Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dog shows & other tales...

OK so I got brave this weekend and actually managed to get myself off to our local dog shows. After quite a few weeks of getting Hogan back into show condition I guess all the hard work paid off. Yesterday he won Best Exhibit in the Gundog Group and then today he repeated that but also gave me the big thrill of another Best in Show win under New South Wales judge - Wayne Burton. Not that I've spoken much about my dog showing endeavours on this blog, but this is my 30th year of showing American Cocker Spaniels - and it was 20 years ago that I first showed under Wayne Burton as we figured out today... It's been many months (I think August last year) since I showed at a dog show and despite the fact that over the years we had established ourselves as one of the premier exhibitors and breeders of the breed, in recent years I've lost the desire to do what I used to do. I find the quality in the breed lacking and the opportunities to remedy that are limited. It's frustrating to try to go ahead these days and so I've tended to pull back a little on my involvement both in breeding and in showing.

Although it was absolutely awesome to spend the day with some of my favourite people in my life, there were times where I was absolutely bored to tears and I spent much of today with my mp3 player attached to my ears and tuning out to the bitter complaining, whining, bitching and backstabbing that makes the dog show fraternity (to me at least) somewhat unbearable at times. It was super to catch up again with people like Lisa & John Hodgeson, Lynda Marquis, Laurie & Kath Humphries, Kerry Lee, Wayne Douglas & Graeme Missen, all of whom I haven't seen in a very long while, but all of whom I respect and like. I was amazed at how many people who I've probably known for most of the 30 years I've been showing come up and say how nice it was to see me back showing and hoped I would be out there again soon.

But then there are the ugly bits about dog showing and the people involved. Like the people who are supposed to be friends but who make derogatory comments and flippant remarks that serve no purpose but to take a little away from what you've done, most likely purely out of jealousy or what ever other petty motivation they may have.

It serves as a constant reminder to me of the parts of dog showing I detest and the ugliness in people who try to take away whatever happiness you may find in your life. I guess the bottom line is that I love this dog, I think he's one of the best dogs we've ever bred, he has the biggest heart and the most adorable temperament and he loves us back tenfold. And I would trade all the Best in Shows in the world to have him with me for another lifetime.... for he is my special boy and the ribbons count for nothing in our "relationship".

I really enjoyed dinner on Saturday night with Lynda, Laurie, Kath, Beth, Lakeisha & Helen. We of course went to my second Loungeroom Culture. And it was great to have Helen visiting for the weekend although we probably didn't get to spend quite as much time together chatting as we had planned. I guess there are always other weekends Helen.

Photos soon - hopefully!

Back to work tomorrow.... 12.5 hours & counting.

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