Many of you know that I took our Freyja to her first competitive dog show last week. I am so proud of her, and honestly, bringing home that fourth place ribbon is really second to the experience that she and I were able to share. I was very proud of my girl, and the only thing that kept her from probably placing higher was MY inexperience as a handler. She went in with almost no grooming beyond a bath and some vigorous brushing. Sure, I will learn more each time, but to do as well as she did on her fist time out with us both being total amateurs, well, I am just super proud of her.
She was exhausted when it was over (as was I), and that is the thing you don’t really expect or anticipate. You can read about it and watch it on TV (if you really like that sort of thing). Yet, nothing prepares you for the exhaustion of a show. Also, our girl Freyja loves playing in the water and napping on the porch where it is cool. A light rain is heavenly to her. She was denied that simple joy for a couple of days. But now, it is over and starting to sink in.
I met some wonderful people and saw some beautiful dog like Brinkley pictured above. But there is a definite “pageant” side to the scene that is unfortunate. Just as in everything, the best and brightest did not always win. There were some instances where I would have done a spit-take if I’d been sipping anything when the winner was pointed out by the judge. You would not think (at least as a novice with no clue) that there could be SO MUCH political stuff at a show like this, but since it is one of the five biggest in the nation, I guess it is part of the “big leagues” in the Dog Show world.
The Westminster Newfie representative was present (pictured above), and I will admit that it was a beautiful dog. However, when I saw the handler slap the dog in the face twice to get his attention before taking their lap around the ring…I had to bite my tongue. I had a woman behind me in the ring where Freyja got her ribbon who yanked and jerked on her puppy’s leash, speaking to the dog like a thing, and not a beloved and beautiful Newfie with a heart of gold. If that is what it takes to win, Freyja and I will forever be bridesmaids.
Yes, we want to compete, and as a competitor, I love to win and hate to lose as anybody who has played any sport with me will attest. However, when Freyja and I were in the ring, I just told her over and over how beautiful she was and how proud I was of her. I told her that I had her back and that she didn’t need a blue ribbon to be the most beautiful girl in the ring.
I will be going to more of these. And if you want to follow Freyja, simply check her out on Facebook. We will keep you posted on her shows and share the experiences with any who are interested. Or…maybe you just think she is cute and you need an occasional Newfie fix. So, feel free to follow her and share in the adventure.
On a closing note, my merchandise is active now with more coming. You can pop over to the “SHOP” tab and it will take you right to my page! So, rock some DEAD or Ava gear, send me pics, and you might be featured in some of my upcoming posts. (Plus you will have my undying gratitude for helping to “spread the infection.”