Blog Archives

Unexpected Common Ground

This evening I went to the home of a new client.  And when I walked in the door, and saw her granddaughter sitting up on a bar stool at the counter I recognized her immediately.  Of course, I couldn’t pin down WHY I recognized her… but I knew I did.  Turns out, she’s a junior handler!  How cool!

It’s always nice when you find you have an unexpected connection with a client.  There’s just this instant warming that happens, when you realize you have a mutual hobby or experience.  Generally people find themselves at ease with me pretty quickly.  I’m just one of those relaxed folks who likes those around her to feel relaxed too.  But it really is a treat when you’ve instantly got something – other than photography business – to talk about.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  LOL  I love talking photography…  but from time to time, it’s nice to have some other common ground.  🙂

My Little Junior

Well, today the big show news is all about Lily-Ann and Alice.  They were so cute together!  For both of them, it was their second time in the ring – but it was their first time as a team (you can see the girl’s first time here: junior handling debut) .  Sure, there were a few hiccups.  In an ideal world you put an experienced dog with an inexperienced handler or vice versa…  but they worked their way through it together, and looked cute doing it!

Damon took the video for me, from the other end of the ring.  You can actually see me, standing next to the ring steward (who happened to be the show secretary) at the table.  And Jewles took some photos – but I haven’t transferred them to one of my hard drives yet.  😉

Alice placed the same as she did yesterday, winning one point for Best of Winners, and winning a stuffed cow toy for Best Puppy.  Gotta love when someone has sponsored a booster and there are little gifties to go along with a win.  LOL

So, one more day left, and then it’s back to business as usual as we wait for the next show.  🙂

Dreams Dashed, Just Like That.

Just like that, a dream I’ve held for the last half a decade have been dashed.  My heart is more than a little broken.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I began dreaming of the day I could take my little one with me traveling to dog shows.  I know so many moms who take their infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, children, and teens with them on the road…  and they all absolutely love it.

When Lily-Ann was born, I knew she wasn’t the type of baby who could go to a dog show.  If she wasn’t being held she’d cry.  And there was no way for her to be the constant focus of attention at a show.

When she was a toddler, nothing had changed.  And I envied those parents who’s little ones would nap in a stroller while they did their “down and back”.  You put Lily in a stroller and even if she was previously tired, she’d pop up alert and ready to go knowing that something must be going on.  She was a baby and toddler who was WORN not put in a stroller or bucket – so if she was in one of those places she knew something interesting had to be happening.  She also had stopped napping at 11 months old, which didn’t help matters.

As a pre-schooler she LOVES dog shows.  She made her debut as a junior handler at the SKOC show last Summer:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/junior-handling-debut/  And was just awesome.  But she’s still a high needs kid, that hasn’t changed.  She needs your focus at least 95% of the time.  She proved that to me tonight.

I knew she couldn’t handle traveling to dog shows when she was little…  but I’d hoped that by the time she was five it would be a very real possibility.  Tonight though?  Tonight was a disaster.  It took everything in me not to completely lose my cool and fall apart.

We were at handling class…  the first time I’d taken her to handling class.  Usually it’s just me, the dog, and sometimes my younger sister Jewles.  With the dog show in Saskatoon this weekend, and Lily having never worked with Alice before, I thought the two of them could stand to have some practice with one another.

Lily-Ann was obnoxious.  She managed to get through about five minutes before she kept announcing that she was bored and thirsty and wanted a treat – over and over again.  She wouldn’t listen to instruction (from myself OR the instructor).  So after she finished one trip around the ring, I set her up on the sidelines with treats and my phone (on which she has nine or ten apps).  And I went back in to practice with Alice.

That didn’t work either.

The kid kept running back and forth in and out of the ring, disrupting everyone.  So after repeated attempts to get her to listen and just sit down for even five minutes, I packed it in.  Not even half way through the class.  I grabbed all of our stuff and we left.  I have never been so embarrassed in my life.  Her behaviour was atrocious.  Not only did she ignore me when I repeatedly told her to stay out of the ring when it wasn’t her turn, she ignored the instructor as well – who told her to “get out” when it was obvious she wouldn’t listen to me.

So yeah.  Embarrassed by how awful she behaved (seriously, she was shockingly awful, I’ve never seen her behave even close to this before…  ever), and brokenhearted to know I will likely never be able to trust her enough to take her with me…  to enjoy something together that I love so much.  Maybe by the time she’s in high school…  but certainly not before.  I’ll probably still let her do junior handling whenever there’s a show in the city – so twice a year.  But she’ll never get the experience to do well when she can only participate so infrequently and when she’s not able to attend classes between shows.

Yep.  It’s just not going to happen.  She loves showing.  Absolutely loves being in the ring, in the spotlight…  which only makes it harder to bear, and harder to understand.

Seriously…  I can’t even express how awful she was tonight.  We’re not talking just silly little kid antics.  I’ve come to expect those.  But constantly ignoring everything anyone said to her???  yeah, that’s not cool.  And yes… I realize that at this point, I’m starting to ramble.  But it really was the WORST parenting experience of my entire life.  Don’t even ask me how the drive home afterwards went.  Good freakin’ grief.

HCKOC Dog Show – Mark your Calendars!

Mark your calendars!  This weekend is one of two dog shows held annually in Saskatoon.  This one happens to be the Hub City Kennel and Obedience Club show, and will be taking place at the Exhibition grounds in Hall E.  And, quite unusual for us, this is our first show of 2012.

This weekend marks the show debut of Alice, one of the pups from my first ever Chihuahua litter.  I’m super excited to be taking a puppy I’ve bred into the ring for the first time ever.  I have high hopes for this little one.  She really is an outstanding pup with a temperament to die for!

If you’re free this weekend, you should come on out.  The show will go from 9 AM until roughly 3 PM each day (except Sunday, which usually shuts down a little earlier so everyone who has to travel can start on their way home).  I highly recommend coming as early as possible though, as shows tend to thin out later in the day.  As people finish up with their dogs for the day, they usually head out rather than sticking around the show site.  So coming in the morning or very early afternoon means you’re more likely to encounter a wider variety of dogs.

Our approximate ring times on each day are as follows:

  • 9:00 on Friday (in ring two)
  • 12:15 on Saturday (in ring one)
  • during the lunch break on Saturday (kid kid will be taking Alice in for Juniors)
  • 9:00 on Sunday (in ring two)
  • during the lunch break on Sunday (for puppy sweeps)

If there’s a particular breed you are interested in seeing, I recommend downloading the official schedule at http://canuckdogs.com/upload/DogShowDocs/2b117948-900c-11e1-bf94-46ab87a4a13a.pdf  It contains a listing of breeds that will be in attendance each day, along with the numbers of each breed and the break down of males, females, and specials.

To figure out an approximate show time for each breed you’re interested in seeing, take the number of dogs in the ring prior to the breed you are interested in watching, and multiply by 2.5.  It takes the judge roughly two and a half minutes to judge each dog.  So, if you want to watch the Irish Setters on Friday you’d multiply the 20 dogs in the ring prior to them by 2.5, giving you 50 minutes.  That group starts at 1:00, so you can estimate that they’d be in at roughly 1:50 on Friday.

So yay!  Dog show season!!!  One of my favourite times of year.  😀

Lily-Ann’s First Show Photo

Just jumping on here for a second to share Lily-Ann’s very first show photo:

Junior Handling Debut!

Lily-Ann made her junior handling debut today…  and she had everyone there laughing.  Yesterday while practicing during the Puppy Classic (which was happening in ring two, while we practiced in ring three) the girlie looked like an absolute pro.  She walked into that ring like she owned it.  Marnie gaited perfectly with her, tail up, happy – nay, thrilled – to be there with her person.  Today?  Excitement took over.  LMAO  Marnie didn’t know if Lily-Ann was coming or going.  And it was SUCH a hoot.

The judge asking the girlie to do a "down and back".

WooHoo!!!!

 

Watch the video, for the whole story – including Marnie leaving the ring to look for me:

It was a great day…

I’ve been pretty numb lately…  I haven’t been specifically unhappy, but I haven’t been happy either.  Things that I would have found joy in before have just kind of washed over me.  I don’t know if I’m overwhelmed, underwhelmed, or what…  but I haven’t been myself.  Today though?  Today was a good day.

Today started like any other…  me, knowing I should be excited about the dog show…  but just not feeling much.  Stuck in a fog.  But somewhere it got lifted.  I got to handle Clair (who is a bear), my friend Rosalie’s Chihuahua – and who showed very well for me.  I got to visit with all my local dog show peeps, including Jen (one of my Adult Pod Volunteers from Camp fYrefly).  And I got to take the wee girlie to the show site after the main show was over (with a special show lead that I made just for her) so she could practice for tomorrow, which was SUCH a treat.  She’s going to do awesome in Juniors.  😀  And the rest of the evening was just me, Damon, and the girlie… just being a family and ignoring anything else that might have nagged at the mind.  I needed today.  Hopefully this is the start of me growing back into myself.

So…  no plans for tomorrow morning?  Pop by the Soccer Center in Saskatoon and come find me.  🙂  Or, if you’re available in the early afternoon, the girlie should be making her debut around 1:30 or so…  come by and cheer her on.  😀

SKOC Dog Show

It’s the weekend of the Saskatoon Kennel and Obedience Club Dog Show here in Toontown.  So come on down to the Soccer Center (behind the Lawson Heights Civic Center/Library) Saturday, Sunday, or Monday morning to have a peek at all the dogs and to catch some of the action.  Best of Show will be happening just after lunch each day, and Chihuahuas will be in the ring at either 9:00 or 9:40 each day.  The wee girlie will also be making her debut on Sunday.  She’ll have her very first trip into the Juniors ring at about 1:30 – and we’re all super excited for her.  😀

Dog Show Season Approacheth…

Dog show season is right around the corner…  and I can hardly wait.  At the same time, still lots to do before we’ll be ready for it.  🙂  All Winter long I await February as for us it means time to start filling out entry forms.

Here in Saskatchewan we attend dog shows from about March till September.  And unless it’s a month with a show here in Saskatoon I try to limit myself to one show a month.  Home shows mean I’ll usually hit two that month.  With the wee girlie still small I just don’t like to be away from home more than one weekend a month.

Come July, Lily-Ann will be old enough to show in Junior Handling, which is very exciting.  I know she’s looking forward to it.  Hopefully one of the dogs here will be mature and experienced enough to have her on the other end of the leash by then.  But if not, I’m sure one of the many wonderful dog people we know would have someone to “lend” her while she takes a walk around the conformation ring for the first time.  🙂  I so look forward to the girlie being able to attend shows with her Auntie Bug and I once she’s ready.  Jewles and I always have so much fun on our dogged road trips, and I know the girlie would enjoy them too.

This year Jewles and I will be showing Marnie, the most adorable Long Coat Chihuahua puppy ever.  I may be a little biased as her co-owner and hu-mom, but I think she’s pretty awesome.  We’re also talking with a couple other folks right now about the possibility of us helping them out with dogs they’d like to get on the road this Spring.  So we’ll see.  Our show plans usually aren’t finalized till the last minute.  I’m totally not a last minute type of person – at least not for plans that take me away from home, but I’ve learned to roll with the punches when it comes to showing.

I should probably update my handling website.  It’s still full of last years information.  LOL  But some of what’s there never really needs to change.  My handling philosophy, and the services we offer are the same as in previous years.  Just need to upload some photos from last years shows, and to decide on which shows we’ll hit for this year.

Did I mention how much I love handling dogs?  Seriously.  LOL  I absolutely love being in the ring and traveling with dogs.  It may give some folks serious anxiety, but I LOVE it.  There really is nothing like it.  Exciting and peaceful, chaotic and calm, adrenaline pumping and zen all at once.  I look forward to getting back into it every Spring.

Check us out at http://www.almostfamily.org/

Sure, it’s not up to date, but there’s lots there to see anyway.  😉

%d bloggers like this: