It all started back in May 1994. My husband and I had been to the Royal Windsor Horse Show. We were walking round the trade stands when we spotted a security guard with his Rottweiler surrounded by children who were making a great fuss of the bitch. We approached the guard and spoke to him about his lovely dog. From that day we knew that was what we wanted.
In October of that year we moved house and with all the upheaval that that entails we put buying a Rottweiler puppy on hold.
The following Spring we contacted a local breeder to see if she had any puppies available – unfortunately she did not but suggested that we go along to the South West Rottweiler Association Open Show the following day near Bournemouth.
We went to the show and had a wonderful time looking at all of the dogs and speaking to their owners.
We spoke to Mrs Jo Ellis (then secretary of SWRA) who said that she knew of a litter of puppies due anytime and would let us have the breeder’s telephone number the following day. Two days went by and no phone call from Jo, so we called her (I wondered if she was testing us to see how keen we really were?). We were given the telephone number of Trena Flowers (Scanian) in London, after speaking with her and explaining the situation she said she would be glad to help us.
When the puppies were six weeks old we went up to see them – how adorable they all were. We wanted a bitch and there were three. Trena asked us if we were interested in showing. (Well we knew about Crufts, but we had no idea how you got there or indeed anything else about dog shows, be it Exemption, Open or Championship – who was it who said ignorance is bliss?) . However, we said we would like to have a go and Trena helped us choose the best bitch in the litter.
This puppy bitch was named Scanian Garbo (Jazzie) born on 20th April 1995.
After attending many sessions of ringcraft which Jazzie obviously found very boring (because she would fall asleep until it was her turn to be handled) we entered our first open show at The Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset where I was so nervous that I could not even attach my exhibitors number to my clip. However, we persevered and Jazzie won her puppy class and went on to win puppy Working Group 3 – although at the time I had no idea what that meant. It was at this Showground that I met Mrs Wendy Hillier (Bergmann) who approached me and said that she could see the similarities between Jazzie and her own two dogs and it transpired that they all had the same sire (Ch. Svedala the Scandinavian). From that day on Wendy encouraged me to try harder with Jazzie and each week that I saw her she would give me more help and advice.
In May 1996 Jazzie and I went to the Bath Championship Show where she came second in her Junior class (judge – Mrs V Hammond) and therefore qualified for Crufts for the following year. I couldn’t believe it, I never imagined it was possible.
The following August Jazzie had her hips x-rayed for the BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme and we were very pleased with the results of 7:4.
It was in July 1997 that I met Chris and Steve Robinson (Reizend), I was travelling on my own with Jazzie (on the back seat of our Ford Sierra – before the advent of our Peugeot people carrier and dog cages) when I was indicating right to turn into the South Wales Kennel Association Championship Show car park near Chepstow, when suddenly a lady drove into the back of my car and “shunted” me across the road. I could see her in my rear view mirror getting closer and closer and I could tell that she was not going to stop. After the collision my car, with me inside, was pushed into the car park. I was helped out of the car by the car parking stewards who promptly called for an ambulance as I was a little unsteady.
As it was the middle of July and a very warm day, I was very concerned about leaving Jazzie in the car and so as to quote from the “Dog World” newspaper:
“When an exhibitor’s car that was turning into the car park was hit by a passing car, Bob Dyke (Show Manager of the SWKA) was left with a sticky problem. The driver, Lynne Scott, was taken to hospital for a check up leaving her Rottweiler inside guarding the car. Like all good managers Bob delegated the task to Gordon Rual as the “working” man on the committee. Gordon took one look at the dog before deciding to contact a friend of Lynne’s (Chris Robinson) who knew the dog and took her to her bench, Lynne later returned to the show with a clean bill of health”.
While I was lying on a stretcher in the ambulance with a neck brace on Chris came into see me. I told her that I had just phoned my husband who wanted to know if there was much damage to the car!! I’m glad he was so worried about me. She said that she heard over the tannoy that there had been an accident and that an ambulance had been called. Chris had been sat with her dogs on their bench when she was approached by a policeman and Gordon Rual to go with them to get Jazzie out of the car. This Chris did with ease but she had to drag Jazzie all the way to the benches because she didn’t want to leave me. Chris assured me that if I was unable to show Jazzie, she would. Or indeed if I had to stay in hospital they would take Jazzie home with them and bring her back to the next show which we were entered at the following weekend. I hardly knew the Robinson’s but from that day on we became best of friends and David and I wish them continued and even greater success with Ch. Reizend Earth, Wind and Fire (Bosley).
My eldest son, Andrew and his wife Sally came to the hospital and picked me up and we went back to the show ground to get Jazzie who was sat on her bench with Chris beside her. When I spoke to my husband, David, again on the telephone he said not to attempt to show Jazzie but to come straight home. However, as I had paid my expensive entry fee I didn’t want to waste it so we gathered Jazzie together, I put on my show jacket and we all proceeded towards the ring. Jazzie’s post graduate class had already started so we explained to the steward what had happened and Mrs June Knox (the judge) allowed us into the ring to compete. Although we weren’t placed Jazzie did make the final ten of a class of twenty one bitches. After the class we returned to the benching area to thank Chris and her husband Steve once again for looking after Jazzie and then said our goodbyes.
We walked back to the car park to see my car being winched onto a recovery truck, loaded all of Jazzie’s “gear” into Andrews car and headed off home. On the way home I had time to reflect on the happenings of the day and was quite shaky and upset when we arrived home. But the main thing was that Jazzie had not appeared to suffer any trauma, and was happy to get into the hire car the following week to go to Peterborough.
Throughout 1997 Jazzie had been campaigned successfully culminating in winning Limit Bitch at the Ladies Kennel Association Championship Show (judge –Mrs Leana Lewis), gaining her Stud Book Number and therefore qualifying for Crufts for life. In late 1997 I was able to obtain my affix OVERBECKS, thus ensuring that any puppies we bred would be able to carry this name. Jazzies official name then became Scanian Garbo at Overbecks.