Many times over the last two years since getting a lappy in my life I have thought about the saying in the community of “you don’t just get a dog, you get a way of life”, and I found myself thinking this again, early on a Saturday morning as I piled wellies, towels, camera, treats, whistle, and of course, Ruska, into my car and set off on the 100 mile trip down to the coast.
Needless to say it was worth the trip. The weather was kind in the only way England knows how - the rain held off! Ruska was reunited with her daughter Luna, who lives in Kent and we are fortunate enough to actually see pretty regularly, and her son Loki, who lives in Bedfordshire and who we also see quite regularly. I am very lucky that many of Ruska’s puppy owners have allowed me to be a part of their lives, and as always it was fabulous to see my human friends.
One of the prospective owners brought her own dog, a little Jack Russell/Poodle cross, and within minutes she had gained quite the fan club from the lappies and was leading them all a merry dance across the beach. My Ruska was besotted and I think she could quite happily have taken the dear little Belle home with her; sorry Ruska!
A few hours of chasing, wrestling, sand-rolling, a few toes dipped in the sea (lappy toes, not human ones!), and we eventually made our way back to the cars, dog tired (pun entirely intended). And what could possibly make this day complete? Cake! Courtesy of Heather, who makes the most wonderful cakes, we had cupcakes and the dogs had a liver and sardine birthday cake frosted with cream cheese! Spoilt, our dogs? Never!
We all said our goodbyes, confirmed we hadn’t put off the prospective owners for life (who could be?!), and my 100 mile return trip commenced.
…And it all started again the next day. Up again, but this time a whole new set of equipment is thrown in the car - soft crate, brushes, rolled leather lead, treats (well, they are lappies), and everything else you need for attending a show. I have wanted a dog since before I could walk or talk, but showing is not something I had ever envisioned myself doing. It’s great fun though, wonderful training for the doggies, and this time I was bringing the baked goods to give Heather the day off!
Horley & District Canine Society Open Show was being held down at the South of England Showground near Ardingly, and we were seeing Luna and Loki and their human families from the day before again as well as other friends that I’d not seen since Christmas so it was a great opportunity for a catch-up. Especially as the wait was a long one. You never know the right time to turn up with Open Shows - so it’s best to turn up early and wait it out for fear of missing your class!
We had a good turn out for our breed classes, two entries in Junior, two for Post Graduate and a good class of 5 in Open (1 absent)! It was sibling rivalry in the Junior class with Loki and Luna in the ring together. Loki took 1st, and also Best Puppy in Breed. Another family affair in Postgrad - Nadia and Roope up against Julia and Ninka! Roope took 1st place. Difficult classes when the surface smells so darn good for the dogs and they are also having to concentrate in the ring when their usual playmate is in there with them and they can’t play!
We were up next in the biggest class of four. A lovely class with two handsome boys - Matka and Hessu - and two pretty girls - Ruska and Mimmi! Matka won the class, and went on to win Best of Breed, Best in Group and was shortlisted for Best in Show - what a great day for him and Toni! We came second, which I was chuffed with, and then we were back into the challenge and given Reserve Best of Breed! So pleased, as this is our best result to date from the limited shows that me and Ruska have been able to make it to.
We hung on to see Matka get Best in Group and Loki get placed 4th in the Puppy Group, and then headed home for a well deserved relaxing evening.
Of course, not every weekend is like this one - but it sure is fun when they are. :)