Showing dogs is one of the more mercurial sports where how well you do isn’t always reflective of how good you are. Not only are you subject to the whim of the judge, your teammate speaks a different language and has entirely different priorities than you! Talk about a challenge. The weekend at Ridgefield (Dec 10 & 11) was a roller coaster of the lows and highs of dog shows for Wally and I.
Saturday, oddly enough Wally absolutely did not like the judge. Usually he schmoozes the judge from the table, but this judge inspired the burro in him and he sat back on his haunches in protest. Not the best impression! Since we drove down early in the morning and went straight to the show we had no time for Wally workouts, and needless to say he gaited pretty horrifically when there was a dog in front of him. When it was all said and done we got Reserve Winner’s Dog, so essentially second place out of the three class dogs. Hey, at least she didn’t think we were the worst!
I didn’t feel too terrible though because later that afternoon, between Nordstrom sales racks and Goodwill On 10th, I came up with two fabulous show outfits. Both even have skirts, go me! I also got a pair of amazing wool gloves from Icebreaker. That store blows my mind. And later that night we went to Bamboo Sushi for some delicious sushi and Japanese booze. I finally got to try uni (sea urchin)!
Thankfully Sunday was a bazillion times better than Sat. I wore one of my new outfits and suddenly felt like I looked the part instead of looking like a noob. [Don’t wanna be hearing any “told you so’s” from the peanut gallery!] Since our class was in the afternoon and our hotel only 5min from the grounds we had plenty of time to run the edge off of Wally in a local park. The difference in his ability to focus was like night and day; obviously we need to do that every single time we show.
I was a lot happier with the judge we got too. He spent a lot of time really looking at each dog and seeing them. He checked fronts, he eyeballed movement, and he gave each dog it’s 2.5 minutes. Of course my opinion is also rosy because he really liked Wally! So much that we got Winner’s Dog and Best of Winners, landing us the cross-over points from the bitches major! In plain English: we got a 3pt major and Wally was the best class animal out of 12 animals.
I have to brag about our handling too because it was like something out of a dream. I always try to think the word “smooth” and boy were we. Wally stacked on the ground like a pro, totally different from Sat when he couldn’t keep his feet planted to save his life. He gaited like a pro too, not pulling nearly as much (partly because of the run and partly because I held back to give us plenty of gap). And on the table he was fine; he wasn’t amazing but he was tons better than the day before. Plus he stacked in the lineup for what felt like ages and didn’t bat an eye as the judge went over the 4 specials. I think back on that class and really feel like we pulled it all together. We might have a ways to go, but I’m going to savor those moments for a long time!
Win pic coming soon, it hasn’t arrived yet :) Vids too, but they take ages to upload and I’ve been lazy.
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