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!)