We got up super early on Saturday, because the Doberman breed judging started at 8:30. We picked up Sonja nearby—after she almost gave me a heart attack knocking on the window while I was at the traffic light! Argh! Chief came later because he wanted to sleep in.
Kaline, naturally, was not at all ready to settle on the floor, even with his blankie, first thing in the morning. So I spent most of the Doberman judging with him on my lap in some way. We saw a gorgeous black bitch come out in a pink and black zebra horse blanket, covered in sparkles. She was stunning, and she turned out to be Fifi! Full name, Protocol's Veni Vidi Vici, which is extremely fitting. She walked into the ring and you just knew she was going to win. She won the Working Group and Best in Show both nights of the show. She just blew everyone away. Her owner/handler was really nice, and liked Kaline's adorable ears.
|Kaline does his own judging of the Doberman group: “I'm cuter than all you guys. Know why? I have awesome-sauce natural ears!”|
|So many Dobies!!! And a rogue Pharaoh Hound.|
|The Fifinator! Her handler had her pose so her fans could take photos. Isn't she just gorgeous?!|
We went up and down the benches, checking out the various breeds and saying hi.
|Kaline blocks while I chat with Linda. D.J. is the red male, and Rosie, the black female, is his mom. I'm crazy about Rosie—she is such a love.|
|Kaline and D.J. making “Let's play!” faces at each other. They wanted to roughhouse so bad.|
I also did some very delightful shopping, buying a slim snake chain each for Kaline and Juno (for obedience/Rally) and also a braided exceedingly soft leather traffic lead for each. Kaline got black, Juno got teal. And I got a pink dumbbell for Chief, cause he just turned a year old!
|Our new obedience gear!|
|Chief and Kaline on our midday tea break, which temporarily relieved my deathly hacking cough. (I am almost over the damn flu.)|
|All dogs like to curl up on Sonja's bag. Kaline is no exception (also at the tea break).|
Later in the day we met up with a Facebook friend, Ashley, and her SDIT Mordecai. Mo is a beautiful blue nose pit bull, and just the sweetest thing! She did great. Kaline of course is in love with her. Everyone at the Cow Palace was in love with Mo—Ashley really cleaned up in the free stuff department! We also got to hang out with Heidi and her SDIT Arrow, a super handsome yellow Lab.
|Kaline, Chief, and Mordecai, with me and Ashley, by the Rottweiler ring. Yes, Juno is painted on my sweatshirt.|
|What an adorable group, don't you think?|
We missed the beginning of the group judging, but caught Fifi winning the Working Group!
|Kaline needed a warmer place to curl up during group judging ... I was amazed he still fits!|
For dinner, we met another handler, Rebekah, and her SD Cali, along with a friend and her pet dog, at an Italian place. In San Francisco, ESAs have access rights the same as SDs, so you can basically take your dog anywhere and not have any issues. And the restaurants won't get nailed for health code violations. Mo and Kaline were butt buddies. He was pretty restless though, because we spent so long trying to find a parking spot and used up his tired settling time in the car. Gaaah, I wanted Juno so bad when he was popping up and putting his head practically on the tabletop. But it was a very long day for him, and for a nine-month-old, he really did fabulously.
|All of us after dinner: Kaline, Cali, Missy, and Mo with their humans, heehee.|
Sunday, though, was a dream. Juno is just too much fun to work. We did a lot of momentum pulling practice, and the majority of the time she did really well. There were of course a few moments where I'd be like, “Forward!” all happy, and Juno would back up and practically go sideways. That was awkward. But most of the time she'd go right ahead and be super, sometimes with Sonja or Ashley as a target, and sometimes without.
|Juno and I making googly eyes at each other.|
|Cue incoherent baby talk.|
Chief had a very excellent day as well on Sunday (he came for the morning, and went home after our midday tea break) and looked so bloody adorable in his little backpack harness. There was nothing in it, really, but he looked so businesslike. Which made it odd when this door-guard kept attempting to hassle us each time we'd come back into the Cow Palace after going outside. Juno was in her big vest covered in tons of patches with me hanging on to her handle, and Chief of course had his packs, and they're like, “NOOOOOOO, don't bring the dogs in!” Some people are just silly. We didn't even stop for them; I'd just look over my shoulder in what I imagined to be withering fashion (ha!) and go, “Service Dogs.”
|Chief settled in his adorable backpack harness.|
Juno settled immediately for the Doberman judging, although at the end I let her get up and have a peek at the action. Of course Fifi kicked butt again. I just got such a thrill out of seeing fifteen or so Dobermans all in one place, because you hardly even see one around here. And all well bred and beautiful. Mmmmmm.
|Junebug and Chief doing off-leash sit-stays in the main arena.|
|I love Juno BUNCHES, No. 1.|
|I love Juno BUNCHES, No. 2. Jeez. Lookit that face.|
She did great in the benching areas and in the booths, naturally. Lots of good pulling and blocking and ignoring everything. Which was a lot of stuff.
|Doberman bench again. In red and green are our two Rally acquaintances, and in the chair is Fifi's mom.|
We got Mom a Diane Wat shirt (she will be so excited). We stopped by the Peninsula Humane Society booth since Juno is an alumna, which was quite fun, and then I ended up chatting with a woman involved in an organization that works to train SDs for veterans with PTSD and TBI. She asked if she could take a picture of Juno's big patch, because she liked it so much, so I started writing out patch websites for her. She does amazing work!
|Mo, Chief, and Juno doing down-stays by the Rottweiler ring.|
|Mo works on a down-stay, Chief does a long-distance sit-stay, and Juno blocks by the Rottweiler ring.|
|They are just so cute!|
|Awesome dog-powered cycle thing we saw outside between “upstairs” and “downstairs.” The dogs were clearly having a great time. The guy who made it has made others for wounded veterans to exercise their dogs more easily, how awesome!|
|Juno at the midday tea break.|
We made sure to get back to the main arena for all the group judging. There was a group of old people behind us who Ashley and I decided were the real-life equivalent of Internet trolls ... or just mind-numbingly idiotic. Of course I got sucked into arguing with the dumbest one, but eventually I was able to restrain myself. Sigh.
Juno eventually got cold, just as Kaline had done (much faster) the day before. Kaline, of course, had gotten up in my lap for the warmth, which is totally normal for him. I was surprised and delighted when Juno did the same thing! Oddly, though Kaline is now taller and heavier than she is, he was able to fit his entire self on my lap, while Juno needed to use about half of Sonja's as well as all of my lap. Mo decided the whole lap thing was a good idea too. It was so freaking cute. And then Fifi won again! Hurrah!
|I'm coooold, Mom!|
|Only Juno could pull this off.|
It was a very marvelous weekend. I wish there were more dog shows like that nearby. Although I'd probably spend all my money there if there were!