The Des Moines cluster again lived up to its tradition of being a noisy, chaotic show site with lots of diversions in the form of excellent vendors and warm chocolate chip cookies. We stayed dry in spite of a couple downpours on Friday and camping was quite excellent on Saturday night.
Phoenix appeared to have a fun time everywhere but in the ring and believe me, I’ve given that a good long thinking about. I want to get my thoughts in order before posting my plan to reinvent the wheel.
In the mean time, here’s a rundown of the weekend.
Marsha got to our house Friday morning and delivered my birthday present from her and Tammy. It’s one of those concrete alligators that come in three sections so you can put it in your flower bed and it looks like a ’gator is floating in there. Tammy painted it and it’s awesome, right down to the eyes. Can’t wait to get it put in my flowers for a few weeks until it starts to freeze at night, then it will have to “winter” in the house.
We drove to the show site and drug all our stuff in. Got perfect crating spots, close to the rings AND the cookie concession. Drove “up the hill” and set up my tent. Learned it works best if you actually open the valve when trying to inflate an air mattress. Really, I have camped before.
Friday afternoon was spent watching Paula and the poms, since it was multiple specialties only that day, not an all-breed show. It poured rain while we were still at the show building, then again later at the campground but we stayed dry, socializing with Paula and Tracy in their camper. I have serious camper envy.
Friday night was a bit rough. We were warm and dry in the tent but Jamie coughed all night. Not sure where that came from. His appetite and energy level were fine so I tried not to worry.
Saturday was classic Des Moines: showing, shopping, visiting and eating cookies (notice how I keep coming back to that?) Renee drove up from KC with a friend to show for the day. It’s always good to see my “separated at birth” sister.
We showed in Versatility and Wild Card Utility. Things did not go very well. Phoenix appeared to be relaxed and focused until we entered the ring, then all bets were off. The silly, happy dog I live and train with was replaced by a sullen, uncommunicative creature who did not particularly want any part of what we were doing. Sigh. Ate more cookies and went shopping.
Renee suggested perhaps Jamie was having a reaction to a local pollen and Benadryl might help. So I gave him one before bedtime and WOW! It totally helped. It also turned him into a very large pile of immobile tervuren. He was zonked. But he only coughed a couple of times and apparently got a very good night’s sleep.
So did Phoenix and I, if you don’t count being awake from 2 to 4 a.m. while trash collectors were emptying every Dumpster within 10 miles. And trains going through Des Moines (all 74 of them) had to sound their whistles. And policemen apprehended at least 50 criminals, all with sirens blaring.
Sunday went somewhat better. We managed a Versatility leg and second place in spite of the World’s Worst Glove #3 Turn In The History Of Obedience. I turned. Phoenix didn’t. We were now facing opposite directions and he did not seem particularly concerned by the situation. I signaled the glove while he was looking over his back and he managed a very credible retrieve. We also won Wild Card Utility although I can’t say it was a performance worth writing home about.
Once again, I drove home with my mind mulling over things that went right (there WERE some) and things that didn’t and what I can do about it.
Back to work this week and the reality that I have quite forgotten how to do my job after being out for 10 days.