4 dogs, 2 humans, and 1 beat-up old Jeep went on a 2200 mile adventure from Portland to San Diego and back. We also stopped at a dog show along the way, where Fionna won BOB in the first show and our littlest sir won BOB in the second show! Unprecedented, but Nami was freshly dumping all of her coat and had a bit of a scar under her eye from a scrap with Cuchulainn earlier in the month. But it was time for the young Kishu to shine!
They (and us humans) couldn't wait to get out of LA by the end of it, though, to get where Kishu belong: the mountains! We had a nice time camping and headed back up to Portland. There were a few shenanigans along the way... but nothing worth really blogging about.
The Nihon Ken Invitational is an annual UKC show hosted by the Japanese Akita Club of America in Gardena, CA, just outside of Los Angeles.
This year was the first year that I have attended with the Kishu girls and I hope to make it a trend that will continue next year! It was a long drive from Portland, Oregon, but it wasn't a bad drive and while I was happy to be home after the long trip, I'll never forget my experiences on the road and at the show. It was great to meet up with friends I've known through the internet, involved in other Japanese breeds and it was great to get the Kishu out there.
Nami was the first Kishu to officially earn points in the UKC. She's earned 25/100 points toward her CH in the UKC. I received a call from the UKC the day after this show to inform me that the temporary listing numbers I purchased hadn't processed fully for the first show we attended, so they won't be counted toward any titles, but that doesn't take away the value of the experience.
We met many awesome dogs and saw so many Japanese Akitas (of course)! I highly recommend this event to anyone interested in the Japanese breeds next year!
Here are some shots from the show... I didn't get ANY of Japanese Akitas that turned out any good. Many hands and faces in the way. :( I'm kind of disappointed.
I took Nami and Fionna to their first ever UKC dog show. I've got their temporary listing numbers and plans to convert them to permenant listing numbers. This is in preparation for the JACA's "Nihon Ken Invitational" this year - this will be the first time the Kishu Ken is represented at their annual show, and I hope I can attend far into the future.
But first, I needed practice and the girls needed to see the show ring to get acclimated. Nami was a natural and took home 2 Best of Breed, 2 Best of Sex, 2 "First Place" (for her class - adult), and 2 3rd in group (the Kishu Ken is in the Northern Breed group - so she was third, in both shows, in the whole group.
Fionna essentially got ribbons for her participation. 2 reserve best and 2 first place for her class (junior - she had no competition for her class, naturally, without any other Kishu there except the ones I brought).
I also had amazing help handling Nami, since Nami and Fionna had to go up against one another for their breed to see who went to the group match, in a very nice man named Chris (whose business cards I have tragically lost to the depths of my Jeep - and will have to be found in a concerted effort later today). He was local and involved in the UKC and AKC and handled Nami very nicely.
Nami was probably a favorite, probably because she was much more willing to be handled and observed by the judge. She also tends to have very nice movement and has an excellent head/expression, so though she was out of coat, she beat Fionna. Fionna was not as happy about being handled by the judge, but did much better in her second show than in her first.
Overall, it was an educational and fun day - and a nice way to spend my birthday. Even better, though, for both the dogs and myself, was the hike at Rainbow Falls on the way back down to Portland from the Tacoma area.
We also had a spectacular view of three of our five mountains. Rainier, St. Helens, and Hood all came out to play yesterday and were absolutely beautiful. I'll never get tired of them.
...but onto the dogs!