Friday, April 4, 2014

All for Show

Cotton's show was Saturday.  That meant a little Friday night beauty ritual after Henry went to sleep.

After we washed Cotton with whitening/brightening shampoo (yes, they make that), I blow dried Cotton, making sure to straighten out his leg feathers as much as possible.  He was a very good boy, actually sitting down on the floor willingly next to me while I blow dried his ears.  Then, we cut off his whiskers and used the drimmel to round off his nails.

He was beautiful and ready to go!

{He's so ridiculously good looking}

We also spent Friday night purchasing a cart to roll Cotton and his crate into the dog show.

{I think Taylor was in the background laughing at him}

I seriously can't believe we did that.  But the idea of wrangling Cotton, his crate and Henry on a rainy day around a bunch of other dogs drove us to spend a gift certificate and $20 on a cart.  In case you are wondering, it was amazing and worth every. single. penny.

It was his first show in over a year.  And there were at least 30 other dogs there.  Between everything that has happened in the last year, Cotton's show training has been VERY lax.  Understandably, it has been one of the furthest things on our mind.  We worked on it when we could.

Our tiny attempts at training left us with very low expectations.  That coupled with my inexperience and we figured Cotton would get his once over from the judge and be promptly beaten by a more seasoned dog (and handler).

I was more nervous than I should have been when Cotton and I entered the ring.  Cotton, however, was as cool as a cucumber.  He was just eager for the macaroni noodles he had seen me shove in my pocket.  There were 4 or 5 other dogs in his class and we were 3rd or 4th in line.  As we waited for our turn to stack for the judge (show dog speak for stand pretty and still), I did my best to keep Cotton from sniffing absolutely EVERYTHING.  We did our stack.  We ran out and back and then around in a circle.  And I was very shocked when the judge moved us to the front (meaning we were in first place).

And I was totally shocked when they announced that Cotton was first in his class!

We stayed in the ring for best dog, but got beat.  According to the people who were watching, the handler for the dog that beat Cotton was a nationally known handler, so in reality we lost to the handler (damn my inexperience!).

Cotton didn't get any points, but it was really good experience.  And our breeders made sure we knew that it was a VERY big win for Cotton.

After watching the other dogs and handlers, I can see that we need to work with Cotton more.  There's an ease about how professional handlers work with the dogs and how the other dogs responded.  Cotton is just too excited at the moment.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that my competitive spirit came alive at the dog show.  I thought "I can handle Cotton as well as those handlers!"  I just need the practice.

For the record, Cotton has won 1st in his class for every show he has entered.  The other shows may have only had one or two dogs in his class, but whatever.  We take what we can get.

This is the weirdest post I have written in a while.

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