May 2020
Volume 76 - Issue 4
Dogs…do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep the objects they have, and to obtain the objects they have not. There is nothing of value they have to bequeath except their love and their faith.

– Eugene O’Neill, from his Dalmatian, Blemie’s, last will and testament
The Chapel on Dog Mountain
Dog Mountain is located on 150 acres on a mountaintop in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Artist, Stephen Huneck and his wife, Gwen, bought the property in 1995. Stephen became gravely ill and was in a coma for two months. As he writes in his book,  The Dog Chapel: Welcome, All Creeds, All Breeds, No Dogmas Allowed , “During the time…, I thought a lot about life and death. I pondered the rituals we perform when a person dies, such as throwing a handful of dirt on the lowered casket to symbolize that the person has passed on, which helps bring closure for the living. Since dogs are family members, too, I thought it would be wonderful if we could create a ritual space to help achieve closure and lessen the pain when we lose a beloved dog. …

I wanted to build a chapel in the style of an 1820s Vermont church on Dog Mountain. I wanted it to fit into the landscape, as if it had always been there.” Three years and a lot of work later, Stephen Huneck realized his vision. “As soon as the Dog Chapel was open to the public, I invited everyone who came to visit to put up a photo of their departed dog and to write a few sentences about what their dog meant to them. I had envisioned maybe someday having the foyer filled top to bottom with dog pictures. I never anticipated the whole building - every single space - covered with photos and words of remembrance, as the chapel is today.” 

Stephen and Gwen have passed away; Dog Mountain is now owned by a non-profit organization, Friends of Dog Mountain. The foundation continues in the Huneck tradition; Dog Mountain remains a place where dogs are not just welcome but are cherished! Dog mountain sell gifts and t-shirts with Stephen Huneck's dog inspired art. You can visit them online. Your support is need and will be greatly appreciated.  
On vacation in 2012, my wife and I visited Dog Mountain. Milo, who was only a year old at the time, was welcomed in the Chapel and the Gift Shop. We had a great time and left with several Stephen Huneck t-shirts.
Board of Directors
From the Editor
When Lazlo died, I swore I would never get another dog. A few days later, my wife caught me surfing puppy porn on the internet. Once again, my resolve not to get another dog did not last a week. It did not take long for Gunnar to join our family.

There is something about these creatures that makes it hard to live without them. And because we love them, their deaths are so very painful. In this issue of the Obichaff, we explore how we mourn the passing of a well loved dog. Our dogs are more than mere animals; they are living beings that have earned the right to be called a members of our families.

In his semi-biographical book, A River Runs Through It , Norman Mclean in reflecting on his life writes that “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” As I think back on my life - reviewing old photographs of Christmases past, of birthdays, weddings and funerals - I see that there has almost always been a dog running through my life. I would have it no other way.

Below is a graph of "noms" per day since humans started staying home. My two dogs have definitely been getting more noms now that my Lydia and I am home all day.
From the President
Dear Friends,

If you are like me, you are all tired of being forced “shut-ins.” I am personally running out of things to do. I am a do-er, not much of a reader or a thinker. I like to be busy. At the same time, I am a lazy person, which doesn’t make any sense. I guess I like to do my THINKING while I am DOING something. This might be what makes dog training so good for me, I am doing it at the same time I am thinking about it. I requires all my attention. But I can’t do dog training 12 hours every day. However, since the dog lives with me in my house, and now even sleeps on my bed for much of the night, he is in effect being trained all day every day, even though I am not “working” at it. And Arrow is teaching me too because I have to pay attention.

For the first time in his life, on Monday morning, Arrow did something “naughty.” I was at the computer and my knitting bag was on the couch in the TV room down the hall. Arrow ran down the hall toward me from the TV room and turned the corner in my room to jump on to his bed. It occurred quickly to me that he was particularly gleeful. I turned around to see that he had dragged a considerable amount of red yarn with him. Apparently Arrow decided that the ball of yarn from which I was knitting a 3/4 finished sweater was HIS BALL. Not only that, but a plastic bag containing FOUR skeins of yet to be balled up yarn were involved in the game as well. Naturally, I screamed. Cease and desist! Which he did, being a very good dog. I collected all the tangled mess and took it to the other room. I did not chastise my dog, as I could see it from his point of view. Here’s what he thought: “She’s busy, and I need to make my own amusements.” Fortunately, I was able to salvage all the yarn, the progress on the sweater was not damaged, and all was well in about 30 minutes. 

As far as dog training goes, did my dog learn not to assume that the ball of yarn is not a play thing? No, he didn’t, but I learned to keep balls of yarn in a safe place.

While I am knitting I like to have the TV on and I watched a movie yesterday that was very thought provoking, “Antarctica, a Year on Ice.” In theaters some years ago, it is now available on Amazon Prime. Visually stunning, this documentary shows how life goes on for the 700 or so people who over-winter at McMurdo Base. The interviews with the men and women who work during the four months of polar night in the coldest place on Earth reveal some interesting parallels to our current predicament. I recommend it to you.

Your’s truly,
Donna Cleverdon
Mourning Your Best Friend
“…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” 

– Kabil Gibran

 “The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.” 
– Hilary Stanton Zunin
When a family member dies, we mourn their passing. That mourning takes place through well defined rituals, such as funerals, wearing black for a certain period of time, or religious customs like “sitting shiva” in Judaism. Our friends visit, bring food, offer comfort and speak kind words. We receive emotional support and are told that things will be better. Yet there is a paucity of ritual associated with the passing of a beloved family dog. Dogs provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love. We often say that our dogs are part of the family, and they are. Yet, some people feel guilty mourning the passing of well-loved dog. We often spend more time each day with our dogs than we do with our spouses or children. The death of a beloved dog is a heavy emotional loss. To make matters worse, society at large often does not understand the pain we are feeling. Your boss understands that you need to take a couple of days to go to your Aunt Sophie’s funeral. That same boss may not be so understanding if you tell him your dog has died and you need time to grieve. Your friends that have not known the love of a dog may be indifferent or unsympathetic to your loss.

The death of a dog means losing a cherished family member who has been a constant companion and source of love in its most innocent and purest form. We walk with our pets, we talk with them, we eat with them, we exercise and sleep with them. Why then are we so often surprised by the intensity of emotions we feel when they die? We fall in love with our dogs and the loss of such a companion can be heart breaking. When your dog dies, you have a right to be sad, hurt, angry, confused, or to feel overwhelmed. 
With the loss of an animal companion it is not uncommon to experience.
1. Extreme Sadness . Your loss is significant and it makes sense that you will be sad. Allow yourself time to experience the pain of your loss. 
2. Feelings Of Aloneness . You may find yourself thinking that no one understands what you are going through. Friends or coworkers may say things like “he was only a dog” or “you can get another dog.” Often those who speak these words have not had the experience of being closely bonded with an animal. 
3. Feeling As Though Your Departed Pet is Present . After a companion animal dies, it is not uncommon to have instances of seeing, hearing, or feeling as though the spirit of your pet is present. You also may catch yourself reaching out to touch your pet, thinking about feeding, or walking your pet, and then realize that your pet is no longer with you.
4. Guilt . Pet owners often assume total responsibility for a pet’s life, and therefore, often extend that responsibility to believing they could have controlled or prevented their deaths. You might find yourself wondering “what if I would have…?” or, telling yourself “I should have…” You might feel guilty that you didn’t give your dog enough treats or that you gave him too many treats. If your pet was euthanized, you might feel that you should have waited longer before deciding to have the euthanasia performed. Feelings of guilt are normal and should subside as you progress through the grieving process.
5. Confusion and Concentration . Frequently, focusing and concentrating on tasks is very difficult. Because of this, you might forget things you have done or think you did things that you did not do, misplace or lose things, or simply feel that you have no energy to think. 
Grief comes in many forms. Regardless of the depth of your grief, allow yourself the time to grieve properly. Reach out to friends who understand that what you lost was more than “just a dog.” What you lost was a dear friend and a boon companion with whom you had spent many happy hours over the course of the ten of more years. If you cannot perform a public ritual, i.e. funeral or other form of public grieving, make your own private ritual. Go somewhere that was special to the two of you, a beach a favorite copse of woods and spend time remembering fondly your departed friend. Invite people who knew your dog to dinner and spend the evening celebrating this amazing creature’s life. Finally, embrace the memories of your time together. Find a way to memorialize the love, friendship and companionship that was your dog. 
The internet is also a good place to find comfort after the loss of a dog. There are many grief and pet loss related websites. Below is a small sample of what the internet has to offer. 

Tribute to the Memory of the Same Dog
By William Wordsworth
LIE here, without a record of thy worth,
Beneath a covering of the common earth!
It is not from unwillingness to praise,
Or want of love, that here no Stone we raise;
More thou deserv'st; but 'this' man gives to man,
Brother to brother, 'this' is all we can.
Yet they to whom thy virtues made thee dear
Shall find thee through all changes of the year:
This Oak points out thy grave; the silent tree
Will gladly stand a monument of thee. 
We grieved for thee, and wished thy end were past;
And willingly have laid thee here at last:
For thou hadst lived till everything that cheers
In thee had yielded to the weight of years;
Extreme old age had wasted thee away,
And left thee but a glimmering of the day;
Thy ears were deaf, and feeble were thy knees,--
I saw thee stagger in the summer breeze,
Too weak to stand against its sportive breath,
And ready for the gentlest stroke of death. 
It came, and we were glad; yet tears were shed;
Both man and woman wept when thou wert dead;
Not only for a thousand thoughts that were,
Old household thoughts, in which thou hadst thy share;
But for some precious boons vouchsafed to thee,
Found scarcely anywhere in like degree!
For love, that comes wherever life and sense
Are given by God, in thee was most intense;
A chain of heart, a feeling of the mind,
A tender sympathy, which did thee bind 
Not only to us Men, but to thy Kind:
Yea, for thy fellow-brutes in thee we saw
A soul of love, love's intellectual law:--
Hence, if we wept, it was not done in shame;
Our tears from passion and from reason came,
And, therefore, shalt thou be an honoured name!
Reflections on Death and Mourning
A CDTC member, who requested anonymity, wrote a her reflections on death and mourning.

I have experienced both human and canine losses. The first human loss was a family member, and religious rituals were sort of followed. I was absolutely overwhelmed by suddenly having to be "hostess" to many people I had never met (no less never heard of) as they expressed how they were wondering how they doubted if they would ever be able to go on without my family member.

When my mother died, my daughter was momentarily expecting and I did the legal stuff I had to and then went to be with my daughter. A few months later, we had a memorial gathering for my mother. I found that it was easier for me to interact with others when I had time to think about the situation and resolve some feelings in my own mind first.

When I have lost dogs, I have contacted those who either needed to know or people who I knew would be comforting to me, who would also feel the loss, not just say the "right" thing. As days passed, I let others know and appreciated cards and calls.

Dealing with death is a very personal thing and we should all respect that each of us has different needs and wants when the expected or unexpected occurs.
I was going to write a short article about how we mourn losing our dogs, but I cried so much each time I started that I scratched that project. - Martha Perkins
Carla LaFleur write: "Wasn’t able to enter a virtual trial yet! Turns out my DIY fencing was not correct and my broad jump broke so I need to make it sturdier. But here is a video of what Calvin and I are up to!"
Megan Hemmer writes that in March,Penni earned both her intermediate & advanced trick dog titles (ITD & ATD). BabyBeans earned his intermediate trick title. Moose earned his advanced trick title. And Kady earned her intermediate tick title. Those are some tricky dogs you have there Megan.
Jennie Larking writes, I have a HUGE brag! Bo ate three meals in a row! And took his meds! Those of you who have had frail, elderly dogs with health issues will appreciate what a win this is!

I have been struggling for weeks with increasing pickiness and lack of appetite. Which is problematic in keeping him alive (not starving) as well as getting his heart meds into him. Suddenly he will once again eat raw food, gleefully chomping down chicken wing sections, duck necks ... whatever works!
Not to be out done by the dogs, Megan Hemmer, reports that her cat Buffy earned her novice trick cat title April 9th! Cats can earn titles with Do More With Your Dog. It’s all done with video submissions. To qualify for her title Buffy did a hola hoop jump, bar jump, jump over knee, 2 on 2 off, tunnel, spin, paws up on object, go to table, touch target stick, hand touch, front feet on wall, stay, come, sit, & stand between legs/peekaboo. That is one smart kitty you have there Megan!

Roxane Bouton writes that Ivy is ready and fully compliant with the governor's order that everyone has to wear a facemark when out for a walk.
Milly Welsh writes, Polly is my friend, my pet, and my competition partner. She came into my life in November of 2012. I named her for my daughter Major Mariah Smith. Mariah is not really my daughter, but that's another story.

Her competition career began in 2014. She was on the National Derby List, accumulating 17 derby points including two wins. In 2015 she won her first Qualifying and earned her first Master Hunt Test pass. 2016 found her earning the QA2 title and some more Master passes. In September 2016 Polly partially ruptured her left cranial cruciate ligament (ACL) and had TPLO surgery. Rehabilitation lasted into the following spring. In 2017 she completed her Master Hunter title. 
Although the TPLO is an amazing surgical repair that allows the dog to use its injured leg again, the chance for a tear to the opposing leg is 60%, with it likely to happen within a year. The surgery is painful to the dog, expensive for the owner, and the rehabilitation process is long and time consuming. Since Polly had reached the limit of her skills as a field trial dog, I decided she was going to have a career change.

My favorite obedience trial is the LRCP specialty, held in Frederick in April. It's a perfect time of year, I reconnect with friends from afar, and the venue is excellent. Additionally, being a total ribbon whore, the ribbons and trophies are spectacular. I try to have a dog to show every year, usually an older field trial dog who is earning a CD. My preparation show for the Lab specialty is Maryland Sporting Dog held in March. In 2018 Polly earned her CD as well as her RN and RA titles.
The spring of 2019 found me on a Viking Cruise to Portugal at the time of the LRCP show. That was a difficult choice! Polly earned her CDX and her RE at other venues. At the Mason & Dixon show there was a wonderful young artist doing character pencil sketches of dogs. His sketch of Polly captures her personality perfectly.

On to utility. All summer we spent days and days and days learning scent articles. For a field trial dog to learn that suddenly it's OK to shop the pile is an enormous task. Polly mastered the art of standing on a 4x4 piece of plywood while simultaneously dragging it across the floor. She was rewarded with enough string cheese to empty the supply of my local grocery store. The other utility exercises came fairly easily to her. By fall she was almost there. I had some remarkable instructors along the way. They all gave good advice, calmed me down, and told me over and over again that there is a reason it's called Futility A. As you can guess, my goal was the 2020 LRPC trial in April. In December I entered two shows at Catoctin. Wow - she qualified! Now I was training every day - rain, cold, wind - it didn't matter. At Sporting Dog she finished her title. She was now Polly, UD. And, I was going to have four glorious days of showing her in Utility A at the LRCP trial. We continued to train every day, and she got a bit better every day.
On March 6th my world as I knew it ended. Covid 19 had hit. LRCP cancelled the spring show. "Social distancing", "shelter in place", and special hours for seniors to shop at the grocery became a new and unwelcome part of my life. Polly saved me from total boredom and feelings of depression. We trained. It got warmer. I was going to get through this horrid time when our world has been torn upside down. Then on March 27th, while jumping the bar jump after a perfect go out, her right ACL completely tore. She hobbled around on three legs until April 13th when she had her second TPLO surgery. We now share the prospect of three months of healing and rehabilitation, including ever increasingly long leash walks.

Thank you Polly for completing your UD, for being my good friend, and for giving me motivation to walk with you. Perhaps one day we'll train again.
Burton Goldstein sent us a picture of Bear and Emma donning their face masks. Bear and Emma are ready for Burton to get out of the house and get back to work. “Please don't walk us again. Find something to watch on television. Read a book. But leave us alone!”
Jennie Larkin writes: I joined an online disc (frisbee) dog competition, where the games are designed for a small space. Like a back yard. Even my rather small back yard. The video is my practice with a Tali. And the various ways we failed - on the other hand she got exercise and we had fun together!
In the picture we can see Zander explaining to Moose the finer points of tricks execution.

CDTC Trial Chair and Instructor Extraordinaire Sandy Swinburne has been certified to be an AKC Approved CGC Evaluator. During the Cornavirius pandemic, AKC permits demonstration of tricks (at the lower levels) by video, which the evaluator reviews and signs an Evaluator Video Verification Form, which is sent to the AKC. On behalf of CDTC, Sandy has been evaluating and verifying the tricks of various canines. Most recently, Sandy verified the novice tricks of Zander (3½ years old) and Moose (14 weeks old). Martha Perkins is handled by Zander and Moose.
In Memory of ...
Simon Cinnamon
by Shannon Hall
January 2009 - March 2020
Simon was an impulse rescue. I’d just lost Billy, my heart dog, and I could not stop grieving. My daughter, Naomi, who was 5 at the time, asked me when I was going to stop crying. Well, if my tears were affecting my daughter, it was time to do something, so off we went to a dog adoption fair. Simon was an unprepossessing 8 month old, clearly at least a cattle dog cross, and not interested in us at all. It didn’t matter, I was set on him and three days later I brought him home. 
Simon turned out to be a happy, confident and affectionate dog. He let Naomi dress him up as a pretty princess. His first introduction to agility equipment in a friend’s yard had him spontaneously chasing her Lab up and over a full height dog walk and perching on an A-frame. He loved agility and any games I wanted him to play with me.

When his eye degeneration was diagnosed, he “retired” to become a therapy dog, a job he shone in. His very real concern for patients in emotional distress, and his delight in all his new friends, were clear and endearing. 
When Simon started walking like a drunk at closing time, I went searching for answers. While degenerative myelopathy is never going to be a happy diagnosis, it at least did not take him from me immediately. When it was time, I was with him, feeding him snacks until we were ready, and then petting him until he was gone. It is a great gift we can give them at the end. This wasn’t the hardest loss I’ve had, but they are never, ever, easy. I’m crying now and I bet some of you are too. Hugs to all of you. - Shannon Hall
By Mellisa Dilla
This is Brodie, my first Collie. He was loyal, trustworthy, and playful, even at 14. One of my favorite quotes sums it up: "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." -Unknown. I can only hope I did half as good for him, as he did for me. I also really like this quote: "Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog." -Sydney Seward
Zephyr and Pan
By Donna Cleverdon
Zephyr, my Standard poodle died from a cancer, way too young at age 9 years. Gracelann Sailor’s Breeze, U.D. was a complete natural gentleman, perfect in every way. He loved everyone, man or dog.

Pan, my Border terrier, lived to be 17 years of age. He never earned any title except King of my heart. I waited 35 years for him, and miss him still.
By Roxane Bouten
This is a photo from a long time ago. This is Boxy at ~3 yrs old with my daughter Sheila. He is the first good boy I trained at Capital. We started training there in 1989! Classes were held in the Armory in Kensington then. He was a mix (Springer and Lab) so we couldn’t compete in AKC events, but we did every level of class CDTC had to offer. Best. Dog. Ever.
FC AFC Lil Mac's Black River Rabbit MH CDX RA
2/8/03 - 4/12/17

By Millie B. Welsh
Bunny's beginning was not auspicious. She was orphaned at one week of age, she was an unwed mother before she was two, and in the spring of her second year she needed to find a good home. She did; it was ours. We soon began referring to her as Perfect Bunny, because she was.

She began her career as Milly's hunt test dog, qualifying in six straight passes for her Master Hunter title in 2006. She was also Milly's field trial dog, quickly becoming qualified all age. She won three Qualifying stakes in one month, also in 2006.
The following year she became Charlie's field trial dog. In 2008 she completed her Field Champion and her Amateur Field Champion titles. She also won a Double Header. She and Charlie competed in the National Open and the National Amateur that year. She and Charlie competed in four more National Amateurs in successive years.

In the winter of 2011 Bunny became Milly's obedience dog. That spring she earned her Companion Dog title and won a High in Trial. She also finished the requirements for her Rally Advanced title. Her brief obedience career ended in the spring with the return of field trial season.

Bunny ran her last field trial in the fall of 2014 by placing second in the Open, bringing her lifetime points to 101½. Charlie's dream of having a dog with 100 all age points was full-filled. And Bunny retired at age 11½, still sound in mind and body.

Winter found Bunny without a job and Milly without an obedience dog. Bunny found herself back in training for obedience competition. In the spring of 2015 she completed the requirements for her Companion Dog Excellent title, winning all of her classes. Milly had lost track of time and told anyone who asked that Bunny was 11 when in fact she was 12.
Bunny's beginning was not auspicious. She was orphaned at one week of age, she was an unwed mother before she was two, and in the spring of her second year she needed to find a good home. She did; it was ours. We soon began referring to her as Perfect Bunny, because she was.

She began her career as Milly's hunt test dog, qualifying in six straight passes for her Master Hunter title in 2006. She was also Milly's field trial dog, quickly becoming qualified all age. She won three Qualifying stakes in one month, also in 2006.
The following winter, now age 13, Bunny was back at work being Charlie's hunting dog. She was finally able to retire after hunting season.

Not only did Bunny posses all the most desirable traits of a Labrador, she was smart. When no one was willing to play ball with her, she would take a ball to the top of the stairs, push it down, and then chase it across the living room. When the weather was hot, she would place herself in the most direct breeze of a fan. She convinced the barn cat, a dog-hating beast with claws and teeth, that she should sample her food at will. Whenever she wanted a snack, she would fix her mournful stare on her selected target until she was rewarded with the desired morsel. Gracious and charming, she was often an invited guest in the offices and homes of Milly's and Charlie's friends.
FC/AFC Pleasant River Blue Wing, CD, MH

By Milly B Welsh and Charles Hayden  
We bought Blue as a two year old field trail "wash out". We bought her to be Milly's hunt test dog. She was excellent: completed her requirements for her Master Hunter title in six consecutive trials (2001). She was very high drive and very talented. That was the end of her first career. She then began to train for her field trial career, and in 2002 she completed the requirements for her Field Champion and Amateur Field Champion titles. She qualified for and competed in five National field trials with Charlie. In 2004 Milly needed a dog to take to one of Connie Cleveland's clinics; Blue went. She earned her CD that year with very respectable scores. Then, it was back to field trials until her retirement at the end of the 2007 season. After her retirement, she returned to being Milly's dog; this time filling the role of very special pet dog. Her last competition was in the Veterans' obedience class at the Lab Specialty in the spring of 2009. 

We were very fortunate that she came into our lives. And, she was fortunate to have been there. We have wonderful memories and a house full of pictures and trophies as daily reminders of our first Wonder Dog.
Peake View's Never Gonna Tripp, MH, CD, QA2, CGC


By Milly B Welsh
Tripp was all that a Labrador should be. He was kind, loving, willing and anxious to please, forgiving of the mistakes of others, and not more clever and smart than his owners.

Charlie Hayden and I bought Tripp as a very thin 18-month-old field trial prospect. He had a short career as a hunt test dog with Milly, completing his Master Hunter title. Tripp and Milly then competed in field trials. He was QAA in his first event with Milly. Within a short time he won three qualifying stakes. He then went on to be Charlie's dog for all age stakes. He won two amateur stakes in his career.
Tripp's field trial career was interrupted by his cruciate surgeries. In all he had three of them. Not only did those surgeries take him out of training for months, they also enabled him to rack up enormous vet bills and many hours of rehabilitative efforts on the part of Milly and Charlie.

Not being able to return to the physical stress of field trials, Tripp began his new job as an obedience dog. He was cheerful and cooperative and soon had his CD and CGC titles. But those knees would not allow him to go further, so he retired to be a pet dog.
It was as a pet dog that Tripp reached his maximum potential. He greeted every person entering his house as if he had been waiting at the door for weeks hoping for a visit. He had an especial fondness for women with large bosoms who would allow him to put his head on them and purr. His response to "food on the floor" was fast and accurate. He tolerated all other dogs and especially loved puppies, often lying by their kennel to keep them company. He never seemed to mind that he would be the only dog left at home when others went training; he was there to cheerfully greet us when we returned with the assurance that he had been in charge while we were gone.

On August 13th those knees gave out. Not on the 12th, which was Milly's birthday. He went to heaven with his tail wagging and our love surrounding him.

Gentle Welshie Gus
August 26, 2003-May 8, 2019 
Fairwinds Robert Augustus
Gentle kindness, loving devotion, robust athleticism

By Martha Perkins
Wild Welshie Zack
October 20, 2011-December 30, 2019
CH. Rolyart’s Easy Goer O’Cornerstone TKI CGC
Manic intelligence, adoring devotion, exuberant athleticism

Gus and Zack are now together, happily chasing squirrels, rabbits, and birds!

By Martha Perkins
Kuma and Koa

By Marsha Iyomasa
Staring anew after I lost my heart dog, Bear, a black lab, was an unfathomable task. I knew that I could never get another lab. Bear made 15 moves with me, including out of the country and back, across the country and back. I turned down remarkable job offers so we could stay together. My parrot, Colada, called for him every day (and night), and with the loss of our beloved cat, Stimpy, just 30 days before, it was time to take that road to make our hearts feel light.

I studied conscientiously for our next family member, settling on a Bullmastiff I named Kuma. I was surprised at how many people walked with me when I lost Bear. Friends across the globe rallied to comfort me.  One friend in particular insisted on taking me to a celebratory dinner. As we dined, she asked the new pup’s name. “Kuma” I replied, and before I could tell her what it meant, she ecstatically said it was so nice that I gave him a Croatian name! I asked Croatian meaning of Kuma ... devoted life friend, one who looks after you. She was as stunned, when I told her Kuma was Japanese for bear. I had gotten his name right.

The Bullmastiff is an independent breed, and Kuma was no different. Even the breed people back then could not understand why I would want to spend hours in performance training when it was more rewarding in the breed ring. Kuma’s perseverance, among other things, included an invitation to compete in the 2013 AKC Rally Nationals inaugural in Tulsa. We were the first Capital team to compete in the RNC, and one of only two Maryland teams that year.  We were then a part of the RNC team from Capital in 2014. He was also ranked the number one Rally Bullmastiff in 2014 by the American Bullmastiff Association. On a side note, we worked really hard on Kuma’s stature for a solid heel position at the Start sign. In 2016, at an AKC judges training event in North Carolina, our picture from the inaugural RNC was used as a good example of heel position. We wouldn’t have gotten that far were it not for all the experienced instructors and coaches at Capital!
As Kuma was winding down his work schedule, Koa came to us. His name was given to him by a Hawaiian elder. In old Hawaii, traditionally elders bestowed Hawaiian names on babies. His full given name was Ali’i Koa o Kawika, translated, Warrior King of David. The name, Koa, was normally given only to boys of strong character and integrity. Koa, is also a hard, indigenous wood ranging in color from blond to mahogany; the name suited him. Sadly, he was afflicted with grand mal cluster seizures.

Kuma became Koa’s seizure alert and recovery dog, and was at his side 24/7. Koa died at four and a half, and Kuma followed a year later at 14, albeit he was never the same after Koa passed away. My heart broken in losing Koa and Kuma in such a short period of time. Koa was a hard working dog, even when he wasn’t feeling well. His first place win at the 2017 ABA Rally trials, was bittersweet as it was his third RN leg. He died less than two months later and received notice of his RNC eligibility less than a week after he died. Both dogs lived past my expectations and their passing was difficult. Mea aloha keikikane (my beloved boys), a credit to their breed.

Epilogue:  I always wondered about how best to care for them once they are gone. I settled on following the traditions of Buddhism. I chose to have them blessed by my family priest who bestowed upon them a Zen Buddhist blessing and their names are inscribed on a wooden memorial “stick” that resides in our home alter. It brings me comfort in knowing that they are in a good place and wait for me.

I don’t wonder or question why Koa’s life was so short. I do wonder about my lessons learned from and with him. Five days after he died, my mother was a pedestrian in a horrific car accident. Were it not for her head injury, she would have survived. Shortly after I arrived after flying 16 hours, she had grand mal cluster seizures. Her pre-emptive drugs, I discovered, were less than therapeutic. After my briefing to the head of neurology about switching up her seizure drugs, he offered his hand and wanted to know which doctor I was ... therein lay my four years of daily lessons with Koa, and unfettered compassion from Kuma. These lessons learned from them and those before them makes me smile. Until we meet again.

By Sue Faber
Jimmy was a wonderful dog which I rescued from an abusive situation.  My aim was to take him in and place him in another home. He just fit in with everyone at my house so well that I decided to keep him.  I have never regretted this decision.  I put him into Obedience Classes and he really did well.  I showed him in CD and he received his title in 4 shows.  He was my Novice A dog.  We went on to Agility and were training in Open.  He was a very smart little guy!  He gave me so many laughs when I needed one.  We showed in Open a few times until he had surgery to remove a blockage. At that time, the surgeon saw a Hemangiosarcoma in his Spleen and decided not to remove it as it might spread.  I had another year with Jimmy and I enjoyed every minute.  We went on trips, hiked, kept up with obedience, and I made sure he was having fun and enjoying himself every day right to the end. 

This picture was taken when we attended  “Dances with Dogs” at a Humane Society function.  I was a volunteer for the “Silent Auction”.  Jimmy and his girlfriend as Lady and the Tramp.
Missing You
By Colleen Fitzsimmons
I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying. You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today. Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you, that I’m not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said “It’s me.”

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It’s possible for me to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…
in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning
and say “Good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out… then come home to be with me.
Book Review: What The Dog Knows
Cat Warren is a university professor with an admittedly odd hobby: She and her German shepherd have spent the last seven years searching for the dead. Solo is a cadaver dog. What started as a way to harness Solo’s unruly energy and enthusiasm soon became a calling that introduced Warren to the hidden and fascinating universe of working dogs, their handlers, and their trainers.

Solo has a fine nose and knows how to use it, but he’s only one of many thousands of working dogs all over the United States. In What the Dog Knows , Warren uses her ongoing work with Solo as a way to explore a captivating field that includes cadaver dogs, drug and bomb-detecting K9s, tracking and apprehension dogs - even dogs who can locate unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers and help find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. Working dogs’ abilities may seem magical or mysterious, but Warren shows the multifaceted science, the rigorous training, and the skilled handling that underlie the amazing abilities of dogs who work with their noses.

Warren interviews cognitive psychologists, historians, medical examiners, epidemiologists, and forensic anthropologists, as well as the breeders, trainers, and handlers who work with and rely on these remarkable and adaptable animals daily. Along the way, she discovers story after story that proves the impressive capabilities - as well as the very real limits - of working dogs and their human partners. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Warren explains why our partnership with dogs is woven into the fabric of society and why we keep finding new uses for their wonderful noses.
Connie Cleveland Seminar
Download the the full brochure in printable form by clicking here.
Available Classes

New Classes

CDTC is currently closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please check this space or our website for accurate and up to date information concerning class schedules, events and activities.

CDTC 2020 Obedience and Rally Trials Canceled
By Sandy Swinburne
After thorough consideration by your Trial Chair and the Board of Directors, input from club members and an assessment of the current coronavirus updates, the CDTC October 2020 Obedience and Rally trials are canceled. A second and third wave of virus cases is anticipated this fall, and until an effective vaccine is on offer, we cannot go forward with usual plans. We think that members should not be asked to step into a situation where it would not be possible to maintain appropriate social distancing and which in turn might endanger their health. It is not worth risking a single member! I have sensed the fear of some of our older members at the notion that they would be asked to volunteer. Frankly, I am not willing to step into that fray myself. 

If exhibitors feel the same way we cannot achieve sufficient entries to cover costs. This is a financial risk that, at present, our club should avoid. We simply cannot afford to lose money in this environment. I know that this is a disappointment, but I believe it is the correct decision. Like everyone else, I am looking forward to the reopening of our clubhouse We will be back in 2021.
Sportsmanship Award Nomination 2020
April de Bremond
 Lois Kietur has nominated April de Bremond for the 2020 Sportsmanship Award. Below is Lois's nomination statement.

I am nominating April de Bremond for the 2020 Sportsmanship Award for her years of teaching agility at the club and for the large number of new members she has brought to the club.

April began taking agility at CDTC in 2009 with one of her many Schipperkees and in 2010 became a club member. In 2011 she started teaching Introduction to Agility and for the past seven years she dedicated her Sundays to teaching Beginning Agility in the morning and returning Sunday evenings to teach Introduction to Agility. After her students complete the 12 classes required for club membership, April encourages her students to become club members.  I am often impressed when new member applications are read at the monthly club meetings at the number of applicants who have been in April’s agility class. April estimates that about 40 of her students have become club members.

April was able to bring so many people into the club because of her success in getting newcomers to see that training their dog can be fun.  “I enjoy teaching Intro because when my students start class they have no idea how they are going to become a team, and by the end of eight weeks almost all of them have learned not only how to perform the obstacles but how to work with their dog as a team,” said April. Teaching agility on Sundays became a family affair, as April’s husband and daughter both joined in assisting in April’s classes.

April has also encouraged many of her agility students to take obedience classes at CDTC, as she strongly believes that obedience is the foundation for all dog sports. “Many people sign up for agility because they want to have fun with their dogs,” said April. “Agility shows inexperienced handlers that dog training can be fun. I encourage my students to take obedience classes because it is essential that all dogs have basic obedience skills.”

Not only has April taught two agility classes for the past seven years, but she has also volunteered to work all three days at the club’s annual agility trials. In addition, April has volunteered for the more mundane task of supplying the clubhouse with toilet paper, paper towels, paper cups and soap.

And last, but not least, April’s margarita machine has brought a sense of merriment and fun to the club’s annual parties.
Delegate's Corner
By Joyce Dandridge
I hope this column finds all members safe and healthy.

The AKC Cancellation list of shows and events continues to grow. You can find that list on their website. Due to the layoffs AKC has had to make, it may take some time for events to be listed.

Congratulations to April de Bremond for being nominated to receive the CDTC AKC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award. She was nominated by Lois Kietur whose nominating summary is in this issue. We will honor April hopefully at our annual awards dinner.

The AKC Delegates meeting in June has been cancelled. I am receiving regular updates from AKC on their efforts during this crisis situation. I will be sending some of this information to the membership and CDTC Board.

AKC Trailer Program has taken in some of the dogs of the COVID-19 victims in certain areas of the country. Some clubs like Seattle Kennel Club and Tacoma Kennel Club located in hard hit areas had been working with communities training volunteers to staff the trailer shelters.

Reminder: There is AKC TV for viewing of past ALC events as well as helpful information on Canine Health and Training Tips.

At the last Delegates meeting, the proposed amendment removing the requirement for an injury to have occurred for an Event Committee to disqualify a dog that has attacked a person or a dog at its event, presenting a hazard to persons and other dogs was postponed until the next meeting for a vote. If you have any comments on this please share with me. My thought is why do we have to wait for an aggressive dog to cause injury before removing it from the premises. The Event Committee should have the discretion to decide if the attack is significant enough to warrant a DQ even if there is not an injury.
CDTC members, if you have not done so already, please join . It is a great way to keep up with the day-to-day activities of our club. To sign up, go to  and click “Apply for Membership.”