Yet again, a new year arrives, with lots of enthusiasm for new dreams and plans. But it’s always good to reflect on the year that was, and thank some of the people who made it special.
2018 for me was centred very much on my overseas holiday in the middle of the year. So there were no new pups, and with only Baby left of sporting age in my home, and her in rehab for most of the year, no sporting achievements.
We showed a little, but as always, not a huge amount. The highlight instead was travel, the making of new friends, the renewing of old, seeing some spectacular sights (and a few very lovely dogs), eating and drinking, and trying desperately to get rid of those extra kilos on return!
But the Armahani kids …. they didn’t take it quiet at all! Month after month they really blew me away with their achievements. We only have a fairly small breeding program, so it is purely because of some very amazing and dedicated owners, who love training and competing, that I get to bask in their glory. We really do punch well above our weight, and although not completed yet, it looks to have seen us well and truly in the DOL top 10 working dog breeders in the country for 2018.
Some special highlights for their 2018 achievements were:
TORTIK AND BENNI 🌟
Grand Ch Armahani Heliodorr Halu (AI) RA JC
Ch Armahani Heliodorr Hulivili (AI) ET
Our amazing litter brothers (Tortik handled by me mainly in Victoria and Benni by co-owner Rachael Holloway mainly in Tasmania) continued to …. well, amaze! Just when I think they have peaked they prove me very very wrong indeed.
Over the course of the year, between the two of them, they received several Best in Groups and Runner Up Best in Groups. Tortik took another Runner up in Specialty Show win, earned his Grand Championship, and was RUBOB at Sydney Royal. They shared some of our biggest challenges of the year, at the Border Challenge and Sunbury weekends. And they didn’t keep the achievements to the show ring. Tortik (aptly handled by co-owner Kateryna Yeap) earned his RN and RA titles in rally, and commenced his agility career with his first jumping quallie. While Benni earned his ET title. I think I can fairly safely say they are the biggest achieving litter brothers in our breed in Australia to date, and certainly aren’t finished yet.
LOKI BEAR 🐻
Ch Armahani Jade Jyhla
Tortik’s handsome young son is shown by new exhibitor Nicole Wright in the Albury area, and this year, he earned his Australian Championship with her on the end of the lead, along with a raft of class in groups along the way. I stole him away for both specialties this year, and to my pride in NSW he was Best Limit in Show and taken down to the top 5 boys, and did even better six months later in Victoria with not only Best State Bred in Show but beating his dad and uncle for Reserve Dog Challenge. He really is one to watch.
LUMI AND SQUIGGLE 💎
Grand Ch Armahani Diamond Davvir (AI) CD RA ADX ADO JDX GD SPD ET WPD
Ch & Neut Ch Armahani Diamond Dansut (AI) CCD RA AD JDX SD GD SPD HT ET JC WPD FMX
Our amazing Diamond kids, by far the most titled litter mates in the country, were clearly not prepared to go quietly into the night this year. Both continued in the agility rings, with Lumi (handled by Bianca Ralphs) earning his ADO, GD and SPD titles, and also doing some backpacking to gain his WPD title. And Squiggle (handled by Shell Gurney) earning her AD, JDX and GD titles, and FMX flyball title.
LOLLY AND SLINKY 🦄
Ch Armahani Iolite Into (AI) ET WPD
Ch Armahani Iolite Ihana (AI) HT ET JC WPD
Clearly deciding that they were going to have to get their butts into gear if they weren’t to spend their whole life living in their mother's shadow, the two Iolite kids commenced their performance careers with Nixx Boyd and Shell Gurney. Both earned their WPD and ET titles, with Slinky also gaining her HT title in herding.
LEEVI AND PIPER 🐼
Armahani Kunzite Kuutamo (AI) RA
Ch Armahani Kunzite Kruunu (AI)
It is no secret that I love love love the temperaments and work ethic of Baby’s kids. Piper earned her Championship title over the course of the year with Simone Dillon and started to learn some other skills. While Leevi completely blew my mind, with Nicole Wain, gaining his RN and RA titles in rally, and getting more than half way to his JD in agility. These two are not yet 2 years of age, and I think have amazing futures ahead of them.
TAIJA AND DOLCE ❄️
Ch & Neut Ch Armahani Crystal Cuovgat
Ch Armahani Crystal Caibmat RE
If the Diamond kids weren’t anywhere near retirement, then our Crystals led the way. Just when we think they’ve deserved their life of couch surfing, they decide to have one last hurrah …. and then another … and then another! Taija stepped back into the show ring to earn her Neuter Championship, capping it off with Best Neuter in Show at our specialty toward the end of the year. While Dolce dusted off his rally paws, and with Shareen Chouffot, earned his final quallies for that elusive RE title.
Thank you to all the Armahani owners this year for such amazing achievements, and most of all for loving and building such great relationships with your dogs.
As for me, in 2019 I hope to continue some more showing with Tortik and Baby, if I’m lucky get out some of the younger kids who I don’t get to show as much. And (touching every bit of wood in the house) given our hard work has finally got her healthy enough … hope to see some of you in a nearby performance ring, sometime during the year, with my beautiful Baby on the end of the lead.
A lovely end to the trialing year for Leevi (Armahani Kunzite Kuutamo RA (AI)) and Nicole at the Geelong Obedience Dog Club's agility trial this weekend, with two JD quallies, both with a 1st place.
Leevi isn't even two years old yet, and has had a true kicker of a year. He's truly surpassed my expectations, and I'm really looking forward to seeing all he and Nicole have ahead of them in 2019!
This weekend we headed to Portland, to do some showing with some lovely company.
It was generally a good show for the lappies, with classes in group each show, but my star was Tortik (Grand Ch Armahani Heliodorr Halu (AI) RA JC) taking BOB at two of the three shows (the third was to Baby) and converting one of those to Best in Group (Group 1st) under judge Pauline Hartwell.
Congratulations to all the other winners over the weekend.
A big congratulations to Nicole with Leevi (Armahani Kunzite Kuutamo (AI) RA). After hitting the conformation ring on Friday for a Best of Breed win, and the rally and obedience rings yesterday for some lovely "almost passes", today it was to an agility trial, where he earned his first Jumping Dog quallie, with a 1st place across all height levels!
Beauty, brains and speed all in the one package!
.Our big weekend of the year is over for yet another one, minus Sunbury this year, which I decided to take a break from.
It was an awesome weekend, with a big thanks to Rachael Holloway for coming across and spending it with me again. Always a pleasure, and makes the long drives so much easier (even if we do end up heading to Geelong!!).
First up was our Finnish Lapphund breed specialty show on Saturday (judge: H. Soeborg, Denmark) where the Armahani kids did some really great showing, all placing well in their classes and earning Excellent and CQ gradings. With the exception of poor Baby, who received a serious judge lecture about the state of her waistline - seems cream cheese driven rehab exercises has a down side, even if her muscle build is currently pretty awesome LOL. She did make up for it the next couple of days ;)
Thank you to Nicole Wain and Simone Dillon for doing such an exceptional job with Leevi and Piper, to Nicole Wright for sending Loki down for the day, and to Bianca Ralphs for driving him down.
Our results (from an entry of 62 lappies) were:
Leevi - Armahani Kunzite Kuutamo (AI) RA
- 2nd in Intermediate Dog
- Graded Excellent, CQ
Loki - Ch Armahani Jade Jylha
- 1st in State Bred Dog, State Bred in Show
- Reserve Dog Challenge (ie second placed male)
- Graded Excellent, CQ
Benni - Ch Armahani Heliodorr Hulivili (AI) ET
- 1st in Aus Bred Dog, Aus Bred in Show
- Graded Excellent, CQ
Tortik - Gr Ch Armahani Heliodorr Halu (AI) RA JC
- 2nd in Open Dog (behind BISS winner)
- Graded Excellent, CQ
- Best in Owner, Breeder, Handler
Piper - Ch Armahani Kunzite Kruunu (AI)
- 2nd in Intermediate Bitch (behind RUBISS winner)
- Graded Excellent, CQ
Baby - Am Ch Ch Calaban's Dirty Dancing RA ET JC (Imp USA)
- 3rd in Open Bitch
- Graded VG
Taija - Ch & Neut Ch Armahani Crystal Cuovgat
- 1st in Neuter Bitch Class, Best Neuter in Show
- Graded Excellent
It was made even more special by watching Helen Green take out BCC and RUBISS with Indie (Ch Lempo Independence Day). It was exceptionally lovely to see Helen do so well and cry those special tears. Indie is a daughter to Benni and a grand-daughter to Louis, so it was a 'kids of Heliodorr" run off for the RUBISS with Benni's daughter Indie and Tortik's son Loki fighting it out.
Congratulations to Huey Miin Lim and Terri Macdonald on Zeke's BISS.
Sunday was the Victorian Working Dog specialty show, always a huge one in a calendar, with 506 working dogs entered and 32 lappies. Rachael and I just had Tortik, Benni and Baby (aka Fatty!) with us that time who all did great showing sitting in the top four for breed results.
Results (judge C Dunne, Ireland; GS judge A Lundava, Estonia):
- Tortik DCC/BOB, shortlist in show
- Benni RDCC (ie second placed male)
- Baby RBCC (ie second placed female)
It was lovely to see Taylah Debono get the BCC and RuBOB with Keepa (Ch Lempo Keilo) who is a daughter to Tortik and Benni's sister Kajo, so another "kids of Heliodorr") - with congratulations to both her and breeder Mel Scriven).
Meanwhile, back in Albury showing with Nicole at a separate show, Loki took BOB and Best Intermediate in Group.
Then to the Vic Women's show on Monday (lappie entry 24). I'm on the committee for this one, so don't show. But Rachael very kindly took Baby along for me while I was running around like a headless chook. Happily I got to watch breed judging because it was pretty exciting!
Results (judge O Neilson, Canada; GS judge C Dunne, Ireland):
- Benni DCC, BOB, shortlist to final 6 in group
- Baby RBCC (again behind Keepa)
All up a huge and really successful weekend. Well done to all winners over the few days
We're just home from a lovely long weekend in Tasmania, where we spent some time with Rachael at Zuleika Kennels, and got to cuddle Benni and Fleur.
I took Tortik (Gr Ch Armahani Heliodorr Halu (AI) RA JC) and Baby (Am Ch Ch Calaban's Dirty Dancing RA ET JC (Imp USA)) across for Hobart Royal and the Tasmanian CACIB show a couple of days later. Tortik was BOB and Baby RUBOB at both shows under judges Mr Y Yataka of Japan and Mr W Yang of China, and both earned their CACIBs - Tortik his first and Baby her second.
Under both judges, we really did think they were about to award Baby the BOB, so it was almost a surprise when they selected Tortik instead. Tortik got a nice long look in the group lineup at Hobart Royal too, which was a nice acknowledgement.
Best of all, we had a fun time away, even fitting a nice day for a break, walks and leisurely lunch breaks! Thanks to Rachael and her family for having us, and making it such a lovely time away. I'll be dreaming about Damien's wood fired pizzas for months!!!
Benni (Ch Armahani Heliodorr Hulivili (AI) ET) has been out showing with Rachael again this weekend, and had another awesome run, winning 1 x Runner up Best in Group, 2 x Best Australian Bred in Group, and 1 x Best Australian Bred in Show!
He had his son with him, who also picked up a couple of Best Baby Puppy in Groups!
Loki Bear (Armahani Jade Jylha) became our newest Australian Champion today, aptly handled by Nicole at the Rock Show Society for his last points, and being shortlisted in group as well!
Loki is Nicole's first show dog, and she's done such a great job with him. He is a pretty handsome boy and we think very well deserving of his title. Congratulations Nicole and Chris, and a big thanks to Bianca for all of your support for this new team.
Today Tortik became Grand Champion Armahani Heliodorr Halu (AI) RA JC!!!
While he is not the first of my Finnish Lapphunds I've handled to a grand, and not the first of my prefix to earn his grand, he is the first I've breeder, owner, handled all the way, making it pretty special to me.
I can't begin to express how incredibly proud I am of this dog. We've had quite the ride together! While every single BIG and RUBIG win have been damn thrilling, the times he has been singled out by Nordic judges for major awards are the particular 'proud breeder' moments. That whisper from a Finnish judge as he handed over the ribbon 'I know these are rare here, and I wanted everyone watching to know just how good he is' will always stay with me. His wins have included BISS under Norwegian judge A Foss, as well as 2 x DCC/RUBISS under Finnish specialist Tapio Kakko and Swedish specialist Ambjörn Lindqvist.
Huge thanks to CJ Yeap and Kateryna Yeap (Tortik's mum, co-owner and performance handler) for putting up with my craziness these last few years, letting me steal him away so often, and sharing the love of this complete sweetheart of a boy with me. Thanks also to Elaine Short and Sarah Ewenson for being the two people who enabled him to actually happen!
Super news today with Dolce (Ch Armahani Crystal Caibmat RA) gaining the last quallie he needed in Canberra to earn his Rally Excellent title.
Shareen pulled him out of retirement this year to see if he could finish, and I'm super proud of them both. He's almost 9 years old, so it is lovely to see him still enjoying the performance rings!