Welcome to the NCA 2010 Nationals at the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge here in Michigan! As you can see from the picture above the hotel has quite a German theme and it looks like the entire town has a zoning ordinance that requires you to make your business into a small German berg. Unfortunately the beer isn't quite as good, but we haven't checked out the Black Forest Brew Haus yet so I'll let you know if it is worthy. But now, on to the dogs!
The first day of conformation was held in diverse weather conditions ranging from warm and a bit muggy one minute to cold and windy the next. The minute you took off your coat and the three layers underneath you had to put them back on for the 5 minutes you were going to need to go from the hotel to the rings, only to take them off once more. The dogs came out in force with the Italians bringing in their A-team and showing us how they create well balanced dogs that move out across the ring like a skater on ice. They aren't necessarily big but they are beautiful, balanced, and move effortlessly and evenly. The judge was consistent and very thorough with all his dogs showing that he liked a well moving, slightly squarer dog than what we've seen being picked out in California (not you though Walter!) but we were impressed about what was pulled out in the lineups all day. I particularly liked the fact that he was very thorough about going over the dogs and seemed to linger over the shoulder assembly to verify with his hands the angles he was seeing in the movements.
Here is Foyle's brother, Norm, in the 12-18 month class looking spectacular. After seeing his coat I think we have quite a bit of trimming to do on Foyle when I get home. High and tight!
Norm from the side
Foyle from the side. Yup, we need to take off some more coat and show off that boy's neck!
After conformation was over we get ready for the Top 20 awards where we introduce and commemorate the top 10 conformation dogs and top 10 obedience dogs in the U.S. for 2009. It was quite the event and since my camera got locked into the uhaul after we were done setting up I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the event. It was a rocking good time complete with formal gowns and loud music. Everyone had a good time and we all got to meet the top 20 dogs up close and personal. I must say I was surprised that Foyle's sire, Jefferson, was actually a bit smaller than I imagined but the fun and loving personality is there and that's what I love the most. Exhausted after a long night the night before, and a very long day, we went to be late but content that everyone had a memorable evening.
One other sight to see in Frankenmuth is the world's largest Christmas store, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland that seems to like to display Santa in risque positions throughout the store...and the town now that I think about it.
See what I mean? It really does have to be the world's largest store because you need a map just figure out how to get the hell out of there! They have every imaginable ornament that you could want and it's organized very well by themes. But can you imagine the hell you must go through having to listen to Christmas music all day long, every time you go into work? I like Christmas music, but in small doses and preferably with a little snow on the ground. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't decide what ornament to buy and felt that I needed to focus on a specific theme in order to accomplish my purchase. Can you believe they didn't have a dachshund ornament?? I was appalled, so I left....after it took me about 5 minutes to find the exit!