RIP Tujague, Birdeye

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Well on Friday, Tujague went to be with Emmy and Elaine...He was 13 years and 10 months.  When Harmon asked me how long Afghans lived, I replied, "maybe 10-12 years?" Well I googled it and found out that they live to be 11 years and a max of 13 years.  Boy I was pleased we gave him nearly 14 years.

When I got my first male dog, Tujague, in 1998, I drove on a Wednesday to Birmingham, Alabama and back to get the 2nd pick of a litter born out of two champion dogs.  I fell in love with the breed when J.Harmon and I moved back here to his hometown.  I knew no one in Wynne or Birdeye or Cross County for that matter and thought that having a show dog would give me something to do.  When I told J.Harmon's grandmother Winnie Bob that I was interested in the breed in 1996 when we moved here, she suggested to meet two of her dog show friends in Memphis who had an Afghan named Heller, who was being shown for a confirmation title.  Oddly enough, Martino, my brother-in-law saw in the Austin, Tex., newspaper of all PLACES that there was a breeder of Champion Afghans.  We were living with Harmon and Jeanie at the time, and they brought back Elaine from Austin who was my first afghan.  Now I had a show dog, or so I thought she was, and friends in Memphis to help me find my way into the confirmation ring.

You know it's funny that I'm reflecting on how I got dumb ole Tujague but it did start with Elaine.  Not to discount having a male dog, but Tujague was Tujague.  Anyway, I met Nancy Self, Emmy's breeder (my second Afghan), in Little Rock when I was traveling with Winnie Bob for shows.  W.B. was showing her border collie Molly in confirmation and another one in obedience.  W.B. and I traveled so well together.  I'd drive, she'd direct and we'd share a hotel room where we'd bring some wine and cheese to snack on before going to legendary Sir Loin's Inn which was right next to the hotel she picked.  Ah the memories!  We had some good times.  Emmy was such a wonderful dog, full of personality, very agile and we totally connected.  Elaine was known for being aloof but Emmy was ready to do anything at any time.  Emmy was the number one obedience Afghan in the country in 2000 until a late show that year made her finish second but I was expecting Chloe so I only showed her once after Chloe was born and farmed both her and Tujague out to friends who finished both of them for me (after I had put the other points and one major win on each of them).  Ahh the dog show days...

Here's a funny story (one of many) that I have to tell about Winnie Bob and I at the Pine Bluff dog show when Emmy was in the open bitch class.  W.B. was only doing obedience and I was doing confirmation, you have to have 15 points and 2 major wins to be a champion.  The bluff dog shows usually don't get more than a point or two because of the lacking of afghans.  This was a one point show and we had this crazy judge that had been around forever.  I tell you the truth, he acted like I was a junior handler, he told me not to hold her tail up, not to restack her feet etc, etc, (of course these are all things you do when showing a confirmation dog because you want their topline to be straight, tail up, head up so the neck shows and all four feet in the right spot to show the dog's overall confirmation).  Needless to say, that joker made me run the ring many times and Emmy lost to 2 other pet looking afghans, this is no lie!  I'd say this was the February show 1999 just when we got Tujague.  Anyway, I stormed out of the ring and threw my ribbon in the garbage can right outside the ring.  Winnie Bob about came unglued and I believed she was in a panic and pulled me aside looking around us like the police were there and said, "oh dear, Keeli, you never throw a ribbon in the garbage at a dog show and especially outside the ring.  That's a big no, no.  I don't think any judges saw you (as she's continuing to look around) but you can get kicked out of showing forever.  JH did that at a bulldog specialty show and we never let him live it down".  Alrighty then and I learned that even if I think my dog is beautiful and she looses, to be a better sportsman and just take it even if I thought the judge was dumber than a box of rocks on knowing the Afghan confirmation.

TuJague was a good dog that loved Chloe from the beginning, the girls didn't care for Chloe at all but Tujague loved her unconditionally as she did him.  In fact, Tujague preferred sleeping with her and Biscuit as to me or a couch these last few years.  He loved Coco, trash cans, bread (he was known for walking by a child, taking bread out of their hand, and running with it), eating banana bread out of a box ready to mail to Wilma, Jharmon's grandmother, for Christmas, squeeky toys and gutting any and all stuffed animals.

If you haven't seen Christopher Guest's Best in Show movie, I highly recommend that you do.  The first time I watched it in 2001, I was scared that Winnie Bob wouldn't be able to handle it.  Then I saw it again and nearly peed my pants.  It is a comedy about 5 entrants in a big dog show.  You have gotta see the movie, it's hilarious and gives an insight into dog shows.  I've drug Jackie to so many painful shows that he says Best in Show hits it on the head.

I miss all my hounds but I have an oil painting by Terrie Bunnell that hangs in the dining room of all three hounds on Bill Shaver's couch.  It reminds me so much of the old days and that nothing lasts forever.  You know that old cliche, there's two things for sure in life, death and taxes.  I miss you Boo Boo and the Emmanator and Laney.

Good lord Blogger!  Here's Tujague farmed
out to friends and a handler that finished
him for me....he was shaved down the next
week even before I got his Championship
certificate in the mail...Grooming an afghan
was a lot of work I tell ya!
PS. The names: Elaine was named after the character on Seinfeld, Emmy I just loved her confirmation name Ch. Safari Emmy Nomination, SC, CD, CGC and Tujaque named after a restaurant that Jackie loves in New Orleans (Vandy classmate Mitch Light's family owns and is the 2nd oldest and I'd say the best restaurant in the French Quarter).  I plan to review Tujague's this year as an ode to Boo Boo.

At 9 weeks old....what a messer...he cried all the way home from
Birmingham in Feb. 1999 and I said to myself then that this
was a huge mistake....lol!
In full show coat, he was quite the specimen of confirmation,
although I thought he didn't move like he should in the ring,
he was too busy being a puppy and having a good time...
here he is in 2000 just before finishing as a champion.
That's Emmy with him.
This was our Christmas card circa 1999

Elaine was our first Lure Coursing dog...she LOVED every
second of it.  She was a senior courser and had 2 major
wins for her championship which she never got.  Lure
Coursing is when they chase a white trash bag along the ground
doing turns etc without paying attention to fellow coursers.
Ahh I found this of CoCo just 2 weeks old...she's so precious
and yep 9 lbs. 3 oz and 22 inches lllooonnnggg! :)
Another example of Tujague's patience for coco!
This was 2002 when he was 4 years old, CoCo 1-1/2 yr
He loved her from the day she set foot in our house....
Here's Emmy (look how far away she is from CoCo) doing
their annual tradition of delivering Christmas candy to the
people at the courthouse....this is Christmas 2003
This is my ALL TIME favorite shot...
this is the kind of horsing around that
Afghans do....hahahaha! I miss my hounds! :)

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