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Author Liz O'Connor (UK Renza Afghans)

Devon Dog Show (entry supported by Afghan Club of Northern New Jersey), took place at a venue about 30 minutes away from the hotel, Ludwig's Corner Horse Show Grounds, and was our only visit to an all-breeds championship show. Karen Martin Reigal (owner of the famous Zuvenda kennel) judged Sweeps and we were delighted that Rudy was in the prize money again!

We had a look around the trade stands and largest and busiest of all was Cherrybrooks - similar to Petcetera, but they are bigger with a far greater selection. Cherrybrooks provide a mail order service - and they will supply overseas! Whilst wandering around we bumped into Robert Killick (writer for Our Dogs) who was over with a party of Terrier enthusiasts for the big Montgomery show the following day.

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to handle Mona (Ali's twin sister), she is very beautiful (but hard work!) and I found it difficult to remember to keep holding up the tail, but David and MaryAnn were pleased with my efforts and Terry has it all on video. (By the end of the holiday Terry was convinced he'd videoed every American Afghan twice!!)

It seemed odd to me that with a "glut" of breed specialists around at the time, Devon had chosen an lrish Wolfhound judge from Eire!! He had drawn an excellent entry of 144, and credit where it's due, he judged very capably, although he did appear a bit baffled when shortlisting for his BOB that both Winners Dog and Winners Bitch had to stay in until the end. (I must admit it seems strange to me too, as you would think the choice for Best Of Winners could be made before BOB takes place, so only BOW need stay in the ring and challenge for BOB). He must have been delighted that Am. Ch. Applause Majic Show went on to win the Hound Group, everyone was shocked to hear 2 days later that the group judge, John Cook, had collapsed and died from a heart attack

After the show we were invited back to Vicki and Steve Babylon's home for a party, and we were all greeted by a huge straw Afghan, complete with bales of hay for seats! They have superb boarding kennels and we were shown around to see all their excellent, up to date facilities; the dogs were allowed to use the paddock which was completely fenced off for safety. What a joy to see Afghans running free! Bonnie Peregoy gave a demonstration with a young puppy on the new "motivational" method of obedience training and we were impressed at the speed with which the puppy responded to commands - he was walking to heel, happily wagging his tail, and sitting to order within 10 mins. of the demonstration beginning!

We met Taco again, he was in Vicki's sitting room staring adoringly across the room at Karen! Helen Dukes (Arabi) was at the party too, we'd met when she'd visited the UK for the World Congress in 1993, and found we had a lot in common, besides our mutual admiration of Taco. She's been selected to sell the prize draw tickets for the Congress being held in America in 1995. She was telling me about some of the fantastic prizes to be won; hopefully tickets will be available in the UK and with any luck we'll be able to take part whether we can get there or not. She's going to keep me posted on that.


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