Monday Mischief–Crazy Dog Show Weekend
This past weekend was a two-day show in Ocala, Florida and our Sassy was entered. She is working toward her Grand Championship. My husband was on a plane early that morning so I had no other choice than to bring my two youngest children, ages 10 and 4. Normally I would do anything I could to avoid taking kids to a dog show, especially these two inparticular, as they fight continuously. There is also usually a lot of yelling and crying and there is no moving quickly. It’s incredibly stressful and I’d rather not do it. But, there was no alternative this past weekend so I took several deep breaths and off we went.
Four-thirty in the morning comes awfully early. With minor whining and complaining we loaded up and took off about an hour later. Not only was Sassy on board but Siren, too, as she was going to be spending some time with the handler for a few weeks, learning how this whole show stuff works. Siren tends to be carsick occasionally, so I spread out a blanket that I didn’t mind throwing away, checked to make sure we had plenty of bags and paper towels and said a few prayers for no poop on the trip, especially from the dog that was in the crate and had to step into the ring pretty much minutes after we were to arrive at the show. I would be willing to bet pretty much everyone who travels with dogs on a regular basis says the Please No Poop prayer before they head out. I usually chant it over and over; it becomes my mantra for the whole weekend.
This time the Dog Poop gods were not looking favorably upon me, however, for about an hour into the trip, amid a few squabbles from the kids, came the stench.
Please be a fart, please be a fart.
I was on the highway, with nowhere to pull off, nowhere to hose a down a filthy dog or do anything. When the smell didn’t dissipate after a good few minutes, I knew. I just knew.
Son of a bitch!
Of course the kids were gagging and wailing about the smell, and rolling down the windows did nothing but circulate the horrid smell even further. Not long after that I smelled another familiar smell–vomit. Joy. My ten-year-old (who is quite sensitive as well as dramatic) was making gagging sounds from his seat and covering his nose with his shirt.
“I dropped my sunflower seeds!” shouted the four-year-old, expecting me somehow to magically rectify the situation as I drove down the highway. Great, now the sunflower seeds could join the crackers, juice cups and other such things on the floor of my van. Upon discovering that I was not, in fact, going to magically levitate said sunflower seeds back into her hands, the whining and kicking the back of my seat started.
When they began to fight over a game, I was almost relieved as it took the youngest’s attention from kicking my seat to fighting with her brother. I turned up the radio, pretended not to hear it or the wretching sounds of my pup vomiting from the back of the van. There was nowhere to pull over that was safe. We pressed on.
When I finally was able to stop and prepare myself for the tornado of poop and vomit that I knew was waiting for me in the back of the van, I gathered all my cleaning supplies only to discover that I was short on wipes AND paper towels. The curse words in my brain were dying to be free. As the kids played to the side of the van (I prayed no one got a stick in the eye as they were both armed with one) I took a deep breath and opened the back hatch.
Holy mother of jeebus it was so rank I–who pretty much have an iron stomach–could barely deal with the smell. Poor baby Siren was curled up in the corner, trying her best to get away from the poo and vomit all around her. As I pulled her out and set her up in the ex-pen outside, she miraculously had very little on her. It was, however, pretty much coating almost everything else back there. Because I was carrying two kids, I was unable to take out the middle row of seats, therefore Siren had to ride without a crate. Even though she was pretty much boxed in to a small area, it still allowed the mess to spread. Poor pup. Between glances at the kids and telling them to stay away from anyone else’s vehicle, don’t run, no screaming, etc., I cleaned up the back of the van as best I could with what I had. Sassy’s handler came by shortly and informed us we had about ten minutes to get ringside and that she would meet us there.
Siren, all set up in her pen and feeling better after her awful ride that morning.
Sassy is ready!
Looking bored ringside.
As is not uncommon at dog shows, you will see people hiding behind trees, other people, whatever they can to avoid being seen by their dogs as they are in the ring. I was no exception. Keeping the kids in one spot was difficult, however. Thankfully a kind lady sitting near us with Chihuahuas asked if her dogs could visit with the kids. This kept them from flitting about the tree where I was hiding, possibly catching Sassy’s eye. Thank you, Chihuahua Lady. Thank you. The 10-year-old is Sassy’s favorite person in the world. I had to keep him hidden and downwind.
Looking good, with handler Kristina Criscoe.
Judge Alberto Berrios going over her.
At the end of the day she did very well, taking Select each day that weekend and earning more points toward her Grand Championship.
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