The Board meeting started at 6:30. In the morning. When the meeting time was announced, I asked if 6:30 a.m. is an actual time? Does it exist in reality? Apparently, yes, it does.
Swede William stayed in bed with his brand new friends Lavender and Colin and his human friend Crystal while I showered. I've gotten so incredibly techno that I can set a wake up alarm on my cell phone. Yes, I am impressed with myself, as I'm sure you are as well. It's silly, because if I set an alarm, I wake up minutes before it goes off anyway, but there you go.
I dressed (remember I had cleverly left my hanging clothes on the back of the bedroom door in Western Kentucky) in the only pair of non-khaki, non-denim pants I had. A pale peach silk pair of oldies but goodies, with a cotton camel turtleneck sweater - a recent hand-me-down gift from a generous friend (had you recognised it, Deb?) - that didn't really match, oh well. It was warm and comfy. I took a good-natured little Swedish whippet out for a walk around the hotel grounds as the sun groaned over the smoggy horizon, plopped him in his crate in the van with breakfast, and kissed him.
Did he protest the early hour? Being alone in the van? Dining solo? He did not. He was snugly in his Wistwind Goretex and shearling coat and he gave me a Scandinavian wink and a nod: I'm cool! Life is grand! Go do your silly human thing; I'm going back to sleep.
The Board meeting was not finished by the time Board members had to show their puppies, so we would reconvene during the lunch break. I honestly can't remember what I did. I'm sure I immediately got William and went for another good walk. We must have watched for a while. Oh! The conversation about the borrowed skirt and the butt sweats occurred. I avoided the booths as much as I could, only I had to buy some liver for bait. (See Swede William's adoringly attentive expression in the top photo? Liver.)
The meeting concluded at lunch. We would reconvene once more after the votes had been counted to elect Board officers.
Time for Swede William's class, Open Dogs. All of the dogs entered the ring in the Atlanta Hilton ballroom with the wild carpet. The class was so large that, after having a first impression look at the entire entry, the judge split the class into thirds, keeping only the first third in the ring. William was in the second third. Again (this is a little scary) I can't recall what I did in the meantime, but when the judge had chosen his 'keepers' from the first third, and the second third went back into the ring for their turn, Swede William and I were among them.
The dog loves, loves, loves to show. He can get a little persnickety about the judge examining his bite (well, who knows where those hands have been) and I was worried. Seemed like just about everyone at the National wanted a close up view of William's eyes. (The American whippet standard calls for a dark, "nearly black" eye. This is a genetic impossibility in dogs of William's color - which is why you don't see many showing in this country. William's eyes are as dark as genetically possible, but people want to see for themselves.) A handy way to look at a whippet's eyes is to grab his nose and turn his face up to you. And about 236 people had done that so far that day outside the ring. So I worried that William had had enough of strangers' hands on his muzzle.
Oh and a word about the judge. He's oh my God handsome. Cary Grant handsome only better. Oh how I wished I could have shown him Lindy Loo, and her handsome brother Emmett. And I wished I could have shown Sam I Am in agility and rally, and Looch and Delia in Veteran's, but it was not to be. I was going to fulfill my promise to William's breeder Lisa, and William would show in the National. Dammit.
He was a Very Good Dog. He didn't mind hunka hunka judge's hands in his mouth one bit. He did everything right. And he made the cut!!! Woohoooo! That's a big deal to make the cut at the National. He would come back in with the other keepers.
Only now the Board had to gather to elect officers. We discussed. I said, "I have to keep track of time, because my Open dog made the cut." We discussed more. I tried to see what was going on in the ball room, but couldn't. More discussion. "I think I better go now. Whatever you decide is fine with me."
William and I dashed back into the ballroom, to a chorus of "Patience, get IN there! They're back in already! Hurry UP!" from the spectators. The dogs were all lined up in the middle of the ring, facing the crowd. We had missed the grand entrance and first go around. I found an opening in the middle and squoze in. Redfaced.
William was just happy to be playing again.
And he finished third in Open Dogs at the National.
Good boy. Congratulations, Lisa. Not only did you breed a handsome, correct, fast whippet who floats around the ring with ease. You bred a dog with the best temperament in the world, and a shining, wonderful heart! Well done and thank you.
hug your hounds
(photos by William's friend Joe Stewart, who kindly held a jealous screaming William ringside at shows when he was a pup and I was in the ring with Lindy Loo and Emmett)