Sunday, March 28, 2010

California, We Knew Ye Well......

So, as I write this, the whole dang thang is over. Over, I tell you. Finished. The Arena is empty.....Well, save for a few x-pens and used sawdust and the empty tables. After all this planning, I'm thinking that many of us will be experiencing post partum blues in one facet or another.

I haven't posted in a few days. Misplaced my camera and truly did not have any time left over last night to write.

Thursday was Conformation Day for Prosper, and that day seems to be mostly a blur. It went Fast! Our ring time was there before we knew it, and Nancy McDonald and I were literally running to the Ready Ring, brushing and fluffing. Prosper did quite well in the group. He moved out really well in that big ring, and I gave him the lead to stretch out and run.

But we didn't even get a look. I didn't Like this part of the trip. Let it suffice to say, that I am beginning to realize his limitations at this point, and have decided to put him on a shelf for a year or so, meanwhile playing Agility and Dance and (maybe) Obedience until we see how he grows out.,

This was a tough decision to make, lemme tell ya. Because EVERYone wants to believe that THEIR dawg is the Best in Show.   Especially dogs like Prosper who are so delightful and animated.

Friday was another day, and my friend Judy Cummings took High in Trial at the Obedience Ring with her Legendhold dog, Tavish.

Prosper and I took a few walks thru the fairgrounds, and found a lovely place with a huge cactus!

Further up the hill, well.....itsa nice place to take a poo....I apologize for the picture, but, well, even showdawgs need to go....

That afternoon, we were scheduled for Rally Advanced. But the wait was long. It was really, really long and waiting is really really boring, Mom....

Someone saw us "waiting" on the floor like this, and thought it photoworthy....I handed them MY camera too.

He's really a very delicious cuddlebee....
Now....Prosper finished his Rally Novice back in October, and, truly, we have not done much practice at all. He is NOT ready for Rally Advanced, but it is the ONLY class that he could even come Close to qualifying, so, it being the NATIONals and all.....I entered him.

He truly WAS the "entertainment of the day," and I DON't think the judge was very amused. But the onlookers were, and were actually charmed by his snapping and "wide" circles and "go outs."

Here's a few nice shots that Brenda took.

This is "Stop, Stand your dog. Walk Around your dog." He did this very nicely.

Dog sits at heel. Handler turns one step to right, then calls dog to heel.

Dog jumps over hurdle, handler passes by. NOT a problem. He even allowed me to "collect" him after the jump.

And some signs need a little coaxing....Yes, those are golden sandals.  It's CALIFornia, after all! Ya just can't wear Anyoldthang in the ring!
Yes, we DID qualify, earning our very first Rally ADVANCED leg at the Nationals. Our scores were not stellar by any means, in fact, I guess you could say that we were "low in trial."  But, hey! he stayed With me, for the most part (remember, this is OFF LEAD), and he made everybody laugh and smile. Prosper does that to people.....You just gotta grin when you see him.

We didn't finish Rally until after 5 pm. Yeh....Waiting is a big part of Rally. But we got to visit with a lot of folks, and I made a few new friends, met some old ones. Joan Johnson from BluRidge Collies had one of her dogowners in the ring for Rally. They did a Stellar job in Rally Excellent!

The Collie Health Foundation needed us to do a run to the Apple Store in L.A., so Brenda and I took my car and went to the mall about 15 miles away. Enroute (we were in rush hour traffic, btw), I drove in highways that had over ELEVEN lanes going Each way!! (make that 22 total!). We were Nutz by the time we arrived back at the hotel! Nutz, but Bigger, and Braver and More Experienced!

Saturday morning began with a head trim for James and more fluffing and puffing. Connie Growsky (Maureen Growsky, McMaur's Collies, daughter) was so gracious to offer to trim him, and did a beautiful job, taking care of places I had notched and chopped. I loved watching her groom! She got that "glazed" look in her eye very similar to the one that my artist friend Joanne gets when she holds a paintbrush...A very "zen" moment for Connie, holding those shears in her hands.

This morning is the Shining Star Award. Didn't really amount to much, but we did get a chance to walk around the ring together. I took the leash off James and put him on the right side (so he was closest to the audience), and we paraded proudly around.

Next came a nice lunch outside with Maureen and Connie Growsky. We got takeout from the hotel, and sat under the palm trees while we ate. Lovely moment.

Best of Variety judging came next, and Carl Williford was the judge. He looked so nice in his tuxedo (tho I teased him later about wearing navy socks), and ran the ring with efficency and accuracy. He was quick and decisive, and quite discerning.

Here's a few pictures:

John Buddie and Gayle Kaye's Coco Chanel.

John, after he'd helped the person in front of him with some grooming.....He is such a kind man.

This lady has shown this dog to championship in her wheelchair. Does a nice job, too. 

But this picture is my very favorite of the WHOLE TRIP. The Collie is 12. I think the handler is in her 70's.

I sneaked up into the Press Box and got this view.  Carl's sisters were up there, and I went up there and talked to them a minute. They are so Proud of their Baby Brother.

Debbie Holland's Fantasy's Rising Dragon won the Best in Show. I think this was a good choice. Beautiful dog and moves out well. Louie, they call him.

The place is beginning to clear out tonight. By the time I am posting this, it will be completely empty.

It has been a very nice National. NOT without its pointed edges, certainly, but allinall, a wonderful event. I learned a lot. Made a lot of friends. Realized a lot about myself. And spent Way too much money!

Tomorrow I head even further West, and drive out to Santa Barbara to visit my friend and Animal Communicator Barbara Janelle (see She has invited me and the boyz to spend the night in her guest house. I cannot Wait to see her! What a precious, Positive soul she is. I think it will be a very fitting cap to this incredible journey.

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