Loki: Saturday | Sunday
Pike: Saturday | Sunday
This weekend, the First Company Governor’s Food Guard Athletic Association’s annual dog shows occurred in Springfield, MA. Previously, these shows were in Hartford. Last year, Hartford was Loki’s first show, so it seemed sensible to let these shows be Pike’s first as well. (Spoiler alert: Pike did better than Loki on his first time out!)
We had plans to show both Pike and Loki both days this weekend, but the judging schedule for Saturday had Loki in the ring at 8:30 am, and Pike in at 1:00 pm. The big gap between ring times meant that Jackson and Clover would have to come to the show with us, because otherwise they’d be home alone for far longer than I am comfortable with asking them to go without potty breaks. When it came time to load the crates into the Dog Bus on Friday afternoon, I made the executive decision to pull Pike from Saturday’s competition, so we could just show and go with Loki, and thus leave Jackson and Clover at home. The weather Friday was just frigidly cold and I simply couldn’t bear the thought of staying out in the cold long enough to rearrange the crates in the van, then having to set up crates for a single day of showing.
Saturday’s show was a major for class dogs in Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Loki won his class, but Winners Dog and Best of Winners was awarded to Aron, who belongs to Marsa, and Reserve Winners Dog went to Loki’s litter brother Raylan. So, as Marsa said while the boys were in the ring, “We’re keeping it in the family!” Nathan stayed with Pike while I showed Loki, and he reported that Pike was perfectly content in his crate. No fussing, no whining, just happy to watch everything going on. Big win for us on that front! We did let him walk around and socialize a bit, and Tiny Dog took everything in stride. Yay Pike!
Sunday, Pike and Loki had ring times that were stacked on top of each other, so we decided Nathan would handle Loki, and I would take Pike. Pike’s entry was in a special 4 – 6 month non-competitive puppy class (no points) that is intended to help introduce puppies to the show ring, and novice owners too. Last year when we did this class with Loki, he was the only entry in Rhodesian Ridgebacks, but this year Pike didn’t get off so lucky: there were three other Ridgeback puppies in the ring with us! I was pretty nervous about how Pike would perform, because I have been the laziest slacker trainer with Pike. We haven’t gotten him to a single handling class, and the only introduction he’s had to stacking has been extremely lackadaisical practice in my living room, not even on a show lead. Oh, and of course we were first in line!
So, all that said, I am extremely proud beyond words to report that my little liver-nose boy did his job with complete aplomb. He stacked as well as I would expect a four-month old puppy to do, he gaited perfectly without trying to break into a gallop or chew on the lead, and he walked out of the ring on Sunday with the ribbon for Puppy Best of Breed and a rosette for a Puppy Hound Group 1! Tiny Dog did it!
Over in Loki’s ring, Nathan was busy winning as well! Loki won his class, won Winner’s Dog, and then took Best of Winners to add another point toward his championship — which would be Nathan’s first point in the the show ring. However, it took me a little while to find out just how well Nathan had done with Loki.
As I was standing outside Pike’s ring waiting to go back in for Best Puppy In Show, I kept craning my neck to see how Nathan was doing in his ring. Nathan saw me looking and held up the ribbon that Loki won for Winner’s Dog, which is a purple ribbon. However, with the lighting and the distance between us, to me the ribbon looked red — which is a second place ribbon. I thought he was showing me that Loki was second place in his class, and I gave him a thumbs up to say, “Yes, I got it!” So, with me thinking he had only won second place in Loki’s class, I was confused by why Nathan and Loki kept standing outside the ring. At first I thought he was waiting to be judged for Reserve Winners Dog, but then I saw there were bitches in the ring.
So I’m standing there wondering just what the hell is going on, and thinking to myself, “What the !@#$ is Nathan doing? You’re done! Go put the dog back in his crate!” and Nathan was ACTUALLY standing waiting to go back in the Best of Breed class so Loki could compete for Best of Winners. And I keep looking, and grumbling to myself, and looking — because, remember, I think Loki was only second place in his class.
Finally, Pike and I got to go back into Pike’s ring to compete for Best Puppy in Show (which was awarded to a Cavalier King Charles), and then I took Pike outside to have a quick potty break. We came back in, I put Pike in his crate, and boy was I confused when Nathan handed me a whole fistful of ribbons! I looked down at the ribbons, back up and Nathan, and then threw myself at him in a giant hug when I realized he had actually gotten Best of Winners! Nathan and Loki did it, too!
So, that was our weekend, which was pretty awesome. How did yours go?