I’m a bit late checking in with you today as I have spent the day traveling to Louisville, KY, for the Kentuckiana Cluster. I had intended to get an early start, but a series of early morning phone calls delayed my departure. I am finally here in Louisville for four days of dog show fun…without a dog. It’s my first time. No, not my first time here, but my first time here without a dog.

I have a confession to make. I sometimes enjoy the time I have away from my dogs. I know, I know. It’s tantamount to sacrilege to admit so. I first noticed the difference on the drive up. There was no crate in the back with a dog demanding to ride shotgun, no requirement to buy my lunch from a drive through, and no extra 20 minutes at the rest stop waiting on the dogs. Upon checking into my recently renovated hotel, I was able to unpack without having to check for nooks and crannies in which my dog could practice her earthdog skills or outfit the boys with belly bands before they signed the guest book or the drapes. I was able to stop for a cocktail at the hotel bar without worrying about whether my boy was going to protest loudly that he was an abandoned child, and then choose a restaurant that offered leisurely, attentive service.

I will still rise early, as I want to be ringside for 8 a.m. judging, but I have no dog to feed, no dog to exercise & no dog to groom. As I settle down tonight, I don’t have to share my pillow or blanket with any of the dogs, nor will my sleep be disturbed by the Toy Poodle objecting to the neighbor coming home after ten, and I will be able to get up to go to the bathroom without worrying about tripping over one dog or the other. When I return to my bed, I will spend an extra few minutes fluffing the pillows up, then toss & turn a few times. It is a little odd; it’s been 40 years since I’ve slept without a dog in my bed. I admit it’s kinda lonely.

However, tomorrow I will get to admire some of the most beautiful AKC purebred dogs anywhere. It’s kind of like being a grandfather. I get to play with all the furry little children and then, at the end of the day, send them home with their parents to be fed, exercised & put to bed. If you see me around the show hall tomorrow, please stop and say hello, and tell me what you want to see here on Best In Show Daily. And that’s today’s Back Story.