Best In Show

I have a 9-month-old Samoyed named Gracie (see “Full of Grace”). We got her not long after my other Samoyed, Callie, passed away. I was so devastated because my dogs are like my kids to me. I knew I wanted another dog and I knew I wanted the same breed because Sammys are sweet, funny, smart and very chatty. I was planning on waiting an appropriate amount of time before I found another dog. But I think I missed Callie so much that I jumped in head first.

I found Gracie through a local breeder. Her mother and father are both champions (in fact, her father competed in Westminster twice), and she was deemed “show quality.” Translation: in order to get her, I had to sign a contract agreeing to show her in what’s called “conformation,” which really amounts to a beauty pageant for dogs.

I love dogs and I love doing stuff with my dog, so I thought going to dog shows was going to be fun. It’s a hell of a lot more work than I thought, though. I had no idea what I was getting into. NO idea. My only experience with dog shows was watching Westminster each year on TV and watching the movie “Best in Show.” (Side note: I’ve been working with a woman to learn to handle in the ring, and she was the technical advisor for “Best in Show”!) There’s hair (oh, lots of hair!), nails, teeth and stage parents. My husband has started calling her Jon Benet Dog. I hate to admit this, but I think I’m sort of becoming one of those stage parents. I get very protective when I hear people talking about Gracie unfavorably (WTF? She’s the cutest thing out there!), and I get competitive when she’s in the ring (“How could that judge choose THAT dog? I bet it’s not even purebred!”) My husband fully expects me to be running around any day now, having a meltdown, shouting shrillly, “Where’s her Busy Bee? Where’s her Busy Bee?!!!”

This was a big weekend for Gracie! On Saturday there was a Samoyed Specialty (all Sammys, all the time) before the regular show and she got Best Puppy, which is huge! I’m waiting for the “official photo” so I can post that.

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