Same way you get to Westminster: practice, practice, practice.
We pretty much have to look on this past weekend's shows in Springfield as the dog-show version of a "shakedown cruise." The Lovely One, distracted and keyed up after a few months away from the dog-show grind, never did settle in at either of the shows. She took 2nd in her class both days. Sunday's judge practically begged her to move correctly so he could pick her, but that just never happened. Ah, well. Kathy hadn't had a very successful day with her other doggie clients that morning, and we'd been hoping that the afternoon would prove more successful. No such luck this time.
In Dinah's defense, it had been a long time since her last show in Fitchburg in January (especially when measured in puppy time), and surely she wasn't expected to remember all that stuff and do it perfectly the first time out?!
There's nothing else for it except to go back to class and continue our education. I signed Dinah up for three handling classes this week: the drop-in group class at It's a Dog's World, the 2007 edition of our regular group handling class with Tracy at Diamond Dream, and an additional private session with Tracy.
I won't say that the week has been much like show-handling Boot Camp, but Dinah and I remembered a lot of old moves by the time our private lesson concluded. Hopefully she'll retain enough of it to behave for Karen Bowens when Karen takes her into the ring at the National Capital Bearded Collie Club Specialty next week.
News flash: Just received the judging program for the NCBCC Regional a few moments ago. Would you believe that there are 49 class bitches entered in the regular competition?! Ho-ly Pup!