Someone should put a giant gold star on the forehead of Susan Krouse of the Golden Gate Boston Terrier Club. Susan put together a Boston Terrier National Week in April that won’t soon be forgotten. She is GGBTC president (and show chairperson, and advertising chairperson, and trophy chairperson, and raffle and auction chairperson and, and, and…).
She not only commandeered the Silver State Pavilion of the Grand Sierra Resort Hotel in Reno, Nev., for the week’s three specialty shows, but also charmed the management and staff of the hotel into providing an open house for dogs and their owners throughout the hotel and casino.
It was impossible to turn right or left without a staff person of the hotel asking if you needed help or asking if you needed assistance. And how often have you received a mammoth thanks-for-staying-with-us gift basket from the hotel!? Did Susan do her job or did she do her job?
The Golden Gate club hosted the two back-to-back regional specialties on Monday and Tuesday and the national show itself was held on Wednesday. Entries averaged an all-time record of 250-plus per day for the three judges: Colleen Brossard of Bradenton, Fla., and myself for the regionals and John Connolly of Spokane, Wash., who judged the national.
For the first time in the national club’s history, entries exceeded the one-day judging maximum for the judges requiring an additional judge each day to take on the dog classes. Janet Allen was called upon to assess Colleen Brossard’s dog entry and Roberta Rettick stepped in to judge John Connolly’s overdraw.
Sandy Wheat came in to do my dog classes selecting the excellent Bred By Exhibitor 15-Pound and Under class winner, Oui R Strikin It Rich At Circle J (Ch. Ouis Royal Majesty Prince Charming ex Oui’s Essence Of Gold) as her choice for Winners Dog. The handsome 7-month-old youngster was bred by S. Maxine Uzoff of Houston, and owned by herself and Cindy Jones.
It is always gratifying to have large entries at specialties, but when quality is commensurate with numbers it reminds those of us who judge just why we do what we do. Quite frankly the quality of my specialty on the second day was absolutely smashing!
My line-up for Winners representing the best of the 92-bitch entry would warm the heart of any breeder with quality in abundance and both Winners and Reserve came from the two Bred by Exhibitor classes: Winners Bitch was the Under 15 Pounds, Martini’s Hey Sugah (Ch. Martini’s Designated Driver ex Ch. Martini’s Slightly Dirty), bred and owned by Linda G. Martin of Greensboro, N.C. Reserve to the 15 pounds and Under 20 Pounds bitch, Bojenx Rider Of Ruby Hills (Ch. Motif Huck Finn ex Ch. Brio Cibolo Hot Tamale at BoJenx) bred and owned by Terry and Haley Jenkins of Tucson, Ariz.
Judging the finals
The Best of Breed class was comprised of 73 Specials (45 dogs and 28 bitches) of exceptional quality. Reducing the number down to workable finals was no mean feat I can assure you. It took some ruthless cuts of individuals that, in any other circumstance, I would have been delighted to have in my ring and send to the winners marker.
Paring down the entry to the finalists and the seven Awards of Merit called upon all the knowledge I had accumulated on the breed over the many years I have known Bostons. You would have to know that the voices of my mentors through the years were whispering in my ear every step of the way that evening.
I consider myself most fortunate to have been privy to the wisdom of some of Boston Terrierdom’s very best through the years: Joe Faigel, Vincent Perry, Jerome Halle, Emil Klinckhardt, Bob Candland and the Munsons — Byron and Doris. All were good friends and great teachers. All were a part of the Boston’s golden era of the 1940s or came along soon enough after.
Though few in dogs today are aware of it, the Boston Terrier was not only a force to be reckoned with in the ring, he was very much the dog of the hour in the minds and hearts of the general public in those days. But I have digressed; suffice to say I have long appreciated the many charms and qualities of this truly American breed.
As I began the work at hand there were admittedly a pair of dogs and a pair of bitches in the Specials class that consistently caught my eye. As cuts were made they continued to hold their respective places until at the very end it was from those same four that my ultimate winners were to emerge.
The two dogs in final contention were Ch. Fivefork’s Geometry Matters At Kayas (Ch. Allews Bi-A-Sweet Proud To Party ex Ch. Fivefork’s Opal’s Quite A Trick) and GCh. Ken’s N’ Roobarb’N The Horse Ya Rode In On (Ch. Ken’s Fruit Of The Loom ex Ch. Graham’s Sister Sara Mac).
The two bitches, Ch. Bojenx The 1 N’ Only Rosie The Riveter (Ch. Brio’s Sonic Boom ex Ch. Brio’s Cibolo Hot Tamale At BoJenx) and Ch. Gunthers Gussied Up Edna (GCh. Ken’s N’ Roobarb’N The Horse Ya Rode In On ex Ch. Gunthers Purty Gertie RN).
All four of the contenders were exceptionally sound, beautifully marked and of superb type, but the Boston Terrier standard does allow latitude for personal preference in some areas thus permitting the breed judge to make choices on what he or she might personally place greater emphasis on while remaining fully within the dictates of the standard.
The final nod for Best of Breed went to Ch. Fivefork’s Geometry Matters At Kayas and Best Opposite Sex to Ch. Bojenx The 1 N’ Only Rosie The Riveter. First Award of Merit and Select Dog to GCh. Ken’s N’ Roobarb’s N’ The Horse Ya Rode In On. Second Award of Merit and Select Bitch to Ch. Gunthers Gussied Up Edna.
Interestingly the Best Opposite Sex bitch, Rosie The Riveter, is a half-sister to the Reserve Winners Bitch, Rider of Ruby Hills, both out of Ch. Brio Cibolo Hot Tamale at BoJenx. (There’s a dam worth her weight in gold!) Equally noteworthy is the fact that First Award of Merit/Select Dog Horse Ya Rode In On is the sire of Second Award of Merit/Select Bitch Gussied Up Edna. A winning father-and-daughter team indeed.
There are no more severe critics than those who render opinions on their own breed. Breeders and connoisseurs are acutely aware of each and every shortcoming that might exist in any dog or in the dogs of any given entry in their own breed. However, an all-rounder like myself can come to a breed and see not only where it stands when the dogs within an entry are compared to each other, but also how the entry stacks up overall when compared to the state of the other breeds one judges.
Quite frankly I find the Boston Terrier is in fine shape if the over 200 dogs and bitches present might be considered a representative entry. Even if those present might not be a fair estimation of how the breed stands nationwide, and are only what might be called “the cream of the crop” the mere fact that over 200 dogs of that quality can be gathered in a breed at any one time reveals that there are a sufficient number of breeders who fully understand what is to be done and are doing it.
Are there problems that need attention? Of course there are. Any breed that depended upon the Bulldog to get where it is will have soundness problems to deal with as long as the breed exists. That is pretty much a given that most anyone involved with a Bulldog crossbreed is willing to agree upon.
Can Boston eyes be more consistently better shaped and have a better size? That goes without saying. Can height to length be a problem at times? That can’t be argued. But I assure you the problems within the Boston breed are no greater than those that exist in many breeds I judge and I would venture to say that they appear in far less than a vast percentage of them.
Breeding dogs is a game requiring constant vigilance, for without it every gain can be lost in a single poorly thought-out breeding. It’s all a matter of breeding the best to the best and hope for the best. There is no other way to achieve success, but the happy part of it all is that the Boston Terrier people appear to be trying to do just that.