The 2018 National Beagle Club Specialty was held in Portland, Oregon at the beginning of October, preceded by the Columbia Willamette Beagle Club Regional Specialty. Nationals are always a very special time to meet with fellow beagle enthusiasts from around the country and around the world…and this year was no exception. Before I go any further I want to acknowledge and thank the many people who worked so hard to make this year’s nationals so very memorable. Your efforts are truly appreciated!!
My journey to Nationals began at home in Seattle where I loaded Hanne and Claire in my Nissan Leaf to make the 170 mile trip south to Portland. What would normally take 2.5 hours turned into a 6 hour odyssey with six stops along the way to recharge my car but we arrived safely, and comfortably, in Portland.
“Hanne”, Talbot Hill Dukeang Thyme Signature, was my only entry at the CWBC Specialty and I was thrilled when she went 13″ Best of Winners under breeder-judge Tim Jones (UK) from the 6 – 9 month puppy class for a 5 point major. She was also Best 13″ Puppy. I’ve waited ten years to have puppies by BIS/BISS CH Talbot Hill’s Thyme After Time. His first litter was just a few months old when I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and I had to let them go…to wonderful homes. This year I bred Herbie to my all-time favorite beagle, Talbot Hill Dukeang Road Less Traveled, “CoCo”, and together they gave me this lovely bitch…
Later that evening I had the great privilege and honor of judging the Top Twenty competition assisted by my dear friend, Sarah Woodling Houle. A panel of judges is selected for this event: a handler (Mike Kurztner), an AKC judge (Susan Paine), and a breeder (myself). The panel is kept secret until the time of the event I struggled for months to avoid discussing the Top Twenty with everyone…including my steward, Sarah!
The following day I had the great privilege of handling this lovely bitch for a friend…
She is Aimafe’s Latin Breeze, “Rosie”, owned by Penny Petrille (Ha-Penny’s) and bred by Alex Travez and Alex Escobar (Ecuador). A lovely little bitch with gorgeous sidegait, it was a thrill to pilot her to 15″ Winner’s Bitch.
15″ Winner’s Dog and Best of Winners, MG Carlos Gardel, also deserves special mention. He is a grandson of BIS/BISS CH Talbot Hill’s Thyme After Time by his son, Talbot Hill’s Lemon Thyme (out of my 2006 NBC 13″ BOW, CH Talbot Hill’s Razzle Dazzle). When I was diagnosed with cancer, Talbot Hill’s Lemon Thyme went to my friends Mauro Ernesto Martinez and Gaby Galvez in Guadalajara and he became a very nice producer for them. CH. Talbot Hill’s Razzle Dazzle went to Mauro and Gaby as well, and several other Talbot Hill beagles have contributed to MG Beagles over the years. At Nationals this year, they presented me with this beautiful gift, a watercolor painting of Carlos Gardel…
It was long, exhausting, but oh-so-memorable week in Portland. I’m blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people through my involvement in beagles. I went to bed the final night thinking “I don’t think that I’ve heard or said so many “I love you’s” in one week in my entire life”! On the final night I was honored to receive the annual NBC “Outstanding Sportsmanship” award. Time is running short so I share below my comments from Facebook that don’t begin to capture my gratitude for this honor.
…and then this happened. I’m so grateful for this recognition and to the people who went to hysterical lengths to make sure I was around to receive it…I love you dearly!!!
Yesterday was a major milestone for me and the dream that I might one day be able to breed beagles again is what has gotten me through the past 10 years. I thank my dear friend, German Carignano for making that possible. He approached me several years ago to buy Herbie, hoping to improve his breeding program. That wasn’t going to happen. But, I recommended that he contact my friend, Mauro Ernesto Martinez, who had taken several of my dogs after my cancer diagnosis. I felt that Mauro’s Herbie son, Talbot Hill Lemon Thyme, would be a good match for German’s bitch…and it was. To thank me, German gave me the gift of a beautiful bitch from the litter and I was able to start breeding again. He and his family are now my family and I have had the great pleasure of mentoring him and watching his progress over the years.
My own breeding in recent years has allowed me to not only get back to work rebuilding Talbot Hill, but to also mentor new people in the breed. Perfection is not attained instantly…or ever, for that matter. It’s a goal that we work toward by recognizing both the outstanding qualities in what we have and the things that we need to work on. Identifying goals and having a plan to achieve them are things that I talk about with the people that I work with. Success doesn’t happen in one generation or two…it’s the result of patient, honest, deliberate work.
When German first approached me about Herbie, I recognized in him a man who was asking good questions, someone who wanted to learn, someone who was open to dialogue, and honest feedback…and I have seen that in others. Just as I do with my dogs, I try to help each person toward their goals, toward a better version of where they are right now. As Ted said at the supporting membership meeting, we need new people in the breed, we need to keep people in the breed…and we need to do that for the sake of the breed. Ribbons, rankings, and wins are fun but I want to challenge you, if you’ve been around a while, to look for that new person to take under your wing, help them to grow, make their success your success. I had a great week at Nationals but I am every bit as proud of the accomplishments of the people that I work with!!
Thank you for this honor. It means so much to me.