In a yearbook about dogs in Denmark 1983-84 named "Glade Hundedage" Mr I. C. Christensen, the wellknown breeder of Beagles with the prefix "O'Connix" wrote the following story about CH Redpower's Rumson Boy - Johnny - as a tribute to "Dog of the Year 1983 - All Breeds"

At the end of the story some private pictures of Johnny and his handler Peter Hage, can be seen.

The Ugly Duckling who became

"Dog of the Year 1983".

Johnny was a pet puppy and was therefore sold to the countryside in the south of Sweden. Unfortunately he ended up a chained dog. Luckily in the end he came to Kastrup near Copenhagen in competent hands. - Then an amazing career followed with 14 shows in 14 moths - 13 times "Best Terrier".

The store behind Dog of the Year 1983 is a real old-fashioned fairytale. He had to go through so many bad things before everything finally turned around and everybody saw that he was not "an ugly duckling" but a beautiful Welsh Terrier!

When Redpower's Rumson Boy called Johnny played around with his two sisters and his brother he was the ugly duckling of the litter. He looked like a giraffe. He was nothing but a huge neck and far too long legs.

His breeder Mr Sven Åke Ahlberg was not amused with him as a puppy with show potential.

He watched his puppies very carefully, was also visited by fellow breeders and some judges. All of them agreed. The two bitches of the litter were of a good quality (they both later became Swedish Champions), but the two males were not better than to be sold as ordinary pets or ratters. Johnny's destiny was to end up as a watchdog in Småland where he lived by the chain during daytime and in the cowshed at nights. Whenever his coat got too long it was cut with shears.

In this way four years passed by.

By accident a terrierjudge saw him and called the breeder. He on his side remembered just too well how Johnny looked as a puppy and had no chance to go from Stockholm to Småland to check his present looks. So not until half a year later when the farmer was about to have a divorce and had to leave his farm he called Ahlberg and said that Johnny would be put down if he couldn't collect him.

Ahlberg wanted him back rather than having him shot even if it was not exactly a well-picked time as he himself at that time was very stressed and was a convalescent and furthermore had to give up his breeding of dogs.

Luckily for Danish Terrier breeding Åke Ahlberg in 1979 had been in contact with a new Danish breeder, Carl Borchorst in Kastrup. Carl had taken contact to the Swedish breeder in order to have a bitch inseminated with Johnny's father - a dream of a Welsh Terrier CH Groveview Red Rum, who went Best-in-Show in Stockholm 1976 over more than 3470 dogs. This project did not work out but the contact was made.

When Åke Ahlberg had to give up his breeding he offered Ingrid Søborg and Carl Borchorst his 3 best dogs. Even if it was not easy for Ingrid an Carl to accept, as the timing was bad, it ended in this way that one of the Red Rum-sons CH Red Power's Rustic Shadow went to Ingrid and Carl's friend Lise Christfort and the two others, a bitch and Johnny went to Kastrup.

Ahlberg stayed as co-owner and he showed him on his first show in Denmark where he was Best Terrier under Mr. Tore Fossum, Norway and later was BIS 6.

Ch Red Power's Rumson Boy,Welsh Terrier,
breed in Sweden and owned by S. Å. Ahlberg, Carl Borchorst og Ingrid Søborg, Kastrup


Untrimmed Johnny as he looked when he came to Denmark 1982

In this phase his Danish handler and trimmer Peter Hage enters the scene. The dog that had never been on a trimming table or experienced to have his coat trimmed told clearly that he had a different opinion how things should be. Just look at the picture!

"To begin with he was difficult to deal with", Peter Hage tells. "When you have to trim the short hairs on top of his head it is difficult from time to time to avoid pinching the dog with the trimming knife. If I did so in the beginning, he bit me. With no warning. Either I have stopped trembling or Johnny has got used to the procedure. Anyway now he is easily dealt with.

A showman he still is - always in the mood to show off. Four years as a chained dog has not spoilt him and of course not his unique type. He is a Welsh all over with no touch of Fox Terrier as it is often seen. He is elegant without being too elegant, sturdy as a Welsh should be without getting coarse, Peter Hage continues. - "Beyond any doubt one of the best Welsh Terriers ever presented in a Danish show-ring" Mr. Alex Krasilnikoff wrote in his report from the show in Århus in 1982. Here he for the first time, with Peter in the other end of the lead went Best Terrier and later res. Best in Show under Mr. Hans Lehtinen, Finland.


The happy quartet around Dog of the Year after his great success in Herning International Show, November 1983. From left: Ingrid Søborg, Carl Borchorst and proud breeder Sven Åke Ahlberg. Handler Peter Hage with Johnny on the lead.

Johnny completely ignoring all the fuss around him bathed in spotlight and confetti and champagne. He seems to think that everything is quite normal and as it ought to be.

And so he went on. In his 14-months-carreer in Denmark he has been shown 14 times. 13 times he went Best Terrier - 3 times ending up as Best-in-Show finally being Best in Show in Herning and Dog of the Year - All breeds in 1983.

Now the career has come to an end.
There'll be no return match as Johnny is an elderly "gentleman". He hides it very well and his "associates" have done what they could not to display the fact that actually he is a veteran born on August 22nd 1976. And in dogdom you have reached the "age of men" at seven.

Ingrid Søborg and Carl Borchorst on the other hand have plans about trying to show him as a real veteran, but not until 1985. Presumably at that time he will be able to add another title to the many he already has, "Veteran of the Year" even if other dogs also will have their say in this matter.

Johnny did not get his show potential from strangers. Not his typical terrier ways either. Try and read the story of his mother:

As it is common in Sweden Sven Åke Ahlberg rehomed his bitches in homes when they had been made up. When Johnny's mother Red Power's Tan Breeze was made up Norwegian and Swedish Champion she was rehomed. Together with her new owner she lived a free and active life. Went for long walks in the Mid-Swedish forests and was closely attached to her new "father". On one of these long walks they passed a railway just in front of a large curve. Suddenly an empty ore-train came rattling along. Man and dog were at the curve and it looked as if the train was heading straight against them, and presumably the small dog thought that it was going to assault them - a thing you should not do to her master! To a Welsh Terrier "the best defence is an attack". Anyway she attacked the train and of course it did not end so well. Even a Welsh Terrier has to give in fighting an onrushing locomotive. The fight against the overwhelming enemy was short and fierce but fatal.

Such an end is not for Johnny. But he has experienced what not many other Danish dogs have tried: to be declared persona non grata and expelled from France: together with 6 kennel-mates and his owners he was expelled from France after a dramatic incident at the French border. Obviously French customs officers never had known of anybody wanting to go on a dog show in France with so many dogs in the car. They could smell a rat. No doubt. This was a sure case of attempt of smuggling, which meant a fine and banishment. Had the good French customs officers known that it was Dog of the Year they suspected Carl and Ingrid of smuggling into France in order to sell, they could not have been more wrong. Then they might have known that such a dog is one you only get once in a lifetime - if you are very lucky! And such a dog you do not let go unless you are compelled by quite extraordinary circumstances. Unless of course you only keep him chained at daytime and keep him as a ratter at nights.

-C.


Happy Peter after winning his first group with Johnny

Tear of joy - and victory
Thirst of victory - and champagne

Peter og Johnny after the victory
( please wait the foto tpo load  )


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