Mom in Show

Today is special. We have a Mom in Show. Whose Mom? My Mom. I don’t mean show biz. Although she did tour with Sound of Music in the summers of college. But another kind of show. Dog Shows.

It all started when the boys were fairly young, ages 7 & 9-ish, Mom got them a bloodhound puppy. They named her Rose Marie. Her floppy ears, clumsy giant steps, soulful sad eyes, and wrinkled skin captured our delight. Nose to the ground she could find you. Every time. She was faithful, loyal, and very funny.

The desire to raise a bloodhound stemmed from the movie Where the Red Fern Grows. We lived in the country and it was a natural fit for our family. Rosie was loved. Oh, was she loved. She protected the boys and was their best bud for all her life.

Mom fell hard for the bloodhound breed. Our childhood pet spawned a breeding of many puppy litters, not just as pets, but as champions. It was NOT a puppy mill. Only one litter at a time. They were cared for and housed, hand fed, handled, socialized, and adopters were thoroughly screened. More often than not, they were rejected as not being good enough.

She was strict and ruthless. Her puppies were her babies. They deserved the best. The hardest part of this breed is their life span. They only average 8 years – 10 at the most. That means since we started with bloodhounds over 32 years ago, we’ve had many furry friends to love and their puppies and their puppies.

Mom entered the dog show world. I could be wrong, but the first one I believe was a bloodhound named Choco. Mom got an RV with Choco’s pictured pasted in the back window. Viva la dog show! He was a liver colored bloodhound, not your typical black and tan, or red. I think he did pretty good.

As things progressed and she learned the show rules, circles, and techniques – we entered Championship. The prize of showmanship. I don’t remember if Choco was a champion or not but I do remember the first bloodhound that was. She was a champion before she left puppyhood. Her name was Peaches. She was a unique liver colored as well.

I was about fifteen years old when mom brought her home. She almost looked like a Sharpei with wrinkles EVERYWHERE. Ohmygosh, she was a doll. I loved her so much until she chewed up several of my favorite pairs of shoes. Mom, I KNOW. I should have shut my door. My bad.

For Peaches, we traveled by RV from Oklahoma to Portland Oregon for the mother of all bloodhound shows. The National Championship. It was a trip from hell heck. My brother and his friend, me and an exchange student from France in VERY tight irritating quarters. Not to mention the RV broke down EVERY STATE. No lie. I loved Idaho and Wyoming though.

But we all survived. Peaches did well. All the teens skied Mount Hood. I think we made it back to Oklahoma in one piece, or at least without breaking down. Then we sold the money pit RV.

When I was nineteen, just mom and I traveled to New York City. She had entered the biggest, most prestigious dog show in the world. Westminster. Let me tell you, what you see on TV is nothing like the back stages. It’s wall to wall dogs, grooming, handlers, owners, stands and crates. What you see at the end is the culmination of all the exhausting shows that day, which end up with ONE winner IN the main show. That’s ONE out of HUNDREDS, not to mention HOURS of grooming, ring circling, and judging.

We were pretty beat up by show time. I felt pretty out of place, all ragged, with people in formal wear watching this show. But WOW, we were in NEW YORK! And no, her dog didn’t win. She didn’t get to be in the show at the end. But what an experience. I think it’s something all show people strive for, to take part in Westminster just once.

Mom has mostly retired from showing (haven’t you mom?), but she does rescue for the Bloodhound Club. Here is the website with all her beautiful animals that fill her life and bring her joy. As much as she loves to care for them (and save them), they would LOVE their own home. If you know of anyone, please pass on this link. One of my favorites right now is Oh Baby, part mastiff, part bloodhound. He is truly a gentle giant. But really, they are all very special. Do check them out.

Tri State Bloodhound Rescue

I learned a lot from mom and the dog shows. How to care and love an animal with all your heart. How to meet new people, socialize, and make connections. How to see the world from all angles, the triumphs, and the losses. But mostly, I learned – if you love something – follow your dreams.

Happy Birthday Mom! Not only are you Mom in Show you are Best in Show. I love you tremendously!!

Showing her winning breed.

Mom with her Champion Sally.

Oh, and mom….remember that little birthday present you “rescued”. Our best estimate of her birth is around the same time as yours. This one?

Anna puppy April 2008

A very small Anna that fit in my hand.

Anna Foursocks Elizabeth – born March 24, 2008 – Happy Birthday to Anna too! Thank you mom for your serving soul. If you hadn’t saved her. I wouldn’t have the entertainment she brings, and the sweet snuggles she endears.

Another reflection of you, another gift of life that you offer so freely to others by reaching out to the unwanted with open arms. I am forever grateful you were born to be my mother.

31 thoughts on “Mom in Show

  1. A friend of me back in Holland, breaded Leonbergers. Also big, big dogs. She did shows and I went with her to watch it. It was great! A lot of work and love for the dog owners. I have had dogs myself in Holland, and know how much love they give you. Nice post about your mom and so great to see a picture of her! And what a cuty pie is Anna!


  2. WOW! I have never participated in nor been to a dog show, but I love watching them on TV. Congrats to your mom! That really is a lovely bloodhound – I love all the wrinkles πŸ™‚

    And I adore the tiny sweater, that is sooooo cute!


  3. suzicate

    Such a sweet tribute. Showing dogs must’ve been quite an experience. I would love to breed dogs. I really enjoyed when we bred our black lab. Karal @ The Orange Chair has recued a few Beagles. Great post.


  4. Mom

    Thank you for this wonderful Birthday. All four of you are wonderful children and am so proud that God choose me to be your mother. We have had so many wonderful time together and New York was one of the most memorable. What fun and Peaches enjoyed the trip as much as we did. Being able to spend three days on a beach in Long Island with real New Yorker family. Getting a private tour of New York! It was the best trip we have had together. Remember freezing while wait to go to be picked up by Robin and Cory. The wind chill was 17 degrees below and it felt so good to have Peaches piled on top us on the way to long Island. What fun just me and my youngest daughter, my Peaches and me. We saw the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and the New Yorkers didn’t know there was such a thing as Fried Green Tomatoes. Very little grass in New York and you weren’t allowed to walk on it! Concrete building every where but it does have a special calling to return. Robin knew all the neat places when we rode the train back to the city and she gave us a tour of all the neat places as she had grown up in New York. Our friends and New York were so gracious because we had met through choosing bloodhounds as our best friends. I cherish our trip and our time together. I love you so very much and will never forget the good times me and my four great children had while they were growing up and now with the times with their children and watching them take to their wings and now they fly. No Mother is more lucky as I am. I love you with all by being. Mom


  5. Wow – what a great breed —- I never had one (had other hound variations – a basset hound and dachshunds – all fabulous) but the bloodhound always seemed so adorably loyal – I’m loving the pictures – thank you for sharing!


  6. I love people who love animals!! And that Anna! What a cutie pie! I think what your mom is doing is wonderful and that she taught you guys a great lesson with your pets.

    What a lovely tribute to her.



  7. Wonderful! As a fellow dog lover, I find blood hounds droopy eyes and soft long ears delightful. And…Where the Red Fern Grows is one of my all time FAVORITE books. I have a copy for my kids to read. So touching and sweet. Love that story. Old Dan and Little Ann….I cried and cried and loved that story. Thanks for sharing.

    Glad your mom is part of rescue too. My sister works with German Shepherd rescue of Northern California. So worthwhile!


  8. Oh, How Precious.

    I always wondered what it would be like to travel in an RV.
    Maybe not so fun after all.
    I have seen RV’s stranded, even completely burned up.
    Guess I’ll stick with our tent under the stars.


  9. blissbait

    You ALL~WAYS warm my heart and spirit and gift me such all-encompassing smiles! THANK YOU for this most precious tribute to Your mother! Happy BIRTHDAY MOM!!! and Anna! Big Hugs All around!!! Cheers and Namaste. πŸ™‚


  10. Ellen-Thanks Ellen! I think I’ve heard of those dogs. They almost look like giant terriers? Dogs are wonderful. Full of love and life.

    Jane-Thank you, she is a wonderful mom and deserving of a happy day.

    Annie-Sally was the daughter of the puppy I fell for. They had TONS of wrinkles. Anna in that sweater was just precious. Thank you so much.

    My baby Sweetness-I loved playing with the puppies. It was sad to see them go. My mom now has about 25 dogs so she is getting close to 101. HA.

    Doraz-Thanks we did have fun, the shows were really neat. My mom is very talented.

    Jaymie-Thanks Jaymie! I think it was pretty wonderful stuff. A lot of humor too, if you have ever seen that movie Best in Show? Yeah, like that! HA.

    Suzicate-I showed a couple of times. It’s a little nerve wracking. I would have LOVED to have puppies by my black lab. How sweet!

    Sydney– I like Oh Baby!

    Kelly-I try to capture her sweet soul. She is a unique lady.

    Mom-My favorite place was SoHo! It was very cool. Peaches should have won. She was beautiful.

    Shayna-The hound breeds are great! Very loving dogs. Anna puppy turned out to be mostly greyhound. She is hilarious!

    One of the Guys-Thank you so much. That stubbornness can really pay off! She had many champions.

    Spot-Thank you! We do LOVE our animals. I am trying to convince Jason we need a small dog for the little girls and a bunny for Sydney. Pleeeezzzzeee?

    Deborah Pucci-It is a LOT of work and bloodhounds were the easiest. You just clean their floppy ears and give em a brush. Those toy dogs. WOW. Their hair had to be hairsprayed and teased – those dogs had more product than me!

    Heather-I know! She made me cry too! We are lucky. Thank you so much for your comment, it means a lot.

    Renee– Thank you! She appreciates all the birthday wishes!

    Danae-Hi Danae, thank you! And thanks for coming by!

    Kim-Yes that book is the best for dog lovers and how awesome is that what your sister is doing. Dogs really need people like her and my mom, so many are lost and unloved. It’s very worthwhile!

    Kristi-The shows were fun! I remember that and the kids liked them too.

    souldose-Thank you so much. We had our problems and she almost died, so I am so blessed she is here.

    What would you do in heaven?-You should definitely go! They are really neat.

    Chris-Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

    Peg-I saw my tag! Very cool! Loved the picture you used. If I could tone down the stresses, I could probably participate! Ugh!

    Much More Than Mommy-Yeah, it does! Not to mention the training, the research, the background, the breeding – the list goes on and on. Is your cousin a handler? There were a lot of those in the shows.

    Michelle-An RV that works would be AWESOME. Like to the mountains to camp next to a great river. Not across country with four teenagers and a bloodhound. HA.

    Mom of Many-Will do! Thanks for coming by. Anna is my sweetie. My other dog Salem is my love of all time. Both are very special!

    Bliss-I speak the same of you! Big Hugs back. Your visits always warm my soul.

    Carolyn-Thank you! It is important. I am proud to take part in it with her. Have a great weekend!


  11. Pingback: Can you train a bloodhound puppy to a wireless fence?

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