Wally and I showed in Shelton, WA over the weekend and it started out poorly. Sat was downright sucky (as you may have guessed from my post that day), with blatant mind games and politicking going on. Ugggggghhhhh. It was a textbook example of everything I hate about dog shows (things I didn’t notice until I went to Cali but now see at every show) and it very nearly made me stay home on Sun. Luckily I decided to go anyway, clinging to the old “new day, new dog show” adage and the fact that there was one less Special on Sun.
Result: Wally got Best of Breed! It’s our first one and, I must say, I really felt like he deserved it. The judge even commented on how excellently conditioned he was, making me feel awesome. Wally did look good: great body condition, good weight (fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally), coat looking good (thanks Danielle!). You can see why I was so frustrated on Sat! Now Sat is forgiven (but not forgotten) and I feel like I was thrown the bone I’ve been craving for so long.
BOB felt like it was a long time coming for us. Jazzie, Wally’s littermate, won BOB twice from the classes before she was 12mo old (the first time it was just her and Wally vying for it but the second time she beat a Special). I tried to be patient though, knowing that being a male meant it would take longer for Wally to develop the maturity that would garner him BOB. It’s definitely harder with males since there’s an expectation (one that I even share) for them to look masculine, and Wally is slow maturing. That’s a good thing in the long run since it means he won’t be oversized or unbalanced, but that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier to have a high quality dog who loses! I suppose I could have saved myself the frustration but it seemed like a good idea to pay $30 a day on the chance that he might win. Hmm, that looks pretty dumb in writing…
I’m especially glad we won because this will probably be our last show until 2013, so it was nice to end our year on sweet victory. There are a few reasons for our hiatus. First, I already mentioned that Wally needs more maturity. He’s not even two yet and I’d rather we be fiercely competitive than impotently frustrated. In addition to maturing physically we will continue conditioning, fine-tuning our grooming, and polishing our handling. Second, I’m disgusted by BS that comes with showing dogs. When Wally was a class dog it wasn’t that bad, but being in the Specials ring brings out the worst in the worst people (granted, not in everybody). California introduced me to this and I just want a break from it before it burns me out. Third, I’m still unemployed and dog shows are pricey. Besides, there aren’t any really good shows left this year (altho I do like the Ridgefield show in Dec).
Right now I’m looking forward to enjoying my Wally-dog without the expectations that come with showing. Maybe we’ll learn a few tricks or try out Earthdog or run a 5K. Or maybe we’ll just watch a few Bones marathons. :)