What a privilege for me to participate in this year’s Siberian National Specialty, recently held in San Diego, CA! Like many of you, I like dogs. Also, like many of you, I try to catch the Westminster National Dog Show on television every year, to see which of the many dog breeds in the country will reign supreme. The Siberian National Specialty determines best in breed and show for the Siberian husky, only. I had to pinch myself more than once, to prove this wasn’t a television show but “the real deal!”
One might ask what I, an author of historical western romance, was doing at such an event? While I’ve raised and loved Siberian huskies most of my adult life, I’ve never bred them or shown them, or even raced them in sled dog formation. But what I have done is to write about them. Thousands of years of careful breeding went into the current AKC standard for the Siberian husky, the name synonymous with the Chukchi dog. Thousands of years of breeding could all have been taken away and the pure Siberian bloodlines wiped out, were it not for a few chance moments in history. These are the moments about which I write — moments in time that determine life or death, for all time.
Given the invite by the SHCA to sign and sell ARCTIC STORM at their all-important show has meant a great deal to me for obvious reasons. I was overwhelmed by their graciousness and willingness to allow me a ringside seat. My booth gave me a great view of the show ring! I have never met such a knowledgeable group of folks, when it comes to the Siberian husky. I shouldn’t be surprised since they set the standard in research, breeding, training, health care, and rescue for the breed today. Professionals, all!
Allow me to touch on rescue for a moment. I’d no idea the SHCA and the SHCA Trust works so hard for the health, education, and welfare of the breed. A portion of my proceeds went to the Trust and I hope to donate more in the future. That ARCTIC STORM has any association in such a worthy cause, makes me proud. Five Star Publishing, my publisher, has stood behind the Siberian husky all the way, in the creation of Watch Eyes Trilogy. I’m proud to be associated with them, as well. At one point in the Specialty, a Rescue Parade was held. A time to pull out the Kleenex, for sure. What I discovered was that not only is the SHCA full of knowledgeable professionals who strive every day to better the breed, but their membership have hearts pure as gold! The rescue stories despite insurmountable odds, astounded. From blind dogs to lame dogs to maimed dogs, the animals in need found homes. One copper-red and white husky escaped death two days before the Specialty, and would now be on her way to Alaska, and to a new home. I told ya … Kleenex time!
I plan to share more stories behind the story, from the Specialty in future blogs. Some of the SHCA participants who purchased ARCTIC STORM shared “their stories,” and I was hooked!
One of my biggest “take homes” from the SHCA Specialty is that no matter how hard these folks were working, and no matter how busy they were with getting their dogs set for judging, they stopped by my booth and made time for me. No greater gift than the gift of time 🙂
Now, more than ever, I know I did the right thing in creating Watch Eyes Trilogy, beginning with ARCTIC STORM!