Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Packing List For The National

My updated list of things not to be forgotten is sitting on the dining room table now. I keep a list on my computer, and update it for the seasons and for particular show weekends. This updated list is longer than usual because we will be away for a week. I won't be able to pack enough raw frozen food for the dogs and we'll probably have to pick up more bread, milk, and fruit, but hopefully I will have included everything else needed by two women and two dogs. We'll take the biggest cooler and freeze two gallon jugs of water to use instead of ice. Amazing how long those jugs stay frozen!

My list includes various categories such as Purse, People Supplies, Dog Supplies, Suitcase, Garment Bag, Tack Bag, Spotted Bag (a huge sturdy bag Eloise won at a dog show in the 1980s!), Food (for people) Bag, Cooler, and Special Items and each is followed by a list of things that should be packed in that particular item. I also have a category called Car, for gas, oil change, Fix-A-Flat and such things. I work on the list for several days before I leave, checking things off as I know they are packed, and go over it again just before leaving. So WHY do I ALWAYS manage to forget SOMETHING???

This year we will bring three sets of crates too. Car crates, collapsable crates to set up in the room, and pop ups to use in the grooming room down by the rings. Carrying extra crates makes loading and unloading much easier if you are staying for a couple of days. Of course my trusty dolly is also included for transporting crates, suitcases, cooler, water jugs, and assorted gear to the room. We will be arrving early afternoon on Saturday (as of now) so will have plenty of time to get the room set up the way we want to before the show officially opens with the Welcome Party that evening. Of course much of the fun surrounding a Specialty show takes place on the grounds as we meet friends while walking dogs, in the hallways, in surrounding restaurants, and of course in the motel bar. We got to know the surrounding restaurants in Fort Mitchell, KY where the past 4 specialties were held. This year we will have to figure out where to eat in Lawrence, KS. I'll sure miss the Bonefish Grill this year!

The week's events will include the Welcome Party, a health clinic with eye exams, an educational seminar with Eddie Dziuk from OFA (and co-owner/breeder of the Westminister Beagle Uno), the DCA Annual Meeting (chaired by the new DCA President Meg Hennessey), the Gala which is a fundraiser for DCAF, the Top Twenty competition (a formal event with last year's 20 top winning Dals invited), a Sweepstakes, the annual Futurity and the regular judging of 250 Dalmatians. There is also obedience, agility, rally and a road trial. The National will end with a banquet on Wednesday evening, and then we will start all over again with the Heartland (KS) Specialty on Thursday and Friday, with a barbeque on Thursday. The regional will be much smaller as many folks will head for home Wednesday or Thursday, especially those who want to be home for Easter. Jess and I will stay for the whole thing, God willing, and get together with my mother and sister's family for Easter. Busy busy week!

We hope that Argus does well and that Pauli is successful, but it would be pretty hard to top last year when Argus went Best of Breed! The entry is down about 100 dogs this year because of the location (a tough drive from the east coast), the economy, and the time of year (earlier than usual and weather is still an issue). Still a large enough entry to be lots of fun though, and most of the regulars show up no matter what. A great time to see old friends and meet people we often just know from email lists. Can't wait!