On Saturday, May 17th - Bug and I competed at the Mattaponi Kennel Club Dog Show in Manassas, VA. We met both of the goals I set for myself – 1. to have fun and 2. for Bug’s ears to stay down in the ring.
I won’t keep you in suspense any longer – Bug was entered in the 9-12 month puppy bitch class – she had some competition from 2 sisters one month younger than her and she came in 3rd out of the three of them. So yes, she came in last – but she did it in true Bug-style.
OK, now for the full story. We arrived at the fairgrounds and found a good parking spot. Pixie stayed home since I did not feel comfortable leaving her in the car. Then off we went to find a catalog, since a few folks had told me that the first thing to do was get my catalog. As I wandered around the show, I realized I had no idea where one actually buys the catalog. I just assumed it would be like any other sporting event and there would be vendors selling them. So I asked the first person I saw who looked halfway friendly and he pointed me toward the superintendent’s tent. Bug was her happy little self – wiggling her whole body and trying to say hello to every man, woman, child and dog that we passed. We found the superintendent and as I was buying the catalog – Bug promptly took a poop right there in front of the superintendent. I thought, oh boy, is this how my day is going to go? I went to pick up the poop and before I could, a nice gentleman came over and scooped it up for me. Hmm, I thought, well that was nice – maybe my day would go OK.
So once I had the catalog, now I needed to figure out where to get my armband. Again, I wandered around for a bit and then bumped into a friend of mine and her whippets. She told me I get the armband at the ring. So off we went to ring 12. Got my armband then had to have her help me put it on. We were number 8 – seemed like a good number to me. Checked the catalog to see when we had to go into the ring and saw that Bug would be the first one in for her class. I was glad we would be first in line because I was a bit worried that Bug would be trying to sniff the butt of the whippet in front of her – so again, things seemed to be working out for us.
Then it was time to stand around the ring and watch. Saw two other people that I knew and got myself mentally prepared. Bug was having a great time greeting the other whippets and giving kisses to the people. She is a very happy little girl.
Dalmatians were the breed in the ring before the whippets. As they were finishing up, all of a sudden there was a commotion outside the ring. We heard yelling and lots of people started gathering around. I thought it was a dog fight. Things started to get very tense, nobody knew what was going on. Then a woman came walking toward us carrying a Dalmatian. I don’t know the full story, but it turns out all the excitement was this – apparently this woman co-owns the dog with someone else. A handler was showing the dog and the co-owner attempted to steal the dog back and actually slapped the handler. Yikes – that sent some bad vibes around. Is this what goes on at dog shows? I am told that this was in fact very out of the ordinary.
After all that excitement died down, it was time for the whippets to head into the ring. I guess in the dog show world they don’t believe in the old mantra – ladies first – so the boys went into the ring. This was good because I could watch and see what the judge was having them do. It all looked simple enough, I thought – go around, put on table, down and back, go around again.
I have no idea who won anything cause I was too busy 1. trying to have fun and 2. trying to make sure Bug’s ears stayed down. It came time for our turn and into the ring we went. Bug behaved like a champ. She stacked without too much fussing and kept her ears down – Yay!! We went around but she was pretty busy trying to sniff the ground. Up onto the table she went and she was a very good girl when the judge came over. I told the judge that this was our first time and she very nice and spoke to Bug as she looked at her teeth and she also helped me to stack her properly. Bug was very cooperative – Yay Bug!!
The down and back was OK but on the go around Bug just wanted to sniff the ground again, so I think her movement didn’t look all that great. And that basically is it – we came in last, um, I mean 3rd. None of the horrible things I had envisioned happened – she didn’t bite the judge, poop in the ring, jump up in the air and she didn’t get excused from the ring for any reason. And as for me, I didn’t trip and fall down or step on her or bite the judge either.
We got a ribbon to add to our collection, I breathed a giant sigh of relief that it was over, and then we stayed to watch the rest of the whippet judging. After whippets were done, we went shopping – Bug got an adorable green leash and collar with little flying ladybugs on it.
So there you have it - this was most likely Bug's first and last "real" show - we will still compete in fun matches on occasion.Allie