You can show dogs in this country almost every week of every year. When we started there were not nearly so many shows. Shows were on Sunday and people didn’t travel as much to show dogs as they do today. There was no reserved grooming and no forced air dryers. Much of the grooming was done at home or at the motel and the conditions were primitive by today’s standards.
There was no internet, so people couldn’t see pictures of the winners right away and you actually had to talk to somebody to find out what they were about instead of just pulling up their website. But some things have not changed. The love people have for their dogs and their desire to show them off remains to this day. Winning is just as much fun and losing just as stinging as it was over 40 years ago when we started. It’s fun to look back on all the changes, but I like it just fine now.
The Rocky Mountain Cluster is made up of four shows: two run by The Colorado Kennel Club and two by Plum Creek Kennel Club. These are the marquis shows in Denver and everybody who is showing a dog in the state comes. Also a lot of dogs from the Westminster show come through here also. It is a great place to start a new dog.
This year we have a new dog. He is an eight month old Kerry Blue puppy from our breeder friend Lou Perry (Tontine) in California. We flew out to look at him around Thanksgiving not really knowing what to expect. Lou had told us she had a male we might be interested. Everyone feels sorry for us that we can’t seem to have puppies from our lovely little Honour, bitch. We spent several days looking at the puppy and decided to take him. We named him Danny, Tontine’s Chance Redemption, and he has continued to improve since he’s been with us.
Nevertheless, you really never know what a judge will do. This is a young dog and a green one and he had to beat two other males for the points. We were very fortunate to have two of the four judges reward this pup with points. The other male who split the weekend, point wise, belongs to friends of ours who came up to the shows from New Mexico.
Our young Bedlington special, Ch. Velvety Quarterback Sneak, one one BOB and one BOS, so we were pleased. It was his first BOB in competition. It was too long coming, in our opinion, as this is a very well made dog. He is at the upper end of the standard for height and weight and we still struggle with the grooming in a breed where sometimes it comes down to which dog is groomed the best. We had a lot of help working on him this weekend and it paid off. He looked the best he ever has. We also had his exotic professional handler from the East Coast show him since he loves her and does anything she wants him to do. We allowed ourselves to fall victim to some vicious dog show gossip that has since proven to be just that…gossip. I apologize to the people who are our true friends and promise to not listen to those who pretend to be.
The most fun really of the whole weekend was that friends of our came on Saturday. Since these shows are local and we live here, all our friends who feel so inclined, come out on Saturday to “support” us and gawk at all the unusual dogs at the shows. This is usually the day we couldn’t be best Kerry Blue at a cat show! This year however, was different. We actually got wins on all the dogs we showed. In fact I had to have two other people show the Winner’s Dog and Winner’s Bitch so I could show a Special. I lost with the Special, but the Specials bitch our handler shows for us won the breed and went on to a Group 4. We’d like more days like that.
We continued to be winners the last two days of the Cluster, but had to watch the judge the last day, smirk at our handler and award BOB to our cross-state rival. The judge did that in every class and every breed she judged. The last day of any Cluster is usually the smallest day and this was no exception. But it was obvious she took great joy in ignoring all the previous winners and awarding the purple and gold to dogs that had been ignored on the previous days. What can you do…that’s dog showing.