I was happy to have him come home. What I didn't know was that he had grown up to as much of a terror as his sister. He likes shoes, too, but he likes cross stitch supplies even better. He seems to be particularly fond of overdyed floss and Silkweaver fabrics. I'm now trained to keep my cross stitch things put up--way up. I have had some nervous moments worrying about the things he's ingested, but so far--knock wood--there have been no complications as a result of his bizarre tastes.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Oh I loved reading about your dogs and seeing their pictures! When Daisy was a puppy she ate cross stitch too. I still have a small Heart In Hand piece that I have not finished b/c the last couple of lines on the chart got nibbled off...LOL