As the 2008 Kleemann approached we were making plans to attend and to watch our dogs participate. Only this year scheduling would be a problem as instead of one or even two dogs we would have three with three different leaders. Most probably they would be in three different groups and we could only watch two at anyone time. The decision was made that I would go with Mr. Bommers and Atlanta vom Hege-Hof both days. Marianne would go with Thomas Hofstetter and Bellevue vom Hege-Haus the first day and then with Mr. Klutz and Claudia vom Hege-Haus the second day.
We arrived in Bad Nenndorf, Germany late on Wednesday evening to find members of Klub Rheinland in the Hotel Restaurant having dinner and a beer. Of course to be sociable we joined them until late in the evening. The conversation was light but you could tell the leaders were anxious to get the event under way.
Thursday morning came soon enough and the weather was cool but nice. The location for registration and the Zuchtschau was in the middle of town and not the most convenient venue we had been to. It was a great time to visit with people we had not seen since the IKP and meet new acquaintances. It was nice to see such a large contingency of Americans at the test and it gave a chance to visit about the NADKC while we were in Germany. One of those would be Mr. Klutz whom we had been introduced to via phone by Mr. Hofstetter in July when we needed a leader for Claudia. Claudia had been purchased from Mr. Obenhaus in July after being approved by Mr. Bommers. We had never meet Mr. Klutz nor had we seenClaudia in person. We had a photo that Mr. Klutz had sent us ofhim and Claudia that we were carrying and we were confident wewould find him at some point. When we found Hofstetter’s wetold them we were looking for Mr. Klutz and they said they wouldfind him. Sure enough Thomas came for us shortly and took us to Mr. Klutz who had in his possession a picture of Marianne and I from our web page. Mr. Klutz had Claudia with him and was speaking with the Obenhaus’ family which gave us the opportunity to meet them at the same time. With all three leaders and dogs accounted for now we would visit around and wait for the Zuchtschau.
As the 1:00 Zuchtschau approached so did the rain, and can it ever rain in Germany. With the event getting underway we retreated to the Hotel for field rain gear in lieu of getting soaked. By the time we returned all three of our dogs had been through the ring and theywere starting to work on the top males and females. We were able to watch Ungaro vom Hege-Haus be selected as the V1 Rüden. We also were glad when Conan Seehof (also 100% Hege-Haus), who was raised by our friend Bambos Charalambos, and owned by another friend Catrinel “Cati” Pauna was the named the V5 Rüden.
The rest of the day was spent visiting with friends and attending the welcoming dinner that night. All a prelude to the field and water work that would come over the next two days. We did learn that each of dogs was scheduled to be at the water the first day which makes it possible, but not likely, for the test to be completed in one day. Morning came soon enough and Marianne left early to meet Thomas at the assigned meeting spot. It needs to be stated that if you are not at the designated location at the appointed time you get left and good luck finding your group as they may drive for an hour to their assigned testing location. My task was easier; I joined Rita and Holger Bauer, Mr. Bommers’ daughter and son-in-law and followed Bommers to our meeting location. Soon our group arrived and the drive to the testing area was under way.
Our group consisted of two leaders each with a hündin and a rüden. The field searches began and to my surprise there were a number of people with no connect to the dogs or leaders who had followed us to the field to watch Atlanta work. And work she did. It was great, she was even better than the year before at the IKP and I was very proud for her and Mr. Bommers. The onlookers were very impressed and asked about future breedings and the possibility of getting a pup from her. As the day progressed three of the four dogs were doing well but there no game in our area, has only one hare had been found. Finally in a sugar beet field a pheasant was located and all three dogs worked the same bird to establish their point and steadiness to wing and shot. So much for any chance at a 4h for nose or pointing. Atlanta’s final search (there were four in all) was spectacular. After a spirited discussion between Mr. Bommers and the Richterobmann (Head Judge) to my surprise she would be given a 4 not a 4h. O’well on to the water, after all you are after the KS title not a score.
The pond we were assigned was large and full of down trees and reeds. The first dog to work was unsuccessful in his search behind the duck and was out. Atlanta would be next. After she entered the water was well into her search without the duck Mr. Gerd Schaffer, a member of the einspruch kommission (objection commission), arrived at the pond and stood near me to observe the water work. The Richterobmann came to Mr. Schaffer and informed him the hündin (Atlanta) had searchedthe edge of the entire pond, gone up a canal, and was nowsearching the reeds where she produced the duck the previousdog had been unable to find. Atlanta was called from the waterby Mr. Bommers and a live duck was introduced. Again sheentered the water and began her search only this time she cut the ducks track on thewater and entered the reeds immediately. From the far side of the reeds she producedthe duck and before it could be harvested the duck flew off. I thought to myself nowwhat?? At that point a gentleman walked up to me and asked if it was my hündin towhich I replied yes. He said congratulations – to which I said for what – he said KS –I said but the duck flew off – he stated the Richter was at fault and it must be KS. Adead duck was throwninto the water and ashot fired, Atlantaretrieved the duckperfectly to Mr.Bommers and I wasrelieved. AfterAtlanta delivered theduck to Mr. Bommersa group of elderlyhunters sitting on their stools at the edge of the pond stood and applauded her work, it was very special. For her efforts she received a 4h for the search without the duck. Atlanta had her KS on day one and we were on our way back to the Hotel. We would await Marianne’s return for a report on Bellevue and word from Mr. Klutz on Claudia.
When we returned to the Hotel Marianne was waiting for us with great news, Bellevue had been spectacular in the field receiving a 4h for search and had also finished the test receiving his KS title. Thomas Hofstetter had done a great job with him and was very confident all day that he would be rewarded for his field searches. Marianne was forbidden to speak of it until the test was concluded but afterwards they were all very proud. Two KS titles the first day exceeded our wildest expectations now needed to find out how Claudia’s first day had gone and awaited word from Mr. Klutz.
Unfortunately, with our success others had not been so fortunate. Some very good friends from Klub Rheinland had already been excused from the test and not all in attendance were as happy as we were. We retreated to our room and awaited word from Mr. Klutz. The Rheinland Klub dinner was that night and as we left our room we still had no word from Mr. Klutz. As we walked to the banquet room we decided that we would say nothing about our good fortune as others were not so fortunate. As we approached the room my phone ran and it was Hans, Thomas Hofstetter’s friend that spoke perfect English, Han’s had the first day report from Claudia. Claudia had completed the test, receiving a 4h for her field search, and the KS title. This was too good to be true, three dogs at the Kleemann and all three receiving their KS titles on the first day. WOW!!
Now for sure we need to say nothing, to have three dogs at the Kleemann and all three receive their KS and for Americans, this was very special. Mum would be the word at the dinner. We entered the banquet room a little late waiting for the call but places had been saved for us with Bommers. As we entered Mr. Bommers, Vice-President of Klub Rheinland, in his loud and deep voice asked, “Frank Claudia KS” and then made a motion like did I know what she had done? I made a jested to indicate that we did not know. Mr. Bommers then loudly pointed out that she had received her KS title and that we had three KS dogs at one Kleemann. So much for keeping it quite!! One of the members of Klub Rheinland had been a judge in Claudia’s group and had told Mr. Bommers of her success. He later told us that the only thing wrong with Claudia was that she was not coming to his house. The evening was very nice and congratulations were received from many.
The next day we went with another club member to watch as his dog successfully completed its water work and received the KS title. That evening the Kleemann Banquet was held and everyone was relaxed and the connections of the successful dogs were happy. Others thought about what could have been.
For the O’Leary’s the 2008 Kleemann will be something we will always remember. Atlanta and Mr. Bommers delivered as usual and the recognition from the elderly hunters at the water was very special and would be included in her judge’s report. Bellevue and Thomas Hofstetter were spectacular in the field. Claudia, the wild card, had worked perfectly for her leader Mr. Klutz and had been reward accordingly. At the end of the day we had three dogs, with three different leaders, and each received their KS title at the 2008 Kleemann. We could not have been prouder for our dogs and their leaders.