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Russ photo by Dawn Gabig (all rights reserved by artist)
Russ (photo by Dawn Gabig all rights reserved by artist)
I hardly know where to start, so I guess I will start at the beginning.  In the fall of 2007, I was in the market for a walking partner and we had decided to down size from border collies.  But I wanted another herding dog, as I love their spirit.  After much discussion, we decided a Cardigan was the dog for us.  I was so fortunate to find Cindy McDonald at Foggy Bottom, and she had a shy little boy named Russ who was looking for a loving PET home.  I took to my buddy Russ (aka Ruff Ruff and Ruffles) like a fish to water.  He popped out of his shell and was running my house in no time flat.  I exchanged funny pictures with Cindy as my guy grew, and when he approached 6 months, Cindy asked me if I would consider allowing her to show him?  At this point I hadn’t even ever watched a dog show on TV much less walked into a live one. (Confession:  I had started to watch Best in Show but half way through it I announced it was stupid and turned it off!)  So when I walked Russ into his first show in Jan. 2008, I had no idea what I was getting into.  But that first day was fun, he won best puppy, and a puppy herding group 2, so I decided to come back the second day.  Well when Judge Don Gill pointed at Cindy McDonald for Best of Winners and Best of Breed, I was hooked!  Thank you Cindy M!

Russ' first major and BOB under Judge Don Gill. Expertly handled by Cindy McDonald

A month later we decided to take the little guy out again, and he took his second 4pt major and Best of Winners under the late Judge George Heitzman.  I should have known it was going to be quite a ride.

Russ' 2nd 4pt major and BOW under the late Judge George Heitzman. Expertly handled by Cindy McDonald.

Our next adventure out was a little closer to home DeWitt, IA.  Cindy M. piloted him to his 3rd 4 pt major and BOW under Judge George Vukich.

Russ' 3rd 4pt major and BOW under Judge Vukich. Expertly handled by Cindy McDonald.

 The next day Judge Clem McGowan would point at him for BOW and Best of Breed to finish my guy at 8 months of age.  He finished in 5 shows, four 4 pt majors, 4 BOW and 2 Best of Breeds.  I can’t thank Cindy and the whole Foggy Bottom crew enough for sending this wonderful pet …ah show dog into our lives.  Little did we know that the real adventure was just beginning.

Russ finishes his CH at 8 months with 4pt major, BOW and BOB. Expertly handled by Cindy McDonald.

When we went off to our first CWCCA National Specialty in May 2008, we hadn’t received official confirmation of his CH, so we decided to leave him in regular classes just to be  safe.  Russ won his large 9-12 month class under Judge Leah James. 

Russ' CWCCA National Specialty class win under Judge Leah James. Expertly handled by Cindy McDonald

Well at 9 months old, he wasn’t ready to really play with the big kids, so we put him away to grow up, and only took him out a few times so he wouldn’t forget how to handle himself in the ring.  One of those efforts to help him remember how to show was a great trek to Thunderbay, Ontario, Canada.  He finished his Canadian Championship while we were there, took a Group 2 and finished as the 5th Cardigan Welsh Corgi in Canada in 2009 after only 6 Canadian shows.

Russ' Canadian CH and Group 2. Expertly handled by Cindy McDonald.

 He then spent a fair amount of time in ring in 2010 and took several Group Placements.

Russ Group 3 in Fort Dodge, IA. Expertly handled by Alec Munier


Russ Group 4 Freeborn County Kennel Club. Expertly handled by Alec Munier

Of course, we had to dust him off for his Grand Championship.  He finished it under Judge Clem McGowan, the very same judge who finished him as a puppy, with all major wins against competition.

Russ Grand Championship under Judge Clem McGowan. Expertly handled by Alec Munier.


 I wish to thank Cindy and Alec for patience, understanding, guidance and most of all for trusting us with the best dog ever!

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