LOUISA ATTENDED A DOG SHOW
Arm yourself with a foldable bed or chair, a laptop with your favourite series and try to survive it.
Sadly, all these dog shows are far away from us, and I like to sleep. You can try to play the system by traveling there one day early and find lodging, but never the less you have to wake up before the rooster croaks. If you have never been on a film shoot, I will tell you it’s exactly like that. You will wake up at dusk; you go to the location where you will find everyone annoyed, nervous and sleepy, you will do everything you can and wait. You will work hard for an hour or two, and if everything goes well and your dog will win, you have to wait around 6 hours, to be able to reroll to a show time which lasts 30 minutes approximately. (OK, I have exaggerated, but it almost feels like a film shoot.) Applause and of you go home. All, in a nutshell, this is a dog show.
In medias res: Louisa has won on an international dog show. This means that people, dogs, and judges have arrived from different countries and this adorable rat-giraffe had become the most beautiful in the junior category. Also, she came 2. in the best in show competition, in other words, she was the second-best dog from all the breeds and dogs represented on that dog show. We got a nifty trophy and dog food, people applauded, and we just stood there speechless.
So, the extended version:
Technically Louisa had been on two competition, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. So, when the breeder called me three months ago with the dates, I instantly booked Louisa for a treatment for Friday at the super grooming salon we know to get her ready for the show. That Friday had come, and Louisa had trotted out of the saloon fluffy.
On Saturday, we had woken up at the dawn of time. Because I go to bed late and I need at least 8 hours sleep (I was born this way), I thought I would not make it after 4 and a half hour sleep. We hit the road the competition was a 31 mile away from us. The show started at 10, but we weren’t in a hurry since there was at least a 100 dog ahead of us in the line. Sometimes they start with the Afghan hounds, but we got into the ring around noon. The breeder has been there since 7:30 in the morning he put up a tent which he received from his dog food sponsor, Inside the cages with his dogs, later we had placed Louisa’s cage inside too, and we started to wait for our turn.
There are breeders and owners who hire handlers so they will present their dog in the ring. The handler takes the dog a few months earlier to practice a “ring dressage” day by day. They teach the dog, how to stop for the judge, they prepare her fur. Such dogs live in-between their cages the grooming table and the ring dressage cycle. Of course, we can find exceptions, but it is scarce.
Louisa’s breeder takes his dogs into the ring personally. Needless to say, we had never practiced with Louisa how to run or stand in the circle.
The dogs are running around in a circle meanwhile the judge inspects their movements, the dogs have to be arranged into a rather unnatural pose in my opinion. The judge will pat along the dogs, looks at their anatomy, their muscles. Then again run around a bit, there are loads of dogs in the ring, and at that point, a part of the competitors gets thanked for the participation, and they ask them to leave the ring. The rest have to run again, up and down and around. This goes on until five dogs left. If the judge is nice, then he precisely analyses the dog’s strengths and weaknesses. They write this on a paper what you shall receive in the end. Then the judge will go up to one of them shakes the handler's hand and that person’s dog is the winner.
But this is not the end, because you have to go back to the ring and run or stand with your dog until they do not judge the best from his or her age category. More or less that’s it. I still not understand this procedure fully, but if you would like to become the handler of your dog, then I recommend for you to buy a running shoe and start jogging. At the shows, of course, people do not run in the traditional sense, but they do walk pretty fast with long steps, like a gazelle. Then imagine doing this in a suit or a formal dress…
If you did win either you are handling her or not, you can expect to be there at least a few good hours more, until the best in show.
We went for a walk with Louisa, and after that we let her sleep in her cage. This dog show is an excellent opportunity to get to know other people. We made acquaintance with a charming girl, who with her husband was breeding English Cocker Spaniels and Labradors (The traditional ones not that popular one in the adverts and movies. That’s the Golden retriever.). They live on a big farm with loads of dogs, and they take them to the nearby streams to swim and hunt. So, the girl was lovely and so as her dog who took in all this ado with stoical calm. Her dog von. Of course, meanwhile, we brushed the hell out of Louisa she simply put hair oil on her dog, patted him, then off they went to the ring…
We met with an Afghan hound handler-owner too, as all appearance seem to show her life and identity depended on the fact that her dog will win this contest. Poor dog did not, so she had beaten the dog then left it on the sun in his cage. This dog was a sweetheart, trapped in the hand of an incompetent, sadistic blue eyed cute looking girl. I had a look at her Instagram page. She is grinning, happy, sexy. If you look at it, you would say she is an ordinary young girl, but you could not be more wrong. But do not believe this is uncommon. As I was looking around, I have noticed most of the dogs had been treated as objects, not as living beings.
As the time passed, I have snoozed a bit on the ground on my leather jacket, thanks to my stylist past I have enough experience in this. As little as 20 minutes can make miracles, then I trotted to the buffet and drank a horrible coffee, and I had been ready for the next round, that was the best in show. My husband can sleep sitting anywhere, so he had some rest too, then he took a walk with Louisa.
When the grand final had come to Louisa, and her breeder ran into the ring. Louisa’s interest had been pricked by a few smoked treats, so Louisa was running rather nifty, hoping for the tasty treat she had received after that. They do not touch the dogs anymore they only run and run like in that film Chariots of Fire, then they stop in that strange position. At this point, the judge looks at the dog’s character. This case imagine a ton of fruit, starting with cranberry followed by strawberry so on till the apple. He inspects which one is the most beautiful fruit. Louisa had been the second most beautiful fruit in the Junior category.
I would lie if I would say we weren’t happy, this feeling was a bit ambivalent for us. First of all, this achievement can be thanked to Louisa’s breeder, since his devoted love and expertise made it possible this result. Meanwhile, we were grinning like a Cheshire cat, we were wondering; do we really want to support this system with our participation? Our consciousness is clear since Louisa lives a happy life. But this system tolerates such people like that sadistic girl furthermore such people can even win.
Finally, we decided there is no perfect system, but if some wishes the mistakes can be corrected. Of course, one can say to that: “Oops, my dear Miss Marple! You’re being moral and forget you’re among friends.” This line takes place in Agatha Christie’s Marple series, The Moving Finger episode.
And yes, I have finished with the moralising, Louisa will get a fantastic dinner, which we shall serve to her in her freshly von chalice.
Please leave a comment! I would like to hear your opinion or if you have any stories you would like to share about your dog!