Kunga’s breeder once told me that the ride home after a show is sure easier if you’ve won something. And it’s true that the right color ribbon really affects human feelings about how things have gone.
As I drove home from this weekend’s show, I tried to look at the “success” of the show from Kunga’s point of view. He doesn’t like the preliminaries: bath, nail trimming, whisker cutting. The morning of a show he usually gets only part of his breakfast–so that he might be more interested in bait and we don’t have to run around in early classes on a fullish stomach–and he’s not happy about that either.
But the rest of the affair is great fun for him. He turns in circles and talks vociferously until I get him into the van, and he likes to spend some of the ride looking at passing scenery. He leaps to his feet when we reach the show grounds, staring down the other dogs walking toward the rings as we make our way to a parking spot. The smells and sights of the show get him high: other dogs, the bait package from the vendor, his human buddies. He gets to run around a lot and meet a new person, and that new person always gives him an all-over petting. If he’s lucky, he gets to say hello to some of his old friends and pee on a lot of trees outside the venue. The ride home for him is always relaxing, and once he gets home he gets a big greeting from his Bloodhound sister, who sniffs him all over to deduce his adventures. Not once has he asked me what color ribbon he won. What’s not to like?