AKC Gazette Columns

AKC Gazette - October 1995

A Peach of a Specialty

The 1995 Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) national in Georgia was a resounding success. Many thanks to our host club, the Chattahoochee Valley BMDC, show chair Renate Buie and assistant chair Bunny Sherman for making it so memorable. Results were in the June AKC Awards, but here are some highlights, additional information and unpublished wins.

Best in Futurity under Deborah Mulvey was Tanzenbar Extra Extra, bred by owner Valerie Shingledecker and Lilian Ostermiller. BOS was Ch. Nashems Taylor Maid, bred and owned by Sara Karl. (Puppy sweeps judge Lori Jodar also selected her for Best in Sweeps.)

Best in veteran sweeps under Esther Mueller was Am./Can. Ch. Gitana de Braye, C.D., bred by W. Fawer and owned by Eve Menegoz. BOS was Am./Can. Ch. Dayllybeck's Echo Jackson, C.D., bred by Andrew and Marjorie Reho and owned by Bill and Barbara Hefner.

Jean Fournier's Best in Specialty Show, Ch. De-Li's Standing Ovation, breeder-owner-handled by Ostermiller from the Veteran class at age 7, has won three BISs, numerous group placings, Awards of Merit at two specialties, was our Top Conformation Dog 1990 through '92 and was second in the Stud Dog class this year. BOS was Tallpine's Soundview Rebecca, bred by John Ferrie and Edward Huff and owned by Dawn and Douglas Hitchcock.

When it came to selecting based on consistency of type, Fournier was on target. Dogwoods Southern Greystone, breeder-owner-handled by Janet and Tom Brown, was W.D. and B.W. W.B. was littermate Dogwoods Gem of Blackrock, owned and handled by Dawn Cox, who was the owner and breeder of their sire.

Awards of Merit went to Tanzenbar Extra Extra; Ch. Shobears Gambling Fool, bred by Jeff and Mary Chapdalanie and owned by Linda Morton; Ch. Abby Rd Here Comes the Sun, bred and owned by Deborah Wilkins; Ch. Tallpine's Apache, bred by Dawn Hitchcock and owned by Sherry LaLima; Mar-Lee's Best for Last, bred by Catherine Madigan and owned by Martha Harris; Ch. Skylyn's Chimera V Degrasso, bred by Christine Wixon McLean and Barbara Grasso and owned by McLean, Kim Dubuc and David Blazejewski and Am./Can. Ch. Gitana de Braye, C.D., from the 9- Years-and- Older Veteran class. Her nationals record includes Best in Sweeps, W.B./B.W. and BOS in '86 and W.B., BOS and Award of Merit in '88.

Stud Dog to Ch. De-Li's Foregone Conclusion, bred by Cheryl Grau and Ostermiller and owned by John Dreaney and Ostermiller. Brood Bitch to Ch. Degrasso's Ember Lace V Legacy, bred by Grasso and owned by Pam Wixson and McLean.

Highest Scoring Dog in Regular Classes was Scandia's Breezy Day V Bev's, bred by Beverly Burney and owned by Ingrid Hubbard, with a score of 198 1/2. High Combined in Open B and Utility was Ch. Swiss Stars Nitro Whatagas, UDTX, bred by Barbara and William Hefner and owned by April Rifenburg, with 190. Nitro was the BMDCA's Top Open A and Open B Obedience Dog in '93 and Top Winner Obedience, Utility A, in 1994.

Paul B. Karelsons Best Junior Handler was Heather Bremmer. This fine young lady made a handsome picture with her dog, Ch. Degrasso's Griffiths V Legacy, a duo that has already achieved a regional BISS.

The working ability of Bernese was ably demonstrated in our 11th Tracking Dog and third Tracking Dog Excellent test and first Agility Trial. Our draft test showcased one of the breed's original working functions, pulling carts. Bernerfolk were also introduced to freestyle obedience (dancing with dogs). The national was a kaleidoscope of what Berners and their folks can do together.

Outstanding Service Awards

At the annual meeting, two very deserving people received Outstanding Service Awards. As a member for 26 years, Esther Mueller's service to the club and the breed is well known. In addition to two terms on our board, she served for many years on the breed standard committee, developing revisions made in 1980 and '90. Highlights for her have been 'working with the AKC on the breed slide show and judging conformation at the 1977 and '85 nationals and this year's veteran sweeps.

Elizabeth Pearson joined the club in 1985. In 1987 she took on the monumental task of editing our official publications The Alpenhorn and The Bulletin. She has faithfully seen that our nearly 800 members receive professional quality publications that are attractive, informative, educational and ethical. She modestly says it's been good for her since it caused her to learn how to use a computer, but we think it's been good for the BMDCA too. Communication is essential for its success.

A Chapter Closes

The BMDCA and the dog fancy lost a dear friend on April 16, when Dr. D.G. "Doc" Johnson died of cancer. Having been members since 1973, Doc and his wife Gretchen, using Alphorn as a prefix, became familiar figures at Berner events. Their first homebred Berner champion, Ch. Alphorn's Copyright of Echo, became the breed's first BIS winner in 1977 and was B.B. at the 1977 and '78 nationals.

Doc was active in club work and was an officer and board member. In 1988, the club presented him with the Gaines Good Sportsmanship Award. Sincere condolences to Gretchen and their children.

-Julie Crawford, Route 2, Box 110, Delmar, MD 21875.