Where to begin? With the dog shows? With the people? With the places? Or with the dogs?
Maybe the dog shows. It was a lovely long weekend, although the weather was not particularly cooperative. Jess & I drove to Amana, Iowa for the shows that included the Greater Twin Cities Dalmatian Club specialty shows - held in Iowa because we can no longer draw majors in Minnesota (so few Dals here). The Amana RV Park has acres of parking for motorhomes, as well as a very nice air conditioned building for some of the show rings.
Although there were five shows we were only entered at three of them. The judging panels did not appeal, and there were too many things we wanted to do at home to spend the whole weekend at the dog shows. We had heard some bad reports about the one judge on the panel we had never shown to before, but we thought she did by far the best job. Although we did not win anything very exciting under her, she sorted and placed her dogs extremely well, ran a great ring, and was nice to dogs and exhibitors. The judge I had thought would do the best job was extremely disappointing. I had watched her do a nice job in small entries, but with a larger one she seemed to lose her way and made some bad decisions, particular as far as being far too forgiving of bad feet. Good feet are of major importance in a breed that was supposed to run with a carriage for a whole day.
Argus and Pauli were both competitive, with Argus earning a Select and an Award of Merit his two times in the ring. He'll be 7 on Friday, and I am delighted that he can still hold his own in any competition. I look forward to showing him as a Veteran from time to time. Argus's daughter Ch. "Rita" did extremely well, earning the points she needed to finish her Grand Championship. New dog Gemma looked lovely in the ring but needs to learn about standing still and paying attention. She gaited well and was very confident, and the shows were a training session for her. We were delighted when she went Reserve at one of the Specialities - a very nice start for a totally inexperienced and untrained dog. Eddie showed well but did not win and we all agreed those were his last shows. As a puppy we did not consider him a real show prospect, but we tried him out last fall and he did well at the some Specialties from the Puppy Class. Maturity didn't help though, and finishing his championship would be too time consuming and expensive. He's showable but not really show quality - a big difference. He's got a fabulous disposition and loves to show, but will have just as much fun being a Therapy Dog.
One of the big downers for the weekend was another Dal with an "enhanced tail". What's wrong with everyone? Why are they trying to cheat the system? It seems to be all about winning, and ethics be damned. (Please do not ask me the identity of this dog - just look for floppy tails. If it flops for a day or two it may be an injury, if it flops for weeks, well . . . )
Out of time - tomorrow, Socialing Fern.