Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I have had Papillons for decades, and am all too aware of their little foibles. One is a boundless contempt for other breeds. They can really be little Nazis, and think they are the master race. I used to have Chinese Cresteds as well - a gentle happy breed not too burdened by intelligence (or housetraining) - and the Paps simply regarded them as pond life.

So it was with some trepidation that I went down to a major championship show to pick up Shelby. What were they going to make of a Chin?

True, they have met Chins at training class, and the general opinion seemed to be that those Chins were just Paps who had met with a terrible accident, probably involving hitting a brick wall head-on. But a Chin on home ground?

Shelby proved to be adorable, and very confident. He was happy to strut his stuff with a total stranger (not me) in the ring, and was placed. His dad went Best of Breed, and I felt grateful that he was setting his son such a good example. I pointed out to Shelby that he should follow in father`s footsteps, preferably three times. Shelby just gazed up at me with those huge melting eyes....

After the usual horrendous bus journey, I was faced at midnight with the problem of introducing Shelby to the gang.

I decided to start with the old ladies (of whom I have rather a lot). Shelby rose to the challenge magnificently and made amorous advances to each and every one. The old biddies were delighted, and flirted madly. You could see them thinking - "At last she`s brought something worthwhile home from a show - shame about the accident to his face, though...."

He was equally sensible with my 4 males, he played with the puppies - and that was that. Integrated.

His amorous intentions are now fixed on Dido (who has also been fixed, so he`ll wait a long time for that ship to come in), and Roxanne, my little Virgin Queen who hates males. And it suddenly occurred to me that I have absolutely no outlet for his sex drive. No little Chin ladies. Poor Shelby!

I mentioned this to the vet, who had asked if I would use him at stud. The vet looked surprised.

"Have you not realised that there are very few Chin males in Scotland? And quite a few females?"

Shelby wagged his tail really hard. Already life was looking up.
He's lovely! Congrats on the new addition.
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