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.
"IN DOG YEARS, I`M DEAD"
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.