This is my first post for 2018! It has been a very quiet start to the year, in terms of Dog Shows. I managed my school's First XI Cricket Team, which took up all day every Saturday for the first part of the year. And when you have a 'non-doggy family', it is difficult to then head to show on Sunday. However, this doesn't mean we don't have some achievements to be proud of.
In February, Fleur (Ch. Armahani Iolite Ilo (ai) HT) competed in the Tasmanian Puppy of the Year Competition. Unfortunately she was knocked out in the first round by the eventual winner, but I am still so proud of what my Blonde Bombshell has achieved. That day she also took out Best Australian Bred in Group 5 (Working Dog Group), in her first outing in the Australian Bred class. Fleur has taken at least one class in group award for every class she has been entered in. Not bad for our cream girl, who is only sparingly shown.
A couple of weeks after Fleur was in the Puppy of the Year, Benni (Ch. Armahani Heliodorr Hulivili (ai)) was making history by being the first Finnish Lapphund invited to compete in the Tasmanian Contest of Champions. This came on the back of the amazing 2017 Benni had, winning multiple Best in Groups (Group First) and Runner-up Best in Groups (Group Seconds).
Last weekend Benni and I headed up to Albury, on the border of New South Wales and Victoria, for the annual Finnish Lapphund Club of NSW versus the Finnish Lapphund Club of Victoria Border Challenge. This is a wonderful social get together, with some dog showing thrown in! Points are allocated for class placings, with bonus points for 'in Group' and 'in Show' awards. At the end there is a winning state and a top three individual dogs. Benni had a fantastic weekend, winning a strong Australian Bred Dog class each day and winning Australian Bred of Breed each day. The highlight was Day 3, taking out a 24 point Best of Breed. Benni finished the weekend third overall (out of the 22 lappies shown).
But there is no doubt the highlight of 2018, so far, came yesterday. Benni successfully completed the 20km Endurance Test, so he will now be known as Ch. Armahani Heliodorr Hulivili (ai) ET. The ET involves hours of training, in all conditions. We began training in January, slowly building up the distance. There were many times when I messaged Jacq, saying: "I don't think he will do it." Her calm reassurance and belief got us through.
Benni and I have also been attending Tracking training, each Sunday morning, for the past few weeks. I am really looking forward to getting out into the countryside, latter in the year, so see what this guy can do. He is a man of many talents, our Bennigan!
Well things are going to continue to be quiet in the competitive sense, for the next couple of months...we are expecting our first litter of Zuleika Finnish Lapphunds. I cannot wait to see what our two beautiful foundation dogs produce. Stand by for a LOT of puppy spam!