Thursday, December 16, 2010

Welcome to Mockingbird Cardigans

Thanks for finding us on the web!  Please click on the tabs above for my blog or pictures and information about my pack. 

I fell in love with corgis at the first September in St Elmo Festival here in Chattanooga.  It was just a little street festival in a neighborhood at the base of Lookout Mountain, where one of the local merchants owned a couple of Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and decided to organize a Corgi Parade as part of the festivities.  He spread the word, and there were about 40 corgis there the first year, and it grew every year after.  When I saw all those short little dogs with big dog attitudes, I told myself that someday when a dog fit my life, I would have a corgi. 

At that time, I had no idea that there were two different breeds, but when I decided to add a dog to the household, I did my research and decided that the Cardigan more of what I wanted.  I liked their personalities, the bigger size, and I just don't think a dog is complete without a tail! : )

I found my first cardi, Spencer, in middle Tennessee.  I had contacted a few breeders, and one of them put me in touch with the Spencer's breeder.  I went to visit the litter at six weeks old, and I came home and decided that I liked a certain red dog in the litter.  I called the breeder back, but she told me that she really thought that there was another dog in the litter that suited me better.  This surprised me a bit, but I trusted her judgment, and she was right - Spencer was the perfect dog for me.  I also learned something about Cardigan breeders from her - how concerned they were about how their puppies were placed.

She also encouraged me to enter both of us in obedience training as soon as possible.  This was a valuable suggestion for many reasons - first and foremost, Spencer is so darn smart - if I hadn't learned how to train at least some of his powers to good rather than evil, life was going to be hard for us.  But also, getting into obedience training, and moving on to rally, obedience and agilty training, introduced me to a world and circle of dear friends in dog sports that I didn't even really know existed.  Along the way, Spencer picked up a bunch of titles after his name, and is now registered as Caduceus Spencer Batrille CD HT GN RAE3 OAP NJP.  He also has AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification and is a Therapy Dog.

A couple of years after Spencer came to me, I decided to add another dog to the pack, and started talking to breeders again.  This time, the owner of Spencer's father had a beautiful sable puppy named Yum Yum who was athletic and a good performance prospect.  She gave me the opportunity to bring Yum Yum home with me after a show to see how she would work out in our house.  I wasn't sure how Spencer would react after being the only dog. 

Well, Spencer instantly fell in love with her and it was reciprocated.  Yum Yum was here to stay, but the name had to go.  As I thought of potential names, I kept thinking about what a confident and spunky little girl she was, and it reminded me of Scout Finch, the young narrator of one of my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird.  I used her given name as Scout's registered name, which is now GCH Cardiridge Jean Louise Finch HT RN.  Like her brother, she also has the CGC certificate and is a therapy dog.

Scout's breeder suggested that I show Scout in conformation while I was waiting for her to grow up and be my next obedience and agility dog.  This introduced to whole new subset of dog enthusiasts - the "breed people."  Scout has had a very successful dog show career that went on much longer than I ever would have originally anticipated.  She has multiple group placements and two group wins.  In 2010, she was Best of Opposite Sex at the Westminster Kennel Club show and at the Western Reserve Specialty show.  She was runner-up to the Best Cardigan in the CWCCA's Megan competition, received a National Specialty Award of Merit and was the Best Herding Titled Bitch twice at National Specialties.  After "semi-retiring" after the 2010 National Specialty, she went back to the breed ring in the summer of 2010 and finished her Grand Championship in just 21 days.  As a first time breeder with Scout, I picked my kennel name to honor her.

On December 13, 2010, Scout delivered the first 8 cardigans to carry the Mockingbird kennel name.  We have 5 girls and 3 boys, 5 brindles and 3 reds, of which two are girls.