When we first got Kirisame (CH. Bonayr’s Merrol Flynn Mizzle) in 2009, we had no intention of showing him. We did intend to give him frequent walks in the park. The best park for that was Wilson Park.
Wilson Park has a dog-friendly environment with pooper scooper bags supplied by the city. The walkways are wide and relatively clean. The parking lot is spacious and there is a lot of activity.
People are jogging. There are kids on bicycles and sometimes scooters. Baseball, softball and soccer games are played in the fields. Sometimes, there’s musicians and twice a week there’s a farmers market.
Before Kirisame was a year old, someone came up to us in Wilson Park and asked us if we were showing our dog. The person was a Shetland Sheepdog person. We weren’t, of course. It was not in our contract. According to our contract, we were supposed to neuter him when he was about a year old. We mentioned this to the breeder, but what does a sheltie owner know? Soon after another person asked us and that person was a well-known breeder of collies, mostly smooth collies.
On her advice, our breeder decided to change our contract and so we became co-owners with the breeder and her daughter.
Ian had never had a dog before and I had never shown dogs before so that was the beginning of our journey toward an AKC conformation championship.