As it appeared in Akita World

Multi-BIS Ch. Asa Taiyo’s Lone "Star" Lawman

June 7, 1990 – August 7, 1997

Breeder : Russell and Jill Drennan and LeeAna Dorsett

Owner : Russell and Jill Drennan

Star was our first homebred Champion, Group Winner and Placer, first ranked Akita and First Best In Show winner. He is the standard that we will measure all others by. He had a tremendous show record, especially considering that we were fairly new in this game called "Dog Shows". He had 219 Bests of Breed, 82 Group Placements, and 3 Bests in Show. He was ranked in the Top 10 in Breed and Group points from 1992 through 1996 and through out all this was Breeder/Owner/Handled.

Star finished his championship in 10 shows. He had 3 back to back majors and 2 Bests of Breed, over specials, from the Bred By class. Except for one show, he was shown exclusively from the Bred By class. He was 8 months old when he won his first Breed. Mrs. Betty Moore was the Group judge and he made the cut under her that day. Two weeks later he finished at the Houston show, under Mrs. Betty Krause, with his third major and second Best of Breed. He defeated 6 specials that day for a 4 point major.

Since he was doing so well, we decided to continue specialling him and see what happened. About 1 month later he won his first Working Group. It started out as a nice day, but about noon a bad storm blew in. The showsight was at a fair ground and the rings were scattered in several buildings as there was not one building big enough for all. It was still pouring as Group time approached and we had a short distance to go to get to the building where the Groups were being held. We put Star’s crate on the crate dolly, put him in it, and covered the sides and door with towels. I had a hooded rain jacket for partial protection and pulled Star through the rain to the building so he was dry when we arrived. Russell ran from building to building and managed to stay fairly dry for the Group. That was Star’s first Group Win and first Group Placement! We floated home from Louisiana that night!

Star won his first Best In Show at 3 years of age. He was showing like he’d never shown before. He flew around the ring, showing off his tremendous side gate. When asked to free stack in the center of the ring, he did – and looked awesome. I had seen him show well before, but never like this. I had chills running down my spine! Mrs. Dorothy Hutchinson was the Group judge and when she handed Russell the Group I rosette, she said "I don’t know who you are, or where you came from, but that’s one hell of an Akita you have!" When Mrs. Judith Goodin, the Best In Show judge, said "The Akita", I couldn’t believe it. We both had tears in our eyes, mine were running down my face also. Star couldn’t understand why I was crying and started looking for who had bothered me, so we had to calm both of us down before we could take the pictures. Neither of us could really believe it happened, until the pictures came in!

Star won 2 more Bests that year. At his second one we had a judge change and didn’t expect much. We had a new litter of puppies, so I stayed home and Russell went to the show by himself. When he called that night, he was pretty casual in his conversation, and asked about each dog, by name, and the puppy. Finally he said he’d had a judge change for the Breed and Group and told me who they were. I kept asking "How did he do? Did he at least show well?" and finally he said, "Well, I guess you can call him a Multi-Best In Show dog now". I think he heard me all the way there without the phone. Mrs. Pardo, the BIS judge, loves to see dogs free bait and "show". When Russell went to the center of the ring to "show his dog", Star once again, did as he was asked, pulled up, showed off the arch of his neck and free baited. Mrs. Pardo said "When he showed for you, he sent shivers down my back!"

As luck would have it, none of our friends were at the first two shows he won Best. His third Best was in Beaumont, Tx. Many of our friends were at that show and stayed and watched him win that day. Winning a Best In Show is a wonderful experience, but having friends around to share it, really made it special! Star won the Working Group both days that weekend, first under Mr. Robert Ligon then under Mrs. Betty Moore on Sunday. Mr. Norton Moore was the Best In Show judge that day. Once again, we had a judge that loved to see dogs free bait, so we had our fingers crossed that Star would free bait as we knew he could. He did and looked awesome. Most of our friends had never seen him show like that – he didn’t like to do it, and being a typical Akita, would only do so when he felt like it!

In the ring, Star was all business, the Dignified Akita, but back at home, he let his dignity slide and his devil horns would show! He loved to carry things outside with him. It didn’t matter what it was – a shoe, a rubber boot, a bone, a toy – anything he could grab as he flew out the door. Bones were special and were placed in certain locations – for later retrieval, but other items were dropped where ever he happened to be. One day, he decided he needed to hide his bones in the house, too. We would find bones in the dirty clothes hamper and in a basket of clean clothes, anywhere he could "hide" them. We finally gave up and put an old sheet in the corner of the living room and told him that was for his bones. He was quite happy with that and "buried" them there from then on.

He also liked to play with his puppies. He’d run up and down the fence, and wait at each end for them to catch up! He’d roll over and kick his feet up in the air, waiting for them to pounce on him! He loved to run and play with all – dogs and bitches – and when he "spoke" the others would listen. He just had to bark once to stop a fence-fight or an argument over a toy. Even his mother – (our queen bee, or so she thinks!) would listen and back down from him. Rarely did he need to do more than bark once or twice, all agreed he was in charge and looked to him for leadership. When we lost him, our normally vivacious crew was abnormally quiet for over a week.

Star was also very protective of anything he considered his. He didn’t like it when Russell played with another dog at shows. The first time he did this, Star refused to acknowledge Russell in any way for over 2 hours. Not even for liver! He jumped up in the middle of the bed one night when I woke up with a bad coughing fit. Try to cough and catch your breath with a 115 lb. weight on your legs and a cold wet nose in your face! It’s not easy! But he was always concerned when either of us were sick, and liked to stay near and watch over us.

Normally other dogs would not challenge him, but there were a few exceptions. His reactions in each case were very intelligent, doing just enough to control the situation without causing a commotion. He placed himself between me and a large Mastiff on a very small lead, one day at a show. He stayed there until the Mastiff was gone. Another time, he "told" a Dobe to "cut it out" in the Group ring after the Dobe had tried to bite his (Star’s) tail. Neither handler was aware of the full extent of the exchange, but exhibitors ringside saw the whole thing. Not a word was said, nor a growl heard, but the Dobe decided he’d leave the "fluffy tail" alone. There was a wet ring on Star’s tail as proof of the attempted bite!

One day, while I was fixing dinner for everyone, Star decided to "sing and dance" for his meal. He started "whooo whoooing" and stomped his front feet up and down and then spun around in a circle. That became a tradition from then on. He would "sing and dance" as I was finishing up and if I wasn’t fast enough for him, he’d do it again. Sometimes he even would do it at other times when we asked him.

We didn’t breed Star very much and it took us several years to find the right one we wanted to breed to him. We got a very nice litter of puppies from that breeding. Dawn finished fairly fast and is a multi-BOB winner. Angel is pointed out and waiting for her majors. Maggie is competing in Agility and will start showing in conformation shortly. We have one more at home that we are considering showing also. Time will tell with him!

This page was last updated on 05/27/2012

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