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Ch Rennie's Fantasia AD BH

DOB 20.04.2006

G Ch Rennie's Bannockburn (AD BH BT)
Ch Rennie's Aileen (BH BT DOM)

Rennie’s Fantasia, otherwise called Omega, is the beautiful daughter of G Ch Rennie’s Bannockburn (AD BH BT) and Ch Rennie’s Aileen (BH BT DOM) from their second litter born on 20 April 2006.

From an early stage she already displayed, what my family and I would later refer to as the look. Simply put this refers to the way in which she looks at a person with her eyes, which are so adorable.

A fond memory of her as a newborn puppy was when her dewclaw was removed and the wound bled a little. A bandage was placed on the wound and when she was bottle-fed it was easier to recognise her and so a bond between her and my daughter, Antonett developed.

As she grew her beautiful temperament became evident, as did her energetic and vibrant nature. A combination of those adorable eyes and nature stole Antonett’s heart. Ironically my older daughter, Beatrice, was going to buy Omega but fate took its course and she was given to Antonett as an early birthday present.

Adding to the Omega package is not only how well she gets along with our other 5 Boxers at home, particularly with her older brother Chanté, but how wonderfully she socialises with other dogs (Boxers and non-Boxers), children and people. This became evident at puppy socialising, training, taking her to events such as WODAC (World of Dogs and Cats) on 16th July, where she managed to steal the heart of each individual who passed the Federation of Boxers’ stand as well as taking her to shopping malls.

Her achievements to date include:

  • At her first show on 5th August 2006 she came first in her class
  • At the show on 26th August 2006 she came first in her class and was Best Opposite Sex puppy of the show
  • At the morning and afternoon shows on 9th September 2006 she came first in her class and was Best Opposite Sex puppy of the show
  • 4 Point Major winner and Best Opposite Sex in Show at the FBCSA Championship Show in Virginia, 8th September 2007
  • 2 points at the FBCSA Championship show held on 20 October 2007.
  • 2 points under Mrs Uschi Wöstmann on 15 March 2008 at the EBC morning show
  • 4 Points and Best Opposite Sex under Mr Machiel Bosch on 15 March 2008 at the EBC afternoon show
  • 2 Points under Dr. Marinda Oosthuizen on 16th February 2008 at the BCSA morning show.
  • 1 Point under Mrs. Ute Füglister on 16th February 2008 at the BCSA afternoon show.
  • Omega was awarded Federation Championship status on 11th April 2008.
  • She further obtain her AD title on 21st June of the same year.
  • 14th December 2008 Omega passed her Canine Good Citizen trial.
  • 31st October 2009 Omega was awarded her Traffic Steady Companion Dog title (BH) whilst pregnant with her first litter.
  • On 9th November 2009 Omega had a litter of 6 puppies, 3 males and 3 females including Rennie’s Achilles (Zorba) and Rennie’s Allure (Isis) with G Ch. Tambay’s Janosz SOM AD BH BT. This was also our family’s first litter where the puppies’ tails were not docked and the dew claw not removed.

Getting Omega ready for Traffic Steady Companion Dog title (BH) was a thrilling experience and I would like to share my thoughts regarding this experience with the following article which I wrote:

Omega was born on the 20th April 2006. I remember with much affection, when she was three days old, that the place where her dewclaw had been removed, kept bleeding and I had to put cotton wool and a small bandage on it. At that stage, the removing of dewclaws and docking of tails was permitted. From there onward, a special bond formed between Omega and me. I was especially delighted when she was given to me as a birthday present by my parents.

From the time she was born, Omega had a quiet and gentle way about her. Being a good owner, I enrolled Omega in puppy socialisation school and later for adult obedience training. However, as a young adult, it became apparent that she was very nervous and skittish towards people and almost everything else. Naturally, to cover up this insecurity, Omega would bark at anyone whom approached her. This behaviour would later be coined as ‘Pravda’ by my family. Concerned by this, and not having an explanation for why this behaviour was occurring, my mom and I began our search for an individual who would be able to help us. Help, not only in identifying what exactly the problem was, but more importantly, advice on which approach would be best in order for Omega to overcome this set back and live a happy life. In short, we were looking for a behaviourist.

Being very involved in the dog world, my mom received the Tellington Touch Newsletter regularly and this is how we found a behaviourist by the name of Heather Whitfield. The newsletter advertised the services that Heather provided, amongst others, hydrotherapy, training and endurance etc. Initially, my mom contacted Heather to discuss how she would recommend training a boxer male with a high level of excitement, for an endurance trial.

It was during this conversation that my mom mentioned Omega and if Heather would be able to help us with her as well. Heather happily informed my mom that she would be able to help us with Omega and gave directions to where she lived. Fortunately, for us, Heather doesn’t stay very far from where we live.

The first session with Omega, was an evaluation and observation. Heather made notes and discussed with us in detail the behaviour Omega was displaying and what she intends to do. Weekly sessions then commenced where Heather tried various methods, in order to gain Omega’s trust, such as approaching her from various angles to identify her ‘safe area’, talking to her softly and introducing her to a stuffed Beagle. Heather made a point of rewarding Omega when she was good and ignoring any bad behaviour. The body wrap and various Tellington touches then followed.

But, as with any behaviour, results come with time and no change is instantaneous. However, both my mom and I knew that it would take time and were not expecting any radical changes to occur from the first session. It was however apparent that with every session, Heather gained more of Omega’s trust and little by little, the Pravda behaviour began to cease. This was a very pleasing sight indeed.

This however, did not exempt me from homework, especially with the body wrap. At home, Omega was to wear her body wrap, not only for her to familiarise herself with the wrap around her body, but the psychology behind the body wrap is to make the dog consciously aware of its body, its legs and neck. As a result, it in occurs confidence.

What was becoming more apparent was the relationship that Heather was building with Omega. It took a few sessions but improvement was definitely evident and at home I noticed that Omega was definitely more confident than she before.

Now that trust and a relationship had been established between Heather and Omega, the next milestone was the Traffic Steady Companion Dog trial or otherwise known as Begleithund. Omega had previously been entered in the Trial but failed due to the unfortunate incident of growling at the judge when he approached her. The challenge now lay in familiarising Omega with other people and strangers in a positive and non-threatening atmosphere, which was of importance, if she was to succeed in this trial.

This included taking Omega to various shopping centres and encouraging people to come up to her, touch her and talk to her. Once again, when Omega displayed desirable behaviour, she was rewarded and firm command of “NO” was given to any bad behaviour or was ignored. Further obedience training was done with Omega, in order to prepare her for that aspect of the trial.

The day before the trial, a heavily pregnant, Omega went to Heather for some Tellington touch sessions to help her stay calm for the following day. The 31st October 2009 had arrived for Omega to show her new improved confident self. Nonetheless, Omega passed and proceeded to do further working trial tests on the same day. She passed her Beginner’s and Preliminary tests with flying colours.

I would like to thank Heather Whitfield for all her patience, time and help with me and Omega. Omega definitely has come a long way since the first time she met Heather and is all the better for it.

Antonett Rennie.