Sometimes people write to me asking about some of the stories that I've written. So I dug out of my archive one of the stories that I wrote several years ago. Maybe I'll pull some of them up again and share them with my new readers. I thought I might do this occasionally on a Friday when things are usually slower. For those of you that are new to the sport of showing the German Shepherd Dog, this is a fictional story that I wrote but the the names of the characters are real. The three that I wrote about are no longer with us but were all "pillars of the breed!" Two were breeder/judges and the other was a professional handler. Both judges were highly respected and popular. The handler was extremely colorful and sort after for his expertise in showing the German Shepherd Dog.
Wow..........take a look at what Amazon came up with for display for this story today. They have truly matched their product to fit my story! After reading the story you'll see what I mean! I love it!
Have a great week-end everyone and I'll be back on Monday.
Barbara J. Galasso
“Sir, if I may have a moment of your time please. It looks like the German Shepherd fancy is in need of your help again,” says one of the residents of this massive kingdom. “Oh, asks the Lord as he leans in closer to listen, what kind of trouble have they got themselves in this time?” “Well your worship, from what I can gather, it seems like the membership is dwindling away because less and less people are staying in the breed to show their dogs. Moral is down and it seems some of the new people are discouraged and without much hope, they are taking their dogs out of the show ring and away from the Specialty clubs. And the master asks, “What’s becoming of these people and the dogs that they love so much?” “Well sir, from what I’ve been told, they still love their dogs but they either put them in obedience or just take them home and keep them as their family pets.” “Well,” the Lord replies in a commanding voice, “There’s nothing wrong with that, now is there?” “Oh no sir, nothing wrong with that at all, the gentle man replies. “Well then, let us intervene and send them some help, shall we?” Go and gather for me the following people please and bring them to me,” he instructs the man.
Within an hour, the three people that the Lord summons stand in front of him waiting for his direction. One by one he speaks to each of them and tells them what he wants them to do. “LaMar Kuhns,” he calls out, come closer to me. “LaMar anxiously obeys him and listens intently to what he has to say. “I want you to go down to earth and show them how to groom and show a dog properly. None of this nonsense with hair blowers and grooming tables. They’re making the manufacturer wealthy and themselves poor. No wonder they can’t afford to show their dogs. Do you understand what it is I want you to do LaMar?” “Oh you bet I do sir. You bet I do,” LaMar says in a delighted voice. “Well,” the father says, Quick boy, get to it. Be off with you then." LaMar quickly scrambles to be on his way. “Oh just a minute son”, he hears the loud voice say in a very commanding tone. LaMar turns to face him. The master says,” I’m warning you; watch your language or its back to purgatory when you return” “Right; you got it,” LaMar sheepishly answers.
“Mrs. Connie Beckhardt; please step forward” the father says. Connie bows her head in obedience and waits for her instructions. “You my dear woman were loved and admired by many in the fancy. You not only accomplished in the breed what many only dare dream of, but you were also an ambassador of good will to the fancy through your kindness and sincerity for your love of the breed. Go to these clubs that are folding and show them what it means to be a mentor and encourage them with your knowledge and charity. I’m counting on you Connie.” “I won’t let you down sir” she says as she leaves his kingdom on her way back to earth.
One person still stands before the Lord. “Mr. Ernest Loeb, you are the third person I want to send to the earth. You lived longer than the other two, and in that time you became one of the most recognized names in the history of the German Shepherd Dog breed. You were known as a much sort after judge, a breeder of top quality dogs and someone who many turned to when they were looking for knowledge about the breed.
You my dear man are to go down to earth and show them how to judge a Specialty show and what a good specimen of the breed looks like. Go forth than and once again teach the students of the breed.” Mr. Loeb bows his head humbly and says, “It will be my pleasure sir,” as he slowly turns and walks away.
“Wow, the show pulled a 5 point major in males and bitches today” one of the club members is overheard saying to another club member. “I can’t believe how that happened, when the day before the entries closed we only had 1 point on both sides”, he says scratching his head. “Beats me,” his companion says. “Maybe it’s because the original judge called in sick at the last minute. I wonder who’s going to replace him.”
With that, in walks a medium built man who is under the tent talking to the show secretary. He walks to the center of the ring and all eyes are on this man as he looks familiar to most, but they can’t figure out who he is. He asks for his first class to be brought in. Everyone comes into the ring as directed, and is waiting for the last dog who is being fluffed up at the withers a bit more, and then as the judge loudly clears his throat, the handler allows the dog to put on a display after everyone else is standing calmly waiting for him. The dog circles the handler many times and then stops and sets himself up. The handler steps back and looks at his audience and says, “darlings, did you ever see such a magnificent specimen of the breed?” All eyes are fixated on the flamboyant handler in the checkered pants more than the dog he is showing off. “Darn, he reminds me of someone,” you could hear among the whispers in the audience.
Outside the ring, a lovely soft lady is talking to many newcomers and she’s asking them about the gorgeous puppies that they have standing with them. She encourages them to work hard with them and get themselves a good handler to show these promising youngsters. She inquires about their bloodlines and advises them of what dogs they may want to consider using in the future. She asks them if they are members of this club, and if they are not she hands them an application form and suggests maybe they should think of joining. She smiles warmly and gives them a tender hug and tells them she has to go over to the food stand to help them sell some hotdogs, but she’ll be back to talk to them later.
Back in the ring, the winners dogs come in for one more look. Again, the class is held up just a little bit as the handler with the checkered pants comes charging in. The judge and handler meet one another’s eyes and the judge shakes his head and if you looked hard enough, you could swear he had a smirk on his face. He asks the handlers to move the dogs around nice and easy and demands a loose lead. A handler comes out to the center of the ring with her dog and she has him on a tight lead and he tells her to drop the lead.
She puts her hand on her hip and continues to hold the dog the same way. He slowly walks over to her and says, “My dear young lady, if you don’t drop the lead, I will forget that you and your dog ever stepped foot in my ring. Is that understood? She is about to make some wise crack to this mystery man, but when she looks him in the eye, it’s one she’s familiar with and respects, but she doesn’t know why. She does as he asks.
Now the class is gaiting together and just then the handler by the name of Georgie comes running up close to the handler with the checkered pants and he lets his dog cover the other dog so the judge can’t see him. The man in the checkered pants runs even faster with his short little legs and he turns and looks at Georgie and says to him, “I taught you everything you know about handling, you son of a b----. But before he can utter the profanity, a lightening bolt streaks across the sky and hits him square in the butt. “Ouch,” he says looking up towards the heavens as he tumbles to the ground. People try to help him up, but he insists that he’s alright. He gets up, and the judge has to turn his head for fear that the people will see him laughing. He’s thinking to himself, “He still hasn’t changed. I wouldn’t want to be him when we go back home. No sir. Wouldn’t want to be him.” The battle continues for winners with neither handler giving in to the other. They both want this win. The judge points to the handler with the now ripped checkered pants. With that he turns to his competitor and says, “You’re still learning sonny boy. After all these years, you’re still learning. Even after all this time, you still can’t beat me,” he chuckles out loud. “Just who is this wise guy”, Georgie asks himself. “I know I know him, but who is he?”
The show is now over, and people are gathering up their chairs to put them in their vans. They are all dumbfounded by what they just have witnessed, knowing that they recognized three people, but couldn’t quite figure out who they were. “Who are those three?” they wonder. I haven’t had so much fun at a dog show in a long time. That nice lady signed up six new members, the judge had total control of his ring and just look at how large his entry was. And that handler was just about the most colorful guy I’ve ever seen. He was such a showman. They decide to go over and talk to them. They turn around to look back at the field and they see two men and a woman walking away. “There they are,” they say. They call out to them to wait. But the three people continue to walk closer to the wooded area. “Wait a minute,” the people say as they start to walk faster to try to catch up to them. As the three people come to the woods, the people begin to run faster before they disappear. Someone says, “If I didn’t know better, I would have thought we just seen Connie Beckhardt mentoring our members, Ernest Loeb judging our show, and LaMar Kuhns himself handling our dogs.” “You’re crazy one of the other people” says. With that, as the three people step into the woods, a light breeze stirs up and the man with the checkered pants turns one more time to look at all the people and their dogs and the sport that he always loved. He smiles at them and gives them a wink as he and his companions disappear among the trees and bushes.
When they return, the gates of their home are opened to only two of them. When LaMar tries to enter, he hears the voice of the master say, “You did a good job my son showing how to groom and show a dog, but like usual, once you were back on earth that mouth of yours got you in trouble again.” “Yeah, but I can explain that to you sir,” he begins to say in protest. “No explanation necessary Mr. Kuhns. You forgot one important lesson. You might have been the master of your game on earth, but up here there is only one master, and it isn’t you. Off to purgatory then for you!” LaMar hangs his head low and talking to himself, he says, “You would have thought the lightening bolt to my butt would have been purgatory enough.” “What’s that you say son?” the master asks. “Nothing. Nothing, sir,” he answers. God smiles. He already knows.
My rating: taking a walk down memory lane: (4), having a sense of humor: (4)