When at the show last weekend Sandra, who is Raylan and Archer's Mommy, took some nice photos of Cora while she was showing. This is from the first day and Cora is a little anxious but slowly relaxed the longer she was in the ring.
This is the first show she's been to where she has been in the ring a little longer than usual. She definitely needed the time to be in there with the other dogs and see that it wasn't so bad. She hardly paced at all - something she does when she's anxious - and she will one day be a lovely happy show dog.
As I've said, I'm in no hurry with Cora. She will finish when she finishes and I am determined not to be pressured or swayed by any deadlines. Some people think there is a certain number of weekends your dog should finish in but I think that's horse hockey. If you are going to show after show with a mature dog and never winning, never getting reserve against actual competition or never getting encouragement from judges then perhaps you do need to look at whether you should be showing that dog. But, if you have a young dog who just needs to mature, be it in mind or body, then keep at it, don't stress and let the wins come to you.
I did ask myself leading up to the Halifax show what was the point in going. I had no bitch competition and did I really want to spend $150 in gas for Cora to get experience. I can think of a lot cheaper ways for her to do that! In the end I went to support Luke and his owner Stephanie, and to just see what Cora could do. She rewarded me with leaps and bounds of improvement - although the day she won was her worst behaved day - and I do recall spending more money on a single point at a Prince Edward Island show for her mother!
Since this coming weekend may be her last show of the year I am hoping for a couple more points and then we can let her mature over the winter and see what 2013 has to offer. We may hit one more show in November but it will depend on the timing of a trip to the Caribbean for me. I don't mind waiting, I don't need the 'winningest' young Ridgeback in Canada, I need a nice stable solid start for a young dog and that is exactly what I'm getting.
Showing is not the be all, end all of dog-dom. Some things are more important than a show record. Ninety percent of my quality time with Cora is not spent in the ring, it's right here ...