So hard to believe we are nearing the end of 2015! It has been a very busy and rewarding year for us here at Upcountry Vizslas. Our autumn show schedule kept us closer to home, for the most part, starting off in late-September out in Chilliwack at the Mt Cheam Kennel Club show with both Juno and Taiga. While Juno’s show career is largely over, she continued in the ring to support Taiga and ensure Rob and Kristy both had a dog to handle! Juno ended up walking away with a hat trick though; taking BOB wins all three of the days. While we were hoping to earn more points towards Taiga’s GCH title, we were so proud of our beautiful Juno and how she handled. Not to be outdone, little Taiga also succeeded in Puppy Group and Sweeps, taking both classes on one of the days.

Thanksgiving weekend took us to Cloverdale for the Fraser Valley Dog Fanciers Show for an exciting long weekend of showing. Juno took BOB the first day and SB the remaining three days, while Taiga took SB the first day followed by two BOB, one BPIG and Sweeps class. Most exciting is that at the young age of 8.5 months; Taiga earned her final points, coming a new Canadian Grand Champion!

Later that week Kristy, Juno and Taiga headed down to Ridgefield, Washington, to meet up with Taiga’s co-breeder and co-owner, Baroque Vizslas, and participate in an International dog show. A new experience for Kristy, International shows differ from CKC and AKC shows in that dogs are judged against the breed standard, followed by verbal and written feedback from the judge. In the sporting group, judges provide feedback on the dog’s: coat, head, bite/mouth, eyes, ears, chest, front quarters, back quarters, tail, topline and movement. The judge then provides a final rating of your dog and the level of rating received dictates the level of International show title earned. It was a rewarding experience to dialogue with the judges regarding Juno and Taiga and we were pleased to receive top ratings for our girls by all the judges. Juno added the title of IntlCH – International Champion to her name, and Taiga the title of IntlJR – International Junior Champion to hers.

We continued our time down south by showing the following weekend at an AKC-sanctioned show, again in Ridgefield, where Taiga took Winners Bitch earning her first major, and four points towards her AKC Champion title. Taiga did well the following day too, taking RWB in a competitive class of bitches. A flurry of activity ensued following this fun weekend that marks both the high and low of our involvement with dogs to-date. Our beautiful Pipacs was laid to rest on October 30, followed by the breeding of our first litter, Juno x Taz, on October 31 and November 1. An exhausting week of emotions and we are forever grateful for our family and friends for their support during this time.

While Kristy and Juno headed for home and some much needed rest, Taiga stayed on with Baroque Vizslas and continued showing in southern Oregon, taking WB and a Group 2 from Bred-by-Exhibitor class, earning more points towards her AKC Champion title. While we were sad not to see her in the ring, we are thankful to Greg Dutson of Baroque Vizslas for handling Taiga at this, and the previous Ridgefield AKC shows.

The third week of November saw the whole family pack up and head to Monroe, Washington, for the much-anticipated Specialty weekend. Unfortunately, with all the commotion of the previous month, Kristy forgot to enter Taiga so while we were stuck ringside, we thoroughly enjoyed watching all the beautiful Vizslas, particularly Taiga’s siblings, who all performed very well in the ring.

Our final Canadian show of the year occurred at the end of November back in Cloverdale. Now pregnant, Juno sat this show out, but Taiga showed well taking BOB each day and BPIG one of the days. We wrapped up the season back down in Ridgefield with Taiga, in the ring with three of her sisters, all of who showed exceptionally well but alas received no placements. Most exciting was the BOB win by brother Rockas in a very competitive class of dogs and Specials!

We are now settled in for the remainder of the year eagerly anticipating the arrival of our New Year’s pups. Juno will spend the first quarter of 2016 tending to her pups and then to herself, followed by a focus on obedience and field work.

Taiga will also begin some obedience activities in the New Year and continue participating in AKC shows with her American family. This little girl has amazed us with her wins to-date and we are excited to see what 2016 holds for her.