Wow, am I beat. Somehow I feel MORE tired after this weekend than when working for Val! Probably because I went to a friend’s wedding Sat night, and also because showing your own dog is both emotionally and physically wearing.
This weekend I got a taste of what it’s like to be a handler myself, albeit one with a very small string and who doesn’t get paid. :) I showed Seven at the specialty on Fri, then on Sat and Sun too. Hard as I am on myself, I think I improved dramatically in just those three days. Still unlikely to win anything with a Shorthair but definitely getting better! It helped that I was able to watch some old Westminster vids and had time to watch the classes. It’s true that handling is often best learned by observing, but when your job is to work at a dog show you find you seldom have time for idle observation!
Wally showed on Sat and Sun, taking BOS both days. On Sat we ran late and arrived at the ring after BOB had already started, yikes! With no time to change leads and grabbing liver bait from the nearest angel, we were lucky enough to be allowed in. Unfortunately Wally dislikes liver so once he realized I had lousy bait he totally lost focus. Amazingly we still managed to take BOS. Sun was a LOT better with plenty of time to prep. We walked in there and rocked it. Wally looked like a stud and stacked beautifully (I had string cheese!), taking BOS again.
Another really fantastic thing is that Gabriel Rangel, one of the top terrier handlers in the country, wants me to work for him at WA/OR shows! You might recognize him as the handler of this year’s and last year’s #1 terriers. Gabriel is such an awesome guy and his dogs are always immaculately groomed, I’m feeling pretty lucky that he wants to work with me. It’s a good thing Wally and I rocked it today, too, because Gabriel was watching us ringside. Apparently I made a good impression. :) So yay, excited to work with Gabriel in the future!