was a rainy Friday afternoon in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You could feel
the wave of anticipation. They were coming. All two hundred forty
years of combined experience thundered along the drive.
Linda, Connie, Teri and Marcia
"Fossils" had arrived!!
the fun ensued....
the evening of August 8th, there began a "Golden Experience"
not seen in generations. Connie Gerstner Miller, Dick Beckwith,
Gloria Kerr, Linda Willard, Marcia Schlehr, Teresa Kocher, and a
most experienced "Fossil-To-Be", Geri Gerstner Hart, all
came together under one roof to provide some of the most exhilarating
and educational presentations and discussion forums - focusing on
the breed standard, structure and movement, and the lost art of
breeding a proper Golden Retriever.
"Fossils" shared experiences and presented ideas on the
status of the breed; fielding questions during frank discussions
on where the breed stands today and what can (and should) be done
by today's breeders to maintain the Golden Retriever as a premier
Friday evening, there was a special
presentation by the "Fossils" on what it takes to develop
a successful breeding program. All attendees were encouraged to
participate in a discussion on the finer points of breeding a better
dog, highlighted by a PowerPoint slide show reviewing the importance
of canine structure, conditioning and movement, with emphasis on
the all all important pedigree - and what it really means to a breeding
morning dawned bright and early, and Marcia brought everyone up
to speed with on overview of the development of the Golden Retriever
as we see it today.
work really began - for both the participant and their dog!
of the weekend
focused on improving the owner's ability to show their dog to it's
advantage and understanding just what a judge is looking for when
a dog is presented to him or her in the ring. Participants brought
their dogs and all had a real workout experience! For the better
part of a day and a half, they learned the canine basics through
discussion and practice. A special session was devoted to grooming.
Leash handling, gaiting, and baiting techniques were all practiced
in a ring setting.
and Linda show how it should be done!
sessions are always a favorite with Twister and Teri.
Paddy is ready to strut his stuff!
Geri and Teri work the dogs in a demonstration on handling
and baiting technique.
works Libby to show how it is done! And the little puppy
above says "Me next!"
Saturday night Bar-B-Q, there was an additional presentation
and discussion on the Golden Retriever Breed Standard - with
a PowerPoint slide show highlighting the various points within
the standard. Knowledge of the breed standard is vital to breeding
a proper dog and all appreciated the "photographic"
description of the Golden Retriever standard!
morning found everyone gathered at the Malagold home to view and
evaluate puppies. This was exciting, as there were puppies at various
stages of development and those in attendance were privy to the
commentary and perspective of each of the "Fossils"- quite
a unique experience!
evaluations at the Malagold home.
weekend ended with an open "Q&A" session - with no
topic left untouched! Thoughts on feeding and supplementing, concerns
on health issues within the breed, current breeding trends and practices
- a wide ranging discussion was had by all.
want to thank ALL of the participants for their hard work and continued
enthusiasm for the Golden Retriever breed. We need more opportunities
to share ideas and mentor those willing to work towards that all
important goal of breeding the best dog that we can. Thanks to everyone
for participating in such a unique and wonderful experience!
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