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,


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