I spent the end of last week at Great Dane Club of America Nationals in Topeka, KS. It’s where many of the best Danes in the country gather to show themselves off, where you take your dog to be seen.
This year, I went without Kunga. It was very strange to drive without him, and stranger still to be near the rings without him dancing on the end of a lead. I love to show off my boy, and we always have a good time.
But this year Kunga stayed at home while I went just to look, to meet, and to play. It was an entirely different experience. For one thing, if you don’t have your dog, it’s not as likely you’re going to be subjected to some of the viciousness in our sport. Who’s going to gossip about you if your dog isn’t there? For another, I could spend zero time managing Kunga’s need to walk, potty, and socialize, and instead concentrate seriously on seeing what’s up in the world of the blue Danes. I love seeing all the colors–and there were some fabulous examples of them all there–but I was particularly happy to see the number and quality of the blues this year. There were a lot of different types represented, lots of head styles, lots of variation in substance. Slowly, it seems, the blue breeders are diversifying the types available, partly by importing from abroad and partly through mixing lines with black breedings. And at least this year, one owner-handled blue made the cut from his Best of Breed group: Aileen Brida with her boy Justice’s Bare Necessity, “Baloo.”
Another fun aspect to being there this year was meeting so many of my Facebook friends in the flesh (or in the fur)! I was delighted to match real faces to people whose id photo on FB is of their dogs.
It was especially gratifying to see the juniors who showed in the competition before BOB. These folks are the future of our sport and I was, as always, impressed by the level of their ability to show off their Danes with professionalism. Here’s hoping we see even more of them in future Nationals.