It was our first proper, dedicated, fun dog show. Previously we've entered one or both of the dogs into the odd class at other events such as the Dogs Trust fun days, but have never attended a proper dog show before. Our preparation started the night before when they both had a thorough bath (which Ellie hated) and were made to smell nice!
I entered both Pepper and Ellie into the following classes:
Most Appealing Eyes
Best Biscuit Catcher
Dog The Judge Would Most Like To Take Home
And Ellie was entered into:
I decided that as it was our first show, I wanted them to be put in for as many classes as possible to both get experience and have a chance of winning.
Prettiest Bitch was such a big class to enter and the rosettes were taken down to 16th place. Sadly, neither of the dogs got anything in that class but competition was stiff.
Most Appealing Eyes was another tough class, as all dogs have appealing eyes of course. I did think we might have an advantage as Spaniel eyes are obviously notoriously adorable looking. But, again, they didn't get anything.
Waggiest Tail was a bit of a disaster as there was a child judge, which instantly made Pepper wary, although the adult woman judge did ask if the dogs were okay with children and made sure the young girl didn't go near Pepper when I said she was a bit wary of them. Neither dog really wagged their tail as much as I know they can so I knew we wouldn't get anything in that class. The little Jack Russell next to us wagged it's stumpy little tail as fast as he could and got 2nd place, which was well deserved.
Pepper had a bit of a rest after this class as it was time for Best Rescue. There weren't many entrants for this class compared to the others, so I thought that Ellie might have a better chance. But, despite the judge coming back to her, she still didn't get anything which was a bit disappointing.
The next class was Best Crossbreed/Mongrel. Again, there weren't as many entrants for this class. I made the mistake of standing with my back to where Pepper and my cousin were sitting, so Ellie was distracted as she was trying to get to them. But that didn't matter when the judge came round as Ellie knew her and was happy to go to her for a good fuss. But again, it was all to no avail. No prizes for Ellie.
Best Biscuit Catcher was a different kind of class, as it was a knock out competition. One of the show organisers came round with some tasty biscuits, which she threw to each dog in turn. If they missed it, they were out. Pepper, who is usually good at catching, missed her biscuit. But I'm almost positive that was because the Rottie next to her had left a big lump of her biscuit on the floor and it was distracting Pepper. Ellie caught her first biscuit, but missed the second. So we didn't get anything there either. We were starting to get a bit disheartened at this point.
Our last class of the day was the Dog The Judge Would Most Like To Take Home class. It was, again, a huge class with many entrants so the rosettes were taken down to 16th place. The judges walked round and pulled out the first 6, plus four or five more. Then one of them turned in our direction and said "I liked this one", while gesturing in our direction. He then came over and brought Pepper forward. I stayed back, hoping they'd come back and bring Ellie forward too, but they chose a few others instead. So Ellie's competition was over and we left the ring. Pepper didn't get placed, but she did get a rosette and a big bag of James Wellbeloved Crackerjacks. We were pleased that we'd at least come away with one rosette to show for our day.
There was also a Fastest Recall competition going on all day, with a winner each hour. Ellie's best time was 3.7 seconds and Pepper's was 4 seconds but neither of those were good enough to beat the joint winners time of 3.3 seconds!
We stayed to watch the rest of the classes and were frustrated that the winners of the Prettiest Bitch, Most Appealing Eyes and Best Crossbreed classes hadn't bothered to stick around for the Best In Show competition. Obviously neither of my dogs had won their classes, or even placed, but if we were frustrated, the dogs/owners who came in 2nd must have been even more frustrated as, in effect, they'd been robbed of the chance to win Best In Show!
Still, we had a good day and both dogs were absolutely knackered by the time we got home! Ellie was even quiet in the car on the way home, which is a sure sign she's tired. We definitely haven't been put off entering shows and hopefully will get the chance to enter some more before the year is out!
Here's a picture of Pepper with her rosette:
Today we went back to our usual Sunday routine and headed out for a lovely walk. It looked like rain, but ended up staying dry and being too warm for the hoodie I'd put on (typical)!
We headed up to the school field so that Ellie and Oscar could have a nice game of 'fetch', although Ellie lost interest fairly quickly. We were going to go into the big field, but there was a group of people in there with a lot of Border Collies, looking like they were doing some kind of training. Once they came out we went in for a short walk round to give the dogs a bit of a different scene.
On the way back, I sent Pepper into the river to get a bit of the mud off her. A couple came past with a small, white, poodle type dog which was very clean. Ellie decided she was going to dive at it. She'd either taken an instant dislike to it, or she wanted to play with it, I couldn't decide. She was ignoring me while I was trying to get her to come back to me and the woman who owned the poodle kept saying "It's okay, she's fast, she'll get away". I don't think she understood that Ellie is also quite fast and would likely have kept up! Eventually Ellie came close enough for me to get hold of her while they walked on.
Then, a lovely Boxer girl came up and decided to try and lick my face. Which Ellie took exception to and she growled at the other dog! The Boxer wasn't put off though and came back to jump up at me a couple of times for a fuss. She was a lovely dog, although I came away looking like I needed to go in the river to get clean! However, the incident made me realise that if I was being threatened, it's likely that Ellie would defend me which is always good to know.
The rest of the walk passed without any more incidents. I managed to get a few decent pictures of the dogs in the long grass.
Considering they were taken with my phone, I don't think they're too bad!