Page 31 - Le Magazine Summer 2014
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In our minds, he was worthy of breeding and showing truly inspiring.
because he was beautiful, well-tempered, smart, proud, Jonathan took a break from things that afternoon
and loyal. We had been told he met the physical
standard, but as a family we valued his other qualities while I attended some of the workshops. The next day
just as much. Though it was quite a bit outside his we had a wonderful time taking Ronan to the Herding
comfort zone, Jonathan agreed to show Ronan, so it Instinct Trial at Two Shadows Farm. Colleen Cody was
could still be a family experience. a lovely host and after Gerard Baudet gave Ronan a
qualifying evaluation, she demonstrated what could be
With Meg Weitz’s help we entered Ronan in his accomplished with a little training by showing us her
first dog show at the April 11th-14th 2013 Regional top herding dog working the sheep in the pen.
Specialty in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, near where we
live. Walking into that first dog show felt like entering The morning of the National Specialty, Jonathan
an alien wonderland. Hundreds of fantastic looking suited up and we walked over to the ring to watch the
dogs of different breeds being primped and groomed on other Briards. How exciting to be able to see so many
their tables or hurried along by people in smart looking beautiful Briards next to each other! We had found a
outfits with numbered arm bands. It was so loud and nearby athletic field the night before and had allowed
didn’t smell that good, but it was very exciting. Ronan to run and run, plus we hoped waiting there at
the show with so many other dogs all around for the
Meg and the others in the Briard area greeted us entire morning might give him a chance to wear the
warmly and Meg helped us with some finishing touches edge off of his nervous energy. He was the only entry in
on Ronan. Our children were having a wonderful time the American Bred class, so he went into the Winner’s
petting other dogs and cheering for Ronan and their class and won that too under Judge Margaret Shappard!
father in the ring. Jonathan survived his first time in the This was an emotional win made all the more poignant
show ring and Ronan won Best in Sweeps! by the fact that his littermate Haarlen, who had been
scheduled to attend the show too, had tragically died the
We went back to Harrisburg twice more in the week before.
following months and Jonathan went to a handling
class, but with our schedules, getting to shows was not Hugs and tears and congratulations were exchanged
very easy. However, Meg asked us to seriously think and when things finally calmed down Jonathan said
about taking Ronan to the 2014 National Specialty and “This is the most astonishing thing! I can hardly
Rassemblement in Sturbridge Massachusetts. With the believe it all!” It was very exciting and more than
baby doing well and our older children promising to a little overwhelming to be at the center of all that
behave themselves, my parents agreed to take them all attention with Ronan. We were so new to all this we
for the week of the Big Show in mid-August. Hurray! really could not fully appreciate the meaning of Ronan’s
We arrived Tuesday early in the evening and, after accomplishment, but we were very happy for how it
checking into our room, wandered over to the show reflected on Michael and Meg’s and Odile’s breeding
hall. Elise McMahon, Shelia Perry and Christie Leigh efforts. We attended the Banquet that night and enjoyed
welcomed us and helped us get everything in order for the festivities.
the Rassemblement evaluation the next morning. The
evaluation went well under M. Jacky Dillies. Odile The next day Meg told us we had already done the
Smith was kind enough to help interpret his remarks for hard part and that today was just for fun. I dreamed
Jonathan. for a second about winning but realized it was not very
realistic. But what a thrill to see both of my beautiful
Ronan was Pre-selected, so he went in again the next boys looking so handsome in the ring again. Ronan
day, but this time Jonathan had a little more difficulty moved beautifully and Margaret Shappard moved
handling him. As a two and a half year old boy with him up and asked them to go around again. Then she
very little ring experience, Ronan was very interested stepped over and leaned toward him and I heard the
in the other dogs and less interested in listening to whooping of the crowd and dropped our video camera
Jonathan. Jonathan was a little flustered too and in my excitement…Wow. Wow! Wow!!! Winner’s
unfortunately, despite an extremely generous gesture by Dog, Best of Breed, and Best of Winner’s for the 2014
M. Dellies, allowing Ronan to go around a second time, Briard Club of America’s National Specialty!
he was not Selected.
We are still feeling the thrill from that week and now
This was a hard blow for my husband, but the also the excitement of anticipating what may be ahead
outpouring of support from the people around us was in our adventure with Ronan. It is such a rare and

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