I got the greatest email yesterday via the contact form of my fitness studio website. It came from the “dad” of one of Orso’s littermates whose name is Enzo. Apparently, Tim (Enzo’s dad) was searching for video footage of the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Best of Breed Showing for the Cane Corso breed and stumbled upon Orso’s blog. Turns out that he realized that Orso was his pup’s littermate and reached out to us to say hello! Thanks, Tim!
Orso’s brother, Enzo, was the biggest puppy in their litter and outweighed Orso at 8 weeks of age by nearly 2 pounds – which is a big deal when you are talking about an 8 week old puppy! If you go back to all the puppy photos that were posted to the blog, Enzo is the puppy with the black ribbon collar and Orso was the one with the dark blue ribbon collar.
We always think about Orso’s littermates and how they are turning out – I am sure they are all gorgeous – but we are always curious nonetheless, so we were thrilled to hear from Tim. Tim says that Enzo was 110 pounds 3 weeks ago – WOW!!! He and Orso are probably about the same size right now because Orso weighed in at 106.2 pounds about 3 weeks ago.
Enzo lives in Indiana with Tim and his wife and a very cute puggle puppy named “Kali”. We went back and forth via email a few times and Tim sent us over a bunch of photos of Enzo, which he is allowing us to share with Orso’s blog followers, see below:
OCHLOCKONEE RIVER KENNEL CLUB OF FLORIDA, INC., JUDGE MRS. LEE CANALIZO – 02.27.2011
4 down, 11 to go! That was what I said to myself as I walked away from the show ring this morning! Again today, Orso was alone in the 6-9 months class, so he took first in that class then won the winner’s class, earning him another point toward his AKC Championship!
Orso and Jessie did a great job this morning and are really building a wonderful relationship with each other! Awesome day, awesome puppy, awesome handler! Below are some photos from this morning’s show! Enjoy!
Orso is the 3rd dog gaiting in this photo:
Meanwhile, at home in Miami, Nichelle captured Luna daydreaming:
DECISIONS, DECISIONS… – 02.26.2011
Orso encounters many difficult choices throughout the day and tonight is no different. Our hotel room in Tallahassee at the Cabot Lodge has a very comfy sofa that fits Orso just right. His difficult choice today was: sofa or crate? Rough life!
OCHLOCKONEE RIVER KENNEL CLUB OF FLORIDA, INC., JUDGE MR. JAMES E. FREDERIKSEN – 02.26.2011
It was a short day for us at the show today! Our ring time was at 9am, so we got there around 8am and were done by 10am, plenty of time to spend the day relaxing and celebrating Orso’s new AKC point!
Again this weekend, Orso was alone in the 6-9 months class, so he took first in that class. He then won the winner’s class, earning him another point toward his AKC Championship! 3 down, 12 to go! YAY, Orso! Way to go!
Below is a great action shot of Orso and Jessie Herzon, Orso’s handler, gaiting down the diagonal of the ring. Check out Jessie’s expression – she is having way too much fun! Thanks, Jessie!
This coming weekend, Orso and us will be traveling for a two day show to Tallahassee. He will be showing in the 6-9 month puppy class at each of the two shows with handler Jessie Herzon, which will be held both days at the North Florida Fairgrounds, 441 Paul Russell Rd, Tallahassee, FL 32301. Below are links to information about both shows:
February 26, 2011 – Ochlockonee River Kennel Club Of Florida, Inc.
February 27, 2011 – Ochlockonee River Kennel Club Of Florida, Inc.
This was our final show day and I had a good feeling about today! We arrived to the showgrounds and set up as usual. I did something a little different though. The last 3 days, Orso was allowed to hang out in his crate for quiet time before showing, but today I decided to pull him out and let him play a little tug, since he always gets fired up when he plays tug. Wow, I am not sure if that’s what did it, but Orso was definitely alert after our little game! I took him back to his area to clean him up and it was time to go in the ring.
Orso, as in the last 3 days, was alone in the 6-9 months class, so he took first in that class. Argento didn’t show today, so Orso took winner’s class aswell. He then went back in the ring to show for Best of Breed. He was in the ring with Saggio (his dad – now an AKC Champion), a couple of other champions and a grand champion – WOW, talk about excitement for us to see him among these great dogs! We knew he wouldn’t take Best of Breed, nonetheless we were so proud to see him in there! I think Orso was proud too because he was having his best “showing” so far! In the end, Orso took Best of Winners and earned his first 2 points toward his AKC championship! Way to go, Orso!
Below are some shots from today and a link to the Cane Corso results from today’s show.
Today’s show results: http://www.infodog.com/RESULTS/2011124802/201112480233500.HTM
Also, below is the video footage of the Best of Breed class. Enjoy!
After we finished up at the show, we headed back to the hotel to pack up our stuff and check-out. We stopped at a very cool salad place in downtown called Crispers before starting our drive home – Orso was laying attentively next to us throughout lunch hoping that pieces of baked flatbread would “mysteriously” drop to the ground. We wrapped up lunch and headed home with smiles on our faces for having had such a great experience at our first shows! Thank you to everyone who made our weekend so enjoyable and productive – ESPECIALLY ORSO THE CANE CORSO – we love you, baby bear!!
We are on day three of showing and this dog show business in crazy! People really get nutty over entries and judges and grooming and all things related to dog shows! We went through our morning drill and before we knew it, Orso was back in the ring. For the 3rd time, Orso was alone in his 6-9 month class, so he took first. Then he went back in against only Argento since Saggio finished his championship yesterday and was moved into the next level of competition. Orso took Reserve in the class and really made us proud with his behavior. In just a few days of showing, his concentration and focus has improved dramatically. You can tell he is much more comfortable in the ring and seems to understand what is expected of him, including trotting instead of galloping around the ring. Orso also likes to help us lug around his stuff as you can see from the photo of him carrying his own slobber rag. Thanks, Orso! Below are some shots from today and a link to the Cane Corso results from today’s show.
Today’s show results: http://www.infodog.com/RESULTS/2011124801/201112480133500.HTM
After the show, Orso, we drove to a shaded open field next to our hotel to let Orso play for a little while. We put a 30 foot lead on him and let him play tug with us. We also worked on his recall command. We would take turns hiding behind trees and either blowing the whistle or giving the “here” command while Orso would run at full throttle to us. It was very cute! Below are 2 video clips from our playing session and our recall training.
After all this excitement, we went back to the hotel to freshen up a little bit and then headed back out to have lunch. We took Orso with us and decided to go to a Hooters near our hotel that has outdoor seating. Orso behaved like a little gentleman. He slept the entire time on his blanket and didn’t fuss at all. We went back to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. For dinner, we headed into downtown with Orso. We ended up meeting Jessie, our handler, at a nice steakhouse, where Orso got to hang out with us while we feasted on a great dinner. By the end of the night, we were all exhausted and ready for a good night’s rest before our last day of showing.
Meanwhile, Nichelle snapped a great shot of Mouse, our Doberman, sleeping on the sofa at home, see below.
Our second day of showing was a little easier because we knew what to expect. Today, we got smart and pulled up next to the building to unload our stuff THEN went to park. That little modification to our morning routine saved us some time and considerable stress. Just like yesterday, Orso was alone in his 6-9 month class, so he took first in that class. Again, he went back in against Saggio & Argento and came in 3rd. We were pleased that he had a pleasant run around the ring and was starting to get some experience.
A nice surprise for the day was that Orso’s dad, Mar e Sol’s Saggio finished his AKC Champion title today, so they both took a photo together! YAY, Saggio, way to go!
I had the opportunity to sit down with Sandy Herzon, who is part of Orso’s handling team, for a little while and listen to some of his valuable advice about the world of dog showing. The best piece of advice he gave me was that EVERYONE will have an opinion, EVERYONE will think he or she is an expert and EVERYONE will have something to say (usually not positive or constructive) and that the best thing that someone like me who is new to the dog show world can do is to ignore pretty much all of it and not let anything get to me. Thanks for the wisdom, Sandy! Much appreciated!
Before we headed back to the hotel, Orso also got to participate in a complimentary educational seminar that was put on by the Herzon family and then he met one of their 8 week old lab puppies that was getting ready to go to his new home. Orso was happy to share his plastic bottle with this little pup. What a delicious little creature!
Meanwhile, back in Miami, Nichelle, our dogsitter extraordinaire, sent me a photo of Luna & Mouse hanging out in our home, see below. Also, below are some shots from today and a link to the Cane Corso results from today’s show.
Today’s show results: http://www.infodog.com/RESULTS/2011109003/201110900333500.HTM
We arrived at the showgrounds really early and not knowing what to expect. This is our first real dog show and our van was loaded with bowls and leashes, toys and blankets, crates and a suitcase full of doggie gear, smelly “bait” and an eager Cane Corso named Orso. We found some parking near the building that our handler, Jessie Herzon, told us to set up in, unloaded all of our stuff and made our way into the building.
What an overwhelming sight! There were dogs everywhere! Crates everywhere! Stressed people, happy people, very unhappy people, people wearing all kinds of shiny clothes and people who had never seen a Cane Corso before! It was a whole new world for us, to say the least! We set up near our ring and ran into our breeder, who was also there for the show. We chatted with her a bit, said hello to her dogs, including Saggio (Orso’s dad) and Carisma (Orso’s littermate). Within minutes, our handler, Jessie, came over to meet with us and give us the run down on what to expect. 45 minutes later, Orso was in the ring for his first official dog show! He was in the 6-9 month class alone, so he took first place. He went back in against Saggio (his dad) & another older experienced Corso named Argento and came in 3rd. We weren’t disappointed about this result – actually, we expected it – because our goal on this trip is to get Orso in the ring and comfortable with dog show surroundings. Below are some shots from today and a link to the Cane Corso results from today’s show.
Today’s show results:
Orso with his handler, Jessie Herzon, below:
Orso’s Dad, Saggio, below:
Orso standing behind Argento, below:
As a reward for being such a great new show dog, we bought Orso a brand new show collar and lead, let him take a nap with us for the first time ever (yes, in the same bed) and then took him for a long walk around the neighborhood next to the hotel.
This evening, Orso and us took off to Lakeland, Florida, for Orso’s first 4 AKC dog shows. We embarked on this road trip in style, having rented a Town & Country minivan for Orso’s comfort. This minivan was perfect! We were able to load all the luggage and doggie gear all the way in the back of the van, behind and on top of the 3rd row seating. We hid the 2nd row seating into the floor of the van and created a large flat area where we put Orso’s lounging bed and a bunch of toys. We rode in captain’s chairs, which were OK but not the greatest for our backs. The ride up was long but sufficiently comfortable. Orso slept the entire way, so we kept forgetting he was even there. We left Miami at 6:30pm and had to stop a few hours into the trip to get food, stretch out and feed Orso. By the time we got into Lakeland, it was almost midnight. We arrived at the one of the only dog friendly hotels – La Quinta Lakeland West – and were disappointed to find out that the only room with a king-size bed, fridge and microwave that was left over was a smoking room. We had asked for a nonsmoking room when we made the reservation, but for some reason that information was “misplaced” in the computer system. Our room was clean and fairly spacious, but it smelled like a nightclub. It had the nastiest odor of stale cigarette smoke! Yuk! Unfortunately, we had no other choice, so we unpacked and settled in. On the bright side, Orso loved the room because of the carpet and spent the entire time we were unpacking playing and running around. We finally settled in and went to bed just past 2am. The pillows and sheet wreaked of smoke, which made it hard to sleep, but our exhaustion set in and away we went into much-needed slumber… Below are a few shots from today’s road trip.
DOWNWARD FACING HOUND – 02.17.2011
My good friend, Sheila Lieberman of Loving Obedience Dog Training, sent me this oh-so-cute photo of Amber, her AKC conformation champion Pharaoh Hound, today. Knowing my affinity for fitness, Sheila was very clever and titled the photo “Downward Facing Hound” as a play on the yoga position “Downward Facing Dog”! Way too cute! Thanks for the smile, Sheila!
Watching the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was definitely a family affair and as you will see in this 30-second video clip, Orso was not about to let any other dogs move into his house! Very cute!
FULL VIDEO FOOTAGE OF CANE CORSO BREED CLASS AT 2011 WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW – 02.15.2011
Click on the link below to be redirected to the complete 12-minute footage of today’s Cane Corso breed class at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
The first ever Cane Corso Best of Breed judging for the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show took place today. This is the first time the Cane Corso breed is represented in this prestigious event. The dog who won the Best of Breed class is Orso’s first cousin, GCH Leonitis “The Big Show” Sargent, a blue Cane Corso related to Orso through his mother’s side. Orso’s mother, Alondra, is a littermate to Leonitis’ father, Ades. In other words, Leonitis’ father is brother to Orso’s mother, Alondra.
Leonitis’ win is very exciting for us and comes as great news just days before Orso is to officially begin his AKC show career! Congratulations to Leonitis, his breeder Erik Wofford of Phantom Corsos & his owners Chad and Masheli Sargent. Below is a photo of Leonitis from today’s Best of Breed judging – notice the resemblance to Orso’s body structure. It will be interesting to watch the rest of the judging tonight to see how Leonitis does in the Best of Working Group judging. Stay tuned…
A FAMILY AFFAIR – 02.13.2011
Today we celebrated Johnnie, my oldest nephew’s, 13th birthday at my sister’s house. The whole family was present for a BBQ. When I say the whole family, I mean the WHOLE family! My sister, Yvette, was kind enough to allow Luna, Mouse and Orso to come over for the BBQ! Thanks, Yvette! Orso spent the whole afternoon and evening running around in my sister’s yard, drinking from her pool and begging people to play tug with him. I even caught him trying to steal a burger! It was a very quiet ride home at the end of the night with all their energy having been spent at Yvette’s house! For some photos from today, see below.