Sunday, August 19, 2007

This One Goes to Eleven

Wachusett Kennel Club, 8/18/07: Winners Bitch, 1 point
Greater Lowell Kennel Club, 8/19: Winners Bitch, 1 point

Once your dog reaches the exalted state of being "pointed out," It's not uncommon to enter a number of shows in the hopes of finding majors there, only to get the judging program back with class entries of onesies or twosies. That's the stage that Dinah and I have reached at this point. No matter which decision you make about these types of shows, it's bound to be wrong. Basically, you have two options:

1. Eat the entries and stay home.
Advantages: It's cheaper than spending big bucks on gas and hotels -- plus you get weekends off!
Disadvantages: You still have to eat the $25+ for each entry. If there was only one other class entry, then your staying home might have cost someone else a point.

2. Go to the show and show anyway.
Advantages: What the heck, you've paid for it already. In addition, a win is a win -- and you might save the one or two points for your competition if you don't end up winning.
Disadvantages: If you win, you won't have helped the other entries anyway.

I s'pose if I had to state my policy about when to show and when to eat entries, it comes down to this: I'll eat the entry for any show involving a hotel stay. If the show is more than a couple of hours' drive from home, I'll wait until the judging program comes out before making a final decision. I'm more likely to bail on an 8:30 AM ring time than I would for one of, say, 1 PM.

Of course, if you're showing your own dog, you can afford to be a tiny bit more spontaneous when it comes to the question of "Should I stay or should I go?". Since Kathy handles Dinah at the shows, I need to do her the courtesy of making a decision as early on as possible.

Anyway... we've had to eat some more entries this season already. I'd entered the Springfield shows at the end of August in the hopes that if there would be majors anywhere during the summer, they'd be there. When the judging program came back, the breakdown showed only one class bitch: Dinah. Even if she went Best of Breed over all of the specials, she still wouldn't defeat enough dogs to gain three points. Pass the salt -- time to eat some entries. It won't be the last time we do this, either.

This weekend, I decided to show instead of eating the entry. Dinah does need to stay in practice, so not showing for several months just isn't an option. We have a National Specialty coming up, and we do have to perform at our best.

Dinah took Winners Bitch both days for one point each day. She now has 11 points, but still needs two majors. Heck, if we were showing in Canada she would have been finished on Saturday!