Sunday, April 20, 2008

And Awayyyy We Go!

It happens like this every year: months of nothing, nothing, nothing when it comes to dog showing, and then all of a sudden -- BAM! Everything starts to happen at once. It's not that there's nothing to say during our "off season," but there's less to report because we're not showing.

Now that it's April, entries are open for the May shows. This coming Wednesday, I can even enter one for June 1. We won't be entering nearly as many shows now that all Dinah needs are her majors, but the ones we will enter should be good ones (if the majors don't break).

Speaking of broken majors, we received some good news/bad news about the York County shows coming up. YCKC is my local kennel club, and I'm on the show committee this year. I'm going to be freaky busy, and wasn't even going to enter Dinah until my friend Kathy offered to show her for me. (Different Kathy. "Our" Kathy, Dinah's handler, will be equally freaky busy at the Newfie National that week, so she can't show Dinah. Kathy-the-handler has so many dogs to show that she has one full-time and one part-time helper to help bathe and groom Newfies for the ring. Yowza!)

Here's the good news: We actually have enough bitches for a major on that Saturday! Hallelujah! I don't know how we managed to pull it off, but we did. Must have been the mention of the post-show lobster party that got people going.

The bad news is, I know that the major is going to break, and my hopes along with it. The owner of one of the bitches entered has a litter of baby pups at home. They'll be a week old tomorrow. Even though she entered one of the girls, she won't want to come to the show. All of the people she would trust to litter-sit will be at the show, and she won't want to bring home any possible bugs from the show to the puppies.

I would do the same thing if I were in her position -- stay home and feel bad about it -- but we were so close there! The first major in Beardies in Maine in possibly forever, and it's broken. BAH!

My friend Kathy will still show Dinah for me. Gracious soul that she is, she actually decided not to enter her bitch special (who went BOS last year to the magnificent Christopher) so she could show Dinah. Dinah needs the practice after taking an extended winter off. Our grrrlfriend Moxie only needs majors as well, but Debbie's bringing her anyway. We can commiserate about the broken major over a beer at The Weathervane after the show.

Entries in shows have decreased markedly, at least in this region if not all over the country. Much of that has to do with gas prices and the increase in cost of everything related to showing. Every year, the AKC releases the new point schedules for breed/region in mid-May. I wonder whether the number of Beardies to make a major will decrease this year to match the lower entries. For us, the YCKC show is the last show of the year where the old entry numbers still apply. We would have had a major last year if the show had only taken place after the middle of May.

Another Belated Shout-Out Steph and Bowie. Bowie is Steph's Brittany puppy, and he appears to be growing up nicely. Go ahead and enter him in Vacationland, Steph. Even the most die-hard competitors in the breed are almost always gentle, gracious, and helpful with exhibitors in the puppy class. You could even persuade some friendly soul to go over him and tell you about his good points and bad points, and the best ways to accentuate the positive in the show ring.

It was at Vacationland 2006 where Judie went over Dinah at our second-ever show and did the same for me. We see each other at shows occasionally still, and I'll always owe her a debt of gratitude for telling me some truths about my dog and the realities of showing her. (She said some very, very nice things about Dinah, and warned me more about what competition with her would be like. It came true in some unexpected ways.)

Sister Act

Congratulations to the beauteous Buffy Burfitt (CZ and SK CH Breaksea November Mist, bunch of European performance titles after her name) for receiving her Czech Championship title, second CACIB (challenge certificate) and National Winner designation at the most recent show she attended. No one on earth works as hard with training and showing as Buffy's mom Jana, and both of them deserve a tremendous amount of credit. Well done, Buffy and Jana! You've done the family proud.

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