Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Mud Bowl

Vacationland Dog Club shows, 5/20 and 5/21/06
1st in 6-9 Puppy, RWB

Note to self: Never wear a skirt suit to an outdoor show the week after 17" of rain falls on the show site. Oh, and while you're at it, test the panty hose you plan to wear to make sure the elastic's not shot on them first. That way, the pair you wear won't slip down your body while you're showing and threaten to land in the mud at your ankles.

Despite a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen, we really did have a good time at the vacationland shows. My friend Val referred to the event as "The Mud Bowl," and the name will probably stick. Some year it's going to be 85 degrees and bone-dry at that event, and it'll still be called the Mud Bowl. (Hey, where else can the grooming tent be considered "waterfront property"??)

Look closely at my legs in the closeup shot of Dinah being prepared to be set up for judging. They are spattered with mud from ankle to knee. (It was windy. Her coat looked fine when the judge went over her.) As I mentioned, we've had something like 17" of rain within the past week, so the show grounds were swampy and all of the rings were half under water. A few people slipped and fell, and some lost shoes while going around the ring. I managed to keep both my shoes, but my muddy pantyhose started slipping downward, and I thought I would lose them if we'd had to go around once more. (The vendor selling rubber clogs and wellies sold out completely by Sunday afternoon.) Good thing I have a puppy who loves mud, and who didn't decide to show that love by rolling in it!! (Lesson learned: I wore brown trousers and Bean boots today.)

Anyway, I'm proud to announce that Dinah took firsts in her class and Reserves both days. She didn't get Best Beardie Puppy on Saturday -- an older male puppy with a professional handler did -- but she did beautifully, and the fans at ringside said that she looked as though she knew precisely what she was out there to do. Both judges were lovely, but Sunday's judge made a point of telling me what a nice puppy I have. That made me happy. There were a few old-timers at ringside whom I've known since I started in Beardies, and they said she looked wonderful and behaved beautifully.

I think what tickled me most is that a couple of nice owner-handlers from Massachusetts (they have mother and son, and the mother is from Charlotte Laning) went over Dinah with me after today's showing was over. (The husband was handling the mother, and she took breed over all of the pros. We were all overjoyed!) Anyway, they were really impressed by the depth and width of Dinah's chest and her nice tail set, as well as her overall structure -- so we know she's growing up nicely. The wife finished by telling me that I would definitely be successful with her, and gave me a Facts of Life-type talk about politics in the ring. I'm happy and impressed that she thinks enough of Dinah to be warning me about the poor sports already. I've always known that Dinah's a really good specimen, but she might actually be a really great one if I don't hold her back.

I'm not yet sure when our next show will be. Val says that the Saturday judge at Topsfield in mid-June is very nice and knows Beardies. I'd also like to go to the Augusta show on June 25, but I have Seamus entered in a rally trial in Massachusetts the day before. It all comes down to how many miles I'm willing to drive, I guess.

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