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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Boris at his very first show


At last! The ear is up! Poor Boris had been stuffed with all kinds of additives and vitamins, but I suspect the ear`s time had smiply come. One morning when he got up, so did the ear, and it stayed up. He got the impression that he had done something important, but had no idea what. I worked hard on that ear, but I wonder if the excitement of the girls all coming in season at once had something to do with it - it certainly reduces the older males to mindless idiots.

And so Boris was at last able to go to his first show - a very big one, as it happens, and aquitted himself nobly, completely unfazed by the crowds and more dogs than he had known existed. He was placed well in a large class and enjoyed himself.

It was such a relief to deal with a happy, straightforward uncomplicated little dog like Boris, I thought, getting out Merlin. He did well, but was at his dippy best, screeching at anything black, trying to defend me from an innocent soul who bent over my chair to ask a question about the class in progress and then licking me anxiously to see if the Bad Man had hurt me. He always gives me the impression that he has learned how to be an adult male Papillon from one of those skimpy manuals badly translated from the Japanese - the kind that you always get with complicated electronic equipment.

Faced with a big event like this huge show he goes into excited incompetent overdrive, gazing at it all blankly, like a man who has rashly promised to create a fitted bedroom from a huge pile of Ikea flatpacks and one small sheet of instructions......

And if you`re Merlin, you are always several screws short of the finished wardrobes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Solitaire - "He was not a nice dog and he looked at me. More than once."


A bad back obtained somehow at Crufts, a truly horrible meeting, the enforced termination of a club website I run, all the girls rushing into season...just one of those weeks I love so much.

Solitaire, who may well be dipping her little hairy toes into the tempestuous sea of sex in the near future, went to a show with Shelby and Merlin at the weekend. Alas, I had forgotten that she is only happy in Papillon company. In the ring she looked lovely until we approached a corner where there were 3 very innocent Cavaliers - her tail hit the dirt and she informed me that the end dog was Notapap, and furthermore mostly black, and had looked at her more than once, and could she go home please? Right now?

Merlin on the other hand, had a happy time, and his raucous bark echoed round the hall , probably shattering glass and permanently damaging hearing. Shelby was his usual impeccable self. He is the ultimate reliable dog, and always gives of his best, and indeed was Best of Breed.....

And was rewarded by being forgotten. I woke at 2am convinced that I had somehow missed a dog. Got up, and there outside the door sat Shelby, his big round patient face turned up, not at all upset, just waiting. I rushed him in and he was consoled with a Tesco Value sausage roll in bed - his idea of heaven (although a willing chinlady would be very acceptable too........)

What with the credit crunch, he had better not set his sights much above the sausage rolls for now

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two very self-satisfied boys the day after -

....and the much-washed Merlin


Well, we had a good time. So good that I am still recovering.

Merlin was not at all overawed by the huge hall and the noise and plethora of dogs. He was fascinated. And willing to show himself off really well. Apart from his usual slight attack of the vapours on the table, he behaved, and at the final assessment he gazed at the judge with limpid dark eyes. She gazed back, clearly thinking what a pretty picture he made.

I would not be so confident in assessing what he was thinking. Certainly not "I wonder how her leg would taste?", but quite possibly "Is she going to wash me now?" (I fear he may now think this is the ultimate aim of all strange women who look hard at him.)

Anyway, she liked him. He was 3rd in a class of 20 - quite respectable for his first Crufts.

Shelby, on the other hand, was in his element. I had forgotten quite how much he likes showing. His class was in another hall, and as we made our way through the crowds we were frequently stopped by admirers - Shelby loves this, and graciously gave a paw and allowed strange women to pick him up and kiss him (don`t ask - it`s a flat face thing.) He showed off impeccably and was well placed in a hard class, and totally complacent about it too.

Of course the Papillons had a change of judge, the designated one being very poorly just now. He is a popular and well-known figure in the breed, and a collection taken up to provide a gift for hm was well-supported. I wondered what would be bought and someone said "We had thought of a garden ornament". Thinking of the very large sum of money, a vision flashed across my mind of the poor invalid rising from his sickbed shivering in the menacing shadow cast by the largest garden gnome in the universe....no, I didn`t say a word.

Tact is my middle name.

Anyone in dogs will tell you that.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

"And if I keep on using this shampoo she will find me irresistible...?


....Crufts, of course and the shampoo and conditioner are flying about and small dogs are hiding in corners at the perfumed smell of them.

Merlin was taken for his final makeover yesterday, and seemed bit more resigned to total immersion and general beauty treatment than usual. When he came back, beautiful and lustrous, he was again allowed to meet his Dad and Aunt Daisy, this time through the mesh of their run.

Leo, his dad, was furious. He strode about trying to find a way out to get to Merlin. Was this little squirt too thick to understand the message he had clearly placed on his yellow travelling box the last time?

Daisy, on the other hand, remembered him only too well and was assuring him that she was all his in no uncertain terms. She posed and flirted and his ego shot skywards. He was so well pleased with himself that I suddenly wondered if he had learned the lesson that comes so hard to many adolescnt males - the one about making a real effort with your appearance and the effect it can have on girls.....? Does he think that a beauty bath makes girls fall at your feet? Has he been watching those TV ad for a certain male deodorant?

Knowing Merlin`s tenuous grasp on reality he proabably thinks she loves him for his mind.

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