Yup, it snowed while I was in Rhode Island and for dangerous driving reasons I did not end up doing much sight seeing. I did have a great time though. The first day Lucy won her class at the specialty which pleased me. She isn't mature enough to be competitive for the points but she is doing well against youngsters the same age as her. I brought her home with me and I think she'll do just fine up here for now. On Sunday, she went second in her class so no disgrace.
It was Buffy's first time in the ring in six months. We pulled her the first day as Sarah had a conflict and Buffy isn't a good dog to just hand off to a stranger. On Sunday though she went third in the open bitch class against some very nice bitches. She might have done better if she'd been happier but Sarah's going to work on that. Buffy is staying down there for awhile to see if we can finish her American championship.
The highlight though was Charlie. The old man will be eleven at the end of the month and he danced around the house like a puppy when I gave him a bath and asked if he wanted to be a show dog. The first day he went second in the Veteran sweeps and Veteran Dog classes and the second day he won. I was very pleased. The dog who beat him was several years younger and I had many folks tell me Charlie should have won in their opinion. He enjoyed being in the ring and hearing the applause.
There is something special about old dogs and veterans. When he gets in a ring now it makes me a bit teary; I wonder if this will be the last time he gets to show off like he loves to do. I'm so very proud of him and all that he has accomplished. He is our first homebred GSP champion, our first homebred group winner, and then he just kept going. Most importantly, he is still the heart of the house.
I got to see many friends while there too which is always nice. I don't get down to the US too often and few of them make it up here so shows offer me a good chance to reconnect with old friends. One, who had recently lost her old girl to breast cancer, reminded me of how precious our old ones are to us. People often think of dog shows as being places where dogs spend long hours in crates, taken out for only a few minutes and then returned but that isn't usually the case. Travelling together and spending time together while you're on the road, in the ring or doing whatever sport is your thing brings you much closer together and you bond over that time. The dogs enjoy it as much as the owners. Charlie was thrilled when I asked if he wanted to come with me and I was and am privileged that he would prefer to spend his time with me on the road then sleeping on the couch.
I'll add some more pictures from the weekend later.
This last photo was sent to me by Heinz's family. He remains a very handsome and well loved young man.