Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Due to lack of energy and lack of time I could not get to blogging ywsterday.  Although we got home by Midnight and I was in bed and asleep by 1:00AM, I woke up absolutely exhausted. An extra half hour of sleep didn’t help much, and I just barely made it to work on time.  We left the show site in Gray Summit, MO (home of Purina Farms and the wonderful Purina Event Center) right on schedule, made only three very short stops along the way, but arrived home later than expected because the weather was not what we expected – but probably should have!  Déjà vu all over again . . .

Each year we enter the St. Louis Specialty weekend with our fingers crossed, knowing that the weather could make our trip difficult or impossible.  The trip down on Thursday was perfect, despite all the rain and snow the previous two days and the roads were dry and clear.  The weather forecast sounded fine for the trip home, although we did not check the Iowa forecast before we left Missouri – we had to get home no matter what the forecast. We’d had a wonderful weekend – easy trip down, terrific motel, lots of success with the Dals, and such fun with friends.  A perfect trip.  Well, not quite.
Soon after we crossed the border into Iowa there were isolated patches of snow on the roadsides, and the amount of snow and the difficulty in driving increased as we went along.  When we were just south of  Mount Pleasant  we had several inches of heavy slush on the road, limited visibility, no plows and we started seeing cars in the ditch – actually, they were mostly mini vans, like I drive.  Ugh.  We kept hoping that we’d drive out of the snow, but that was not to be, and the number of vehicles in the ditches continued to increase.  There must have been a short period of freezing rain that caught the motorists by surprise since most of the cars in the ditches had some snow on them and we did not actually see anyone slide off the road ahead of us.  I’ve driven these conditions many times and my only real concern is that one of the idiots who insists on driving too fast for the conditions is going to slam into my vehicle.   I cringed every time someone passed and threw up road spray, hit their brakes ahead of me, or came up behind me too fast, but we endured.  It takes a lot longer to get home driving 35 mph, but we finally drove out of the snow and made it home unscathed, just late, and with very stiff hands and shoulders.  I’ve come back from Chicago and Milwaukee many times on bad roads, and driven to Kansas City in 0 visibility, but don’t ever recall seeing so many vehicles in the ditches.

We’ve done really well in St. Louis the past 3 years, and wondered if our luck might run out this year, but that was not the case.  Our three dogs won nothing major at the first Specialty, but Argus’s son Porter was Winners Dog for 4 points to finish his championship.  The winners were reasonable choices, some rather “common” but not bad dogs by any means.  (“Common” dogs are those without glaring faults, but often without any particular virtues either, generally plain or rather ordinary dogs that the judge feels safe in using.)  I WAS amazed at how many very large dogs were entered and how nasty so many of the tails were.  I sincerely hope the breed is not heading in that direction again.  The Best of Breed dog was a handsome youngster just beginning his Specials career, just the right size, beautifully spotted, and with a great attitude.  That works.  Argus showed very well, but did not come out on top.
Sweepstakes judging (a non-regular class for pups from 6-18 months) was done between the two Specialties, and both Meribel & Eddie won their classes, with Eddie ending up Best In Sweeps.  Good boy Eddie!  Things were looking up.

Meribel showed wonderfully well, especially for her first show weekend, and surprised us all by going Winner Bitch for a 5-point major – wow!  Figured that killed my chances of winning with Argus too, but he showed perfectly and really enjoyed being back in the ring.  The judge pulled 4 of the male Champions including Argus, and several of the Champion bitches and worked us a bit more.  Argus never let me down, stood and moved well, and wagged his tail constantly.  Finally the judge pulled Argus up front, pulled Meribel in behind him (she went Best of Winners), a bitch Special behind her (she went Best Of Opposite) and then the other Specials who made the "cut" and would be awarded Selects and Awards of Merit.  He then pointed to Argus for Best of Breed – good dog, Argie boy!   For the 4th year in a row he won one of the Specialty Bests, and one year he won BOTH Specialties.

Pictures tomorrow.

1 comment:

Helen said...

I hope all the dogs got cheeseburgers! For the unitiated, a tail is a tail is tail. What was wrong with the ones you didn't like?