Call name: Harry
OFA Good, CERF Normal
Born February 22, 2007
26" tall and 90 pounds
Owned by Ed Bigos & Ginger Corley
Sire: Ch. PR Rain Mountain Tonasket Legacy CGC (Taataga)
OFA Good, CERF punctate cataracts
Dam: Ch. PR BrownStone Lolo Kumtux of Rain CGC
(OFA Fair, CERF Normal)
NBOB Grand Ch. PR
Rain Mountain Skookum Tumtum
Harry wins Best of Breed at the 2012 National Specialty
Despite the fact that Harry was not a planned pup, other than in the minds of his mother and father, Lolo and Taga, he and his brothers in the 2007 "Oh No!" Litter were gorgeous puppies. They also delayed me getting my house on the market by six months, making me miss the heyday of the housing market boom. (Luckily though, with the help of my family, we worked fast after they were gone on to new homes and I was able to catch the last five minutes of it before it crashed.)
Though I originally intended to place all of them in pet homes, that gradually changed as I watched the puppies grow up. On one of their first trips outside, while the other pups were falling over their own feet, I saw Harry gracefully gait across the yard as if he were a mature show dog instead of a four-week-old baby. He may have been an accidental litter, my first in twenty years of breeding, and was buff in color, a color that was going to be disqualified in the new AKC Standard (though just a fault in the UKC Standard). But his movement was so striking. As he grew he showed two other traits that I look for in male pups: When playing out in the backyard of my house in Kirkland, he would occasionally stop in a perfect natural stack when he saw a squirrel or crow. That is something that can be taught but if the dog does it naturally you are miles ahead and it speaks to good natural conformation. He also had the big blocky head of his grandfather Thunder, Taga's sire, who was also his great grandfather on Lolo's side of the pedigree.
As is often the case, friends helped save the day. In stepped Leslie Donais of Granite Hill Chinooks, who just happened to be visiting from New Hampshire. With an introduction from Syd Craig of Balsam Ridge Chinooks, I met Ed Bigos of Massachusetts. Leslie was kind enough to take Harry home with her when she flew back at the end of her visit. It was a match made in heaven. Ed took to the world of purebred dogs with gusto and was soon in handling classes with Harry and by the following summer they were out at the shows. It wasn't easy for Harry. First off, he was so much lighter in color than most of the dogs. Buff Chinooks comprise about 15% of our population (by my rough estimate) plus Harry was much bigger than any of the males in New England. We've always been known here in the Northwest for breeding big powerful Chinooks even though that isn't a primary goal; in fact, size is quite far down the list of priorities. But when he won Best Male at the 2008 Chinook National Specialty, his luck changed and soon he was a Champion.
In the summer of 2011 Ed and Harry visited the Pacific Northwest so Ed could take some classes at Cisco (he teaches electronics at the local community college) and they could attend the 2011 National Specialty, which was being held here. I enjoyed spending time with Harry, who stayed with me while Ed was taking his classes in the Bay Area. He fit right in, as if he'd never left, playing with the other dogs, sneaking up onto my bed in the middle of the night, and just generally becoming a member of the pack. I was busy with the Serenity Litter that summer so didn't spend much time at all the dog shows but I was thrilled that Harry finished to his Grand Championship.
The icing on the cake of Harry's show career came during the summer of 2012. Ed took a circuitous route to the National Specialty, which was being held in conjunction with the UKC Premier, picking up Hurricane Katrina from our friend Joyce Maley. Joyce had been determined to show Katrina herself in the Top Ten finals but by then her cancer was quite advanced and she was in the hospital. So Ed went from Massachusetts to Michigan via South Carolina. When it was time for Chinooks to go in for the Top Ten, Ed had to scratch Harry, even though he was ranked. I agreed with him that it was far more important that Katrina be shown. Sadly, she didn't win (the young female that did was an excellent example of the breed) but at least she was there and Ed tried. The next day Ed did have help with handling and Harry hit his stride. He won National Best of Breed from the Grand Champion class, earning the right to add the initials "NBOB" in front of his name.
I was thrilled with his win. Despite all the years of winning major awards, it was the one that had alluded me as a breeder. But it gave me another step in the continuum of awesome males, going back to North Wind Kiska, our National Specialty winner from 1994. He sired Rain Mountain Tonasket Thunder, the #1 Chinook for the year 2001. Thunder in turn sired Taga, the National Best of Breed/Altered for our 2011 National Specialty and of course Taga is Harry's sire.
Harry is just beginning his career as a stud muffin and his show career is not yet finished. I think he has more moves yet to show us. Best of all, once again a puppy has led to my making a good friend (Ed) too.
© Ginger Corley, Rain Mountain Chinooks, 1988 to present. No
material may be reproduced without permission, though permission is
usually granted. Logo by Susan Fletcher, Frontier Chinooks,
used here with permission
appreciation of her great talent.