Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dog Shows.....

are just NOT my thing!!!

This afternoon, I got so excited when while I was in the car. We had been driving for quite a while, and a long drive usually always = FUN places. Well, not today........

As soon as mum pulled into the parking lot outside this rodeo barn, I knew this was as far from a fun place as it could.

The smell in the air, the atmosphere, the barking noise in the background, the RV's parked outside, the exercise pens, the day tents, all pointed to my one most dreaded place to be on this earth - a Dog Show!!!

Let me explain to you why I hate dog shows so much:

Mum never wanted a show dog, so even though I came from champion show parents, I was purchased on a "limited registration" contract, which meant I could not produce registrable pups and had to be spayed. I was spayed at 6 months of age and had never been to a dog show. Well that all changed in June of 2005 (I was 5.5 yrs old) when mum decided to show her friend's Bouvier, Pharoh. You see, my mum likes to try new things, so she wanted to try showing a dog. That's when I started to tag along to dog shows with mum and Pharoh.

I didn't mind at first because it was all new to me and I was curious about everything, and all the different dogs. However, it didn't take me long to realize that I was no longer the center of the attention at dog shows. Mum was tending to Pharoh most of the time while I watched her with my pitiful eyes from inside the exercise pen. Even though mum always had at least a friend with her so that somebody could be there to keep me company while she and Pharoh were in the show ring, it made no difference to me. I could careless about anybody else, I only wanted my mum!! I remember everytime mum was about to leave the grooming area with Pharoh, she would give me a fresh bone to gnaw on as to distract me from her absence. It worked for a few times, but after about the fourth time, I actually started to get "panicky" anytime (yes, at home too) I saw mum with a bone (can you believe it? I know it sounds crazy) because to me, that meant mum was leaving me AGAIN...

Of course, that st*pid Pharoh didn't help either. As you can see from his pictures, he is a gorgeous dog. So he won the breed quite often which meant he would come back to the grooming area, have a rest, and then mum would have to take him back to the ring yet again for Group judging.

This is the reason why I HATE going to dog shows so much!!

To further illustrate to you just how much I really hate the whole idea of dog show, I'm going to tell you about two little incidents involving me that happened on the show circuit:

Incident 1:

Mum, her friend, Pharoh, and I were away at a weekend show back in the summer of 2005. I had been very bored from watching all those dogs go around and around in the rings all day that mum decided maybe I would cheer up if "I" were to be allowed in the action. So she entered me in the *Sanction Match that was held at the end of the day.

*A sanction match is a competition at which only purebred dogs may compete but not for championship points. It is a training ground for the handlers and dogs. As far as practicable, set-up and procedure should follow that of approved conformation shows.

So I was entered in the match. As soon as mum slipped Pharoh's show choke collar on me, I decided that "I" wasn't gonna stand being "choked around" and refused to move. Mum's friend quickly handed her my regular flat collar, and I was ok with it. Look at how thin that choke chain is, can you imagine how uncomfortable it must feel to have that thing choked around my neck??

During breed judging, I felt a sudden urge to pee. So while I was going around the ring, I took the opportunity to "lift" my leg on one of the corner posts, and peed. Yes, I'm a girl. On my down and back to the judge, mum was baiting me with those oh so yummy beef liver jerky. However, after not getting the jerky for a little more than 2 seconds, I decided I needed to "speak" to mum in front of the judge in order to get my treat. So I basically spoke to the judge while he was trying to get a good look at my expression. That poor judge, had no choice but to put me through since I was the only Airedale...hehe.

In the Terrier Group judging, I kept trying to figure out why mum kept holding the bait in front of my nose or sometimes throwing it to the ground just a head of us, but not giving it to me. I couldn't understand why she was wasting all that yummy jerky treats to the ground. So in my quest to find the answer, I started to "sit", but no treat. A "speak", still no treat. I rolled over many many times while I was in the line up. Then I got really frustrated and just decided to "die" on my own. The judge watched while I slowly made mum's face redder and redder...... and he finally let out a chuckle when he saw me dying on my own (yes, with the groan and the wobble). I was sure with the way I behaved in the ring, that it was gonna be the end to my short lived sanction show career. Much to my surprise and dismay, he gave me Group 1, which meant I needed to wait around for other Groups to be judged, and go in for Best In Match.

Mum thinks the reason the judge kept putting me through was because he wanted to see what other stunts I was gonna pull. And well, I certainly did not disppoint him!!!

Finally, all seven groups had been judges, and the winner from each group including myself had to go in the ring one last time for the judging of Best In Match. Well, I was really getting tired of running pointlessly around the ring like an idiot and having had to try and impress a complete stranger. This is just not something a dog of my aptitude should be doing. So I wrecked my brain trying to find a way to get myself out of this ridiculous situation. I stopped responding to the jerky treats, and didn't bother with all the pieces that were thrown to the ground by my wasteful mum. My eyes surveyed the field (I made sure mum didn't see it) and finally ---- stopped at a flock of Canadian geese grazing ever so peacefully on the other end of the field ..... This was my chance! This was my chance to end it all!! So while mum was paying so much attention to keeping me in the standing up position (instead of doing my antics), I had made up my mind. I waited until it was my turn to go around the ring, and then ---- I PULLED, turned my gear to FULL speed, and TOOK OFF!! Yes out out OUT of the ring, all the way down the field, after the geese!! As you can see from the picture above, the thin show lead was no competition to my determination. Mum had no chance of holding me back.

The judge and most spectators were not just chuckling now, they were laughing full scale. The judge asked mum if she could get me back, and I guess mum said she could try because I started hearing both mum and her friend calling my name telling me to go back to that boring place. I really didn't' want to go back, but I felt I had embarrassed mum enough for that day, so I headed back. However, I was gonna make my point clear to everyone there that I really did not enjoy dog shows. So, I trotted back towards the Best In Match ring, but I made sure I stopped just outside of the ring barrier!! Didn't matter how mum coaxed me, I was determined to not set foot inside a ring ever again! The judge then made an announcement to all the spectators, he said:

"Ladies and gentlemen, here is a true terrier for ya!!"

That was the end of my sanction show career, I was excused from the Best In Match judging...hehehehe!

After the Best In Match was awarded, the judge came over to talk to mum. He said something like "That's one heck of a terrier you've got there!", and he also mentioned something about how they should have made a video of me from the beginning to show what NOT to do in a show ring because well..... I did them all! He then tried to get me all wrought-up, but I just gave him the "Excuse me, but do I know you?" look and ignored him.....hehe.

The same judge judged Pharoh the next day, and he asked mum, "How did you get this one so well under control?". And mum, gave him an intellectual answer (in my opinion), she said, "Well, he is not a terrier!!"

I find it hard to believe that I came from show parents as I obviously did not inherit any of their showiness in the ring ( definition to showiness is a little different..)!

Incident 2:

Again, I was at a dog show with mum and Pharoh. Mum's friend was very late that day, in fact, he wasn't even there when it was time for Pharoh to go in the ring. So basically, I had to stay in my 48" exercise pen while mum took Pharoh to the ring. I couldn't believe it, I mean, she left me all alone by myself, and she left with another dog!!! It was so irresponsible of her to leave me, her beloved dogter. I vowed right there and then to make mum realize what a HUGE mistake she had made by leaving me, a SuperDALE!

According to mum, while she was waiting outside the ring, she heard people talking about a loose dog. They never said what breed the dog was, so it never occurred to mum that the loose dog could be me. I have had to be confined to 36" pens before, or be gated behind 36" puppy gates at home. Never once did I tried to jump or climb or do anything to break out or get to the other side of the barrier.

Anyway, so mum was in the ring with Pharoh and 4 other Bouviers when she heard the ever so familiar clinking sound of my tags. The next thing she knew, a SuperDALE was in the Bouvier ring jumping all over her, getting Pharoh and all the other Bouviers all wrought up. Hehe.... YUP it was ME!!

I was so happy and relieved that I had finally found my mum, to see that she didn't abandon me!! Needless to say, mum pulled Pharoh that weekend, and that was the last dog show I'd ever set foot in. By the way, I kept how I got out of the 48" pen a mystery even 'til today (in case I need to pull the stunt again ya know). There was no hole under the pen, the shade cloth that was covering the top of the ex-pen was still there. The ex-pen looked the way mum had left it, minus the SuperDALE!!

After this incident, mum felt her going to dog shows really put too much stress on both me and her (apparently she worried about me too?). So she promised me that she wasn't gonna put me through any more agony, and stopped going to dog shows all together.


So today, when I saw mum pulled into that parking lot, I thought she had broken her promise. Much to my surprise, mum stayed with me the whole time while we watched the herding breeds, and then the little "terrors" in the ring. Then mum told me that she was gonna go say hi to her old Bouvier friends first, and then......she had a SURPRISE for me!!!

Guess who my surprise was?? He was my knight in (black) shining armour, one that made this whole trip worthy! His name is "SOLO", also known as Can/Am Ch. Aerdenhout's Make It So. We used to play together at shows, and I hadn't seen him for SOOO long.

SOLO is a five year old Giant Schnauzer. He was the only pup in his litter, hence the name. He holds the record in the history of the breed for the most Best In Show wins. He just go this BIS # 56 on friday. However, I don't like him because he's a pretty show dog, in fact, I wish he isn't a show dog, because that would mean he can come to the beach to play with me and not have to worry about salt water breaking his furnishings. I like him because well....he is a looker, but not only that, he is also an excellent all around dog. Just look at him jump:

He also has the most amazing free stack that I have ever seen: (this picture was taken after a whole day of showing, and he still looked this stunning)

Look at how in love I was..... and of course, when SOLO decided he was gonna go off hunting instead of playing with me, I went and played with his mom, Janine, who is his owner, breeder, and handler!!

Oh, and did I mention, SOLO is the dog that won Best of Opposite for the last three years at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show - the most celebrated dog show in North America.

You can see a video of SOLO at the 2006 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show here: Click on Watch Video, and watch SOLO's amazing free stack. His mom Janine is wearing bright pink.


Fu Fu said...

Hi Sunsgade, you had fun your own way in the dog show. You think the judges still remember you?
Solo looks great. It's really a black knight.

~ fufu

Charlie said...

Dog shows would be much more fun to watch with you in them!!
- Charlie

Anonymous said...

OMdoG! solo sure is a GIANT! I thought you are HUGE, but after looking at the photo of you two together, you are not HUGE afterall. is your size about a medium size Schnauzer?

solo black coat is really nice.

licky wet wet licks


Herbie said...

That is sooo funny! Especially the part where you 'died' in the ring! I agree with the judge that someone should video it, and maybe you can sell the tape and become a star!

Jay said...

Whahahahaha... this is so funny! I can imagine how red your mum's face was! You sure were the star that day! You made the day of all those who attended the dog show!


Anonymous said...

Wow Solo is even taller than you!

We have a big dog show around here, but Mommy only went once. They have hardly any wires!!!!

A friend of her's shows persian cats so shes's been to a bunch of cat shows with her friend all over the southeast US.

Smelly stinky cats.

Bussie Kissies

Unknown said...

Hi again Sunshade,
You sure were a dead ringer in the dog show, hehehehe! You were probably the best part of the show for the audience. SOLO is so gorgeous! You are lucky to have such neat friends to visit. I think SOLO even jumps higher than me Butchy, sigh.... BTW, Mama says to tell you your wetsuit neoprene finally showed up today!!! So she will start making it for you, you'll need it! It's getting very cold here in Iowa. We might even get snow flakes this week!
Luv & Wirey Hugs!
Butchy & Snickers

Murphey said...

Hee Hee, man you made me laugh today, you sound like my kind of gal. When will they learn that when we terriers don't want to listen, we won't? And son't ever tell how you got out of your pen, you might have to do it again!

Murph the dog

Hana said...

Solo might be a show dog, in fact a winner at Westminster, but I still think you are prettier than Solo. Yeah, too bad a video wasn't taken when you did your antics in the show ring. If a video had been taken, you'd be famous around the internet world!

Ivy said...

miss sunshade! you get my vote for most entertaining at the dog show! i think dog shows are so silly too. who makes up these stupid things that dogs haf to do in order to "win" anyway?

i think we shud all get together and make up rulez for a peepol show and make the peepol do silly pointless activities in a big ring to see who is the winner!

Chelsea said...

My Mama says solo is a beautiful dog. I think you are prettier. Please don't tell Mama about these dog shows. She must have no idea or she would of entered me. She's silly like that.


Bogart H. Devil said...

Wow, Solo is a GORGEOUS dog!!!!


Sunshade said...

Fufu: I'm sure the judge would still remember me, I mean, who could forget?

Charlie: I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, I don't think those hard core dog show people would appreciate it. They can be very weird at times.

Zach: sigh.... my actions caught on tape would have been great!!

Boo: yes SOLO is A LOT bigger than me. I weight about 62 lbs, he is about 90 lbs. I am probably a little bit bigger than the standard Schnauzers, but just by an inch or two I think.

Herbie: hehe...that dying part was what broke the silence LOL!

Jay: haha...they really should have taped that video because you would've been able to see just HOW red my mum 's face was!!

Buster: I saw one WFT at the show and that was it. There were no Airedales at all!! Hey...I heard cat show people are even more weird than dog show people, is it true??

Butchy & Snickers: yup, I was the STAR on that day!! SOLO can jump really high, but he is also bigger than you Butchy. I'm sure if you were his size, your high jumps would be comparable!!

Murphey: oh don't worry, I'm not planning on telling mum how I got out. She better not take me to one of those stupid shows again!!

Hana: That is so sweet of you to say...... thank you! Yea, that's one great video we lost..

Ivy: I think that's a GREAT idea. Dont' forget to count in the grooming time that we have to get those hoomans to stand on the table and spray them with all kinds of stuff so their hair will be the way we want it!!

Chelsea: You are right, you better not let your mama see this. You are so pretty I'm sure your mama would want to show you off...... and then you will be so bored....

Bogie: yes SOLO is gorgeous. However, if you were there beside SOLO, I don't know who I would choose to be my knight in shining armour...hehe!

MUAH to all!!

Love nibbles,
Miss Sunshade

Anonymous said...

wow sunshade, you are really an amazing dog!!! and you're smarter than some humans HM knows! i love what you did when your mom was showing you in the ring!! hehe.. so that's your idea of showing: to show-off all your tricks! :)

solo is a gorgeous dog, i've only ever seen grey schnauzers before, never a pure black one. no wonder you're in love with him :) i shall wait for my very own prince in white armor!


Huskee and Hershey said...

HAHAHAH.. I laughed so hard while reading about your antics.. You are really one cool gal. I always try to embarass my mum or whoever who is unlucky enough to out for a walk but I think what you did to your mum is totally unbeatable. You keep it up girl!

Baily said...

hello sunshade!

i am happy you finally had some fun at a show. no wonder you dont like them lol! we dont need a dog show to know that you are the prettiest and bestest of them all anyway!!!

nose licks

Wired for Mackie said...

Dearest Miss Sunshade,
I see you have another beau. I totally understand. I agree, he is quite the stud and I am alas so far away. My mom had a black schnauzer, anthough he was a mini- Chancellor. She still talks about him, Chancellor thia and Chancellor that. I'm destined to live in the shadows of a black schnauzer!

yours truly, Mackie