Tag Archives: Pflouff

Pflouff’s first shows

We did it! We did our first shows and didn’t suffer abject humiliation. We survived the weekend and are even still on speaking terms. (Friday night, not so much.)

The weekend started Thursday night when Jay and I put Pflouff on the kitchen table with the Manners Minder — bless the Manners Minder — and brushed her out. Friday morning I took her down to the local pet wash and bathed her, and then at noon I took her to the show grounds so Jenni, her breeder, could groom her for the show. I know nothing about grooming, and I’m terrified of scissoring her. What if I do it wrong? Jenni said it’s just fur, and it will grow back, but STILL.

Jenni spent maybe an hour on her, and she looked so much better when she was done. It’s August, plus she’s blowing out the last of her puppy coat, so she doesn’t have a lot of coat right now. The most noticible thing to me is that she has a flat top on her head. She has lost the poof of puppy fur, but her adult fur hasn’t grown in completely. So she had to go out in public with flat hair!

There was a fun match on Friday at 4, and Jenni thought it would be a good idea for me and Pflouff to enter. That gave us a chance to get in the ring once before the “real thing” on Saturday. The fun match had a class for 4-6 month old puppies (which is younger than allowed at sanctioned shows), so Jenni showed her 4.5 month old puppy (and Pflouff’s half brother), Darwin.

There. Were. So. Many. Dogs. The match had at least 200 dogs entered, and so it was 6:30 before we got our turn. Pflouff was absolutely done before she even went in the ring. It had been a LONG day for both of us. Fortunately, there was no pressure, so we just went in and tried to do what we were supposed to do. She lost to Darwin, but he ended up getting Best Puppy in Match (of all breeds), so I don’t feel bad about that.

She held it together so well on Friday, even though it was a super long day. I’m constantly impressed by how well she handles the show environment. She doesn’t lunge at other dogs; she just kind of takes it in. She caught on pretty quickly to what I wanted her to do in the ring too.

We had to show at 9 on Saturday, so we were up and out early. Jenni got her cleaned up, and walked me through the show process. She really took care of me this weekend, and I REALLY appreciate it! The show on Saturday was the most successful. I was shaking like a leaf, but Pflouff did everything I asked her to. I wish we had photos from that day, because I’m pretty sure she looked a lot better.

Sunday we showed at 10, so we didn’t have to be out as early. I wasn’t nervous on Sunday, but Pflouff was less together. We were just discombobulated in the ring. She jumped around a bit, wanted to sniff when gaiting, and wanted to sit instead of stack. I expect she was just plain tired. It was a long weekend!

There were three dogs in her class each day, including her sister Inky. The third dog was a bronze. Jay brought the camera on Sunday, and we got some photos. This first picture was when we first walked in the ring and set up. I’m at the back of the line. Jenni is in the middle and obviously knows what she’s doing.

Here’s another picture of us, after we gaited around and set up for individual examination:

This final picture is (obviously) Pflouff gaiting. I wore black pants and black shoes, and unfortunately that makes it look like Pflouff has five legs. Trust me she doesn’t. Just the four standard issue ones. Her back is a little rounded there — I’m betting I was trying to hold her head up. That choke chain is about to choke the life out of her. (Saturday really was better.)

Oh well, like I said, we survived — and that’s the important thing, right? I don’t know that it was the most fun she has ever had, but she seemed to really enjoy the time out with me. She was excellent in the car — rode quietly and waited to be asked before jumping out — and she wasn’t bad on leash. If someone actually trained her, she’d do really well!

After we showed on Sunday, Jay and I went to the 3C’s truck and spent a fortune. We bought a nice grooming table, arm, and loop and a pair of nice thinning shears. They didn’t have the blower I want, so we didnt’ have to drop the cash on that one. Jay was a sweetheart who supported every bit of it. (He even darned the big hole in my pants pocket on Saturday night!)

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It’s official: Pflouff’s first show is 8/22

Jenni Lott called me this morning and told me I had 3 hours to get Pflouff registered for the Redmond shows. Probably didn’t want to give me a chance to back out!

It’s technically three days of shows, but Pflouff is entered only on Saturday and Sunday. I’m going to bathe her on Friday, and then take her over to the show grounds so Jenni can turn her into a show dog. I’ve got a lot of raking to do between now and then to get all the old coat out. Thankfully, she’s not matted.

I panicked as soon as I made the decision to do it. Pflouff will likely be in heat — her sisters are in now — and she is just under a year old, so she has teenager brain. Jenni has Inky entered in the same classes, so I’ll have to do my own showing. The problem with this is that Pflouff is just plain untrained! Oy.

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Pflouff and Aslan

Aslan has been smitten with Pflouff since she entered this house. Just one or two “lessons” from him early on (roaring, not even putting his teeth on her), and she has been the perfect playmate — completely respectful, but a great wrestling partner when he wants one.

Sigh. Until today.

Aslan got his summer haircut today. A couple of years ago we began shaving him for the summer. Murder on the coat, but he’s just a pet, and he’s sooooo happy when he’s cool and comfy. Well, he came home from the groomer tired, cranky — and looking completely different. As soon as he got out of the car, he and Pflouff were fence fighting.

I’m used to him being growly after grooming and vet appointments, so I just separated him from the others. I’m using an ex-pen, so he’s not banished… just not able to interact with them.

Problem is, PFLOUFF won’t let it go. He has had a nap and dinner and a chance to stretch his legs and relax, and he’s feeling much happier. But Pflouff apparently thinks he’s the devil incarnate. She went charging up to him hackles raised and barking when I went up to feed him a treat. (He, I’m glad to report, was more interested in the food than in her. So he got extra!)

I’m hoping that with a few more hours this evening plus a good night’s sleep, they’ll be back to normal tomorrow.

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End of vacation blues

My vacation was fabulous. Didn’t go anywhere special or do anything earth-shattering… and that was wonderful. Great weather, freedom to just relax and hang out, quality time with my husband and the critters. Loved it! (Did I mention the great weather? SUN, warm temps, and lots of spring color. Heaven!)

Today is my birthday. Low key, just like I like it. We forgot to make timely reservations, so Jay and I went out to diner at The Melting pot last night. Yum! A splurge, but it was a yummy splurge. We’re going out with neighbors tomorrow night — not technically a birthday celebration, but I can pretend, right?

My mom told me to do something exciting today, so we bathed Pflouff. It was definitely exciting, though more so for her than for us. I quicked one of her nails, and DANG that girl can bleed. I’ve quicked nails before, and yes, they seem to bleed a lot and forever, but I’ve never seen one bleed like this. It bled for TWO HOURS. We packed it with styptic powder twice at the pet wash, and then I packed it twice more when I got home. If it hadn’t worked that last time I was going to take her to the vet.

Poor Pflouff. I was going to try to clip the hair between her pads, but I think she had enough foot trauma today, so I let it go. I trimmed her ears just a little. I wasn’t happy with my thinning shears though. They were cutting more than thinning, and so the line on her ears was too… unnatural. I was afraid to do any other trimming, because we want to put her in a show in early June.

I am SO intimidated by grooming!

Anyway, the day’s excitement is over, and so is my vacation. Back to work on Monday… and I’m not looking forward to it. (I told Jay on the way to dinner last night that we needed to rob a bank so I didn’t have to go back, but ridiculously honest man that he is, he wouldn’t go for it.) Please know that I am very, very grateful to have a job to go back to… I’m just feeling the end-of-vacation blues. I think I’ll send Jay for a lottery ticket.

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A day at the show

This will be a long entry and all about Pflouff, so if you’re not interested in dogs, this would be the time to stop reading!

I got an e-mail from Pflouff’s breeder last week telling me that she was showing Inky, Pflouff’s littermate, at a show in Centralia this weekend, and she would love to see me and Pflouff. Fun! I cleared my schedule so I could attend, but I was immediately terrified. Pflouff was both untrimmed and untrained. No, I wasn’t going to be showing her, but she was going to be the middle of a bunch of show-groomed dogs. I was more worried about her behavior than her looks though. I could picture her dragging me all over the place and lunging at every dog that passed to try to elicit play. Shows are wayyyy too crowded for that nonsense. I was pretty sure I was going to be massively humiliated!

It rained — poured — here all week, and Pflouff was muddy and wet through most of it. She absolutely had to have a bath, and I wanted to trim up her ears and feet. So I called my friend Kalisa, who was shown Westies, and asked/begged/bribed her to help me groom Pflouff. (It didn’t really take all that — Kalisa is a generous person and was happy to help!)

We planned to do it Friday evening. First challenge? Getting Pflouff to the pet wash. She hates the car (which really didn’t bode well for a three-hour drive to Centralia the next day). Kalisa drove, and Pflouff was FREAKED. Honestly, I think she used to get car sick, even if she didn’t throw up — and that would make anyone hate the car. I rode in the back with her, and she tried to smother me to death. I was afraid I was going to have to drag Jay to the show, just so he could keep her from killing me while I was driving!

Second challenge… We got to the pet wash and realized it was closing in ten minutes. Oy. The really nice guy inside let us come in anyway, but we worked at the speed of light so he wouldn’t be stuck there too late. Poor Pflouff! She was not pleased with this plan, and we didn’t have time to work at her speed. So I just stuck the Manners Minder under her nose and kept it spitting out treats. She didn’t love it — any of it — but she was a lot more tolerant once there was food involved. Quick bath, partial blow dry, and a fast clean up of her feet, and we were as done as we had time to be. Thanks, Kalisa!

So I had a clean-but-ungroomed dog when Saturday arrived. I wasn’t terribly concerned though! Jenni knew she wasn’t groomed, and it was going to be a gorgeous day! We got on the road right at 8, and Pflouff was… perfect. She hopped into the car and settled right down. It was a miracle!

We stopped a couple of times, but still got to the fairgrounds a few minutes after 11. Jenni was grooming at her friend Casey’s trailer. Of course Pflouff and I parked as far from it as could possibly be! That gave us lots of opportunity to walk around the show. I was expecting to have an overstimulated, out-of-control adolescent on my hands, but she was wonderful! She was interested in absolutely everything, but she didn’t drag me and walked more-or-less like a lady the whole time. (Where did this dog come from?)

Pflouff and I found the trailer and met Jenni’s friends Casey and Shauna. There were two other Newfs besides Pflouff — Inky and Dallas — and a host of border terriers. Oh, and a Norwich pup named Bernie! Everyone was very welcoming and friendly, and I really appreciate being made to feel like part of the group.

Jenni was glad to see Pflouff. (Inky not so much. They tolerated each other on first meeting, but tried to fight the second time. LOL.) First thing she did was stack her up and evaluate her. Great front, good shoulder, good back, great neck. A little narrow in the hips. She has good bone, but not as much as Inky, and she’s a bit shorter than Inky as well.

The second thing Jenni did was get Pflouff up on a table and groom her! I treated Pflouff for tolerating some of the less pleasant things, but considering she hasn’t been on a proper table since she was nine weeks old, she was a champ. Jenni brushed her out, got her ears trimmed up, neatened up her feet, and cleaned up the silhouette of her tail and feathers. She looked fantastic when Jenni was done with her… but still nothing like a show-groomed Newf. (Exactly how do they DO all that volumizing of the coat??) Miss Pflouff was definitely the country cousin visiting the show, especially when we went to the ring and she was surrounded by 22 show-groomed Newfs.

Pflouff has been an angel all day, but I was still worried about taking her to the show ring. It’s soooo crowded ringside. But, once again, she was GREAT. We found a spot where we wouldn’t be in the way, but it was still tucked between two strange dogs. She was awesome though! I had to reposition her several times — she didn’t stay still — but she wasn’t lunging at dogs or sticking her nose in their faces (or butts). She was just interested in seeing what was happening.

We were at ringside for close to an hour, and by the time it was done, things were thinning out. We were the last breed to use that ring, and the ring beside us was already empty. Still, even though it was getting less stressful, by the time the breed judging was wrapping up, she was beginning to get a little ancy. I didn’t see the point in completely overwhelming her, so I took the hint, said my goodbyes, and we headed out.

On the way home, we stopped in Olympia and visited with my friend Leslie. We went out to her new barn, and Pflouff got a chance to bark at horses and cats, and then to run a bit in a fully-fenced pasture. (And, of course, the obligatory opportunity to roll in horse poop!)

We got home a few minutes before 7. All in all, it was a glorious, perfect day! I was soooo proud of Pflouff. She was just amazing all day long. I hope this bodes well for showing her later this summer.

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