The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

28 January 2014

Service dog meetup at the Golden Gate Kennel Club Dog Show

Left to right: Bella, Kiyah, Baja, Rhydian, Juno, Kaline, Delphine, and Bruce.
This past weekend was another where I just did way too much. Every year the Golden Gate Kennel Club hosts an all-breed dog show for two days at the Cow Palace, and we go and wear ourselves out. I always meet up with Sonja, but this year at one point we had eight service dog teams together!

Saturday, Juno and Kaline both got to go, since Sonja's Chief was still recovering from a paw injury and wasn't supposed to walk a lot on concrete. Juno won't work for most people, but she adores Sonja and will work for her. She was absolutely delighted to be able to go. Especially since Sonja gave her french fries.

We hung out a lot with our new friends Lindsay and Bruce the Painted Doberman (lots of people wanted photos of the Doberman service dogs in training) and with Ashley and her insanely cute Shar Pei-shepherd mix, Delphine. Probably the most commonly asked question of the whole weekend was, “What kind of dog is that?” We also met Tiffany and Baja, a German shepherd; Hillary and Kiyah, a pit bull; Heather and Bella, an Ibizan hound who won Best of Breed on Sunday; and Clara and Rhydian, another German shepherd.
Kaline and Bruce
Saturday we got there early and left early, due to a Michigan-Stanford men's gymnastics meet in the evening. Kaline did pretty well, other than our usual bugaboo of pulling too hard in harness, and pulling at all on leash. Everyone was just in love with him. I don't know why I get all surprised by that, but I guess I assume I'm in love with him cause he's, you know, mine. (Not that I don't get freaking frustrated as hell with him several times a week ...) But yeah, he was very popular among the other handlers. I of course let them love on him when he was just chilling out. He was most pleased with his new fan club.

We watched the Dobermans show, and among them was a stunning, all-natural, eight-month-old male Doberman from Poland. It was his owner/handler's first time ever showing in conformation and it was just so sweet to see all the experienced handlers coming over before they went in the ring to try to help her prepare. Argo won some ribbons, being the only one in his age group. Such a sweet, cute boy. Makes me want a Polish Doberman, haha! He had a much thicker coat than Kaline and the other Dobermans—looked like it might actually help him keep warm. What a concept!
We came home for a nap after our time at the show, and then headed to Stanford for the meet. It was insanely loud and crowded due to the Stanford Open being held that weekend (for young gymnasts). The nice “redcoats” made us a little disabled section between two of the bleachers where the dogs (Sonja and Chief came) were protected. Michigan won, rather miraculously, and we got to see all our friends. Had one annoying stranger totally butt in on a conversation I was having with my friend, complaining about how her husband is searching for a Doberman but all the breeders he's called are “sold out” and want the princely sum (being sarcastic here) of $1500-2000. UGH. But mostly it was great. Kaline was so exhausted from the dog show that he held his down perfectly the whole evening. His pre- and post-meet crowd work was pretty excellent.
Kaline at his first men's gym meet.
Sunday we went to the dog show a bit later, though not as much later as I thought given how tired I was Saturday. We visited the Lagottos, both of whom turned out to be closely related to Kaline's little boyfriend, Lupo. We again wandered with Lindsay, Sonja, and Ashley, shopping and watching the breed judging.
Lindsay and I are both Paco addicts. WIN.
All the cute.

Five of us—Ashley, Lindsay, Heather, Clara, and I—ended up at our dinner, which we did at Buca di Beppo in the city. It was interesting getting five service dogs/service dogs in training all under or next to the table, but the staff were quite nice and set us up in a less crowded area. It was very yummy, and definitely a lot of fun to hang out with people who just get it. By the time I got home, though, I was totally zonked! Waking up the next morning to a full schedule of four pack walks: Not the best thing ever. But the exposure and distraction work are great for Kaline, and it's always wonderful to meet up with other handlers.
Snuggles at dinner.

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