The Making of a Female Champion and a Young Boy On Fire

by DeAnne Hawkes


They Don’t Call It Hotlanta for Nothing!

When Richard and I were in Atlanta for the August 2014 AKC dog shows, the heat was on in a big way, especially for two of our youngest Black Russian Terriers – Arisha and Mishka. Despite the unbearable Atlanta heat, it was the coolest of competitions for these special Guardian Bears:

CH Arisha Krasa Russkaya Nochnaya Zvezda at Guardian Bears Kennel (Arisha)

Beautiful Arisha came home a newly minted AKC Champion, and also earned the first point toward her AKC Grand Champion title.


Man in Black Eastrianon (Mishka)

The Atlanta shows were the first time in the ring for our then 8-month-old boy Mishka. This budding superstar came home a winner, too, having received his first major win.


August 21: Arisha won her first major and only needed a second for her AKC Championship. On this day, Arisha and Mishka both won their classes. It was a big way to start the shows – and a great birthday present to me!

August 22: Arisha took Winners Bitch (WB) and Best of Winners (BOW) – the defining win that made her an AKC Champion. Thank you to pro handler Rhanda Glenn, and to all of the handlers who helped Arisha along the way, including Rhanda, as well as David Elmo Rich, Missy Brown, Dawn Hitchcock and Richard Hawkes. Our boy Mishka also did great on day two, taking Reserve Winners Dog (RWD). There were five class dogs with only one younger than Mishka. It was a fantastic achievement for our young boy in his first competition.

August 23: Unstoppable Mishka barreled into the ring to take Winners Dog (WD) and Best of Winners (BOW) for the first major win of his career, earning three points toward his AKC Championship. He prevailed over a 2-year-old and another puppy. Not to be outdone by her little brother, Arisha took Select Bitch (SB) in the Best of Breed competition for a 5-point major, securing the placement over much older competition.

August 24: Mishka won his class for the third time in Atlanta, and then the Guardian Bears loaded up and headed back to North Carolina. We had a great time working, winning and socializing with everyone who shares a love of dogs. Well done Arisha and Mishka – you made us so proud!

Our deepest thanks…
…to the great handlers Rhanda Glenn, CJ Favre, Cathy Pullian and Richard Hawkes, who brought out the best in our Guardian Bears in Atlanta
…to Arisha’s breeders Alenka Petrovič of Kennel Russkaya Nochnaya Zvezda and Alexandra Goratchek of Kennel Doliny Vetrov for sharing our joy in Champion Arisha’s increasing accomplishments
…to Mishka’s breeder Anna Pashkovskaya of Kennel Eastrianon for this beautiful boy and cheering with us from afar during his impressive first competition
…to AKC judges Bobby Birdsong, Steven Gladstone, Robert Indeglia and Sharon Smith for your recognition of Arisha and Mishka
…and the Griffin, Sawnee Mountain, Lawrenceville and Conyers kennel clubs of Georgia for hosting these shows

Thanks also to our family and friends in the breed for your support and cheers from all over the world.