Sunday, 18 September 2011

Fourth Best in Show

After we went to a Poodle Show last Saturday, we were inspired, so when we suddenly found out that there was going to be a show at the local kennel club today, we decided to show Edward. Obviously, we had no hope of winning anything, after all, he has had no show training whatsoever. We just thought it might be fun, and it would be interesting to hear what a judge's assessment of him.

- DON'T TOUCH MY FEET, I don't like that.
Edward had a thorough bath and blow dry yesterday, as well as getting his face and paws trimmed. Something he really hates. I don't know if he is ticklish or what, but he doesn't like us touching his paws at all, so using the clippers on them freaks him out. Tough, but it has to be done, and he is simply going to have to get used to it.

FLUFF BALL. - Are you sure I don't look too girly being fluffed up like this?
This morning we gave him a final brushing before we set off. As you can see, we are total amateurs. We don't have a fancy grooming table or combs or anything. We just put him on the kitchen table and use a normal hairbrush. In time I'm sure we'll acquire all sorts of grooming equipment, but for now we'll get by with what we have.

HELLOOO. - Doesn't anybody want to play with me?
We knew it was going to be an outdoor show, so we had brought warm jackets, comfortable camping chairs and a thermos full of hot tea. All of which we were glad to have as the rather cold autumn day progressed.
Edward always gets very excited when there are children and other dogs around, so he found it very difficult to understand why he couldn't run around and play with them. What's more, everybody was busy with their own dogs, so he got very little attention from people at all, which made him sulk a little.

LUCKY DOG. - I want a little pink girl too.
Edward was very jealous of this American Spaniel who had a little girl to walk around and play with.

FINALLY, a friendly dog who will spend a few moments with me.
When Hubby was walking Edward around the ground so that he could stretch his legs a bit, he talked to a woman with a huge mixed breed dog, mainly Rottweiler. She went on and on about how good and disciplined it was, but suddenly it attacked poor Eddie and bit him. Not seriously, but it was probably painful. Without going in to detail, let's just say that one of Edward's gonads looks a bit worse for wear. We'll have to watch that, in case it gets infected.

FASTER! I want to run.
As we had expected, Edward didn't perform all that well in the ring. Walking to heel is something he hasn't mastered yet. He is always in a hurry, no matter what direction we are going, and pulls hard on his lead. We had been out yesterday and bought him a brand new show lead, but that didn't help much.

HEY! What's going on over there?
Edward's greatest fear is missing out on something that's going on, so keeping him focused is very difficult. He always has an eye out for anything that might be happening elsewhere. It was the same today. There was so much to look at, that his attention was all over the place, instead of on what he was supposed to be doing in the ring.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING? - Who is this lady touching me all over?
Edward, who is usually thrilled to bits when meeting new people and will willingly submit to be petted by anyone, was for some reason a bit apprehensive about letting the judge examine him. However, he stood still and let her do her business.

WAITING for the judgement. - What does she think of me?
While waiting as the judge looked at all the other dogs, Eddie finally found his focus. He self-stacked beautifully and stood there so quiet and nice, but alas, the judge wasn't looking then.

BORING. - She is taking her time about it, isn't she?
This is what the judge had to say about Edward:

  • Elegant movements
  • Nice expression
  • Good chest
  • Needs more body mass
  • Good angles
  • Good ears
  • Correct bite
  • Nice lines

A PRIZE! Did I win something?
Since he was the only standard poodle that was being shown today, it was no great surprise that Edward won Best of Breed. Not a real victory then, but for us it was just fun to get a prize.

LOOKING POISED. - This little trifle? Oh, it was nothing really. 
Naturally we had to take a photo on this proud occasion, and Edward suddenly looked very regal wearing his red and gold prize.

For a few seconds anyway...

I WON, I WON, I WON, I WON!!!!!!!
Well, we though that was it. So you can imagine our surprise when we were called back for he Best in Show award, and even more so when Edward was picked out to be in the top four.

A REAL PRIZE. - I am recognized for my beauty at last.
He ended up at number four. The judge said he was a great representative for his breed, but he didn't perform well enough in the ring to get higher up. She would have liked to have seen him show off his attributes better.
We're not disappointed at all. If we can get to fourth place without training, then we have potential. Now we have a better idea of what to work with, so it's up to us to make an effort.

PROUD. - This is what I won today. I think I'll take that cup to bed with me. 
So now we're home and Eddie's back on the kitchen table with his winnings. Two prizes, a towel, four kilos of the best puppy food and a shiny little trophy.
It was a big day for Edward, and it was clear to see that he enjoyed all the commotion. Now he is totally crashed on the rug in front of the fireplace, sleeping blissfully and dreaming noisily. Probably about winning the BIS sometime in the future.

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