Bala Slideshow

Bala’s Pedigree
Bala in the snow

What’s in a name – With an Irish litter theme, there are a bunch of quaint name possibilities. For example, Lucky Charm then call her “Lucky” or “Charm”. However, being one of our first show dogs, we wanted her to have a “distinguished” name so we thought of naming her like royalty, “something” of “somewhere”.  The “something” was the Irish name for “hound” or Anlan. The “somewhere” was more challenging as we weren’t familiar with Ireland so I don’t recall if we tired of looking or we chose Balbriggan because it was humble fishing village that turned into thriving hub community via the cotton industry and railways. After we put Anlan of Balbriggan together, what would her call name be? Anlan? Balbrigg? Nothing fell off the tongue and was as unique as Bala which combines the beginning of each of the key words in her formal name.  And that’s how Rimrock Anlan of Balbriggan – Bala – was born.

Life with Bala

Bala is our favorite dog. Bala is with us today because of the determination and persistence of her dad (Tigger) who “fell in love” with Bala’s mom when she was visiting at Gingerbred Labradors.  Some things you just don’t plan and wonderful things happen. When Bala arrived in Seattle, we had been out of power for a few days in the middle of winter and she was a real trooper meeting the rest of the pack via candlelight. They all became quick friends as we huddled together to stay warm. Maybe that’s what started that marvelous thick coat she has.

Bala didn’t have much time to be spoiled as the “new pup” in the pack because 2 months later we were joined by Zeus.  Bala and Zeus became fast friends and would tear around the yard chasing each other – typically it was Bala doing the chasing and getting a hold of Zeus’ tail! They have a very special playful bond that you can see when they’re together.

Being a true retriever, Bala usually carries around a toy but nothing is quite as special to her as a ball (it’s all about the ball). Probably because people tend to pick it up and throw it so she can retrieve it. If another dog happens to retrieve it, somehow she wrangles it from them so she can proudly present it to be thrown again.


Bala was born to be in the show ring.  Without much training, she figured out what needed to be done and stands like a statue for the judge.  True story. Bala’s first Labrador Specialty show was when she was 6 months old at the Rose City LRC in Oregon. We were new to handling yet were encouraged to show Bala ourselves in Sweepstakes. When presenting Bala to be examined by Judge Manolo Queijeiro and trying to get her “just right” (probably not in the quickest manner), the judge says “sir please take your hands off your dog, she knows what to do”. After that, Bala proceeded to take Best Puppy in Show!

Over the next few years, judges continued to love Bala’s darling head, luscious coat, and thick tail and she accumulated 14 Championship points. Bala took a break to have her first litter (sired by Zeus). We hope to see some of these pups winning in shows soon! Bala entered the show ring again in 2011 and finished her championship at Walla Walla Kennel Club show May 1st. Now she’s off for some fun doing hunt training.

Other Highlights

  • 09/03/2011 – Gold Country Kennel Club (supported entry) – Select [Judy Chambers]