Saturday, September 29, 2007

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Ox Ridge Kennel Club, 9/22/07: BOW, 1 point
Northwestern CT Dog Club, 9/23/07: RWB

First, the sublime. I really, really wish that the Ox Ridge show had been a major, even though we knew going down that there weren't enough bitches entered -- so the absolute only way Dinah could have earned 3 points is if all the other class bitches had shown up, and Dinah went BOS over all of the bitch specials.

As it turned out, 2 of the other bitch entries didn't show, so Dinah wouldn't have made 3 points even for BOB. That's okay. We took BOW over Jake, who has beaten Dinah all the other times when they were both Winners. That felt nice, especially since Jake is a distant relative and a very nice dog.

The judge, Juan Carlos Ferraro, comes from Argentina. I had pinged my friend Pat, who co-owns an Argentine import, for an opinion on the man and his judging. She replied that she had met him at the World Show in Mexico and really liked him -- and to my surprise, she came all the way from Ohio to the show. Napo, the gorgeous blue Argentine boy, took BOB -- and should have. I hadn't seen him in a year, and I'd forgotten how stunning he is. Pat will be crying many salty tears when Napo goes back to Argentina with his other owner.

Anyway, the judge couldn't have been nicer. He complimented us all on our dogs, patted us all on our backs, and graciously took picture after picture. I'm not saying we would follow him to Argentina, but I'd show under him again anytime.

Next... the ridiculous.

In my brief time at dog shows, I've seen at least my fair share of "face judges," the ones who would be more honest if they would at least just examine the handlers' teeth instead of the dogs'. Whereas a "face judge" at least looks for familiar faces in the ring, a "back judge" just turns her back on the ring and lets dogs and handlers gait around it unseen.

[Editor's note: Hey, I know the rest of this post is going to read like the proverbial sour grapes, but after re-reading it, I figured it was safer to impugn my own reputation in front of my small but devoted international audience. Sorry, folks. The first draft was deliciously juicy.]

I began to have a bad feeling when I saw all the handlers clustered around our ring, laughing and pointing.

When it came time for Open Bitch, there were two entries. Dinah was one of them. The other one was a scrawny little dog missing half her coat, and who moved as though she were dog-paddling through a puddle of something unpleasant. She did have a "name" handler, however, as her only attribute.

My friend Deb nudged me in the ribs. "This'll be an easy choice."

Oh, indeed it was. The judge picked... the scrawny naked one with the big-name handler. Dinah got Reserve. Deb and I were both so shocked we just laughed. There wasn't much else we could do. I couldn't even nudge Deb back when the scrawny bitch got BOW over Jake.

I suppose I'm glad (in a way) that this judge didn't pick Dinah. I sure wouldn't have wanted the assembled crowd to be laughing at my dog and me!

No comments: