Duluth was a fun weekend, albeit a very tiring one!
I had planned on going up Thursday night ( I wasn't entered on Thursday) after work to stay again at Steve and Barb Peterson's house. Mary Morris was also staying there and Mary and Barb told me in their motherly tones that I needed to stay home Thursday so I didn't hit any deer on the road and then just get up when the sun came up (about 5am) and head to Duluth. I had a hard time falling asleep and then turned off my alarm. At around 7am Mary called me wanting to know where I was. Thankfully she woke me up as I was still sleeping! I got there in plenty of time and set down to groom Mitcham. He was in first (about 30 dogs ahead of Justice in the same ring). Our judge was Michelle Billings and after winning WD for a single point (one other male entered) the judge told me " He is a beautiful boy, best of luck with him!" Cool! That was pretty exciting!
Justice was next and he was the only dog entered. There was only one point in bitches as well and we were just hoping for the cross over points. No such luck there! We went out after the show to a place in Superior, WI called "Elbow Room" a great Italian, steak and fish restaurant with Sammy's Pizza (locally renowned pizza) in the front end.
Saturday we had late ring times again but I rode in with Mary to the show who happened to have 8am ring times! I spent most of the morning grooming Mitcham, or holding dogs for Mary or my friends Mike and Donna Johnson of Fargo, ND. Our judge was the same for both Briards and Cardigans and we had Jean Fournier. After every time Mitcham went around the ring Ms. Fournier would say something like "He is a beautiful boy" or "You know you have an excellent dog" or something along those lines. Every time I would politely say Thank you and continue on what she asked of me. She gave Mitcham WD again for another single point and I thought we may have it for Breed as the bitch special was acting up quite a bit and Mitcham was being an angel in the ring! But no luck. As I was leaving with my BOS ribbon Ms Fournier stopped me and told me that in time my boy would be spectacular and to find her again and show him to her!! That's the nicest thing yet I've heard from a judge and was just tickled and honored to have such high praise.
Justice was in the ring after about six other dogs and Ms Fournier then said. Wow! What a nice boy! You go from a lovely Briard to a wonderful table dog?. I replied "Thank you yes! Its so I don't have to run so much" :) To which she laughed. She must not have thought he was so wonderful as we didn't get the cross over again so that was a bummer for the "Juice Man" (Justice) .
Cynthia and I went over a small drawbridge across from the show site to a Chocolate Store. We had caramel apples that were drizzled and dipped in various toppings such as pecans, chocolate, chocolate chips, snickers, marshmallows, etc. They were worth every penny!
Mary and I snuck out and headed over to Grandma's Saloon and Bar and had a nice tall cold beer and some nachos. Then we watched groups and then headed out to supper at a place in Proctor, MN called BlackWoods. Famously good food!
After a night of listening to Barb's dogs bark, Mary and I were up very early and headed to the show. Mary finished her GSP bitch that weekend and got a point on our friends Vizla. Getting nothing on Sunday she left after helping me reglue Mitcham's ears and I sat around and waited for Justice to show. I didn't enter Mitcham on Sunday as I knew there would be no competition. Justice I was hoping for that cross over point but we didn't get it again and the handler (Frank Murphy's helper) apologized ever day they got the BOW ribbon. I told them not to worry about it, but it was still a nice thing to say.
Justice is really learning to like the showing and he is an awesome self stacker thanks in part to Wanda Bendinelli! Both boys are a joy to show and I couldn't be happier with them!
Many thanks to everyone who was there to make it a fun and enjoyable weekend! Between lots of laughs at Barb's house in the evenings to the jokes Paul and I shared during the day at the dog show, it was a riot! Also a big pleasure to meet more of Mary's GSP friends! I've heard about them but hadn't met them all until now!