June 8th, 2010

The Pack at the Flatirons Kennel Club Show

FlatironsBichonsJune2010.jpg

We spent this past weekend at the Flatirons Kennel Club Dog Show up in Longmont, Colorado, about 100 miles north on I-25 past Denver. It was not a huge show for bichons, and there were only three entered, all males. We entered Jack and Dash, and our new friends Maggy and Steve Lamp entered their 19-month-old Tucker. QBit and Aero were with us, which complicated logistics considerably, but we got a little behind on their vaccination schedules and kennel rules are strict at good kennels. Aero is now a champion, and while he could be entered as a "special," Carol felt she would be better off putting her effort into whipping Dash's coat into shape.

She did. Alas, good coat or not, about the best we can say about Dash himself is that he didn't try to jump up on the judges and lick their noses, as he did at the last Denver show. He has this thing about leashes, and shakes his head while walking to try and get free of them. He also pulls badly when he should be walking around the show ring at a stately prance. "Stately" isn't in his vocabulary yet. (Aero seemed born to the manner.)

It was a hot day, with humidity shoveled into the barns by ginormous county fairgrounds swamp coolers, and we saw a lot of dog tongues. (Above, left to right: Jack, Carol, Dash, Maggy, and Tucker.) Tucker is a great little dog who is just starting out on the show circuit but still gave Dash a serious run for his money. Dash stayed true to his rowdy nature but evidently his coat carried the day, and when it was over, Dash scored Best in Breed both Saturday and Sunday. (At weekend dog shows, each day is usually a separate competition.)

This may have been due to the small field, and (more likely) the lack of past-champion specials and bitches at the show. Female bichons are a lot less rowdy than males (especially young males) and tend to show better generally. By winning, Dash thus earned four points and made it out of bichon competition entirely. For the first time ever, Carol got to field a dog in the group competition, where the best entrants from each breed in the non-sporting group compete against all the other best-of-breeds. Alas, we got whupped by the same Boston Terrier both days. (Don't ask me why Boston Terriers aren't in the Terrier group. Nobody said the dog show business makes sense, least of all Carol or me.)

Still, it was great good fun, and as aerobic as dog shows can get, I managed some quiet time in our hotel room to research ePub tools and get ideas. I'm fleshing out a new novella, Drumlin Circus, and took some good notes. Jim Strickland asked me last week what would happen if somebody drummed up the Big Ball of Plutonium--and I couldn't answer. It doesn't take much plutonium to go critical, and I admit I was a little shocked at just how little when Jim looked it up. So there's plenty of conceptual work still to be done on the Thingmakers, and I'm glad Jim is noodging me to do it. He and I are considering an all-Drumlin Copperwood Double, with two 25,000-35,000 word novellas back to back, in tete-beche format.

The Colorado Springs show is next weekend, and after that it gets quiet for awhile on the dog show front. That's ok; it's summer and there's a lot to do, like hanging an Elfa shelving system along the entire 20-foot rear wall of the garage. There's software to test and Field Day to work and many words to be written. Snow season is (finally!) over. Time to put my winter coat away and get at it.