For the past few years, most of our dog show weekends have required a stop for cheeseburgers on the way home. Cheeseburgers for all (dogs especially!) to celebrate successful show weekends. This tradition started when Argus was being campaigned and his "other mother" Ginger suggested the cheeseburgers. It became a tradition for us, and is now used for show weekends, or when one of Argus's kids or grandkids has a nice win somewhere. Many dog show friends have picked up the habit, and often post to Facebook about Cheeseburger Weekends.
Because we don't show very often, and generally pick our judges pretty carefully - it's a lot cheaper that way - most of our show weekends have been pretty successful. This one was not, at least not in terms of wins. Gemma was Reserve one day, and Fern did nothing. We tried two elderly judges who we have liked in the past, but one of them had gotten pretty "iffy", so we knew it was risky. BUT the girls needed an outing before the national, and we needed a dog show weekend. Gemma does not live with us (she's co-owned) so Jess does not have the opportunity to work with her the way she would her own dog. It also gave us a chance to visit with friends, and be sure that Fern would be a good traveler for DCA. There's nothing worse than sharing a motel room for a week with a dog that drives you crazy!
Both girls passed with flying colors. Gemma showed well both days, actually better than she did winning the 5-point major her last outing, and is a perfect traveling companion. Fern was great in the car, at the place we stayed, and at the dog show. Not barky, perfect in her crate, and she tried to be as good as a wild 9- month old can be. Fern and I worked out some gaiting issues, I HOPE, and I know what I have to work on with her before the National. Because I have not raised and shown a class dog since Argus was a pup, my handling skills have suffered a great deal - showing wild pups is NOT like riding a bicycle. Handling a dog is all about timing, and anticipating the dog's actions. I didn't read Fern very well, and screwed her up both days. I'd say she showed better than I did!
We were also disadvantaged by having dogs that looked "different", which is often the problem at small or moderate sized shows. Most of the competition was lower on leg, heavier in bone & body, and had handpainted spotting. Fern & Gemma are high stationed, narrower, shorter backed dogs, and neither is particularly well marked. At Indy where both girls did well, the entry was much larger, and included other dogs similar in type to Gemma and Fern. We just looked out of place. Fern would not have won had she shown perfectly, and Gemma did everything right but was just "wrong" for the competition. So be it.
We had a wonderful time with our hosts Zack and Maryla, their dogs (two liver Paisley Dals), a Peke, a Himalayan cat, and an incredibly entertaining parrot. We went to a Barbecue place on Saturday night and had a blast, as well as the best barbecue sauce I have ever eaten. Fun at the shows with Fernly's "grandmothers", and friends from Oklahoma and Kansas. Jess and I watched the Groups and Best in Show on Saturday and got our "dog show fix".
Despite the iffy weather reports, traveling was fine, and we got home in record time. Jess dropped off Gemma, I picked up Max (who was staying with Gemma's family) and there was till time to celebrate St. Paddy's Day with Corned Beef and Cabbage!
Maybe it WAS a Cheeseburger Weekend - it was successful in many ways!