This week we sit down with Craig Storey, owner of MBIS MRBIS MBISS Can GCH Am CH RiverMist Broxden Magnuttic CGN.
Name: Craig Storey
Where You Live: St. Thomas ON
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
1) What do you do in your professional career?
Small animal clinic owner and veterinarian.
2) How did you choose the Brittany Spaniel as your Breed?
When my wife and I were ready for a new puppy, I researched the characteristics of various different breeds. We wanted an affectionate, medium sized dog that was energetic to keep up with my active lifestyle (running and trail riding). With my background, I was also evaluating breeds based on common genetic issues and behaviour traits. In the end, the Brittany checked off the most boxes for us.
3) How did you become involved in purebred dogs?
Once we decided on a breed we would like as our next dog, I researched reputable breeders that placed as much emphasis on function as they did form. It was apparent which breeders had a focus on the betterment of the breed and ultimately led us to Rivermist Brittanys.
4) Do you have a mentor?
I would say I have many. The show world has been very open and welcoming to us. Firstly, his breeder Allyson has supported us in many ways from his initial assessment at 5 months and providing direction and encouragement. It wasn’t easy at the start and was somewhat frustrating with so little breed competition available in Canada to get his first championship. Most of Arthur’s points came from placing in group. It was Allyson’s positivity and encouragement that helped us understand the ropes and kept us at it, and I am glad that we stuck with it.
We have had advice from his handlers as well, particularly CJ Dyment and Emily Burdon that directed my training with respect to the show ring. I am very appreciative to them and others that I have met on this journey that have provided encouragement and, most of all, let me be as involved as I have been on this journey with him.
5) How many years have you been involved in showing your dogs?
Almost 2 years.
6) What made you decide to actively show Arthur this year?
Two reasons – I am a competitor at heart. I have competed in hunter/jumper equestrian sport most of my life. I recently retired my last competitive horse, so showing Arthur has filled this portion of my life very nicely. My other reason, a culmination of support, encouragement and advice from people I have been influenced by in the dog show world; Allyson, CJ, Emily, Will Alexander, Monica Park and Ashley Martins, all helped me to believe that Arthur had that special something that needed the opportunity to come out.
7) Arthur is professionally handled, does he live with his handler, or do you accompany him to shows?
This is something that has been hard for us. My wife and I, like many, become very attached to our dogs and we think of Arthur as part of our family, so it is difficult to let him go. Until now, I have been going with Arthur to every show. I also really enjoy going to the shows and being part of the adventure (thank you to all the handlers that have put up with me). However, now that we are more seriously campaigning, there will be times that he will spend with Emily. Both Emily and Eduardo are looking forward to those days when we cut the stainless-steel umbilical cord, and allow Arthur to spend some time with them and their Border Terrier Whiskey.
8) Did you ever show Arthur yourself?
As of yet, I have not shown Arthur myself. When the time comes, I will show him in agility and field trials.
9) Take our readers through Arthur’s routine to keep him in top physical and mental condition?
It’s a simple formula – lots of love, good nutrition, lots of exercise, reward what he was bred to do, and positive reinforcement direction. We live near an area that has lots of steep hills and trails that he gets to run through daily. I will take him on 5km runs with me now that he is old enough for that. We train in agility basics during the week and more advanced training with equipment weekly. I will be exposing him to rollerblading this spring. Did I mention I like to live an active lifestyle?
10) Describe Arthur in 3 words?
Sweet, energetic and intelligent.
11) Do you do anything else with Arthur besides conformation?
There are so many things a versatile breed like the Brittany opens up for us. Aside from what I mentioned in his routine to keep him in shape, we also have goals to obtain performance titles in agility and in the field. He loves finding game on the trails and chasing me on an agility course.
12) What is Arthur’s favorite thing to do?
Anything I am doing – trail walks, chasing me in an agility course – he is my constant companion. Also, he loves to sing – mostly to Ed Sheeran, but also Imagine Dragons, Blake Shelton, Brantley Gilbert to name a few.
13) Do you have any favorite products that you use on Arthur for his regular maintenance grooming?
We like the Chris Christensen products for weekly bathing. I also brush his teeth every day with Enzedent toothpaste.
14) What about the Brittany Spaniel is most mis-understood by the general public?
The amount of energy they have. It is a breed that if they do not have the appropriate outlets for that energy, it will translate into behavioural problems. That is not the fault of the dog, but a fault of the owner not understanding their needs.