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Road Trip to Nationals

With Christmas looming, what do I do? Drive 1100 miles from Texas to Florida of course!

Come and read my debrief of the AKC National Dog Show in Orlando.

Road Trip Puppy!

Orlando sees the annual pilgrimage of doggy people for the AKC National Championship dog show. I went along to a) socialize Zoot for road trips, motels, and the dog show atmosphere, b) to meet a lot of the main players in the Manchester Terrier (both Toy and Standard, and agility!) scene, and c) volunteer on the Meet the Breeds stand.

I was very heartened that Zoot was a good traveller. She slept a lot in the car, chewed on her bones, discovered the taste for a big chunk of natural low-salt beef jerky. At the show, she took it all in without being nervous. In the motel rooms, she had quite a good time in whizzing around the rooms with her toys, and best of all, didn't bark whenever there was a bump, a noise, or someone talking in the motel rooms.

Meeting the breeders and show people was my highlight. Putting faces to names is always a useful exercise, and then, getting to talk about this breed I love to the general public in the Meet the Breeds stand was a privilege.

Zoot was a great asset to the booth - "This is a toy puppy"

Kudos to Rachel Taylor Jonas who organized the stand, and after eight years of doing so, finally got her reward: a 2nd place out of all the other stands. If you had seen all the thrones and statues and tinsel on the other stands, you'd know that this was a real honor!

2nd Place - well deserved!

Of course, let's be fair - I was only there for the weekend, while most everyone else had been taking part in the cluster of shows for the whole week beforehand! This included Manchester of the Year and the club's dog show on Friday, so I was impressed by the stamina of these men and women - and dogs! - in keeping on "keepin' on" for this marathon event.

Can't wait to do it all myself next year!

Retracing my drive on Sunday night seemed a real let-down. Only the pavement, Zoot, my audio book (Steinbeck), and a pooch palace at the Super 8 near Pensacola: oh the life of a dog-showing road warrior.

This final picture sums it all up, though. A pooped pooch. 'Nuff said!

Is there enough room for the driver in that bed???


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