Celebrating Seven Years with a Sporting Sussex Spaniel
June 18 is Shine’s 7th Birthday! I can’t believe it’s been 7 years, which
means my journey in Sussex Spaniels has spanned a decade. After I met Shine’s handsome and super cool
Dad, Spirit, I had to have a little Spirit baby of my own. I waited 3 years for the pups to arrive, and
finally got my Sussex!
I’d been told repeatedly about how unusual Sussex Spaniels
are, but really, until you’ve lived with one, it’s hard to understand. They just move to the beat of their own
little drum, no matter what. It is a
contradiction to see such a funny personality in that sad-sack, green-eyed,
Why get up and turn around, when it’s so much easier to just
scoot around on your bottom? Why stay
clean, when you can be wet and dirty?
Why listen to your owner when it’s so much more fun to ignore them
completely? Why give a high-five when
it’s easier to just flop on your back and wave your 3 inch long legs in the
air? Why drink politely when you can dunk
your whole face in the water bucket? Why
look at your owner adoringly, when you can squint your eyes and wrinkle your
nose and “smile” while making snorting noises?
See the world famous "Sussex Smile"...okay maybe not world famous, but certainly well-known to Sussex owners!
ALL Sussex make this face, but it is just about impossible to actually get a photo of it. She bobs and weaves and snorts and wags her tail while she is doing it. It may look like she is growling, but NOPE she's being a goof.
Why hang out and chill in the backyard when you can HUNT all
When Shine is outside, she is hunting
constantly. If she is not “trailing”
something, she will sit very still, scanning the horizon for “any” moving
object – birds being #1, closely followed by falling/blowing leaves. She can get exhausted being outside on a
windy day in the Fall! See video evidence! I titled this
video – ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT A SPORTING DOG?
Because it really shows that these dogs were bred to hunt. It’s in their genes, and nothing you say or
do will change that. When Shine is in
hunting mode, she is completely deaf and blind to anything else.
Look at that tail wagging!
One thing you can say about Sussex Spaniels, as a breed, they have remained the same today as they were when the breed was developed. A rare thing in today's world. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHINEY SHINE!
Whoops, May slipped away without a blog post.Although I didn’t get around to posting, I
did do some fun dog-related activities.We were lucky enough to have two National events for German Shepherds
held right here in Indianapolis.
On May 11, we headed over to see the American Working Dog
Federation’s 2012 National competition.http://2012awdf.com/
We got to watch some top notch working dogs show their stuff
in obedience and protection.We stayed
about 4 hours and saw several German Shepherds, Malinois and even an American
Bulldog.Most of the German Shepherds
were “working lines”.There were mostly
black, bi-color and sable dogs with a lot of drive and enthusiastic workers,
despite the increasing heat of the day.It
was very exciting, educational and something we’d love to get involved with
“someday” when we have more free time.
This was an all German Shepherd show, most of them being
“show lines”.Most are red and black,
have a lot of coat, beautiful heads, a sloping topline and a lot of rear
This was quite an interesting experience and a totally
different world than the AKC shows I am used to.A few of the things we saw, that you wouldn’t
see at an AKC show:
A “racetrack” around the perimeter of the ring, specially
for the owners of the dogs being shown.Double-handling is the norm, and as the handlers are moving the dogs
around the ring, a huge mass of owners are running just ahead of the dogs.Each one has their own method of trying to
get their dog’s attention.Yelling the
dogs name, blowing whistles, squeaky toys, balls on ropes, cow bells, smacking
the ground with a whip, and clacking two sticks together to name a few!The goal is to have the dog straining to the
end of the leash to get to it’s owner.
Check out my video and for full effect, make sure you have your sound on!
Casual clothing, and the kennel name of the owners/handlers
all over the clothing.Many people on
the same kennel “team” would have matching shirts.
Classes for pups 4-6 months old.Interesting to see the small 4 month old
babies out there in the ring.
Judge commentary over a loudspeaker system after each class,
explaining his placement of the dogs and why, while the handlers stacked the
dogs.(wish they would do this in AKC!!)
A separate ring for dogs and bitches, and they would change
rings with each class.Made for a lot of
“chair moving” for the spectators!
I have to admit I
prefer the much more formal AKC style of showing, but it was very fun to see
the world of Sieger Shows.
And here are a few fun pictures of Rex, trying to climb the
ladder of my daughter’s playground/fort because I was up there and he did not
like it!(I think he was trying to
And this is just a fun picture I took this week. I am sitting in the shade, and Jamie is sitting on my lap (literally), Rex is on guard and Samantha is playing on her playground.