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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Classic (dog show)

In 1995, Ron and I entered our pups, Alex and Dana, into obedience trials. The four days of the Christmas Classic in Cleveland were full of excitement and lots of barking. Leaving the house around 6am and in full competitive mode by 8, we would set up our chairs and start our final practices.The show is almost as large as the more famous Westminster Dog Show in NYC. Our coach, JoAnn Gongos, was always there to see how we fared.

Yesterday, we popped over to watch some of the action. We immediately recognized our first judge. After Ron finished with Dana, he kindly suggested that we could get a rule book...for free...and it would be a good idea to study it before competing in the future!

It was fun to see him in action again, not to mention the dogs and the handlers. I strolled around to see what else was going on while Ron shopped the booths in search all things dog related.

On the conformation side of things, there is a lot of grooming going on before the dogs enter the ring. This guy waits patiently for his groomer to return to finish brushing him. As you can see below, it takes quite a bit of stuff to get the dogs ready to go!

Some are there just to get used to the environment. The 6 month old Standard Poodle above is there for the experience.

This Standard is enjoying his owner's lap!

I see the nose and paws, but, where are the eyes on this dude? And this is AFTER grooming!

I woke this guy up from his nap.

When I saw how calm and well-behaved these two labs were, I complimented the owner, who dryly retorted that they were, after all, well-trained. oops, I forgot no unruly dogs are here, and there are more than 4,000 dogs in attendance!!!! I looked up FHS '72 classmate, Debi Bartosek, who was showing her Corgi, Katie, for the first time, which I first learned about a few weeks ago on Facebook.

I asked a poodle handler what she knew about bloat and she had only encountered it once. While I saw several white Standard, none matched our beloved, Louie. Kate's breed, miniature schnauzers, were well represented, but, none as cute as Kate, either!