Maple Valley Tribune

Turcics Adopted by Boxers

THE FUNNY WORLD OF DOGS AND DOG SHOWS


Piddle Poodle: One of my favorite stories about dog shows happened to my mom who used to show our Irish Setter, Kelly, in obedience trials. Several dogs were lying down and staying while their owners left the room. During this long sit-stay, a poodle got up, walked over to Kelly and peed on her! Kelly, a rare smart Setter, just laid there until my mom returned. What a good dog!
 -- Kerrie

 

She’s So Glad to See You, and You, and You…  Our first boxer, Annie, is a very happy girl. Like most boxers, she loves people and wants everyone to notice her. At dog shows, she wags her whole body at anybody who just happens to walk by. You can see the bewilderment on her face when people don’t stop to make friends with her. She just can’t understand why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t want to see her.
 – Kerrie

 

A Sporting Group Wannabe: Our boy, AJ, is an avid fly-hunter. In fact, we sometimes call him AJ Bug-Hunter in the Australian accent of the Crocodile Hunter. Ask him to “get the bug,” and he’ll look all around until he finds it. AJ will stalk an unknowing fly and wait until the moment he can snap it out of the air with his boxer jaws. Or, he’ll simply smoosh it against a wall with his nose and gobble it up after it hits the floor. He lives for the hunt.
 – Kerrie

MAPLE VALLEY — Since his birth in 1975, and throughout his childhood, Jamey Turcic traveled with Mom, Dad, Brother and three Saint Bernards from dog show to dog show around the Midwest. “Sometimes I even felt like one of the dogs,” says Jamey. “I’d often crawl into a crate and take a nap. Dad used to put my brother and me in a crate and hang a sign on the side that read: ‘Bred by Exhibitor’.”

In 1977, Kerrie Smith (now Turcic), was nearly born at a dog show. “My mom started contractions while my dad was in the ring showing Micah, our male Irish Setter,” says Kerrie. Luckily the contractions were only a false alarm.

Maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe it was the dog show gods, but somehow these two individuals who had grown up around show dogs ended up in the same place at the same time: dogless in college at Washington State University. After dating for a while, they talked about what breed of dog they would eventually get. “We both agreed that it wouldn’t be fair for either one of us to get the breed we grew up with,” says Kerrie. “We knew we wanted to show dogs, though.”

Throughout their courtship, the major question remained: What breed?

Finding a Boxer
“Kerrie had a babysitting job in high school for a family that had a boxer named Truffles,” says Jamey. “Growing up with Setters, who aren’t particularly known for their brains, Kerrie was impressed with the way Truffles could communicate with her.”

She also loved being met at the door with such enthusiasm. “When I would come in their door, she would jump up on me and practically knock me over trying to give me boxer kisses,” says Kerrie. “I remember, the mother would always warn me about the jumping/kissing habit before I went in their house. Now I warn visitors about the same thing.” Truffles also thought she was a lap-dog. “If I was on the couch, she’d sit nicely on the floor and stare at me until I said it was OK to come up and join me.”

“I mentioned to Jamey that I thought boxers were a cool breed,” says Kerrie, “and he had heard good things about them, too.” After some research, it was decided they would get a boxer … eventually.

Jamey and Kerrie married in May of 2002, and began their search for the newest member of their family soon thereafter. After attending numerous dog shows and talking to several boxer breeders, they got lucky. In October, a breeder who had heard they were looking for a show dog called and said there would be a litter at the American Boxer Club Regional Specialty in

Vancouver, Wash., the next day.

In October of 2002, they adopted their first child: Laurelview’s That Thing U Do, from the first litter of sire Ch. Renee’s Brooklyn Bruiser (Buster). They called the little fawn, flashy girl Annie.

A year later, Jamey and Kerrie decided Annie needed a brother. In November of 2003, they adopted their second child: JEMS Roll The Dice, from Ch. JEMS Pearl Jam (Jam) and Ch. JEMS Renee’s On Target (Allie). They called their plain fawn boy, AJ, an acronym derived from his doggie parents’ names.

Showing Boxers
As an owner-handler, Jamey has experienced the ups and downs of the show ring. “I really never had the chance to be in the breed ring as a kid,” says Jamey. “Most of my handling experience came from Junior Showmanship, where the handler is the one being judged, and not so much the dog. A lot of what goes on in the breed ring is out of your hands because you can only show a dog that wants to be shown … and should be shown. At every show I’m competing against people who show dogs for a living, who devote all of their energy to showing, and despite my own experience and skills, that is very tough to compete with.”

Kerrie has experienced the ups and downs of being an owner-handler’s wife. “It can get a bit hectic before shows, but we still have fun,” she says. “It took us a while to work out our routine. I’m usually running from the ring to the trailer or the car for some accessory we’ve forgotten.”

No matter what, Jamey and Kerrie agree that dog shows are a hobby that can be done as a family. “It’s an escape from our everyday lives,” says Kerrie, who works as a communications editor at PACCAR Inc in Bellevue, Wash. Jamey, a systems engineer with Microsoft, Corp. in Redmond, says, “Dog shows were always family time growing up. I think that’s something I cherish deeply about my childhood. I feel blessed that it’s something Kerrie also enjoys, and we can do it together as a family.”

“Having boxers has improved the quality of our lives,” says Kerrie. “I love the breed – I love coming home at the end of the day and being greeted by two jumping beans. They’re always so excited to see you.”

“Whether you are gone for five minutes, or five days,” says Jamey, “they are just so happy to see you every time you come home. I like to call them our ‘furkids’ because they are our children. We will always have boxers in our lives. One of my favorite quotes is: ‘You don’t know what love is until you have loved, and been loved by, boxers.’”

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