Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Lil Show Dogs

For the past two years, Mike and I have made our way north to High Springs for the annual Mutts and Pups Dog Show to benefit the High Springs Farmer’s Market. This is no ordinary dog show- oh no, with categories like Best Smile, Best Trick, Best Kisses, Owner-Dog-Look-A-Like, and more- any and all dogs have a real shot at realizing their inner champion, pedigree or not!

Stella and Yeller have always fared well at this show. Yeller has placed second in the Best Smile competition two years in a row, and Stella, the defending Best Kisses champion and an Honorable Mention as Best in Show under her belt! (er, collar.) So this year, we knew we had to come in for our third year with our heads down and our game faces on, prepared to fight for our titles.
This is us in preparation for the competition. Clearly you can see the determination in our eyes, and the eyes of our dogs.

As the beginning of the competition drew near, we gave our dogs some pep talks and some booty scratches for luck, and then it was time to line up. Mike and Yeller were up first in the Best Smile category. Yeller gave his widest smile, Mike lifted him in the air like the show dog that he is, put him down, gave him snuggles- he pulled out all the stops.
 But the competition was fierce. Following Yeller, a Pomeranian stepped into the ring. Known for their perpetual smiles, this Pomeranian tripped us all up by glaring, rather than grinning, at the judges. Yes! One down. Next up- Big White Dog. Big White Dog had a large smile on his face while standing in line, intimidating the other competitors- dogs and owners alike. We squirmed. We fretted. We gave Yeller lots of hugs. But in the end, Yeller prevailed and took the First Place blue ribbon in Best Smile!!! We were so proud and excited that he’d jumped up in the rankings!!

But alas, we hardly had time to celebrate before needing to line up for Stella’s category- Best Kisses. Up against three other dogs- a Jack Russell, a Chihuahua, and an indeterminate Little-Bitty Dog, Stel stood out as the only big dog in the mix. We entered the ring, I stooped down… And Stel attacked me with kisses! Not in her usual fashion- she generally jumps up on me and knocks me over. But I believe she was just watching out for the new white maternity shirt I was wearing. We watched as the other dogs took their turn in the ring, an held our breath as the Jack Russell kissed not one, not two, but THREE of its family members. Stella looked concerned. I looked concerned. I petted the lil white stripe on her head.

At last the judges submitted their scores, and the time had come to announce the winners. Stella and I entered the ring, wide-eyed and big-bellied. As the third and second prize were announced, we breathed a little easier- I knew she’d placed somewhere, after all! And here we were, First Place Best Kisses for the third year running!!! We were so excited as we tied on her blue ribbon, and beamed at our TWO Show Dog Champions!

After their categories were over, we reviewed our loot- dog treats, discounts for haircuts and canoe trips (Canoe trip anyone? We got two gift certificates!) We also won a $10 coupon for The Station CafĂ© and Bakery, and went for a celebratory lunch of turkey clubs and ice cream cones (the dogs feasted on a few choice bits of bacon from our sammies.)

All in all, a fun, successful family day at the dog show- and all for a good cause! All you dog lovers, we invite you to join us next year… Although, I’d stay away from Best Kisses and Best Smile competitions. We’ve got those locked up! :)

A couple more pics:

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