The few days leading up to our departure for Chicago were very stressful. I was in the midst of organizing an MRI clinic for Cavalier breeders that was going to be held the day before we wanted to leave for the show. As we started to pack and finalize plans, the weather forecast started to become really concerning. The forecasters were calling for an ice storm of historic proportions. It quickly became apparent on Saturday as weather models finalized that we had to leave immediately or risk not arriving to the show for several days later.
After getting home from an early morning trip to London, Norma and I, Rex, Ruffi, Lexi, and Taz quickly packed the car and managed to get on the road by Saturday at 2pm. In our area the weather was already very nasty. There was freezing rain everywhere and lots of accidents. Just to the south east though was still unaffected by weather, if we could make it 30 minutes in that direction and change our trip to go around the lake in the long direction we’d be just fine. We made it to Cleveland that night and met up with our travelling friends for the week, Joanne and Sara. The drive on Sunday was through a lot of cold and heavy rain, the dogs would end up coming back to the car soaking wet and shivering after our potty breaks.. I should have packed their jammies but they were happy to be snuggled into their warm crates for the journey.
The show itself was wonderful as always. For anyone who is new to the breed and thinking about becoming involved, it’s the perfect opportunity to connect with breeders and see some beautiful examples of our breed. I was very proud of my dogs and how they handled the trip. Ruffi is a seasoned traveller at this point but it was the first time I’ve taken Lexi and Taz on a trip away from home for that long. Everyone quickly settled into hotel life.
Monday afternoon was Puppy Sweepstakes. Taz and Lexi had their first opportunity to go into the show ring. Taz is my perfect little show man, he knows exactly what the game is and shows so well for his age. Lexi on the other hand…. let’s just say it’s a work in progress. Taz placed third in his large junior puppy dog class. I was thrilled with the placement and most importantly how he showed and handled himself. Lexi pulled me around the ring and spent most of the time on her two hind feet. Wild woman!
That afternoon I attended the ACKCSC judging seminar with Ruffi that was put on by the club. They had a Cavalier that fit well within breed standard for each colour so that judges could have a visual representation of standard during the seminar. It’s sole purpose is to educate judges that are attempting to complete their license or wanting to further understand our breed. I have started the process of becoming a judge myself and understand how important these seminars are to educate on specific standards and the finer nuances of breed type.
Tuesday was the start of the official dog classes. Taz showed in the morning and received 4th in his class among some very nice puppies. In the afternoon Rex had his turn and Norma showed him beautifully to a 4th place in his class.
Wednesday was the girls turn. Lexi showed SO much better. No placement in a huge junior puppy bitch class but her but her much improved behaviour in the ring was a major win in our books! In the afternoon Ruff showed like her usual rock star self and was 3rd in open black and tan bitches. The judge Charlie Fippin and I were channeling somewhat similar wardrobe vibes but her photo turned out gorgeous as usual. So proud to own and have bred this girl.
Thursday was the Best of Breed competition and a rest day for us. We spent the day watching beautiful dogs ringside and not having to worry about showing our own. We’d make up for that sitting around though on Friday where we showed all 4 in the regional specialty under judge Michael Forte. Taz placed 4th in the junior puppy dog class and Ruffi was 2nd in the open black and tan bitch class.
Saturday we were all exhausted and packed the car early to get on the road and come home. The trip home was shorter, thanks to not having horrible weather to deal with. It was a fantastic but tiring week of beautiful dogs and good friends. I am thankful everyday for the journey that my Cavaliers take me on. I’ve met so many wonderful people and getting to share this incredible breed with others is just the very best. My dogs were thrilled to get home and take advantage of Norma’s huge fenced in field for a good run/roll/swim. So much for my clean and pampered show dogs! Muddy, wet, and tired, gotta love it.
Our next major show will be at the end of June for the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontario regional specialty. If you are in the area and want to come and watch/see some beautiful dogs, you are more than welcome! I’ll also be judging my first sanction match on Friday June 8th, in Orono and there might be some exciting news to share later next week. Keep your fingers and paws crossed!