I heard a shrieking. Or a squawking. Maybe a cat fight?
Crystal said, "Is that cats?"
"Maybe some weird Swedish bird that we don't have," I offered.
"No, that's cats! Maybe in the park." Crystal got up and threw back the curtain to look out the open window. Bright sunlight streamed in. "Kitty, kitty, kitty! Heeeerre KITTY KITTY KITTY!!!" Crystal yelled at the feline pugilists across the street in the park.
I grabbed my glasses and flipped open my laptop, worried that we had missed the wake up call and Lisa would be there waiting for us. Eight PM, my laptop said. I counted on my fingers: eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, one, two...
"Crystal!!! It's three o'clock in the morning here! SHHHHH!! Everyone has their windows open and everyone else is sleeping!!!"
The cats, who may have been lovers, not fighters, were as surprised as the other hotel guests at the American lady screaming out her window at three in the morning, and were not heard from again. Crystal pointed out that the guests could now sleep in peace. We were dumbfounded at the bright sky. And we were done sleeping. We talked until five am, got showered, packed and descended in the scary elevator with our luggage for an early breakfast.
The free breakfasts which Swedish hotels provide are something to behold, which I will describe later, but the message did not get through to the morning clerk that we would need an early one. I did not have to try to look pathetic. "Coffee, please, oh please, some coffee," I croaked. The kind clerk got us coffee and then took pity on our sorry selves and got rolls and ham and cheese, which we ate with gusto, and we each made a sandwich-to-go, stowed in our bags. Lisa arrived in the coolest VW van that we both coveted. There was tons of room for dogs and us and gear and luggage and it was a manual shift and fuel efficient. They do not sell those in America, no they don't. And most importantly, it contained Swede William's litter sister, Bree, and their nephew, Stavros, and the significantly gravid Lisa!
[Stavros peaks around Lisa's very cool VW van. BTW, this photo was taken at 10:15 PM!]
The World Dog SHOW. It is the largest dog show in the WORLD, and travels from country to country. Approximately 23,000 dogs would be exhibited from fifty-six countries over four days. We were there, part of the 50,000 visitors at the Stockholmsmässan! The building was large and airy. Actually it was a group of buildings which were interconnected.
We got there, and (unlike our uncivilized American shows) dogs were checked for health records, and free poop bags were handed out. I was giddy! There was Swede William's father, Latte, whom I'd only seen in photos! And Latte's sweet breeder Helene (pronounced hel LEE on)! And Swede William's litter brother Tiger, whom I'd nearly chosen, and his talented artist mom, Madde. I was in heaven.
The whippet entry was HUGE. Two rings were being judged simultaneously, dogs in one ring, bitches in the other. Bree was second in her huge, huge, huge class, making her eligible for Best Bitch. What a thrill!
[Bree being examined by the ridiculously handsome Swedish judge!]
Tiger was fourth in his huge, huge, huge class. At the World Dog Show!
[Tiger being examined by the stunningly handsome German judge, with Madde looking appreciative!]
Then, nine month old puppy Stavros and Lisa took the stage. The Junior class is for nine to fifteen month olds, making Stavros at a disadvantage due to his youth. Not to worry! He won BEST OF BREED JUNIOR AT THE WORLD SHOW!!!
A lady from South Africa or New Zealand or Australia grabbed him from Lisa (not in a scary way) and stood him on the exam table and ran him around the ring, and pronounced, "I'll take him!" Lisa smiled and took her baby back. No way.
Next it was on to the TV cameras, crowds, and glamour of the Main Ring for Lisa and Stavros to compete against the other Best of Breed Junior Winners from each breed of the Terrier, Sporting, and Hound Groups.
to be continued...
hug your hounds