Springhaze Charisma - aka Jura - The year my nose went black
Hi, my name is Jura, and I was really lucky to win the Great Swiss Mountain Dog Club 'Springhaze Cup' 2010. I wanted to write and say thanks and to let you know a little about my year.
I was born at the end of March 2010 and when Jean came to see me and my brothers and sisters when we were 5 weeks old she didn't actually think that I was the best one of the litter! Huh, I sure showed her didn't I? My nose was very cute and pink.
Sue and Steve were wiser and knew that I was the right dog for Jean and Robert. I travelled home with them, more than 500 miles, in the car when I was 8 weeks old. I behaved myself impeccably throughout the whole journey. In my first few weeks I settled in and started to train Jean and Robert and their other dog Lexie the Bernese about how special a GSMD is and how honoured they should feel by being able to share their home with one. My nose was still mostly very pink.
I started to go to puppy obedience classes. They were great as we were allowed to "mingle" with all the other puppies at the start of the class before we got down to the hard work. Hard work? Doing stuff I do anyway and getting sausage for it. I was bigger than all the others in the class until a St Bernard came along. It was time to leave and so I graduated to the next class. This one was a bit more work and there was no formal "mingling" but I managed to make sure I visited each and every dog each time we were there. I felt they deserved to meet me and sometimes it meant extra treats. I'm sure it helped the new guys feel at home on their first visit. My favourite classmate is a very small border terrier and I adore her. She pulls no punches when she plays and often, and I don't understand how this happens, she ends up sitting on me chewing my ears. In between the fun I managed to do walking to heel, sit stay, sit wait, down stay and had my fair share of raffle prizes wins as well. As an aside all I can say is that they don't make dog toys like they used to any more; few manage to last longer than a couple of days with me.
I also got to go to ringcraft classes. The people there were very nice but most of the dogs seemed to be a bit stand offish for my liking. It took me a while to realise that they were already accomplished show dogs and felt that I should know more and behave better. Most were not keen on playing at all. Again there was a bit of work to be done but always a sausage or bit of cheese made that worthwhile. I got asked what type of dog I was a hundred times . Some people took a guess - Beagle, Hovawarts, Great Dane? Some were astonished as they "had not seen a Bernese before its coat grew in" before - but once they knew I was a Swissie they were all very welcoming. I was asked whether my nose would stay pink and I assured them it was slowly but surely going back. I quite enjoy ringcraft as I get the chance to stand or run and show off and that's one of the things I think I do best. Sue and Steve really did get it right when they gave me Charisma as my kennel name.
At Halloween I went to my first GSMD club event. I had a fantastic time and have done lots more practice for the sausage race. Next time beware. I met some of my family again and was just a little bit disillusioned to see that actually all of the Swissies look super. Our breed standard really does not do justice to how magnificent we really are in my opinion. I thought it was just me that looked this good. Jean thought about colouring in my nose with magic marker to cover the pink bits but realised that sure enough it was getting blacker all by itself.
Finally, I got my big chance to show off in a dog show. Jean cursed at how difficult it was to find shows nearby with an Import Register class but now she has got the hang of things I expect to be a regular. I have been quite successful so far but actually I don't care whether I win or not I just enjoy the day out and meeting all the people and dogs. Of course there's always a wee treat as encouragement too.
Next year I have plans to start my agility training - tunnel and 'A' frame here I come - although frankly the dog walk seems the ideal piece of equipment for showing off. I plan to walk very slowly and elegantly along its length but Jean seems to have ideas about me doing it quickly.
Thanks again for my super trophy. I'll work hard to try and win it again next year.
P.S. I just had my birthday and my nose really is almost completely black now.
The official KC recognised UK Breed Club for GSMD's.