Monday, December 18, 2006

Fitchburg Show Photo

This is by far the nicest show photo Dinah has ever taken (thanks to Kathy's expert puppy-wrangling). It isn't the biggest win, but heck -- it's her third point, and she looks lovely. Not a bad way to finish out the year...

Friday, December 08, 2006

First Snow

It never fails. Every single year it snows on the weekend of the Boston shows. Some of my Beardie buddies are showing there and doing very well, but for my part, I'm content just to stay home and keep letting the dogs in and out. It beats the heck out of having to drive the 90-odd miles into the city, fighting insane Mass. drivers who have never seen snow before in their whole lives. Not for me, thanks.

Here's the Lovely One enjoying the weather.

Dinah's in season right now, so it's just as well we're not down there. Kathy made the discovery last weekend at the Fitchburg shows. She was grooming Dinah's back end while I was holding the other end. She asked, "Is Dinah in season?" I replied that I didn't think so, as she'd only been in season about 4 months before. Evidence doesn't lie, though: Kathy held up a rag with blood stains on it. We made sure not to get too close to Trav or the other guys for the rest of the show. Trav had a dream date with another grrrl named Spirit, and Dinah probably served as an inspiration to him. (Turns out Spirit wasn't ready, so they'll try again this weekend.)

Not that being in season has cramped her style any. She had her "glamour makeover" this past week (more on that coming to soon). She also attended Tracy's handling class yesterday, where she served as a distraction training tool for Dan the Flatcoat. Poor Dan had a rough time of it, and shared the wealth with his mom Deb. He kept wiggling and wouldn't stand still, but at least he stopped whining after an hour with Dinah. Maybe after the next couple of lessons (while she's still in season), he'll be used to having a fragrant bitch in season right next to him in the ring. For Dinah's part, she didn't tease him -- but that might be my little challenge as the weeks go on.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Our Semi-Grand Finale

Worcester County KC Shows
12/2: Best of Winners, 1 point
12/3: Reserve Winners Bitch

(show photo to follow)

As finales go, we didn't do too badly. Dinah picked up her third point at the Worcester County shows in Fitchburg, and now we're ready to hibernate for a little while. It would be perfectly fine with me if we didn't see the inside of a show ring again until April, but I've decided to enter the Fitchburg shows in mid-January anyway -- partly to keep in practice, and partly to see how much we can accomplish before Dinah has to compete in Open in the spring.

For a while there, I thought I was the only one who was thrilled to bits at the prospect of not having to show for a good long while. It seems, though, that everybody in my crowd is feeling pretty much the same way. We're all a little burned out after the Springfield shows the previous weekend, and all we want to do is stay at home for a weekend (or a few weekends) and hibernate. I'll still plan to take handling classes just to keep working on my own skills as well.

It's an appropriate time to stay home and away from the shows now, as it turns out. Kathy was grooming Dinah for Saturday's shows when she suddenly asked, "Is Dinah in season?" I replied that that was impossible, since she'd been in season just in August -- and then Kathy held up a towel with blood spots on it. I've been told that if a bitch doesn't ovulate during her first season, that she is likely to come into season again when she does ovulate. Since her mother only comes into season once a year, it remains to be seen whether Dinah will have unusual seasons. I'm a little bummed out at the prospect of her coming into season in June instead of February, though.

One thing I do miss about not handling my own dog in the ring (actually, about having to hide from Dinah while she's being handled in the ring) is that I miss out on some of the ringside conversations and the judges' comments to the other handlers. The owner of the other entry in 12-18 reported back to me that Sunday's judge had looked over Dinah and Cocoa, smiling, and told both handlers that he'd judged Bearded Collies all over the world, but that he'd rarely seen as nice an entry as he'd seen that day in the puppy class. Although I still kind of wish that he'd picked Dinah over Cocoa, commentary like that is absolutely invaluable. I'd show Dinah to him again anytime. He's one of those judges who gives feedback to every individual in his ring, and he obviously loves what he does.