|Continuing to Show while in College and Beyond
By Kathleen Waldock
One of the biggest challenges I have had to overcome since becoming a college student was living away from home without my hairy family members. By the time I went off to college the dogs that I had raised since their birth were already AKC as well as international champions, had been specialed by me and then went into semi- retirement to become spoiled, but happy couch potatoes. Unfortunately, this left me in a void regarding continuing to do one of the most rewarding activities I participate in - showing my dogs. Luckily a new and exciting opportunity arose when a new hairy member, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was added to my family. This created a path for my continued and future involvement with showing my own dogs.
When the new puppy Cavalier became a part of my family, I had the chance to learn how to show a new breed of dog. I have previously shown large breeds in the sporting, working, and herding groups, but did not have experience showing table breeds. I knew that there are different techniques to use when showing a Cavalier, especially since this breed is to be shown and stacked very naturally. While training with my new little charge, it is not only he who is learning new things, but I am continuing to grow and expand my horizons as well.
My future aspiration for involvement in purebred dogs is to be a lifelong learner regarding different breeds of dogs and to continue showing dogs in AKC events. Specifically I will continue my challenge to show a table breed very well and help finish my current young Cavalier's championship. I also intend on remaining an active involved member with my breed clubs - Clumber Spaniel Club of America and my new membership in the AKC sanctioned Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Northern Arizona. I have learned so much through my passion for dogs, showing my own dogs and also working with my breed clubs. My intention is to always be involved with dogs, to continue my involvement in the fancy as a college student, while in graduate school, and beyond.
Kathleen Waldock is a recipient of the AKC Junior Showmanship Scholarship.