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Show Dog Information

The Joys Of A Dog Show


Professional handlers win many dog shows, and very frequently. How is that so? But just consider it a moment. They work at their jobs all day, every day, not just at weekend The atmosphere of most any dog show is that if extreme excitement and happiness, almost too exciting, especially during the early hours of the show day. Everyone arriving is wearing a smile, even if a bit forced and tense, everyone is wearing his or her best manners as well as best clothes. They are waving hello to friends they haven't seen for almost a year as well as to those they saw just last night. Most are hurrying to find a spot to place their equipment so that they can rush to get their car parked, rush to get a ringside seat, so that they can place an article on it, and rush back to prepare their dogs for the big entrance into the ring.

Meanwhile, under the dog handler's tent the job of cleaning up the dogs after their journey goes on with a last-minute check on trimming, a last-minute check of the show lead, a bit more combing and brushing, with many fingers crossed and silent prayers being said. Thermos bottles of steaming hot coffee are very much in evidence, so much so that a crate top or table top will be completely covered with plastic or paper cups, some full of coffee, some emptied.

On one table a dog is being sprayed with something that smells like perfume but which is actually just giving a shine to the coat. Another dog will be getting a rubdown with something that smells like alcohol. It is being used to wipe away the dust which has been attracted to the dark sleek coat. Nearby, someone is furiously throwing medicinally scented talcum powder on the snow-white coat of his charge who either is still wet from a bath or who did not get a bath and whose owner is now trying to whiten him with the powder (This powder must be completely removed before the dog is shown).

Almost every crate or table has a bucket or pan of water setting on it or under it or next to it, and frequently a nervous person will drop some piece of equipment into it or stumble over it and get his new suit all splashed. Every so often a dog will look longingly at a bucket of water and get tired of waiting until it is offered to him, jump down from his crate, and help himself until the owner is able to reach him and place him on the table again, where he must then be all dried off with a towel.

Occasionally you will hear the shouts of congratulations from a happy group gathering to look over a dog who has just made a nice win, and occasionally you will hear a warning cry go up from someone who did not carefully lock the exercise pen and from which one or two or more dogs are making their escape, or from someone whose dog has decided to take a piece out of another dog and who needs help in separating the quarreling dogs. You will hear high-pitched barks, deep, low barks, yelps, howls, growls, and all the other types of canine noises. If you look over your shoulder you are bound to see a young woman crying, either because her dog has just won or because her dog has not won either one can bring on the tears.

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