Dog shows are exhausting as Gabe proves in the picture above, but working at a dog show is a completely different experience. This past weekend I worked at the Richmond Dog Fanciers show in Dixon and it was tiring but we all had a really good time meeting new people, new judges, and of course new dogs. Those that have been at that show know that in the past is has been up to 104 degrees and miserable but this year we had great weather which made it much easier on everyone. Our team has worked together for a few years now and has the routine down so everything ran as smoothly as it could and we put on a fabulous and fun show. Working a show makes you appreciate the time, effort, and attention to detail that each member gives not to mention the long hard day judges spend on their feet.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a Newfie ready for the show? About 8 people apparently! Seriously though, it is nice to have friends who each have an expertise in an area of grooming to help enhance your dog's natural form to bring out the best. Here's the crew working on drying and combing out the dogs in the early morning for an 8:00 ring time. Where else would you want to be at 6:00 on a Saturday morning?
It's always fun to see how other people groom their dogs and what products they use to fluff and primp.
The final result is like you see on Ken's dog above. Since we live in California we tend not to get as dense of a coat on a Newfie as our counterparts in the midwest and the east so we like to leave a bit more coat, but it really is preference and what you need to do for that particular dog at that age.
So how do they get those winning photos? Here's a St. Bernard winner with photographer Warren Cook who is throwing a toy in the air to get an alert expression from the dog. Occasionally it takes an army of people yelling, squeaking, and generally making a complete fools of themselves to get that one shot. You've never felt dumber until you've thrown bait into the frame and ruined the picture.
This is one of my favorite moments of the weekend. It was her first time in the ring showing a Whippet and she did such a good job and was very professional. It's always fun to see the kids in the ring and half the time they are better than most of the adults out there, of course it helps if you've been doing it since you were 3 years old. In the second picture she gave her dog a quick kiss as she was stacking it for the judge.
I've never seen a top knot being done on a poodle until this weekend and I really couldn't stay there much longer to see it being finished because of the cloud of hairspray that lingered over each poodle standing around the ring. Seriously people, does it really take that much?? And I thought Newfoundlands were high maintenance in the grooming department! At one point I heard another woman ask her if she could do that outside because it was getting a little hard to breathe in that corner.
Candid shots over the weekend. The girl in the upper left exclaimed that she was going to show her dog in the ring...even though she was wearing her pajamas as her dad pointed out! I wish we all could!