Here is a message from Bart:
We are back from the Belgian Shepherd Dog (with other breeds allowed to show up) show in Randolph, Ohio. All in all, a fun trip, despite having to ride in the pen in the back of the van... an Estrela really needs to be on the lap of one of the people in the car when riding, you know?
My agent held the leash in the first show, on Friday night. The judge was really nice and friendly and all, but I just wasn't into showing. It was a long drive and a long wait, and while showing off is always one of my favorite things, standing still was not really among my priorities. So, I may have embarrassed my agent a bit. He'll get over it.
Supper that night was pretty late. The motel where we stayed was nice but there was no magic room with sliding doors, so I chose to be quiet all night so that my agent didn't have to cart my pen up to the room for me to sleep in. The bathroom floor was nice and cool, and I decided it would be a good place for me to lay where I could protect my humans. I got up at 6:30 on the dot, just like at home, so that they would not feel homesick or anything.
Saturday I met a nice young Kangal pup and his owners. I would have liked to play with him... if only it weren't for that darned leash! I could tell he didn't like his leash either, by the way he kept biting it in the ring. He'll grow out of it.
After more waiting around, Michelle took me into the ring for the morning show (by this time, morning was almost over!). I wasn't in the mood to behave then, either... but I must have looked GOOD since I placed in group. The Leonberger in group, who was right behind me, looked like my dear mom Castica, and I would have loved to investigate her a little more closely. Unfortunately she took group.
I took a bit of an afternoon nap, and lots more waiting before the afternoon show. I was really wanting to play with that Kangal. This judge was faster (not as chatty) but she must have something against the king of all breeds. Michelle promised me a hamburger if I behaved during group... you know I can't be bought off like that, but I chose to behave anyway. I just can't understand why I didn't place in group... but that same mom-like Leonberger took group again. Grrrrrrr... a sad day for Estrelas. But my new buddy looked really good and took second in group among the puppies. Yay for him!
On the ride home Michelle tried to give me that ketchup-laden hamburger. She actually expected me to eat it in the pen! I expected her to give in and let me out to eat it, but it wasn't happening, so I ate a little bit to appease her and saved the rest for a rest stop a little later.
There are some rumblings about "practicing" before the next show. I don't know, you'd think these judges would be a little more shallow and only care about looks, where I got it goin' on... this expectation for standing still is a little ridiculous!