Friday, July 31, 2009

Progression of a Baby Show Dog

  • First Attempt: First Time in the ring, less than 24 hours after First Time being stuffed in a sherpa bag and First Time flying. First Time waiting for the 800 collies ahead of us to finish showing in a building that felt like it was 100 degrees so we could get a photo. First Time trying to get Baby Show Dog just to stand on all fours, let alone look like she wants to be there. sigh.

Laura and Janet can attest to the twenty minutes (or so it seemed) that it took to get Darby to stand up and stand still. The photographer was very patient, and I finally told her to just take any photo, and when I asked if Darby looked half way decent, the photographer said, "Not Really, but" and then tossed the toy to get Darby's attention and snapped the photo. I think that photo experience was more stressful than the travel to get to Florida!

  • Second Attempt: Oh, so much better. This time around, Darby was already best friends with the other Vallhunds showing, and Cheryl, Kevin, and Lisa (with puppy Rogue) were all around to help set the stage! Everything is better when you have friends around to help! I wish I had remembered to flip her tail up, though.
  • Third Attempt: After four long days in Texas, we only had to wait for about 200 Pems to show before this photo opportunity. By now, Darby was ready to get out of her show clothes and get back home. I was not keen on a table photo, because the table is not Darby's favorite place to be. However, the photographer was convinced it had to be a table photo (someone told me once that Cardigans look better on the floor, and I really believe it-with Vallhunds too), so I said OK. In true Vallhund fashion, Darby felt it necessary to post, lean back, and look thoroughly unhappy about the entire situation. ;-) But we won't complain, it could have been worse, and we could have lost and not gotten the points at all!
Just looking at the photos, the first two were Darby at 6 months 9 days old, and 6 months 11 days old. The photo from Texas is Darby at 7 months 2 days old. Oh what a difference a month makes. She looked like such a sweet baby in the photos from Florida. In the last photo, I am starting to see a glimmer of naughty in her eye, and that scares me! :-) Oh, and Michelle, seriously, what was up with my hair in the Texas photo?? Did you think to tell me it was going in about a thousand different directions? Or were you just too anxious to get the heck outta Texas?

Reality Hits! Further Confirmation

And now the photo proof that all the "Show Stuff" is in fact, packed up and ready to go to Topeka, here it is blocking the stairs leading to the attic. I spent the weekend stuffing bags, packing and labeling, organizing and gathering things to take out to the host hotel sometime this week. I have printed, cut, tied with ribbon, and sewn more in the last few weeks than I have in years! It's been fun in a stressful, how am I going to get this all done in time kind of way. :-)
Oh dear, it's not just a dream (or nightmare, depending on the day)! In just 12 short days, the Swedish Vallhund National Specialty will begin. And as I told Summer (co-chairing with me), we are driving this boat, so whether it sinks or is smooth sailing, it'll be on us! I don't know what comes over me on those rare days when I think it'll be fun to volunteer to put on a specialty...

But Wednesday, entries closed, and today, the numbers are officially posted. We are, in fact, having a specialty! And yes, that's actually a pretty high number for a Vallhund specialty. I think 35 is about the largest specialty to date, but don't quote me on it!

38 SWEDISH VALL 8-7- 10-6

So now it's there in black and white, there really will be a specialty in just a couple of weeks. I've been quite crafty the last week, trying to pay attention to small details and make sure all of our exhibitors feel welcome.

Now then, who is going to drop in next week sometime and help me get those exhibitor goodie bags stuffed with all our freebies??? And then could you drop it all off at the host hotel for me? Don't all volunteer at once. :-)

I think I need the sweatshirt on obedience friend has, it says, "Somebody stop me before I volunteer again!"

It will be fun, it will be fun, it will be fun, it will be fun...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bring It

I'm baaaaaa-aaack. If you stupid puppies think you are going to take over my space on this blog, you've got another think comin'.
And now... It's ON! OK, Darby, get limber, shake it out, loosen up.
Get ready, get set,
And BOING! Tah-dah!

I can bounce off the humans,

And Up, Up, Up,

and a full twist in mid-air.

Oh yea, take THAT, stupid puppies... Don't even try to top THIS English Muffin.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oops, Sorry Darby!

The puppies return!

The babies are 4 weeks old and obviously up and running. :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I mean, whatever, I guess puppies are cute, but can we please bring this back to me? I'm calling the shots around here. I know this is Hawk's blog, but if you ask him, I'm sure he'll be the first to admit that the day I moved in, I took over as the Vallhund in Charge. So, if we can keep the topics to Me, Me, and Me, that'll be perfect.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Hawklets! The Hawklets!

NO words necessary, they are 3 weeks old in these photos, and I'm completely in love!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Did I Do Good, Mom?

Corval's Bless Yer Cot'n Socks - "Darby" smiling after someone told her she's now got 10 points and both majors. Yes, Darby, you did good! Even with the Skyla slobber spiking the fur on your neck, you acted like a real Baby Show Dog, and you did your best. Thanks for behaving on the road to Texas, at the show, riding in the tow truck, hanging out at the car dealership, and then trying your best to behave on the long trek back home. That was a lot to ask of a puppy who just turned 7 months old while we were visiting San Antonio.

The many faces of Darby while waiting on our van at the Lone Star Chrysler dealership in Cleburne, Texas.
1. Cricket Hunter. It was very important work to rid the showroom of a wayward cricket. Darby took this job very seriously. I thought it was ironic when the pest control company arrived an hour later to spray chemicals. I thought their timing was bad, Darby had already done their job for them.
2. Good Sleeper. After hunting crickets and terrorizing the purple lobster for a while, a nap is a good idea for a Baby Show Dog. Darby was very dramatic about laying down frog-dog, then flipping to her side, then stretching all her legs and neck with a groan, and then flopping into sleep. Life would be boring without Darby's antics.
3. Papillon Socializer. We had been waiting at the dealership for almost two hours to hear the verdict on the van. I was starting to get restless, thinking about how many hours I still had to drive to get home, and Darby had used up almost every ounce of good behavior she had in her. Then a lady came in with her Pap puppy (the little blur in the photo!), and it was a much-needed distraction. I made Darby lay down so she didn't smush the little dog, and then the Pap was just dashing around and in front, smacking with her little paws trying to get Darby to play. It was so much fun to watch the pups together and it made everything OK.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

San Antonio, The Good and the Bad News

The trip to San Antonio was great fun... Until today.

Michelle and Skyla, Hawk, Darby and I all loaded in the van and drove late Thursday night toward San Antonio. We stayed the first night in Waco, and then drove into San Antonio late Friday morning. Vallhunds showed at 3pm, and only Hawk and Darby were entered. They showed well, and Hawk was Best of Breed, and he showed really nice in the group.

Saturday, we had another late ring time. Michelle and I ventured over to the Mercado Mexican Market in the morning, and we strolled down the stone market streets, got a fresh flatbread sandwich from a street vendor, and enjoyed the sounds of street musicians.Oh, and we also promptly bought sombreros for the dogs! Hawk was much more cooperative than Darby for the sombrero modelling.

When the Vallhunds finally showed at 3pm on Saturday, Darby went Winners Bitch for another 2 points. The major broke on Saturday, so no major available. She showed well, and Hawk showed well for me also. He won Best of Breed, and again showed nicely in the group.

Saturday night, Michelle and I walked down to the Riverwalk and ate at The Original Mexican restaurant on the river. It was really nice to experience the city a bit, even though it's stifling hot in Texas!

This morning, Vallhunds showed early, and the bitch major held! So, Darby strutted her stuff, and she won the 3 pt major, and also went BOW. Hawk was Best of Breed again, although we were a circus in the ring. Because Darby likes to race and chase Hawk during BOB (those who saw her in Vermillion and Sedalia know the scene!), today I stayed showing Darby, and I sent Hawk in with Sherri, since he knows her so well and shows great for her. Well, Hawk was looking for me, Darby was looking for Hawk, I was trying to hide from Hawk and keep Darby from looking for Hawk, and Sherri was trying to keep Hawk's yap shut. How we managed to eek out the BOW for Darby and BOB for Hawk, I may never know, but thankfully Hawk got it together to show for Sherri with all his family in the ring with him.

The good news for Darby is that she's got 10 points and both majors, all at the age of 7 months, 1 day old. I'm so proud of how she's adapted to life at our house, and going to dog shows. Hawk is really rusty not having been shown at all this year (other than Westminster), and I haven't shown him in forever, so I was thrilled to win the breed with him the first two days, and I was happy to see him loving being back with Sherri for showing today.

Michelle and I left San Antonio around 1:30 pm and headed back toward Kansas City. Traffic was awful, two lanes of stop/go, stop/go, and then five minutes of normal speeds, then traffic again. We drove for almost 4 hours and still were only about 150 miles north of San Antonio when the car began to have trouble. Thankfully we were right at an exit, and a 7-eleven right at the end of the ramp. Tow service dropped us in a town called Cleburne, Texas, with a Chrysler dealership right down the street. We are settled in at the Days Inn, and I'll have the van looked at first thing in the morning. With 104 degree heat, even the tow driver said it was too dangerous to chance driving farther, because if the van started acting up again, we might be miles from an exit, and things could be worse.

So, think good automotive thoughts for tomorrow, and I'll make a note to self: no more Texas dog shows for me! Two years ago, I had trouble with the old van while driving to the Lubbock shows. ugh.

Off to bed, and will be hoping for good van news in the morning. And another note is that Michelle is such a good sport, and while I'm sorry she's stuck in Texas another day, I'm glad she has been here to help me this weekend, and she definitely is calm in a crisis, something I'm definitely NOT!