Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dog Shows vs. Sanity

Does the sign come with GSDs?
It's a Saturday morning and I'm driving myself crazy (crazier?) over this whole dog show thing. I think my biggest problems are:
  1. I'm clueless
  2. There are too many variables
I'm not sure about what I'm doing and whether what I'm doing is correct. Sure, I can read books and watch videos, but is it right? I wish that the GOPDC and JDFA hadn't been cancelled. I feel like I'm going into my first show totally unprepared. BTW, it's NOT a nice feeling. There's a conformation class I can take on Tuesdays. It's on the other side of town. I meant to go last week but I had a migraine. I can't go this week because it's my monthly GSD Club meeting. Meanwhile, time keeps ticking away. I feel like throwing up just thinking about it.

I've discussed the variables before. They include: Which shows do I enter him in? How many is too many for either of us? Do I drive down early? Stay in a hotel? How much can my budget support? How many shows can Hubby tolerate?

OK, time to stop the pity party, it's not helping. It's too early to open a bottle of wine, and too hot to go for a walk, so let's break this down into tiny parts. Maybe I won't feel so overwhelmed. (Yeah, I'm laughing too, but let's pretend anyway!)

Upcoming Shows

  1. Sunshine State Herding Group Association. Friday, September 20 (must enter by 9/4). Pros: Smaller show, may have a better shot; starts at 11 AM, could leave early AM and make the 2-hour drive, saving the cost of a night's hotel stay. Cons: I'm terrified. Club president recently said she might not attend these shows after all, instead focusing on the JDFA shows in Ocala the following weekend.
  2. West Volusia Kennel Club. Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22 (must enter by 9/4). Pros: Same location as Friday's show, 7 AM start time not so bad if we stay in a hotel overnight; show is inside an air conditioned building; a New Exhibitor briefing will be held at Saturday show; could just do Saturday's show and go home (would save hotel fees; Jedi and I would get experience but not tire out.). Cons: We're jumping into an All-Breed show with no experience, was really looking forward to having Madam President there for support.
  3. Jacksonville Dog Fancier's Association. Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 (must enter by 9/11). Pros: MapQuest says it's a 2-hour drive; we'll be coming off previous weekend with experience and confidence (?); Madam President will be there for support. Cons: Will we be able to afford two weekends back-to-back?; it's an outdoor venue; the show starts at 7 AM, so we'll probably need a hotel since Jedi doesn't travel well.

Our Weaknesses 

  1. Running. To get the beautiful gait that we want I need to be able to keep up with Jedi. I realize that I really need to be in better shape. Jedi and I have been walking before work and I've been adding a few jogging spurts to build my endurance. I'm afraid it's not going to be enough, especially in an outdoor ring.
  2. Leash manipulation. Sometimes in the ring the leash needs to be taken up, other times it needs to be let out. It feels awkward in my hand. Will I ever be able to get that seamless movement that I see in videos?
  3. Stacking. I want this:

And then there is the whole "unknown" thing. I don't know what I don't know. See?! I'm making myself neurotic! I had hoped that writing things down would help. I'm not sure it did. Any thought/suggestions from you? Seriously, I need help!

I think I need to take a break. I'm going to try to stack Jedi in the backyard and then head up to a friend's house to play German Shepherd-opoly. Is that really a break? I'll keep you updated. -- K

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