ACC National Specialty Show
The Quails Inn Hotel, Lake San Marcos Resort, CA
May 11- 14, 2004

On the Road with Fred

On The Road With Fred and Barbara, Part 1  Mark Walsh -with a strong supporting cast, of course- has things off to a GREAT start.  A lovely ring overlooking a beautiful, lapping lake, soft music playing the background, an excellent sound system with Mark announcing results promptly and clearly.  THANK YOU Mark.

And at the very top of our list, is how happy we are to see our beloved friend Julie Cole.  We missed going to NORCAL last weekend and were sure she'd be there and would pass up the Specialty.  NOPE!  She passed up NORCAL for the Specialty; WE WIN!  We are soooooo happy we're going to get to spend some time with her.

It's a little warm but there's a light, intermittent breeze under a bright sun.  There's some shade, plenty of room for tents and canopies; we visited Wal-Mart for our usual supply of camp chairs and mini-umbrellas. 

We actually arrived days ago but computer problems kept us offline.  CompUSA failed but Express mail came through for us! 

We got in a long weekend at DISNEYLAND with old friends and 8 year old twins before the Specialty.  Wonderful time.  I didn't plan on traipsing around the parks but rather meeting up a few times during each day.  NOT!  On these old ankles it felt like we walked 25 miles each day but LOVED every minute of it (the mornings were tough though).  Those Disney people don't miss a single opportunity to market Mickey and the kids react just like the marketers expect!  Who cares?  You only get to go around a few times, enjoy it.

We trekked up to the WD testing area yesterday (Tuesday.)  Apparently the US Corps of Engineers controls a large tract of flood plain and leases it out to both farmers and the Prado Dog Club which graciously invited ACC to use the grounds.  It was a small entry but apparently went well; we caught the afternoon sessions. 

There's just nothing like a welcoming HUG from Mary Ellen Mazzola!  You really know you've arrived when Mary Ellen gives you that big bear hug we look forward to them at every Show Specialty and F/T Specialty! 

We chatted BRUSH FIRES with Audrey Austin and congratulated her on her WIZARD!  We saw Wizard last Fall at the KS F/T Specialty, barely chasing a wing around and now he's pointed and passed his WD!   Way to go. 

We got to see Sally Deiss and met her husband Dean.  Another one of our favorite Californians, Lisa Heitmiller provided test dogs and all around helping hands everywhere.  We met Andy Marvin (Kersey, CO) -who completed a WD yesterday and placed in the show ring today- and his daugher SAXON.  Methinks we've got another JUNIOR HANDLER on the horizon.  Polite as can be, bright, inquisitive and cute as a button!  HINT.  HINT.  HINT.  Andy is looking for -or to start- a WD group or program in CO.  Somebody ought to get together with him.  He's an active hunter and trains, tests and shows his own dogs. 

Maggie Hoagland and Mary Ellen judged the WD and from what we saw, set fair, challenging tests.  This morning we ran into Lynda Montgomery who we've missed for the past few years.  We're glad she's back on the Specialty circuit after a layoff.  One of these days we're gonna' get Benedetta back to a Show Specialty, or maybe even better, a F/T Specialty!  One of these days, ...

Melissa and Barb are here; Melissa got some doins in the ring. HEY!  I saw the NEW, SVELTE Joanne Silver.  Cool.  I'm VERY jealous of her weight loss; she looks GREAT!   Patsy is very focused but Rudy had time to chat.  We don't get to see the Barber's enough and they only live a few hours away!   Mike is still MIA.  Hey Mike, drop a line or drop in SOON!  We all miss seeing you.  Lynda Barber and her stepmother sat near us.  Lynda's catalog ad is a hoot; she's training both a Chesapeake and a MOOSE to sit, stay!  You gotta' see it to believe it.  We saw Bill Baldwin across the ring so presume Dyane is here somewhere.   Dana Bleifer is working both in the ring and supervising the health clinics.  Karen Anderson scratched a puppy this morning; we hope she didn't run into travel problems.  Hey Jane, can you help out the Anderson's with travel arrangements?

Mark arranged a wonderful venue.  We haven't fully explored the grounds yet but suffice it to say Barbara just ran out, "To get some photos of the swans."  We were lucky enough to get one of the 2 bedroom units -Mom is traveling with us- right on the lake.  We've got a kitchen, living room and dining room as well as a carport.  Heck, it's a vacation condo! 

Had a little problem with a door, maintenance was here in a flash.  Package arrived and the desk called.  Leave for an hour and the rooms are clean and sparkling. 

If you're reading this on your home computer, ... you're missing the SPECIALTY; we're missing you.  Cheers.     
    Fred and Barbara ... on the road. 

fredbarbara.jpg (71723 bytes)   Fred & Barbara!

On The Road With Fred and Barbara, Part 2

Yesterday's report neglected to mention we drove by a BRUSH FIRE on the way back from the WD. People are sooooooo nonchalant about fires out here. In New England we’re somewhat nonplussed about 2 foot snowfalls but rarely are dozens of homes consumed and lives lost by snow!

We’re driving back from Chino and there’s smoke off in the distance. We go further, there’s more smoke. Pretty soon it’s obvious even to out-of-towners that this is from a fire of some substance. A few miles further and there it is, a hillside within 500 feet of the highway is burning away, near Lake Elsinore.  Nothing about it in the papers or on the news. Gotta’ REALLY be big to make news out here.  The San Diego fire chief said he needs 400 MORE firefighters to adequately protect the area. Budgets here are tight like everywhere else.  He got 5 new firefighters (and had to relinquish 2 clerical spots!)

Beautiful weather almost all the time in southern California but what with fires and earthquakes … I’ll stay in New England for the time being thank you very much.

Let’s see … another beautiful day. Still no shade –almost no shade- at the rings but who cares. Warm, sunny, light breezes, pleasant company, GORGEOUS Chesapeakes!  The competition was VERY TOUGH. The judging was GREAT; she agreed with my choices almost all the time!

Patsy Barber shouldn’t be sooooooo reserved; she should let her emotions show a little!  Did you hear her screams of joy back in New Jersey?

Jane and Mark are reporting results and I’m avoiding it … suffice it to say I walked over and told Laurie Schliser –who we met at dinner last night- how good her dog looked when he ENTERED the ring! Laurie and her husband are from around here, Ramona. Nice couple; too bad the weekend shows got cancelled.  At least she didn’t have to travel far.

Dinner last night was at the San Marcus Country Club. Mexican buffet and quite good. There were about 75 of us, plenty of good food (hor’ doeurves followed by salad, chicken, pork, rice, beans, sauces and dessert), catching up and the occasional adult beverage.

We watched some of the obedience classes this morning. Gotta’ tell you … Annette Balcom Monugian is AWESOME (Jane and Mark will give you the details.) That is not to negate AT ALL the accomplishments of other entrants, notably our friends from AK Lynda Barber Wiltse and OR, Sally Deiss as well as Audrey, Sylvia, Tom and Joan MacClanahan and MANY others. These people WORK.

Now the TEAM CLASS! This is a hoot; for the most part these "groups" have never practiced together yet perform together in the ring. There is the occasional faux pax like when the handler moves along and the dog sits and watches! "OH, You want me at your side, NOW?" And team figure eights … even the judge chuckled when he "explained", you’re ALL supposed to be going in the SAME direction!  BOTH teams deserved to win.  At our house obedience is when the dogs allow us in the house! We’re NOT picking on these athletes –quite the contrary- watching in AWE.

The obedience judges both had senses of humor AND compassion. Little details I noticed included one who made sure his tie didn’t dangle when he ‘examined’ dogs. Lighthearted reparte/comments made the competition enjoyable for observers AND competitors. As TOTAL NOVICES at even WATCHING obedience this was our impression, others may see things differently.

Just like last time, the "trophies" are original works of art in wood, so to speak. People are trying to buy them! Mark graciously allowed listed co-owners to purchase extras for cost and will raffle off any that are left. We still have some of those lovely, carved ducks on our mantle from the 1997 Specialty!

The Parade of Titleholders was a hoot. Remember little SAXON MARVIN we mentioned yesterday? There she was. Took 2 dogs in the ring. Had one exhibitor number/band tucked behind the other like a VETERAN! Her father Andy ferried the second dog to her. She may have looked a tad nervous but did a GREAT job.

A SAR dog from Canada (O/Gayle Brady) who is pointed AND made his first LIVE RESCUE this year (a 4 year old lost at a Canadian ski resort!). A FIRST TIME DOG OWNER and she picked a CBR and trained him for SEARCH AND RESCUE!  Whew.  

The Veterans Parade pays homage to our older friends and this year two of the youngest of the Coleman-Cordiero clan handled two of the oldest dogs! Only one therapy/assistance dog that I recall and she had quite a list of both titles and accomplishments. Super.

Once again Mark –and his cast of supporting volunteers- performed exquisitely. The classes went on as scheduled (almost), lunch actually arrived on time, there was plenty of ice water available, plenty of room for spectators, fine weather, etc. There’s nothing he can do about shade but that’s what sunscreen is for. Heck, I came to CALIFORNIA to work on my TAN!

Stan Silver arrived last night … next time you see him ask him how many times you can change an airline ticket before the airline gets suspicious. DON’T ask him how he did at Vegas on his way to the Specialty!

Still looking for Mike. A lot of people are. HINT. HINT. HINT.   Mike----Hit REPLY or pick up the phone sometime.... SOON!

We didn’t get there but understand the unofficial ACC annual meeting was somewhat sparsely attended … like you could count the attendees on one hand. Oh well, let’s see, out in the sun or at the pool, or the Zoo or Sea World or … the unofficial ACC annual meeting. DUH. Sorry Melissa, et al. Lynda Barber Wiltse presented an Agility Committee report and MADE EVERYONE AT DINNER TAKE A COPY (only kidding.) She’ll email them; if you’re interested let her know ( Ask her for a copy of her MOOSE training manual while you’re at it!

Jane was snapping pictures like crazy … if I wasn’t DIALING IN I’d be looking at them. Only the official show photographer – AND JANE- are allowed in the ring. Mark made the original rule (show photographer only) and Jane clarified it for the photographer!

We’re missing some of our dog show friends, people who are usually fixtures at the Specialties … Betsy, Brenda and Jim, Janna, the Coutu’s, Jan and Jody, the Colorado contingent is largely absent, Shannon and her gang, Heidi and Krissy, Megan, the Bombergers, ETC., ETC., ETC. Tooooooo many to mention and at my age, to REMEMBER! Wish they were all here enjoying it with us.

That’s it for this minute, maybe more later. Cheers.    Fred and Barbara ... on the road.


On The Road With Fred and Barbara, Part 3  (Epilogue)

     The show is over, everyone has moved on or gone back home.  Quail’s Inn hosted a wedding where scant hours before the American Chesapeake Club National Show Specialty ring stood.

     We stayed a few days to visit SEAWORLD with our young friends and their mother.  (Disneyland is MUCH better, but the Killer Whale and Dolphin exhibitions at SeaWorld are really cool.)  Chevy’s Fresh Mex has really good Mexican food.  Apparently it’s a national chain –with restaurants in NY and NJ too- we never heard of before.  It’s like a Mexican Outback, maybe better.  GREAT fajitas.

     Sunday night was tough; saying goodbye to our 7 year old twin friends not knowing when we’ll get to see them again!  It was a WONDERFUL week though.  Thanks and congratulations go to Mark J. Walsh, the entire NSS Committee and those who serve as volunteers without officially being on any committee or list.  Joella Cunnington was always at Mark’s side, always in charge of something or other, even walking auction items around for people to view.  THANK YOU.  JOBS WELL DONE!

     The week was capped off with the ANNUAL BANQUET (and auction!) at the San Marcos Country Club.  Dinner was very good but that was expected.  The COMPANY was GREAT, also expected.  There were sooooooo many people to see and soooo many who were missing.

     Peggi Johnson was busy all week snapping photos and helping out when she wasn’t in the ring herself.   While I haven’t seen many yet, Jane was snapping photos like crazy all week too.  The mentoring area was full the day it was up in a corner, just outside the ring.

     Bill Baldwin looks GREAT.  Rudy has the WILD PANTS market cornered!  Stan Silver was so nervous he broke out in a rash!

     It was so nice to see and visit with Julie Cole and Lisa Heitmiller!  There’s nothing like seeing things with your own eyes.  Ditto Barb Young who joined us at the banquet along with Sally and Dean Diess.  It doesn’t seem like Lynda Barber-Wiltse –and her stepmother– ever misses a Specialty.  She makes F/T Specialties regularly too.  She LOVES Alaska but savors the opportunity to visit the lower 48!

     The judge spoke at the banquet … and at least it was brief.  There were some chuckles and even a few guffaws … I didn’t quite understand what she meant by ‘judging a National Specialty is a learning experience.’    HUH?  Wasn’t she supposed to do the learning BEFORE judging the show?  'Nuff said.

     Mary Ellen Mazzola is off to Ainley in Iowa to outfit that GMC Diesel 2500 she’s tooling around in.  She took off the bed and is trucking around in this BAD looking crew cab with just rails and wheels behind.  It’s gonna’ be a long, bounding trip to Iowa, returning via the Great State of Texas (for a seminar)!

     Man.  These Californians and their cavalier approach to BRUSH FIRES.  And it’s awful crowded.  But I gotta’ tell you … 10 days of PERFECT weather.  PERFECT.  I’m tanner than I can ever remember.  And poorer.  Gas was $2.31 Sunday near LAX.  Disney and SeaWorld sure know how to get you to part with your money.  They don’t miss a trick.  You have to EXIT the parks through a STORE!

     Stan bought Joanne a beautiful gold, Chesapeake head at the auction.  There were plenty of items to bid on.  As usual, LISA generously donated, until it hurts BAD.  STAN got into a bidding war with JOANNE.  AGAIN.  Gotta’ love it.  The Silvers were also generous donators.  The Palmers were missed.  Betsy.  The Steinhoffs.  People KEEP asking about Mike!  MIKE.  C’mon.  Whattsup?

     The IRISH’s were amongst those who didn’t attend.  The Bombergers were missed.  How does David Holderman look YOUNGER and YOUNGER as time goes on and we all get OLDER?  Anna Maria Senita was missed.  Hey Maxine, Barbara’s ‘Duck, Duck, Chessie’ T-shirt is wearing out!  When are you gonna’ have another supply and where?  I can’t remember Janet Birk missing a Specialty for a while.  And I don’t think I saw Sybil.  Yvette Yoho.  George, of course.

     The entry was a little on the small side –or seemed so– everything went off darn close to the scheduled times.  Even dinner that almost everyone thought was scheduled AN HOUR LATER!  All we had to do was look at the published schedule ... that would have been toooooo easy.  The catalog didn’t have an index of exhibitors.  Probably a Bradshaw oversight.  It’s a very nice feature for amateurs like us!  Most everyone cleaned up after themselves and their dogs.  There were 7 lunches misappropriated (STOLEN) one day; it was probably the same people who didn’t pick up after their dogs!

     Not a single dog broke for the lake although there were plenty of distractions –from ducks to swans– and opportunities.  The rings were only a stone’s throw away from the water.  Who could’ve blamed a poor, hot Chesapeake?  There was only 1 entry in 10+ veteran classes (dog and bitch); the 10-1/2 year old VETERAN BITCH was a sight to behold.  She drew a very strong crowd reaction!  John Strozdas (Los Angeles) proudly exhibited Mabeline Carrington Larkeridge.

     It was really nice to be virtually self contained at the San Marcos Resort.  Dinners were a short drive or walk away at the Country Club, just up the street, over the bridge.  The on-site restaurant graciously allowed use of their parking area during the day.  We had a meal there after the show and it was really quite good.

     Some of the residents seem to have souped up their golf carts and really ripped around.  Oh well, simple pleasures I guess.  There weren’t any accidents and I guess if I bought a lakeside-golf course condo I might not appreciate a DOG SHOW on the grounds.  The JUNIOR HANDLERS are always show stoppers.  Some exhibitors were even too young for Juniors!

     We had a great time, a wonderful vacation.   THANK YOU to all those who contributed their time, effort and $$$$$ to make this National Show Specialty sooooooo special.  Look for us at the Field Trial Specialty in September!     Cheers.  
                  Barbara and Fred, on the road...    (or back home, as the case may be.)


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