Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bless Her Pointed Little Head

I know I should be catching up on all of the adventures we had at the Specialties (plus our Puppy group 2), but those stories will have to wait a little while longer. Dinah got her first point today at the Penobscot Valley Kennel Club show, the very last weekend of shows before her first birthday on November 3. Not a bad way to bid farewell to the puppy class.

Except for the Specialties, the majority of shows we've attended this year have had two entries in Beardies: Traveler and Dinah. We've grown used to the drill: Dinah shows, gets Winners in Bitches. Traveler shows, gets Winners in Dogs. Put them together, and Trav gets Best of Breed. Dinah goes Best of Opposite, and sometimes Best Puppy.

As a result, we have loads upon loads of ribbons, but we've never managed to gain any points for any of our wins because we've never defeated another dog before. You need to amass 15 points before your dog can be called a Champion, and the number of ribbons you collect on the way is immaterial.

This weekend, we have one other entry in class Bitches. Her name is Bliss, and her breeder is an old friend of mine. Bliss's owner is a newbie handler like me, though Bliss is an adult and has 11 points toward her championship.

Although some people have stories of taking 6-month-old puppies in the ring and finishing them them in a single weekend, going BOB over hordes of Specials... I don't know anyone who has ever had this happen. In general, I've found judges rather reluctant to put up a puppy over the adults. Since I'm still paying my dues in show-land, I've accepted that as my lot and have just kept plugging on in the puppy class.

My friends whispered to me, "Bliss is nice, but Dinah's nicer." I didn't think too much of it, really, since Dinah is a puppy and Bliss is an adult, and I simply expected that the natural order of things would be the rule again this time.

As it turned out, the judge picked us! Dinah has been out of practice since the Specialty, and was sitting in the ring, acting goofy, and in general not paying much attention to the fact that she was in the show ring. I trotted around the ring, vowing to myself that I would get to those Monday night drop-in handling classes down in York. Imagine my surprise when he pointed to us!

I collected our ribbons and handed them to Traveler's mom so I could go back into the ring for Breed. She exclaimed, "Congratulations! Dinah has her first point!" I couldn't see my own reaction, but my jaw probably dropped open. "She has a what?!"

Of course, tomorrow is another day with another judge -- but no matter how we do, we still have our very first point.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pictures Now, Stories Later

I'm just so happy that Blogger beta -- while still holding first place as the most crippled piece of blogware on this earth -- has finally fixed its picture loader that I'm going to quickly upload all the show photos now, and will follow up with the tales from the road later on.

First of all, here's Dinah's Best Puppy in Show photo from the Canadian Specialty (photo courtesy of Kathleen Schaffer of Pup Art):

Next, a shot of Dinah in the ring at the Northwest Bearded Collie Club Regional, where she placed 4th in her class (photo by DogHouse Arts):

And finally, a photo of us with our loot after Dinah earned her first herding title at the BCCA National (thanks to Ray Salmon).

There will be stories!