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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.

First Class Puppies!

So, yesterday evening was the first drop-in handling class of the year down at the SKOC.  And it was the first ever class for Alice and Deedee, our Chihuahua puppies.  It was a first for me too…  the first time I took puppies of my own breeding out to a class.

You know?  You do your best to prepare them.  To give them a solid foundation.  To help them be confident, brave, outgoing, and friendly little things.  But in a world of giants, you never really know if you’ve done enough.  There is always more you could do.  So that first real test can be a little nervy – for them and you.

My girlz are rockstars!  Clearly I had nothing to worry about.  First time in a new building, surrounded by dogs who were more than ten times their size (some way more than ten times their size), tons of people, noises, smells…  it’s an overwhelming experience for people – forget two little dogs no more than ten and a quarter pounds COMBINED.

Alice and Deedee did great!  Tails up in the ring.  Stood on the table (well, they were a little squirrely, but it was their first time).  We had no pretzel puppy action.  No tangled leads.  Generally confident, happy puppies, all set for this new adventure.  It really got me excited.  These guys are going to be a blast at the shows this year.  I’m SOOO looking forward to it.

I mean…  okay…  I was ALREADY looking forward to it.  I knew they were awesome.  They are smart, sweet, cuddly, typey, good looking, sturdy, generally fabulous pups.  But the experience in class just confirmed everything for me.  It’s not going to take much work at all to have them become little superstars.  It’s going to be a fabulous year!  Yay Deedee!  Yay Alice!  And Yay for me and Em (my co-breeder and fabulous friend)!

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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.  😀

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