Archive for May, 2010

show ring debutante

on may 22nd, lotta, my human and i went to the city where my human used to live before she moved to the city where we live now.
we went there because my human had entered me for my first ever “official” dog show – we had taken part in “unofficial” aka training dog shows before, and since the judges in those dog shows had said they thought i was (AM!!!) beautiful , we figured we’d try a REAL dog show as well.

lotta was to be my handler at the dog show, because she’s a PRO, and my human is a klutz!

lotta told my human that she wasn’t allowed to stand so close to the show ring (why is it called a RING when it’s a SQUARE???), because lotta thought i’d become far too excited when i saw her, and i wouldn’t be able to “behave” in the show ring.
so my human was left wandering aimlessly through the venue where the dog show was held while lotta and i strutted our stuff before the judge.

my human stood at a distance at talked to an acquaintance while lotta and i were in the ring, but she couldn’t help but sneaking peeks at us from time to time.

this is what she told me when she was allowed back with us:

“i peeked at you almost the whole time, and i was VERY happy when i saw the ring secretary raised the red paddle, because then i knew that you’d been awarded first prize in the “quality judging” – after all, i’d been up since quarter past five, worrying about you being awarded a THIRD prize (which would mean that the judge was BLIND!)…
then the ring secretary raised the *pink* paddle too, and that meant you’d also been awarded a “ck” – which is short for “champion quality”!
of course that was what i’ve thought of you from the very first time i saw you, because you *are* the most beautiful toller girl EVER, sienna, but it *was* NICE (understatement of the year!) to know that an “official” judge agreed with me on this!

after the ck paddle had been raised i really wasn’t expecting anything else to happen for you, because you had tough competition from several other  – older – toller girls.
i continued talking to my acquaintance, and out of the corner of my eye i see lotta becoming VERY happy, grinning like mad, while she waved something blue and yellow. it took several seconds for it to register with me, and my initial thought was “??? that can’t be, can it???” but it WAS – *you* had won the “certificate” (a fourlegger needs three “certificates” to become swedish show champion, so now you “only” need *two* more!), and the “madness” didn’t end there, because *then* lotta started waving something red and yellow, which turned out to be the bob (best of breed) ribbon!
the judge saw what *i* see, and he thought *you* were the most beautiful of the ten tollers that were at the dog show!!!

imagine that: that little “junior” toller (the name of the show “class” i entered you in – because of your age – is “junior class”. the next dog show you will be in the “young dog class”, because by then you’ll over 15 months old) beat them all!!!

when lotta told the judge that this was your first “official” dog show, he just SMILED…

i called siw (your breeder), but at the last minute before she answered the phone, i handed the phone over to lotta, because i was far too emotional to be able to say something “sane”…
after lotta had told siw how you did at the dog show, she handed the phone back to me, and i talked to siw.
we shared the joy of your success, and it was amazing!
i thanked her for entrusting me with you, and i said ‘i WORSHIP this dog, but you already KNOW that…’, and she said ‘yes”.
after that, siw told me that your mom matilda had also been awarded a “certificate” and the bob ribbon at her first “official” dog show, so you continue to walk in your mom’s paw prints!

dearest sienna…
i am so HAPPY and so PROUD…
and i am so GRATEFUL that i have been given the privilege to share your life…
and this has NOTHING to do with what happens at dog shows or other trials or competitions or classes – you KNOW this, and *i* KNOW this, and so does *everyone* who knows us…
but it WAS nice to hear lotta say ‘i actually think she has the potential to become a show champion…’!

THANKYOU for a WONDERFUL day, sienna, and THANKYOU to lotta for doing such a wonderful job showing you to the judge!”

so, that was my human telling you about my first time in the REAL show ring.
what *i* have to say about that day?
i was TOTALLY beat after having had to concentrate so hard for so long to behave, so i slept during the hour-long car ride home, and then i slept right through the evening and the night!
and: meatballs ftw!


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dearest sienna,

today you’ve been a part of my life for a whole year.
it’s been a year since Life and Light returned…

i love you SO much, little girl…
you’re my EVERYTHING, and i’d be completely lost without you…
SO many memories are fighting to be the *first* memory to be acknowledged and shared now that it’s time to summarize our first year together – where to start?

at the beginning.

i’m still totally convinced that it was totte who lead me to you, sienna, and i *know* he was the one who told me your name.
the day i got to bring you home was a WONDERFUL day!
and after that came a few hectic weeks when you and i went with lotta and her beardie girls EVERYWHERE, and in between the field trips you and i struggled to find our routine when it comes to everything: visits to the little girls’ room, food, playtime and cuddling.
and at the same time i was busy mourning totte – the grief after losing him was like an open wound, and it HURT.
i mopped after your (fairly few) “accidents” and struggled to get you to eat, and all the while my heart was aching and my tears were flowing…

the day i scattered totte’s ashes out in the sea near lotta’s parents’ summer house (where he LOVED to play) was incredibly hard, but you were with me, little girl, and we were surrounded by people who knew and know how much i LOVED and LOVE totte, and what he meant to me.
i put my hand in the water and touched his fur one last time, and then we went into shore again, where you were waiting for me – you couldn’t wait to share the next part of my life with me!

for a long time you were “instead of totte”, but some time in november (about six months after i brought you home) i woke from my “grief sleep”, and you were SIENNA, MY FOURLEGGER, and no longer “instead of totte”…

you’re a WONDERFUL fourlegger, sienna!
“if it’s not a toller, then it’s just a dog” – and they are SO right about that, sweetie!
your personality is so big that it would be enough for four or five “ordinary” dogs…

with your help i’ve become a VERY much more active person – who would have even DREAMED of guessing i (the world’s biggest couch / computer potato) would VOLONTARILY go for hour-long walks, and prepare half-mile long scent trails for you to find and follow???

scent tracking – your FAVO(U)RITE thing in the whole world, sienna!
you’re SO good at that, little girl, and it’s VERY fascinating to see the change in you when we put the tracking harness and tracking line on you – the sienna who normally is so all-over-the-place and, well, HYPER, turns into this überfocused, thorough tracking virtuoso!

soon you will make your debut in the show ring, and i’m starting to get nervous!
*i* am not going to be your handler – we’re lucky enough to have “pro handler” lotta to help us with that – but STILL!
you ARE the most beautiful toller girl in the whole world, and i’m HOPING the judge isn’t BLIND to your beauty!

to get to share your days is a GIFT, little girl, and i look forward to every day we have together!
i’ve learned SO much from you, and each new day with you is making me a better person.

there’s so much i could write about our first year together, but when it comes down to it, there’s really no need to write anything else but this:
i LOVE you, little girl, and every day i thank The Good for you.

your human

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yep – for THREE WHOLE WEEKS my human and i were cut off from the outside world (well, ALMOST!), and the tech heads over at our internet provider couldn’t figure out what was wrong, until yesterday, but now we’re BACK – did you miss us aka ME?

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