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Caoilta News 2005

Myrna Shiboleth, who is THE foremost authority on the Canaan Dog, has written "Guidelines to judging the Canaan Dog" for the Israel Kennel Club. In full colour and with many photographs detailing what is correct and incorrect in the breed.
Click here to view the Judging Guide

Not much showing has been going on with the Caoilta dogs due to the fact that I was away in Ireland when a lot of the shows closed and I also have a new job in at a local firm which chemically etches metal components for everything from satellites to race cars and motorcycles, my official title is Customer Development Administrator. It is quite a demanding job but I am really enjoying it.
The one show I did enter was East of England Championship show. I was not going to take Dezi as he was completely out of coat and looking very moth eaten but I did and obviously his other qualities outshone his lack of coat and he was awarded BEST OF BREED. Santa got his 5th CC and also BEST OF BREED! However we have been partaking in some other canine activities, Dezi is continuing his agility where he is coming along very nicely and is working off lead amongst the other dogs, Mitzi and Barney gained their bronze good citizen awards and Twix was graded as EXCELLENT by a German Judge and UK Judge Ernie Paterson, at the recent German Spitz Breeders and Owners Club breed assessment. Mitzi has been mated so we have everything crossed that all will be well and we will have the patter of little spitz feet in September.
I judged three classes of German Spitz klein and two classes of Mittels at the East of England Ladies Kennel Society open show at Newarket. I was delighted when my Best Puppy Klein went onto win Utility Puppy Group 2, my Best Puppy Mittel won Utility Puppy Group 3 and my Best of Breed Mittel won Utility Group 2. I really enjoyed my day and look forward to judging the breed again.

The British Canaan Dog Society hosted a breed seminar with Myrna Shiboleth speaking about the Canaan Dog on the 6th of August in Leamington Spa. I missed the beginning of the seminar due to terrible traffic on the A14, the seminar was very well attended and very interesting with lots of photos of Canaans past and present. Myrna then went over a number of Canaan Dogs and had them move for the audience explaining the good and not so good points of each. It was a really enjoyable day and great to finally hear Myrna speak about the breed.

Dezi and Twix do it again!!

At the BCDS annual Rally held on the 7th of August at Jill and Ian Terry's home my boys once again did me proud. In a large entry, Twix won BEST IN MATCH but better was to come, Dezi was awarded BEST CANAAN IN MATCH!!! It means a lot to me to have Myrna Shiboleth confirm that Dezi is as good as we have always thought he is, of excellent type and construction, with the correct short back, level topline and excellent temperament. We took home two lovely trophies, some dog food and very tired dogs. Dezi and Mitzi also had their eyes tested by Prof Bedford and both were clear.

Life really has a way of sometimes kicking us in the head and reminding us of what is really important, in my case it was when I found out that my 23 year old sister Emer was dead. My younger brother John rang me to tell me he was coming over to England for a quick visit, I was puzzled as to why he would be coming over for such a short time and frankly a bit annoyed that he did not get a flight into Stanstead and instead flew into Heathrow which was a much longer drive for me to go and collect him. On the journey from the airport we chatted about this and that, not once did he let on about the news he had for me, it must have been very difficult for him. Only when we arrived home did he tell me that Emer had died in a fire.

Emer and her boyfriend Sane were building a house in the heart of the Burren, a beautiful part of the world made up of limestone pavements and hills and a haven for wildlife and rare plants. They were living in a mobile home beside the site. But it turns out that Emer died in a mobile home on an adjoining site not her own, and there were suspicions that it was not accidental. With all this spinning in my mind I travelled to Ireland, straight away I went to the place where the fire had been, the police had just reopened the site after their forensic examination. All that was left of the mobile home was the chassis, the fire was so intense there were lumps of melted aluminium everywhere. I placed some flowers on the spot where her body was found. Back at Emer's mobile home her friends had gathered and were milling around, everyone in shock and unable to make sense of what had happened.

Shane had left for work as usual on the 8th of April, Emer should have been going to college, but as the Pope was being buried that they the college was closed as a mark of respect. Before he left, Emer told Shane that she would ask their neighbour if he would charge up her mobile phone as they had lost their electricity supply temporarily, that was the last time she was seen alive. It was in the neighbours mobile home that her body was found. As the investigation is ongoing I can say no more other than he tried to fake his own suicide by leaving clothes on a cliff top and is now on the run. It took a week before Emers body was formally identified using DNA, and another week before they would release it as the pathologist had further tests he wanted to do to try and ascertain the cause of death.

On Friday the 22nd of April me, my dad, Shane and my brother Raymond went to the hospital in Galway to collect Emer. Her coffin was a beautiful thing made out of woven wicker, Emer would have approved. It was open and we were able to place gifts and some of Emer's personal things in with her. The hearse and the car we were in was given a blue light escort out of the city. We all carried her coffin into the house and it was laid in the sitting room, surrounded by candles, flowers and incense. For the first time since I heard the news I felt settled, relatives came and went, neighbours came and said the rosary. When they all left I put my bedding on the floor and slept beside my sister for the last time. The next day we carried her coffin out to the hearse and drove to the funeral parlour in town. In Ireland when the body is in the funeral parlour, people come and give their condolences to the family, the families men all stand and the women sit, and people file in and shake your hand and say "sorry for your troubles" It took over three hours for the queue of people to file past, I saw many faces from the past and lots of new people, Emers school and college friends and people who just had to come because they felt so much about this tragic loss. Once it had finished Dad, Shane and my two brothers John and Raymond carried her coffin through the town to the church. I walked Emers two dogs behind the coffin followed by a huge crowd, just as we crossed the bridge to the church the bell struck, it was an eerie haunting sound. She was laid in the church and there was a short service, I did not want to leave her there alone in that cold empty place all night.

The next day was the day of her funeral, all around the alter in the church were flowers, Emers favourite flower was the daffodil and just about every shop in Ireland was scoured looking for them. The service was lovely, it was carried out by Father Ford, he has long known our family and christened Emer 23 years before in the same church. I read out Emers last poem from the alter, there were other poems read by friends and relations and some beautiful music from the choir. She was then carried outside and through a guard of honour made up of her college friends into the hearse We then walked behind the hearse for the mile to the graveyard, she was laid to rest to the beautiful sound of two fiddles playing a traditional air. Once the funeral was finished people did not leave the graveyard as they usually do, there were crowds still there for over an hour, just talking and contemplating, something never seen before.

Emer was a beautiful artistic person who was just at the door of realising her vision of becoming an artist. She was a poet and loved nature and all things natural, she was also into all things spiritual and had taken her first stage of becoming a reikki practitioner, she had a gift. She was due to come over to visit me this month and had saved money for the journey.
Why she died in such a horrible way we may never know, there are a lot of questions that may never be answered. I just hope there is a better place and that she is there now. I have not shed a tear since learning about her death, there is no pain, no grief, no hurt just a numbness a feeling of a job not complete. Maybe when justice is done in whatever form, I will be able to grieve my little sister.




Crufts 2005 will be a show I will not forget in a hurry!
First in the ring was Twix in German Spitz Mittel. He was awarded 1st in Open Dog, then his 3rd CC which made him up into a CHAMPION, and then to top it off he was awarded
BEST OF BREED. I am completely over the moon and so proud of my little chocolate boy, he really worked his little socks off and showed himself so well.
The Canaan judging was next I was still floating on my cloud 9 when Dezi was awarded
1st in Open Dog, then BEST DOG and then his 2nd Crufts BEST OF BREED.
I was completely shocked and stunned by this stage. One Best of Breed at Crufts is a dream come true but TWO!!!
Jill Terry, Dezi's breeder showed him in the group, we really didn't know how he would go as he could see me further down the line with Twix and was whinging and crying, but he stood like a rock for the judge and headed off on his triangle with his tail up happy as larry. Twix also went well in the group ring although by this stage he was shattered and had had enough of liver cake and standing still. I am so proud of my boys and grateful to them, and the Judges who chose them, for giving me such a wonderful day.

The proposed changes to the Kennel Club Standard for the Canaan Dog which were submitted by the Canaan Dog Club of the UK have been rejected by the Kennel Club. This comes as a great relief to those of us who wish to preserve the Canaan Dog as founded by Prof. Menzel. To see more about these changes and the reaction they generated from Israel CLICK HERE

Well we have had a pretty good start to 2005! Went to Manchester today where Dezi was awarded 1st Limit Dog, BEST DOG and BOS in AVNSC Utility. In the German Spitz classes, Twix was awarded 1st Open Dog and his second Res. CC.

What is it they say about the best laid plans, well Mitzi should have had a litter by now but she decided that she was not going to ruin her figure for the Summer and came into season and promptly went straight out again
She SHOULD come back into season in June, fingers crossed this time.