The last few months of 2021 were a bit of a whirlwind: the end of lockdown, followed by opening up in Victoria and a rush of shows before the end of the year.
In Tasmania, the wins continued with Liina (Ch Armahani Moonstone Movtta (AI)) ending the year with another couple of Best in Groups under her collar, as well as several classes in group (including one earned in Melbourne). She finished the year*:
#1 Finnish Lapphund Bitch (Australia)
#3 Finnish Lapphund (Australia)
#3 Bitch - All Breeds (Tasmania)
#3 Working Dog (Tasmania)
#1 Working Dog Bitch (Tasmania)
Fleur (Ch Neut Ch Armahani Iolite Ilo (AI) HT) ended the year having earned 10 Best Neuter in Shows and the top neuter in Tasmania*. And little Orson (Armahani Opal Otso (AI)) gained his first points toward his championship.
In Sydney, Obi (Armahani Nacre Nalle (AI)) was finally able to hit the show ring, racking up several points toward his championship as well as a Puppy in Group win.
Here in Melbourne, we pushed forward with a bunch of shows to get our group of youngsters some experience. Milou (Armahani Opal Otsaripa (AI)), our at home girl, surprised me with earning the BCC or RBCC from the minor puppy class at almost every show she was at, defeating a range of older girls. We also gained points on our puppy boy Wicket (Armahani Nacre Nuotio (AI)) and intermediate Avicii (Armahani Lapis Lazuli Lurjus) who had a couple of very nice wins on the way. Both boys have a lot of maturing to do, and some experience to now gain, but I'm looking forward to seeing what they can achieve.
Mika (Armahani Fireopal Fapmu) at 7 1/2 years of age was rehomed back to us, and now lives with my Dad who has been pretty lonely since the passing of Kulta a couple of years ago. He's settled in marvellously and I've taken the opportunity to start showing him a little, and he ended the year with a couple of Best Neuter in Groups. We also started a similar journey with neuter girl Kira (Armahani Lapis Lazuli Loimuta) who was Runner up Best Neuter in Show at the only show she attended, the Working Dog specialty.
Outside of the show ring, we haven't yet had a chance to start competing again, but most of my fun has been taken up with lots of foundation training with Milou, who completed her agility beginner's course as well as learning a vast range of behaviours. She is a smart (albeit incredibly naughty!) pup who is going to give me loads of fun and I look forward to every moment.
Her uncle Leevi (Armahani Kunzite Kuutamo (AI) CCD RE TK.S AD JDX SPD SD GD HT ET JC) has had a chance to get out again, and competed at the State Agility finals, where he placed second in Excellent Agility.
It has been quiet for Liina (Ch Armahani Moonstone Movtta (AI)) the last month or so, but she made up for it this weekend at the Conformation Judges Training Committee Championship Shows in Tasmania with BEST IN GROUP under judge R Lowe Saturday Champ Show and then INTERMEDIATE IN SHOW (Rex Lowe) at the Sunday Champ Show.
Not to be outdone, Fleur (Ch Neut Ch Armahani Iolite Ilo (AI)), took all three Best Neuter in Groups on offer over the weekend, converting both Saturday shows to R/U BEST NEUTER IN SHOW (J Connell - Champ Show, C Eastley - Open Show) and then BEST NEUTER IN SHOW (R Lowe) at the Sunday Champ Show.
Little Orson (Armahani Opal Otso (AI)) became the first of the Opal's to win at the group level today, taking Best Baby Puppy in Group at the British Bulldog Club of Tasmania ALL BREEDS Show under Tasmanian judge Mr A Jones.
Orson is co-owned with Sarah Hyslop and family and handled by Rachael Holloway of Zuleika Finnish Lapphunds.
It has been a total whirlwind of a two months here at Armahani. Raising the Opal babies, nudging into events, and back out, and back in, and back out as we experience on again off again COVID lockdowns, and celebrating from afar the success of our Tasmania team.
But the big news was the addition of little Milou (Armahani Opal Otsaripa (AI))) as a permanent part of our own household. I had long been hoping to keep a girl pup from this litter, being Baby's grand-pups, and Emmi and Louis' great grand-pups. Milou (named for Emmi and Louis) won me over with lovely balanced, true to type conformation, and a keenness to work in both food and toy drive, so I'm very hopeful she will follow in her family's pawprints and join me in a range of sports. In he meantime, as the first puppy I've raised in about 18 years, she is sure keeping me on my toes, but providing me with a lot of fun.
We have also kept an interest in Orson (Armahani Opal Otso (AI)) and Josie (Armahani Opal Onnetar (AI)) who will be showing in Tasmania with the Zuleika/Armahani team and Luna (Armahani Opal Onni (AI) who will be showing in NSW with the Pawformance/Armahani team.
Speaking of Tasmania, they are about the only Armahani kids able to be out in the ring at the moment, and they are showing the others how it is done. Liina (Ch Armahani Moonstone Movtta (AI)) earned Best In Show at the Working Dog Club of Tasmania's working dog specialty on the 26th May. On the same day, Benni (Sup Ch Armahani Heliodorr Hulivili (AI) ET) came out of retirement just briefly to receive his sash for being Runner-up Working Dog of the Year 2019/20, and showed us that the old-boy still has it by being awarded Best in Group at the all breeds show.
A week later Liina was again awarded Best in Group.
While we didn't make it into the show ring ourselves before the last lockdown, we did manage a tricks trial and a rally trial with Baby. She earned her first two quallies toward her Novice tricks title, and another two quallies toward her Masters rally title.
An amazing achievement for Rachael and Liina (Ch Armahani Moonstone Movtta (AI)) today, earning not only her first all breed champion show Best in Group award, but then going one better to be awarded Runner up Best in Show at the Combined Breeds Dog Club in Tasmania.
Our thanks to judge Kaye McGhie (Qld) for recognising our girl.
At 17 months of age, this was Liina's last show in the Junior class, and I never would have in my wildest imagining thought I would see one of my junior girls awarded so highly.
Liina keeps proving that I always underestimate her!
Today we welcomed six little Opal babies, five girls and just the one (last born!) boy.
Sadly, a sixth girl was too small to survive the birth journey.
Mum Piper (Ch Armahani Kunzite Kruunu (AI) JC) has settled into motherhood again (she had her first litter at Juddabug Kennels) smoothly and is going well. Dad Mika (Armahani Fireopal Fapmu) is I'm sure oblivious!!
After an amazing show career so far, earning classes in group at almost every outing, and converting them to classes in show several times, Liina (Ch Armahani Moonstone Movtta (AI)) kept up the success today in Tasmania, earning her third runner up in group. Still a junior, she has am amazing career in front of her. Congratulations to Rachael of Zuleika Finnish Lapphunds.
Across the ocean, and here in Victoria, performance events have really been kicking off again. Today Leevi (Armahani Kunzite Kuutamo (AI) CCD RE JDX AD SPD GD ET HT JC) gained that elusive last Agility Dog quallie to earn him his AD title. Big congratulations to Nicole.
Over the last week we have been saying goodbye to our lovely Nacre puppies.
First to go on Monday was Rigby (Armahani Nacre Nauraa (AI)) who goes to live with Jessie and his new Pomeranian sisters. The little "cute" one of the litter, this firecracker was always the favourite of visitors as he threw himself at them for attention. Jessie has lots of training adventures planned for him.
Second to leave on Tuesday morning was Obi (Armahani Nacre Nalle (AI)) our teddy bear! A very special pup, with type, structure, an amazing head, and oh so super smart, he left with Shell and mum-Slinky and grandma-Squiggle for a life full of adventure in Sydney. It was hard to let this one go, and only the best of homes could ever have convinced me.
Young Frankie (Armahani Nacre Nietos (AI)) was next. A happy, active, playful, and super confident puppy, he headed off Tuesday afternoon with Deanne and Prashan where he will live an active lifestyle and be loved and adored.
That left us with "the twins" to have some special fun with until the weekend. On Friday Wicket (Armahani Nacre Nuotio (AI)) headed home with Alicia. This is a special story. Alicia is a good friend of mine, and every weekend during COVID, four of us would get together over video conference to have our wine-club gathering. Rachael and Cherelle both have more than one lappie from Armahani, and Alicia (dog-less for a while) has been actively searching for a dog of her own to love during that period, with us sharing in the stories of her search. It was only when the pups were 7 weeks old, and I hadn't yet settled on the right home for the handsome pup then known as Sebastian, that Alicia asked if he could be hers. So young Wicket will likely join us in shows here in Melbourne.
The Saturday morning we had our last farewell. Ahsoka (Armahani Nacre Neiti (AI)), the only girl in the litter, a cheeky, sassy, confident young miss, with a spine of sweet steel, has gone to live with Pauline and Euan and their two human girls. She will also join us at shows when she can, and all being equal will hopefully join the legion of Armahani mamas one day.
More success for the Armahani girls in Tasmania!
Fleur (Ch & Neut Ch Armahani Iolite Ilo (AI) HT) competed with her new handler Lillian to earn two Neuter in Groups and a Runner Up Neuter in Show.
While Liina (Ch Armahani Moonstone Movtta (AI)) was Junior in Show in the AM show, and Best in Group 3rd in the PM show.