Saturday, December 17, 2011

Road to AKC/Eukanuba: Laurie Green and Bloomie, a champion in the ring AND with austistic children

Bloomie competes at Westminster
Next in our series about competitors at this weekend's AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is Laurie Green and her English Springer Spaniel Bloomie. Bloomie is a "well-balanced" dog, with titles at both ends of her name!  Officially known as GCH Crossroad CrownRoyal Miracle RN, NA, NAJ, NAP, NJP, Bloomie has AKC titles in conformation, agility and rally.

This weekend Bloomie and Laurie will compete in conformation -- in the best of breed competition and in Bred-by. But one of Bloomie's most rewarding activities is working with autistic children. With Agility Angels in Toledo, Ohio, Bloomie runs basic agility courses with autistic children, enabling them to create a bond with her. 

We had a chance to chat with Laurie before she competes this weekend. This is Laurie's first time showing Bloomie at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, but Bloomie attended the AENC with a handler in 2009. Bloomie and Laurie spend half the year in Toledo, Ohio and half the year in Boca Raton, Fla.

TDWL: Can you tell us a little more about Agility Angels?
Bloomie wins BOS at the National Specialty
Laurie:  Agility Angels was conceived by two good friends, Melissa Voetsch, with a son who is Austistic and Kim Holmes, who competes in agility.  It is totally run as a volunteer organization and now, we service over 30 children who are autistic.  Each child is paired with a trained agility dog and a coach and hopefully they create a bond which helps the child reach success by running basic agility courses.

We run our program through donations and support from the Great Lakes Ability Center.  The kids and dogs participate in helping to fund raise and make people aware of Agility Angels.  You can go to where you can learn more about our program.  You will even see Bloomie's mom, Emmie on the homepage.

Bloomie, right, with her mom Emmie
TDWL: How did you get started in agility?
Laurie: I started in agility back in the mid 90's when agility was still pretty new.  I moved from Mass. to Ohio and found Donna Anderson in my area who was teaching agility.  It was a hobby in the beginning.  I had a springer who earned her OA but because of health problems I never went any further with her.

I then started Emmie, Bloomie's mom in agility at a young age and she took to it right away.  We competed for 9 years, earning an AXJ along the way.  Emmie was even ranked 2nd in Novice Jumpers for the year 1999 for Springers.  Emmie was her own boss and did things her own way so there were times, I would leave her at the start line and pray!  Bloomie is much more attentive to me and it has been a pleasure to train and show her in agility.  Bloomie has a young son, Player who is will be starting his agility career soon.
Bloomie shows her winning agility form
TDWL: How did you get started with Agility Angels?
Laurie: I was asked if I would be interested in bringing Bloomie's mom (Ch. Crossroad Wil-Orion Emotion, CD, RN, OA, AXJ) Emmie because they had a wonderful young boy, Louie who wanted a faster dog to run.  Emmie and Louie became great friends but because Emmie was older at age 10, we decided that when Bloomie was done being campaigned in the Breed ring she would then take over with Louie.  Since 2010, Bloomie and Louie have been a team.  Since we are only in Toledo for six months, Louie also has an Irish Setter that he runs in agility.  He has even competed in a few AKC Agility trials in Toledo.

TDWL: Do you handle Bloomie in the show ring?
Laurie: I am Bloomie's owner, breeder and her sometimes handler.  When she was out being campaigned, Jody Paquette showed her and Bloomie lived with Jody in 2007-2009. Jody still shows her at specialties and will show her as a Veteran.  

BOS (Best of Opposite Sex) Win at American Spaniel Club
TDWL: What does it mean to you to be competing  at the AENC this year?
Laurie: This year is very special for me because Bloomie just turned 7 and is now a Veteran and yet she is a TOP TEN Springer for 2011.  This is the first year I will be showing her and better yet, I am so proud to be competing in the Best Bred-By Class.

TDWL: Is there anything else you'd like to share about Bloomie?
Laurie: There have been many facets to Bloomie's life. She was the sole surviving puppy in a litter of nine.  She was born on the 56th day and looked more like a gerbil than a springer puppy.  I always have themes for my litters and she was the "Shopping Litter", hence the name Bloomie after Bloomingdales.

Bloomie went BOS at Westminster this year
She finished her championship with a Best Puppy and a Specialty win.  She was the Number One Springer Bitch in 2008 (breed) and 2009 (all-breed).  She was also the ESSFTA Runner Up Show Bitch of the Year for 2008 and 2009. She was honored as a Multi-Titled Dog by the ESSFTA in 2010 by earning her RN, GCH and NJP in one year. She won the ESSFTA National Specialty Best of Opposite Sex in 2010, 9 months after having puppies with me showing her.  She won Best Of Opposite Sex at Westminster this year with me handling her. 

But some of the most memorable wins are her agility wins.  She earned her NJP in three straight shows with placements in each class in 2009.  She came home to have puppies in the beginning of 2010. I got her back in shape, sent her out to be shown again to get her into the Top 10. She came back home to me in Toledo, worked in agility and in Sept. we earned our NA, NAJ, NAP.  She needs one more leg for her OJP which I hope to get by the end of the year.  We are working on our obedience and Rally titles trying to get another Multi-Titled dog. Bloomie has continued to represent Springers in all areas of the "sport of dogs".  I am proud to have bred her and own her but most of all to love her.

TDWL:   Congrats to you and Bloomie on all your accomplishments and good luck to you both  in the show ring this weekend!


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