Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Really not too much of a disaster. I struggled in with 6 dogs on a wobbly trolley, one functioning foot and inexplicably bad asthma, more or less on time.

As I towed the load uphill, thinking that all I needed was a yak and a yurt, the jolly lady who encouraged me with the words - "Some good deep breaths and you`ll make it !" was informed that if she lost two stone and had a facelift she just might do the same. You don`t mess with me at dogshows.

So there I am , in a crowded tent, unpacking 6 excited dogs, a huge crate, a chair, two bags...and discovering that Shelby`s class will clash with Marcus and Florian. (And that all traces of Shelby`s wrinkle being clean have long since vanished.)

What do you do? Well I ran back and forth between rings till eventually a kind friend offered to take Marcus in, bald bum and all. Some people are all heart. I left her with the swaggering Marcus, who clearly felt that his naked rear was probably very attractive to the opposite sex (how many males have this delusion, girls?) , and rushed back with Shelby who charmed an elderly lady judge to the extent of going third in his class and qualifying for Crufts. And when we trotted back (you can see how much good this was doing my foot, can`t you?), Marcus, clearly due to inspired handling probably involving keeping him facing the judge all the time, was standing first.

The ground in the rings was very......well, doggy. It was, shall we say, very well used by dogs already. To a dog it smelled delicious. I had great trouble with the girls over this, especially Allegra, but I persevered, and she won. Solitaire was very confused at first until suddenly she realised that this was just a bigger, smellier outdoor training class, and she was placed.

After the judging, the photographs I have to take, then exhaustion and a kind lift home.

One last thought. Shelby`s wrinkle, which has been mentioned before, and which has to be cleaned daily, is on his FACE. I spoke to a friend in hounds, and her face was a study as I complained about this constant chore....it turned out that she thought it was on a quite different part of his anatomy.

He can clean that himself.

There are limits, even for me.
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