Breed club

This weekend the Terry-All KC held its annual all-breed show in Brighton, Colorado, and as we have for the last 6 years, our Great Dane Club was permitted to run the paid parking and take in the proceeds.  This is an important annual event for our club, and accounts for a lot of our revenue during the year.  It means club members have to get up at some ungodly hour to get to the show grounds to set up by 6 am–yet somehow every year we have people that actually volunteer to do this!  April in Colorado is never really warm, and this year it was pretty nippy out there.  Yet there were at least a half dozen people there for the five hours between 6:30 and 11:30 am, taking in the cash, enduring the abuse from people who didn’t want to pay to park, gossiping, laughing, and drinking coffee.  The show committee kindly schedules Danes to show late in the day to allow our club to do this.

There are a lot more fun things to do as a group than stand in the cold and direct parking.  But our club members are pretty game and mostly show up when they’re supposed to.  It’s a little known way in which our breed club builds relationships among its members, earns some money, and supports the Dane community.

We are lucky here to have a club with members who are supportive of each other, civil at least even when there are disagreements, and willing to pitch in with some of the unpleasant chores that have to be done to keep everything running.  Before I started showing, people told me how vicious dog show people are, how back-stabbing and nasty.  Well, I’ve seen some of that.  But happily here in our corner of the world, it’s at a minimum in our breed.

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So Much Merchandise, So Little Time…

We dog people are great shoppers.  I never cease to be amazed at the crazy things we shell out for: special shampoos, fancy combs, doggie treadmills, a gazillion toys.

One of the most fun things I’ve bought recently wasn’t for Kunga, it was for me (and his breeder): a special portrait session.  The Winning Image is a vendor that sets up at shows and offers sittings for your dog, with our without you in the picture.  You can spend a bundle, but it’s sure nice having a great photo of your dog to show for it afterward.  Of course you can use these pictures in ads—if you buy the rights—but mostly it’s nice to have a great memory of your baby.  Now I think I have to bring my Bloodhound to these people and get a good shot of my girl!

Here’s how one of those photos of Kunga came out:

Photo credit: copyright 2011 The Winning

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Kunga finishes his championship!

February 18, 2011

Woo Hoo: Kunga has finished his championship!

We went into the Denver cluster of shows needing only one point to complete the championship marathon.  Judge Barbara Dempsey Alderman liked him from the time she first saw him in the AOAC class.  As usual, he was smiling and wagging his tail, and he was very excited to be back to showing after a few months off the circuit.  He moved well, and took the class.  When we went into a very large and competitive Winner’s Dog class, Kunga was up on his toes with excitement, and showed well.  Still, I was amazed when Judge Alderman pointed at us and said, “That’s my Winner’s Dog.”  I leaned over to pat my boy, and caught sight of the other competitors in the class: every one of them was cheering and shouting for us!  My friends all knew that these were the final points that made Kunga a champion.  I didn’t even get all the way out of the ring before I had people hugging me and congratulating us on this terrific win.  Thank you, Judge Alderman!

You never show alone: there are always people standing behind you.  There’s the breeder who’s responsible for putting together the right dam and sire; there are your mentors who taught you how to handle; in Kunga’s case there is Don Volleberg, the professional who showed Kunga to about half his points; there are all the people who helped you and supported you through the whole process.  My heartfelt thanks to all who participated in Kunga’s show life, especially the members of the Great Dane Club of Greater Denver, and my immensely tolerant husband Martin.

And Kunga—he was still wagging his tail at the end of the day, but mostly he enjoyed the hamburger snack I got for him after he went Best of Winners.


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