Here are the things to take along which are considered necessities: the identification card and dog show ticket, a water pan (although you can always use the cardboard ones supplied by feed companies at most shows), a sponge and towel, a bench collar and bench chain or wire bench crate, a show lead, and finally, a comb and brush. If you use a tack crate (a crate with drawers), these very useful and necessary articles may be permanently stored in the drawers and will always be ready to go. If you do not use a tack crate, you will probably "latch on" to an old brief case or small overnight bag which will accompany you to shows, and these things can be stored in it and will always be ready to go.
Here are some things you can also take along if you wish: trimming tools, a bucket (if your water pan is large enough perhaps you will use that, but if your breed is a large one, which may need a lot of cleaning up, the bucket will come in handy), a first-aid kit (you never know what may happen), a thermos of water or coffee, lunch, and a change of shoes for your weary feet. Everything in this list may be prepared the night before and placed with the necessities.
In the morning, exercise your dog carefully. If you have a pen for him, fine; otherwise don't turn him loose; he may wade through a puddle, or, worse, he may chase a passing cat and make you late for your arrival. I have seen this happen to a friend of mine: the dog decided to take off one morning before a show and they didn't catch up with him until it was too late to go to the show at all.
Watch to see if your dog evacuates. If he doesn't, you will want to give him the opportunity to do so immediately upon arriving at the show. If not then, try again before he goes into the ring. Your dog will show better for you if this act has been performed. However, it happens that no matter how many opportunities you may give a dog to evacuate before he goes into the ring he will decide that right now, in the ring, is the time. If it happens to you, don't die of embarrassment. Remember, it has happened before to others. Just try, if possible without interrupting the dog, to maneuver him to the side or end of the ring and stay there until he has finished. When he has finished, go on with whatever you were doing.
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