Cherrie Spring – From English Springer Spaniels to Talking with the Animals
Handing her English Springer Spaniel to professional handler Gary Zayac at the National, vaulted Cherrie Spring into the world of dog shows. Balance in dogs, and balance with and through her skills as an animal communicator was not always easy. But just as show dogs learn to use themselves well, Cherrie has honed her communication skills to answer questions between owners and animals.
In addition to her work as an animal communicator, Cherrie Spring has a long, diverse history involved with purebred dogs. She agreed to share some of her most powerful lessons with our PureDogTalk listeners.
Enjoy this wonderful tribute to her mentors! Laura Reeves
Words of Wisdom from my Mentors
…as remembered by Cherrie Spring
Wisdom comes in as many forms as there are teachers. I will share some of the more memorable from the great teachers in my life, recognizing that in saying this I am leaving out many people.
From Debbie Ritter – Pedigrees
I learned that, in reading pedigrees, you must consider the grandparent’s influence as if you are not breeding the two you are considering, but the four behind them. If any of those four, in your estimation, should not be bred, for any reason, the breeding should not be done.
When breeding from a dominant bitch line to an outcross you should never expect to go forward in that generation alone. Only keep out of the litter what your vision is going forward. When breeding to a line-bred dog, you must always consider his stamina, drive and temperament as the foremost component of what you are trying to achieve.
You absolutely, without exception, must know the faults in make and shape and genetic abnormalities that all animals in the first three generations have to make an educated and responsible decision in a considered breeding.
She taught me how to read a pedigree like no one before her or since. She understood our breed (English Springer Spaniel) and the individuals in it that well.
From Karen Prickett Miller – English Springer Spaniels
I learned, you cannot shorten the muzzle of an English Springer Spaniel without compromising everything in head structure which makes the Springer head unique. A shoved in foreface creates a round eye and lack of correct chiseling around the eye and to include the muzzle that is specifically stated in the standard. This shortening also causes the upper lid to lose its shape and become round, another fault addressed in the standard. The loss of length of foreface also creates a lack of room for pre molars. A Springer head with these proportions and faults has no strength or stamina to carry game in its mouth correctly.
You cannot have a short headed dog and have a dog that is proportioned to the standard, as measurements starts with the length of the head. Bone on a Springer is flat. It is not round. Round bones are heavier than flat bones. Make your bones flat and wide, not round and dense. This really applies to legs and rib cage.
Teach them to go (move) on their own. They must go as they stand in profile.
Four Qualities in Breeding Animals
There are four qualities that every breeding animal should have. Strong character appropriate to their breed. Deep underjaws in breeds that are to have a scissor or level bite. Straight front legs. Breed appropriate feet. The down fall of these mark the downfall of the breed.
I have had Anne Clarke tell Gary and I the same things.
From Denis Springer I learned:
You have to be tough as nails on the outside, with hands that are trusted and gentle guided by your love of the dog and the fancy.
He would tell me, “Toughen up Red, regroup and show them what is really inside.”
You must let your hands tell you what your eye lies to you about.
No matter how great a groomer you are, the studied and schooled eye can always know your lie. You can’t hide bad structure, unless you take them apart and restitch them.
From Gary Zayac I learned:
- Many people can get the Best In Show dog in the whelping box. The trick is having the eye to pick the correct one and managing them from the whelping box to the Best In Show ring.
- Silent mouths, silent hands and an always watchful eye wins the prize.
- Teach them (dogs) to trust you and they will give you the world. Teach them to fear you and you have no dog when things get rough.
- When the dogs really trust you, then you can push them past what they fear.
- Be invisible, inside the ring and out, until it is time to not be.
- Believe in the dog on the end of the lead. And believe in the dog you take home.
- Patience is the foundation of all good work in the world.
- Good sportsmanship is the foundation of all that we do and no win is complete without the honor of your fellow exhibitors.
From Chris Terrell I learned:
Be humbled by the magnificence that surrounds you.
Find joy in every day.
Walk gently and honor the life you have.
He taught me so much about how to handle big out of control dogs that were acting out of fear and being overwhelmed. He’s a master at mind control. I learned so much from him about controlling my mind and body. He taught me to not care and let it roll off my shoulders what people thought and said about me and the dogs. Gary, by the way told me the same thing, but Chris was not the husband. (LOL)
From Brenda Albrecht
I learned how to be a really hard worker for a club and to be a part of a community who’s goal was the preservation and promotion of a breed that we all loved. She taught me how to be a selfless club member where the club came first and my needs or schedule was not a huge consideration.
Talking to the Animals – Cherrie Spring
Cherrie Spring reveals her root story of how talking to the animals began in episode #110 of Pure Dog Talk.
I would not want to detract from you listening to her tales, but well-worth your ear.
Cherrie does leave our listeners with a insightful blessing.
Be Still With Your Animals
Be quiet. Be still. Listen deeply. Ask gentle questions. Watch.
This practice of being still with your animals may help you communicate clearer and deeper.