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Two more In-Show wins for Ava at the Toy Fair

This weekend saw us undertaking something of an epic journey across both land and sea to attend the Toy Fair hosted by the Manawatu and Horophenua and Kapaiti Toy Dog Clubs. Our journey was originally meant to be just Jenny, with Ava and Ben, and the Team Kitaco Official Barista, Debra (seriously - she travels with her personal coffee machine and milk frother!) with Tinky, as Tracey was rostered to work this weekend.

A last minute change of plans caused by a rather inconsiderate Miniature American Shepherd deciding to ovulate before the precious imported frozen semen awaiting her in the North Island could be shipped to Tracey's clinic, threw something of a spanner in the works. It meant finding room in the car not only for Tracey but for the Mini American, too. Many bookings had to be changed last minute, not to mention blood tests taken along the way to monitor her progesterone and of course, arranging the assistance of Becky and the wonderful staff at TCI-Glenbred for the big moment.

We didn't check the weather forecast before crossing from the South Island to the North Island, which was probably a good thing. We did check it once we sailed and discovered that when the Marine Weather forecast is "very rough seas" you're in for a fun voyage. In ignorant bliss, we lined up, as soon as we were settled on board, for a full English breakfast comprising bacon, sausages, eggs, baked beans and hash browns. It was delicious, by the way.

This delicious breakfast proved to be a bad idea for poor Deb, though, an hour or so later, when we sailed out of the shelter of the Malborough Sounds and in hit the "very rough" seas in the Cook Strait. Suffice to say, Deb got to revisit her breakfast a second time and spent a lot of time in the bathroom of our cabin, head in the toilet bowl, reassuring us through the door that she was okay and probably not going to die, however much that seemed like a grand idea at the time. That breafast wasn't nearly as much fun on the way back up, she told us, and besides looking decidely green for the rest of the day, she swore off food for life.

We eventually landed in Wellington, discovered the dogs weren't bothered by the voyage at all - the difference, no doubt, of being on the much more stable Deck 3 near the waterline while we were up on Deck 8 with our full English Breakfast being chucked around by the swaying ship. We made it up to Palmerston North and by mid-afternoon and were happily settled in to the motel (Deb still swearing she would never eat again).

So, off to the venue at Ashhurst the next day. Before the show Tracey still had to do another blood test, drop that to the lab and deliver our extra passenger (who was absolutely no trouble - except for falling in lurve with Ben) to the clinic at Feilding, where she would await that magical - and very precisley timed - moment, when she was ready for her TCI.

Tracey made it back to the venue before the Chihuahuas started and although she was still technically "working" she was able to show our team under expert Chihuahua Judge from South Australia, Kylie Tilley.

This is only the second time since we have been involved in Chihuahuas in New Zealand that a judge of Kylie's caliber - with 30-plus years experience in Chihuahuas - has crossed the ditch to judge our breed. Kylie has been to NZ many times, so has seen the changes in Chihuahua breeding in NZ over a number of years. To be able to show her our girls and get her approval (or not!) of the direction we are heading with our breeding program, was something we could not afford to miss. Every other breeder of note in NZ had the same idea, so the field was the largest Chihuahua Long Coat entry we've seen in this country since long before COVID arrived.

You'll notice we say "girls", because although we had Ben with us and entered in the shows, Ben wasn't interested in showing. He was in lurve... 2 days in a car with a bitch in season and about to ovulate any moment, meant he had only one thing on his mind and it wasn't walking around the ring, Seriously, the two of them were pathetic - sitting in their individual pens on Friday night in the motel making moon-eyes at each other. Couldn't get a lick of sense out of him, so we scratched our little Romeo after the first show and left to him wallow in unrequited love for the rest of the weekend.

Honeslly, Ben is such a drama queen! When we got back to the motel after the show and he realised his One True Love was no longer with us, he started howling mournfully on and off, all through the night, serenading his long lost love. Do not understand how we didn't get kicked out of the motel, but the owner told us when we checked out on Monday that we had "the well behaved dogs" so we assume someone else in the motel had dogs making more noise than our little love-sick monster.

Anyway, first up under Kylie Tilley in the Manawatu Toy Dog Club show was Tinky, handled by her beloved Fur-mum and newbie handler, Debra, who was feeling much better and had decided she might eat again, one day. Although she has taken a Best Reserve of Breed in a fairly large field once before, this was the largest and best-quality Junior Bitch Class Tinky has ever been up against and she delighted us by taking first place. She is looking more and more like her daddy (Salinacruz Renaissance), every day, but fortunately, has her mother's (NZ CH Kitaco Valkyrie Warrior) happy-go-lucky, bullet-proof temperamant.

Deb got all teary, when she realised she'd placed first and we were jumping up and down on the sidelines like she'd won Best in Show. Tinky's win also made us quietly hopeful that if Kylie liked Tinky, then she considered our type correct and she might like Ava, too.

The Intermediate Class came and went with only one entry and then the NZ Bred entries starting lining up. So many of them! There were even more than in the Junior Class.

Ava gave it her all, however and she took 1st place in her class, and then went on to take the Best Bitch CC. We were so thrilled that if she had stopped there and not won a single thing more all weekend, we would still have been over the moon. As mentioned earlier, there were a lot of well-respected breeders in that line-up with literally decades of breeding and experience behind them, so to win even the Best Bitch CC in that field under an expert Chihuahua judge, was a fabulous endorsement of our relatively new lines.

Our little Smashed Avacado didn't stop there however. She went on to take Reserve Best of Breed and then Best NZ Bred in Show.

Kylie (in the pink with some of the winning exhibitors) addressed the Chihuahua breeders after the show and complimented us on the improvement in the NZ lines that she was seeing and their excellent temperaments. She had nothing but praise for our girls and gushed over Ava during the official photo session, calling her "absolutely stunning".

Day 2 and much to our delight, we did it all again. This time it was the Horowhenua and Kapiti Toy Dog Club show under Australian Toy Specilast Kerry Rolfe. Tinky again took the Junior Bitch Class and Ava stepped up to take the Best Bitch CC, Best of Breed this time, and then another Best NZ Bred in Show.

What a weekend! Thanks to both committees for some fabulous friendly shows, wonderful catering and for bringing in some excellent judges. We will definitely be making the trek next year, although this time we might check the weather forecast before we order breakfast on the ferry!

Sunday night though, meant Tracey was back to work so we dropped her off in Fielding so she could work for the next few days with Dr Becky Murphy at TCI-Glenbred. Jenny and Deb, with the ribbons and some very tired little puppers, headed south on Monday, took the ferry to Picton (smooth sailing this time!) and stopped overnight with our good friends, Lindsay and Rosalie Duggan, with their escape-proof yard, dog friendly house and their wonderful hospitality so the dogs could stretch their legs and have a good run around before the last leg of our journey on Tuesday.

Tracey flew back Tuesday night with her precious cargo and her even more precious cargo safely implanted. Fingers crossed now while we wait to see how many pups she's carrying. We won't mention it to Ben, however. He might not take the news that his One True Love is having someone else's babies. Or worse. He'll think making moon-eyes and singing to her are enough to do the trick and he's the daddy, LOL.

1 commentaire

That's a great story it was so lovely to catch up with Jennifer but we met another kitako person Debra she was such a nice person they are welcome anytime

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