Up at 4:50am. On purpose. Oh yes, I set my alarm for that time. On the list of top five reasons I'd drag my ass out of bed at an undoGly hour is Dog Show. The other four reasons are: the house is on fire, a dog is puking on my bed, a litter of puppies is being born and the house is on fire.
Our start time at the show was 8am with only 10 dogs ahead of Ridgebacks which meant I had to be at the show just after 7am to get Archer's brain in gear. I got there a bit early since I'd never been to that show location and I didn't want to be late. I dragged Archer inside and we settled to wait for our turn. He was a little stressed having never attended a show without his pal Leeloo to cling to but it's good for him to experience these things without his crutch.
He was a bit of a dink in his class and more of a dink in the Breed ring - mostly because the Specials bitch in front of him is coming into heat and the class bitch behind him is going out of heat. Oh joy for a teenage boy. He didn't know which way to turn. His little pea brain fell into his testicles and it was pretty much game over. No baiting, no stacking ... just ... gurl. Dear oh dear little man ... he didn't win.
Dora Lee, who owns Pearl (the girl who beat Archer this morning) invited us over to her house for a romp in the grass with her other, not in heat, bitch Ruby. Raimi was *beside* himself with glee that here, in front of him, with full and complete access, was another girl Ridgeback that was *not* boring ol' Leeloo. Ruby was amazing and a very good hostess. She and Leeloo sorted out who was the boss bitch (Ruby) and Leeloo contented herself with eating as much rabbit poo as she could while the boys went MENTAL. I mean ... utterly and completely twitterpated.
Raimi knew some girl on that property was in heat but since Ruby is spayed he contented himself with just flirting like crazy. Ruby was happy to oblige, in fact, she went so far as to snarl and snap and roar at him several times. Raimi was in heaven. Everytime he got close enough to poke her she'd lunge and make a big show of being annoyed and he'd just about fly around the tree tops with glee. Then she'd stand and look at him "Do it again, go on, I dare you." And being Boy ... he would oblige everytime. And everytime it was a gleeful poke and the reaction he longed for ... this went on for *some time* until he was exhausted and satisfied himself with sniffing grass and relaxing. Ruby loved every second even though she acted like it was a real headache. Those girls huh?
Then Ruby turned her attention to Archer. Now, Archer has not had a lot of experience with strange dogs. He's a bit of a coward and gets intimidated quite easily, he wants to be the Big Man on Campus but doesn't have the goods to back it up so he often submits when he gets The Stare. I prefer this to a dog who will rise to the challenge since it makes him a LOT easier to live with. Anyway, Ruby was a source of continual interest for him. He was like the shy teenager who has a huge crush on an older woman but can't bring himself to act. He would mostly stay behind her shoulder, away from the roaring sharp bits, and sproing around like an idiot. I wish like heck I'd remembered my camera! The second she'd turn to say "Wanna play?" he'd bolt to hide behind the picnic table. This happened numerous times and it never lost its charm.
Esme was a good little trooper, she was much more comfortable with the 'strange Ridgeback' than the 'strange Pulis' at my parent's house. She spent most of her time eating rabbit poop with Leeloo and didn't get involved in the rip tide of hormones on display.
We headed back to the show in time for our afternoon class and although Archer was very tired he showed a lot better! He didn't have the spunk and animation of the morning but at least he stood nicely and won the point. Tomorrow is another day and perhaps we can add another, or two, points to his tally. He'll get there - I'm thinking this summer, if he's not finished in the next couple shows, I'll do some obedience with him while he matures and then bring him out again either in the fall or next year. Obedience ... Ridgeback ... I do like to torture myself ...