How can the National be so close? I am so not ready for this! Entries in (two days ago), motel reservations made (long ago), vacation requested (even longer ago), car tuned up, new crates purchased, dogs in condition. That's about it. What the heck am I going to wear? Who knows what the weather will be in St. Louis in 2 1/2 weeks. Might be hot and sunny - or it might be snowing! What to pack? Warm weather clothes, cold weather clothes, and definitely rain gear!
The National will be at the Purina Event Center in Grey Summit, MO., a wonderful facility. No motels/hotels within walking distance, so everyone will be driving back and forth unless they are staying in motor homes, as many will be. The headquarters hotel filled up early and was way too expensive for my taste, so we are staying nearby, at the same motel as some good friends of ours. Can't wait to meet their gorgeous liver puppy girls, sired by Ch. "Taylor" a long-dead Paisley dog (frozen semen breeding).
Jess and I are taking three dogs this year. Argus who is entered as a Veteran at the St. Louis Specialty and as a Special at DCA, Fern who will show in Puppy, Sweeps & Futurity, and Gemma who will show in Bred By. We've had many good DCAs in the past few years, but I don't expect this one to be quite as successful. Argus won the National a few years back, took Awards Of Merit the next three years, and won the Stud Dog Class four years in a row. His daughter Penny was Best In Futurity two years ago, and her daughter Meribel was Best Of Winners last year, with an Argus son and daughter also going Best of Breed and Best Of Opposite.
Argus is showing his age a bit now, at least in markings as he has added some ticking. Still moves very soundly and look great body-wise, and I'm sure he will show well, but he's 7 1/2 years old. Fern is a nice finishable Dal, but probably not star quality, and doesn't always have her gait "together" yet. Gemma looks great, but what are the odds of her matching her sister's record of last year? Well, fingers crossed. If nothing else, I expect to have a good time!
I'll also be looking for a stud dog for Amery (sister to Meribel and Gemma). She's almost old enough for the rest of her health testing, and then we'll think about breeding her. Everyone goes to DCA looking for stud dogs!