While in Ocala last weekend, RK and I spent Saturday night at a fund raiser for Take the Lead. This non-profit organization "provides direct services, support and care for people in the sport of purebred dogs who suffer the devastation of life-threatening or terminal illness." I had never heard of the organization, but our conformation teacher told us "anyone who is anyone in the Florida dog show world will be there." He also said that there would be good food, entertainment and an open bar. We paid the $25 entry fee/donation and went. It was a trip!
The party was held at a beautiful horse farm in Ocala. The house was gorgeous! The backyard was exquisitely landscaped. Twinkling lights hung from the trees. Jugglers and stilt walkers wandered among the guests. A DJ was setup on the balcony playing dance music. Acrobats gave a breath-taking performance. There was a prom theme and we watched the winners get crowned. The buffet was very nice and I probably ate too much shrimp.
It seemed that everybody knew everybody and people were grouped up, deep in conversation. I was waaaay out of my comfort zone. Fortunately, RK is much more outgoing than I am. I was glad to have her there for moral support, especially since the wine (aka liquid courage) from the open bar was awful. I enjoyed people watching. As the night went on the crowd got louder and wilder, no doubt due to the open bar. RK and I chatted and mingled for a couple hours then went back to the hotel to tend to the dogs.
Here's the funny thing. The next day people were a lot nicer to us. Professional handlers said "hi" first, wealthy dog owners came over to exchange pleasantries. RK thinks it's because they appreciated us supporting a cause near and dear to them. I -- being much more cynical -- think it's because nobody knows who the hell we are and it confuses them. Either way, it was an interesting party. Sometimes it's good to get out of my comfort zone. -- K
Below are pictures of the acrobat (the upper body strength on this guy was amazing) and stilt walkers performing from the musical Grease. RK took a lot more pictures, but I don't like to post people's faces without permission.