Owner/Breeder: Ruxandra Levado
Picture above taken at 2 years old.
From the first time I placed Juno and his litter mates in the yard, in an enclosed pen, Juno was the only puppy who managed to get out
in a matter of minutes, by quietly digging a spot underneath the pen. Within 20 minutes or so, I realized the pen will not hold him in place,
which made me decide to give them free run throughout the yard even though they were tiny.
Juno never cried or put up a scene if something didn't go his way. I actually have no memory of him ever whining if he wants something.
He is a quiet thinker and a pup of action, whether it takes stretching himself through a small whole, climbing just about everything, or
digging his way out, and he doesn't give up until he achieves he goal. My presence is always his target.
At six weeks old it occurred to me to place him in my purse just to see his reaction. To my surprise, I could not tell the difference
between him and a book. He made me change clothes and take him with me shopping.
He was perfect all along, content to be in my presence. Nobody knew I had a tiny puppy in my purse.
Around that time I also started to give them free run in the family/living room area during the day, as their mom taught them to use the
doggie door and naturally they prefer to go potty outside. Besides, they were spending most of the time playing in the yard, coming in just
to eat, take a sip of water or crash in a nap. To keep them from chewing my computer's electric cords, I enclosed my desk and chair with a
wire puppy pen. It occurs to me that I switched places, enclosing myself in their pen while they were having free run all over the place :)
However, Juno wasted no time. To my amusement, he quickly climbed the pen, then my chair, and made himself comfortable next to
me. I never told him it's a no, as he did not bother me and he never showed any interest in chewing the cables. He was actually so quiet,
at times I did not even feel when he came, or left. Many times I just noticed him sleeping in my lap while getting ready to get up.
Still, I did not plan to keep him because he was from my first litter of puppies, his parents were both young, and Vision was also about
to join our family. I only wanted to keep his sister, Jasmine. However, Juno had a different perspective.
At around 11 weeks old, a potential family came to see him. As soon as they entered the living room, Juno climbed the puppy gate and
jumped over, then placed himself in my chair, leaning against the back of the chair with his chin all the way up and continually looking at me.
He did not take his eyes off of me for as long as the people were in the house. It was a clear statement to everybody in the room that he
was not interested in somebody else. That he wanted to stay and he wanted it badly! And so Juno paved his way to my heart. I didn't know
back then he will turn into the Papillon he is today.
At six month old, the professional handler Arvind Debraganza passed by. When Arvind saw Juno, he told me he will be a star. I was
just beginning to show Vision around that time and I was still learning conformation. I remember looking at Arvind taken by surprise. A star?
Since the house was under construction and championing Vision myself a priority, I only started to show Juno at around one year old. He
won his first singles between pulling him a couple of times or not showing up at all because too many other things were going on. At times I
also had doubts about showing and breeding. I wanted to do the right thing by the breed, yet I wasn't sure showing was constructive for
the people I was competing against and so on. While the winning and the feedback received from everybody were rewarding and gave me
assurance I was doing right by the breed, it also made me somehow uncomfortable, mostly because of the competition factor. Today I have
a different opinion because it is a fight against backyard breeders who are flourishing and as result many pups suffer.
Finally, after struggling back and forward, I did decide to pull completely from the show world. However, four months later, after getting
phone calls from the members of my church and a home visit from the pastor who also told me he sees nothing wrong with showing dogs,
I resumed showing.
At the first show after the four months brake, Juno won reserve to a 4 point major. Personally I was content with the reserve, as it
always feels like training from the beginning after a long brake, especially a pup raised as house pet, who cannot understand why from
being always a perfectly behaved little boy, he suddenly has to behave only in a certain way. However, the ring side came to me afterwards
to tell me how unfair was the judge because Juno was too beautiful in comparison with the winner. Well, thank you. It is a song that plays
often in the dog show world. At our next show Juno won two more points towards his title. Quality might get slowed down a little bit but will
always make it through politics even if handled honestly (owner handled).
I also entered him, along with his sister Jasmine, at the Papillon Specialty in Orlando. On Friday Juno placed second in his class. It
discouraged me because everywhere we moved on the show ground, judges, exhibitors and handlers - people I didn't know, stopped to
admire him, commenting how beautiful he was. They are not easy to make compliments on somebody else's dog because they all compete
against each other. They couldn't resist him, yet our own judge placed him second but not before admiring him herself.
Along with some other things going on, I felt very discouraged with no resources left to deal with showing politics. Lorelei Bayless, who
flew in Orlando for the speciality with her own special, was staying for the weekend at the hotel hosting the show. She offered to keep Juno
and Jasmine with her until Sunday so they could get better accustomed with the show ground atmosphere.
I found myself driving home by myself, wondering why was I showing and how did I end up breeding?! After unsuccessfully trying to make
sense why God gave me such beautiful Papillons, I decided to pull from showing without looking back. I was missing my babies and
wondered how was I able to leave them in Orlando? That made me feel even worse about the whole thing.
It was a two hours ride so I tried to make it back on the show grounds around Papillon ring time so I could find Lorelei easily and not
interfere with her schedule. Once there, I told the exhibitors who greeted me that I will not be picking up my number because I decided to
pull away from showing. However, Lorelei had a different opinion. She quickly got my number as the Papillons were already showing, and
literally pushed me in the ring with Juno. We won the class, and afterwards he won the major!
While getting out from the ring, I only got to say that Jasmine I will not show, when Lorelei cut me short, "Yes, you are showing her" and
she quickly placed the number on my arm.
Jasmine also won her class, then the major. It all happened fast and it felt rewarding. It completely changed my plans to stop showing.
Juno was already entered in Atlanta, GA, where two weeks afterwards won his second major under Mrs. Arlene A Czech. The following
month I showed him again, at the second Atlanta cluster, where the judges Mr. Michael Dashel, Mrs. Charlotte Clem McGowan and a third
judge watching ring side, saw Juno and commented that one rarely sees such a well bred Papillon in the show rings. Our own judge gave
us reserve to a top handler. It happens all the time. Later in the day Juno won Toy Group 2nd Bred By Exhibitor. As a new face I know we
placed in group because the whole ring side applauded passionately when our turn to show came. Another proof that you can make it
through if you have quality.
Saturday we didn't show, and Sunday Juno finished his championship, winning a third major under the judge Mrs. Dana E Read.
At the first glance it probably sounds like we had an easy time winning and overall we did. Considering how hard it is to make it honestly
as a owner/breeder/handler through show politics, especially when you are a new face competing against established show homes and
professional handlers who in many cases are behind hiring the judges, I am personally more than content. However, if I told Christine
Mullen, for example, (who is an old time Papillon breeder and the wife of an AKC judge), that one shouldn't pick judges to show under if
they have a good Papillon, she always tells me, "I was in Atlanta and I saw what they did to Juno", referring to the weekend Juno won the
Group 2 on Friday and finished his championship on Sunday with the extra major. In fact Christine introduced herself to me that day and
now is the loving mom of one of my boys.
I still smile when I think of everybody's reaction. We had different goals; I was a new face showing her homebred Papillon against
established show homes and professional handlers. We were there for the title and we achieved it. To the people rings side it felt unfair and
even a handler of another breed came in our circle and told the handler of the Nr. 3 Papillon in the nation; "No offense, but he (Juno) should
have gotten everything".
Today I am smiling because we had different goals. We weren't there for the top Papillon in the nation. We were there for the title and we
got it. To provide some visual, I received a picture of me and Juno taken ring side that weekend.
Juno's championship certificate.
After a glimpse of the dog show world, I will now concentrate to Juno as the precious boy he is, rather than his beauty.
|Juno (on my right side) and his mom Neola (on my left) are watching intently as I am feeding the
Seagulls who were catching the bread crumbles in the air.
|Showing Gizzy how comfortable her bed was and how entertaining all of her toys. Juno
doesn't miss any toys, he actually has a very good nose for finding lost toys.
While visiting for the first time Marinella, Ollie's mommy, at one point we had to take the toys
from him so we could talk. However, to our amusement, he kept coming, playing in front us
with a new toy. One by one, he found all of their kitty's lost toys.
|Magnolise' Exhilarating Juno
Multi Best in Show, American & International Champion
|Juno winning his AKC Championship, rewarded with a medallion for finishing
from the Bred By Exhibitor class, along with an invitation to participate two years in
a row at the Eukanuba National Championships.
|In every home we visit, Juno loves to put up a show. As soon as we enter, he looks
around spotting toys and doggie beds, and he is onto having fun!
Here we were visitng Debbie in Jacksonville in 2008, a week after she adopted
Neola x Vision's daughter, Gizzy. Juno already picked up a squeaky egg and was
getting ready to entertain us.
|Juno at 14 months old with my mom on her first visit to US in the winter of
|Running at the beach with Juno at 11 1/2 months old.
|Juno at 5-6 months old playing in a lower spot where water gathered every time it rained heavily. Juno loves
water and he also loves to climb and balance himself on top of any edge he could climb. Ever since he was a
baby, in almost every set of old pictures I found at least one picture of him being climbed onto something.
|Here is little Sp-J, my Papillon pet, with Bear as a youngster. In the second photo he is resting next to Cyra. So I knew the Rotties would
not hurt Juno if they saw him, but Juno never interacted directly with the Rotties. They only observed each other daily through the wire
fence, or as I passed by them with Juno in my arms.
Since I mentioned Juno loving to climb, I am tempted to share a funny story about his acrobatics.
On the other side of the Paps' yard I had an aviary with doves, and around the aviary on about two acres, two Rottweilers. Both
Rotties were very gentle, being raised with my first two pet Papillons. However, once I imported Chester, because his very strong
personality can be too much for anyone, I decided to no longer let the Rotties interact with the little ones, except for Sp-J, my pet
Papillon who loved the Rotties very much.
Juno liked to come with me to feed the doves but one day I left him in the yard to see what he will do. So I walked into the aviary
by myself and I watched him.
As always, Juno didn't make one sound but I saw him thinking, evaluating the scene. He then climbed on top of the fence. Balancing
himself on the wood pole, he waited for Bear and Cyra (the two Rotties) to settle down, then he jumped from the pole into their yard
but stayed next to fence, probably so he could climb back if one of them saw him. As soon as Cyra laid her head on the ground, he ran
by them as fast as he could, then pushing the aviary door with his nose, he made it to his mommy :)
I thought the picture below was funny as it shows farmer Juno wet up to his belly, climbed on the milker as I was getting ready to milk
Ruby, the lady in the background (I raised Nigerians for a short time, their milk is very, very sweet).
|Juno at 3 months old, with his litter mates and Raven.
|Juno and his litter mates at one day old. My very first litter of puppies!
|Debbie laughing at Juno's antics, here turning towards the camera at my call.
|Below Juno at close to 5 years old. Time flies! In quite poor ear fringing (compared to their potential), but
his coat managed to make it through the remodeling of our new place.
|If you'd like to see Juno in action, here is a short recording of him
playing with Marinella in my backyard, during one of her visits with Ollie.
|March 12, 2012
Canoing on Rainbow springs with my pet home Marinella, Ollie's mom
|Having my little boy with me made the ride perfect.