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Playing with giants

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Submitted Photo From Left, Ryan Jefferson, Jack and Charmain who is holding Weiser. The photo was taken in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

A Dalmatian from Carlsbad joins Budweiser Clydesdales

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

Charmain Jefferson and her family have been breeding Dalmatians in Carlsbad for several years. Jefferson recently became a member of Roswell’s Rio Pecos Kennel Club, traveling back and forth to meetings before the stay-at-home order.

In a phone interview, Jefferson talked about one of her dogs becoming part of the Budweiser Clydesdales team that travels from parades to festivals throughout the nation. “We breed Dalmatians and they are part of our family,” Jefferson said. “We love our dogs. We breed for companionship and beloved family members. We had a litter in October, beautiful spotted babies, and I received a phone call from a trainer for Budweiser, what’s called a West Coast Hitch Team — Shelby Zarobinski is her name. Shelby reached out to me, we spoke to her boss. We gave him a confident outgoing boy that would be great with horses — Clydesdales are very large animals — and would be great with people. To build a confident puppy from the foundation up is a great place to start. I gave them four options through FaceTime and they picked the puppy they wanted. Then they went ahead and put pictures on their social media page called Budweiser Brewery Experience on Facebook and they had their fans and customers vote on names for them.”

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The choice was between Weiser and Slugger for the young puppy — 66% voted for Weiser.

“They told me they always choose a name that has something to do with Budweiser in general,” Jefferson said. “So Weiser went home with them.”

The family is keeping up with the adventures of Weiser. “He traveled with the horses all over, and he’s got an amazing team of seven trainers that teaches him — other than basic commands, to be a good dog as he grows — how to be with the horses; how to be up on the wagon; how to do the parades that they do. He’s five months old now and he is doing really wonderful. They traveled between Texas to California, all the way to Colorado, all these events. He was just phenomenal. He opened his first races in Arizona, they also do the Rosebowl Parade, the Tournament of Roses and New Year’s Day. He didn’t get to do that because he was still so young, but they are training him for upcoming January. Lord willing, everything will be over soon (social distancing due to COVID-19) and people are healthy.

“He has been training, doing wonderfully. Sometimes they star him in commercials; sometimes in Super Bowl ads. He represents New Mexico very well. Weiser is learning so much and we are proud to be his breeders, the first ones to cuddle him and prepare him for the amazing adventures ahead. It is fun to have our local hero,” Jefferson said and laughed.

Asked how she became a member of Roswell’s Rio Pecos Kennel Club, she said, “I’ve been attending that local group for five months and decided I want to become a part of their group because they are pretty amazing folks. They love their dogs and represent their dogs well doing therapy work. They are showing their dogs for confirmation, they do agility and obedience and all kinds of fun things. I wanted to be part of a club that loves dogs as much as we do. They are very active in their community and they do wonderful work there.”

Dalmatian dogs became synonymous with firefighting and firefighters who used the intelligent dogs first in the 19th century. The dogs were trained to run full-speed ahead of the horse-drawn firetrucks to alert people with their barking to get out of the truck’s way. With today’s modern technology and sirens, firetrucks don’t need the iconic dog anymore, but many fire stations throughout the U.S. still keep the dotted breed as mascots.

In modern times, children know the breed because of the popular animated Disney movies. Asked if she watched those movies as a kid, Jefferson said, “I did see the movie as a child, but I began my love affair with Dalmatians about three or four years ago. I got my first Dalmatian out of Texas from a wonderful breeder there. I love everything there is about Dalmatians — they are smart, they are capable, they are sporty and they have endurance; they are known to hike for hours without rest. They are part of our family. They camp with us, sleep with us, they did trick-or-treating with my kids, they are very family-oriented dogs and I love them.”

With its short coat, the breed is ideal for the desert climate, however, anybody who is interested in owning a working dog such as a Dalmatian needs to have plenty of time to keep them busy. The breed is also high maintenance regarding its fur. “They do lose fur every day, that’s part of Dalmatians, they shed all the time — we call it Dalmatian glitter,” Jefferson said.

To follow Weiser and the Clydesdales on their adventures, visit its Facebook page Budweiser Brewery Experience @HomeOfBud. For more information about Roswell’s Rio Pecos Kennel Club, visit its Facebook page.