Tuesday and Wednesday are primarily dedicated to Obedience but Tuesday afternoon also includes the opening ceremonies. Flags from the U.S., Canada, Newfoundland, Mexico, the State of Michigan, the Newfoundland Club of America and the American Kennel Club are all paraded in before the National Anthems are played. After that, each regional club brings in their flag while their accomplishments and activities are read out loud.
Most of the clubs dressed in a theme appropriate for their area. My favorite was the Newfoundland Club of New England since they were proudly wearing the jerseys and gear of their sports teams but many of the other clubs were very creative with their outfits. Winn and I marched with our club and we all wore draft test t-shirts since our club put it together this year. ( I didn’t get any good pictures since we were in the staging area waiting for our turn.) After the ceremony, the club flags fly just outside the show area for all to see.
Wednesday was our final day of competitive events. We had been in the hotel since Sunday night and we both woke up feeling sick. I had been up most of the night with a terrible headache and nausea and Winn started the day with an upset stomach. I realized too late that I was having caffeine withdrawal because I hadn’t been drinking my normal amount of coffee each morning since we were so busy. I think Winn was suffering from stress, over stimulation, too many treats the day before or all of the above. I was contemplating pulling us out of our events and lying low in the room, but decided to try our first event. I figured I could pull out of the other two if we didn’t feel up to them.
We were one of the first dogs in the Rally ring and I didn’t expect to do well. I think I was the most calm I’ve ever been since my expectations were so low and we nailed it! To my surprise, we scored well, finished in 3rd place and Winn got her Rally Advanced title. We had so much fun I decided we would go ahead and do the next rally event. We got a perfect score! Winn was very chipper exiting the ring after we proudly took first place.
Our final event was in the Obedience ring. On Tuesday we didn’t qualify. We had been trying to finish her 3rd leg needed for her Companion Dog/Novice title and that was the 5th time we NQ’d. I had no hope that we would do better, but we played games before we went in and I decided to be as goofy as I could between exercises to keep her attention and make it fun. Apparently, that was the secret because we tied for 3rd place, she got her best score ever in that event and we finally got her title! To break the tie, we had a run-off with an additional heeling pattern which neither of us were really into. I had a hard time focusing since I was just so thrilled that we actually qualified. The other team performed better and we finished in 4th place. In addition to our placement, qualifying and titling ribbons, the trophies that day were pieces of Lenox China made for the show. What a wonder way to finish!
One of the most special highlights of the week is the Living Legends ceremony. Newfoundlands 10 years and older are honored. A huge banner with all of their faces is displayed all week just outside the main show ring. This year, over 80 dogs were celebrated. Their names are called out and those that are present and able, walk into the ring. They each receive a special medal, a booklet featuring all of the Living Legends and a special poster made with their picture in the center.
Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.
I’ll finish this post with an event I hadn’t seen before, but is definitely one of my favorites that I watched last week. Imagine trying to make two dogs move as one in the conformation ring. That is Brace class, a thing of beauty when they are in sync mixed with a few moments of mayhem in between.
I’ll wrap up this series tomorrow with a few more featured events, but there is certainly so much more to see at this show!