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.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I am soldiering on with shows and the terrible three and their education.

The trio attend training class weekly, and in between run riot.  The discipline of the lead is still not really appreciated.   One of the problems is Belle,   She is intelligent.   This is no help at all.  She really cannot see any good reason for marching up and down on the end of a lead at all.  It`s not as if we are going anywhere, after all....
Ham is the great motivator.   They do all love it.  I get through a lot during training.   And I get three different responses;

BELLE:  "Ham is nice, but really I could be doing better things - maybe reading philosophy or studying calculus - than walking back and forth with a piece of string round my neck"

GRACIE:  "Ham, and lots of it, and let the others see me getting it, and know that they are having none because they are totally inferior!"

CUPCAKE:   "Ham!   Ham!   Ham!"    

And this lot I have to get ready for the showring in December!

I hope we all make it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Yes, it`s really me! This is the new improved Cupcake.....
.....although my sisters say my real name is `Pond Life`"



And off I went to the show, with the lip much reduced.   A long journey south, but a welcoming hotel at the end of it.

The day of the show was hot.   Really hot.  Over eighty.   But fortunately we were in the shade.  I started quickly as other breeds would be in the ring after us.

And on we went.   Little dogs showing well despite the heat, and the howls and barks of the Afghans behind us.   I had the pleasure of putting up a dog I really admire.

I had said that I would prefer a picnic lunch, as I didn`t want to stop.

And it arrived.    The stewards (who were useless) were in fits of laughter.   "Straight from the Ritz", they cackled.

Here is is:

One tiny cheese sandwich cut in four.  (I can`t eat cheese)
One pork pie
4 grapes
One banana
One bag crisps
One tin of Tango

Not the worst show lunch ever - that was at an open show in the north of England and I can only describe it as "something brown with potatoes."   But close.

We went on.  All the young bitches seemed to be "just out of season" and were very flighty, and the Afghan sound effects didn`t help.   Tails were dropping.   And it got hotter.

I was tired, and glad to get to the end.  But happy to give top honours to a promising young bitch, and make that admirable dog overall winner.

Now I could get down to sorting out the results printout, which was complicated by the fact that the stewards couldn`t be bothered to send the results over to the secretary, and haggling over my expenses (eventually I played both the Little Old Lady and the Recovering from Illness cards), and at last we faced the horrors of the M25 on the long way home.

Delivered to the door by my good friend, I found all the dogs delighted to see me, especially the puppies.

And Cupcake was so delighted his ears were up!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Best in Show judged from a Horse, a Cow, a Bull, a Sheep, the Bulldog and a tiny Bantam in a cage held by a very serious little boy.


On Saturday I went to a local agricultural show. Nothing huge. Cattle, sheep, goats in a large field, already horrendously muddy. Baking competition (scarily labelled "Industrial") in a shed. Poultry screeching in their own tent. A steady trail of men to the bar.

My friend was judging the dog show. Entries on the day, and as the day became wetter, it seemed obvious that there would be few of them. (And those who were there would be unspeakably muddy.) We waited.

But they came. Only 4 classes for the Pedigree Dogs, but they were respectably filled, with a wide variety of dogs. A bulldog won.

That, however, was not that.

In the afternoon came the Fun Show. Classes for children. Fancy Dress, Dog doing the Best Trick, Dog over 45cm, Dog under 45cm (there was a measuring stick), and at last the eagerly awaited Catch the Biscuit.

Well, we thought, the weather isn`t good. There aren`t that many children about. Nor that many dogs. How bad can it be?

But...the sun came out. And so did the kids. I came back over from watching Best in Show judged (contestants being a horse, a bull, a cow, a sheep, the bulldog and a tiny bantam in a cage held desperately by a very cold looking little boy) to find a milling crowd of children and dogs, most of whom had no idea what they had entered.

It was all very jolly after that. Dogs came and went, some almost under control. We got through the Dog with the Waggiest Tail, (Labs do really well in this), The Dog with the Happiest Face, and came at last to Catch the Biscuit, an elimination free for all, which I had been looking forward to, (and the judge had not) in which the contestants form a ring, and ...well, let your imagination run riot. I had suggested just throwing just one biscuit and letting all the dogs loose - well, you would have a winner, among other things.

But the wind had really risen, and the biscuits blew everywhere....so all the children got a rosette.

Cue a meal for the exhausted judge and us.

However, during the day I had managed to slip when going into a horse box, and landed on my face. Somehow I didn`t lose my front teeth. But I split my lip, inside and out. And it swelled and swelled...

So on Friday I am going to judge over a hundred dogs at a major championship show with a top lip the size of France.

Happy days.

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