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Best In Show-Specialty Best of Breed


Some lead the life of Riley,

Some where Born to Party,

A few have it all!

It's Riley


Pictured here winning Best in Show at the Del Monte Kennel Club "Classic of the Pacific" May 18, 1996. The Judge is Mr. Richard Baurer, and the handler is Peter Atkinson. The following month he was Best of Breed at the Greater Twin Cities Su-Mac Cairn Terrier Club Specialty and was Best of Opposite Sex at the Chicago/Suburban Cairn Terrier Club Specialty, and he earned numerous Awards of Merit at Specialties around the US.

Riley is living proof that you can campaign a great dog without spending a fortune in advertising. I placed two ads in the CTCA Newsletter and four ads in Terrier Type for him in 1996, and he completed the year as the #2 Cairn in the U.S. He was a very honest dog shown by an honest handler. He was never shown with his coat loaded with chalk, gel or hair spray. When he walked into the ring he knew what he was there to do. Very seldom did he set a foot down wrong.

He did have his days though towards the end of the year when he was getting tired of being on the road. He was a bit of a Prima Donna, and if he didn't want to be there that day or if he didn't like the ring lay-out, he would let Peter know! Peter has told me he was probably one of the hardest to show of any dog he has campaigned. He was very difficult to predict.

Riley is the epitome of Cairn Terrier temperament. He is a friendly to all, man and dog alike. He will pull himself together and stand his ground, but he is never the aggressor. He has been known to be the bed warmer for Peter's aging Lakeland and he was used to sharing his ex-pen with the "new kid" on the circuit.

Riley was retired from the show ring after his first year, making only limited appearances at Specialties with me on the lead - - right back where we started. Riley finished his championship from the Bred By Exhibitor class at the Cairn Terrier Club of Southern California Specialty under noted Cairn Breeder/Judge Lydia Hutchinson, by winning Winners Dog and Best of Winners for a 5 point major and a CTCA Goblet. At mid-year 1997 he is still in the Top 10 along with at least two other dogs bred here.

At first glance Riley's pedigree doesn't look like much. Neither his sire or dam finished their championships (see pedigree), but behind them are some of the greats of the breed. Riley's sire was chosen simply for what he had to offer phenotypicaly and it worked.

During a medical emergency a week before Riley's litter was due to be born his, mother was attacked by a Doberman Pincher. Tibbie had lacerations along her throat and down her side. I rushed her off to the vet, but we couldn't put her under anesthesia because of the puppies. Tibbie laid there and allowed the vet to staple her wounds closed and never let out on yelp!

From the minute he was born, Riley looked like a miniature of his father, hence the name. There has always been something special about him, something I have never been able to put my finger on. It was just there -- that quality only someone who has seen scores of puppies can feel.

The day that Tibbie's staples were to come out I loaded the pups in a plastic laundry basket and headed for the vet's office 15 miles away. During that short trip Riley managed to escape from that basket 8 times!! He has been on the go and getting in out of of spots he was not supposed to ever since.

I have yet to meet a sweeter-tempered dog. He is always a gentleman. He is seldom demanding but he is aware of everything that goes on around him. He knows when I need a shoulder to lean on or just not feeling well. Riley was truly the sunshine of my life.  I lost Riley in an accident on February 8, 1999.

More About Riley
More About Riley and Peter

This page has been visited times since August 8, 1997

This page last March 30, 2002

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