A Truly Great Flat-Coated Retiever

| January 2, 2013 | 7 Comments
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Koby at Madison Square Garden in New York at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show, Sporting Group Ring thumbnail
Best of Breed at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show, with Judge Walter Sommerfelt  thumbnail
Group One May 21, 2011 at the Mt Baker Kennel Club in Lynden, Wa with Judge Loraine Boutwell thumbnail
Group Three May 28, 2011 at the Spokane KC in Spokane, Wa with Judge Pluis Davern thumbnail
Koby and his Field Trainer/Handler Chuck Hilton and his ribbon's thumbnail
06-15-11 Filer,ID- Bob Kohler (4) thumbnail
Koby, Tony and Tony's daughter Ryle with Judge Ms Carmen Haller winning his third Best In Show, July 3, 2011 in Mt Vernon, WA. thumbnail
Koby's last time in the Show ring in Redmond, WA, August 26, 2012 thumbnail
41252_1577547481449_1318490505_1607267_3052125_n[1] thumbnail
Koby and Tony in the Group ring in Redmond, Wa August 26, 2012 their last time together thumbnail
Tony and Koby at the 2010 Eukanuba National in Long Beach, Ca December 4, 2010 they just Won Best of Breed what an amazing team they were. thumbnail
Koby's last run in the field for his JH title June 3, 2012 in Spokane, WA thumbnail
Chuck Hilton and Koby at his first Hunt Test, May 26, 2012 in Oregon thumbnail
Training with Chuck thumbnail
Koby Training With A Pheasant thumbnail
Relaxing before the next test in Oregon!! thumbnail
Waiting for their turn, Oregon May 27, 2012!! thumbnail
Koby at Madison Square Garden in New York at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show, Sporting Group Ring
Best of Breed at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show, with Judge Walter Sommerfelt
Group One May 21, 2011 at the Mt Baker Kennel Club in Lynden, Wa with Judge Loraine Boutwell
Group Three May 28, 2011 at the Spokane KC in Spokane, WA with Judge Pluis Davern
Koby and his Field Trainer/Handler Chuck Hilton and his ribbon's
Koby and Tony Winning thier Second Best in Show on June 15, 2011 in Filer, ID with Judge Robert Shreve
Koby, Tony and Tony's daughter Ryle with Judge Ms Carmen Haller winning his third Best In Show, July 3, 2011 in Mt Vernon, WA.
Koby's last time in the Show ring in Redmond, WA, August 26, 2012
41252_1577547481449_1318490505_1607267_3052125_n[1]
Koby and Tony in the Group ring in Redmond, Wa August 26, 2012 their last time together
Tony and Koby at the 2010 Eukanuba National in Long Beach, Ca December 4, 2010 they just Won Best of Breed what an amazing team they were.
Koby's last run in the field for his JH title June 3, 2012 in Spokane, WA
Chuck Hilton and Koby at his first Hunt Test, May 26, 2012 in Oregon
Training with Chuck
Koby Training With A Pheasant
Relaxing before the next test in Oregon!!
Waiting for their turn, Oregon May 27, 2012!!

Koby at Madison Square Garden in New York at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show, Sporting Group Ring

Best of Breed at the 2012 Westminster Dog Show, with Judge Walter Sommerfelt

Group One May 21, 2011 at the Mt Baker Kennel Club in Lynden, Wa with Judge Loraine Boutwell

Group Three May 28, 2011 at the Spokane KC in Spokane, WA with Judge Pluis Davern

Koby and his Field Trainer/Handler Chuck Hilton and his ribbon's

Koby and Tony Winning their Second Best in Show on June 15, 2011 in Filer, ID with Judge Robert Shreve

Koby, Tony and Tony's daughter Ryle with Judge Ms Carmen Haller winning his third Best In Show, July 3, 2011 in Mt Vernon, WA.

Koby's last time in the Show ring in Redmond, WA, August 26, 2012

His ever so graceful movement at the 2010 Flat-Coated Retriever Canadian Specialty in Calgary, Alberta

Koby and Tony in the Group ring in Redmond, WA on August 26, 2012 their last time together

Tony and Koby at the 2010 Eukanuba National in Long Beach, CA on December 4, 2010 they just Won Best of Breed what an amazing team they were.

Koby's last run in the field for his JH title June 3, 2012 in Spokane, WA

Chuck Hilton and Koby at his first Hunt Test, May 26, 2012 in Oregon

Training with Chuck

Koby Training With A Pheasant

Relaxing before the next test in Oregon!!

Waiting for their turn, Oregon May 27, 2012!!

Koby’s Accomplishments

  • Koby was the first Male Flat-Coated Retriever to get his AKC Grand Champion title and the first Flat-Coated Retriever to get the AKC GOLD Grand Championship. He won numerous supported entries and won over 300 BOB’s. Koby’s last show’s were August 26 in the US and September 2 in BC.
  • Koby was in the AKC Top 15 Flat-Coats for 8 years
  • 2005 #15 Breed
  • 2006 #15 Breed
  • 2007 #5 Breed/#2 All breed
  • 2008 #3 Breed/#2 All Breed
  • 2009 #14 Breed/#8 All Breed/BOB at the Eukanuba National
  • 2010 #1 Breed/#1 All Breed/Got his International Title/FCR Canadian Specialty Award of Merit-Best Veteran-Best Stud Dog/BOB at the Eukanuba National/finished his Grand Champion/finished his GCh Bronze
  • 2011 #3 Breed/#1 All breed/finished his GCh Silver/First FC to become Gold GCh/Award of Merit at the Eukanuba National
  • 2012 #9 Breed/#6 All Breed (as of November 30, 2011)/BOB at Westminster/CGC Title/JH Title/FCR Canadian National Best Stud Dog/Hall of Fame Eligible
  • The Top 5 in BC Canada for 2005/2006/2007/2008/2010/2012
  • We will be going to the Flat-Coat National in Georgia to attend Koby’s Hall of Fame induction and are hoping that one of his offspring will accept the award in his place!!

MBIS/Int’l/Gold Gch/Can Ch Blacklace Magic Mocha Sapphire CGC JH HOF “Koby” – March 31, 2003 – September 26, 2012

Koby was a once in a lifetime Flat-Coated Retriever who was owned and loved by Ken and Kathy Johnson. Following is their tribute and story of a remarkable dog.

Koby was the third Flat-Coated Retriever we owned and what an amazing dog he was! He was very well known throughout the United States in the dog world and in the show ring. Koby was not only a great ambassador to the breed, but also perfect in every way. Most of all, Koby was our best friend forever, our companion, who went everywhere we went, and there’s no question he was our heart dog!! Koby was always so full of life and energy!! He loved to play with our kids and grand kids, retrieving with his good old soccer ball. He made us laugh and brought us so much joy.

Koby has taken us to places we would never have gone if it wasn’t for his show career. In June 2007, we decided we would start to campaign him as he was doing so well in the show ring. However, with me (the owner) showing him, he always thought it was play time so we needed to find a professional handler who could bring out those wonderful qualities that I couldn’t as an owner. That’s where Tony Carter entered our lives. Tony didn’t know much about Flat-Coats but he learned quickly and helped Koby become a legend in his breed. Tony and Koby became known as “Team Koby, Dream Team”. So many people commented on how awesome they looked together in the show ring. Koby knew just what Tony wanted him to do and he loved performing in the show ring. They had an incredible bond and Tony loved Koby like he was his very own. With such elegance and gracefulness in the ring, Koby also had the perfect head (the one piece head), those beautiful dark almond eyes, and was a well balanced, well proportioned Flat-Coat. In the June 2008 “AKC Gazette”, Koby was pictured in an article about flat-coats and their head pieces.

We traveled to many states and have been to so many places with Koby. In 2008, we went up-state NY in 2008 where Koby showed against 40 Flat-Coats each day and won each day, everyone said they were happy to see us go back to the Northwest. Also in 2008, we went to Washington DC, took a few pictures of Koby in front of the White House and checked out the Lincoln Memorial. In 2011, we traveled to Florida and visited Disney World and the Kennedy space center. We traveled back and forth to California in our motorhome for 3 years to Long Beach, CA, for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (sometimes with our handler) often stopping off at shows along the way and traveling with other dogs as well. Koby won Best of Breed all three years he entered at the Eukanuba. It was exciting and so much fun going to the dog shows and meeting new friends along the way, except when we had a few mechanical problems on the way. Now there are some stories!

In 2009 we took some time off, then started back up realizing Koby was bored and wanted to be back in the ring. So in 2010 he went back in the ring and was loving it. We kept going and are so glad we did because 2011 was Koby’s best year ever. 13 Group One’s and two Best In Shows. Koby was 8 years old. What a year!! He loved performing and had more than his five minutes of fame on TV. You could see him on Animal Planet’s Eukanuba National Championship Dog Show filmed in Long Beach, CA. for (Nov. 2007, 2009, 2010), the “Rose city Classic Dog Show” filmed in Portland, OR, (January 2008), also on Canada’s TV at the TradeEx Worlds largest Dog Show filmed in Abbotsford BC (October 2009), and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York (February 14, 2012). It was very exciting watching him live and on the TV.

At just one month shy of nine years old, Koby won Best of breed at The Garden in New York at the Big Top of dog shows, The Westminster Dog Show. It was our fourth trip back to NY and we were not even going to go but our friend, Debbie who owns the Tibetan mastiff that our handler also shows (who we met thru Koby) decided to get married at Madison Square Garden on the day of the show. Debbie asked me to be the Maid of Honor and, well, I can’t refuse that! So NY here we come again! And, wow, we are so happy we did. Winning Best of Breed at the Garden was so fantastic, so awesome, and so exciting!! Koby went on to perform in the Sporting Group that evening on fire and like the crazy Flat-Coat he was. On his down and back in the show ring, coming back to the judge Koby jumped about 3 feet in the air a photographer (Associated Press) snapped a shot of Koby. The next day it became viral on the internet all over the world and was the “Photo of the Day”. Best in Show daily had a short article as well about his performance and being a Veteran. It was pretty crazy to hear how many people were watching Koby in the Group Ring that night on TV throughout the US.

After the Westminster show in NY, we decided he had pretty much done it all in his show career and is now he is nine years old, it was time to focus on a working title. Flat-Coats are retrievers and love to swim. Koby loved the water. He would sometimes sit in his empty pool letting us know to put water in it. Our breeder, Kathy Kondrat from Chase, BC, never had a dog in the Hall of Fame, nor her breeder (Moria Jewell, who first imported the Flat-Coated Retriever from England to Canada; she has since passed away due to Cancer). So this was something very important to us and our breeder, Kathy. In order to be in the Flat-Coat Hall of Fame, a dog has to have a Best in Show (BIS), 8 Group placements and a Working title. Koby accomplished all except the working title. So in April, we were introduced to Chuck Hilton who ran him a bit and said “well, for an old man he sure has the drive to do it and loves the water.” Chuck wanted Koby to stay with him to train for at least 30 days which I think was harder on us than on Koby since he had never been away from home that long. But we are so happy that we did. On May 2nd we dropped him off with Chuck and his wife Sharon and reminded them that Koby was very well known in the dog show world and that the flat coat field owners know that Koby has never been in the field nor never thought he would be in the field so they may be shocked to see him. Koby formed a great bond with Chuck and learned quickly. After about two weeks of training, Chuck signed up Koby for the next two weekends of hunt tests, hoping he would be ready. Well, Koby was ready alright! After the first hunt test, Chuck called us all excited to let us know Koby passed with no problem. As predicted everyone was surprised to see Koby (typically in the show ring) out in the field. Chuck told us people were videotaping Koby and taking tons of pictures. It was pretty funny to see that everyone couldn’t believe it was Koby out there! Koby achieved two legs of his Junior Hunt (JH) title that weekend and followed up with his final two the next weekend, achieving his JH title in back-to-back weekends which Chuck told us was not that easy, especially after only 30 days of training. A couple days later Chuck emailed us a picture and said it was an incredible shot of Koby, a gentleman named Gary March was out just taking pictures of the dogs in the field. Koby formed an incredible bond with Chuck who agreed that Koby was a once in a lifetime dog.

After finishing his Title we decided to retire Koby and show him in just a few shows close to home but … on the evening of September 25th around 7pm, Koby wasn’t his normal self, jumping from couch to couch wanting us to play ball. He just laid there, fat hard belly and drooling and eyes gazed over, having a hard time getting up even though that afternoon we were out playing ball and he was fine. So we decided to rush him to the emergency vet around 8:00pm. They discovered right away via x-ray, that Koby had a mass on his spleen, it had ruptured, and he was bleeding internally. Fortunately a chest xray showed no internal bleeding and vet prepped for surgery to remove the spleen and mass. At 11:30pm, the vet told us to go home to rest and that he would call us to let us know since it takes a couple hours for surgery prep. We waited and finally heard from the vet at 1:30am on September 26. We received very sad news, so sad that we screamed. Koby had not one but two other masses (one on the liver and stomach and one on the spleen, all three had ruptured). And there was nothing to do to save our boy – just like that, within 5 hours, he was gone. Why oh why, our Koby! That day we lost a part of our heart, a joy in our lives. Everyone said, at least he hadn’t suffered very long, but a piece of our heart is empty. There will never be another Koby!!

Category : Rainbow Bridge, Uncategorized

Comments (7)

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  1. Ryan H. says:

    What a wonderful dog! I’m honored to have known him!

  2. Chizuko & Donald H. says:

    Koby was really a once in a lifetime dog…and we are so proud of having a dog who is related to him!!!

  3. Bruce Broughton says:

    The boy was not just a great show dog, or part of the Johnson family, he was a great ambassador for Flat-Coats. His wonderful disposition, sweet manner, and overall sense of fun, brought a smile to anyone that met him. Koby, brought a zest for life to the show ring by having fun, with a capitol “F”. I was proud to have one of his kids, our little girl, Cali. She has the “Fun” gene, Thanks Koby, Ken and Cathy. Also, a thank you to a special man in Koby’s life, Tony Carter. The two became one in the ring, and a great pair of friends.

    • Cathy says:

      Bruce thank you so much for the wonderful kind words and yes it is wonderful to watch his kids and grandkids grow. I am so happy Toni did this nice tribute for our boy means so much. So hard we miss him terrible!! Cathy

  4. Jeanne Allen says:

    What a wonderful tribute to Koby. I know how much he was loved and is missed. He was your once in a lifetime dog.

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