top of page

Alice's Story - Finally a Champion

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

This brilliant photo, captured by pet photographer extraordinaire, Jorja Dixon, tells you everything you need to know about our girls, Ava and Alice.

If you follow our blog, you will know all about our COVID baby, Ava (Kitaco Smashed Avacado), our little superstar who the earned the required 8 Championship points (she's on 50, at last count) to qualify as a Champion in her first show as a Junior, who regularly takes Best of Breed, and Group and In Show wins, who's taken a Specialty Best in Show, who'll happily pose for a photo with a Staffy, and is handled by, and wins on a regular basis with, 9-year-old Junior Handler, Arvia Caldwell.

Tagged on to the end of these shameless bragging posts about the Amazing Ava was often the footnote: "Alice took Reserve Bitch", or "Alice took her class", or "Alice got lots of sausage and had a great time".

Alice (Kitaco Jappy Jalapeno) is a year older than Ava and equally good in quality and breed type as her team mate. She is sound, like Ava, has a 6/6 scissor bite like Ava, her movement is as good as Ava's, her coat is as thick and lush as Ava's, her head is as correct as Ava's... in fact the only physical difference between the 2 girls is that one is predominantly black and one is predominantly white.

So why did Ava consistently come out ahead of Alice?

Well, it's because Ava came out of the womb wanting to be a show dog and Alice - not to put too fine a point on it - is an airhead.

The trouble is, Alice really didn't take her show career seriously, so she never quite got there. It wasn't that she didn't like being a show dog she just thought standing on the judging table was silly. She loves judges and wags her tail as they approach, but then to show them how much she loves them, she sits down as soon as they touch her or tries to roll on her back to make it easier from them to give her a belly rub.

Ava, by contrast, just stands on the table, stacked like a pro. You can chuck the lead on the table and go fetch a coffee while the judge is going over her and she won't care.

On the move, Ava glides along at a crisp pace, so it's easy to see her lovely reach and drive. Alice plods along at her own pace. Although her reach and drive is every bit as lovely as Ava's if she's in the mood, Alice usually marches to the beat of her own drum. Most of the time, she can see no reason for putting all that effort into going for a walk when she knows perfectly well you're going to give her the treat anyway.

And there's standing in the line-up. Sigh. Ava puts her tail up and her sticks her chest out as if she knows how gorgeous she is and wants everyone else to know it too.

As for Alice... well... it's "Oh, we've stopped walking? Cool. That must mean it's time to sit down again". Sometimes she will drop completely. Or roll on her back and stick her paws in the air.

Not embarrassing for her handler, at all... (cough, cough)

Alice perfected that "Puss-in-Boots" wide-eyed, ears back, pleading look that just melts your heart. It's adorable... and the last thing you need your dog doing in a show line-up when she is standing (or lying) next to her puffed up, show-off little team-mate, Ava.

Alice is a delight; she has the sweetest nature of any dog we have ever owned and we literally still get people asking to buy her all the time. We used to joke that next time we need a new car, we'll just put Alice up for auction on TradeMe (we never would, of course!) and we'll be good for a shiny new automobile.

Anyway... fast forward to 2023. Alice has had her 2 litters and is ready to be spayed and pet-homed. Forget having an auction, though (no shiny new car for us, sigh). Casey and Alex from the NZ Chihuahua Rescue called dibs on Alice as a baby puppy so there was never any question about her eventual forever home. We did lament, however, that it was such a pity she'd never made Champion (she was almost there in points), because based on her construction, head and fabulous temperament, alone, she was worthy of the title.

So we thought why not give her one last try and, lo and behold, motherhood must have mellowed her a bit. On her first show back in the ring she marched out like she owned the place and by February this year Alice was the NZ Champion she was always destined to be.

We thought that might be the end of it, but once she'd recovered from her spay, she was still just as happy to be in the ring (who knew!) so now she's working on her Neuter title and at Nelson this weekend she earned her 4th and 5th Neuter CCs. So we've gone from "can't beat Ava" to "having more titles than Ava" in an amazingly short time.

Strutting her stuff like a real pro, Alice took the Best Neuter in Group in the 1st show and Reserve Neuter in Group on day 2.

We adore this little girl who just encapsulates everything we strive for in our breeding - beautiful type, sound construction, and above all - and the most important thing - a truly fearless temperament that makes her a great ambassador for our breed. If all we ever achieve with our breeding is people changing their minds about snappy, fearful "rat dogs" because they've now met a loving, confident litlle dog ready to take on the world, then we will have done our job.

In other news... we again took 5 out of the 6 CC's on offer this weekend. Ben won Best Dog in both shows and Best Junior of Breed, as well. Ava took a Reserve of Breed and Best NZ Bred of Breed in both shows. Ben took Best of Breed on day 2 and was shortlisted in the Top 4 in the Group line-up, which was both thrilling and horrifying. Thrilling, because he was shortlisted (YAY!), which is always an honour, and horrifying because it's a 6 hour drive home from Nelson through the Lewis Pass, daylight saving ended last weekend and if he got the group that meant staying until the end of the show and having to drive most of the way through the mountains in the dark. We were conflicted but relieved when the Peke and the Affie went up (knocking Ava out of contention) and the Junior of Group went to one of the other finalists.

So, all in all, a great trip with some good wins. We even got time to go Op-Shopping on Saturday afternoon, something we've been promising ourselves we'd do for years but never had the time to do before. Also, we had awesome accommodation that meant we could leave the dogs sleeping the afternoon away in the air-conditioning while we undulged in some environmentally-friendly retail therapy.

Thanks to the Nelson Ladies Kennel Association for some great shows.


bottom of page