In 2012 I got my first Malinois. He was a breeder’s reject, a Champion, but not what the breeder was looking for. Plus, he had “issues”. He was great with women, but not so great with men, children, other animals. I met Ruger and fell in love. Despite his idiosyncrasies, and the fact that he was “not perfect”, I knew that he was meant for me!
You see, at that time, I was in a difficult place. A person who would not take no for an answer was on a rampage to torment me. I felt unsafe.
Ruger was the reason I could sleep at night.
I knew he would protect me with his life. Not because of any special training, but because that was who he is. Ruger finished his AKC Champion title, and the breeder told me to just have fun. So we did! We learned obedience, started in agility, and quite by chance, I met a Search and Rescue Team who was recruiting new members. From that point on, every week, Ruger and I would be out in the woods, covered in ticks and practicing our air scents. He became very proficient. We then started training in human remains. Again, my pal picked it up quickly and as a team, we were pretty darn good. Traveling from NJ to New York, PA and Delaware, we went on many excursions and searches. He was my K9.
Eventually I neutered Ruger. He still is my boy, but genetically he is not the temperament I am hoping to breed.
About that time, the breeder felt I was doing a pretty good job with this mean, tough Malinois and she tempted me with a “Pick of the litter” show puppy. I fell for the little Jewel, hook, line and sinker. Off we went to handling classes, several times a week, so that by the time she was 4 months old, we entered puppy class, and then at 6 months, we started competing. Jewel went on to be a Champion, then a Grand Champion. Our repertoire grew from SAR to Shows, and the adventure took us to The National Dog Show in Philadelphia, The National Championship in Orlando and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in NY. We weren’t always the winner, but we were usually in the ribbons.
At these shows, we made friends with a woman who had an incredibly handsome import from Finland. Finn walked in the ring and, as one judge put it, he “brought tears” to her eyes. As a young fella he won a bunch of group placements, and even was Best of Breed at Westminster! As childhood sweeties, it was natural for Jewel and Finn to have a litter. The star crossed 7 puppies were born on Thanksgiving Day, and I kept the 7th pup who was born, A girl. She was Truly Outrageous and Jem lived up to her name, earning a Champion title in three weekends and her Grand Champion title before she was 9 months old! Gem went on to win Best of Opposite Sex twice at Westminster along with a lot of other wins, that put her at Silver status, approaching gold!
Not stopping with that success, Jewel had a second litter with a boy named Hurricane. That litter produced Rogue who is also a Grand Champion and a gorgeous, loving girl.
When Gem was ready to find a mate, I wanted to find a boy who was equally beautiful but who could add value to the puppies. Believe it or not, the pool was not huge. A dog that tugged at my heart strings when I met him was a young male named Key. Key, as a puppy, beat Jewel one day at a dog show. I thought i had it made, and when the judge awarded the 6 month old, I looked more carefully at the boy who beat my girl. Not only was he handsome, he was very correct. He was very square and had a beautiful head. I took a harder look at his father. Dad is an import from Denmark, and has an encyclopedia full of titles bookending his name. He is handsome and he is talented. Not many dogs earn double championships, and this male has triple! He is accomplished and has a wonderful work ethic. He’s sired a ton of handsome and talented offspring who have gone off to some incredible accomplishments. One of his kids was the #1 Malinois last year, and another is currently #1 Herding. Yes, this is the boy for Gem.
Gem is due mid June and this is actually the second time we are pairing these two. I am so incredibly happy with the first litter that when I tried to top it, I realized I couldn’t.
So if you are lucky enough to to get one of these kids, you can appreciate that they are the product of some gorgeous and talented parents.