Am/Can CH. Sunojo’s Gotta Getta Gund "Gummy"
CH. Northstar’s Misdemeanor
12/19/1994 - 09/18/2005
Catcher was our puppy back from a co-bred litter between Chris Weatherman (of the famous Northstar Akitas) and Norman Padre. While his sire Gummy was our foundation male, Catcher made an enormous impact on our breeding program in just one generation. He started a style we are still known for today and he took his sire’s lovely temperament to the hundredth power. That darling, kissable, huggable, best friend temperament is still very much a part of our kennel today. He produced over a dozen temperament titled offspring in an era when ATTS testing was hard to find.
On a show front, his first astounding and very unexpected win was an owner handled Best In Sweepstakes at the very first Golden Gate Akita Club Regional Specialty under Patricia Trotter. In those days, the Regional Specialties often boasted entries over a hundred Akitas... nearly as much as our Nationals today.
As a young dog, he was shown in the classes by Laurie Jordan Fenner and later Beep Lee and had several impressive Group placements even before he was a Champion. We sent him to the East Coast for a short period to train and show under the accomplished and delightful Paul Lévesque and he was quite successful for a very young dog, even winning BOB and Group Two at the famous Westchester summer show. Alas, he missed being our house pet and we missed him enormously so he returned to us for more home turf show experiences.
His second major win came in May 1998 where he won Best In Specialty Show at the Rocky Mountain Akita Club Specialty with an impressive entry of 122, under Mr Stuart Rogell. He was handled by the famous Doug Johnson and what a team they made! He went onto BOB and a Group placement at the Allbreed show that weekend and his daughter, Minda Nstar Thru The Lookinglass was Reserve Winners bitch from the puppy classes.
Catcher was retired the next year after breaking a show side canine tooth while out with a handler and we decided that his most important contribution to the breed was as a stud dog rather than campaigned show dog. He went on to make an enormous impact on several well known kennels, here and abroad, but it will always be his fabulous and very famous temperament that people remember. He never met a stranger, either dog or person. He never needed to be a tough guy or act aggressive, he just stood his ground and looked. To date, he is the only dog we have ever had who offered a play bow to the aggressive stranger segment of the Temperament Test. He still makes us smile, even in memory.
Merely to show off the condition and health of the dogs in our breeding program well into old age, we brought Catcher back out to be shown at over nine years old at the 2004 Golden Gate Akita Club Specialty. A little grayer in face, a little thicker in body but still very much in top show dog condition and enormously excited to be back in the limelight, he was Best Veteran in Show and went on to win Best In Specialty Show guided by the ever charming Bill McFadden and honored by judge Ms Arlene Grimes. We have been blessed with these sorts of accomplishments by several of his decedents well into their senior years, most recently being his great granddaughter, mBISS GCH Minda Fujisvs Violets Are Blue “Valley”, winning back to back Best Veteran and Best In Specialty Show at the Golden Gait Akita Club Specialty at over nine years old... showing off her genetics!
When Catcher was a fairly young dog, and after the untimely and unexpected death of his cousin, Sabre, Chris Weatherman encouraged us to have his semen frozen, which we did. After eighteen years, we recently thawed and used a breeding from him which has resulted in a lovely litter of four stunning puppies. We decided it was time for the current Akita world to meet Catcher again and we have high hopes that his influential temperament and lovely breed type, that is still so obvious in our breeding program, will be felt again in full force.
Addendum: It has taken me over ten years to finish this tribute to a dog who made such an enormous impact on our kennel because truth be told, he made an even bigger impact on my heart and I just haven’t been able to find the right words to honor him. He has done it so much better than I ever could in words with the tremendous offspring he left behind both in breeding homes and companion homes. There is not a Minda dog anywhere who does not go somewhere in the pedigree to Catcher.