Tuesday, October 18, 2011



A better question would be what becomes of a dog once she finishes her championship and she lives in the Cohen household? Chances are once a male becomes a champion and especially if he adds Select to his title, the German Shepherd population will know more about him than if it’s a bitch that has done the same thing. Of course if she becomes a top ROM producing dam then that’s another story. Ever wonder what becomes of some of these lovely girls that had such wonderful show careers? Well if she’s raised in the Cohen’s house (Lorraine and Marc) and her name is Select #2 Ch Cathelin Azeri of Hallmark one might find her sailing up and down the coast line of Washington. Or she might be accompanying Marc on one of his veterinarian lectures sitting right up on the podium next to him. After all she’s used to being put on display and the stares and smiles directed at her has all been shown to her before. She takes it all in stride and is more concerned about the dinner that she and Marc will be sharing back at the hotel later on. So if a bored yawn escapes her mouth, it’s not that she’s unappreciative of her adoring admirers, it’s just that she’s looking forward to a favorite treat that awaits her back in the hotel room.

Annie is the queen of the Cohen house and the other dogs (many of them being her kids and grandkids) know it and show her the respect that she’s grown accustomed to. Many of them are following in Annie’s illustrious show career with major points and Best in Futurity wins and class winners.

As much as Annie enjoys the comforts of her home or traveling with Marc on his lecture circuits, one of her passions has been those lazy days spending time sailing up and down the coastline of Washington where she resides. Although Annie is not the only dog in the Cohen household that has shared in this beloved sport of Lorraine and Marc’s, she usually accompanies them the most. It’s a privilege that she’s earned! The latest adventure found the Cohen’s and Annie sailing through the straights up to Canada. Lorraine told me that they ran into (or better put) ran away from a storm that was chopping up the sea that they set sail on. In typical Annie fashion, she took it all in stride. If it was good enough for her masters, then it was good enough for her as well.

Annie has her own life jacket and her infamous little red booties that she wears on those rougher days out at sea to help prevent her from sliding on the wet deck. She tolerates her embarrassing red booties surprisingly enough more than her constricting life jacket. I wonder what her show dog competitors would think of her walking around in red booties and a life jacket. Jeez!

Come dinnertime, a plate is set at the table for the Queen to join her masters as they discuss their day at sea. Lorraine swears that Annie understands many of their conversations. No matter how rough the seas can get, Annie never gets sea sick or nervous as the writer of this article would be! I guess that’s why she’s a true German Shepherd……she’s a brave little soul!

And what about when “mother nature calls?” Going potty on the deck of the boat is something that Annie refuses to do. She’s such a lady! Instead, she enjoys her little boat rides on the dinghy that takes her and Marc to shore. One would swear that she’s just looking for an excuse to feel the sand between her toes and run along the beach with Marc. Lorraine says that she loves it! Is this a dog that enjoys life or what?

Most days find Annie walking around up on deck taking in the sights and smelling the fresh air and sea water. Some days a stray seagull or two might hitch a ride to the sails of the “SV Gantman” (the name of the boat) to see what a German Shepherd is doing away from land. Once their curiosity is satisfied, they turn a disinterested eye away and fly beyond the horizon until Annie loses site of the feathered creatures.

Annie is eight years young now having just celebrated a birthday on August 17th. One would swear that she’s still a puppy the way that she “tells off” the resident dogs that live on the docks on boats with their owners. So this is when the “Queen” is put on a leash and hooked up to the “grab rail” down in the salon of the boat as they leave the docks. It’s as if she’s letting them know how special she is. I guess she forgets that she’s no longer home ruling her domain and these dock dogs aren’t at all impressed with her show dog titles. To them, she’s just another one of those loud, boisterous German Shepherds trying to push her weight around. They are most thankful when the “SV Gantman” prepares to set sail with “that dog of theirs.” A male dog lifts his leg to relieve himself where their boat was docked as if saying “Bon Voyage Ms. Show dog!” And as they further drift out to sea, one can still hear Annie in the belly of the boat barking in defiance at the dock dogs’ indifference to her!

I was delighted to meet Annie in person when I shared a room with her owner Lorraine at the 2005 National where I saw this beautiful representative of the breed deservingly take her Select 2 title! Annie is everything that a German Shepherd should be. Besides her successful show career and her equally impressive offspring, Annie is the type of dog anyone would be happy and proud to own. She’s beauty, brains and bravado all wrapped up in one tightly neat little black and red package!

Back at the Cohen’s house bed time can prove challenging for Marc as sometimes he finds himself in the awkward position of “asking” Annie if she doesn’t mind moving her little body over so he can climb in as well. Oh it’s not that she’s selfish, but if she gets into bed first then she’s claimed that spot as her own for the night and “those other two” have to scramble to find a comfortable spot of their own. Did I say already that Annie is one smart canine?!

Annie is retired from the show ring now and lives a very happy and content life……..”You think?”

My rating: Living, loving and playing with your German Shepherd: (4)