Days 4, 5 and 6 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) were a blur!
Day 4 was Sweepstakes for puppy and veteran. I was NOT showing my puppy in the ring as in St Paul Ferris decided she would take him in for me. The judge for whatever reason has decided to NOT like me since the last time I saw her back in September. Not sure why, but life does go on. We agreed it would be unfair for Justice to be shown by me if I was on the upper end of the lead. I was really proud of the way Ferris showed him for his very first time in the ring. He didn't get anything but he was sure happy out there wagging his tail and laying down for Ferris to rub his belly :)
I had nothing else to do that day so spent most of my time with my mentors JoAnne Beashau and Barb Hoffman. I didn't like where the table was set up as no one could really see the fronts from that angle, so we sat on the diagonal and tried to figure out who we best liked and see how far off we were from the judges.
Day 5 were the regular classes for dogs. I showed Justice myself to Barb Hoffman's co breeder/kennel partner. He had never seen this litter so I was curious to see what he thought of him and his littermate Riley, who Ferris was showing that day in the same class. I haven't even asked Jon what he thought of him yet, but he didn't make any cuts either that day. His brother did I think. This night was also the CERF clinic and I had Zoe, Sadie and Ell's eyes CERF'ed. All were NORMAL! :)
The Annual Meeting was this night and I believe we had the raffle that night as well? I wanted this print but didn't get it. Polly got it. I guess someone who herds deserves it as much as I do..who owns the breed they had depicted ? :)
Day 6 was the regular classes for bitches. I had nothing to show so it was a day to relax and kick back. I decided to not show Zoe or Ell......mostly because Jon had seen Ell before and didn't want him to have to judge her and I didn't show Zoe as I knew Jon doesn't like her :) He's told me so :)
this day was the day Justice was able to play in the xpen with Darby and Carly. You can find photso of this outting on Sarah's blog and Laura's blog on my links.
I also forgot to mention that most every night there was rum and/or wine drinking involved with my mentors. Usually pouring over old USA handbooks, UK Champion books, the judging from the day or previous days or years. Lots of great information was shared to me and I just wish I could voice record everything so I could take notes later.
Day 6 was also the night of the DM seminar. After being more informed on the subject I'm truly glad my three intact animals are DM carriers and not affected or 'at risk'. I do however want to test Sadie and Oliver just to see if they will indeed be 'at risk' for it when they get older. Watchign the video of the dogs who had DM was just sickening. Its a painless disease in the dogs but they are unable to move or walk and loose muscle condition and evenutally are unable to swallow or breathe. Not a way I would want to go...slowly.....ick.
Breeders/Judges Education was also this night. What a great opportunity it was to have the specifics of the standard spoken again (this time by Cindy Bossi, who did a great job!) with reference to photos and then eventually to real dogs (the winners of the megan and WD and WB were all there so we could watch them move and feel them on the table). Going to the National should be about learning and relearning. Evaluating yourself, your own dogs and learning how to make them better. Why go to a National if you don't go to these priceless seminars to learn more? I saw many long time breeders in attendance so it isn't just for the 'newbies' but great for refreshing what you think you may or may not know. Unfortunately there was probably only 30 or 40 people there.....which was only a fraction of the people who I thought should be there or hoped would be there. Its hard to learn something when you think you already know it all! I was glad I was in attendance and even happier to be sitting next to my mentors :)
A national should be all about the breed and trying to learn more, evaluate more, meet more dogs, go over more dogs and learn learn learn! If not here, then where will you? I've had pigeons for 16 years and am still learning from them. I would think that with dogs it would be the same?