My first show dog was purchased as a pet from Barbara Swing. I met her at an obedience class which I attended with Maggie a little black cocker bred in a garage. near my townhouse. This neighbor had a black male and a black female (I didn't learn about bitches and dogs until later) who she bred each season. This time there were 9 pups, all males except for one tiny black blob who turned out to be our Maggie. She was exactly 4 weeks old when we took her home. We visited this lady's garage for, possibly 15 minutes, and left with a 4 week old puppy. Amazing visit, although I didn't think a lot about it at the time. Maggie had epilepsy, grew to probably 17 inches tall and was so afraid of everything and everyone that she would seizure with each new meeting. She was a fear biter from 4 weeks on. The vet said I had two options, put her to sleep ( his recommendation) or get her to an obedience class and do some serious training. I chose the latter and happened on to Barbara Swing who was at the class socializing two adorable red and white puppies. As fate would have it, Barbara lived only about two miles from me. We became friends and when her next litter came along, I asked about buying a puppy. PET PUPPY. She agreed and I bought Quincy a tri color male. I believe he was 5 months old then. Quincy was out of Barbara's ASC Futurity winner Ch. Kamps Kind A Special by Ch. Tagalong's Macho Man....Heidi and Ben.
Quincy became Swing's Kind A Macho. Our first show (show? I thought this was a pet?) was at the Cherry Blossom Circuit in Fredericksburg. Barbara told me to watch a couple of classes and see if I thought I could do it. I watched and decided there wasn't anything particularly hard about what they were doing and so Quincy & I proceeded into the ring at our assigned time. We came in last (we were last in line to begin with, so I didn't think anything of it). I did have to be told to leave the ring though, as we were not going to receive a ribbon. When we came out of the ring, a gentleman walked up and asked to see my puppy. I was flattered and obliged him. After going over Quincy, the very nice gentleman turned to me and said "this is a very pretty dog and he does well in the ring. You, on the other hand, have a lot to learn". That candid speaking gentleman has become my very good friend, and is none other than that Ging's guy, Lloyd Alton.
Eventually, I was able, with some handling classes under my belt, to get 7 points on Quincy. Harriet Kamps then stepped in and got his majors and finished him up. So, now he was Ch. Swing's Kind A Macho and I was totally hooked.
When I bought Quincy, I had wanted his little red and white sister, Molly. Well, Molly was the pick of the litter, so she stayed with Barbara and was finished by Harriet Kamps. But at that time, Barbara promised me if and when Molly was bred, I could have the pick puppy from that litter. She could do that with complete assurance that the puppy would be shown, because by now I was addicted to this life style and was raring to go. And that's how the Tally saga started.
Tally was my second show dog and my second champion. In my eyes, she was the most beautiful bitch ever created. Tally didn't buy into the saying "pretty is as pretty does"though. She was owner/handled all the way because she wouldn't let anyone else do anything for or with her.
The "queenprincess" (also known as "her bitchiness") was my foundation bitch (in partis) and the love of my life. For many years, she ruled the house and kennel with a furry iron paw. In many ways, she made the "princess and the pea" seem like a biography. Only the best was good enough for her haughty tastes and I agreed.
She was only bred one time and had a beautiful litter with, ultimately 2 champions. Her passing has left me with an enormous hole in my heart, but it has also made me realize that, in breeding, temperament must be a primary goal. And Tallymark has tried in the ensuing years to do just that.
As a post script to this story: At the time of Tally's birth, neither Barbara nor I could possibly have imagined that both she and her husband Bob would be gone within two years. Bob died of lung cancer and was followed by Barbara only a few short months later with breast cancer. Barbara didn't live long enough to see Tally's litter, but she did know that she had bred another champion. Tally and her two sisters, Breezy, owned by Chris Miller and Robin who stayed with Barbara were the last of the Swing kids to play the "show dog" game and all three were champions and eventually each produced champions. Barbara would have been very proud.