CANEN RUFUS RUST (AW) : JAFFA
: 05.03.2002 - present
Born on the foothills of Snowdon, I met Jaffa when he was four days old. Looking for my next agility dog, I had researched breeding lines, watched a lot of dogs working and decided on a Canen for their effortless athletic style and presence in the ring. I waited quite a while for Jaffa's litter to be born. Even though I had nominally traveled to see his litter brother, I picked Jaffa out instantly. Just as with Dexter six years earlier, he was 'the one'. The tiny pup made an odd purring noise when I picked him up, which I grudgingly admit was probably a very cute attempt at a fierce growl at being plucked from a warm nest into the cold of a windy, snow-filled day.
Jaffa got his name because his face is 'a little orange'. He has most distinctive tri-colour and merle markings. Choosing his KC name was simple - Canen was the affix, Rufus was tradition and the last R-word? Well for such a striking merle, what else could it be but Rust ?
He's an enormously powerful dog, both physically and mentally. He's well-boned and well-muscled; being knocked over by Jaffa at full tilt (and believe me, you will get knocked over if you get in the way) was something you worked very hard to avoid. Despite his power and speed, Jaff could turn on a sixpence which was novel to me after handling a number of dogs with the turning circle of the QE2.
Jaffa is a most affectionate, loving and loyal dog. He has to be touching you, or preferably sitting on you or best of all, attempting a Vulcan mind-meld with you. Life for Jaffa is not complete without a constant supply of love. His desire to please and obey your every command, is overwhelming.
His frustration with my handling, mostly stemming from his need to herd me and my inability to run fast enough to be close by him at every turn, usually lead him to a noisy, hyper round of agility. The amount of noise and adrenaline he generated while he worked meant that I often ran him in silence; there wasn't room for two of us issuing orders at the same time. Because of my reliance on body language, I was asked on a few occasions if Jaffa was deaf. No, nothing wrong with Jaffa's hearing!
When I got it right in the ring, Jaffa was simply stunning. When it all went wrong we would stand in the middle of the course and have a slanging match. It was a love thing.
Jaffa started his agility career at Longleat (Chippenham AC) in September 2003. He amassed a large number of good Novice and Intermediate places before going Senior (G6) at North Derbyshire show in July 2006 and obtaining his Agility Warrant the following week at Dashin' Dogs.
On holiday in August 2009, running across a field playing with the
other dogs, Jaffa rammed his entire front left leg down a rabbit-hole.
This freak accident did immense damage to his shoulder assembly and the
ribs behind it. Nine months of painstaking recuperation and
rehabilitation saw him back in the ring for the 2010 season, much to
his delight. Although he competed successfully that year, I felt much
of his power and balance had not been restored so Jaffa was retired
from agility at the end of the year to prevent the possibility of
further or recurring injury. Jaffa spends his retirement busily patrolling the fields and keeping those pesky 'Minis'
in order. These days he suffers from arthritis,
so I believe the decision to retire him was a timely one.
On 9th June 2007 Jaffa became a dad to an ISDS litter of five lovely red and red merle puppies from Shirley Bell's 'Star' (Canen Slap Happy) bred under the Canen affix. These pups, raised and placed by Shirley, have matured into a mixture of successful agility, flyball, obedience and herding dogs. As one of the UK's top flyball dogs, Jaffa's daughter qualified for Crufts 2010-2016 with the Wilmslow and Thistle Flyers flyball teams, and one of Jaffa's sons qualified for Crufts 2012 with his J-U12 handler in the YKC ring. Jaffa's son in Holland has made him a Grandad to several litters.
It's lovely to see Jaffa's legacy - and Shirley's vision - continue on through the generations.
Click the button to visit Jaffa and Star's litter page: