The Bryn Mawr Kennel Club Shows

Bryn Mawr Kennel ClubThe Bryn Mawr Kennel Club Shows were held Saturday June 14th and Sunday June 15th at Ludwigs Corner, Pennsylvania. These shows kick off the summer season for me. I have gone to these shows every year since I got my first show puppy.

This July will mark seven years that I have been showing dogs. Most of the people I have met over the years have been involved in dog shows for much longer than I have. Several people I know started as children in juniors. Of those, who have been doing this forever, it seems, so have their parents and grandparents. These people are the backbone, the passionate breeders and owner handlers. But things are changing, even in the short time I have been involved I have seen the people that I know lose interest. Some for various reasons, but also because the ring is changing into a place where only the professionals can win.

Mimi the Pomeranium with ConnieI know I’ve said this before but this weekend it was so apparent. On Saturday I showed a Pomeranian puppy. I co-own her with a friend. The pom ring I am learning is a place where the professionals always show up. Poms require a lot of grooming and the pros really go all out. Our puppy, although well groomed was not as showy as most of the others. The interesting thing was that aside from myself and my friend, everyone in the ring was professional. Actually one handler brought most of the entries to, as we say; “build a major.” This handler traveled quite a distance because she expected to win, which she did.

I was surrounded by people that I am just getting to know. They were all very nice to me.

But they did not hesitate to discuss among themselves the entries faults and attributes. It was not mean spirited. They just knew who was going to win, the professional. One lady told me she did not enter because she did not want to waste her money.

I have always maintained I do this because I enjoy the people, but my old friends don’t come much anymore. When I started showing dogs I had a pretty puppy but she was a handful. At that time there were usually a good number of entries. And there were very few professionals in the smooth coat chihuahua ring. I wonder if I could have ever gotten the championship points I needed if I started today. I have doubts I will be able to finish my new puppy! Our little pom, her name is Mimi had fun but did not come close to winning the point. I’m not feeling very hopeful.

On Sunday I had Rocky (my smooth coat chihuahua) entered. There were five puppies that day, Rocky was the only champion, I was very happy to get the breed win. I didn’t know anyone in the ring.

The day was quite lovely weatherwise and I enjoyed being outside. Later that day in the pom ring it was a repeat of the day before, same dogs taking the points, which was not mine. The rest of the day was wonderful because I did see some of my dear old friends, the ones I had been around in the beginning, my mentors really. But none of them are showing chihuahuas anymore.

As I waited for group that day I sat under the grooming tent with a lot of good friends, we shared french fries and a funnel cake which is, as I have always said; sometimes “the best part of the day.” We all remembered why we give up our weekends and drive for hours and carry a lot of stuff around to only be ignored by a “handler” judge, we do it because we like each other. These people are fun to hang out with! I genuinely enjoy spending time with them. Sure the professionals have taken over, but I’ll still show up with the diehards.

It was a good day at the dog show. I left the house at 8am and did not get home until six. I was the only handler in group that was not a professional. Clearly I did not have a chance and the judge hardly looked at my dog. But as my friends cheered me on Rocky and I had fun. So I’ll keep doing this, not because I want to win although that is nice too, but for friendship, good times and the love of dogs.

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