postheadericon Judging In Alaska 2013

I am a little late in reporting my July trip to Alaska to judge on the beautiful Kenai Peninsula. After I got home from Alaska, I realized that I had neglected to renew my elementary principal certificate and needed to take six graduate credit hours before September first to do so.  So the crunch was on.  I took two online courses and could not believe how tough they were and how much work.  I spent the month of August letting everything go except the keyboard of my laptop.  I got little else done but study, take exams, and write a multitude of essays.  I was so obsessed with finishing by the deadline and doing well, which I did, that when I was done I did not know what to do with myself as I had been so consumed with the work.  I would like to take another course as despite the pressure I really did enjoy learning, but at $500.  a course, it will be awhile.

My friend, Dr. Rosalind Batley, went with me and we had a wonderful time.  I enjoyed the judging assignment immensely. After the judging one evening we were invited to a get together of Cavalier breeders and exhibitors. We had a wonderful time talking Cavaliers and seeing some very pretty dogs.

After the judging we took off to see a bit of the country which is so lovely and still very unpopulated and wild.  We were there in the Salmon Running season and fisherman from all over the world were their getting their catch.  Every Alaskan citizen are allowed to catch so many Salmon to stock their freezers for the year.  I do so love the state and if I were younger, who knows, I might wish to live there.  I love the Alaskan “can do” spirit and the people. 

Rosalind and I took a full day glacier and wildlife cruise.  We had a great time and found it a great learning experience.  We had beautiful weather and great sightings of wildlife.  Below I am using photos taken by the tour company itself with their permission to use them as they were better than any we could take.   The animals and scenery were truly awe inspiring


While in Homer we went to the Sea Life Museum which was fascinating.



While in Homer we visited the Mitch Seavey Iditarod Sled Dogs and even rode a sledding cart behind a team.  Being a dog person, this just may have been my favorite part of touring.  The Seavey team keeps about one hundred Alaskan Huskies and has won the Iditarod more than once.  It was so interesting finding out all about the dogs, the breeding program, raising and training, and the conditioning of the dogs.  It seems as if those involved with racing are consumed with it with their whole lives wrapped around the dogs and their welfare.  Planning breedings and bringing puppies along is very similar to raising show dogs, but so much harder.  Too much work for me!


postheadericon My Trip To China

I was invited to judge in Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province of China in December and enjoyed the experience immensely. The people were great, the dogs really good, and the country beautiful. The only time I realized that we were in a Communist country was crossing into the mainland from Hong Kong where guards thoroughly checked documents and when I tried to get on the World Wide Web in my hotel room and could not connect. I had the internet but was not able to surf the web. clip_image002

I flew into Hong Kong a few days early to see the sights and go shopping. Big mistake!!! Hong Kong is a very interesting and vibrant city with a past. Owned by the British for a long time, it reflects the British presence and way of life of yore. The British had all the rights and the Chinese were really on the lower rungs of society. Of course, that has very much changed. Present day Chinese has a mixture of cultures, languages, and nationalities. clip_image004

In the early 1800’s British merchants traded opium for Chinese silks, silver, tea, and spices. From the British colony of India, the Brits had an inexhaustible of opium from the Indian poppy fields and sent an overabundance of the drug into China causing the Chinese government to challenge the trade because of the spread of addiction and the draining of the Chinese coffers for the drug the first Opium War when Opium was banned by the Emperor and then his son leading to the Opium wars began ending with the ceding of Hong Kong Island to the British until 1997 when it returned to Chinese rule.hen the Opium wars began ending in China ceding the Island to the Brits until 1997 when Hong Kong once more became part of China called the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. clip_image006

Hong Kong is a huge city and full of life. There are vendors hawking many black market items on every street in the business district. Hong Kong is full of all nationalities but the British and American influences are all over. Kentucky Fried Chicken is the most popular franchise in China KFC, McDonald’s, Shakey’s Pizza, and many other American contributions to society are very evident. I was looking I found a tailor shop and went a little crazy. Jackets and blouses and pant suits. Since I have been confining myself to shopping at Good Will for over a year, I did not feel sooooo bad, but trust me it will be Good Will for two more years.


The dog show was held in Guangzhou , in Guangdong Province.  The dog club took extremely good care of us when we arrived on a Thursday.  Our tour guides Jo Ann and Jerry showed us all over, museums and fine restaurants.  Talk about weight gain! I judged with two Canadian judges; we had a grand time together with our wonderful tour guides.  The venue was the tented parking lot and plaza of a large mall.  The concrete was covered by indoor/outdoor kind of carpet which was soaked by the damp weather and rain dripping through a few tears in the tenting.  My feet were soaked at the end of the day.  All the exhibitors, ring stewards and show officials were wonderful to us.  It was a great day.