The Hovawart Club of Great Britain

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Beck
Beck – Nederlands Ch Pines Tipperary for Annvad went to Rainbow Bridge on 29th April 2013 aged 14 ¾ years

Top Puppy in Breed - 1999
Top Hovawart Bitch - 2000
Top Hovawart - 2003, 2004
BIS HCGB - 2001, 2003
Crufts BOB 2003, 2005
Top Brood Bitch - 2005, 2008, 2009
Nederlands Champion - 2006

So dearly missed by Ann, Dave & especially her daughter Brianna.
There are no more tears left.

I was asked to write something for the website to commemorate her life. She was something very special and is now part of UK Hovawart history.

The story begins nearly 15 years ago when Ann decided to add another Hovawart to her household and heard on the Club grapevine that John Sharpe had taken Pines Illustrious Buckle to Ireland to be mated to Duke Alexander, a dog Ann had bred some years earlier. What would be better than to bring home a grand daughter to Sheeba – Hofwarth Burlesque ?
John & Elaine – Pines Hovawarts – gave Ann the choice of the six bitches in the litter and I accompanied Ann down to Cambridge and even to this day I’m not sure if Ann chose Beck or Beck chose Ann but whatever it was, it started a very, very special relationship.

Why was she called Beck ? Ann gave the choice of name to her partner Dave, he was an avid Manchester Utd fan and David Beckham was his favourite, so the choice was made.

Ann will tell you she was not an easy puppy – she chewed everything, her favourite being TV remotes and she wrote the manual on “mouthing” to get her owner’s attention. Her grandmother – Sheeba – was in her tenth year and would have nothing to do with the naughty adolescent and as with most things in life fate intervened. Ann heard of a young greyhound that needed a new home and Sam joined the family and he greatly helped to keep this black and gold whirlwind occupied.

Her show career began at Welsh Working & Pastoral Ch Show in April 1999 where she won Best Puppy and this was the start of her fantastic show career where she has led and others have followed. The partnership between Ann & Beck was something to watch, even at that early age there was something special and the more they moved around a ring the better they went. At Darlington Ch show the same year she was again awarded Best Puppy but also Best Bitch and Best of Breed, the youngest Hovawart since the breed had been given classes in 1983, by co-incidence this record was broken by her great grand daughter – Annvad Lady Farica, who won BOB at six months one day in April 2012 at the Welsh Working & Pastoral Championship Show. Beck was Top Puppy 1999 and followed this with Top Hovawart Bitch in 2000.

I must mention at this point Bauer – Flambards Appollo - the football fans amongst you will recognise the link “Beck ’n’ Bauer”, German goalkeeper ! He joined the Annvad household late 2000 very much by accident. Ann accompanied me to Yvonne & Dave Brason’s to look at a litter, which included a black dog that I was interested in. I decided the black wasn’t for me but the blonde dog, that was not a suitable future choice for my blonde girl would insist on keep lying on Ann’s feet and no matter where she went in that huge kitchen he would follow her. You’ve guessed it, he came home with us. Unfortunately his hip score prevented him from being used with Beck, but it did not prevent him being Beck’s forever friend.

In 2001 the HCGB hosted the IHF Conference along with the IHF show, this was possible following the change in the UK quarantine rules in February 2000. Beck won Best Bitch – judge Ans Shellekens van Vaught (Holland) and ultimately Best in Show, beating the dog – Schwarzwald Baily’s Beads, who went on to become the sire of Beck’s first litter the following year.
This litter produced three blacks and three blondes from which Ann kept a blonde daughter – Brianna – Annvad Carefree Princess - who herself has proved to be a very successful in the show ring including Top Hovawart 2005 & 2009 with Best Bitch at Crufts 2009.

2003 saw Beck win her first Best of Breed at Crufts and she also gained her Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold Award – brains as well as beauty! She won BOB at SKC Ch show and became the first bitch to be short listed in a group. Ann & Dave, with Beck & Brianna and motorhome made a trip to the Dutch Hovawart Club’s Championship Show in September where Beck was a very creditable third - out of 30 – in Open Bitch. She followed this in October by winning Best in Show at the HCGB show and rounded it all off with Top Hovawart for the Year. This was the first time that a Hovawart had won both BOB at Crufts and BIS at the HCGB Show in the same year. This has only been repeated since by another of Beck’s daughter’s in 2008 – Annvad Daimy’s Princess at Hosarvar – Caeleg.

2004 saw Beck return to Holland and this time she won Open Bitch, the CACIB and Best Bitch in Show, another first for a UK bred Hovawart and she repeated her Top Hovawart award.

2005 saw her win her second BOB at Crufts shortly followed by her second litter, the sire this time Dutch/Ger Ch Biko vd Bremmerstee. Beck decided to keep the success of the mating to herself ! She was scanned at 32 days and Ann received the disappointing news that she was not in whelp but little did she know that Beck was actually carrying eight puppies. It was only when Beck started stealing food – raw cauliflowers - six weeks into her pregnancy that Ann realised that the trip to Biko may have been successful. One of the two bitches from the litter - Caeleg - owned by Craig & Sarah Hosie is following in her mother’s footsteps with two BIS at HCGB’s Show, two Best Bitches at Crufts, one with BOB and it is a fitting memorial that she was Top Hovawart 2012 and is now eligible for an IHF Championship title. Beck was Top Brood Bitch in 2005 with her other daughter, Brianna taking the Top Hovawart spot. Beck was also Top Brood Bitch again in 2008 & 2009.

2006 was another very special year for Beck, Ann, Dave and the Hovawart breed in the UK because a trip to Holland in May resulted in her getting the final CACIB to be crowned a Nederland Champion, the first Hovawart born & resident in the UK to win such an honour. She then returned to the Dutch Ch show in September and won the Champion class. Beck, Ann & Dave have won many friends in Holland and their regular trips in the “Hovie bus” has done a lot to promote the “UK Hovawart” on the continent, Beck having more stamps on her passport than me!

2007 saw her winning veteran at Crufts but this was to be the last time that she would appear in the show ring. Beck did everything with such enthusiasm and this was to become her nemesis. I still remember the day that Ann came knocking on my door to use my phone to call the vet with an injured Beck in her car. She had been throwing a frisbee for Beck on a local park and Beck in her determination to reach it threw herself in the air and realising that she couldn’t quite reach she twisted herself to make sure she did and Ann heard a sickening crunch with Beck falling to the ground with the loss of her back legs. The news wasn’t good and the vet warned it was touch and go but she hadn’t met a Hovawart before and especially one called Beck. It took a while, lots of steroids, physiotherapy, water therapy and persuading Beck that it takes time to heal a slipped disc but Ann & Dave managed it and although she never made it back into the show ring she had already left her legacy.

But that wasn’t it for Beck, no one told her that she had to be careful and she still persisted in chasing – albeit in a wobbly gait - anything that was thrown – many a time Ann had to separate her from another dog’s toy. She would throw herself into anything – the sea, the local lake, the arm chair and the motor home if she thought it was going somewhere. Her last trip abroad was May 2012 – aged 13 yrs - when she went to Belgium as a passenger to cheer on her great grand daughter at her first foreign event. It was one of the hardest decisions I have seen Ann & Dave have to make when they decided to leave Beck at home the weekend of the IHF/HCGB show last October, this was the first time they had ever left her at home.

She had the heart of a lion and a determination I have never seen before in a dog and it was this that allowed her to overcome an injury I’m sure would have resulted in that ultimate visit to the vet. She could still hear a hard boiled egg being tapped at 50 yds and on her last day here she still was demanding her breakfast – a lightly fried egg !!

Was it the loss of her lifelong house mate Bauer some weeks before that decided her that it was time to let go and make her way to Rainbow Bridge to join him ? She was put to sleep in Ann’s arms in the back of my car. My previous veterinary experience allowed me to assist the vet and Beck being the dog that she was, she went peacefully with no fuss just a last wag of her tail to say goodbye.

We all hope to have that “dog of a lifetime” and Beck was certainly that for Ann & Dave, she may have made her mark in the show ring and in UK Hovawart history but most of all she has made a mark not just in Ann & Dave’s hearts but everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.

For some photos of Beck please see the gallery.

Julie Condron

To ALL our Hovawarts lost :-

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....








This article was posted on: 06-Jun-13