How “Lack of a Fence” Can Change Your Life
G CH CH (Grand Champion Champion) Always Notorious – known by his friends as Wyatt – has already had quite a career as a show dog, and he has just turned three. Lynne and Norm Schuneman have a star of the dog show world on their hands.
Wyatt is a Standard Schnauzer and is the newest member of the Schuneman family. He joins Jager and Luke who welcomed him with open paws. Lynne has known Wyatt since she helped Pat Koller, friend and breeder of all 3 of her dogs, deliver the litter of 8. Pat has been breeding and showing Standard Schnauzers for 34 years under her kennel name, Always Standard Schnauzers in Austin. Pat and Lynne have become very good friends going to dog shows together. Lynne acquired her first Standard Schnauzer in 1990 and immediately fell in love with the breed. She soon started attending dog shows as a spectator and became fascinated with the sport. In 2006, after the Schunemans got their first dog from Always Standard Schnauzers, Lynne began going to shows with Pat where she received an excellent education by getting hands-on experience with bathing, grooming, and everything else it takes to prepare a Standard Schnauzer for the ring. Lynne stepped into the show ring her first time at the Standard Schnauzer National Specialty in 2010, handling Pat’s champion dog. After that she was hooked on conformation and dreamed of having a show dog of her own one day. That dream was fulfilled in August 2011 when Wyatt joined the family.
Here is how fate determined that Wyatt would become Lynne and Norm’s show dog. Originally Wyatt had been promised to a family as a pet. One of the requirements by his breeder is that a suitable yard and fence be in place for the dog’s safety. A week before he was to go to prospective owners, Pat discovered that they had not fulfilled their promise of putting in a fence. Being the responsible breeder she is, Pat decided that in good conscience she could not send a puppy to this home without a fence. Over the weeks as the puppies were growing and before they were placed with their new homes, Lynne had the opportunity to help evaluate them for show prospects. Although there were several very nice puppies in the litter, Wyatt always seemed special to Lynne. Something about him just kept catching her eye. Therefore, when he became available, she and Norm couldn’t help but snatch him up, give him a forever home, and campaign him on the show circuit. It was meant to be!
The American Kennel Club has a “standard” for each breed that they register. To be shown in an AKC accredited show, the dogs must be suitable for breeding and improving the breed. The dog is judged by how closely he or she conforms to the AKC breed standard. Wyatt was a winner from the start. At age 6 months, he began his show career and in just over a year he earned his Champion title (January 2013). He then went on to get his Grand Champion title in December of the same year. As of this interview, he now has 44 points toward his Bronze Grand Championship which requires 100 points.
Owner handled the entire way, Lynne is very proud to say she got every point on him herself. In 2013, Wyatt finished as the #9, owner-handled Standard Schnauzer in the country and qualified for the Eukanuba National Owner-Handler Series in Orlando. Just recently, Lynne learned that Wyatt will be recognized as #10 among the top 10 schnauzers when the Standard Schnauzer Club of America honors its 2013 award winners at the National Specialty in Pleasanton, California in October. In addition, Wyatt has already qualified and received his invitation to the Eukanuba National All Breed Show to be held in Orlando, Florida, December 13-14. Congratulations, Lynne and Wyatt, for a huge accomplishment!
Although Wyatt’s winning ways have been an absolute thrill for Lynne, the thing she values most from her dog show experience is the wonderful friends she has made. If not for Wyatt she is sure her path never would have crossed with people she considers among her best friends with whom she shares a very unique and close bond. Lynne’s current plans are to continue to have fun showing Wyatt, but also mentor new Standard Schnauzer exhibitors as a gesture of gratitude to those who were so generous with their advice and assistance when she was just starting in conformation.
While Wyatt is quite the “fab” show dog, he is also a regular dog who loves to run, romp and get dirty in his backyard … he also knows how to strike a pose just when it counts.