Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Weekend Getaway Part I

This weekend I went to Maryland with John the puppy. I had entered John in a dachshund specialty show for Friday and I would be going to a field trial on Saturday and Sunday. The field trial was just another 25 minutes north of the show site.

A specialty show is a dog show that only features one breed. This one was combined with several other breeds’ specialty shows. The different breeds would not be competing against each other; instead the breed clubs would be sharing the cost of renting the space. On Saturday and Sunday an all breed show would be held in the same building.
At a dachshund field trial the dogs are being judged on how well they can track rabbits. They are held in remote areas on fenced in grounds. The dogs have a blast and the owners get a good workout.

Larry would be on his own with the rest on the crew. Nate was very concerned that I would miss Crunch and Rally. He gave me two stuffed animals. The first one he presented to me was a black and tan dachshund.

“This will remind you of Rally.” He earnestly told me.

Then he brought out a red dachshund. “And this one will remind you of Crunch. I won’t give you one like John, because he will be with you.”

Herer is a photo of crunch and Rally with their doubles:

Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

I tucked both toys into my luggage. Nate was very pleased.

It was past 9:30 when I got on the road. I still had to swing by a friend’s house to pick up her dog, Sydney. K wasn’t able to go, but she wanted Sydney to go to the field trial. Sydney is smaller than Rally, but they are both smooth black and tan dachshunds. The main thing is that she gets along well with my dogs.

K (as well as Larry) was concerned about my driving at such a late hour. I pointed out that if I left in the morning it would be far worse. I had to be at the show grounds in Timonium, MD by 8:30 am. To get there in time I would have to leave home by 4:30 am. I would arrive frazzled and worn after dealing with DC’s morning rush hour. No thank you. A short night’s sleep is far more appealing than dealing with DC in the morning.

Once her dog was loaded in the car K warned me that Sydney was thunder phobic. I should not try to run her at the field trial if the weather was stormy. She just might not come back. With this in mind I drove off. The forecast was for stormy weather all weekend. This could be very interesting.

I arrived at the hotel in good order at about 1 am. After I checked in I called home to let Larry know all was well. He thanked me for calling and then said he was going back to sleep. Meanwhile I still had two dogs, two crates and assorted bags to get up to my room. I was on the third floor, but there was an elevator. Eventually we were all squared away and I went to bed.

I awoke later that morning to a leaden sky and fitful rain. John was ready to roll, but Sydney was subdued and tentative. Not at all the bright pistol of a dog that I know, she hid beneath the bed while I bathed John. I was finally able to entice her out and secure her in her crate. After a quick shower I hauled the dogs and crates down to the car. On show days I generally do not eat breakfast. I am just too excited and nervous to eat.

John showed well, but he only got second place the two times I brought him into the ring. The first time was a sweepstakes class which is really just for fun and practice. The second time was in regular classes where the dogs are competing for points. At eleven months he is still very much a puppy. I was happy that he had beat out one other dog for his second place ribbon. We both had a good time, we got to see friends and make new ones. At about 3:00 pm we were finished for the day. I headed back to the hotel with dogs in tow. Later I would meet friends for dinner.

At the hotel I sprawled out on the bed with two dogs. John is deeply in love with Sydney and wanted her to have his puppies. She was not interested and told him so in no uncertain terms. It was amusing seeing John’s confused expression when she would snarl at him. She tried hiding in a pillow case with the pillow still in it. She almost fit, only her bottom was exposed. The funny part was when John would bother her. Suddenly the pillow would growl, rise up and bop him. John, puzzled, would back off and the pillow would settle down. This happened several times and each time I would laugh. Dinner time finally arrived and I went off to The Charred Rib. Boy was it good. The ribs were amazing. I have to go back there. After a pleasant dinner with good company I staggered back to the hotel. I had to be up early for Saturday.

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