I am very carefully trying to contain myself because a week from today I will be in Chattanooga, TN for the 2009 Great Dane National Specialty!!!! I will be going without the dogs this year to soak things in and have a good ole time, but next year both dogs will be coming along to AR and competing in the performance events.:)
The host hotel is just really amazing looking! We're staying at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. There are three different pools, a trolley within the hotel, a restaurant with singing waiters, and all sorts of fantastic things located inside the hotel itself! And then there's the events and seminars!!
On Mon. and Tue. mornings I'm doing the Breeder Education ringside mentoring during the futurity. I'm really excited about this! Both mornings I'll be sitting ringside with a mentor who will be talking about the conformation of the different puppies in the futurity classes. Afterwards there's a hands on session to better demonstrate what we'll be talking about and so that I can learn to get a "feel" for how things should go together. This is a really important part about being involved in any breed is to understand your breed standard, how to apply the specifics, and to understand why the standard was written the way it was with function in mind. Many people have the misguided assumption that conformation shows are just about how the dog looks. This is true in that it's how the dogs build comes together to permit it to do the function that it was bred for and look the way it looks. However, it's a lot more than just a pretty dog. You need the right head, the right neck, the right shoulder assembly, the right top line, the right rear with the correct angles, and soooooooo many other little tiny things that I'm starting to learn about, to make that dog move correctly and be able to do what it was bred to do. As the saying goes, form follows function!
I'm also going to pop by the Rally ring in between events so that I can watch some of that on Mon.
Tue. afternoon I'll be attending the Performance Dane seminar given by Kathy McHugh. Another great seminar that I'm really looking forward to! It's very exciting to have the opportunity to be in a seminar about performance DANES with a bunch of people who are all going through different things with the same breed. It's going to be really great to not be the minority in the crowd and to actually have someone talking about danes specifically and not have constant reminders of how border collies or aussies do things.:)
Obedience is also on Tue. at the host hotel. I'm going to go and watch some of that before I head off to the futurity judging and the mentoring since obedience starts at 8am and I don't have to be to the futurity ring until 9am.:)
Wed. is agility day!! Yay!! I'm going to be catching a ride with a friend out to the trial site. This is the one event that they unfortunately couldn't hold at the host hotel. Understandable considering the size of the space that you need and the kind of footing that you want for the dogs. I will also be helping out and gate stewarding for the trial. It is going to be sooooo amazing to see all these great danes from all across the US competing in agility and NO OTHER BREED!!
Wed. night is also the Top 20 dinner and judging. While I haven't bought any of the meal plans and wasn't really sure which of the dinners I would attend if any, I think this is one that I want to go to. And we even get to get a little dressed up!
Things slow down a bit on Thur. and that's when the non-futurity judging begins and my plans open up a bit. I am going to be paying special attention to the brindle boys showing up this year to see if any would make good potential lover boys for Bess.;) And it just so happens that we were able to put enough peer pressure on Bess' breeder, Georgia, that she'll be attending the national now too! So I can hopefully get her take on any of the boys that catch my eye and see what she thinks. She'll have the final say so in any breeding plans for Bess.
Fri. is more conformation judging and another more laid back day. And then I head out Sat. afternoon. I get back home in time to clip and bathe Bess, because we've got a dog show that Sun.! It's going to be a very busy week, but I so can't wait!!!
Today was an otherwise pretty lazy day with the dogs. I slept in super late and then headed off to the wonderful Sleigh Bells for some additional pieces to our Halloween village. Once I got back home I started taking out our Halloween decorations and came across some little toys that I got from years past as amusing ways to torment the dogs. I know, I'm a bad mommy, but the dogs have gotten pretty desensitized to moving inanimate objects now. Heffner rarely reacts to them, but I was able to get him going today (probably because real life cats that his and growl at him also get him going!)!
You can compare that video to an older one of Heffner and another dane that was staying with us for a few months (that's a very long story), named Taylor, playing with the exact same toy.
And just one more tormenting the dogs video!