Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back from the National Specialty

Okay, so I'm a little late posting from my trip to the Bedlington National specialty.

It's taken a week and a half to recuperate, and gather my thoughts together!

The drive out was uneventful, and the weather quite nice, something I always worry about, driving back east, during our Spring months. Total time to drive to Louisville was just about 19 hours, including potty stops for humans and canines.

The dogs couldn't have behaved better on the drive out. We took Freddie, Tori, the two puppies; Cammi and Scarlett, and of course Trevor, who just can't be left anywhere. They were all wonderful on the way out, especially the puppies whose longest car ride prior to this trip was about 45 minutes.

We stayed in Shelbyville, which is about 15 minutes from the fairgrounds in Louisville. The Best Western in Shelbyville couldn't be more accomodating. From making sure we always have a ground floor room so that the dogs can be taken outside quickly, to upgrading the room for us. We really couldn't have asked for more.

The first day, Wednesday, the Bedlington Terrier Club of America put on several seminars. There was a grooming seminar that was used as a fund-raiser for the club. For a fee, you could have an extremely talented groomer groom your dog, while explaining what they were doing and why. There was a great turnout for this seminar, with people moving from grooming station to grooming station to watch the various groomers work their magic and ask questions. I took advantage of this, and had Scarlett groomed by Malin Eriksson from Sweden. In a word, the grooming job was exquisite! I could only hope to groom that well.

After the grooming seminar, there was a handling seminar. This was actually broken down into three separate groups, new exhibitors, exhibitors with new/young dogs, and junior handlers. There was quite a good turnout for this. Trevor actually got to play in the ring for the seminar with Cheryl, Gus' owner. I suggested that she use Trevor, since he's fairly easy to work with, and she wouldn't tire out Gus since he had several days of shows coming up. I don't think Trevor was too thrilled, I believe he much prefers to be a couch potato...

After the handling seminars, the club hosted a illustrated breed seminar that was wonderful. There was a working terrier judge, a conformation judge, a US breeder and a Swedish breeder on the panel. It really gave us food for thought, and the working terrier judges perspective was extremely enlightening.

After three events, I was exhausted, and went back to the hotel. Time to start getting dogs ready to be shown the following day.

Thursday I showed Scarlett in the 6-9 puppy bitch class, with an entry of eight. She went second in a very tough class. Tori was also shown in BOB. An easy day with only two dogs to prepare and show.

We took Friday off from showing, and went to the Louisville Slugger museum/factory tour. What a tour. You actually go through the working factory. The only baseball bats now made there are the bats for the major-league players, the rest of the bats are manufactured at another site in the US, or overseas. Tons of history and memorabilia were in the museum, and we each got a miniature bat.

Saturday was the Bedlington floating National Specialty; we had Cammi, Scarlett, Tori and Freddie entered. In sweepstakes, Scarlett won the 6-9 puppy bitch class, and Cammi went fourth. Freddie was entered in the breed, but I wasn't happy with the grooming I had done on him that morning, so I didn't show him.

Sunday Cammi received a 3rd in the puppy bitch class. Gus Henry won his class on Sunday, then went on to take Winners Dog for a 4-point major! He now has both his majors before his 8-month birthday. His owner does an incredible job of grooming him, and is making good progress in handling him.

We left after showing Sunday, for the long drive back home, getting back to Colorado on Monday morning. Thanks to Michael's ability to drive for REALLY long periods of time. If i'm not driving, I'm rather useless, since I fall asleep in record time in the car.

Overall, it was a wonderful event-packed, educational week. I love the shows, but am glad we only do the trip once per year! I do wish we would get some Bob Evans restaurants out this way though!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First shows of 2010

Okay, I know I've been rather remiss in posting to the blog, but with a lack of dogs shows during our winter months, and being busy with the puppies, it just got pushed to the bottom of the list :)

We attended our first dog shows of 2010 this past weekend. This was the Rocky Mountain Cluster; 4 days of dog shows held in one venue.

We had a wonderful turnout in Bedlingtons, with 15 dogs entered several of the days. I showed Tori on Friday, she looks fabulous after her litter, and it was great to see her so excited with the prospect of going to another show. I do believe they never forget. She got her bath Friday morning, and when she saw me loading the crates, and everything else that is necessary for four days of shows she started her barking, to ensure that I wouldn't forget her!! It's wonderful to see a dog that was shown as much as she was, still react with pure joy at the thought of going to the show!

The girls from her last litter; Cammi and Scarlett, were also entered on Saturday, along with their brother, "Gus" who is owned locally. Both girls showed wonderfully for their first "real" shows. They'd been to a match show last month, but that was about it. Cammi won her puppy class, and went on to Reserve Winners Bitch at the age of 6 months.

"Gus" also showed like a little trooper. His owner is new to the sport of showing dogs, and has lots to learn, but is extremely motivated to learn and do well. It's a pleasure working with her.

Freddie was shown on Saturday. While he showed extremely well, I kept thinking that something didn't feel "quite right" as he moved around the ring. He wasn't limping, but something was just a bit off. He made a visit to our Dog Massage Therapist on Sunday morning, so that she could look at his movement, and sure enough, after about a dozen steps, she asked "when did he pull a groin muscle?" We have no idea. She stated it's an easy injury to sustain, he probably slipped on the snow, or his hind end may have slipped out from under him on a slick floor. She worked on him for about half an hour, with instructions to ice him as often as possible and restrict his ability to run around at full speed. Much easier said than done! He's being a real little trooper regarding the icing of his groin area. My hopes are that he is recovered enough to attend the National Specialty in Louisville KY in approximately four weeks. Only time will tell.

I must say, I saw some of the worst sportsmanship I've seen at shows in a long time. It's so unfortunate when some exhibitors go out of their way to make snide, rude and untrue remarks, and try to make a point. Especially when the person they're doing this to is a novice. How petty to pick on the new kid on the block, probably because they feel threatened. I guess all I can say is luckily this novice won't learn these types of tactics, as they do little except to show how insecure the offending party is. It's sad to see people stoop so low.

On a brighter note, I'm extremly excited regarding the girls, and can't wait to show them at the National Specialty next month. Now, would it be too much to ask for nice weather in L'ville rather than rain in March ??