It's Show Day!
Getting prepped for the dog show
Many people have wanted to know what the process is for getting ready for a show. Well, here it is, Thursday, and we show at 12:30 Saturday in Shelton, which, near as I can figure, is somewhere after the place that Columbus watched fall off of the edge of the flat-world.
The first thing to remember about going to shows is: Have somewhere to stay. Do not expect to call three days before you need to be there and find a place waiting for you with open arms. It wont happen. You may get offered the Janitors smoking closet, the park across the street and a tarp, or standing room in the lavetory (along with 10 or 12 of your best dog-show cronies who also came unprepared). Rooms book fast! If you think you are going- book now, apologize later!
Second: Remember your dog. First timers tend to omit this instruction and find themselves turning around somewhere outside of Tacoma, Washington and going back for dear old Spot. May I just remind you- SPOT IS THE SHOW! It doesn't matter if you have found a darling outfit from Value Village that you are just sure the judge will love- without Spot, you will not be put us as best of Show. It's never happened (well, Christmas 1941 in Podunk, Ill- but that was a fluke, the miraboo around the bottom of her skirt looked like a maltese to the near-sighted judge. Hence the Miraboo Banning Ordinance in Podunk.) and it won't happen to you. Bring the Dog!
Finally, do your prepwork. Get gas in the car, bathe the dog, blow dry the dog and comb him out, check his nails: are they short? Check his ears? clean? Stray hair? Check his teeth? Any extras? Now put him somewhere where he won't get dirty. Feed him well, practice lead time with him (that is walking him on a show lead) also- since your not stressing at all! Ha! Stack him on the new and very expensive stacking table you purchased and have used rarely since you got him. Oh look, is he confused? Unfamiliar? And wait... out of the corner of your eye you spy the fact that Survivor Gaboon is on TV. You're torn.... you need not be. Bring the stacking table and dog over to the couch. Stack him and just let him hang out while you are watching Survivor. He'll relax on the table and you'll relax about the schedule. Keep a hand on him so he doesn't do a spiderman off of the table. He's your show dog, remember? Oh, and now is time to check out that show outfit you got from Goodwill- a word about outfits: Don't try to outshine your dog. Not cool. Put away the gold lame and bring out some classic lines. Evening dresses are definitely out and wildly colored blazers- well, you have to earn that right. Don't just show up on the scene as a newbie in one of those.
A final word to the wise: You will forget, lose, misuse bait (bait is the thing you show your dog to make him turn into an attentive Lassie-like canine in the ring) so look for the nearest open grocery store as you are mapping out your route. Oh, do map out your route- don't wait till in the morning to follow people with dog crates in the car. Recently, there have been a rash of Tanya Harding like incedences where people without dogs have been placed in hotels in order to lure off the real exhibitors so that they never make it to the shows. We don't know who's behind this, or even if it is a vicious rumor, but at the Bandon show, I ended up following an SUV that said I "heart" chows, all the way to Disneyland without realizing it. If you ask me, it was suspicious.
Remember, if you make it to the show, with your dog, on time. Find out what ring you are in by looking in the program, go to that ring, and check in (ask the ring steward for number). Put it on your left arm with two rubberbands. Your dog should have been brought in in his comfortable crate and now, all you have to do short of taking him out, walking him around and fluffing him up- is fly-swatting the butterflies which have turned into Mothra inside your stomach.
Good luck and remember- it's just a dog show.