Okay so your dog didn’t win the Grand Victor or Grand Victrix title at the German Shepherd Dog National Specialty Show this past week. He didn’t come home with an obedience or herding trophy either. Maybe he didn’t even win a ribbon. Heck, then there are those like most of us that didn’t even show at the National. Maybe we didn’t show because we couldn’t afford it. Perhaps we didn’t want to fly with our dogs and just maybe we didn’t have anything good enough to really compete with. So we stayed home and watched the show on the streaming video or read Evan’s blog for a step by step account of life at the National. One way or another, we were all clued to our computer screens waiting for a phone call from a friend that was there or an announcement to be made flashing across our screens.
This year the entries were down, but I’m told the quality was up. But one fact remains, big show or small show, most exhibitors are going home empty handed. No ribbon, no trophy. Hopefully because they are good sports they bring home with them many fine memories of a great show with friends and some great looking dogs.
Every year before the National, there is much talk about who will be chosen this years Grand Victor or Grand Victrix. Were your favorites chosen? Were there any surprises? How about the Grand Victrix who wasn’t even a champion yet? Against all odds………..she is now this years Grand Victrix! Way to go! Congratulations to all the winners!
Have you ever owned a dog that no one else wanted? Perhaps he was a shelter dog that someone threw away. Maybe he was the runt of the litter that never got sold. Or maybe he had genetic health problems and you felt it was your responsibility to take care of him for the rest of his life. Did any of these dogs turn out to be real special and that you are so happy that you never got rid of them? Were any of these dogs the best dog that you ever owned? What made them so very special? Did they beg to be noticed? Did they go out of their way to impress upon you that although God didn’t give them a pretty face, he gave them a great old big heart that knew no competition? What made your non-champion, you’re non-obedient titled dog one of the best you ever owned?
I’ve already told the story of a scaly little runt of a female puppy that my top producing champion bitch gave birth to. As I already said, other breeders would have perhaps let her go to puppy dog Heaven. But against all odds, I literally breathed life into this puppy’s lungs to give her every chance to live. And live she did. Yup, she was a homely little thing alright having to fight for her drink of momma’s milk or her place at the puppy dog’s dish of food, but it was her will to live, her will to survive that seen her through her life. She lived to a ripe old age loving life on a farm in New York.
What makes a champion a champion is the dog that shows with a lot of heart. He shows his heart out for his owner. He commands the ring and defies you not to notice him. He stands among his peers and never considers them as competition. Well the same thing can be said about the unattractive dog that no one else wants……there is something about him that makes him stand out. Perhaps it’s his tenacity, or his will to survive and never give up, or his claiming his right to his life that makes him stand out. He’s out to prove to the world that there is a reason he was born to begin with. Because this dog hasn’t been born with the superficial armor of beauty, he has to work extra hard to prove the beauty that’s in his heart.
The will to survive…………..the will to claim your God given right on this earth………is God’s gift to all his creatures. Some claim it and hold on against all odds!
From the book: “AMAZING GRACIE: A DOG'S TALE” - Now in paperback, AMAZING GRACIE is a moving, funny, and inspirational canine rags-to-riches story. "Tears will stain the pages as you read about Gracie," says USA Today. The Chicago Tribune advises, "If you're short on inspiration, read Amazing Gracie." "You don't have to be obsessed with dogs to love this story" (Philadelphia Enquirer), "Two paws up" (Portland Oregonian), "humorous yet poignant" (ASPCA Animal Watch). Booklist comments that "Dog-loving teens, especially reluctant readers, will eat this up." AMAZING GRACIE was nominated as a Young Adult Choice for 2002 by The International Reading Association-proof that it's a great crossover book.
Gracie was a deaf and partially blind albino Great Dane with a delicate constitution and a penchant for small miracles. Dan is the man-sad over the loss of his last dog and trapped in a dead-end job-who adopted her. Three Dog Bakery is the burgeoning and much-publicized chain of canine bakeries that, inspired by Gracie, Dan and his friend Mark founded. A love story, AMAZING GRACIE describes how Dan saves Gracie, the loneliest pup in the litter, then how, over the next ten years, Gracie saves Dan and Mark, teaching them the real meaning of happiness. There's the moment of meeting, when Gracie gets to her feet like a clumsy foal and nuzzles Dan's nose. Gracie's romance with the pint-size Boston Terrier next door. And the eureka moment (born of Gracie's anorexia-inducing dislike for commercial dog food): Dan teaches himself to cook and within three days begins baking the dog cookies that will transform their lives. AMAZING GRACIE is a dog-lover's treat.
My rating: Champion or not....a German Shepherd is a German Shepherd: (4)