A Hutto We Will Go

Friends and I decided to take Rita, her sister Gwen, and her mother Savannah to an international  dog show in Hutto Tx. We also brought along four small pups to socialize, since they were too young to leave at home while we were all gone. Somehow this sounds like the start of a traveling circus?

The first day began with a late start, VERY dense fog on country roads, several on the fly navigational changes.. all to make an early show time at a place we'd never been before and in a three hour speed record drive!  But we made it to the ring on time... straight off the trucks and not time to do more than a quick brush & fluff to their fur. Gwen won best mal pup that day.

When we checked into the hotel that evening and I found I was trapped there! Every time I left the room, Rita cried LOUDLY not to be crated in a strange place by herself. So I endured hairy butt runs over the top of me as I'm trying to pass out on the bed while waiting for my friends to returned with food... Rita then has the gall to beg all the pickles, lettuce, and quite a few fries from my dinner.

Saturday morning, I was  the only one NOT to oversleep (Yes, friends will appreciate the humor of THIS!) and a resulting mad rush of walking dogs, reloading trucks, and another frenzied (and thankfully much shorter!) drive back to the show site. Gwen beat Rita again, this time in the puppy sweepstakes. Switching off dogs ringside, I get caught with a half eaten banana (with peel) stuck in my mouth... to the great amusement of the ring steward. But Rita still won best Mal pup in the regular classes and in spite of not being groomed! We cleaned Rita up a little before the her group's puppy class began... and she was third in the working group!

Sunday the judge started 10 minutes early..  we barely got the girls brushed out before stepping into the ring. Guess we were just destined to barely make the shows that weekend? Gwen won the Mal puppy class again, but since Rita was the best bred-by mal puppy.. she still advanced to the working group best bred-by. Then came the last minute potty break before best bred-by puppy... and while I was walking Rita, the sprinklers come on to squirt me in the face and soak us both! Once again she barely got into the ring on time after being dried off. At this point, Rita decided this show stuff really IS fun, so... "I'll just look around at the judge and all the other doggies while I'm in the ring"... followed by "I'd sure like to play with the dogs in front of me!" Although she was having fun, Rita ended up placing somewhere in the middle of the group. Oh, well... maybe another day?
Other memorable moments of Hutto: Rita finding dried toadies to crunch and cats to chase in the hotel parking lot. Her trying to visit the Rotties two doors down, and once almost succeeding.  Add to that  the joys of wrangling 3 dogs, 4 small pups (puppy sitting & socialization), and lots of "stuff" in/out of the hotel and show site every day in sweltering 90+ Texas heat. Also turning a lovely shade of teal from a steamy silk shirt.

But the girls all did well and we really did have a good time. Savannah became a UCI International Champion, and both Rita & Gwen received their national youth titles. Rita and Gwen did very well for only their second time out (the first was a puppy match) and their first "real" show...

The drive home on Sunday was as adventurous as the drive out. I lost the other truck (THEY missed the exit!) 10 minutes out of Hutto on the drive home. I stopped twice for "Mr.Speed Limit" to catch up... meanwhile he found a crossroad, ended up in front of me and driving like a "bat.." to catch up to ME!  Back on the road, the dogs are so tired they don't bother to look when I start eating "road munchies"! Anyone with mals knows THAT is one tired dog! I finally pull into my friend's drive just as they finish unloading, drop off Savannah and head out again. A half hour later, Rita and I drag ourselves home to Neko's "Dance of the LONG Deserted Dog"...


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