Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Here I go, posting adorable pictures of Ruthie already starting to gear up for her Christmas torment, er, fun times, and then I go MIA for a few days. All I can say is that summer time is a busy time and the days go by all too fast. And work is a bit crazy. Then again, that does seem to be our new norm. But back to the dogs.;0)

I got the official thumbs up from Adam that my planned trip with the danes to the great dane national specialty this year is a go. But I have to admit that I'm having a bit of a dilemma. When I went in 2009, it was AWESOME! I got to see and experience a whole lot of things and since I didn't bring the big dogs, I didn't have to worry about them being stuck in the hotel room while I was out watching conformation for 10 hours a day. At the time, it really got me fired up to actually make it to a national specialty with both of my danes so that I could have the experience with them and also because I'm just proud of them both. Now, I do have to admit that I'm weighing the merits of going with the dogs. Here are the points in favor of going without the dogs:

1) I wouldn't have to take as much time off of work because I could fly to the specialty.

2) I'd save money on gas and wear and tear on my truck by not driving to Litchfield Park, AZ.

3) I'm slightly worried about how Heffner will do with the potential warm weather when our weather will be definitely cooler by then (beginning of November).

4) Obedience and rally are not exactly going terribly well for us right now. I'd have Heffner entered in Rally Excellent and Beginner Novice for obedience. My expectations are low since I don't view him as my "competitive dog," and I'm totally fine with that. But it's a lot of time and money to be spent on a lack luster performance when I know that he'll be distracted by all the other danes, especially any intact males. I also don't think that Bess' obedience ring related problems will be "fixed" by the beginning of November. It's probably a bit of a stretch to hope for that. And do I really want to take her into the ring if I'm not totally confident in the out come of our performance?

5) Watching hours upon hours of anything at the specialty will not be a possibility because I will be preoccupied with how the dogs are doing being crated in the hotel room. Not to mention, I just wouldn't want to leave them for very long.

6) The drive. I am concerned about the temperatures on the drive and more importantly how it will be for the dogs in the canopy of the truck. I don't know the area along the route well at all and pulling both dogs into the air conditioned cab would be a serious undertaking that I'm not entirely convinced would even be possible without taking out the front seat.

7) Agility. I'm not sure how Heffner will run if the temperatures are warm. I am not entirely confident yet that Bess has worked out her kinks in the agility ring. I'll find out a little more in a few weeks after the trial I've got her entered in, but right now I'm not totally sure.

8) I would be spending Halloween and the weekend preceding Halloween away from home. While I don't necessarily have a problem with that, Adam hasn't realized yet what the actual dates are that I would be gone.

Here are the points in favor of going with the dogs:

1) Road trip with friends!! I do love road trips. Especially when I get to bring the dogs. I LOVE getting to sleep with them on the bed with me. And the people I would be following are good friends who I don't get to see enough of.

2) This is as far west as the national specialty will get for I think another 7 years. I can't remember how many regions there are, but I think there's seven. The location rotates each year.

3) This would most likely be Heffner's last chance to compete at a national specialty. He'll be almost six for this year's (how'd that happen???) and I don't foresee travelling across the country with him for competitions beyond this year.

4) The opportunity to compete in performance sports with nothing but great danes is pretty awesome!

5) I'm pretty sure that by the time the specialty comes around, I will NEED at least two weeks off from work.

6) As lame as it may seem, I REALLY want the dogs to have a national specialty Parades ribbon!

So yeah, it's going to take some thinking to decide on this one. Regardless, I'm going, I'm going to have a fantastic time, and I will get to see lots of fantastic people and dogs!!


Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

Ugh. It can never be easy, can it?

I totally sympathize with you. I'm bringing Layla this year, but my aunt is also coming. She likes dog shows but I think she'll be bored after a week of only Malamutes. Not only do I have to contend with keeping Layla happy in the hotel room, I also have to consider my aunt. No watching conformation for ten hours for me, either.

I would bring them to the National. If it's a 7 year rotation, who knows when they'll be able to go again. Yes, your obedience/rally/agility might not be where you'd like, but you'll be surrounded by Dane people who will understand. It'll be a great atmosphere to practice.

If the Nationals were closer, I'd say to go alone. Ours are an 8 year rotation which sucks. But there's more of a chance that you will be able to go alone at some point in those 7 years than to take the dogs with you to a far away National.

Plus, like you said, get the National Parade ribbon! I'm doing that with Layla this year too. I didn't do it in 2009 (also the only year I've attended one) but that was before I knew there were ribbons involved.

Either way, whichever you choose, it's a National so you'll have a blast!

brooke said...

I vote for taking the dogs! Or maybe just take one of them if that would make things a little easier?

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

Well it sounds to me that you are lamenting on the opportunity you would be missing out on, rather than really wanting to bring the dogs and compete...

At least it's a win-win for you and the dogs. if they go you'll have fun and if they don't go you'll have fun and they won't know what they've missed and wouldn't care anyways.