Monday, April 28, 2008

Home Sweet Home

A normal person would tell the story of a week at a dog show by talking about, say, dogs. Not sure where that person's blog is, but it isn't here.

Some highlights of last week, in no particular order.

Wining. In my whippet show world, "whine" is what ones dog ought not do when crated; "bouquet" means the flowers on the judge's table. "Nose" is on the end of the dog's face and should be fully pigmented. "Dry" is what you do to wet feet before allowing the dog on the bed in the host hotel. "Sweet" describes darling puppies in the 6-9 month bitch class. Imagine my shock on Monday when 14 of us from Alaska to Massachusetts to Florida hired a limo and toured several Willamette Valley wineries. Apparently these words have a whole different meaning to the non-dog world! Who knew? The inner diva doesn’t even order Gewurtztraminer in a restaurant because she can't pronounce it, but we all had a lovely time, made new friends, and brought home some fabulous wine. (And no, Pete, I didn't pick it out by the label...)

Bucket B1tch (BB). You notice I use the "1" for the "i" here, but I didn't above describing dogs. Somehow its socially acceptable in my world to refer to a female dog as a bitch without second thought. But describing a human as such still feels somewhat declasse and distasteful. However, in my world, the term "Bucket B1tch" IS a compliment. The subject of said praise is the assistant to a professional handler (PH). PH gets all dressed up and presents the dog in the ring, and the BB gets to pick up poop, bathe, groom, and be at PH's beck and call generally. When Linda, my good friend and PH for my own dogs in years past found herself in the ring with a problem named Horace, yours truly came to the rescue. Wearing my BB suit and cape, along with three inch heels, I spring into action true diva style and dashed through the hotel, across the parking lot and over a tall motor home in a single bound to Linda's travel trailer. I scream for Steve, her husband, to bring me the show bag - the PH needs HER squeaky toy. Steve quickly locates said squeaky for me, and I sprint back to the ring just in time for Linda to do her final set up with Horace. She gets his attention with the squeaky and makes the cut in the class. Mission accomplished! Power to the Bucket B1tch!

Busy Bee. If you haven't seen the movie "Best in Show", go rent it. Then you'll understand why Linda rejected the first white rat squeaky I borrowed for Horace. PH's and dogs both like routine. Upset the routine and results could be catastrophic. Go Find Busy Bee!

Two Left Shoes. Another “Best in Show” reference. The nice saleswoman at the Macy’s across the parking lot brought me two left sandals to try on. Only at a dog show could this be so totally hilarious. Janet and I laughed so hard we nearly peed our pants. Macy’s staff thinks we’re nutzo. There’s a fine line between a hobby and a mental illness.

A Good Year for Victoria’s Secret. Under pressure of a week long national level competition, alcohol becomes one of the basic food groups, along with chips, cold pastries, cold sandwiches and ring bait. One hopes that the ring bait is actually edible by human standards, but I’m sure that there are PH and BB’s out there that have existed for days on Rollover and Charlie Bears. Since aforementioned travel trailers don’t usually come with wine cellars as optional equipment, the storage of said alcohol requires some planning. It also requires padding in transit. Nary an eye is batted at the announcement that “reds are in the underwear drawer, and whites are with the socks”.

Lexus, anyone? It may be a sign that I’ve turned too much into a city girl. Tuesday morning I exited Starbucks to discover that I’d left the van engine running in the parking lot. A couple of nanoseconds of complete confusion and disbelief click through my brain. Then the light dawns. This is not our car! Some OTHER idiot has left the engine running in a white Lexus minivan whilst picking up their triple tall, extra hot, two pump vanilla soy no-foam latte. For a moment, I debate leaving the keys to Janet’s Honda Odyssey for them and taking off in the Lexus. Unfotunately, I didn’t have time to take measurements to make sure all the dog crates would fit.

Secret Agent Man. Thursday evening after hanging out in the travel trailer drinking eating dinner we attempt to return to our room at the hotel. However, in addition to a whippet convention, the hotel is now hosting a small army of Men In Black. Note: there is nothing more sobering than having to explain to the Secret Service that you simply want to go to bed. Agent J in the lobby lets us through to the corridor to our room, where Agent K scowls until I politely explain that he can either let us go to our room, or I can puke on his nicely polished MIB shoes. Actually, I didn’t really have to use words, I just waved at our door and he nodded us through. I think he got the picture though. I peaked out again about an hour later, and he was still there. Another note: Those guys don’t smile much. They do talk in their walkie-talkies to each other: “Two Whippets coming” “Two Whippets confirmed”. Bet the nice secret agent men never got to say that before! Here’s another photo…my friend Karen, my friend Phoebe’s dog Nellie, and reason for the all the fuss.


Anonymous said...

Love it!! And thank goodness you left out my night of inebriation!


Patience-please said...

Well, there! Now I feel like I got to spend some time with you.

jamie said...

I found your blog via Patience. Love the way you write! Very funny stuff. (Wonder what Wild Bill was doing up there?)
My best friend from HS has lived in Bellingham a long time now. pat and Ahnie McHugh. and their son Noel. Wondered if you might know them.
Keep on writing. I'll be seein ya!

Bonita said...

Thanks for writing this.

Jenn and the City

An Award

An Award
Thanks Patience!

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