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Westminster~ A Once in a Lifetime

Westminster~ A Once in a Lifetime

It's Westminster Dog Show week - so I thought I would take trip down memory lane... and sweet memories they are!

My very first show dog was our beautiful girl Biddy (check your Dog Mamma's bag - that's our girl!).  And here come the tears... our dogs bring us so much love, joy and for Biddy - she opened up a whole new world for me of experiences, friends and friends that have become family.  

I trained her and took her in the show ring myself - with a little help now and again from her breeder... and a LOT of coaching from her as well.  What an experience it was!  From tears of frustration, to tears of joy, from the first points, to the big wins and awards... through it all she let her light shine!!  She was a show girl from the start with a big show girl personality!  
She was a show girl... her name was Biddy! lol!

I'll share more about our journey of learning how to show and compete with your dog in both the show ring and other venues.. but for today - here is a little flashback from 2014.  At that time the Westminster Kennel Club was held in mid-February in New York City...which was quite a change for these South Florida gals!  We stopped before and after at my sister's house in Maryland and played with her new puppy, and had some adventures in the snow!

 

Flashback:  February, 2014!

Whew! It has been a busy month! After Biddy's whirlwind trip to New York City and Westminster....I've been playing what feels like a constant game of catch up while trying to run forward at the same time. While my girl didn't win anything, she made the cut at the end, with the very best dogs in the country of our breed. I was so thrilled with how she looked and handled herself and so very proud of her! This closed out her "show" career for the time being and I couldn't be happier!

As my first show dog, she has by far exceeding my expectations! She finished out the year ranked the the #21 Brittany in the country in breed points (meaning she won Best of Breed enough times and beat enough dogs to get a ranking), and the #20 Brittany in All Breed points - which means she has had enough Group placements to rank in this area. She was the #4 Brittany bitch and #3 Brittany bitch all breed in the country as well. Typically the top dogs in our breed tend to be males...bigger, showier, so I am so so proud of her rankings. She has also had placements at our national American Brittany club events...so I am so, so proud of her. The whole WKC experience was kind of crazy....millions of people, thousands of dogs, and a lot of ice and snow! It is a benched show, meaning the dogs are on display for public meet and greet during the day...there are very few of these left in the country, but it was really fun and Biddy handled her "fans" very well! The dogs are all in aisles, in their crates or on leash with their handlers and then nothing short of MOBS of people all day long, wanting to pet, talk, ask questions and meet your dog....a great opportunity for people to learn about all the breeds.

 

I kind of wish more shows offered this part...while it is exhausting...it is very educational... As a former shelter employee...I experienced a LOT of dogs turned in and many of the owners seemed to say...if I had only know, x,y, z...so an opportunity to learn for people who are interested is a really good thing! During the course of the afternoon...I would say at least 100 people took a selfie with Biddy...which was really funny...but she loves the camera and is super friendly...she gave out a LOT of kisses that day! By the end of the afternoon, she was still basking in all the attention...but so tired that she would stand there with her eyes closed as people petted her. While a chaotic experience, to say the least, I would do it again in a heart beat with the right dog, and maybe again with Biddy...it was an emotional moment for me as I took her around on the big stage one last time...as she nailed her free stack...I knew win, lose or draw....I loved my most beautiful girl. I have very few photos that I took of the experience, because as you can imagine, I as trying to hold on to my dog...so working the camera required that third hand! This is the photo that one of my friends snapped off of her computer. You can watch the live feed of the Brittanys (and all the other breeds too) by going to the Westminster Kennel Club Webiste...she was on Tuesday.

I've ordered some of the photos taken by the ring side photographer but they haven't arrived yet...as soon as they do I will publish!   We stayed a few days on the way up and back at my sister's house in northern Maryland...Biddy got to experience snow for the first time and have a little fun with baby Hank...my sister's Bernese Mountain Dog puppy....isn't he cute!?

 

Biddy and baby Hank! Biddy and baby Hank!

 

Snowy yard dogs After a week on the road, thousands of miles (we drove from S. Florida), a lot of fun, excitement and snow...we are glad to be back home, doing what we do best...lounging by the pool! image Biddy catching some rays...

Biddy catching some rays...


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