The day before the Eukanuba was held, I stood outside the Curly-Coated Retriever ring at the Central Florida Kennel Club dog show hoping to get some information about this very cool breed. It is rare to see a lot of Curly-Coated Retrievers in one spot as there are only around a hundred Curly-Coats registered each year with the AKC and there are less than a thousand Curly-Coats in the North America! We definitely wanted to talk to as many owners/breeders/handlers we could while at the Eukanuba. As I spoke with folks around the ring, the first thing I notice is that these retriever owners are very open and friendly about their breed, which is not always the case in some of the more popular retriever breeds. When they found out that I was the editor of Retriever Life, they wanted me to come to their “Meet The Breed” booth where everyone was very willing to answer any question I, or my brother (Lou), asked about the breed.
We met Connie and Buck Buchanan, DVM ringside before showing their Curly-Coats – Stella and Gabby. I immediately noticed their girl Gabby and thought she was a very pretty example of the breed so we approached them to see what we could learn from them. One thing that peaked our interest immediately was that Buck hunts with their Curly-Coats. He also trains them for hunt tests. I then learned that Gabby had been brought out of retirement to pursue her AKC Grand Championship and as a result Gabby qualified for the Eukanuba. On the road to her GCH title, she had to beat some top winning “specials” which can be very challenging. Gabby and Connie obtained the GCH title in only four show weekends which speaks volumes to Gabby’s conformation qualities. Gabby is now GCH CH Softmaple’s Dark Star CDX JH! As you can see, Gabby also has her Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title as well as her Junior Hunter (JH) title. Connie, Buck, and Gabby are truly living the Retriever Life!
This interview focuses on just how special coming to the Eukanuba is to both Connie and Buck. Hopefully you will have as much fun getting to know them as we did!