Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weekend Re-cap

Oy, what a weekend! We headed up to the general Seattle area on Friday for the Seattle Kennel Club dog show. Kim was super nice and let us stay at her house again. Once we got the dogs and ourselves settled in, we had a few glasses of wine and chatted for a bit. I had been forewarned that this show tends to be a bit of a zoo. There's a fair amount of promotion done for the show to encourage spectators (I have a strong suspicion it has to do with the fact that they charge admission for this show) and that creates a few issues for the exhibitors that I was about to witness first hand the next day. But first, I have to explain our lovely sleepless night.

Greer and I were sharing a bed in one of Kim's guest bedrooms. I had set up the big crate that I did the repair job on as a sort of extra bed for the dogs to use and we were just going to leave both of the girls loose in the room. Previously, I brought a comforter along with me to put over the top of the bed so that Bess could sleep with me on the bed. She VERY much preferred this and routinely showed me by jumping up onto the bed and casting longing looks at the bed whenever I was sitting on it. There just wasn't enough room for two people and two danes on this bed though. So both girls were sleeping on the floor. Greer brought in Mia's bed for her to sleep on, but Mia decided that the crate was going to be her bedroom. I think Bess preferred the crate, but wasn't about to oust Mia. So instead she stood and paced a little while before settling down and we turned off the lights. And then the fun began!

For the next few HOURS Bess would get up at least once an hour and come over to me for some snuggles. The first time, I thought it was cute and even though I knew what she really wanted, I wasn't about to cave in and I figured that she'd give up once she realized this. Nope. She just stuck around. So finally I told her to go lay down and she did. The next time she just draped her next across mine. And hung out there. Until I told her again to go lay down. That happened a few more times with me getting more irritated. Finally, Bess just jumped up onto the bed and immediately lay down as though I couldn't make her get off the bed. But I did. This whole time Mia was being really good and just hung out in the crate even though the door was open. Then about 3:30am Mia needed to go potty. Greer took her out and she did her thing. Then they came back and neither of the girls really settled down after that until the alarm went off around 6:00am. I was bound and determined to ignore the dogs and try to garner as much sleep as I possibly could. So we started off the day with not a whole lot of sleep.

After we got vehicles loaded up with dogs and crates, we headed off the show grounds. And that's when I realized exactly what they meant by it being a zoo. This is a dog show where they seriously cater more towards the spectators, to the point where it is almost an inconvenience to be an exhibitor. First of all, the crating space around the rings is roughly half that of what is available at Rose City, and crating space gets pretty tight there. So getting spots and setting up crates was interesting. Secondly, the seating that they have for the spectators is only on two sides of the rings and instead of chairs they have bleachers. The bleachers aren't actually a bad idea. However, there really are only two sides of the rings that you're actual able to watch anything from. Which means that there's a whole lot of people crammed into those specific areas. On Saturday, I hadn't even realized that the danes had already gone into the ring because I couldn't see the ring AT ALL and I was only standing about 10 ft. from the ring entrance. There were about 10 packed rows of people in front of me. THAT, is a bit annoying. And I'm not the only one who was annoyed. You really had to be actually rude in order to get through the throngs of people ringside just so that you could get close enough to the entrance with your dog to make sure you were there when your number was called. I'm actually surprised that everyone was able to make it into the ring without some misses.

The other unfortunate thing were the amount of parents' who brought their kids along and just let them run amok, literally running up to any old random dog to pet it or worse, give it a hug. You do NOT let a small child run up to a dog you don't know at all and give it a hug! With the amount of people milling around and the amount of stress that everyone was under, it is not unreasonable to imagine that many dogs would snap at that. Especially ones who are not used to small children. I just really don't know what possesses people to be so careless and put their children at risk like that. It's just plain dumb! I'm totally fine with people coming up with their kids while their holding their hands and asking to pet Bess. If they ask beforehand, I will let them pet her. If they don't ask and just coming rush up. I pull Bess out of the way and immediately tell the parents' that it's really not a good idea to let their child run up to an unfamiliar dog, especially one the size of a great dane, without first asking to pet or approach it. Most people are understanding when you say it nicely to them. I just don't understand why on earth they don't think of that in the first place!!! ARG!

Anyhow, after a pretty hectic day at the show, we went back to Kim's to relax a bit before we headed over to Ken's house for a WONDERFUL dinner! Oh my goodness the food was so good! We had lots of fun sitting around and talking about dogs, drinking a little wine, and eating some yummy food. There was a bit of an incident with starting a fire in the fire place and not having the flue actually opened, but I think that the smoke added a nice rustic aroma to the place!

Night #2 at Kim's went much smoother than the first night. I put Bess in the big crate and zipped her in there. Mia was loose, but she slept for most of the night. I think she slept until 4-4:30am before wanting out to go potty. Then we packed everything up and headed out for day #2 of the dog show. I was steeling myself for another crazy day, but thankfully it wasn't quite as bad. I was actually able to watch the danes in the ring when I wasn't ferrying a dog up to the entrance and the spectators weren't quite as thick. Unfortunately Bess didn't do anything either day. She won her class on Saturday and took second today. Oh well.

After danes were done, we packed everything up and started driving home! When we stopped at Greer's house, they were nice enough to let Bess come play in their back yard for a bit to stretch her legs after the long drive. Bess got to meet Mia's greyhound brother Sully and they all got to run around and have a good time. It was pretty cute!

And at the moment I have quite a headache that no amount of Advil seems to dulling, a girl dog who is crashed out on the couch after the crazy weekend, and one overly bored boy dog who can't seem to get ANYONE to play with him. So I'm going to head off and see what I can do about that. I hope everyone had a great weekend!


Emma Rose said...

That sounds like quite a memorable weekend! I'm with you about the kids touching strange dogs. I would not be as nice as you were. Those parents don't seem to understand the danger they put the kids in AND the dog in. What would happen to our dogs if they bit a child? In a case like that everyone is a victim. I shudder to think about it.
Anyway, great post. I enjoyed reading it!

Crystal said...

Ooooooh loose children... hate them. Pet stores, even walks around the neighborhood aren't safe, either. I once had a child come up and LAY DOWN ON my dog. The parent didn't apologize or say anything to me... bizarre.

kiwichick said...

Loose kids really scare me too. My dog would of nipped if they had come up to him like that. I won't go to places like that for that very reason. Not worth it.