On our March cover, DOG FANCY features a delightful French Bulldog, Coco Vialatte Robobull Hot Flash, call name Sena. Our breed profile also features Sena’s full brother, Jina, shown as Ch. Coco Vialatte Robobull Firecracker.
You might say I “discovered’’ Sena for our cover at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, Calif., in December. I was roaming through the grooming area, scouting for dogs we might feature in the magazine and on DogChannel.com, when there in front of me was this impossibly cute and happy Frenchie celebrating with his owner. They were such a happy pair.
Later I learned that Sena, in his U.S. dog show debut, had just taken an Award of Excellence with handler Perry Payson, competing against some of the finest Frenchies that had gathered from around the world.
Even more remarkable, Sena’s brother, Jina, had taken a major win in the breed the previous day at the Long Beach Kennel Club show, even though they had just arrived after a long flight from Japan. Imagine flying across the Pacific, having to the hit the ground and immediately be in serious show competition.
What is it like to show dogs internationally, I asked Kazumi?
“It has taken great effort to be able to send my dogs safely to the U.S. and then safely home again,’’ she told me. “Because my dogs are my family, it was essential that their safety and comfort come first. For my dogs to fly with me ‘in cabin,’ instead of cargo, I had to drive over 9 hours to Narita International Airport by rental car, as this was the only way for the dogs to fly with me. I even carried small milk candies for my dogs to nibble on, as they were not permitted to have their regular food on these flights.’’
Though she only began her career in show dogs in 2005, by 2009 her dog Joe, Coco Vialatte Borsalino, was the top-ranked French Bulldog in Japan.
Kazumi began showing her dogs in the U.S. just last year, and credits her success here in large part to Perry Payson, a professional handler from Bixby, Okla. “Perry was not only willing to handle my dogs for me in the United States, but also spent a lot of time with me, teaching me about the American dog show world. Taking part in U.S. dog shows has been a great thrill for me, as the quality of dogs and the actual shows are much different than Japan.’’
She is also thankful for help from a Canadian breeder. “I have also received guidance from Shelley St. John of Robobull French Bulldogs, one of the most successful French Bulldog breeders in North America. Shelley is the Breeder of Sena and Jina’s sire, Ch. Fabelhaft Robobull Pyro. I am so enjoying my experiences in the United States with my dogs. Although there is sometimes a language barrier, I have been so fortunate to have the support of so many amazing people in this breed I have met.’’
Why French Bulldogs, I asked Kazumi?
“They are wonderful companions, fond of playing, happy dogs and they seldom bark. Because they are a smaller, more compact breed, they are fit to live in apartments, as they require minimal exercise. Their coats are short, so they are easy to keep clean and groom.’’
And as any Frenchie owner may attest, there are things that transcend countries or cultures:
“Once charmed by a French Bulldog, you will not be able to imagine one not in your life!’’