As I promised in my earlier post the "Best In Show" story. If you have ever seen the mocumentary by Christopher Guest then you know my reference; if you haven't seen it well, its a must see for dog lovers! Anyway, I decided when Sienna was 3 months old to enter into a dog show. Now I had only taken one handling class in my life, back oh 27 years ago for fun. So you can see that I was no expert on dog shows. The breeder that I had purchased Sienna from was a great cheerleader and encouraged me to give it a try.
I spent days getting ready, making check lists to not forget anything, hotel reservations and then .........filling in the entry form. Now if you have never entered into a dog show then you can only appreciate a newbie's confusion as that of doing your taxes for the first time! After about 8 attempts to fill in the form, I thought aha! I have it. Mailed it off in triumph..... I Did IT!
A week later my cell rings......."Hello, this is the UKC entry division. I have a form here for a poodle puppy." So much for my aha moment. The very pleasant woman from UKC corrected my errors and now I was officially entered into my first show!
The day before the the show I spent grooming and re-grooming poor SIenna. She was so patient with me, I am sure she was wondering if I had lost my mind! Then the big crisis! What to wear or What not to wear! You can not imagine what a woman goes through to find the right outfit to enter into a Show Ring......really! Think prom plus 3! well maybe not that bad, but that's how I felt. Rob reminded me it wasn't a beauty pageant for me....Ha Ha, but rather for Sienna. So my nerves relaxed and I picked out a suit; Laura taught me to always, out of respect for the judge to dress up for the ring.
My husband and partner is so game when I want to explore something new and so we loaded up the car and headed to Grinnell, Iowa for our first dog show! I used to think packing to take the kids on a trip required so much "stuff". Let me tell you that's a cake walk compared to the dryers, tables, kennel, chairs, gear, floor mats and food needed for just one dog! The show, which is a 2 day show so that's 4 events and Grinnell is about 2+ hours from our home and my guts said, "this feels like the first day of middle school!' I felt like a rubber band ball and my rubber bands were snapping one at a time!
We arrive, my husband still with me! We are early, I'm always early and set up a grooming spot. I find the event secretary and she gives me my armband.......cue angel choir....no really! I was doing it! I had an armband and rubber band.......I felt so professional!
Then is was show time! OMG......which ring? When? What do I do? All those youtube videos, I had study for 3 weeks before came flooding back. If I get nervous its like lightening down the lead to the poor puppy! That first ring event is like walking in a coma, truly a blurred line! Rob said we did great, and we must have done okay because we received a 1st place in puppy class! Which means we move onto the Breed class (if you haven't shown before there is great information on both the AKC and UKC web sites). Now we are up against all the other poodles who had won their class. Deep breath, the nerves are making me hyper-ventilate! Rob, my team mate has a camera stuck in my face; trying to capture every moment......my moment was thinking I would really hurt him right now! But there wasn't time for that.....I needed to be in the ring and off we go again. Stacking, running the ring, examination of the dog, up and down, stack again, SMILE! act like this fun! then around the ring as a group. At this point I just wanted to get of the ring! But WAIT......hold the presses.....the judge is picking his winners and rearranging us......he's pointing at me? REALLY! I just sort of stare at the man, he again motions for me to move behind the Champion Dog....well okay, if that's where you want me. Off we go again, a carousal of poodles around the ring. Then the Judge as he stands in the center points and says......1,2,3...............Yes! we just took second in Breed! Okay, so most people may not be that ecstatic about a 2nd but I sure was! A newbie, with ribbons under her belt.....now THAT is heady stuff :)
That weekend was true magic for us.....Sienna ended up going to Group 3 times out of the 4 shows. She won a Group 2 and a Group 3. This gave her 100 points toward her championship! It also gave her 2 of the 3 legs she needed to become a Champion! Rob and I spread out our ribbons as if they were gold doubloons....Pirates that made a fantastic raid. We were off, hurled into the unknown world of dog shows!
As yet, Sienna is not a champion and need to acquire one more leg before we grasp the brass ring on the dog show carousal!