Monday, September 13, 2010

First time for everything

A really successful show weekend in Petaluma this weekend! Normally I wouldn't post about individual show weekends, unless it's a specialty and we were super successful. But this weekend was amazing. Both days was an entry of 7 greyhounds, a fairly large entry for a non specialty weekend show. Both days Darby went Best of Breed over 2 other specials and class entries. Today, he got a Group 4 placement under judge Jerry Watson in a group of about 12 or 13. I'm not sure, I was 6th in line and there were at least that many behind me. When I'm in the group ring I focus on Darby first, and the dog immediately ahead of me second. Everything else disappears. Except for anyone cheering for us. I always hear the woo woo woos, random cheering and clapping. Always. So if you ever see us in group, please, that really makes us feel special, and we'll try extra hard for our entourage.
Darby wearing his 'shoelace with sparkly beads'. Elizabeth's description of his show leads. Pretty accurate actually. 
We've been in Groups quite a bit, Darby Crash and I. I am still amazed that I don't get nervous, not even a little. We go in, we do our best, and we let the chips and professional handlers fall where they may. I always hope. I hope he's flashy enough to compete with the Afghan hound. I hope he's solid enough in his stack to compete with the Ridgeback (they always stack so impressively). I hope he's fluid enough in his movement to compete with the Borzoi and the Deerhound. Even though we're supposed to be competing with the standard of our own breed, these other competitors and their flash come into the picture. I hope he stays animated and having fun, that he plays tug with me while we wait and stacks randomly for me when I ask (when we're in line with the judges line of sight as he or she watches the other hounds go around: we are always 'on' in the ring, always). I hope that a plastic bag tumbleweeds by outside the ring, or a squirrel rustles in a tree across from where we are. I actually make a wish for that plastic bag and squirrel. Sometimes those wishes come true and the judge catches him looking very sighthoundy. Today, that happened. The tumbleweeding plastic bag, everything. My heart jumped and I knew we had a placement when the judge went down the line from behind us awarding 1st, 2nd and then 3rd to the Saluki in front of me and then came back to us and said 4th. All I could do was gait him over to the placement sign and wave like an idiot at Gail and Sheila (who stayed to watch us and hooted and hollered along with a few other random spectators who have fine taste in dogflesh, obviously). Then the hugs began. Massive Darby Crash hugging and thanking. I owe every win he gets to his willingness to cooperate with me and flip on the "pretty switch". Yes he has one, it's internal and I'm not allowed to touch it. 21 months old and his first real group placement. He had a puppy group 1st placement when he was 6 months old, but the group was small and a special thing for that show.
Can you say 'gangly' All legs and tail.

We were still tickled all the same. But grown-up-group-for-reals???? Very Big deal.  Doesn't happen a lot with greyhounds. But this weekend it happened, and we're hoping it keeps happening. It will, he's that good. Of this much I'm willing to place money on. That's how sure I am. I've told folks who have asked why I go the distances to show him, my answer is always the same. Faith and a love for road trips. I have an astounding and deep seated amount of pure faith in his talents..... and an incredibly strong love of the open road and the bbq joints you find on it. ;)

So ultimately it's BBQ, people, that's why we do this. The BBQ.
Sniffin the showground air for BBQ. We found none. :(


  1. Well, who wouldn't drive for BBQ? :P

    Congratulations! That is one handsome hound!

  2. See!! Someone who gets the BBQ thing! Thank you, I think he's awfully handsome myself. His mother, Lyric, is drop dead beautiful. Darby Crash got her looks; most noticeably in the facial features I think. Sometimes I catch a glance of him with a carbon copy Lyric expression on his face and it makes me catch my breath a little. Spooky.