The last of the Thanksgiving leftovers have been stowed in the fridge and the last of the pots has been washed and put away. The Macy’s Parade, the National Dog Show Presented by Purina and Turkey Day football are now just fond memories. While my wife finalizes her game plan for her annual trip to the dark side, known in the media as Black Friday, this retired planning specialist will start finalizing his plans for the next couple of months.
My To Do list includes the ordinary, like stripping down my Cairn Terrier, DeeDee, now that she has recovered from her emergency spay three weeks ago. Since I lack the skills of the grooming geniuses we see in the ring today, I am relegated to the archaic practice of stripping my Cairn down twice a year, growing coat for eight weeks, showing for 10 to 12 weeks, then waiting for the coat to go completely to seed before stripping again and starting all over. I find my dogs and I both appreciate the break from the ring. Now that DeeDee has seen the last of the show ring, the grooming will just be therapy for the two of us.
One more serious and daunting task is the preparation for my trip to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (AENC). While my airline, hotel & rental car reservations are all done, I now have to work out my daily schedule. I will be there not only for the two days of the AENC, but also for the three all-breed warmups hosted by the Space Coast Kennel Club Of Palm Bay, the Brevard Kennel Club & the Central Florida Kennel Club. The three warmups will give me an opportunity to see far more dogs than I did last year in just the two days of the main event. With some careful planning, I should be able to make four or five breed rings a day as well all the group & BIS judging. More importantly, I will get to meet more of my readers and get their input on what they think about the state of the sport today.
I will also use that trip to lay the foundation for the coming year on Dog Show Poop. I want to reinvigorate DSP in the coming year and refocus its reader-driven content. As I told you about here on the Back Story, there will be changes in the January Florida circuit, and February will see an ambitious new split venue at the Westminster Kennel Club show. At the same time, I will be reworking my travel schedule for the coming year to include some spots I didn’t make this year.
I will do some Christmas shopping as well this weekend, but I warn everyone on my list, if I can’t get it on Amazon, E-Bay or some other online source, you don’t need it. I mean, Amazon even has lumps of coal for those in our sport who insist on being naughty and not nice. And that’s today’s Back Story.