ASCA Hall of Fame Kennel #87

June 19, 2008

It’s official we are HOF Kennels #87!   The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) has a program to recognize breeders who have met certain qualification with with the dogs that they have produced. The ASCA program qualifications are:

ASCA recognizes the kennels/breeders who have produced titled Australian Shepherds that have met the HOF requirements as set forth below.
A. Qualifying titles counting toward a Kennel/Breeders Hall of Fame are as follows:

1. Agility: RS-O (Regular Standard Open) or RV-O (Regular Veterans Open) or RJ-O (Regular Junior Open) (only one of these per Australian Shepherd to count)

2. Obedience : CDX (Companion Dog Excellent)

3. Tracking : TD (Tracking Dog)

4. Stockdog : ATDd (Advanced Trial Dog ducks) and/or OTDs (Open Trial Dog sheep) and/or OTDc (open trial dog cattle).

5. Conformation : CH (Conformation Champion), A-CH (Altered Conformation Champion)

B. A Kennel/Breeder must have accrued twenty (20) qualifying titles on their progeny as follows:

1. Ten (10) stockdog and conformation titles, with a minimum of three (3) in each, and
2. The remaining Ten (10) in any category named in A.1-5 above.

Here are the dogs that are from our breeding program who have the above qualifying titles.

Hall of Fame stats for Sundew

1 – CH Windchant Mahogany CD STDds- Carol Culham       

1 – CH Capt’n Jon’s Sundew Sea Raider CD – Nancy Moening         

3 – CH Sundew Ravensong CD/TD ATDd STDs – Ann B. DeChant/Gene Stephenson   

1- CH Sundew Night Chant – Ann B. DeChant   

1 – CH Diamond Aire Sundewette CD STDds – Marie Murphy   

1 – CH Sundew Stormy Blues of Wild Pine – Sarah Lane

3 – Sundew Sunbonnet ATDd OTDs OTDc –  Ann DeChant/Gene Stephenson                      

5 – SVCH A-CH WTCH Sundew’s Full Stall Landing ATDd ATDc ATDs RS-E, GS-E, JS-E – Chris Davies

1 – CH Sundew Roy Rogers – Ann B. DeChant 

 

1 – A-CH Sundew Quill Basket – Ann B. DeChant 

 

1 – A-CH Sundew Firewalker CD STDds –  Corey Norman  

 

1 – CH Sundew Kokopelli – Ann B. DeChant  

20 Total Points 

I am very proud of the fact that we have 11 Champions, including the 3 Altered Champions, and 7 Stock Titles.  The other two were Tracking and Agility.  In other words, there are a total of 18 titles that are all about what the breed is bred for and the other two help to show versatility.  We have earned many other titles on many other dogs that we bred. The red ones in the list above are the ones that qualify for a kennel Hall of Fame.  We are proud of our Sundew dogs! And we want to thank the owners above who earned qualifying titles on dogs we bred.

Carol Culham got the first title on CH Windchant Mahogany CD STDds (Maggie) and she was co-breeder of our first litter from August.  We paid for August by doing this co-breeding which entitled Carol to a puppy from the litter.

Nancy Moening owned the dog that we bred August to and she got CH Capt’n Jon’s Sundew Sea Raider CD (Gabe) from us because he was sired by her dog CH Peace Pipe Silver Birch CDX (Smoke). Nancy got the second title with Gabe.

Raven was our dog by our dog Peace Pipe Pasquinel OTDs STDS (Jake).  Her dam was a daughter of August and Smoke, Amber of Sundew (Amber).  I handled her to her Championship, her CD and her TD.  I handled her to a High in Trial Ducks and some of her Stock Titles and Gene finished those titles.

Sundew Sunbonnet ATDd, ATDs, OTD c (Bonnie) was Gene’s dog all the way, and he earned all of her qualifying Stock Titles.

Raven was bred to WTCH CH Diamond Aire St. Louis Blues CDX (Max), owned by Marie Murphy. She produced CH Diamond Aire Sundewette STD ds(Dewette) and CH Sundew Night Chant (Petie),  Marie took the girl from that litter and I got Petie.

There was a long time when we had not litters.  We purchased a lovely bitch and bred her once to Gabe and once to another dog and from those litters we got lovely dogs, many of whom got Epilepsy.

CH Sundew Stormy Blues of Wildpine (Jazz)was the only dog from that time period to be shown and to earn a Championship.  He was purchased by Sara Lane who showed and finished him.

I was wondering if I would ever breed again as the whole issue of producing epilepsy was very distressing. But, Marie came up with the perfect bitch for me in Diamond Aire Sundew Khanection (Hope).  We bred her to Petie.  I also got from Marie as daughter of Dewette.  She was bred to one of Jazz’s littermates and from that litter we kept A-CH Sundew Quill Basket (Quill).

Petie and Hope’s second litter was the one that produced CH Sundew Roy Rogers, (Roy), my beloved dog.  Roy’s sister was SVCH VCG WTCH CH Sundew’s Full Stall Landing RS-E, JS-E, GS-E (Fossil) who was purchased by Chris Davies in Pennsylvania. Fossil went on the earn her Altered Championship, three qualifying Stock Titles, and 1 Agility Title, so she contributed 5 of our HOF points.  She has her own page now as she is also a Supreme Versatility Champion which is the highest title for an individual dog in ASCA!

I showed Quill to her Altered Championship, Robbi showed Joker for his Altered Championship for her daughter Corey who is his owner and I showed Koki to her Championship.  I just thought it would be interesting to explain the HOF program, show you our Titled dogs, and then tell a brief explanation of how all of these owners helped. I intend over the next few weeks to tell all of the stories and provide photos of all the dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 20 – CH Sundew Kokopelli DNA-VP

June 18, 2008

Koki

You may wonder how Koki did on the weekend that Robbi and I went to Indiana…she showed at four shows and the best we did was a second place in one of the shows.

As Koki’s breeder, owner, and exhibitor, I can show her in the Bred-by Exhibitor Class.  This class is usually full of the best show dogs in the show, if I may say that.  It is the Class where the breeders show the dogs they kept from their litters.  It is usually the class with the deepest quality and is one where you can have a dog like Koki who is close to being “finished” but can still be out of the  four placing ribbons.  That is exactly what happened to us at the other three shows.  So, no points for Koki.  We went home happy, and on the way we talked about all the things I need to do with Koki before the next show so that she might “finish” like Joker.  Robbi said I didn’t present her, as in show her off enough.  I also knew that she often shows with her ears folded back, and she is not real happy, happy in the ring.  I thought about the times that she won…each of those times, she was “on!”  She was pulling the lead and trotting ahead of me and had her head up looking “on fire.”

I went home and used bait to train Koki to show with her ears forward instead of back.  I made silly noises and only gave her a treat when she looked animated and sparky!  Each day she did it more for longer.  I also groomed her often and trimmed her toenails every few days.  I fed her a supplement that is high it Omega three oils.  I trimmed her coat a few weeks before the Memorial Day weekend preparing for my Club’s next show.

Well, the Memorial Day weekend arrived, and Koki and I went off to the show.  We showed in two shows on Saturday, and I think we placed once and got nothing at the next show.  In the dog show world, we say that she got dumped!

Sunday arrived, and we showed in the morning show. The Judge was Kym Base from Missouri and I noticed that she was really looking at Koki, Corey had helped me with some last minute grooming touches and I was feeling very confident with the fact that Kym was really looking at her while she was moving around.

Usually in the show ring the same routine happens.  The Judge asks all dogs in the class to enter the ring.  Sometimes the Judge wants to see the dogs all lined up so that he/she can get a good look at all of them for a first impression. Then the Judge asks the dogs to gait around in a group all lined up so the movement can be viewed.  The line up usually ends up near the entrance to the ring.  The judge then proceeds to take each dog in turn. The dog moves up as the previous dog in the line is finished and eventually each dog ends up at the Judge. They dog is “stacked” with their feet under them in the perfect pose. The handler holds the dog by the collar as the Judge approaches their head and begins their individual examination.  The Judge usaully aproaches from the front and looks at the head.  The Judge looks at the ears and the face comparing the dog to the Breed Standard.  The judge either asks to see the teeth or exams the teeth. The bite is examined and the alignment of the teeth as well. The Judge also looks for full dentition (42 teeth).  The Judge then puts their hands on the whole dog carefully examining the shoulder angulation, the length of body, how the neck fits on the body and how wide the distance is between the shoulder blades. They examine the loin and the angle of the pelvis, they check the legs and feet. They look at the coat, the undercoat, and the color.  All of these points are compared to the Breed Standard and to each other dog in the ring.  Then when the physical examination is complete they ask the handler to “gait” the dog away from the judge and then back to the Judge. This is called the “down and back.” The Judge is looking for how the rear moves as the dog moves away and they look at the front legs as the dog comes toward them.  All of the gaiting in the ring is done at the trot.  With an Aussie with good front and rear movement, the rear legs look like a V as the dog trots away.  The bent joint, the hock, should not turn out or turn in, but should appear to be a V with straight lines from the hip bones down to the toes.  As the dog trots faster, their feet will move closer to a straight line on the ground.  When the dog trots to the Judge, the front legs form a V from where the legs come out of the chest (like our arms come from our shoulders) down to the toes. The dog stops in front to the Judge so they can get one more look at the dog’s expression and how their ears look.  They also look once again at the front and rear legs for how they look after the dog comes to a natural four square stop without being “stacked” or posed by the handler. Then the Judge usually asks for the dog to go around to the end of the line, and they watch as they trot all the way around with no other dogs trotting around.  Once all the dogs have had the individual exam, the Judge may ask for the dogs to go around the ring as a group or they may ask for one more “down and back.”  Once that is done, they usually start placing the class pulling out their favorites and lining them up in first, second, third, and fourth place with the rest of the dogs behind them.

So, in Koki’s class that day, after all of the individual exam and gaiting, Koki got pulled out of her place in line and was put in the front of the class by the Judge and when she had all the rest of the class where she wanted them Judge Kym asked the class to go around and she pointed to Koki for first place.  Wow, we were the Class winner of the Bred-by Exhibitor Class, and we would come back in the ring for Winners Bitch.

So we went outside, and I brushed Koki some more and let her go potty. There are four other classes to be judges before the Winners Bitch class, and I tried to stay calm. Finally, all Class winners were called into the ring by their armband number.  Basically, the Judge followed the same procedure as we did in the class.  Stack up, go around, individual exam with down and back and around to the end. The Winners were all back in the line around the ring and the Judge went to the first bitch in line and looked at her bite, then she came back to Koki and looked at her bite.  No one else got that double check, so I thought it was between Koki and Paris.  So she asked us to gait around, and I just kept looking at the Judge and at Koki to be sure whe was going right and she picked Koki for Winners Bitch!  Woohoo!  That gave Koki a five Point Major to “finish” her Championship!  It also gave me Point Number 20 for Hall of Fame!

I have to admit that my reaction was kind of over the top as I went to the Judge to get the big blue rosette.  Robbi was at the entrance to the ring ready to give me a huge hug and people were coming to congratulate me as somehiw lots of people knew what happened. So I turned to go back to get my ribbon and Kym looked quizical.  I said, of course that “finished” Koki, but that’s not all, that it the last point I need to be a Hall of Fame Kennel.  She then gave me a huge hug.  When Koki and I left the ring, I dare say that everyone in the building made their way over to hug me and slap me on the back. This was a huge moment. People said the nicest things and trully shared my joy!

What this meant for me is thirty years of breeding dogs that all go back to my foundation of Feather and August.  I will be writing a short page on every dog that contributed and I will try to include photos of all of them.

To finish off the magical day of showing Koki, though, we did have to go back in for Best of Breed. Koki was a show machine in that class. I was proud of her.

My club had planned a pork barbecue dinner, and they surprise the heck out of me by having a congratulations for me with a huge sheet cake with Sundew Hall of Fame Kennel on it and cards signed by everyone who was there.  It was so much fun, and I can’t thank my friends and club members enough for being so thoughtful and for surprising me again with a wonderful evening.  As I said, this happened Memorial Day weekend, and I’m still grinning about it!

We showed for the two shows the next day in Best of Breed. That is where you show after you become a Champion.  I was proud of my “show machine” as she was a joy to show!

We went to a show this weekend, and Koki was Best of Breed for that show under Judge Shelly Hollen from Texas.  What a thrill!  I’m really glad the Koki ended up being Number 20!  I couldn’t be prouder.

Koki side gait

Sundew – Number 19

June 14, 2008

A-CH Sundew Fire Walker CD STDds

My last post was about Fossil finishing her Supreme Versatility Championship.  I think that post conveyed very well how important that was to me.  I had produced an Aussie that is capable of acheiving ASCA’s highest Title for an individual dog.  Her Altered Champion Title also became the Number 18 Title that was needed for my kennel to become an ASCA Hall of Fame Kennel. 

I only bring this up as this May (3-4), my friend Robbi suggested that we take Koki and Joker to the ASCA Show in Indiana.  Koki and Joker are littermates.  Both of them had quite a few points earned for their Conformation Championship, and the Hoosier Working Australian Shepherd Club had just announced that they were going to have an Altered Major in dogs. 

In the dog show world, you need 15 points to become a Champion.  You earn Points by first winning the Class your dog is entered in and then beating all of the other Class Winners in the Winners Dog or Winners Bitch Class (yes we use the term bitch for a female dog as it is the correct name for a female of the canine species).  That Class is held at every show, and the size of the entry determines the number of points you earn per show. 

ASCA has a point schedule and in the Altered Program, you get 1 point if you defeat 2 Dogs, 2 points if you defeat 4 Dogs, 3 points if you defeat 8 Dogs, 4 points for defeating 12 Dogs, and 5 points if you defeat 15 dogs.  To acheive a Championship for an Altered Dog, you have to have three wins that are called Majors.  A Major win is a 3, 4, or 5 point win.  That means for a Major win for Dogs in Altered, you have to have an entry of at least 8 dogs, and you have to have that at three shows, and you have to win the shows to get the Major. 

ASCA is the only show-hosting entity that offers a show for dogs who have been spayed or neutered.  We decided at the beginning of the program to call it Altered as the dogs are not longer able to reproduce.  ASCA, as I said it the only show program that offers a show for Altered Dogs, and it is not as well attended as what we now call the Intact Show.  The roots of all dog show programs was to show off dogs that were the quality that you would use for breeding.  It was to show off breeding stock against each other and have a judge pick out the best one.  So, an Altered Show does the same thing except it highlights the dogs who can’t be bred.  These dogs must still be “Show” quality. They must earn the same 15 points that an intact Dog must earn and the same three required Major wins, but the problem is that at this time, the Altered Shows are way smaller than the Intact Shows and many of them don’t have enough entries for a Major Win.  So, many Altered show dogs end up with a huge number of one- and two-point wins.  Some will only show if there is a Majors win available, so that makes it harder to have enough entries for a Major. 

Anyway, before all this explanation, I was telling you about Robbi and Joker and Koki and me taking off to Indiana in search of Altered Majors.  Joker had 1 3-point Major and enough one-and two-point wins, so with two Major wins, he could “finish” his Altered Championship.  Koki is still intact and she already had three major wins and needed two ponts to “finish.”  She had won at 2 Five-Point shows and 1 three-point show, so she had thirteen points, all three Majors.  Joker is Robbi’s daughter Corey’s dog, but since she recently had ACL Knee surgery, she couldn’t show.  Robbi and I have been “Aussie” friends for more than 30 years so we knew we were going to have a fun trip with our dogs no matter what happened.

So off we drove about 5 hours south.  The upshot of this story is that Joker won at one of the shows on Saturday and at one of the shows on Sunday and both had 4-Point Majors, so that gave him the two Major wins he needed for “finish” his Altered Championship.  Robbi was so excited, because she was able to get the last points Joker needed for Corey.  I was excited because he earned point number 19 for HOF Kennel for me.  As his breeder, this counted as a qualifying Title for my Sundew Kennel.

You may wonder how Koki did that weekend…she showed at four shows and the best we did was a second place in one of the shows.  As Koki’s breeder, owner, and exhibitor, I can show her in the Bred-by Exhibitor Class.  This class is usually full of the best show dogs in the show, if I may say that.  It is the Class where the breeders show the dogs they kept from their litters.  It is usually the class with the deepest quality and is one where you can have a dog like Koki who is close to being “finished” but can still be out of the  four placing ribbons.  That is exactly what happened to us at the other three shows.  So, no points for Koki.  We went home happy and on the way we talked about all the things I need to do with Koki before the next show so that she might “finish” like Joker.  Robbi said I didn’t present her, and in show her off enough.  I also knew that she often shows with her ears folded back, and she is not real happy, happy in the ring.  I thought about the times that she won…each of those times, she was “on!”  She was pulling the lead and trotting ahead of me and had her head up looking “on fire.” 

I went home and used bait to train Koki to show with her ears forward instead of back.  I made silly noises and only gave her a treat when she looked annimated and sparky!  Each day she did it more for longer.  I also groomed her often and trimmed her toenails every few days.  I fed her a supplement that is high it Omega three oils.  I trimmed her coat a few weeks before the Memorial Day weekend preparing for my Club’s next show.  I’ll tell what happened in the next post.

5 + 3 = 8 = ACH = SVCH!

November 21, 2006

SVCH, WTCH, HTCH, A-CH Sundew’s Full Stall Landing DNA-VP, HXAs, HRDIII, HTADIII, HTDI, RS-E, RJ-E, RG-E, EAC, EJC, EGC, NA

8 years ago Chris Davies called me for a pup from my repeat breeding of CH Sundew Night Chant and Diamond Aire Sundew Khanection (Hope).  She picked the pup that was truly a stinker.  She was the one I was fretting about — who would want such a handful?   Chris is a very active competitor and trainer who has completed 3 WTCHs to date with more right on the way.  She also got her dog Salt to SVCH.  Last weekend while I was at our ASC of MI show, Chris called to tell me that Glenda Stephenson and Amy Burnette, ASCA Breeder judges,  had both awarded Fossil A-BOB at her club’s show.  Chris told me that with the 9 points she had from her intact shows wins, that was enough to finish…she did have doubts though about whether she got 2 majors as there were four class bitches, 1 Class dog and 3 Specials.  So that got me worrying and I asked all the people at the MI show and some said she got the majors and some didn’t.  So 4 + 1 + 3 = 8 or not…maybe it’s only 7.  Glenda called while I was in the ring and when I got out she said…she finished, she finished, she finished.  I said that I didn’t think so.  I called Chris, and we were bummed.  Then on Monday, Glenda called and said, there were really 5 bitches, so 5 + 3 = 8 and the freaking dog doesn’t matter.  She said, “I have my copy of the Judge’s book,” and I asked her to fax it as  I didn’t want to get my hopes up again without proof! So I called Chris and told her what Glenda said and she said she had just talked to Kelly and Kelly remembered it like Glenda, so we got a little happy.  Chris had left all the show results at her barn, at the show site, which is a few miles from her home, so she couldn’t check the freaking books.  Tuesday, she called me and the books said 5 + 3 = 8 for both shows, so we got all super happy again!!!

So, why is this such a big freaking deal to finish Fossil?  Because it’s what she needed to become SVCH, WTCH, HTCH, A-CH Sundew’s Full Stall Landing DNA-VP, HXAs, HRDIII, HTADIII, HTDI, RS-E, RJ-E, RG-E EAC, EJC, EGC, NA

Wow!  Thanks Glenda Stephenson and Amy Burnette for awarding BOB to Fossil and helping her to become SVCH.  Also thanks for maintaining that she finished even though Chris and I got ourselves pitifully confused. 

 

This is Chris’ second Aussie to have trained and shown to SVCH as she finished her Saltman a few years ago.  Fossil is the first SVCH for my breeding program, the second for Marie Murphy as Hope’s brother, Link, is also SVCH, and Marie and I co-own Hope and are co-breeders of her two litters. 

 

 

 

You may wonder why Bob Blount is in the picture…it’s a little matter of him awarding her HIT that same day!

 

What a dog!  What a Little Stinker!  I am proud to be her breeder.  And I’m so thankful that she went to the person who could love her and bring out her best.  Thanks Glenda, again!  I will always believe everything you say…

Ann

ASCA Working Description

October 2, 2006

Below is the Working Description created by the Stock Dog Committee of ASCA

Please comment on whether you think that the Working  Description should be voted on by the ASCA Membership.  I welcome your input and would like to see a civil discussion on this matter with your comments.  The Board has approved it, but I think that there is good reason to ask the Membership to vote to affirm it.  I personally like this description, and I include it because I think it is a good description of our breed.  I urge you to read it before you comment.

Thanks, Ann

THE WORKING DESCRIPTION OF THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD

Introduction

The Australian Shepherd was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries as a general purpose ranch and farm dog in the American West, where a tough, enduring, versatile stockdog with an honest work ethic was required. His usual work included moving very large herds of sheep and cattle from summer to winter grazing grounds and back, flushing range cattle out of heavy brush, and moving livestock in tight quarters such as chutes and alleys. These kinds of jobs are still where Australian Shepherds excel and are most valued.

The Australian Shepherd is categorized as one of the Loose-Eyed breeds of stockdogs. He is a confident, authoritative worker with a unique style that differs from Strong-Eyed breeds. He is agile, upright and close-working, and exhibits these distinctive traits while maintaining the ability and versatility to control all types of livestock in an efficient and deliberate manner. The Australian Shepherd excels at controlling large and/or slow-moving flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and is highly regarded for his superior ability to effectively manage livestock in tightly confined spaces. The Australian Shepherd is powerful and intense by nature, easily learning the appropriate force and distance needed for the type of livestock being worked. Using a loose-eyed approach to stock, a working Australian Shepherd will often display wear, grip, and/or an authoritative bark, as well as eye when necessary, to handle his stock.

Wear

The Australian Shepherds wear in smooth, balanced, and ground-covering as the dog moves easily from side to side at the back of the stock, keeping his herd or flock together and moving forward. This is a very natural movement for an Australian Shepherd, and one that he can continue doing for hours at a time.

Grip

The Australian Shepherd will only use grip to move reluctant or challenging stock. The ideal Australian Shepherd naturally grips at both the head and heel, coming in low and hard on the heels to move cattle, or going to the head and gripping the nose or poll to turn an animal back to the herd.

Bark

The Australian Shepherd may bark to move stock or to face a challenge. His bark is conservative and should be authoritative when used. While the Australian Shepherds grip typically affects a single animal, his bark can influence a whole herd, and is most effective when stock has come to a standstill such as in crowded alleyways. The Australian Shepherds bark is particularly useful when gathering cattle from thick brush.

Eye

Since the Australian Shepherd is a loose-eyed working dog, he prefers to use his authority and presence to move livestock. However, if challenged, he may use eye in a direct and deliberate way until the challenge is over.

Anniversary

August 27, 2006

Mom and Dad

Hello World:

Yesterday was my parent’s 60th Wedding Anniversary.  They were married right after Dad returned from his Navy service right after WWII.  I was born less than a year later in July.  They met in college and had a small ceremony in the living room of my Grandparent’s house.  Iwasn’t there. I have seen pictures.  My Dad was in the seminary and became the fifth generation minister.  None of his five kids followed that path. 

The fact that I was born right after WWII makes me a Post War Baby Boomer.  I have always thought that was cool.  My generation has been a big huge bump traveling through time.  There were so many of us born after WWII that we have always had a huge influence on the economy and trends from the time we were born.  Schools had to be built, dorms had to be built, and all sorts of changes had to be made to accommodate this huge number of people.  Many of our men were killed during the Vietnam War, which had a huge effect on our politics and our transition to adulthood.  I have several theories about the effects of Vietnam, one being that the trend for women to have kids on their own as single women had to do with the loss of so many men to that War.  I also believe that the divorce rate is partially due to the effects of Vietnam on the men who served.  Many were so damaged that if they survived that War and returned home, they had problems with family life and with relationships.  I believe this effect was the same for those who served in the military and for those who did not.  This is bringing tears to my eyes as I type as the memories of the struggles at the time can still get to me.  I know many men who served and came home with lasting effects.  I know just as many who didn’t go due to their own personal decision about what they thought was right, and what they went through was very hard on them as well.  It is not for me to say which was hardest or worse.  I can only tell you that I know no one who was not supportive of those who made their best decision at the time.  What I mean by this is that I know no one who was negative about or not supportive of returning Veteran of the Vietnam War.  The whole idea of the Hippies protesting as soldiers returned was not something that I saw ever.  The people that I knew welcomed those who served home and surrounded them with love and support.  I have no idea where the reactions that are remembered about the return of the soldiers actually happened.  I think that it was people who were come in to the antiwar movement late in the war who really didn’t get the reasons why many of us opposed it, but they knew they should be against it, so they took it out on the later returning troops.  I just can’t stand the idea of that.  I could never be that way toward anyone in the military.  It makes me sad to think of anyone being treated with less than thanks or respect as they did what they thought was right, and I feel that even if I was against the War, I was not against anyone who thought the right thing to do was be there. 

 Wow, those are some of my strong feelings!

Anyway, I wish to honor my Mom and Dad, Edward and Nancy DeChant, who are still doing well at 84 years old.  They are enjoying a trip to a Model Railroad Convention in Colorado.  60 years is a wonderful milestone.  I love them so much and feel that the contribution they have made to their children and to the world is noteworthy!  Dad was a minister and Mom was a Kindergarten Teacher, and they both touched many lives.  Even as retired people, living in Arkansas, they contribute to their community of Jasper to as very committed degree. 

To make this Aussie related…2006 is my 30th year as an ASCA Member and as an Aussie owner.  So it’s my 30th anniversary of one of my most favorite and meaningful affiliations! 

Happy 60th Anniversary to Mom and Dad, and Happy Anniversary to Ann DeChant and Gene Stephenson for the beginnings of Sundew Australian Shepherds!

Thanks for reading!

Ann 

August

August 25, 2006

We got Winchant August from Carol Culham.  She was two years old at the time that we saw Carol at a show.  She was looking for a home for August.  She had brought her to a show intending to show her under Rachel Paige Elliott.  Carol was overwhelmed by a change in her life, and things didn’t go the way she wanted them to in preparation for the show.  August was being boarded, and she was totally freaked out by being at the show.  She was hiding in Carol’s car.  Carol was asking people if they would like to help her out by taking August.  We got her out of the car and Gene, my husband, fell in love with her right away.  We showed her to Paigey after the show, and she really liked her.  She said the thought she would make a nice bitch for us to use for breeding if we chose to breed.  She was a decent bitch who moved nicely and should be bred to a dog with a good topline.  We took her home for a two-week trial.  We kept her as she wormed her way into our hearts.  We owed Carol a puppy and she got to approve the dog to whom she would eventually be bred.  Feather and August fortunately got along wonderfully. 

We decided that we did want to breed August, and our friend, Nancy Moening, had a dog who was by the Sire of Feather, CH Peace Pipe Birch Bark.  His name was CH Peace Pipe Silver Birch CD, and his dam was Easy Lovin’ of Sunnybrook.  His call name was Smoke.  Carol had already planned with Vicki Rand to breed August to either Birch or Smole.  Smoke was a really nice dog and he was doing very well in the showring and in obedience.  So, August was bred to Smoke.  Carol and I were co-breeeders of that litter and as payment for August, Carol got to pick a puppy.  The one she picked she named Windchant Mahogany  with a call name of Maggie.  Another pup from that little, Capt’n Jon’s Sundew Sea Raider, Gabe, went home with Nancy, Smoke’s owner.  There was also my dog, Dan, the one who chose me.  Dan was Sundew Eagle Dancer STDds.  Look for stories later in Aussie Thoughts on Maggie and Gabe and Dan. 

August was wonderful as foundation bitch.  She also produce Amber of Sundew who I later bred to my dog Jake, and the produced CH Sundew Ravensong CD TD ATDd STDs.  So, August turned out to be the beginning of our kennel at the start of our slow stroll down the path to Hall of Fame! 

Feather and August

August is the black tri on the left. 

Ann

Feather

August 24, 2006

Peace Pipe Feather Dancer was my first Aussie.  I got her in 1976.  She was a real handful like a lot of Aussies.  She was extremely flashy and turned heads immediately.  Her photo is added to this post.  Feather is the blue merle on the right. 

You can see that she was going to get up at any second.  She was that type of Aussie. 

Feather was a great Aussie to begin with.  She was sired by a new CH Peace Pipe Birch Bark (Birch) and out of Copper Canyon Tangelo of Peace Pipe (Bear).  They were both owned by Kirk and Vicki Rand of Peace Pipe.  Kirk and Vicki were very active in ASCA.  Vicki was the editor of the Aussie Times for more than 20 years.  Kirk served on the ASCA Board of Directors.  They were Members of the ASC of Michigan, and they encouraged me to join.  I was totally surprised when I was asked to accept a nomination to the ASC of Michigan Board after my first Meeting.  I have been on the ASC of Michigan Board since that election.  This is my 30th year as a totally immersed Aussie fan.  I have attended most ASC of Michigan and SEMASA events for all these years. 

 I actually had a few black sheep before getting Feather.  That is rare in the Aussie world as most people get the dog first and buy sheep for their Aussie.  When I brought eight-week old Feather home, I put her down in my back yard to potty and she immediately went over to the free-range chicken flock and rounded them up and put them in their house.  I stood there amazed as this little pup ran around the chickens and actually took control of them.  They may have run for the house on their own, but her moves told them that’s what they were supposed to do.  She never ran in or harassed them, once they went in.  She just stood there and looked back at me as if to say, “This is what I do!”  I was immediately sure that we would pursue this avenue for her! 

Peace Pipe Birch Bark was sired by Cactus of Flintridge and out of Saga of Flintridge.  Bear was sired by George’s Red Rustler and out of Quaglino’s Miss Pooh.  All four of these were known dogs of the breed at the time.  I came home from Vicki’s with Feather and the current Aussie Times.  Birch was on the inside front cover saying that he had just gone WD and BOW at a show.  I soon learned that WD meant Winners Dog, the winner of the males that weren’t Champions at the show, and BOW was Best of Winners…that he as Winners Dog beat the Winner of the females who weren’t Champions (Winners Bitch) and that meant the of all the dogs and bitches who were shown in the Regular Classes he was the Best at the show according to that day’s judge.   I found this all very interesting and took Feather to the next show that I could.  Vicki told me that Feather was not show quality, but she could be shown.  I soon found that while it was fun to show her, she didn’t win very much.  The judge always gave her a very long look due to her striking beauty, but she had structure and movement faults that meant that there were almost always better moving dogs in the ring.  Vicki told me at eight weeks that Feather had a straight shoulder and that her front was on her body too far forward.  That caused her to have a short stride in front.  Her rear was more angulated than her front so she over-reached her front.  She also crossed over in the rear.  My Friend who was a vet went with me to get Feather, and she told me those were actually small faults that I could breed away from.  Vicki honestly represented Feather as that is exactly what she grew up to be.  She wasn’t a great show dog, but she was a great Aussie.  I didn’t get too discouraged showing her as I firmly knew what I had.  I began reading everything I could about canine movement, structure, and breeding.  Feather created that interest.

I met some of my best friends ever while showing Aussies over the years.  I am still friends with them, and I still love to show.

 That is enough for tonight.  I will try to figure out how to best use a Blog. Thanks for reading,

Ann

Hello world!

August 23, 2006

Good evening World:

 Do you have a topic about ASCA that you would either like to ask questions about or that you would like to comment on?  Please start right in.

 Thanks,

Ann


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