Monday, April 20, 2009

Swede William at the National

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)


  1. WOOHOO!! Way to go you two, ANY recognition at the Nationals is something to be proud of! I checked the Daily Whippet & saw a black & white went breed, I immediately thought of my friend Carol Curry and how she must have been smiling down on them and loving every minute of that!

  2. You know what WE remember best about this (wonderful - CONGRATULATIONS!) post?


    We're making sure Mom adds it to the list for the run to the market!

    (Wish we coulda been there!)

    Jake and Fergi

  3. Congratulations, Patience! Quite the over-whleming week, though.

    OK....I'm into racing so except for the blue eye, the color doesn't really matter. To be honest, I like the lighter eye... I find it hard to explain why, though (the real reason, would probalby give me a label of silly girl so will not written). One of Gabi's puppies is a blue fawn....very cool color with a very cool eye, but not dark enough by American standards. I'll try to post, again, on my blog some day so that you can see Josie (the puppy that broke).

  4. PS: I love the first picture of him.

  5. I want a William puppy. With those credentials, who wouldn't. :)

  6. Well, we want to say again how beautiful William looks...Teka is beside herself, of course. Congratulations, and if the first one actually got through, you may certainly delete this one.

    gussie, teka and muzzer

  7. We are so excited to know what actually goes on at a show from a dog's perspective!!! We don't often hear what the canine participants are thinking.

    Except for having figured out that LIVER thing... (which, too sadly, we have never had).

    So thank you, Swede William!!! And congratulations -- you warmed everyone's heart, particularly she who needed it the most.

    And the pictures of William gladdened our hearts as well -- as did that peach covered arm we saw!!

    Just one minor quibble: "Yes, Virginia, there is a 6:30 am. Actually, there is also a 6:00 am."

    We can testify to it from experience. (And if our folks are not up at that time by chance, we often bark to make sure they recognize its/our existence.)

    Love and hugs all around,

    Jake and Just Harry

  8. Congrats again on your placement (from me and his girlfriend Savvy). And the good news is that i sat in on the (totally frickin' awesome) judges' education seminar this year and it was made quite clear about acceptable eye and nose color as relates to coat color, and i think will also be in the rockin' new illustrated standard.

  9. Look at that muscle definition! :D (and Phantom is particularly fond of some o-dark-thirty hour named 5:30 AM!)

  10. Congratulations Patience and William! William is a very handsome boy and my girls and I were very happy to meet him in Atlanta.

  11. Congrats to Swede William, and to you!!! I don't know when 6:30am is either!! who invented such a thing?!

  12. Francarrich from WWApril 21, 2009 at 2:44 AM

    How can anyone expect to hold an intelligent meeting at 6.30.a.m.? Whose daft idea was that? I can appreciate that there is so much going on at your National that it must be difficult to fit in an AGM but that is ridiculous, especially on a day when you are all expecting to show your dogs too - but enough of that, this is really to say:-

    "CONGRATULATIONS Swede William on doing so well, both in the show ring & through all the general upheaval of the week." Well done to you, too, Patience, for making the effort to attend the meeting, keeping your promises to Lisa & Carolyn & for facing the future head on through all the recent traumas in your life. I would like to suggest that you sit back & have a quiet few weeks now, but suspect you will be attending your nursing skills revival course in the near future so I'll just add "Good Luck" there too.

    Best wishes,

    Wags for Swede William from Banjo & Aida.

  13. It looks like it went great! Good job! And I´m happy to see your spirit´s up again!

  14. Congratulations, Swede William! We just LOVE that first picture! What a handsome boy you are!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  15. Swede William is a handsome fellow!! :)

  16. My god you've had a tough few weeks. I can't imagine how you've coped - and you've even done it woth your trademark humour and wonderful writing style. Be kind to yourself, and do a lot of hugging of hounds and Bill!

    Lots of love,

    G, P & T xxx

  17. Congrats Swede William! Way to go! We love the first picture of you!

  18. Hello! Wow! Look at him on the table! That's one fantastic stack there & look at his muscles bulging out! Great dog! He deserved to make the cut.

    Solid Gold Dancer


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