Saturday, December 20, 2008

Belated Report from Bay Colony

Quite a lot has happened since the Bay Colony Dog Shows on December 4-7. Since then, we've endured a couple of snowstorms (including the one currently falling out of the sky) and an ice storm that left us (and 220,000 of our neighbors) without power, heat, or Internet connectivity for five days. More on that later in my other blog.

Anyway, I did in fact make it to the Eastern Dog Club show on Sunday the 7th. Julie, owner of the PR firm for the cluster, met me in the lobby, showed me the coffee, and briefed me on the order of events. We passed quickly by the Beardie ring, only long enough for me to spot my friend Joanne and her puppy-boy Jack.

The Cluster puts on a fabulous buffet luncheon for the judges/stewards/show staff. Julie very kindly obtained a lunch ticket for me and introduced me to members of the clubs.

My task this year was to serve as MC for the Rescue Parade. Some of the local shelters and breed rescue organizations exhibit at this show, including NEOESR. The Sheepie contingent included my little buddy Denver and his mom Martine, Charley-girl, her Shih-Tzu mix roomie, and their mom Sandy, and Niles and his mom. We also had several German Shorthaired Pointers and one Wirehair, a Pom, a Lurcher, and a host of other happy dog/owner teams.

It took me a few attempts to get the microphone situated for optimum listenability (now I know why singers look as though they're swallowing the things), but Julie managed to keep me from getting too confused and tongue-tied. We offered up a couple of trivia questions for the audience (next time I'll come prepared) and handed out goodie bags to the people with correct answers.

During the parade, I read a brief biography of each dog as penned by the adopter, and people applauded as the dog/owner team took a victory lap around the ring. Some of the dogs' stories were genuinely heartbreaking, but all looked fit and happy in the ring -- and some came dressed for the occasion. We invited members of the audience to come in and meet the rescue dogs after the parade was through, and many of the dogs were surrounded by adoring fans.

We had to clear out fairly quickly so the Meet the Breeds event could set up in the same ring, but everyone left the ring happy -- and some with fans trailing behind. I hope that we can draw a good crowd for next year's parade in Providence!

The Official Real Thing!

Murphy's Laws Pertaining to Dog Shows

Little disclaimer here: This came from one of the dog showing email lists, and no one there knew who originally wrote it. If I ever find out, I'll post the attribution here. If you wrote it, please drop me a note so I can give you the proper credit. In the meantime, thanks to whomever came up with this in the first place!

1. After trying forever to obtain that elusive second major, you have no problem getting the third major the next day.

2. The Novice people who enter every show and drive 8 hours even if you show at 8am will not show up on the day that it is exactly a major.

3. If you try to build a major, the stuffer will win.

4. Your dog needs a major to finish. You drive 12 hours to a 3-day circuit to discover the superintendent erred in the count and you are one short of a major--and of course your dog is WD. You go home, as the next 2 days are not majors. You get a call Monday morning. The super erred again. The following 2 days were majors and your dog would have probably won, as the judges were great for him.

5. The day you leave your mud boots home because it is the middle of a drought, there will be 12 inches of rain.

6. Although every dog show has dozens of vendors, the day you forget your tack box will be the day the vendors have no show leads.

7. If you go to the trouble of checking out of the hotel before you show, you will not win breed.

8. If you don't check out of the hotel before you show, you will win breed and there will be no time to go back and check out before the group.

9. Your National is always scheduled 2 days ahead of your most promising puppy's 6-month birthday.

10. Your dog will totally blow coat one week before the National, and after you have paid for hotel, airline, banquets, etc.

11. The day you say, "If Buffy doesn't do something today, off to a pet home she goes!", she wins a 5 point major. Of course she never wins another point and all the pet homes have fallen off the face of the earth.

12. And, we all know about the now neutered puppy we sold as a pet and the littermate we kept as a show prospect...

13. If your dog does better as a follower, you will always be forced to be first in line.

14. And of course, if your dog does best at the front of the line, someone will have already beaten you there.

15. The judge you didn't enter under because he hates you/your dogs/your new hair style/whatever draws an overload and your favorite judge in the entire world picks up the overload.

16. Whenever the group judge is one that adores your dog, the breed judge will be the one that told you to pet your dog out. But, if you don't enter, refer to rule 15.)

17. A particular judge always puts up the dog for Best of Winners unless YOUR dog goes Winners Dog and there is only a major in bitches.

18. When you enter a small show that normally has no Specials, 5 of the top 10 dogs in the country will be there.

19. If you do win an easy breed at PoDunk, NoWhere, you will then learn that a dozen top dogs and their handlers have flown in from the furthest corners of the country and they're all in your group.

20. If you win the Group, you will discover that the BIS judge's all time favorite dog has just won its group and the BIS judge has already given it several BIS.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ta-Daaaaa! Sound the Trumpets!

Here she is, the New Champeen Herself...

Photo by Ashbey Photography.

The look of relief on Kathy's face pretty much says it all, doesn't it?

Although we don't have the official certificate from AKC in hand just yet, she is listed on the AKC Web site as CH Breaksea November Storm, so we're free to bandy the title around when entering other AKC events and stuff now.

Her breeder's comment echoed my own thoughts when she saw this photo: "She's grown up all of a sudden, hasn't she?" Yes, our little girlie is growing up! Not so long ago she couldn't buy a glance from the judges, but this year she started to come into her own and is looking like a young Bearded Lady. It helps that she's losing the "cotton-head," too. She still looks mostly presentable between crate and ringside now, instead of looking as though she hadn't seen a brush all day.

All in all, it's a nice way to finish out the year for 2008. We traditionally hibernate from Thanksgiving until Opening Day at Fenway, so now we can spend the winter training for other things and thinking about finishing up in Canada and UKC next year.