Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jan. 22-Lisa's Musings (from the dog show) and Every Day Life

Up at 6:15 a.m.

Today, I had the last laugh.

Driver, my Toller puppy, had just curled himself around my head and settled in for a few more hours sleep when ... it was time to get up for his first real AKC dog show.

My friend arrived at 7:30 a.m. and it was off to Novi to the Rock Financial Showplace.

Had a terrific judge who loved all over my little guy, which, of course, sent him into a tail-wagging, face-licking frenzy.

He left the ring with not one or two or even three, but four ribbons. Including Best of Breed.

OK, I must admit, he was the ONLY Toller showing, but still. He could have been excused. Or something.

Hours later, we headed into a special sporting group ring for all the Best of Breed Puppies in the group. There were 16 of them. And, we were supposed to have the same judge as the morning, but there was a change and we ended up with another judge.

One who wasn't quite as amused by Driver's licking and wiggling. Come on, lady, he's a PUPPY.

Go with it.

But, he was a good boy otherwise.

From there we headed to the big, big, big, Sporting Group ring (big in size and big in numbers of dogs) to compete against all the other Best of Breed dogs in the group.

You know, the ones who have been doing this forever.

And, are trained to stand and eat food.

Driver's in the learning stages.

He's a PUPPY.

And is at a disadvantage because he's got me on the end of the leash.

Not a professional handler who knows what they are doing and has done it a million times.

Both Driver and I are new to this conformation stuff. He more so than me, but, at best, I'm a novice.

I'm a performance person -- agility, obedience, that sort of thing.

Not so good at stand, look pretty and eat food.

But, when it got to be our turn. We were ready ... he was positioned properly, looking very handsome and Toller-ish until the judge from the morning opened her mouth to talk to him AGAIN.

Wiggle, tail wag. wiggle-wiggle, lots of tail wagging.

What's an owner supposed to do?

Super nice judge laughs, kisses him on the head, says wonderful things about him and admits the error in her ways.


And no, we didn't place in the huge group of trained dogs. All of which stood there and did everything right.

But who had the most fun in the ring?

My 11-month-old puppy. The judge even came up to me later and said how much she enjoyed (and had fun) judging my puppy.

Fun. Isn't this what showing dogs are supposed to be about?

And ya win some and ya lose some.

But in the end, they are just dog shows.

And they are supposed to be fun.

Both Driver and I have a lot of that today.

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