~ More About Us ~
I’m Hooked on American Cocker Spaniels
I have to admit I was just the “Average Joe Public” when I first
went to a dog show. I did not like it! I thought the treatment and
stuff they put the dogs through was very unemotional and mean. My
first cocker was unregistered as I could not afford a registered dog
or could I find registered breeders at that time. I was determined
to have this dog trained and that meant me learning. So my partner
and I did. That is when you could say “I got hooked”.
After a few years, when Nicker and Ginger were older, I saw my first
black and white American Cocker Spaniel and was totally smitten.
The breeder of my Bailey told me that she was show quality and that
I should consider showing her. While not liking what I saw at show,
I decided for the breeder, that I would give it a try.
Now Bailey was scared of everybody, so it was a learning experience
for both of us. For two years we did not understanding why we were
not getting points. I felt obligated to Bailey and her breeder to
get the Championship. Besides no one would ever consider breeding
to a newbie without having that title, would they?
I never expected the joy and tears when she finally finished under a
foreign judge who said to me “she is beautiful!” She then went on
to get obedience titles, to being in the Veterans class at the
Alberta Specialty. Sure she was the only one entered and my friend
Emma Ross from WA took her in the ring for me. I had nothing but
tears welling up in my eyes as my girl strutted her stuff all around
that ring, not a care in the world for Emma and made the cut. She
might of been the only “old” girl in there but she did me proud.
Tears of joy and pride for my Bailey.
In the meantime, the CKC brought in the PEN “Performance Event
Numbers” where you could do obedience with your unregistered dogs.
I was so very excited. I worked with my younger dogs and was so
anxious for them to get in that ring.
Abby was Sakari’s dog and she left him a few times in the ring (Just
to show you!) The day she got her CD title she was making us all
very very nervous. “Is she going to do it?” “Will she be a
character and go visiting?” But she did a straight front, and
wonderful finish with a paw up in the air looking at her Dad – such
pride from Sakari and I. She strutted that little wiggle butt of
hers out of the ring and into my arms. We could not have been more
Sir William was the worst for keeping in the ring to the point Sak
gave up and I took over. I put William in Rally and he finally got
his CD titles as well as his RN title. He was such a character and
love. You see on the leash William would look to see who was
laughing at him as he would check ever pebble, mark, or obstacle he
thought was in his way. When off leash he would saunter out of the
ring, sit with a girl or two and watch us do the obedience routine.
But one day he actually did the whole exercise to high in trial.
We, together achieved our goal – Finally LOL! Humility and pride
all in one day. Anyone who does obedience would know that
wonderful feeling of achievement. You see, obedience teaches the
dog to think, it teaches you humility, it gives you a tighter bond
with your dog. It is a glorious feeling.
We have had a few dogs that were loving the ring only because they
knew that they could make people laugh. They knew what they were
supposed to do but it was on their terms and they finally achieved
that. You can not express the feelings you get when your little
clown looks up at you and the judges says “pass”.
After struggling with little to no information on show handling I
went to a seminar put on by Tom Lamb. He was awesome. I learned
from that seminar we needed a lot of help in our area to compete.
I was ready to give up, in tears, when a lovely vendor at the shows
gave me the name of a lady who teaches. She showed me so much and
that is when I started to put on seminars on the island for people
to learn. I am so grateful for that information and the wonderful
training methods used in the seminars. Thanks to Joy and Vaughn
Once I got this knowledge and continued on the obedience training I
felt far more confident. It is definitely true “the more confident
you are, the feeling goes right down the lead to the dog”.
There is nothing like the feeling you get when your dog has achieved
a Best of Breed, Best Puppy in Show to an obedience “Companion Dog”
title. For me, my chest puffs up and I am so very proud to say
“that’s my kid”. We worked for that title and it shows.
It is another venue for me now to play with my dogs. Some dogs
enjoy showing off more than others but one thing common in all is
they love to work with me and for me. I don’t often get to see what
they look like going around that ring but I do know how envious I am
of my kids because they truly believe they are the prettiest,
smartest and best in the world. To me too!
Over the years I have had so many people tell me that you can only
do one thing at a time. Be it obedience or conformation, I have
proved that wrong. I am so proud of my dogs knowing which ring they
are in. I am so proud that when/if they do sit in the conformation
ring I can give a simple hand signal or voice command and they stand
lovely. That is what makes you proud. Your dog knows how to think
for himself and be a team with you.
Now I am still nervous as heck each and every time I enter the ring
whether it is conformation, obedience, or rally. The mistakes made
are not those of my dog but my own doing. To date I have put titles
on both ends of 20 dogs and counting. I play tracking on our
property with them and maybe some day we will actually do a trial –
who knows. Right now we have fun.
I have my hobby of breeding, showing, and obedience. This is so
fulfilling for me as a person I can not imagine how anyone can not
have the desire to work with their dogs. The joy and pride is
beyond words. The feeling it gives you, as best as I can describe is
like a lovely warm hug from a loved one. I love working with my
dogs, you can not get the same feeling of pride unless you are
working with your dogs. I love it when a judge actually looks at my
dog and sees the quality, the connection and how very smart they
Being an owner/handler gives you such a close bond with your dogs.
When it comes time for training in my house I have 11 waiting at the
door to go! They love it!
Nicker 1988-2003 and Ginger 1993 – 2004
Vallance-Rautiainen CD CGC
Abby Vallance-Rautiainen, CD CGC 1999 – 2003
Ch Delamatches Heather’s Bailey, CD, CGN, CGC, RN Am/RN 2000 –
Ch Vallance A Poket Miracle, CD, CGN, CGC, Am/Cdn RA
Ch Vallance Marvelous Molly, CD, CGN, CGC, RN 2004 – 2011
Ch Vallance Its About Tiami, CD, CGN, CGC, RA
Ch. Denzil’s Sir William CGNCGC CD, RD
Ch Vallance Ripley’s Believe It, CGN CD
Ch Vallance Kiya CGN, CD
Ch. Vallance All That Jazz, CGN CD
Ch Vallance Xtra Time For Erins, CGN CD
Ch Vallance Shell Be Cute, CGN
Vallance Fast Lane, CGN 1 point shy of her Championship
Vallance Ariel Ilusion – catching up fast !!!
A special thanks to those who have trusted me with their precious
Am/Cn Ch Callas Platinum Perfection CD CGN,
RN – Thanks to Jackie Forchuck for sending me Connor. He has done
us both proud!
Ch Braewood Heather N Sage, CGN – Thanks to Marnie Woods for my
Ch Ky-Ann’s True Illusion CGN, CD – Thank you Debbie Dorsey for my
Ch. Crestrail’s N Vallance Whirlwind, CGN – Thank you Eilene White
for my girl Wendy
Am Ch Pinoak Crestrail Color Me Handsome CGN – Thank you Eilene
White and Cheryl Welch for Dallas he has come a long way and still
going. 2 points shy of his Canadian Champion
S’Posan HLV Magic Spot 2002 – 2003 far too early – my Westminster
Heather Vallance and crew