NOR CH TOPP-FORM'S PETIT FLEUR
Born 27th April 1979 - bred by Aud-Helen and Gunnar Kjeldsen
‘Shana’ was our first bitch and Kim’s companion. She was a ‘once in a lifetime’ dog - a true character who outwitted us many times and truly enriched our lives with her loving nature and fun and sometimes challenging personality! She simply adored people and was an amazing 'talker'. Her specialist subject was 'escapism', a fence being no hindrance, merely a new way to learn how to get out! We would, to our despair, often find her in a neighbouring garden or playing football with the local boys! When she was in the showing she seemed to know she was the centre of attention and just shone. We were convinced she was really a human in disguise! Shana and I even managed the bronze level in obedience!
Her breeder showed her for me at her first show as I did not have the confidence to but for her second show I was encouraged to take her in myself...I was so nervous that when the judge (Jan Berggrav) asked us to move round the ring, I did move but I forgot to turn and so ended up outside the ring causing my teenage self huge embarrassment!
Shana's next show was when she was just a year old and it was a Collie speciality with Ulla Eriksson of Crony fame judging. Shana, being a confident and relaxed character, was showing nicely and behaving well until the judge wanted to examine her, at which point she decided to 'freak out' and would not be handled and I came out with a KIB (cannot be judged) and none us understood what happened! With hindsight I am quite sure it was my own nerves going down the lead! From then on we had great difficulty showing Shana and asked her breeder to handle her but she had no more luck - Shana was determined not to be handled and would do somersaults to get away from the judge. This went on for a few shows until my boyfriend, Hallgeir Bergh (also in Collies, now a well known Breton breeder in Norway), decided to try and it was his firm handling (she still tried the somersaults) and the goodwill of a well known judge and sheltie breeder, Kari Schulstad, which did the trick. We were so lucky that Kari Schulstad was judging Collies three times within a few months and, seeing the problem at the first show, she spent extra time with Shana and in this way broke the pattern through repeated examinations and with Hallgeir's firm handling they managed to overcome the problem. We owe them both the credit for Shana's show career from then on, without people like these, what was to follow, would not have happened.
I handled Shana at the following show and she stood still and this first red ribbon meant the world to me as I knew then I could now show her again. At 6 weeks in whelp she went on to win her first res CC and it was truly a great day! Shana was very slow to mature and would drop her coat as soon as we entered her for a show and this carried on throughout her life so her CCs were won spread out over some time and eventually at 6 1/2 years old won her title at the big Oslo International show 'Sjolyst' and it was truly a great day! Her CC's were won under Rainer Vuorinen, Iwan Swedrup and Charlotte Hoier, at each show she was placed in the group. She also gained 2 CACIBs along the way. Shana turned out to love the showring in the end and stole the attention of many.
She was the dam of two Norwegian Champions and several CC winners and on the 11th June 1988, at 9 years and 2 months, was the first Collie for more than 30 years to win Best In Show at an all breeds championship show in Norway. I will never forget her winning the group as she outmoved a top winning German Shepherd. It was also a memorable moment before the BIS final took place as the organisers called for Best Veteran In Show and I went in (as she was eligible) only to be corrected by spectators thinking I had misunderstood! Their quizzical looks when I told them her age I will not forget...she did go on to win Best Veteran on the day. The ultimate moment was, of course, in the BIS ring when there were only two of us left (in Norway dogs were placed in reverse order) and the judge asked us to go round for one more, final lap and Shana was given the nod - it was truly a 'magical' once in a lifetime moment! Shana was also crowned the Top Winning Collie in Norway that same year, in 1988.
She will always be extra special to me - most of all for her character and she will live on in my heart forever.