Reserve(d) Bitch June 4, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in pets, Uncategorized.
Tags: dog show, dogs, Gigadog
Yes, I know I’m gorgeous. Now put away the camera and let me eat my kibble in peace.
(As an aside, bitch does, in fact, refer to a female dog in the context of this post. After spending the weekend using the word repeatedly, I think I’m significantly less sensitive to the other common meaning.)
Showing Gigadog this weekend was…interesting. I actually have videos of our participation, but I’m not going to put them online in fear of people using them as primers on what not to do when showing.
First, I was worried I’d be overdressed in my most formal business dress suit. Turns out that I blended in fairly well. So definitely dress up for these things and don’t worry about how formal you look. Yes, there will be people in tshirts there. However, very few of them will be in the ring…they’re mostly spectators.
Second, it was really awesome to have someone there to help. A friend drove from the middle of the state and was a huge help during the whole process. When you’re sitting there, spazzing about the fact that your dog has rolled in dirt and is drooling, it’s nice to have someone who has the clarity of mind to hand you a drool rag and brush. The second day, Mike also helped by spending about a half hour doing a thorough brushing before we left. She looked much better.
I really had no idea what I was doing this time around, and it was obvious. As my friend put it, Gigadog did her best impression of a bloodhound. Given the dogs are supposed to keep their heads up and give the impression of effortless movement with their legs, we were a long way off. The first day, I could barely get her to pay attention. However, I’m considering it a win because she was the only one in the ring for her class, and she didn’t just plop her butt down and stare at the judge. So…100% improvement.
The second day, I ran into someone I used to hang out with regularly. I had no idea she was into showing dogs, and so we got to chatting. I explained some of the problems I was having, and she attempted to give it a go. She wasn’t having much more success, and she disappeared for a while. She showed up a short time later with the couple who had bred her dog, and they gave me a ton of useful information and ideas. The second day in the ring was much better as she *kind of* kept her head up. But I also have an idea of what we need to work on in the future.
There was actually a third day, but I decided not to go. There were supposed to be six newfs at the show, and only two of us showed. If she at least had been able to compete against a puppy, it might have been worthwhile, but otherwise, we were just too exhausted. She did get some ribbons. On both days, she was the only one in her class, so she got first place for class each time. She also got a ribbon for reserve bitch (that is, the second place female dog of all classes). It would have been a bit more exciting if she’d gotten it with more than two dogs in the ring.
The one other thing I learned is that Gigadog, like myself, is very used to the quiet we have at home. Spending a good chunk of the day in a noisy, busy environment was kind of tough on both of us, and I was physically exhausted from trying to keep her corralled. She has this unfortunate habit of just running up to other dogs, not realizing that her size and dark color are very intimidating to most other dogs. She just wants to play, but the smaller the dog, the less they see it that way.
Overall, we’re off to a pretty terrible start, but given we did a lot better the next day, I’d say we’re on the right track. Like everything, we’ll get better with practice.