Monday, May 07, 2007

Dumped (Again), But Never Completely Empty-Handed

York County Kennel Club, 5/5 and 5/6: 1st in Open
Bearded Collie Club of Maine Supported Entry

"Winning isn't everything, but losing isn't anything." -- Vince Lombardi

I often tell my herding compadres, "At a trial, you never come away empty-handed. Either you get a leg or a lesson, but you always get something." Perhaps one can stretch that axiom to fit conformation showing, though it might take quite a lot of stretching.

Since Kathy couldn't come up to show this weekend, Tracy agreed to fill in and show Dinah both days. I suppose I could have done it myself, but I was already torn in a thousand different directions at the show as obedience chair and as one of the hostesses for the BCCME Supported Entry that I didn't really need to have that task as well. Tracy was happy to take her.

When we're in handling class, Tracy doesn't always see Dinah as she would in a show-ring situation. In class, Dinah knows we're not working the whole time, and she takes every opportunity to relax in between actions. She'll sniff the ground, sit, seek out the shade, and in general do an otherwise admirable job of conserving her energy until it's needed. The skills that make her an intelligent working dog just don't wash in the conformation ring, though.

Anyway, it was good to have Tracy take her around the ring. She was able to see first-hand how Dinah reacts at shows, and to keep her focused. Tracy worked on keeping her calm and getting her to hold still. It did work -- she looked lovely out there and gaited nicely for Auntie Tracy. She took first place in Open both days. She was the only Open entry, but she did earn it.

Yet again, though, the judges decided to look everywhere else but at Dinah when it came time for Winners Bitch. On Saturday, Chaos got the points. On Sunday, Richard and Debbie's little Moxie did. I can't begrudge them their success, but I sure wish we could have some every once in a while.

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