Friday, July 14, 2006

What About BOB?!

(Dinah says, "Yeah. What about it?")

We drove up to the Lakes Region KC's show yesterday figuring that we'd probably go BOS to the male special who was entered, just as we did to Trav at the Augusta shows. No points, but brags are worth something too.

Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the special had not checked in, leaving Dinah as the sole representative of Bearded Collie-dom for the whole show! You might call it the fast track to Best of Breed.

The breed judge, Joseph Gregory, was lovely. He's judging herding breeds (including Beardies) at Westminster next year. He appeared to like Dinah, and might even have picked her if we'd had any competition. At least he didn't laugh too hard when I looked at the BOB ribbon and said, "Wow. Our first trip to Group." He was gracious and patient as we wrestled for another goofy show photo. Two handlers, Greg, the judge, the photographer, and I all struggled to get Dinah into position and looking like a show dog. Guess we'll find out how that went when the photos arrive.

Wish the weather had cooperated a little better for him, poor man. The grooming area was covered by a huge series of tents, but the rings were all exposed to the elements -- and there were some elements, believe me! That poor judge, in his nice suit, had to judge a gazillion junior handlers in a downpour.

Up until now, we've been done showing for the day as soon as breed judging is finished. This time, we had to wait from 10:15 in the morning until 1:45 PM, when the breed judging commenced -- and did I mention that Herding was the last group to show? By the time we got around to actual Group judging, the downpour had ended and the summer heat had started to return to the fairgrounds. Pounding sun is not kind to little black puppies, so I kept Dinah in the shade as much as possible.

Our first trip into Group was quite the different experience, but fun. In Group, dogs enter the ring roughly from fastest to slowest. As the only puppy in the lot, we ended up third from the last, after the Malinois and in front of the Corgis. The Group judge, Linda More, took quite a bit of time to look Dinah over, and watched us carefully as we gaited. She didn't pick us over the adults with clean feet, but I think she liked us more than I expected she would. The two stewards were friends of mine, and they made quite a bit of noise applauding as we circled the ring. I think it helped to have our fans there, too.

Anyway, we brought home our sleepy puppy and our collection of ribbons, and called it a good day's work. Whether or not she had to beat anybody to get there, we're proud of our little Best of Breed puppy. She might end up going around the Group rings more often in the not-too-distant future.

This was our last show for about a month or so. Dinah appears to be starting her first season, and we aren't entered in anything else until the Canadian National in August.

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