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by Toni Boorstein

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Ch. Redclay's Fountain of Youth


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The Alternative Boxer News Magazine


by his breeder, Toni Boorstein

Ear Wars Rages On

The Boxer  Top Ten List

Moving the ABC


Editor’s note: When we began planning this magazine in earnest last year, we knew we wanted to feature a unique boxer in our first issue. At about that time, we noticed a really nice plain brindle dog picking up points pretty consistently in the show rings here in the SE. Shortly thereafter, that nice plain dog was finished - in grand style - and we had our unique feature story. Here’s Caleb’s saga, as told by his breeder.

To set part of the scene, the pups were about three weeks old when my husband became ill and was in and out of the hospital. We were having major renovations done on our home. And we had a number of out of town guests planning to visit for the upcoming Atlanta Olympics. In fact, the morning Michelle came to see Caleb, the first plane load had just arrived. I didn’t know which way to turn first; I just knew he was seven and a half weeks old and I had to get this puppy placed and start clearing my plate. Not the ideal approach, I grant you, but luckily an angel was watching out for Caleb, because she sent over Michelle Fountain and her two great children, Stephanie and Ryan. I did manage to spend about an hour with her, and we talked about his pedigree and that he was a pretty puppy, but plain, and they aren’t shown because they can’t win. You know - the regular party line. As it turned out, Michelle had been involved with showing and breeding Irish Wolfhounds, so the language wasn’t completely foreign to her. But she was just buying a pet for the kids! So Caleb goes to his new home that morning and I go back to juggling.

Michelle and I keep in touch with the ordinary puppy growing up questions. She tells me everywhere she goes people tell her how gorgeous Caleb is - you know, the real Boxer judges you meet at PetSmart and gas stations. Well, he is pretty, but he’s still plain. "Michelle, it would take a fortune to finish him, IF you could even find judges who would have the nerve to put him up." But she’s not taking "no" for an answer. You’d have to know Michelle, but the thought that white markings alone could keep a good dog down was not a good enough reason. She would just show them. Go for it, Michelle. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Caleb’s first show weekend is the Peach Blossom Cluster in April - one of the biggies down here in the South! Five point majors! Great, let’s make it as hard as possible! The boxer handlers she called were already committed to other 9-12 mos. males, so she hires Rusty Howard of Weim and Lab fame. Let’s really test the waters; let’s use a sporting handler. Caleb goes second in his class two days and then Reserve at the Specialty. And we were out of our minds when he just won his 9-12 class! At this point, I’m kicking myself because I didn’t tell her to Futurity nominate him. Who nominates a plain male, for heaven’s sake?! So while the rest of us are in Maryland, Caleb stays in Georgia and gets his first point at a small show with Rusty handling. Nice, but not a major. That’s going to be near impossible with the point schedule we have down here and a plain dog to boot. But Michelle still isn’t listening to me (thank goodness).

Caleb goes to Rick Justice in the summer. He wins under Joe Gregory, gets a major under Michelle Billings, WD at the Regional under Duanna Young, another win by Anne Rogers Clarke, and finishes with a third major under Jane Forsythe. He is now officially Ch. Red Clay’s Fountain of Youth, and is back in Michelle’s bed being the family pet. And I can’t thank Michelle Fountain enough...for proving me wrong!

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Editor: Virginia Zurflieh
Webmaster: Pat Mullen

Contact Virginia
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