CH. ELANWOODS MIGHT
In December of 1995, we
whelped a litter at Elanwood that was co-bred and co-owned by my daughter and me with Stan
and Jane Flowers. Little did we know the historical significance of this event.
There was in this litter a special
flashy fawn male. A breeder friend from Australia had expressed interest in these
bloodlines, and wanted to import a natural-eared dog to show there. Everything about this
boy said he was good enough to do it naturally, so we left him uncropped for possible
exportation at the age of four months. The rest of the litter was cropped. As this puppy,
which my daughter had named "Jerry Rice" after the football player, matured, we
formed an emotional attachment to this exceptional dog. By the time he was old enough to
go to Australia, there was no way we were going to give him up.
Stan sat us down and warned us of the
obstacles ahead, and the difficulty of even finishing a natural eared Boxer, let alone
specialing him. We understood, but we also felt we had the right to show this beautiful
dog for everyone to see. Keeping him confined to our backyard, as was suggested by one
person, was never an option. Natural ears framing the face of our Boxers does soften their
expression, but it does not mean there is any less nobility or alertness in their look. I
hope that some day the Boxer "old guard" will understand that being a Boxer
comes from inside the dogs - from their hearts and their souls - not their ears! When they
realize that, they may begin to know that choice is good. Every time I go to our state
capital to argue against a bill which would take away our right to crop, I wonder who will
defend my right to exhibit, without duress, dogs with natural ears!
Because we knew there would be
controversy surrounding Jerrys show career, we waited until he was eighteen months
old and ready for the Open class before we put him in the ring. He finished his
championship, undefeated in the classes, in nine shows. His final win as a class dog was a
prestigious finish at the Waukesha cluster by going Best of Breed over three specials and
on to a Working Group I.
Jerry has had wins under
almost all of the top judges judging today, and so far in his career, has won eight Group
Firsts and three Specialty Best in Shows. On November 15, 1998, he became the first
natural-eared Boxer to win an All-Breed BIS in this country. This record-setting win was
awarded by judge Denny Kodner. We are very proud that Jerry qualified for the Top Twenty
this year by finishing 1998 as the Number Ten Boxer (Dog News Top Ten List).
Please come meet our very special boy at the ABC this May.
Bliss Bancroft, Elanwood Boxers