Sunday, October 21, 2007

And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

BCCA National Specialty, October 4: made the cut

I've always enjoyed going to our national specialties. I get to see people I only see every year (or every few years), smooch hundreds of Beardies and watch them grow up, attend a few raucous dinners and one fabulous gourmet meal, shop for everyone on my Beardie Christmas list, and offer up my services as cheap labor for the performance events. That part's a blast.

Dinah had lots of fun at the show. She and her buddy Angus had some glorious bed-bouncing sessions and WOOF wrestling matches...

As far as the showing part goes, someday I'll learn to adjust my expectations. Since Dinah won Best Puppy in Show at the Canadian specialty last year, I've been waiting and hoping for her to do something really stellar at one of our US shows. Last year, her breeder was the judge, so we couldn't enter. We did place 4th in the Regional on the previous day, and made the cut in Sweeps.

This year, we were psyched to be showing to a "movement judge." Dinah has plenty of that, and Kathy was really looking forward to putting the princess through her paces. Although one of Trav's breeders was handling him in the ring, Kathy had four doggie clients for the show: Dinah, Jake, Isaac (in his first appearance in quite a while), and Bliss.

Jake came in fourth in Open Dogs (Rowdy Blue took first place with Debbie handling and Dinah's cousin Widget (Breaksea Boddy's Brew) came in third. The judge had seemed impressed with Jake and had placed him first, but changed her mind and shuffled him to the back while making her final placements.

Kathy and I hoped that Dinah might fare better. We felt encouraged when the judge spent quite a bit of time telling Kathy that she liked Dinah, and that she wanted to like her as much moving as she did standing. Kathy and Dinah did as they were told and moved all over that ring, even going back and forth underneath the tent while waiting their turn -- as the judge had instructed.

My friend Lisa breathed, "Ooooh, she likes her." I had forgotten to breathe.

Dinah ended up making the cut. Because the Open Bitch class was so large, the judge had divided the class in two, made her selections from the first class, and then judged the second half. After making her selections from the second half, she called in all the bitches from the first half, but apparently forgot that they were in the ring. She eventually picked the dog who had paid the least amount of attention in the ring, who had to be gaited over and over again before settling, and who wasn't any great shakes in the presentation department.

I was glad for her owner, who is a dear friend, but less than impressed at the final choices. We genuinely felt we'd been robbed, after Kathy and Dinah did all that work in the blazing heat just to be forgotten. Gill, Dinah's breeder (who took the show photos in this entry) remarked to me later that she thought Dinah had the best movement of any bitch out there. Kathy was possibly more disappointed and shocked than I was. She still is.

Gill was philosophical. "Next year you should bring her to California. Wendy (Hines) will like her." She said this just as I was considering not entering another BCCA Specialty again for a good long while. The Canadian Specialty -- well, that's another story. We have to go back to Gananoque.

There was some good new to be had at the show, anyway, even if it wasn't ours. Traveler received the third Award of Merit at the show, and Rosie received one too (Sixth?).

This is possibly the first Specialty (national or otherwise) that we've attended in which we really did come home empty-handed. At least I bought a T-shirt.

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