GOING FOR THE GOLD
by Sheree melancon
bounce n deaux rey Cd, Sh, na, naJ (deaux rey) is the first Poodle to be awarded the gold medallion for field work by the Poodle Club of America. After typing this sentence i was at a loss for words – how do i describe a quest that began as nothing more than the love of a Poodle and the joy of hunting? i doubt any- one wants to hear about the countless hours spent in the field, setting up marks, or the weekends traveling to hunt Tests in every kind of weather. anyone who has competed with a Poodle knows the rigors of trav- eling and training a Poodle but deaux rey had some- thing that gave him a little edge on the gold medallion
and that edge was his attendance at the PCa national
Specialty for the past six years. deaux rey completed his WC/WCX but he and i continued to compete after he received his title because i felt it was important to support the field Poodle at PCA. Deaux Rey and I have attended six PCa national Specialties and two PCa regionals. in addition to the WC/WCX and the aKC hunt Tests he has also entered agility and obe- dience, and showed in the hunting dog Class at the breed competition. deaux rey has entered 21 WC/ WCX Trials and two Senior hunter Tests sponsored by PCA or an affiliated club. Of these twenty-three entries he has passed twenty and failed three – not to shabby for a fledgling trainer/handler, hoping to be a breeder some day.
We all take great pride in announcing and celebrating our victories, and sometimes are guilty of getting so wrapped up in chasing victories that we lose sight of what owning and loving a Poodle is really about. if you came to my home you could see some of the rib- bons, photos – and yes, the gold medallion - that my Poodles have achieved. my Poodles have been very successful, but there is a flip side to my medallion. for me, every ribbon and each photo is a reminder of my most recent failure. a few of these failures have made me want to lay down, and simply give up and not start over – to find a quiet place with no witness-
es to my thought - grit to go
failings and short comings.
many times i
it’s too hard; i don’t have the money, or the
if i have found a way to continue down
this path less traveled by Poodle lovers is my hope that others will follow, as i those who went before me.
it is because it have followed
When I began field work with Deaux Rey few people knew that Poodles were retrievers. Poodles doing field work were few and far between and when you did find a Poodle doing field work the dog was often neutered or not part of an active breeding program. i figured – so what? - I will get myself a Poodle, train it to hunt and be on my happy way. little did i know how much PCa and the blue bonnet Poodle Club would influence my future with Poodles.
in 2001 i joined the blue bonnet Poodle Club, deaux rey was on his way to receiving is Junior hunter title and my bitch la Tee was in training. during one of the Club meetings i heard about the PCa nation Specialty, and that they would be holding theWC/WCX. i didn’t even hesitate! – i announced i would be attending the 2001 PCa national. Some of the members looked at me like i had two heads – who was this newbie who in a matter of a few minutes decides she is going to the national for a WC/WCX? it’s a good thing that i love to drive because upper marlboro, maryland was a “short” fourteen hundred miles from houston, Texas. in truth, hitting the road was old hat for me. in my very distant high school years i competed with show cattle in ffa, and with my horses i ran barrels, poles and calf roped in high school rodeos. in my more ma- ture years i trained and showed hunters/Jumpers and was successful enough to have a World Champion Ju- nior Working hunter quarter horse in 1986. loading up and driving half way across the u.S. of a was not new to me but on the other hand it was a new concept for my new husband who looked at me like some of the blue bonnet members did. Two headed or not i was on my way to PCa.
remember that quiet place referred to earlier in this article? – well I needed that spot at my first PCA. I got a big dose of failure that summer day in June, fourteen hundred miles from home. both Poodles failed the hunt Test. When i arrived at the grounds that morning i knew about four people. When i loaded up to leave that afternoon i knew so many new Poodle people i decided it was worth the trip. i was a total newbie, no idea who was who, but the camaraderie i experienced was exhilarating. i had the honor to have annie Clark walk up to me to praise my Poodles on the clip they were sporting that day. i realized then that i was not alone in my quest of the hunting Poodle; PCa and its members really wanted the Poodles to return to the field and maintain the look and soul of what Poodles
cont. on page 38 The Poodle Papers /Winter Edition