Rhys, a Swedish Vallhund owned by Westfield resident Megan Arszman, wasn’t essentially born to shine within the highlight.
However now, Rhys is the No. 1 Swedish Vallhund present canine within the nation. Rhys competed within the June 20 on the Westminster Kennel Membership Canine Present.
Westminster is an all-breed affirmation canine present. Rhys earned Choose Canine, which equates to inserting third. Arszman mentioned Rhys has come an extended technique to place at Westminster. She famous that Rhys didn’t have a performer’s persona when she first met the canine.
“He was actually shy, nervous, petrified of his personal shadow,” Arszman mentioned.
Arszman grew up in a household that owned and bred canines for displaying affirmation, whereby judges search for how effectively the canine is constructed and fitted to its breed’s job.
When Arszman graduated from faculty, she started displaying her corgi in agility somewhat than affirmation. When her corgi died and a household buddy, Sharon Pokorski, wanted to discover a dwelling for Rhys, who might be 4 years outdated in August. Arszman was not sure at first about taking the canine.
Arszman initially agreed to co-own Rhys with Pokorski, who was battling Stage 4 lung most cancers. Pokorski had discovered somebody to look after a litter of Swedish Vallhund puppies whereas being handled for most cancers. The puppies have been bred from a 2017 Westminster champion, however Arszman mentioned they weren’t in the perfect of form as a result of Pokorski couldn’t look after them.
Rhys was one of many puppies. Swedish Vallhunds are thought-about a cousin to the corgi breed.
“Sharon got here to my mother and mentioned, ‘I’d love for Megan to take Rhys for a bit of bit. She can assist flip him round,’” Arszman mentioned.
Arszman mentioned she and Pokorski co-owned Rhys.
“I had simply misplaced my corgi, and I mentioned, ‘OK,’ considering it was momentary,” Arszman mentioned. “However I’ve a 3-year-old daughter and you may’t convey a pet into the home and have a 3-year-old daughter and say he’s not staying.”
Arszman calls Rhys her “foster fail” as a result of she now absolutely owns him, which she by no means deliberate to do. She had solely proven canines in agility and by no means in affirmation, however Arszman acquired many compliments about Rhys. So, she enrolled Rhys in courses at an obedience membership.
Now, Arszman reveals Rhys. Generally skilled handler M’Kayla Stahr reveals him. Stahr confirmed Rhys on the Westminster Kennel Membership Canine Present as a result of Arszman is recovering from hamstring reattachment surgical procedure.
Arszman’s mother and father, Hank and Michelle Arszman, confirmed golden retrievers. Arszman’s sister, Erin Dean, owns Frontier K9 Canine Coaching and is a retired police Okay-9 officer.
Arszman’s grandmother owned a kennel, now generally known as Mattress and Biscuit Boarding Kennel in Jolietville, a small city northeast of Zionsville and west of Westfield.
Stahr mentioned Rhys is a pleasure to point out.
“(Arszman) has him very effectively skilled,” mentioned Stahr, who lives in Booneville. “Between his coaching and angle to need to present makes all of the distinction within the ring. He needs to be within the ring and getting the additional consideration and cookies, in fact.”
Arszman agreed that Rhys loves displaying.
“Canine which have jobs, they love their job. It’s so cool to see him present,” she mentioned. “While you prepare to point out him, if you take him into the constructing the place the rings are, he does his fancy prance. His head is held excessive, and he is aware of he’s good wanting. He’s there to win. It’s been a enjoyable experience with him.”
Rhys’ registered identify is GCH Hightower Frontier’s SmoothAsBourbon, as a result of his colour is just like the colour of bourbon. The identify can also be a nod to the actual fact Arszman lived in Lexington, Ky., for a few years. Hightower is Pokorski’s kennel identify and Frontier is Arszman’s household’s kennel identify.
A chance to point out
Megan Arszman mentioned she wasn’t in favor of sending Rhys to Westminster till she discovered the competitors was held open air.
“They have been imagined to have it again in New York Metropolis in January, however due to COVID, they pushed it again once more to June to have it open air on the Lyndhurst Mansion. Due to that, I entered him,” Arszman mentioned.
Arszman mentioned Rhys remains to be nervous, and there are loud sounds at Westminster, particularly when the competitors is held indoors.
Rhys might be 4 in August.