|Junior Showmanship with a Rough Collie
by George Robert Rohde
It has been a pleasure to be involved in Junior Showmanship with my Rough Collie Scrappy (Lord Scrapbook of Narnia). I have learned that patience, dedication, team work, and most of all love go far when you are in Juniors.
I have had Rough Collies since I was a little kid. I grew up with a male collie named Scottie who passed away in September 2007. I never showed Scottie however, he taught me the skills I would need to know to be successful showing in Juniors. He taught me life goes on whether you win or whether you loose. He taught me that success does not come easy however, once you got it, it’s definitely worth having. When Scottie died, I wanted another Collie to share my life with. After Scottie’s death, my family and I picked out a puppy named Scrappy.
From the start, I knew Scrappy had beautiful markings and would make a great show dog. However, at the time, I thought it was just a dream. Scrappy was rescued from Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois and therefore could not be shown in the regular ring. Juniors did not cross my mind at the time. Shortly after, I found about Junior Showmanship and the Indefinite Listing Privilege. I filled out the application (with my parents) and several weeks later, we got a certificate stating that Scrappy was registered with the ILP/PAL. I was thrilled!
I started training my Collie about ring patterns and stacking (Junior Showmanship does not like Collies Free-Stacked). Scrappy caught on really fast. Months went by and more training occurred. I took Scrappy to puppy kindergarten (at PetSmart) and then started an 8 week Comprehensive Obedience Course (at K9 Tail Shakers). After we graduated our obedience course, we tested for our Canine Good Citizen and we passed!
Since our Obedience was accomplished, we turned our heads and focused directly on Junior Showmanship Conformation. I had the privilege of working with Larry Reynolds of Wilding Collies in training and conditioning my Collie for the ring. I also started working with Neil Glaser of Stone City Kennel Club.
With a head full of knowledge, we entered our first dog show. My heart was pounding and my dog was tense. I knew this from his body language. However, I was ready to accomplish my dream! I grabbed my comb and went to go get my armband. Before I knew it, I was called into the ring. My performance was good for the first time and we got second place! When I walked out of the ring, I reminded myself, there is some touching up to do on my part. Scrappy did great; I was the one who needed work.
A week later, Stone City Kennel Club was hosting a fun match. We attended and did fantastic! We got first place in our class and then Best Junior Handler. If only it was a true show!
On December 12th, I was ready to make my debut again. Scrappy and I did fantastic at this show too. We got first place in our class. I was even more excited here than at Stone City because I knew this would count for the real thing!
I hope to expand my Junior Career with Scrappy. I hope to get involved in agility and possibly herding. We will have to see what comes our way as you never know!
I would like to thank several people who have helped me get to where I am today. I would foremost like to thank my parents for their dedication to my showing career in Juniors. Thank you for being a fantastic chauffeur to shows and for the continued encouragement! Next, I would like to thank Larry Reynolds and Neil Glaser for their continued support. Your training has shaped me to who I am in the ring today. Third, I would like to thank Bridget Kilcommons of K9 Tail Shakers Dog Training and Karol of PetSmart Dog Training for believing in me and wishing me the best of luck. Last, I would like to thank Tina Kiselka for everything you have done for me. Tina gave me advice on showing as well as being Scrappy's foster mom at Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois. You and Lacey have given me so much support and love. Thank you!