Monday, May 30, 2011

The Weekend

Oh my goodness, here it is Monday night and I have to go to work in the AM, after a 4-day show weekend that was at the same time both very tiring and lot of fun!

By the way, thanks to all who sent me email and wished me luck at the shows. 

The pictures you'll see throughout this post are of Walker, Multiple Group Winning Grand Champion, Champion Joyslyn Mi Toya Wind Walker.

Baby Walker, Dec. 2002
The shows were in Bloomington, Illinois, just a couple hours from here. I drove over Thursday afternoon to reserve grooming space for myself, my three friends who were coming from WI, and for my Shiba friends. Then back home I went, where I spent the rest of the night bathing and drying the 3 dogs I was taking with me and packing for myself and the dogs. Friday AM I left for Bloomington and returned home this evening about 6:30. Since then I've been doing laundry, unpacking, grocery shopping, and bathing 2 puppies so they are cute and fluffy for someone who is coming to see them tomorrow night! Oh…and answering email, talking on the phone, and writing this blog entry. It's nearly midnight now and the alarm rings at 5:20!

(An aside: We stayed at the Ramada Inn, which was a great place to stay. The only odd thing about the place was that in the bathroom, the toilet paper holder was clear across the room  (about 2 arm lengths) from the toilet! Whoever designed that room needs a salary reduction. So that will become part of the "remember when" travel stories about weird places we've stayed and odd things that have happened on our many dog show journeys.)

Walker's first point, May 2003
The show…well it had its ups and downs. On Friday Mr. Booth awarded Walker Best of Breed. We did not place in the Group. Friday afternoon, I and other American Lhasa Apso Club members conducted a workshop and seminar about the Lhasa for judges who were interested in adding the breed to their list of approved breeds to judge. We had a great time and we taught them a lot about the breed.

Saturday was Maggie's first show. I was apprehensive about her being in the ring, certain she would put on the breaks and not walk at all. I even cautioned my friends, "Don't you laugh at me!" before I took Maggie into the ring. She surprised us all. When I said, "Let's go Maggie!" she did just that and went around the ring like a pro. She got her first blue ribbon (she was the only one in her class!)

Walker's first major, Sept. 2003
Saturday night, we stayed late so our puppies could take part in the fun match the club was sponsoring. Like all fun matches, this one took forever, but the judges were really good with the puppies and gave us lots of practice with them. Raven made her ring debut at the match and won not only best Lhasa puppy in match but also placed first in the Non-sporting Puppy Group.

Saturday and Sunday under judges Sturm and Holloway, Walker took Best Opposite Sex. (That means that a female took the Breed both of those days.)

Winner's Dog, Nat'l Specialty 2003
Sunday and Monday, Maggie repeated her Saturday performance. (Hurray!) Monday Walker again won the Breed under Mr. Miller. (Big Cheer!) As I took Walker out of the ring and placed him on the ringside table, I looked at the purple and gold Best of Breed ribbon, looked at my friend, and teared up – that was Walker's last show and his last Best of Breed ribbon. He is now officially retired as a special. We did not place in the group competition, but we were one of the six dogs who "made the cut." Again, I got teary-eyed when it was all over and it hit me again how much I loved showing Walker and how, even if we go out again a few times in the fall to practice before the national specialty, I will miss specialing him. I am so proud of him. Right now the plan is to show him in the veteran's competition at the national specialty. He'll be 9 years old by then.

Walker in 2010
A lady at ringside was taking photos of him but I forgot to look her up after the group to give her my email address. I sure wish I could see the photos!

There is never an end without a beginning. In June, I will begin showing Breaker (Ch. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker) in Best of Breed competition. After Walker, I will be facing a challenge. Breaker is a beautiful Lhasa, but he definitely has an attention problem. Keeping him still in the Group ring will require patience. Walker is an old hand at it and knows what to expect in the group ring and what I expect from him. Breaker will learn and I'm sure we will eventually "gel" as a team.

Everybody with a Lhasa, give your dog a big hug and kiss! In our hearts they are all Best in Show dogs!

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!

It's been fun! Thanks Walker!

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