HEALTH CLEARANCES: OFA Hips: GOOD (SMH-1853G27M-VPI)
OFA Elbows: NORMAL (SMH-EL1673M27-VPI)
OFA Shoulders: NORMAL (SMH-SH622M27-VPI)
OFA Thyroid: NORMAL (SMH-TH102/27M-VPI) CERF: SMH-1212
P2Y12 Mutation: CLEAR (SMH-RPD2/55M-VPI)
D Locus (dilute/blue): D/D (non-carrier)
Shea has two litters of puppies on the ground.
Check out all of Shea's offspring here, and on some
of their individual pages.
2009 AKC Championship at 13 months
Award of Merit, Blue Ridge Specialty
Best In Sweepstakes, GSMDCA Blue Ridge Specialty Best in Sweepstakes, Blue Ridge Supported Entry Best in Sweepstakes, Blue Ridge Supported Entry
Select Dog/Award of Merit, GSMDCA Midwest Regional Specialty
AKC Grand Championship (5/29/10) -- a Swissy first!
Award of Merit, GSMDCA Eastern Regional Specialty America's #1 Swissy (AKC Breed Points)!
2011 GSMDCA "Top 20" Winner at the National Specialty -- not only the
Judges' Choice but the People's Choice too!!!!!
#11 Ranked Swissy in very limited showing
2013 GSMDCA National Specialty -- Select Dog
Best in Specialty at the C&P GSMDC Specialty, Millwood VA
Working Group 3 at Back Mountain KC (Nov 2)
Working Group 2 at Back Mountain KC (Nov 3)
#7 Ranked Swissy in very limited showing
Westminster KC -- Select Dog
Working Group 4 at Ladies Kennel Association in Long Island
Working Group 2 at Riverhead Kennel Club in Long Island
Working Group 3 at Brookhaven Kennel Club in Long Island
GSMDCA NATIONAL SPECIALTY -- Best of Breed
GSMDCA Top 20 -- People's Choice Winner
Working Group 4 at Suffolk County KC
OH Group 1 at Suffolk County KC
Working Group 3 at Gloucester KC
Working Group 3 at South Windsor KC
OH Working Group 1 at South Windsor KC
#2 Ranked Swissy in very limited showing
September 2015 -- C&P Supported Entry in VA, Best of Breed and
Group 4 atseven years of age
December 2015 -- BOS at the Mid Atlantic Greater Swiss Specialty...
to his daughterwho was BOB.
Shea finished the year in the Top 20 again, in only 5 weekends of
showing, all as a Veteran.
Thank you to Holly Witzgall, Shea's breeder, for sharing this amazing dog with Tom Conway and me.
To Tom Conway, THANK YOU for everything you've done for this boy - hauling him to shows and back and forth to
Connecticut throughout the year, and for caring for him and loving him like you do.
Your support and friendship throughout have been more meaningful than any titles, wins or accolades.
And to Shea's friends and fans, your continued support in this often "ugly" dog game
have kept things fun and reminded us what this is all supposed to be about.
Shea was a confident, happy and smart boy out of Holly Witzgall's "Ushi ROM." Shea was a powerful, massive dog, at a rock hard 140 pounds (6 years of age) and 28" at the shoulder. He had absolutely gorgeous structure from top to bottom, stem to stern. Shea had a dead level topline, and was blessed with lovely angles with an effortless, powerful side gait, which looked as great at his veteran age as it did as a two year old. His rear and front were both dead true. His breed type was equally outstanding, with terrific bone and substance, lovely depth of body and chest, and a strong neck supporting a very pretty, correct Swissy head. As for things I would change -- Shea could have used a better coat. His pigment was beautiful, but his coat was quite short with very minimal undercoat. And I would have loved a little thicker, heavier tail for a dog his size. Overall, Shea was a incredibly handsome, powerful dog who is built to go all day long.
Shea finished his championship with ease at 13 months, ably competing with much older dogs, with 14 of his points and three major wins from the puppy classes. At just 16 months of age, he swept the Sweepstakes at the Blue Ridge Specialty weekend (back-to-back-to-back Best in Sweeps, his litter sister was Best of Opposite the two days she was there), and followed that up by taking an Award of Merit at the specialty, defeating a ring full of much older dogs. At just 21 months of age, Shea began dabbling as a special, and really coming into his own by summer 2010. Although not showing as much as some of his toughest competition, and as an exclusively owner-handled dog, finished 2010 as the #1 GSMD in the country. In October 2011, Shea thrilled us all with his Top 20 win at the National, where he was also vote the "People's Choice." At the National Specialty in September 2013, Shea came out of retirement to take Select Dog, and two weeks later took Best in Specialty at the C&P GSMD Club Specialty.
The highlight of Shea's career took place in September 2014, when at almost 6 1/2 years of age, he took Best in Specialty at the GSMDCA National Specialty. To make the day even sweeter, I showed Shea's half-uncle Bowie as a Veteran and was chosen Select Dog at the National, right behind Shea. Thank you so much to Jaime Scott for handling Shea for me at the National. It was a very difficult decision to put someone else on Shea, as I have shown him throughout his career...but as my heart dog, and the dog who lives with me in day in and day out, I had to stay on Bowie. Needless to say, I think BOTH boys looked their best and truly shined in the Bethlehem PA sunshine that day!
Shea was happy in the ring, of course, because he was Shea. He was such a bombproof, unflappable dog...and an easy dog to have around and travel with. Although he was truly a born show-man, he loved nothing more than hanging with his family, the Conways, on Long Island. Shea especially enjoyed going fishing with his "dad" Tom and making rounds about town.
Shea has sired 3 litters of puppies, with 10 finishing their championships thus far. He has really put the stamp of his type and structure on so many of his offspring, and we are seeing some of these youngsters growing into those big shoes Shea has left to fill. None more than his daughter, Eden.
In November 2016, Shea suffered an "event" which was most likely a stroke or FCE. A fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) is a blockage in a blood vessel of the spinal cord, typically caused by a piece of cartilage. When such a blockage occurs, an area of the spinal cord dies and can cause permanent damage. Recovery in an older dog, especially a big heavy boy like Shea, is especially challenging. Shea suffered complete rear end immobility for several hours, but eventually could stand and walk again, although his mobility was seriously compromised. He was treated with steroid therapy and the Conways also sought the help of a holistic vet. Unfortunately, nothing gave Shea any meaningful chance of recovery, and he was only at about 40% mobility on one side of his rear, about 75% on the other side. The ravages of age and the steroids eventually compounded his issues, as his muscles continued to waste. Due to the nerve damage he also became completely incontinent 8 months later. At that time, as he continued to decline and could barely hold himself up, the decision was made to peacefully help him cross the Rainbow Bridge.
6 and 1/2 month old Shea, lost in a Bethlehem PA Cornfield!
pictured at 11 mos
Best in Sweeps at the Blue Ridge GSMD Specialty (16 mos)
Shea taking back-to-back Best of Breed wins at Rockland County (21 mos)
25 months of age
2 and 1/2 years of age
3 years of age
3 years of age
Pictured winning the Top Twenty competition (Judges Choice and People's Choice)
at the 2011 National Specialty at 3.5 years of age
4.5 years of age
4.5 years of age
4 and 1/2 years of age
4 and 1/2 years of age
Best of Breed at the C&P Supported Entry
(5 years of age)
Shea, taking a Working Group 3 under Marjorie "Mims" Datskow
Shea, taking Select Dog at 2014 Westminster Kennel Club
Shea, taking a Working Group 3 under judge Cathy Daugherty
Shea, on the move, at the 2014 National Specialty (6.5 years of age)
Shea, taking a big BOB and Group Placement under Alberto Berrios at 6.5 years of age.
Shea, taking BISS at the C&P Specialty under Alberto Berrios
Shea, taking the second of Back-To-Back
Group Placements in Bloomsburg PA
Shea, on his way to a Working Group 2 win at Riverhead Kennel Club...proving he hasn't lost a step at 6+ years of age!
Shea and Jaime Scott in the BOB ring at the 2014 National Specialty
Best of Breed at the 2014 GSMDCA National Specialty. Thanks to Jaime Scott for so beautifully presenting Shea!
BOS in Specialty to his daughter, out of the veteran class (7.5 years of age) at
the MAGS Regional Specialty in December 2015
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