Group Winning GCH Lakeridge Galavanting, known to those who love him as Bryce, took about a year to become party of the Galavanting Poodle family. Once I was convinced about the greatness of Standard Poodles, I was on my way to researching options for my next Poodle.
It didn't take me long to find Lakeridge Farms Poodles.
Lakeridge is well known for their lovely white Standard Poodles. One in particular that had caught my eye is GCH Brighton Lakeridge Encore, Ali. She is out of the famous Ali Kai Mikimoto on Fifth and carries herself with his same grace. Her movement in the ring always captured attention. Ali's Reserve Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club in 2014, sealed the deal for me. I knew I would love to have a lovely dog with pieces of this pedigree.
As it turned out, Debra Ferguson Jones, the owner of Lakeridge Farms, is from Alaska! I definitely used this tidbit of information to my advantage. I think my first email to Debra started with, "Hi! So, you're from Alaska... I'm from Alaska... You love Poodles.... I love Poodles..." ;)
Actually, I believe my first email was a bit more professional, but honestly, I don't really remember what I wrote. Fast-forward to January 2015 when I had the chance to head to the Rose City Classic dog shows in Portland, Oregon, and I had my first chance to meet Debra face-to-face. It was at these shows that I was introduced to MBIS MBISS GCH Lakeridge Kaylen's Hey Big Spender. At the time, Spender was still a class dog, but even then you could see big things were ahead for this boy.
I also met GCH Lakeridge Simply Irresistible, Maru. This gorgeous black Standard Poodle boy immediately caught my eye. Lovely coat, regal look, strong structure, he was just stunning. I didn't have any idea how important Maru was going to be for me in the future.
After the Rose City Classic dog shows Debra and I kept in touch through the spring and summer. We were both just waiting for the right litter to come along with the perfect puppy for Alaska. Soon enough, an email from Debra arrived asking if I was still interested in getting a puppy. She'd had a breeding between CH Brighton Lakeridge Summer in the Hamptons (Girlie) and, my favorite boy, Maru!
Girlie is half sister to Ali. Their pedigrees are very similar, even sharing Mikimoto as a father. Girlie is also Spender's mom! And Maru's pedigree brought a lot of nice pieces to the table. A puppy from these two would only be available to a lucky few. This litter was going to be Girlie's last litter in her career as a mom.
In September 2015, I was on a plane heading to Seattle to pick up my Bryce puppy!
I spent a fast and furious 24 hours with Debra. She opened her home and shared her knowledge in Poodles. We spent so much time going over the puppies while Debra showed me what to look for in a show Poodle. Bryce won me over with his movement. Debra had said from the beginning, he had the best movement out of the litter. And seeing Bryce in person did NOT disappoint!
It was encouragement from Debra, and others at Lakeridge Poodles like Lindsay Gorder and Young Choi, that convinced me to take Bryce into the ring as an Owner-Handler. I will forever be grateful for their faith in me and their encouragement for me to jump in. If it weren't for them, I honestly don't know where I would be in this great Poodle adventure. What I do know though, Galavanting Poodles would not be on the path it is on today.
Perhaps one day I'll make a blog entry about the challenges and triumphs of entering the show dog ring as a *very* amateur owner-handler. And, if I'm feeling especially frisky, I may even toss in some stories on my journey as a GROOMER of my own dogs!
Yes. It is true. I GROOM MY OWN POODLE DOGS.
But that adventure of learning will be told another day :)
My family and I often tease that Bryce has received the raw end of the stick, in the dog show world. He is my "practice" dog and all my mistakes are made on him first. But Bryce has been a trooper. He sticks it out with me and is my most ardent encourager and fan. Win or lose, Bryce is happy to be with me in the ring. I am honest when I say, it is because of Bryce that I love dog shows so much! He is certainly a special boy! And, truly, the accomplishments and awards he and I have taken together, tell the truth of it all :)
Hiking and being outdoors is Bryce's first love. He would live outdoors all year long, if I'd let him. Bryce's favorite weather is snow storms. He is not allowed to play in the snow with out his trusty snowsuit (handed down from big brother Wallace), but even with the suit, Bryce is on the run in snow.
Bryce's love for hiking and climbing can be clearly seen when you observe his conditioned and toned body. Well muscled, lovely movement, and great confidence are all attributes that are enhanced by Bryce's hiking adventures.