Lindy Loo. Photo (c) Laurie Erickson
When it rains, it surely can pour. My poor friend was critically ill, and she knew it. Without prompt treatment, she could be dead in as little as forty-eight hours. But. The Universe, with its perverse sense of humor, decided on that very moment to pinch a rather large nerve in her sweet young dog's neck.
So there she was, knowing that she had to get to the Emergency Room but horrified at the sight of her brave, stoic dog reduced to screaming every time he moved. She couldn't - wouldn't - leave him. His eyes were wild with pain and fear. It was awful.
And this is where dog people shine. In no time, one of the Best Vets in the World (who was showing her dogs at the National) appeared and took care of the dog. Someone else who is a Vet Tech helped hold him for his exam and meds. Another friend appeared who knew the ill person's dogs well, and agreed to take all three dogs to her room. The vet assured us that the dog would be fine, after his injection of steroids and some Tramadol. Someone else ran and got plenty of Tramadol. I told Lee and Dee and Lisa that I'd have our dogs with me in the van and we'd be back at Central Baptist Hospital, but that someone had volunteered take them back to our hotel after the Top Twenty.
And off we went.
The E.R., which had been empty at 7:00 A.M. Monday morning, was packed full at 9:00 P.M. Thursday night. My friend's treatment had already been delayed too long. I was really concerned. A young pregnant woman told us she had been waiting for two hours. "I just want to make sure that my baby is okay," she smiled. After about an hour (I think), I had just decided to ask to speak to the triage nurse when they called us back. Despite my friend's calm - and crazy brave - demeanor, I could tell by the triage nurse's expression and reaction that she realized she needed to bump this case up to the front of the line. And they did.
As they were getting her processed, Lee called to say that they were on their way to the hospital with someone else's van. They would leave that van for us, and take my van with the dogs back to the hotel so they could walk them and tuck them in. "Oh, that's super," I chortled. There was a pause. And then there were giggles.
"It's got a lot of character," Lee said.
Now, most of my life I lived on farms. Big farms, little farms, rich people's farms, working farms, my own little farm. Every farm has a Farm Vehicle. Or two. Farm Vehicles are treasures. They might not appear that way to non-farm folk, but you farmers know exactly what I mean.
"We're out here in the parking lot next to your van," said Lee.
And there they were. Eighty-two year old Lee, sixty-five year old Dee, and Lisa, The Queen of Sweden. Laughing like a bunch of sorority sisters out on a panty raid!
"The headlights are a little dim!"
"Don't take the key out!"
"Don't touch that window it's duct taped shut!"
"I don't know what that wire is for but don't undo it!"
"It runs great, but you can't see so good!"
It was a relief to know that the dogs could get taken care of. If I had half a brain, I'd have sat quietly and let my sick friend sleep. She was getting the treatment she needed and the docs agreed to release her when she was done. She would need to come in the next night for another treatment, but could go back to the hotel with the IV cathelon in place and be with her dogs. (I LOVE Central Baptist!)
But no. I felt I needed to entertain her. So I talked and blabbed and tried to make the time go faster. (You know how good I am - I'm the Queen of Blah Blah Blah!)
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
And then it was time to go. We got in the van. With not a small amount of trepidation I turned the key. Like a Good Farm Vehicle, it started right up! Oh it smelled like heaven to me. Horses and cows and hay and corn and all the sweetness of the farm that I miss like sunshine. Whoa! The lights were a little dim, but they were good enough to see with. And the wires that came out of the hood and in through the duct-taped window and disappeared under the steering column were a little disconcerting, but it had started right up after all and the brakes were great and we laughed the whole way back to the hotel and wasn't life grand!
I tippy-toed into my hotel room at 3:15 A.M. I told Lisa, the Queen of Sweden that I would just skip showing Lindy Loo at 8:00 A.M. "There are forty-six bitches in her Bred By class," I said. "She won't do anything anyway. We can just sleep in."
The Queen of Sweden wasn't pleased. "No," she replied. In her lovely sing-song Swedish accent she said, "We are here. You will show your lovely bitch!"
And so I did. (Would you dare argue with the Queen of Sweden! No. Me either.) Poor Lee and Dee and Lisa: no time for breakfast. We rolled out of bed, fed and walked the dogs, threw the dogs and ourselves in the van and headed the mile over to Griffin Gate.
Now I love my Lindy Loo. She is very type-y and old fashioned. Our modern American whippets have gotten heavier boned, and less curvy. (That is a gross generalization and only my opinion. If your opinion is different, I mean no offense and you're probably much more knowledgeable than I am. But it is my opinion.) In the little bit of breeding that I do, I strive to preserve whippety-ness. Lindy Loo is very whippety.
Her markings on her show side don't help her. Some judges will walk around and look at her off side, and then I know they get it. I'll try to have her stacked backwards at least once so they can see her off side. Anyway, I was hoping the the National judge would appreciate her type enough that she could make at least one cut. But this was the National, and we'd be in against the top breeders in the country, and I didn't have any expectations.
At the National. The judge walked around to look at Lindy's off side. You're looking at her show side. Photo (c) Steve Surfman
Here is the judge's view of Lindy Loo's off side. Photo (c) Lisa Winder, Queen of Sweden
Well, she made the first cut. And then the next cut. And before I knew it we were back in for the the final cut!!! In Bred By (short for Bred By Exhibitor - meaning that the handler is the breeder of the dog) at the National!!! Lindy Loo loves to show. (As anyone who has heard her ringside while I'm in the ring with another dog will tell you.) She and I were having an absolute ball. To be in the final cut in Bred By at the National? To channel my dear, late friend Carolyn: Oh my gawsh!
Before the judge made her final placements she told the ten (?) of us left in the ring, "This is so hard. All of these bitches are just beautiful and could win anywhere. I hate to cut any of them!" I was beyond pleased that my little Lindy Loo had made it that far.
So. You can imagine how I felt when the judge pointed to Lindy Loo for second place! No, maybe you can't! I couldn't imagine it! I looked over at Lee and Dee and Lisa. LISA!! I wouldn't have even shown Lindy if it hadn't been for Lisa!
I could not believe it. Simmer had WON the Triathlon. Mia had made the final cut in her class. And now Lindy Loo was second in Bred By? Nah I had to be dreaming that was it. I was about to wake up and think oh rats what a great dream.
I love my little Lindy Loo. Photo (c) Laurie Erickson
Her photo came yesterday!
And that was nothing compared to what happened next...
hug your hounds