Friday, May 19, 2006
Getting ready for the show: May 19, 2006
The Beaufort shows are this weekend so we've had to get Tobias and Emily ready to go. Getting the dogs ready for the shows isn't a big deal--especially when I'm driving back and forth. We go over the dogs, clean ears, grind their nails, and wash them off. No shampoo because it will make the coat too soft. These are all breed shows so the judges usually aren't breeders and aren't as caring about the feel of the coat. Emily is just starting to blow coat and the black hair "storm" has been going in the kennel. By next month, almost everybody will be out of coat here. For ears, we wipe them out with Chlorhexaderm flush, getting any gunk out and follow up with Animax if there is any sign of ear debris. The eyes get gently wipes and we'll sometimes add in an antibiotic ointment if there is any redness. The nails get ground using a dreml tool. Tobias stands nicely to have his done. Emily likes to wiggle some. Because it is easy for the nails to get too hot if you grind on one for too long, I'll take some off of each and then go back over them. It makes them nice and neat looking and there is less chance of nicking a nail. We like to use Self Rinse plus on the coats. Wash them with a hose and then mix a little of the Self Rinse on the coats. It takes any dust and dirt away. I already have my tack box with leashes in the van so I'll just add in a water jug, some stainless steel buckets for water and a couple of food bowls with some food as the dogs being shown won't be fed until after they are shown. Tobias is entered in the Open Black dog class and Emily is entered in Bred-By. Toby now has 8 points towards his Ch. so he only needs one more single point before we begin the hunt for majors. Getting a major win means that there has to be at least 3 points or more at a given show. A dog has to have 2 major wins under different judges along with the single points for a total of 15 to become an AKC Ch. It's like Tiger Woods winning the Master's. And we have to have two of those! What's a pain is that we have to hunt for those majors, meaning that I can enter a show and if there isn't a major, then I have to pull Toby. This is only courtesy because I wouldn't want to take any single points away from any one else. Dog shows are fun, although I have to say that I much prefer going to specialties to show. After so many years of going to shows, I just prefer not to have to be away from home and I like seeing a lot of Labradors if I'm going to be away. Specialties or supported entries are shows that will have more dogs of a given breed. I went to the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac in April and there were over 1200 Labradors there. It is the biggest Labrador specialty in the world! Now that I'm an AKC judge (provisional until I have 5 assignments), I will be going to all breed shows as well as specialties to judge. That's okay because I won't have to drive and I won't have to carry dogs to show. I generally travel to shows by myself with the dogs. I've been as far north as Ohio and Conn., been to Florida and states in between to show. It's a lot of work because I generally also steward at the shows, so once I get up at 5 AM, I'm generally at the dog show until 4 or 5 PM and then finally to bed at around 10 PM. It may seem like a piece of cake but the venues are often fairgrounds, dusty and hot or freezing cold. You have to carry your gear in on a dolly and try to find space if it's an indoor show. I guess that I've never much liked the gypsy life so being away one weekend a month is enough for me. I'm just glad that I can drive back and forth to this one, even though I have to leave my house at 6 AM in order to make my ring call at 8:30. I will likely take Izzy along with me for some socialization. It will be her longest ride in the van so it should be good for her to go and see some other breeds and smell different things. More tomorrow after the show......
at 2:13 PM