Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

North Shore Kennel Club and Middlesex County Kennel Club, June 16-18

You've heard that old saw before about how almost doesn't count except... yadda yadda yadda. That's also true in dog show-land, but sometimes "almost" can really give you hope.

Since the last post, we've been out showing for the past two weekends. We attended all three days at the Topsfield shows June 16-18, and went right out again last weekend to the Augusta show on the 25th. Dinah took home the firsts in her class every time (since we were the only entry), but there really is more to tell.

The Topsfield shows had a respectably-sized entry for a show in this area: 10-12 Beardies overall, 3-4 specials. Of course we didn't do anything in Bitches with the older dogs and the professional handlers, but Saturday's judge gave us a reallllly long look. For one brief moment, I honestly thought she was going to put Dinah up over the adult bitches. She ended up picking two of the older dogs, but I had a Sally Field moment there: "She likes us! She really likes us!" At minimum, we should plan to show under this judge when Dinah's a little older and my handling skills have improved. My spies at ringside told me that Dinah moved beautifully, and looked better than just about all of the adult dogs out there. We're just still paying our puppy dues.

Dog shows seem to bring out old friends whom I haven't seen in years. In my early days in Beardies, the local Beardie club in Massachusetts was large and active, with a strong and congenial presence at the local shows. Most people showed in conformation, and only a couple did any sort of performance events. By the time I became active in performance, the old gang had pretty much dispersed, and the new gang underwent a series of changes. The new gang, for the most part, didn't do any sort of events with their dogs, but they did throw wonderful get-togethers (and still do) a few times a year.

Anyway, the old gang still shows in conformation, so I've been running into people whom I haven't seen in 15 years. They're showing the grandpups and great-grandpups of dogs I knew back in the day, but it seems as though we've all just picked back up where we left off 15 years ago. Funny how time passes, and yet it doesn't.

Central Maine Kennel Club, June 25

We entered only one day of the Augusta shows last weekend because Seamus and I had rally business on the other day. (Post coming to Greetings from Blogdog soon.) The only two Beardies entered in the show were my friend Val's Traveler (Tolkien Haven of Eldar) and Dinah. Trav was there to gain some experience in the group ring, now that he's one three-point major away from finishing his championship. (He got the other major at Topsfield, under the judge who liked Dinah so much.)

This show was held in the Augusta Civic Center, and it was Dinah's first indoor show. I wondered how she'd adapt to the noisy atmosphere indoors and the strange surfaces on the floor (i.e., not dirt or grass). The small entry helped keep the racket to a minimum, but the smells in the carpeting and on the rubber matting provided some new distractions we hadn't encountered before. Dinah stopped to sniff one particular spot in the ring, and not even the presence of her sweetie Traveler in the ring could distract her.

Because we were the only bitch entry, we ended up with first in her group, Winners Bitch, and Best of Opposite to Trav. The judge did compliment us with a "nicely done", so I like to think we earned our ribbons (even though all we had to do was show up).

Goofy new puppy parent that I am, I just had to have a picture takens with the judge. This was Dinah's first BOS at the age of 7 months, after all.

No comments: