Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reflections on Montgomery Week

Margery Good and her Sealyham Terrier Ch Efbe's Merci Pour Poivre, aka Merci, win Best of Breed at the American Sealyham Terrier Club National Specialty held during the Montgomery County Kennel Club show. The show was held on October 4, 2009 in Blue Bell, PA.

Merci and the competition do the Sealy version of sparring.

Last Sunday, I spent the entire day at the Montgomery show. What a wonderful time! That show marked the end to my favorite week of the year - Montgomery week. All the terriers and their people have scattered to the four corners of the earth and PA must be a lot quieter now! The hotel lobbies and parking lots no longer have herds of terriers strolling around and all encampments of RVs, surrounded by X-pens, have vanished. I miss them...


Stirling Waterside the Patriot takes some bait during the Open Dogs class. His owner is The American Airedale's Editor-in-Chief, Susan Metcalf. "Brandy" finished his championship two weeks later. Congratulations to Brandy and Susan!

The Montgomery County Kennel Club show is the largest terrier show in the country and is held on the first Sunday in October in Blue Bell, PA. The week leading up to that Sunday is loaded with terrier activities as all the national terrier clubs have banquets, seminars, meetings and dog-related activities (like the week long all-terrier agility trials) through out the week. There are also the two all-breed Hatboro Kennel Club shows on Thursday and Friday and the all-breed Devon Kennel Club show on the Saturday before MCKC. The Airedale Terrier Club of holds its National Specialty and Sweepstakes (puppies handled by non-professionals, in this case) at the Montgomery show so competition is very stiff. I love being with Airedales and their people. Airedales, for the most part,  have nice people. I love dog shows, especially ones of this caliber. Dog shows are one part sport and one part performance art. And yes, one part politics, too. Wherever you have people, you have politics. I love the sport and performance art parts! The politics certainly make for interesting conversations, though.

Above: Airedale Terrier Club of Greater Philadelphia Vice President, Karen Coffey- breeder, owner, handler - shows Crescent's Firestorm in the 12 - 18 Months Dogs class at the ATCA National Specialty during Montgomery. Owners: Karen Coffey and Charlene Johnson. Congratulations to Karen for placing first in the Bred By class with Crescent's Best of Both Worlds.

Below: Newly elected ATCA Vice President, Phil Weinberger,  watches ringside at the Montgomery County Kennel Club Show with his young Aire girl, Tailsup Mamma Mia.

The ATCA banquet was held at a different venue this year,  in Jeffersonville, and I was treated to the rush hour traffic-clogged roads of PA. I missed a turn and it took me forever to turn around because of the bumper-to-bumper lines of vehicles. Nothing was moving, so neither was I. Well, it was well worth the effort. I look forward to the annual banquets and meeting new Airedale people. I had the pleasure of sitting with Phil and Louise Weinberger, Todd Clyde (another DE Airedaler whose wife, April, was at home whelping a litter!), Norma Appleyard - a Wire Fox terrier breeder - and Dee (of the stripping knife - Macknyfe Deetailer fame) and her husband Jim. I can't remember Dee's last name but when she told me about the Macknyfe connection, she made sure that I'll always remember her first name! The Deetailers were originally made for her and then eventually sold to the public.  The Macknyfe line of stripping knives is made by local Airedale breeder and my mentor in the breed, Jack McLaughlin. Mako is from Jack's Altena bloodlines. In fact, I even included one of my Macknyfes (or is that Macknyves?) in mock-ups of artwork that I have created as cover concepts for the ATCA's upcoming Yearbook.


Between working on the Yearbook and back-to-back colds, I didn't get to paint a special portrait for the ATCA auction but I did donate a custom portrait for the Fine Arts Raffle. I brought the above portrait to show as an example of my work. I was quite flattered when several people told me that they loved it and wanted to bid on it. I had to tell them that I couldn't part with it. They were fascinated by the expression. I told them that it was painted from a photo taken the day after Mako's first Montgomery. They found that amusing because they all knew what that meant. He looked so reflective because he was exhausted! He probably hadn't slept in five days because he was so excited being at all the shows! And he did quite well, thank you very much!

I also had the pleasure of attending the all Airedale Obedience and Rally Trials on Saturday. It overlaps the Devon show so there were people trickling in later in the competition.  This time conflicts makes it so they don't get the crowds that they really deserve. It is always exciting to see Airedales do what they are supposed to do! For the most part, everyone was on the same page and didn't totally embarrass their humans. The picture above is of some dales (and a Border Terrier buddy) relaxing after competition. There was a big snafu though, the caterer didn't show up! Sadly, half the crowd left at lunchtime. I was fortunate that Karen Coffey went out and brought back take-out from Cosi for several of us! Bless her! That BMT (Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato) on flat bread was so good. It inspired me to make my own version of a BMT to take to Montgomery the next day. I roasted some red peppers and marinated them overnight then added fresh focaccia bread to my take on the BMT. That's with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the side, too.


My friend and adviser, Glenn Seltzer, is a proud "dad" as Rosie the Sealy, aka Thunder Rd. TeaRose, won Best of Winners at the American Sealyham Terrier Club National Specialty at Montgomery. Rosie was handled by Margery Good. Glenn's wife, Marion, co-owns Rosie with Margery Good. Rosie got a four point major that day and was only one shy of the 15 needed for her championship.

I had fun dividing my time between the Airedales and watching the Sealyhams with the Seltzers. I watched the Airedales in the company of ATCGP friends, President Brenda McCann, Adele Abe, Secretary Barbara Vaughn, new member Sue Brent and Samantha Curran - owner of the most fabulous Max - joined us for a while, too. Adele was a professional handler back in the day and told some great stories about Airedales, past shows, the legendary Airedale breeder Barbara Strebeigh (her furniture was proudly adorned with Airedale teeth marks) plus handling an Irish Terrier for another handler only to discover - along with the judge - that it had a bad under bite!  "Normally I'd never be seen in the ring with a dog like that. But there it was!" She was so funny doing an imitation of that undershot jaw.

Marion Stelzer made note of my version of the BMT. It must have looked quite impressive on that focaccia bread!

All images are © 2009 Blue Zephyr Studios, LLC

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