Below are 3 video clips of Orso just being Orso! They are each about 2 minutes long and are pretty cute! Enjoy!
Orso loves when we come home from Publix and Costco because he gets to play with all the empty boxes! Hey, who turned off the lights???!!!
Orso gets to work on his hand stacking and trotting a few times a week, but our house is full of distractions – flying leaves, the fact that I cannot run in a straight line, bait falling out of my hands, birds, cats, kids, cars, etc. – nonetheless, Orso is always a good sport and we usually manage to get a good 3-4 minutes of work in before it all falls apart!
Orso lives to play fetch in the water. He will play fetch in the pool for HOURS, same with the lake. It is relentless!
This coming weekend, Orso and I will be heading to Vero Beach for a two-day show. Orso will be showing in the 9-12 month puppy class at each of the two shows with his handler, Jessie Herzon, which will be held both days at the Indian River County Fairgrounds, 7955-58th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32966. Below are links to information about both shows:
April 30, 2011 – Treasure Coast Kennel Club Of Florida, Inc.
May 1, 2011 – Treasure Coast Kennel Club Of Florida, Inc.
I spent the whole afternoon today with Luna, Mouse & Orso at my parents’ house. They had a great time chasing each other and playing in the water. There hasn’t been a lot of rain around here lately so the water level was pretty low. You could literally walk all the way out to where the depth drops off to deep water, which I thought was pretty cool. The dogs all had a great time and came home very tired, which gave me a chance to have a peaceful and QUIET Friday night at home! Below are a few photos from today, including some action shots of Luna & Mouse showing off their “agility” skills. Enjoy!
Quiet Friday night! Yay!
The dogs of two couples who are very special to us took home some nice titles on Saturday, which was for the Cane Corso breed, our national breed specialty show. In other words, it was our “nationals” and the dogs that won on that day went home feeling very proud – and for excellent reason!
The first couple we would like to congratulate is Alexia Fino and Gabriel Rodriguez. They own Grand Champion Maximo’s Jack and took home the prestigious award of Best of Breed on Saturday. The best Corsi in the country were in that ring fighting for this honor and I cannot think of a better couple to have won it! Congratulations, Alexia, Gabriel & Jack for an awesome performance! We will see you in Vegas next year for 2012 Nationals! By the way, just before we started our drive home with Orso, Jack and Orso had a wonderful time playing on the grounds of our B&B, Henderson Village. I missed the whole thing, but Alexia & Gabriel were kind enough to fill me in on all the fun details over breakfast at The Langston House!
The second couple we would like to congratulate is Steel and JoAnne Campbell. They own Blue Ridge Rocco, who won Winners Dog and went on to show in the breed class, where he won Best of Winners. Steel took home 2 trophies, 2 plaques, a bunch of colorful ribbons and a 5 point major, putting Rocco well on his way to finishing his AKC championship! Blue Ridge Rocco was bred by Steel and JoAnne, so I am sure that makes them even prouder of their win! Many congratulations to Steel, JoAnne & Rocco for an awesome win!
Here are a few other very cool things about our trip to Perry, Georgia:
We stayed at the absolute best Bed & Breakfast we have ever stayed at called Henderson Village. The people there were so kind, especially Craig, and the accommodations and food at The Langston House was wonderful! Orso loved staying there too since he had lots of room to play!
We also ate at an Amish restaurant in Montezuma called Yoder’s Deitsch Haus Restaurant and Bakery that was very good. It was my first time eating Amish food and everything was very fresh and yummy! You could tell that the ingredients were all locally grown by the taste of the food.
We got to meet Mar e Sol’s Lucretia della Legion, a littermate to Orso, who was showing all 3 days. She was very pretty and you could totally tell that she and Orso were littermates. You could tell they wanted to so badly play with each other, but they had to be on perfect show dog behavior. Congratulations to her owners, Anthony & Rebecca Simonski, for raising such a pretty girl. That makes 4 pups from Orso’s litter of 13, including Orso, who we know about!
The last cool thing I will mention is that I had the opportunity to meet some great Corso people during the shows. I met breeders, fanciers, fans, owners, so many Corso advocates! I made friends with good people who I hope to keep contact with. Overall, it was a great opportunity to put faces to many of the respected names in the Corso community!
It’s official. We are leaving this show more confused about the judging of the Cane Corso breed than when we arrived. There were 47 entries today and almost all of the 47 Corsi showed up. All these dogs look so different to us. I imagine it must be equally confusing for a judge to judge this breed given the disparity in appearances, structure, movement, etc. For the exhibitor who is new to this dog show world, it is very boggling when judges do not send consistent messages. What do they want in a Cane Corso? What do they expect to see? How much do they know about the breed? What are they looking FOR??? I know that our breed organization, CCAA, does a great job of trying to educate judges, but how much of that information is absorbed and applied?
I grew up as a competitive athlete. I know what it is to go into a ring and be judged based on looks and movement. I have competed in the equestrian hunters, jumpers and dressage rings my entire life and am no stranger to losing, winning and just downright performing under the critical eye of a subjective human being. Having said that, today was an interesting experience for us. We felt very confident about Orso’s performance in the ring today, yet he was placed 4th out of 4 dogs in his class; we found it interesting that the judge couldn’t give us a valid reason or any kind of feedback – constructive, destructive or otherwise – when we consulted with him at the end of the Corso judging. We will therefore respectfully reserve our judgement about today’s class results. Instead, below are a few photos from today and the entire video of Orso’s almost 8-minute ring performance. A special thank you goes to Orso’s handler, Jessie Herzon, for an excellent effort in the ring. Enjoy!
Today was a bit different for us because our ring time was in the afternoon, something entirely new for Orso. We got to sleep in a little and do some work in the cabin for a few hours before heading to the show. Orso, who is accustomed to ALWAYS doing something in the morning, was driving us insane. He wanted so bad to do something, anything, with his energy, that we finally agreed to play fetch for a little while outside to burn some of his extra energy. In retrospect, I’m not sure this was such a great idea because Orso is not a high energy dog. He likes his play time and loves to “work” in the morning, but doesn’t exactly have hours of energy to burn.
By the time we got to the show, Orso was kind of “off.” He was acting lazy and didn’t really have much of a food drive, which is tough when you rely on food bait to get your dog to stand pretty and move nicely in a ring. His disinterest definitely showed in the ring. Despite this, he took 2nd place and Judge Faye Strauss commented to Jessie, Orso’s handler, that she really liked Orso and wished he would have been a bit more “engaged” in the ring. Oh well. Now I know, conserve that energy!!!!!! Unfortunately, my camera decided to misbehave and all my photos came out blurry, so no pictures for today’s show. I also lost his ribbon at some point when I was packing his things, which was a real bummer. Stay tuned for tomorrow; hopefully it will be a better day!
Orso made a new friend in Perry, Georgia, while we were there for the shows. Our friends, Alexia Fino and Gabriel Rodriguez, who own Grand Champion Maximo’s Jack, checked out of the Ramada and decided to come join us at our bed & breakfast, Henderson Village, after we told them how much room there was for our dogs to play. Below are a couple of short video clips of Orso and Jack meeting for the first time. You can tell that they are both being very cautious, but by the end of the trip, they were acting like old time friends! Unfortunately, I wasn’t there with my video camera when they were playing on the last day of the trip, but I heard it was a riot. Enjoy!
Today was our first of three show days and as predicted, it was a stressful morning. We have a process that we follow when we get to a show and today went a little different. We are used to being the first – or almost the first – breed to show in our ring, so early morning shows are easy for us. Somehow, we got distracted today and went to buy a catalog at the same time as Orso’s ring call. We got very lucky that Orso’s handler, Jessie, was paying attention. By the time we walked back from buying the catalog, Orso was in the ring with Jessie! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to warm him up like we normally do – or even take him on a bathroom walk – so we were a bit stressed. I think what made us not realize the time was that we always use the National Anthem as our indication to start getting Orso ready, but there was no National Anthem sung in the show, which threw us off. We didn’t even get to set up our camera to take photos! Oh well. You live and learn.
Orso behaved very well in the ring nonetheless and we are proud of him for that. He took third place in his class and then we were done for the day. We stayed to watch the rest of our breed show, packed up and headed to lunch at Grill Master. We met up there with our friends, Alexia & Gabriel from San Francisco, and their Corso, Grand Champion Maximo’s Jack, for a traditional BBQ lunch before returning to our hotel.
Once we got back to our B&B, Henderson Village, we were all very tired. Orso jumped in the bed with us – something that only happens at shows – and took a 3 hour nap with us. We got up and went out to the back of the cabin where he played fetch with us for a while. Alexia & Gabriel changed hotels and came to join us at Henderson Village, so they came outside with Jack so they could play together. Exhausted once again, we left our Corsi in their respective cabins and hung out outside chatting before heading out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse in the next town over. Overall, it was a good day, with some hitches along the way, but a great experience all around!
Below are a few photos from today, enjoy!
Our day started bright and early today. I was up at 5am, like I usually am, to get last minute preparations done before leaving to Georgia. We were on the road by 6am and had visions of a swift and efficient drive. No such luck. Along the way, we hit a lot of traffic, stopped 5 times to either eat or go to the bathroom and learned quickly that Florida is the state that never runs out of road. We finally got in to our hotel, The Henderson Village, in Perry at 4pm. We saw a very cool SUV towing an even cooler car on the way up, see below.
As we pulled into the manicured area surrounding our bed & breakfast, we were thoroughly impressed. The Henderson Village in a collection of cottages and cabin-type houses spread out over 20 acres of perfectly cared for land. We checked in and were very happy to be told that our cabin was waiting for us. We unloaded what felt like weeks worth of luggage and settled in to our cabin. Orso patiently waited ON THE BED while we unpacked, see below.
After making sure everything was in its place, we gave Orso what he had patiently been waiting for – PLAY TIME! We took him out to this open area behind our cabin with a tow and a tug and let him go wild. The grass was perfect and the soil was so soft – so different than what we get in Miami. Our ground is not so forgiving. Orso sensed the difference too and it showed in how he was playing; he turned into a wild child out there! Below are a bunch of photos of Orso playing fetch and tug behind our cabin. Check out the gorgeous scenery!
After playtime, we showered, let Orso rest for a little while, and headed out to grab some dinner. We ended up at Applebee’s, where our handler, Jessie, met up with us upon her arrival in Perry. We also ran into some Corso friends – Alexia & Gabriel – who came all the way from San Francisco for the shows. It was an early night for us. We headed back to the B&B, fed Orso some dinner, and crashed into bed from exhaustion. Tomorrow is going to be a stressful morning… I can feel it!
Today was the 1st day of rushing around for Georgia. While I was running around getting things ready, Orso was lounging on the couch, see below.
I picked up the minivan we rented for the trip – it’s the same Town & Country that we took up to Lakeland – and I almost had to fight with someone over it! The rental place was giving it to someone else even though it was reserved for me! I had to have that particular minivan because it is the ONLY model they rent that the 2nd row of seats folds INTO the floor, leaving the whole middle area flat! When they guy helping me at the Enterprise counter realized just how worked up I was about the confusion, he took the keys from the other renter and gave them to me! Woohooo! I got my Town & Country! I never thought I would ever get so excited over a minivan, LOL. Below is a photo of Orso kindly cleaning up after whomever rented it before us – they were nice enough to leave chocolate syrup AND Doritos for Orso to find!
The highlight of the day was getting a phone call from Orso’s groomer canceling our appointment for tomorrow. Oh joy! Off to search for moisturizing shampoo and a nail file!!!!
In the evening, Orso and I headed out to Jessie Herzon’s house for a private handling lesson. She lives on 5 acres in the same area that we are trying to buy property and it was fun to see Orso running around like a crazy boy with all that room! He got to play with Jessie and her brother, Ryan, and all the Labradors on the property. We were there for a couple of hours and worked on all his conformation skills, including stacking on blocks, which is new for Orso, see below. He did well and didn’t seem to care that he was on them. What a good puppy!
It was a fun weekend around here, due in part to the great weather we had the last few days! Orso did a lot of swimming and not necessarily because we were playing fetch. It’s gotten to the point that we cannot go swimming without Orso following us in the water – this is both in the pool and the lake. He’ll even get in the water and chase us with a toy in his mouth. Something tells me it’s going to be really hard to keep him clean (and dry) now that summer is here. Can you say “stinky wet rag” smell??? Anyway, back to the weekend. We spent a lot of time swimming and no time whatsoever practicing for the Perry shows that are coming up; sorry, Jessie!! We also went house shopping today and took Orso with us. We have a pretty big house right now but wish we had some land for the dogs and horses, so we are shopping for 4-10 acres in the South Florida area. This is no easy task, since more than half of the properties we tried to see today have no paved roads. This is OK if all we have are SUVs or pick-ups, but our only all terrain vehicle is the Jeep. We drive sports cars that don’t “do” dirt roads. We will find our dream property soon and when we do, it’ll be called “Villa Costa Bel” in honor of Costa Bel Cane Corso and Costa Bel Equestrian Center. Below are a few cute shots from this weekend; sorry about the quality since they are all Blackberry photos. There’s also a couple of short videos of Orso tormenting Luna – some things never change around here! Don’t judge us by our doggie-induced broken sofa (new one is on backorder) and dirty laundry pile! Enjoy!
“Who says show dogs can’t eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream???!! C’mon, gimme some!”
“Does this still count as being **IN** the kitchen while momma’s cooking???!!!”
“I’m on top of the world”, thinks Luna!
“Who goes there??!!”
Orso is our house-hunting co-pilot:
On Orso’s new home checklist – BIGGER POOL!!!!!
“Will Work for Food”
Do NOT judge us by the broken sofa cushion! A new one is on back-order! These are the perils of indoor dogs!
For many months now, Orso has been going to a group conformation class that the Herzon family of Chambray Labradors puts on twice a week. We try to make it both nights – class is always held on Tuesdays and Thursdays – and have a pretty steady routine. We get there, we unload all our doggie stuff, we let Orso pee and we go straight to his handler, Jessie Herzon, place a slobber rag in one of her hands and Orso in the other. We then walk away and relax while Jessie and Orso do all the work under the guidance of Jessie’s dad, Sandy Herzon. Every once in a while, we get there early and I work with him to warm him up but this doesn’t happen often since I can’t seem to get Orso to work for me for purposes of conformation as nicely as he does for Jessie. I am humble enough to admit when I am not good at something.
Below are 3 video clips from tonight’s class. Many thanks to the Herzon family for all their efforts in developing Orso into such a great show dog! Enjoy!
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