Michigan Sporting Dog Association’s Judges Education

Well it has been a very busy couple of months for us, my niece came up from Alabama to spend several weeks, our Fun Weekend at the beginning of June and we participated in the Judge’s Education Seminar on Sunday June 26th.

For those who have never heard of this I will try to give you a brief explanation; for the past eight years the Michigan Sporting Dog Association (MSDA) has held a Sporting Dog Judge’s Education Seminar here in Michigan. This is a unique opportunity for future judge’s to have the chance to get hands on experience judging various sporting breeds while being able to ask questions of people who actually own, breed, show and hunt with each of the breeds represented. This is required by the AKC for them to earn their judging license for each sporting breed they will be judging.

The event was held at the Ortonville Recreation Area, Ortonville, MI which is a beautiful park and worked very well for the dogs. There were 28 sporting breeds represented. This is a two day event starting at 8am and ending around 4:30pm. It is broken down into four sessions, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. There is also a live demonstration of the dogs doing the job they were bred for on land and water.

First the presenter does an oral presentation that lasts just about thirty minutes. They go over their breed standard, history of their breed and answer questions. After the presentation the judges are shown the dogs in a show ring setting so they can look at them move and get their hands on them to feel coat textures, bone and the over all conformation of the dogs. They are able to take their time and ask questions not only of the presenter but the owners of the dogs as well. After the morning session is over they have a field and water demonstration.

Each year this is made possible by the MSDA, and people volunteering their time and dogs. I personally feel this is an honor to be asked to participate with my dogs. The Chesapeake people have always been able to present to the future judge’s of the breed every color and many types from various kennel’s, males, females, and all ages. The feedback from the judges’ is very positive. As I sat taking photos of the water demonstration I over heard several of the judges remarking how wonderful this was to watch.

So now some photos of the event, I never get as many as I would like since I am one of the participants but I think you will enjoy the ones I did. Let’s start with some AWE puppy cuteness!

2016 MSDA Judges Training (5)2016 MSDA Judges Training (11)2016 MSDA Judges Training (17)This was the oral presentation portion.2016 MSDA Judges Training (123)Then the dogs are presented to the judges in the ring for the hands on portion.2016 MSDA Judges Training (125)2016 MSDA Judges Training (126)2016 MSDA Judges Training (127)The judges looking at the dogs lined up while the presenter answers questions and gives the age of each dog.2016 MSDA Judges Training (137)The judges going over each dog carefully. 2016 MSDA Judges Training (22)The water demonstration.2016 MSDA Judges Training (26)2016 MSDA Judges Training (32)2016 MSDA Judges Training (40)2016 MSDA Judges Training (43)2016 MSDA Judges Training (50)2016 MSDA Judges Training (52)Some land retrieves of  a goose. As you can see this a a large one but the dogs handle it well.2016 MSDA Judges Training (69)2016 MSDA Judges Training (53)2016 MSDA Judges Training (57)2016 MSDA Judges Training (71)2016 MSDA Judges Training (77)2016 MSDA Judges Training (83)2016 MSDA Judges Training (90)2016 MSDA Judges Training (95)2016 MSDA Judges Training (96)2016 MSDA Judges Training (97)2016 MSDA Judges Training (104)2016 MSDA Judges Training (119)This little Boykin was quite tenacious and put the big dogs to waste retrieving the goose Winking smile2016 MSDA Judges Training (151)And we will end with some more puppy cuteness!

If you would like to see more photos you can view them on MSDA’s Facebook page here

Tina and the Brown Dogs

Happy Independence Day



ACC Michigan Fun Weekend

It has been a very busy month here. On Saturday June 4th we had a Chessie Fun Day and on Sunday June 5th we did a Working Dog Stake. These were organized and offered by myself and my good friend Michelle, we are both the ACC Regional Directors for Michigan.

The Fun Day was a huge success, we had 27 people in attendance. We offered field training that was organized and run by Michelle’s husband Dave who is also our trainer. The dogs had a blast! When I looked around everyone was talking and laughing, I am sure sharing stories of their dogs.

We also had agility equipment set up for everyone to play with. I noticed that even the kids had a great time jumping through hoops and running through the tunnels.

2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (44)The Canine Good Citizen test (CGC) was also offered and we had a few dogs do the test and pass.

2016 ACC Fun Weekend (30)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (64)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (103)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (122)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (148)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (172)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (182)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (184)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (194)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (246)Even the senior dogs got in on the action.

2016 ACC Fun Weekend (261)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (270)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (320)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (324)2016 ACC Fun Weekend (346)And some of the dogs enjoyed the pool Winking smile

The weather was fantastic! We had several businesses donate items for our door prizes. I want to take a moment to recognize them here. First a big thank you to Kappen Tree Service for allowing us the use of their land for our Working Dog Stake. A big shout out to JoAnn Stancer from Sand Spring Chesapeakes for donating a hand made slip lead, lanyard and collar tab set and several sets of her Norman Kisses. Gun Dog Supply and Doctors Foster and Smith donated gift certificates. Chewy.com donated Kong Zoom Grooms. Luv & Emma’s Dry Pets donated a Super Absorbent Microfiber Towel. Bird Dog and Retriever News donated issues of their magazine.

Sunday the weather was not as cooperative as Saturday as half way through the day it poured but the dogs didn’t mind. But all in all everyone had a good time running their dogs in the test. Our judges set up a nice challenging test for all the dogs and it was great watching the handlers and their dogs working as a team. We had 10 entrants, 2 had to scratch so 8 dogs ran. We had two dogs pass their WD and one dog pass the WDQ.

2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (13)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (19)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (26)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (30)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (49)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (54)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (58)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (60)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (89)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (97)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (102)These were our judges, Heidi Hebert and Jennifer Marenich. Heidi used her dog for the test dog in the WDX test.2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (114)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (122)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (129)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (137)2016 ACC WD-X-Q Stake (143)

Titan was the test dog for the WD and I was so proud of him he smashed the test on land and water! Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of him and didn’t think to ask someone to take some for me. The test dog is a dog that does the test so the handlers can watch and see how it will be done. The dogs entered can not watch this and that is why we also use blinds for the dogs as they make their way up to the line…no cheating Winking smile

Even though we were rained on everyone had a good day. I want to give a shout out to all the great helpers we had for putting the test on. It takes people to throw birds, gunners, set up each test and tear down, a marshal to keep everyone moving in turn and any other thing that might need to be done. Without their help this would not have been possible. They worked hard and all their efforts were greatly appreciated!!

By the end of the weekend we were all tired including the dogs but I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Tina and the Brown Dogs

Wordless Wednesday ~ Big Water Fun

Lake Michigan 2016 (25)

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How do I say goodbye…

You may have noticed I have been absent from posting and reading all your lovely writings. I apologize for that but I have had a very devastating event happen.

On May 25th at approximately 3:00pm I had to say good bye to my beloved Cheyenne.

I am heartbroken and my emotions have been so raw I have not had it in me to write or frankly do too much of anything. But finally I feel like I just might be able to put to paper, so to speak, my journey with Cheyenne.

Although I had known Cheyenne her whole life starting from birth, she didn’t come to live with me until she was just over a year old. You see she helped ease my broken heart from losing my first Chessie, Shadowdancer, to bone cancer. So our journey began in 2004 with this very shy girl who only had eyes for me.Cheyennes first Christmas with me She would lay behind the rocking chair until I came home each day and could not be enticed by anyone in the house to come out.

She lived to please me! She was always my faithful companion, my shadow.

In the first years we did the whole dog show scene but it just was not Cheyenne’s cup of tea. She would do it because I asked her to but I could tell she hated it. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Cheyenne and Riva.                                            This was her favorite part of dog shows!

In the ring she was always looking for the exit! So after giving it a good try I decided it was time to pursue other areas. So when she was six years old we began our field training journey.

That too started off very slow but once she turned onto the birds there was no holding her back. She loved to retrieve and swim! You could see the joy on her face doing her job.Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (4)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (3)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (1)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (2)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenneswim2

At the age of eight we tried the ACC Working Dog Certification program (WD). She did fantastic on land but missed one of her birds on water, so no pass for us that day. Although I was disappointed we didn’t pass I could not have been more proud of her. She continually followed my command to go fetch more than a half dozen times but she just could not find that elusive bird. Our judge that day highly complimented her on such good work, she could not believe she was eight years old. I will never forget what she said to me that day as she patted me on the back, “you have a hell of a dog there don’t give up”!

So we didn’t give up and continued to work and train hard and at the age of nine I entered her again in a WD. This time we did great and she passed her certification, I was so ecstatic!! Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne1Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne WD (1)Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne WD1I had always told her that once we passed she could retire. I kept my word, we only retrieved for fun after that.

She spent the next few years just being a dog having fun. She was always by my side. I rarely had to leash her, she would not think of leaving my side and if she did I could simply call her back and she always came. She thought crates were beneath her, and promptly let me know her displeasure if I made her sit in one. She was the queen of the house and the other dogs knew it.

There are so many things I will miss about my best girl, her loyalty, resting her head on the bed and watching me, rooing at me, her constant barking when I arrived home, not sure if this was glee or telling me off for leaving her. The list is endless, because how do you pick just one thing when a dog such as her has touched your heart so deeply. Chesaeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (2)Chesaeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (4)Chesaeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne (3)

So now the last leg of our journey…how do I say good bye? I say it with love, compassion and the decision to let her go with some dignity. I say it with hugs, kisses and sweet whispers in her ear. I say it by letting her know what a wonderful loyal and faithful companion she was. I say it with one last trip to McDonalds for a hamburger and ice cream. I say it while I sat on the floor of our vet’s office holding her head in my lap stroking her sweet face telling her one last time how much I love her. Chesapeake Bay Retriever~Cheyenne

So for me and in memory of Cheyenne please hug your pets and cherish the moments because tomorrow is not promised!