Monday, October 14, 2013



We were up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to get all our things ready and pack the car.  Lexi had been bathed and brushed up to her full glory.  Despite not feeling 100% both Lexi and I were ready for the day ahead. And the temperatures were forecast to be in the mid-30's.

The heat was sweltering as 71 beautiful Golden Retrievers gathered to compete in the 31st annual Golden Retriever Championship Breed Show on Saturday 12 October 2013.  The show was graciously sponsored by HILLS PET NUTRITION who were very generous with their prizes! 
The venue for the event was the beautiful grounds at the centre for the Guide Dogs for the Blind, in Johannesburg South Africa.
This particular show was to be our little Lexi's first appearance in the Breed Show ring.

The "Boss" and I arrived at the show grounds early so that we'd be able to set our gazebo up in a nice position with a good view of the ring. (We are the little dark tent in the far corner of the ring. We had everything we needed including lots of water for Lexi and a few chewies to keep her occupied.

 Like us, however, she was far more interested in the array of beautiful Goldens on display than in any treats we had on offer. The ringside was a buzz of activity as people brushed up their stunning Goldens in anticipation of the big event.

As most of my readers know, I don't personally enjoy being in the show ring, so I am really grateful to Estene Trollope for agreeing to take Lexi into the ring for me.  Lexi and Estene have a sweet bond and it is a pleasure for me to watch them together. They did some practising before the formalities started.
 Not only did Estene show Lexi, but also her own four beautiful dogs.
 (Estene's lovely Prada - Ch Quillquest Miuccia Prada at Chardale (Ch Siatham Baron Quillquest x Ch Siatham Classic Quillquest) was awarded Bitch CC and Best Opposite Sex )
("PRADA" is the cream golden next to the larger "CHAD" on the R.H.S)
The judge was the highly accredited Sjoerd Jobse (Sweden)
I must apologise for not having taken many photos of all the other beautiful dogs on display at the show.  (I wasn't feeling well and the heat was really getting to me, so only came home with a few photos - and mainly those of Lexi). Take my word for it, however, the standard of dogs was outstanding and I would like to congratulate all the winners.

Before we knew it, it was Lexi's turn in the ring...

 Although Lexi ran quite nicely, she was very jittery with the judge's static examination.
(Who knows if it had anything to do with her bout of 'garbage guts' which got us out of bed twice during the previous night.  Maybe, however, it is just a cast of being a novice at these things).  Either way, I think she looked lovely and Estene was a star!!!

 I have prepared a short video of her performance.  Enjoy...

Although Lexi didn't get anywhere at all in the show, it was a good experience and a lovely day. We so enjoyed watching all the Goldens.  Thank you, too, to the special people who stopped by our tent to say hello to our little Princess (especially the dear little toddler boy).
Lexi is ALWAYS keen to meet new people!

Once again, congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to the organisers, the sponsors - HILLS PET NUTRITION, the judge and the ring steward.

Sending lotsaluv,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The privilege of observing the blossoming my special little Princess...

(Above: 10-month-old Lexi , with her handler "Estene")

This past Sunday I had that rare privilege of getting a glimpse of how far my little Lexi has come in her development as I went to join up with "Estene", a lovely lady who has agreed to take Lexi into the Breed Show ring for her first championship show this coming weekend.  It was wonderful to see how my patience and commitment with Lexi's training have paid off and I watched, with joy, as she happily and confidently worked for someone else, besides me. 

My special little Princess is 10 months old now and is turning into one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever had the privilege of owning. She is gentle, affectionate, obedient, healthy, happy and always willing to learn.  Every morning I rise with a smile after a few minutes of special cuddling.  She has the softest fur imaginable.

When Lexi is not cuddling she is always embued with energy - directed towards her naturally, beautifully bred instincts.  She loves retrieving objects from the swimming pool and will launch herself into the water with absolute abandon.

She is no longer hesitant, like those first few months, but has grown into a confident, compact and pretty little Golden Retriever.
(Above and below : Lexi at 9 weeks)

 (Above and below: Lexi at 12 weeks)

She loves her home and her canine-companions and has a particular affinity for our sweet hooligan - TOBY. During the day, the two of them are inseparable.

Currently, she has completed three obedience courses, including her Puppy programme, Elementary Beginner's obedience and her Canine Good Citizen (bronze) assessment. We have started yet another obedience course - this time her 'Beginners Obedience. I imagine that we will be in formal training for a long time yet - simply because we both enjoy it so much. She is a beautiful canine partner.

(Above: Lexi and me after completing her bronze CGC)

This coming Saturday Lexi will participate in her first breed show. As many of my readers know, I am personally very uncomfortable in the Breed Show ring, but Estene has kindly offered to take Lexi into the ring on my behalf.

I believe that one of the best gifts I can ever give my dog is to train it up so that if anything happens to me, it's training, obedience, behaviour and personality will endear it to another caring human who will love it in the same way as I do.  A dog who is comfortable in the presence of other human beings is a true asset to its owner.  Lexi proved this on Sunday.

In addition to practising some of the ring-craft, she sat patiently while Estene touched up the silky fur around her ears.
 She also had the opportunity to romp and play with a few other Golden Retrievers that she's not met before. The absence of her canine-compatriot Toby didn't make a dent in her confidence. Her self-assurance in the presence of other dogs was evident. 

(Lexi is on the far right, playing with "Misty" - another young pup)

 So much water has gone under the bridge since this photo of Toby and Lexi - at 8 weeks of age.

I am so proud of my pup... together we have built up her confidence over the months and refined her behaviour. We have formed a bond of great trust... so much so that she will happily perform for another handler.

Thank you so much, Estene for agreeing to show Lexi. Thank you for allowing her to bubble and shine. In a short time she bonded with you and it cannot bring me more joy to know this and be able to sit back and watch her display.

 It really doesn't matter how she eventually does in the ring - only that you and her HAVE FUN!!! 
But thank you, sincerely, for loving my Lex'!

Good luck to ALL the dogs who have entered in the show on Saturday.
If you are interested in seeing more Goldens, why not drop by the grounds of the 
 (Paulshof, Johannesburg, Gauteng) on Saturday morning?

The show is 

and it starts at 9am.

Apparently they have a record number of entries of beautiful Golden Retrievers - over 70 entries!
It is guaranteed to be a Golden spectacle!

Sending lotsaluv

Thursday, October 3, 2013

MAXDOG on KINDLE - Discounted price

Dear friends
This is just a short post to let my readers know that I have substantially reduced the price of 

Readers in the USA can now get it at $2.99.
Other countries are similar.
Don't loose out :)

Please would you spread the word about this new pricing.
Also, if you've not read the book yet, here's your chance to get it in the digital format at a very affordable price.

Sending lots of love