Briarlow's Chacha at FiveNinePlus

We first met Diane Philipson at Crufts 2002, where we were showing our TTs, Yeshe and Kya. I had been toying with the idea of getting a dog which was bigger and therefore easier to work for obedience, and had been researching Polish Lowland Sheepdogs (PONs) - the hairy theme was to continue! I persuaded Adrian to come and see the PONs at Discover Dogs, and we were quite interested. As I wandered around the rest of Discover Dogs, to see if I could see anything to suit my mother, I spotted a shaggy dog, which just had to be investigated. It was Dilita, one of the original black and white Spanish Water Dogs (SWD) brought into the country by the Canagua partnership, and my heart was stolen!

I rang Diane once we got home from Crufts, but I was a fussy customer! We are against the idea of docking, so I was to order a bitch puppy, preferably black and white, and definitely a natural bobtail! Poor Diane! I was to visit Diane and her dogs several times a year for the next three years before I eventually went to see her litter from Lana (the cream bitch in the SWD AKC book!). Amazingly there were two bobtails in the litter, both bitches! I couldn't believe it! I had met Chacha's dad Lastar in the summer, and fallen in love with him, too! I flew over in one day from Dublin, and came home full of our new baby! Picking Chacha up was simplicity itself, she sat on my lap all the way from Cheshire to Portsmouth with not a sound (just a couple of breaks on the way). We soon realised this was the calm before the storm- Chacha races around our house, usually in the company of Khizhi, her partner in crime.

We took Chacha to obedience classes as soon as she had her vaccinations, and I am clicker training her. She is very responsive, and seems to enjoy all the attention she gets in training!

Show-wise, SWDs have come off the KC Import Register but she has limited showing opportunities here in Northern Ireland, but with the IKC now being a full member of the FCI, there are classes for SWDs in the Republic around once a month at Championship shows.

At her first match, organised by the Welsh Corgi Club of Ulster, she won Best Puppy in Match, so I was thrilled. Long may her success continue!

Chacha at around 9 weeks of age
Chacha at around 9 weeks
Chacha at just over 4 weeks
Chacha just before her first clip at around 20 weeks