The Early Days

| June 4, 2011 | 1 Comment
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Kawai and Kamaehu

Kawai and Kamaehu

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Juniors Corner

This month I thought I’d give you a little history on how I got started in Retrievers (with a little help from my mom). My first retriever was a chocolate Labrador Retriever named Kamaehu that my parents got for me when I was eight months old. From the day we got her, we were inseparable. She was our first purebred AKC registered Lab and the start of our love for the Labrador Retriever breed. She recently passed away just 3 days shy of her 12th birthday.

Our second lab was a black lab named Windy. Windy was our resident Couch Potato. She didn’t under any circumstances like to show, swim, or retrieve! After a couple of years we retired her to my pre-school teacher, Mrs. Kelly, who she went to school with everyday till the age of 10 when she crossed over the rainbow bridge.

Our third lab and my first Junior Showmanship dog (Peewee’s of course) was Splash. Splash was 5 when we got her and she immediately fit right in with our other dog and our family. Our first venture out into the ring was later that year at the PSLRA (Puget Sound Labrador Retriever Association) Fun Match and in Peewee handling; I was 4 years old. My mom said that I showed Splash every chance I got! Splash is the dog that truly led us into the path of hunt tests. There are quite a few people in the hunt test world that remember me knee high to a grasshopper at the hunt tests with my mom. We spent a good part of the first years focusing on performance titles and becoming good friends with some great people that are our good friends to this day. I continued to show Splash until she was 10 years old, then she just stayed at home resting off and on the couch! Then 2 ½ years later, our beloved Splash crossed over the rainbow bridge at the age of 12 ½. It was hard for me to let her go.

I continued to show the Labs at the local fun matches and Pee Wees up in Canada where they offered a 4-6 year old class. Ellie, a Windy daughter was my first choice when we went up there. We did alright and I learned that Ellie was truly a Mama’s girl, meaning Mom had to hide when I was in the ring otherwise Ellie would go and find her. I also showed our yellow lab, Goose, who was a third generation at our house and our first yellow. We were lucky enough to win Best Junior in Show at the Labrador National Specialty in 2007 from the Novice Junior class in my first year of showing in AKC Juniors. I love the Labradors, but I truly love the Golden Retrievers and knew that I wanted to show one of my own in Juniors. So the search for the perfect Golden Retriever began!

To be continued…

Category : Juniors Corner

About the Author ()

I am one of the founders and editor of Retriever Life. My passion is Labradors of all sizes and shapes but I am a big fan of all the retriever breeds.

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  1. Go Kawai! What a great story. Willie loved his stay with your family, I am so proud of you! I hope one day my little 5 year old McCall follows your excellent example! Way to go!

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