postheadericon Heading The Louisville Shows

I showed Rattlebridge The Crack of Dawn, “Sunny” at three of the four Louisville shows and won two majors which gives him 14 points with one more needed to finish his championship.  My friend Rosalind and I went together and had a ball.  We co own a gorgeous show worthy Golden Retriever puppy, Eggspaladociouss, “Poppins” so spent time at the Golden ring as well as the Cavalier ring.  Because of illnesses, I have not been at shows for a little while so it was lovely seeing friends and watching the shows.  While we were there I had “Sunny”s picture taken at fourteen months:


I also made a collage of his development which is interesting to observe:


The next show is the National in April in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Sunny is a delight to live with and to show. 

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 Wolf Haven

In September, my buddy Margaret Valentine, the co owner of two of my best in show dogs, Ch. Marshell Rattlebridge Renoir and Ch. Rattlebridge Adagio, flew up to Seattle so I could judge the Cavaliers of Puget Sound Cavalier Specialty and two all breed shows. It was just great to be with Margaret again as we have traveled the world together but since our lives have changed and she is not showing anymore and my showing is more limited, we do not see each other as often as we did or spend as much time together. We are not only friends but best buddies. clip_image001

While in Seattle, we went to Wolf Haven, a sanctuary and wolf breeding and pre release facility to add to efforts to

bring the Mexican grey wolf back from near extinction. clip_image005

Separate family trees have been created so that healthy lines develop from out crossing. clip_image003

Wolves have always fascinated me and the fact that they have been killed into almost extinction breaks my heart. clip_image006clip_image004

The following photos show the difference in salvation and wolf genocide.


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.   



postheadericon I am sailing to Grand Cayman where I will swim with dolphins and sting rays.

These are the pictures leaving Miami.


postheadericon Visiting California

I had the honor of judging the Summerfest cluster of shows the fourth of July weekend in Ventura, California, and had a marvelous time as I always do when I judge these shows.  Our hotel was located right on the beach and the shows next door at the fairgrounds. I caught up with some of my judge friends and really enjoyed their camaraderie.  I judged some lovely dogs.during the three days of shows and then traveled to San Diego with my really dear friends Jeff and Tami Byroads who got their first Cavalier “Tilt” from me. Tami recently showed Tilt at the Bay Area Cavalier Club specialty where he won Best Veteran. Tilt - Best Veteran








The Byroads home is San Diego is truly lovely, but the biggest treat, besides hanging out with my friends, was seeing my “kids:”  Tilt, Winnie and Costume Party.  Friends of Tami and Jeff’s were celebrating a birthday on the beach of the La Jolla Country Club. It was such a lovely night and the food was beyond delicious.  I went to California showing off my weight loss and came back with a bigger girth due to the desserts served at the party. The sunset on the beach was glorious.

sunset in san diego

Tami and I went to the San Diego zoo!  This Zoo is unbelievable and changed so much since my last visit several years ago.  The elephant exhibit was my favorite, but I enjoyed all we saw, just a little of the huge zoo.  Hopefully, all the walking took off a couple of ounces of dessert. 

I had the opportunity to talk to the Cavalier Club of San Diego about the responsibilities of breeding and ownership.  This is a rather new and very enthusiastic club who put on their first specialty show last February.  I was supposed to judge, but Al’s brain surgery kept me home.  Great club, great club members.   Until next time . . .



adagio and credit 2

I went to Tennessee a few weeks ago to visit with my buddy Margaret Valentine in Memphis.  We had our usual happy, relaxed time together just hanging out and going to her lovely lake house at Greer’s Ferry in Arkansas.  Our top winning Cavalier Ch. Rattlebridge Adagio lives with Margaret and I took “Gio” with me to Clarksville, Tennessee, to take  our Kelly who lived with Margaret to her new home in Clarksville, Tennessee where my brother and his wife live.  I had a great time visiting John and his wife Uni and then went on to visit Brenda Radford who was to give Kelly a new home.  Brenda had already embraced our Trixie and Gio’s mother, Ch. Rattlebridge Master Card, “Credit,” when show careers and maternal duties were over.  It almost killed me to let Credit go to a new home as I loved her dearly, but Al and I have always said to do what was best for the dog and at Brenda’s Credit would get much more attention than at home as we had quite a few other dogs at the time.  Credit and Trixie lead enchanted lives at Brenda’s.  It was wonderful seeing the girls once more. Credit is thirteen and still going strong, but I did so want to see her once more because one never knows when she will go to the rainbow bridge.  To see Credit and Adagio together once more was a very teary thrill. In the picture above, you will see Adagio, me (with my double chin, Credit, and the very elegant Brenda Radford.

credit in her bed

Leading a queen’s life as she should, Credit loves to snooze on Brenda’s bed. Below is our Kelly who immediately made herself at home at Brenda’s by jumping into the rocker in the kitchen and staking her claim.  kelly new home









postheadericon So Behind!!! May 8 2009

It is  very unusual for me not to post in such a long time, but my life has been crazy I have so much to say and am sorry I have not written (those of you who read this blog all the time).  I went to Memphis to visit my dear friend Margaret Valentine who co owned our number one and Best in Show and Best in Specialty Show Ch. Marshell Rattlebridge  Renoir and Ch. Rattlebridge Adagio.  We had a great time going to her gorgeous lake house in Arkansas on Greers’s Ferry which is a very large and very tranquil lake.  I learned to jet ski there last summer and while Margaret did a sedate 40 miles an hour or whatever the nautical term is, once I got my balance I was up to over 60 which is about as fast as it will go.  I was in heaven!  I came home and told Al, who used to be Commodore of our local yacht club, that I wanted a jet ski that we could keep at Alum Creek reservoir, a short distance from our home.  Needless to say I an still jet ski less.It was too early to get out the jet skis this time.  I could not get my email to work the whole time I was away; Margaret’s computer was down and I could not get my blackberry to charge so I could not get my email by syncing it to my laptop. I ABHOR technology!

On the way back from Memphis, I stopped to see my youngest brother Master Sargeant John N. Johnson (retired).  He has about twenty acres and a lovely home.  His bride, Uni, and he were busy planting fruit trees and Uni was doing the vegetable gardens.  Uni is the loveliest woman, inside and out, that I have ever met.  She and John met while he was stationed in Korea and dated for several years both going back and forth to Korea and the States.  Uni has to get her family organized before she could think about coming to the States permanently and they had to work through different cultures.  Her adult sons, one a major in the Korean army, and daughters, whose father has not been in the picture for many years, have embraced John as their father with all the respect the Korean culture has for parents.  He is thrilled they all call him Dad as he lost his own daughter several years ago at age 10.  He is thrilled to have a beautiful little granddaughter.  Back and forth to Korea and the States, the family sees each other as often as possible.  Uni has asked me to go to Korea with her the next time she goes without John; she says we will go to China and possibly India! 

I cannot be a world traveler this time of my life; I am needed at home.  Al never complained when I was trotting around the world with dogs.  So I do not complain now and am glad to be here if he needs me.

I am leaving the day after tomorrow, however, for Charleston, SC, where my very close friend Wendy Hilberts Goodman (Royal Companion Cavaliers) from the Netherlands is judging a Cavalier specialty.  Since her husband, Ben, is not  coming with her, I am going to stay with her and talk about old times. Wendy is no longer breeding or showing and I am breeding a bit but not currently showing.  She was the top kennel in the Netherlands for many years producing lovely Cavaliers.


postheadericon August 20, 2007


I cannot believe that I have not posted in almost a month, but the days have flown and we have been busy.  We are getting ready for hearings on Ohio Senate Bill 173.  Had the opportunity to meet for an hour with the sponsor of the bill, Senator Cates, who seemed to listen to concerns.  We are hoping that we can change the language of the bill so that reputable show breeders are not penalized. 

Al and I went to up state New York for his brother’s 80th birthday and family reunion.  We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast in Trumansburg on Lake Cuyaga. We went sailing on the lake; for me it was a first to sail on a big boat.  I even got to steer or whatever you call it.  I can see why my husband and his brother are so addicted to sailing.  I just came back from judging in Massachusetts.  Had a great time.

While we were in New York, we fell in love with the area and decided that Trumansburg would be an ideal place to relocate.  However, the facts about the winters dissuaded us from really considering up state New York but our discussion of relocating led to our really considering our desires for our future.  We presently have a beautiful small farm that is ideal for raising dogs and having horses.  However, the work load to keep up the property is enormous for the both of us.  So we have decided to sell our farm and relocate in the central Ohio area where we both have lived for many years.  We will still have our Cavaliers and I will still breed on a limited basis and still judge, but my obsession with showing dogs must come to an end.  I have a few puppies now who I think can really contribute to the breed when they grow up, so the Rattlebridge Cavaliers will continue for my own pleasure and the wonderful owners who seek us out for beloved pets.  I just do not want to live for showing and winning.  We have done everything in Cavaliers I have wanted to do and it is time to rest a bit. For our selection of our own pets for the future, we have just had a litter we have planned for a very long time.  Using frozen semen from our foundation sire, Aust. Best in Show, Canadian and CKCSC/USA champion Werrington Buoyancy of Rattlebridge we have had a wholecolor litter out of Harana Star Appeal.  I have long wanted to put a little Bounce back in my life especially since losing my beloved Bandi, a Bounce son, last year. 

Al is now 78.  We simply need a smaller property.  Life changes and we must change with it.  I will continue to keep up this blog as I enjoy doing so.  So stay tuned to see what the future will bring us as we shift our goals a bit. 

postheadericon August 4, 2004

I had a great time judging in England and visiting friends. I was delighted to be able to bring home Harana Star Appeal, a young ruby girl, who really “appealed” to me. When I returned from England, I went to San Antonio to judge and then to Houston to put on a comparison seminar on English Toys and Cavaliers. Home then to celebrate my husband’s 75th birthday!!! and the arrival of my new and last horse who is a stunning two year old black Tennessee Walker. He and I are learning to adjust to each other; he is a dear, sweet horse and I look forward to wonderful rides with him. On the dog scene, my friends and I went up to the Canfield shows where we won classes and put two five point majors on our lovely black and tan girl, Rattlebridge Spring Song handled by Sunni Dunn who co owned and showed the now retired number 1 Cavalier, Ch. Rattlebridge Adagio. Spring Song, “Robin.” now needs only one point to finish her championship. Our lovely ruby boy, Ch. Rattlebridge Code Red, who is co owned with Bonnie Watts, finished his championship in June as did our tri girl, Ch. Rattlebridge Trick or Treat. Trick or Treat’s sister, Ch. Rattlebridge Costume Party has won Best of Breeds in California and a group placement, handled by her co owner Tami Doniere Byroads. We have exciting puppies coming along. Our young ruby boy, Rattlebridge Up In Lights! continues to look most promising as he grows up. We have a couple of lovely wholecolor puppies by our import Harana Spencer Tracy. Sherri Meyer now co owns and will show Rattlebridge Hit the Spot who is an absolutely delightful young blenheim girl, while Sunni Dunn is growing up Rattlebridge Shopping Spree, “Macy,” who is a young ruby girl. Rachel Stanton, who finished the championships on several of our dogs, has taken home a couple of promising black and tans as well as Rattlebridge In Wonderland, a young tricolor girl. While I stay home and take care of horses and puppies for awhile and recover from knee surgery, my friends will be out showing our dogs. We also have a couple of pet puppies who will be available in the near future. As always, we welcome visitors by appointment. Meredith