BY LINDA HOFF
In 1970, we got our first “show” dog. A male Doberman who didn’t quite turn out. So in 1974, we got a second “show” Doberman — this time a bitch, from the old Flashburn lines. It took me a long time to realize she wasn’t truly a show prospect either. I learned a lot from Grita. Mostly never to give up! We went to class twice a week, and all the local fun matches. She was the Queen of the Fun Match circuit. I couldn’t understand why my match winner just couldn’t seem to cut it at the AKC point shows. After about four years of winning at matches, but going fifth out of five or fourth out of four, or third out of three at AKC events, I began to think something was seriously wrong. I finally retired Grita from the conformation ring and moved into obedience. We really wanted to show Dobermans competitively, but believe it or not, no matter who we talked to or how diligently we searched, nobody seemed interested in fulfilling our dream of selling us a real show dog. We talked to some very prominent breeders in the northern California area but over and over again it was the same story — we were novices no one had ever heard of and nobody was about to sell us anything even vaguely having show potential. (By the way, from this experience, we’ve made it a practice to
always give the newcomer a chance — and more often than not, it’s paid off twofold: excellent pet and show homes for our puppies!)
For awhile we gave up on the idea of ever getting into conformation seriously. I worked my dogs in obedience, turning my parents’ back yard into a testing ground of sorts — with sawhorses for jumps, dumbbells and gloves littering the lawn. I practiced stacking and baiting both our dogs in front of the sliding glass door so I could see how they looked in the reflection.
I tried to forget about the dream — but it just never went away. One day in who knows what year, we joined the thousands of spectators at the Golden Gate Kennel Club’s annual benched show (held at the Cow Palace in Daly City). We just wanted to look at all the beautiful dogs. If we couldn’t buy one, certainly nobody could object to our looking at some!
It was there that we were first introduced to the Teraden dogs and their breeders, Terry and Denyse Lee. We were impressed with how beautiful their dogs were — and how we, personally, were treated. This was a first – and it eventually led us to the purchase of our first genuine show prospect – a red bitch who ultimately became Canadian Champion Teraden’s Truly Scrumptious CD. Truly was our beginning. (she was a multi-Champion producer and gave us our first Top 20 Contender – Ch. Soquel’s Red Cypress.)
If you think we were then satisfied and concentrated solely on Truly, think again. By now, our old male was about ten years old, and although we weren’t actively looking for another Doberman, the thought was crossing our minds with relative frequency. We were having such a great time with Truly, wouldn’t we have twice the fun with another show Dobe? I think it’s safe to say, the bug had bitten us hard!
When we learned in early 1980 that Terry and Denyse had bred Ch. Teraden’s Red Hot Sizzle to Ch. Mikadobe’s Cupid, we wasted no time at all calling Denyse to reserve the second pick bitch from that litter. Unfortunately, Sizzle was uncooperative and produced three males (two who would become
champions of note: Teraden’s Romeo UDT ROM and Teraden’s Don Juan). But no bitches for us! So we waited. Sizzle was bred again in 1981 to Ch. Lujac’s Daniel, a Cupid son. And we again wasted no time calling to reserve a bitch. But alas, it was not to be. There were four puppies from this union: a black
dog, a red dog, and two black bitches. The Lee’s were keeping one of the bitches (Teraden’s Sweet Charity, who was tragically killed by a car as a youngster), and the second pick bitch had been spoken for by Barbara Bernard (she became Ch. Teraden’s My Fair Lady). The other two dogs in the litter would become Am.Can.Ch. Teraden’s The Music Man and of course, our Cody.
Since we still had our old guy, the two males available seemed out of the question. We went back to showing Truly and decided to wait patiently for the next canine addition. It came sooner than we thought. A few months after Sizzle’s litter by Daniel, my parents and I went to a meeting of the DPC of Northern California. Denyse was there showing a picture of an absolutely gorgeous six month old red male who was for sale. I managed to get the photo away from her and show it to my parents – who immediately fell in love with the puppy and asked Denyse when they might be able to see him in the flesh. The date was set. It was only five days away, but to us it seemed like an eternity.
D-Day arrived and we zoomed over to the Lee’s. After being greeted at the door by all the four-footed creatures — including Cody’s mother and grandfather —we were finally introduced to the “body beautiful.” (This was always Denyse Lee’s favorite description of him and her very own nickname!) He was every bit as good as — even better than the picture we’d seen. Full bodied, large boned, well-muscled with a stable, outgoing temperament. He was like a little adult—very mature, even in his mind — for a 6 month old dog. Terry Lee stacked him up for us and we had to have him! Terry and Denyse both took a lot of time
explaining to us about the joys and disappointments of showing dogs, and the importance of being a responsible male owner. There was every likelihood that other people would find Cody as handsome as we did — which brought on the initial education in terms of having a dog used at stud. We listened and learned and at the end of our visit, Cody was ours. So much for our quest for a show bitch!
Cody was a wonderful puppy. He came into our home at six months of age and acted like he’d been there all of his life. He shared his new digs with three adult Dobermans (the old guy and two bitches), one parrot, two cats, and Iggie the Iguana. He played with everyone and adapted well to every new situation. He even let the parrot ride on his back!
Cody was a very together youngster. He was spared the “stageyness” we’d seen in many other animals. He always grew in proportion and seemed to mature as a larger version of his puppy-self.
His show career was actually short and quite sweet: his first time out as a 6-9 puppy he went Reserve to a major. We were thrilled! No more matches for this tribe! We had the authentic article! Four points from the puppy class quickly followed — with me handling! What more could I ask? Our dreams had finally become reality.
At this time, Marj Brooks discovered me and I guess you could say I discovered her too. I wanted to be a professional handler like her. I wanted to know everything she knew and put those dogs together the way she did and win, win, win! I was very shy, but managed to find the words to say “yes” when Marj approached me about becoming her assistant just as Cody ended his 6-9 puppy career.
We put Cody away for a while, so I could work for Marj, learn the ropes and he could grow up until Marj was able to take him. At 13 months, we took him on a trip, showed him in Open ten times and he was finished!
Because I was working for Marj, I really could not seriously special Cody. I showed him now and then as a Champion, but it was almost like a conflict of interest — working for Marj yet competing against her. Being her assistant did not diminish my desire to win with the dogs I handled — including Cody. Eventually, we turned Cody over to Gene Haupt but this also proved to be a limited run and for the same reasons. My parents and I were paying another handler to present our dog while clients were hiring me and Marj to show their dogs. It was really too early in my career to try and mix the two elements and so Cody was retired. Along the way though, he did win some Breeds, group placements and specialties. Shown only at specialties as a veteran, he took home the Veteran Dog class at the 1988 host show and Best Opposite Sex to Indy under Nancy Heitzman and again won the Veterans class at the 1989 National Specialty under breed authority, Peggy Adamson.
Cody was not bred until he was over three years old. Marj wanted us to wait for the right bitch to compliment him and she finally came along in the form of Ch. Kyjur’s Cupie’s Doll V Cupid. From this union of a Cupid daughter to a Daniel son, both red, came a litter of 7 red bitches and 3 red dogs. We were so excited! Then tragedy struck and all but 3 red bitches died within the first week. Instead of taking a stud fee, we were going to be getting a puppy from this litter but with most of it gone, we weren’t sure exactly how to proceed. The breeder sent us pictures of the three surviving girls who themselves were so sick they couldn’t have their tails docked until some time later. From photographs, Marj chose Cupie as our puppy. She was shipped out here, bounced off the airplane and that’s how we were first introduced to Am. Can. Ch. Hi-C’s Cupie Doll V Soquel CD ROM. We’re probably the only people in breed history who have a pedigree full of Cupie Dolls – Big Grandma Cupie – Cody’s first lady friend; to Big Cupie – Cody’s first baby, first Champion and our first Soquel champion and more recently, Little Cupie – who has 11 points and a major (sired by Primo out of our first Cupie!). It’s a name not given lightly because each who deserves it has a lot to live up to!
As it turned out, we really couldn’t have gone wrong choosing any of the three bitches. Our Cupie grew up to finish her American and Canadian Championships, become a CD ROM and produce (currently) five Champions. She’s also the granddam of a new Champion from her first daughter, Amoure, with more soon to follow. Cupie traveled with me for most of her life – was my constant companion, protector and bed-partner. She had an absolutely outstanding temperament and was one of the most stable, confident and responsive dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.
The second bitch grew up to be Ch. Hi-C’s Starbrite V Soquel who distinguished herself by finishing her Championship with a WB, BOW and Award of Merit at the 1988 National Specialty. She’s the dam of two multi-Best of Breed/Specialty and Group winners, including my current special, Ch. Soquel’s Dancing In The Dark. She’s the granddam of several other Champions, including a bitch who was completely novice owner handled to the finish line.
The third bitch, Hi-C’s Starlight only needed a major to earn her title but was prevented from doing so by family tragedy.
Cody’s second litter was to a Marks-Tey bitch owned by Toby Bloom. This union produced Toby’s foundation bitch, Ch Del-Mar’s American Dream, herself the dam of multiple Champions. Two others from this breeding just needed majors to finish.
Cody was bred a total of 13 times and only 4 of those were Champion bitches. As a result, I’ve been able to count up 16 Champions sired by him, but that number could be slightly off simply because we weren’t always kept informed as to the status of his puppies. Cody wasn’t as big as people thought. He stood 27.5 inches tall at the withers. He himself was very short, hard compact, muscular and agile. He had good bone, a hard back, strong front and outstanding rear. He consistently produced these qualities as well. He was not dominant in head type – which was considered by some to be his weakest feature. He was, however, dominant in his beautifully dark, almond shaped eyes. If he could only be remembered for one thing, I’d want it to be his temperament and the temperament he produced. Loving, outgoing, protective and responsive. He and his children were a joy to live and work with. Cody never toed in and moved like the wind. Even as an old man, he remained sound moving – straight and true. At the 1986 National in Denver, he was used in the Judge’s Education Seminar to demonstrate proper coming, going and side gait. He never had a lump or bump, skin or coat problems of any kind. He came from healthy, long-lived stock and he produced the same. His mother and grandfather both lived to be 13 or 14 and one great grandmother was almost 17 at the time of her death. Cody was VWD Clear, OFAed excellent, and thyroid normal. He was a red #7 (only produced red, no dilution).
From a strictly conformation stand-point, Cody produced beyond our wildest expectations. Counted among his kids were BIS/BISS winners, Group winners, National Specialty WB/BOW and two AOM winners (one from the classes); Best of Breed winners, Top 20 contendors, CDs, WAC/ROMs and the first UDXT Doberman in breed history. One of his kids, Ch. Angel’s Dark Thunder WAC CGC has also established himself as a top producing sire as well as an outstanding show dog. During his specials career, Primo had the distinction of being the only dog to have defeated in specialty breed competition with entries of over 100, the number one Doberman male of all time, the number one Doberman bitch of all time and the youngest Top 20 winner in breed history.
Cody was a very stoic dog and extremely confident and stable. One of his best attributes was his willingness to please. He’d do anything you asked of him. Today, this is the basis of what we look for and breed for in our puppies. Cody’s puppies and grandpuppies all had that intense desire to accommodate your wishes and because of that, they’ve made wonderful show dogs and outstanding family pets.
There are a lot of statistics and numbers I could use to chronicle Cody’s life —but none of that tells you who or what he really was – beyond the titles. He was always my mother’s dog. He was a serious Doberman but he also had a lighter side. He met every responsibility with a kind of vigor and enthusiasm rarely seen in a male — in any dog for that matter. You can train a dog to do most anything, but it has to be in his heart to want to do things for you, no matter how crazy they seem, simply because you asked. The single most important factor we require before any puppy we sell can be deemed “show quality” is the inherent desire to please. The most beautiful body in the world is wasted on an animal who is self-centered and hard-headed. My mom, in the very beginning, said she simply would not breed Cody if he didn’t produce good temperament. Lucky for all of us, he did. Over and over again. Consistently, regardless of what problems the bitch brought to him temperamentally, he fixed them.
Thank you Mom and Dad for sharing Cody with me and the fancy. Without him I wouldn’t have had Cupie and more recently her daughter Amoure. Nor would I have had Primo, who is so much like his father, eager and willing to please, calm, stable, loving and protective. Primo gave me some of my most thrilling moments in my chosen career as a handler, but more importantly, he gave me the legacy to continue with his daughter, Spirit and his son, Soldier. Through these wonderful dogs I can see Cody still, even though he is physically gone.
Thank you, Cody. We were blessed to have had you and I’m eternally grateful for all you gave us.