Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back Stage of a Dog Show

1º Chapter “Planning”

This time I decided to do an exhaustive report and exam of what it cost to plan and then go to a Dog Show. I hope in the end the reader can understand what it takes to work and show dogs and all the effort and sacrifice necessary to do it.

So let’s start for the beginning.

1º Choosing to go or not to the Dog Show

Well this Dog Show is the first of 3 exhibits were a dog can win the Champion title or if you prefer the CAC-QC.
So it is natural to make an extra effort to go or you will lose your chance.

I will not bother you saying what I did and what I didn’t do to join the amount necessary to go to this dog show. I will just say that after a lot of analyzing and thinking the decision to go was taken.

2º Planning the time and costs

The next step is to take an idea of time and cost it will take to arrive to the dog show.
At this case, since I am in Algarve and I must go to Porto, it will be something like 7h drive with 3 stop of about 20-30 min for people and dogs to rest and walk a bit, distance 562 km

The Toll will be around 37.55 EUR and Petrol 51.69 EUR

Since I have to go and come back I put 200 EUR – 14h drive just to do this trip

3º Firs preparation - CAR

Since it is a long way I decided to do a full check up to my car, to be prepare and not have surprises (imagine to be broken on the road with 3 dogs). This was a cost of about 165 €

4º Now to pay the dog show and send our inscription in the first deed line

1 hour in the post office and 65 €

5º Find a place to sleep

Since I am not that crazy, make 14 h drive without a rest it is out of the question. So I asked a friend if I could sleep over the night before the dog show and since she kindly said yes, one less expense and something less to be stress about.

Ok this is the first steps for preparing to a dog show and everything is on the move !

2º Chapter “List of Items”

Continuing our last week topic with the Planning of a Dog Show, we now go to do a list of items that we need to take and buy to that dog show.

1º Cleaning the Dogs

Well I think this is the real bases of presenting your dog, the bath.
Since this is a very long trip and I will work full time, this time I decided to ask some professional help to clean my dogs.

But usually this means buying shampoo, conditioner and softener. And be prepare to spend 3 to 4 hours preparing each dog.

In each case I always take with me cleaning towels (the some we use on babies) and conditioner to give shine to the fur before we enter the ring.

Brushes, combs and scissors are always mandatory items to take.

List: shampoo, softener, conditioner, cleaning towels, brushes, combs and scissors

2º Trip safety

I always take a medicine kit with me (I learned that with a dear friend and dog lover), because with dogs we never know and it isn’t the first time they step on something and get hurt.

So before I go I always check if it has all necessary items for the dogs and for people.

List: dressings, gauze, disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, bandages, aspirin, cotton, alcohol

3º Food, Water and Drinks

Ok, you might think, I will buy something or off course we must take food.

But for me it is always a planning ahead since not all food are proper to take for quick or trip meals and you should always take plenty of water and some juices for you, since a dog show is a very long hours standing on your feet.

I also think that an exhibit food, is expensive and isn’t 100 % safe and becoming ill isn’t part of my plans.

Also if you spend a night out, you must take food for your dogs and of course this is mandatory.
Since I also worry with the long hours my dogs are on travel and sometimes waiting to get in, I also take some treats to keep they interested and happy.

List: sandwiches, juice, water, food for dogs, cookies, fruit, biscuits, coffee, treats,…

Ok this is my list of what I have to check and stock before I go on my way

3º Chapter “Final Preparations”

Continuing our last two weeks topics with the start at the Planning of a Dog Show, following List of Items necessary to take to a Dog Show we now go to the last details before we get in the car and go.

1º Training

As you can guess, at this time we already have some weeks of intense ring or handling training.

The main, in my opinion, is to make the dogs stay on the stand position for a long time and this has to be trained several times.

2º Clothe

Since I handle and show my dogs I have to be careful in choosing the clothes. If necessary it has to be send to the cleaner.

I start to use a different outfit out of the ring and during the trip.

3º Leashes, coolers and dog bowls

Yes yes it is straight forward ... but I once forgot the leashes and was quite upset with myself.
So has soon I can I put on my trip bag. Also take an extra leash just in case one breaks.

4º Sleeping bag and blankets

One of the pleasures of sleeping out of the house is to use the sleeping bag and make an adventure from that.

The blankets is for the dogs to have their one sleeping place and to cover the boxes at the exhibit if and unnecessary noise.

5º Money and Documents

At this stage is to put the necessary amount and dogs, car and exhibit documents at our travel bag.

Don’t forget to check if all vaccines are up to date.

6º Fuel

Fill the car deposit on the day before and you avoid that extra minutes at the beginning of the trip.

Ok, now it is just go to the road and bring lots of prizes.

4º Chapter“Dog Show”

Continuing our last three weeks topics with the start at the Planning of a Dog Show, following List of Items necessary to take to a Dog Show, and finally Final Preparations we now go to the event itself.

As you can imagine a seven hour drive trip is not easy and when we drive alone, more difficult it becomes. But having dogs with you make thinks more enjoyable since you have to stop more times, walk with them and give them water, so in the end, the trip seams more light and enjoyable.

Anyway, like I said in the beginning of this set of posts, the main goal of this dog show is to achieve the long desired C.A.C.-Q.C. that give us, together with three C.A.C. the most wanted title of Champion of Portugal (CH PT) and so this dog show is extra important, since is one of three along the year that give us that chance.

Of course this means that everyone that desires the title, is there to try also to win, and that creates more competition and more difficult to get it.

For my enormous joy, Angel, my Red Merle Australian Shepherd was one of the ones granted with this prize and therefore she is now Champion of Portugal.

And like in all of this important occasions a special thanks to some people is in order.

To our veterinarian, Dr. José Carlos of Zoolagos, that has the patience for all my questions and naughty behavior of my four leg children.

To our handling teacher, Joana Gonçalves, that has the patience to keep teaching and incentive me to continue going to this events.

To our training center, CIC Lagos, where my Angel goes to take out her stress and enormous energy.

And finally to this occasion washer and groomer that took the mud and dirt out of my dogs (and this time they were really dirty) Mr. Carlos Alves from Myfriend Petshop.

And finally I personally give a thank you to God who grant me the pleasure of sharing my live with this small four leg people who stand everything of their owner.

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