I was just looking at the calendar and then at Sammy and realized that it was 5 years ago this weekend that we embarked on his career as a show dog. Well, we'd been to a couple shows prior but this was the weekend when we finally put some big points on the board - back to back 4 point majors at the shows in Worcester, MA.
That Friday night I drove Sam up to Michele Neubauer's house to be bathed and groomed by Lori Kopreski. On the way home, I saw a shooting star and thought, "Maybe that's a sign." Turns out it was. If I remember right, it snowed like crazy that weekend too. Lori was frantic thinking Sammy's coat would go berserk with the humidity. It didn't - we were able to brush the snow right off and you couldn't tell he'd been out in it.
On Saturday, an unknown Canadian judge pointed to Sam for WD and BOWs. Then on Sunday Mr. Lester Mapes found him for WD. For all but one point, Sam was handled by Lori Kopreski.
It's also been five years since my dear friend, Sam Gardner Sr., passed away. He died, unexpectedly, just 4 days after Sammy got his majors. I was so pleased he knew when he died that Sam was on his way to becoming a champion. He and Sammy were buds and it was thanks to Big Sam that Sammy came to live with me and stayed with me - even when Marla wasn't sure I would be able to handle the big, red dog. To this day, every time I or one of my dogs enter the breed ring, I send a little message up to Big Sam. I ask him to help me be a good handler, to help my dog to behave and to help the judge find my dog when it comes time to hand out the points :)
Next weekend Sam's youngest daughter, Georgia, is heading to shows in Winston-Salem, NC. There are 3 point majors both days. Maybe she'll follow in her father's footsteps and take the points both days. I'm watching for a sign and frantically sending Big Sam messages.
5 days ago