Saturday, July 21, 2007

Eating the Entries

Dinah at the . Details on .

Now that Dinah is "pointed out," as they say, we've started to approach show entries with a much different mindset. We can afford to be choosier about the shows we enter -- now we go only for the ones that might have enough entries to constitute a major in bitches. This is a good news/bad news situation; the good news is that we don't need to enter every show in the region any more, and can thus save a little time and money. The bad news, however, is that majors are so hard to come by that we have to enter any show that looks as though it might attract enough entries, and then hold our collective breath until the judging programs come out. Only then will we know whether enough bitches have entered to make it worthwhile -- and then we can hold our breaths again in the hopes that the major will hold and everyone will show up.

(FYI, the AKC releases its point schedules every year in mid-May. It now takes 6 bitches to make a 3-point major in Beardies. Last year it took 7.)

Now that Cocoa and Bliss have both finished and Mia is on "vacation" while she grows some coat, it might take us some time to find a show with a major entry -- and then, of course, we have to win it to get the points. (Pointless rant about having to show against famous handlers and exquisitely overgroomed dogs deleted.) We shall persevere.

In the meantime... in spite of all the happy talk from my Massachusetts compadres that they were all going to have a huge entry at the Pioneer Valley show, the judging program showed only one class dog, one class bitch, one special dog, and three special bitches. Dinah was, of course, the only class bitch. I hate to miss out on a good party, but even if Dinah went Best of Breed over all of the specials, she still wouldn't earn enough breed points for a major - so I decided to eat the entry and not go. This saves me the costs of gas, food, and a hotel room out in Greenfield, as well as Kathy's handling fees and expenses. (Bless her, Kathy's policies cover such events as broken majors or would-be majors.) We do have to eat the cost of the entry, since that's non-refundable. It's just part of the cost of the Great Major Hunt.

Our next shows are the Fitchburg shows in mid-August, right after I get back from the BCCC National Specialty. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that enough bitches enter Fitchburg to make it worth our while.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Weddings and Lottery Tickets

Farmington Valley KC, 7/7/07
Naugatuck Valley KC, 7/8/07
3rd place, both days

Apparently churches and casinos were the places to be this past weekend. Since Saturday's date was 7/7/07, people rushed out to get lucky on what looked like a lucky day. Greg had a wedding and a memorial service to play this past weekend -- for the same family.

Anyway, the date didn't turn out to be that lucky for us. We ended up placing third both days. BAH. Seems everybody else got to finish a championship or get a major except us. Not that we aren't tickled to pieces for Cocoa, who absolutely deserved to finish -- but the pool of available competitors has now been reduced, and it will be even harder to field majors.

Not that we had very high hopes for Saturday's judge, who has a well-known fondness for picking his favorite two handlers -- but Sunday's judge was said to favor small, cute, showy bitches -- exactly like Dinah. Instead, she picked all large brown dogs. I'm glad that another dog Kathy's handling got his first major by going BOW yesterday, anyway.

Kathy and I are now on the lookout for shows that might have majors. In a way, it's nice that we can now afford to be choosy about which shows to enter. This means we can save some time and money by not entering shows that generally have low entries in Beardie bitches (and thus probably won't field enough of them for a 3-point major).

On the other hand, it now means that we have to enter shows with our fingers crossed for two reasons. First, we have to hope that the show brings in enough bitches for a major, and then we have to hope that all of them will show up on the day of the show.

Farewell to the Stanley Pup

At last year's Bearded Collie Club of Canada's National Specialty, Dinah was awarded the Jande Trophy (which we immediately christened "The Stanley Pup") for having won Best Puppy in Show. We were allowed to keep the trophy for a year, and had to get Dinah's name and the date engraved on it before sending it back to the club in time for this year's show.

Well, the Stanley Pup is now making its way to British Columbia. We had to take a few pictures of it before packing it and taking it to UPS.

Now that Dinah is no longer eligible to compete in the Puppy class, she can't win that trophy again -- but she is now part of its history. She won't be competing in this year's show, but she'll definitely be there in 2008. Maybe we'll get to bring another piece of history home then.