I hit a dog show Friday, I don't go to many but this was nice and close and a great locale. The show was held by the Shoreline Dog Fanciers association of Orange County. I spent most of my teenage years at dog shows, many weekends I'd be gone with friends to a show. I handled a lot of dogs and I loved it. I took handling classes from the best of the best in Canada, Martha Covington Thorne, author of Handling your own dog. I have a copy nicely stashed away that I will keep forever. I took Matha's handling class and after one very memorable Junior Handling competition Martha grabbed a hold of me. She took me aside and told me to never give it up, the dog show world needed good handlers. I will never forget that, and although I did give up handling I will never give up dogs. ;)
So, it's been a while since I was at a show. The last one I did go to was about a year and a half ago, the big Eukanuba Longbeach show. And it was big, huge, crowded and congested and I didn't stay long. Fridays show was great, it was held at the OC Fairgrounds and was sort of an indoor/outdoor deal. There was lots of space and it wasn't spread out too far that going from ring to ring was a big hike. I was there simply to watch, see lots of dogs, meet some new breeders and shoot. I got all accomplished.
Showing is a huge commitment in time, whether it is in the conformation ring, obedience, rally, agility, flyball or any other event for dogs. It can be weekend after weekend, living out of a motel or an RV if you're lucky enough to have one. There is a lot of waiting, that's the part that I cannot stand, the waiting. You get use to it and you make a lot of friends so all of the above activities are social gatherings. It is surprising how well behaved all the dogs are. They've grown up around hoards of other dogs, so they are well use to it. It is surely a great socializing opportunity.
As well as dogs there are always vendors, lot's and lot's of vendors. I wandered around looking for any "new" and amazing things that I didn't already know about. Nothing spectacular caught my eye this time but I did see some pretty elaborate dog beds and lots of bling for dogs and their humans. As always I enjoy seeing all the dogs, many breeds you just don't see on a day to day basis. And you certainly don't see dogs groomed like the coated breeds in the conformation rings, especially my breed.
I watched the owners of the rally dogs recieving their ribbons and scores for the day. Everyone was smiling, even the very lowest scoring teams. That says something about a show, smiles. So as I left the building and head out to my car across the parking lot I thought to myself, "nice show."