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Top Obedience Bichon Frise in Canada
Four Years in a Row (1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999)



(Am.Can.Ch.Normandy's Charlie Brown
ex Ch. Dauphine de Franbel, ROM)

Photo copyright  NormaDsignMandy (center) with littermates

Mandy in Show CoatPhoto copyright NormaDsign

Copyright Daryl NovakMandy in Obedience

Mandy at home

Copyright Daryl NovakMandy, right, and Amy (Normandy's Amelia E), left, with Santa

Mandy is owned and loved by Daryl Novak

Amy is owned and loved by Brian Harrison and Daryl Novak

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada

Thanks Daryl for all the years you and Mandy have been 'top dogs' in Obedience!

and thanks Brian and Daryl for taking such good care of the girls!

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Go to Amy's Page



by Daryl Novak

Mandy and I first met at in the summer of 1994. I had wanted a Bichon for many years when I learned that Mandy, might soon be available for placement in a good pet home. Mandy was bred by Norma Dirszowsky (Normandy Bichons) and raised by Heather Barnes (Crystalpines Bichons). Although Mandy was already a Canadian Champion and had delivered a lovely litter of puppies, Norma and Heather decided it was in her best interests, not to continue breeding her.

Heather described Mandy as a "small, quiet, gentle girl," who would probably not be terribly interested in me on first meeting. Within 30 seconds Mandy was in my lap, starting the first of many serious full face lickings. It was love at first sight! I had owned dogs before - larger breeds - and loved them, but I had a strange sense that something with Mandy was going to be extra special.

Even though Bichons are small dogs, I wanted to have a well behaved one, so we registered for a beginner's class at North York Obedience. Little did I know then what lay ahead! Mandy responded beautifully, and I loved working with her, practicing for a few minutes every morning and evening. She came top of the class in beginner's, then advanced beginner's, then Novice. Club members encouraged me to trial with Mandy. Considering that it would be my first time, and that so few Bichons do it, wouldn't it be great if one day we could earn a CD? It would be a real accomplishment.........

So the CD came in July 1995, just a year after Mandy and I had met. It was so much fun, we tried it again in the U.S.A., completing our American CD in January 1996. By this time, we were working on Open at Campaign Obedience in Brampton. In March, we picked up our CGC, and by the Fall, we were ready for Open, completing our title in October. Three titles in one year! I learned how the point system works, and that once a dog can compete at Open he is eligible to accumulate points which can earn him a place in the breed and group. Since so few Bichons are in obedience, I was fairly sure that with a bit of campaigning, we could achieve top Obedience Bichon Frise in Canada for 1996, which we did.

In 1997, just as we were preparing for our American CDX, Mandy injured her leg and required surgery. Our wonderful veterinarian said she would be able to jump again, but not for many months, and not great heights. This meant that another American title was probably out of the question, but she was well enough to campaign again in Canada at the end of the year and win enough points to make her top Obedience Bichon Frise in Canada for 1997, two years running.

In February 1998 the AKC lowered the jump heights to the same standard as in Canada. Without a minute to spare we were off to Niagara Falls, NY, then Hamburg, and finally Ft. Myers, Florida, where we earned our third and qualifying 'leg', plus a spare for good measure, placing with a third and a first. This 'quiet, gentle little girl' is a real performer. Most of our judges have commented on her exuberance and love of the ring.

Now, as I teach a Novice class at North York Obedience, or when Mandy and I are learning our Utility exercises, I often marvel at how much I have learned, all because of one amazing little dog.

When Amy (Normandy's Amelia E), another Normandy Bichon joined us in late 1996 at almost five years of age, Norma said, "Don't expect too much, and remember she isn't Mandy". But I believe that in obedience, 'Any Bichon Can'. Amy was very shy, but has learned a great deal and also loves to work.

Wouldn't it be great if one day we could earn a CD? It would be a real accomplishment........