Though I was working on Saturday, I had the chance to enter Kunga to show on Sunday this past weekend. I wasn’t sure of the judge (though she’d liked Kunga as a youngster and gave him Best in Sweeps back then), and I knew that there was going to be some heavy competition, not least from our club members’ dogs. We also had a well-known bitch from California competing, so I didn’t really expect that Kunga would win.
Every time I’ve gone to a show without him, Kunga has wailed in frustration and sadness, even long after I’ve left. My husband hates those weekend mornings when I have to leave at an absurdly early hour and Kunga won’t settle down back to sleep. Instead he pokes and prods at my sleepy husband, trying to convince someone to get him to the show. Clearly an egregious mistake has been made, Kunga thinks: why would you go to the show without your dog?
So today I got up at 4:30 am and put on the fancy togs and we drove to the show. From the moment we hit the grounds, Kunga was standing in the back of the van, furiously sniffing and whining with excitement. I took him out to get some exercise, and he wouldn’t lift his head from sniffing the grass, even when he nearly toppled over while peeing. He had to circle the area to get a good whiff of everything, investigate the outdoor ex pens to see who he could get to start barking. When I dressed him up for the ring, he nearly danced across the grounds at my side. He growled at a big Dane male in an ex pen who dared to try to stare him down, and curiously sniffed the back of a whippet, trying to get it to play. He smelled every tree available, and most of the grass. When we got into the ring, his tail wagged full time as he stacked. He went up and back and around briskly in the cool morning air. He didn’t get a picture opportunity with the nice judge who petted him, though he did get a big hug from mom.
He reminded me of the best part of showing: the sheer joy of watching him have so much fun. He’s finished his championship, and has nothing more to prove to me. But I think I’ll have to keep taking him into the ring occasionally just so we can party down together.