We made it home safe and sound, although came in Monday afternoon rather than Sunday night. Weather was just too unsettled, and I really hate driving Wisconsin west of Black River Falls in bad weather. Have had way too many white knuckle adventures on that hilly windy section with the hundred foot drop offs along side the road. We had a lovely and successful weekend, my first specialty weekend since the end of August.
Fernly did better than expected and certainly did well for a dog who sometimes acts as if she was born with only half a brain. She's plenty smart, but sometimes unfocused and distractible.
Not uncommon in 8 month old pups, and much like her mother Pauli was at this age. It helped to have large asphalt parking lots (with no snow or ice) as well as some room in the show building to practice her gaiting. Poor Fernly is so used to walking on snow and ice this time of year, and has been pacing rather than trotting for the past month. She got it together pretty well and gaited much better than expected most of the time. Stacks were not always perfect, and she needs work on the exams, but it was OK for a first time in the ring. She won Best Junior in Sweepstakes over a number of nice puppies each day, and won her 6 - 9 month regular classes as well. Nice classes with plenty of competition. Good girl, Fern. By the end of each show day, after going in the ring 5 times, Fern was totally exhausted.
The star of the weekend was Gemma, one of the Cruise/Penny daughters, and my daughter Jess's project for this spring. This was only Gemma's second weekend out, but she performed like a star, winning the large Bred By Exhibitor class both days, and on Sunday going on to Winners Bitch and Best of Winners for a nice big 5-point major. Way to go, Gemma! Gemma is the fourth pup in her litter to have at least one specialty major. She was a perfect traveler and showed very well.
It was fun to get back in the ring, although my legs are sure stiff and sore from all the ups and downs (I kneel part of the time when stacking Fern), all the walking, and the long distance driving. I was also pretty winded by the time I was done showing Fern each day - lots of trips around that ring gaiting the dog. Thought I was pretty fit - found out what I need to be working on before the spring shows!
The trip also gave me some ideas for future blog posts.