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It was my sincere pleasure to judge the 66th Pekingese Specialty Show of the North Central Illinois Pekingese Club, held on January 22nd of 2006 in Joliet, Illinois.  I would like to thank the officers and members of the club for their invitation to judge.  Christine Hann, the show secretary, did a very professional job, and I also want to thank her for her excellent job as my ring steward.  Finally, I thank the exhibitors for their outstanding good sportsmanship.

I was fortunate to judge some very good Pekes.  In general, the breeders represented in this show are doing a very good job of producing balanced dogs with correct proportions and nice coats.  Problems that have been seen in the past, like roached backs, improperly set ears, low noses, and light pigment, were almost non-existent.  Overall, the dogs had good bone and well-sprung rib cages. There were, however, some common traits that breeders should be wary of.  I saw few good rear legs, and there were some alarming fronts as well.  Nice tight elbows were few and far between, and that was evident in the labored movement of many of the dogs.  In general, however, I think the breeders are doing a very good job with this challenging breed, and there is much to commend them for.

My winners were as follows:

Puppy Dogs 6 to 9 months.

Carekenís Double My Pleasure, owned by Ken and Caren Springer, stood alone in this class, but he would likely have prevailed had he had competition.  This is a nice puppy, very low to the ground, with wonderful coat and a good attitude.  When his head matures, he will make a fine champion.

12 to 18 months Dogs

Dreamville Fast Forward, owned by Christine Lo, was a joy to judge.  He appears small and perfectly balanced, but he has a lot of substance for his size.  His body is correctly shaped.  The tail is set on perfectly, and he has excellent legs.  The headpiece on this young dog is stunning, with a nice open nose, wide set eyes, and an ear set that accentuates his shallow topskull.  He was exhibited expertly and never put a foot wrong.  His ample chest is slung low between two nicely shaped front legs, and he has an effortless roll to his gait.  I was told after the show that he had been quite a handful to train for the show ring, and had performed poorly in his previous outings.  All of his handlerís work was well worth it, though, because he is a truly stunning Pekingese dog.  There was no question that he was my Winners Dog, and he eventually won Best of Winners and Best of Breed over several nice specials. 

Bred-By-Exhibitor Dogs

Muhlin Da Vinci of Dreamville, owned by Patricia Metzger and Raymundo Lo, is an eye-catching dog.  I appreciated his wonderful silhouette, beautiful coat, wide set eyes and excellent top skull.

Open Dogs, 8 pounds and over, Fawn, Biscuit, Gray, Red, and Sable.

Peanneteís Redkin Waltzman, owned by Michael Power, is a well-balanced dog with a great topline, nice body, and very good head.  I love the fact that he is self-masked, because it gives one the opportunity to observe perfect structural features of the Pekingese face without the usual accentuation and expression conferred by a black mask.  I hope that other judges will recognize this dogís qualities shown in a natural state, and I was happy to award him Reserve Winners Dog.

Open Dogs, 8 pounds and over, Parti-color, black, AOC

Muhlin Filibuster, owned by Sue and Duane Royer, is a beautiful black dog with a nice head.  I appreciated his well-cushioned muzzle, his topline, and tailset.  He was in beautiful condition, and showed very well.

Puppy Bitches, 6 to 9 months

Fourwinds Annie Time, owned by Mrs. Robert Jackson, is a stylish little bitch puppy.  She is low to the ground, compact, and has a way of looking you square in the eye with a look that is pure Pekingese. 

Puppy Bitches, 9 to 12 months

Royalís Shimmering Stardust, owned by Patricia Metzger and Sue Royer, is a lovely little bitch, with a wide set eyes and a shallow topskull.  Her body is compact, with her tail set high.  She should finish easily.

Bred-By Exhibitor Bitches

Lon-Du Double Dream Delite, owned by Arlon Duit, was the winner of this class..  She is a good honest bitch, with substance, topline, and a large head.  Any breeder would be lucky to have her.

Open Bitches Under 8 Pounds

HiWins Illusion at Dabuew, owned by Margaret and Robert Myre, is a small red bitch with beautiful pigment.  She showed herself well, and is obviously much loved.

Open Bitches, 8 pounds and over, Fawn, Biscuit, Gray, Red, and Sable.

Carekenís Designer Jeans, owned by Judy and Roger Sankey, was the winner of this strong class of bitches, and my eventual Reserve Winners Bitch.  She is a substantial bitch with a very good body, and was in excellent condition.  All of her facial features are in the right place, and she had one of the best sets of legs in the competition.  Her topline is perfect.  I predict she will be a champion in short order.

I would like to comment on one other bitch in this class.  Second place went to Chownese Spice of Life, owned by Barbara Streemke.  This is a very good bitch, with many fine qualities.  I especially loved her beautiful, dark, large, lustrous eyes.  She has that glamorous look I love in a Pekingese, and she very nearly won this class.

Open Bitches, 8 pounds and over, Fawn, Biscuit, Gray, Red, and Sable.

Desert Jade Party Time at Fourwinds, owned by Mrs. Robert Jackson, was the sole entry in this class, but she eventually went on to become my Winners Bitch and Best of Opposite Sex.  This is an exquisite puppy bitch.  Her body is perfectly pear-shaped.  Her head could be larger, but it is correctly shaped, and her eyes are clear and as black as obsidian.  She shares that wonderful quality, with my Best of Breed dog, of being compact while picking up surprisingly heavy.  She is low to the ground and moves without effort and with a correct roll.  I considered her seriously for Best of Breed.

Veteran Dog

Ch. Prairie Breeze Woolyboy Willie, owned by Frank and Beverly Motto, was in his glory at 8 years of age. Heís a fine dog, with a healthy body and a sparkle in his eye. It was a pleasure to see him.

Veteran Bitch

SíMoreís Design of Splendor, owned by Karen and James Reid, was the senior citizen of the day. For the lady of 12 and a half years, she still carries a lovely coat and has a true Pekingese attitude. The spectators applauded loudly in appreciation for her effort, and I hope she has many more years with her family.

Once again, thanks to the North Central Illinois Pekingese Club for a wonderful day of Pekingese dogs.  The entire experience was enjoyable, and I was honored to serve as judge for this wonderful club.


Thomas K. Graves, DVM, PhD

Urbana, Illinois