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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Weather is unpredictable, of course, but just how far will exhibitors go for those points when the forecast calls for rain – and the show is outdoors?

It’s not very often that we experience crappy weather at shows in my home state of Utah. And while we don’t have shows in the wintertime – because we know that can just get ugly – it’s usually warm and dry during our outdoor shows. But on a recent weekend, we had a bit of rain throughout that didn’t seem to want to let up!

This puppy stays close to mommy on the show grounds during the sunniest part of a recent rainy day.

Some of us had no choice but to endure the undesirable weather conditions with our dogs in order to keep a major from breaking, or for the simple fact that this show was either the only show in our area in weeks or maybe even months, or these shows may be the only weekend when we can take off from our normal lives, and a lot of pre-show planning was already done. In this case, we just told ourselves, “We must go through with this, even if it’s raining cats and dogs!”

Of course, the clubs and superintendents that put on the shows, the judges who stood in the rain, and the full-time pros and their assistants for whom it was literally a workday, were all expected to show up for work.

During the heaviest rainfall, both the judges and the exhibitors did a very good job of knowing just how much time the dogs could take being out in the rain. And to my surprise, everyone did very little complaining about the situation. Heck, my young Beagles actually liked the rain!

Some young handlers showed us all how to put a smile on, even in downpour…

This handler showed her all during the very rainy Best Junior Handler competition that took place just before Best in Show.

While some breeds are easier to present in harsh weather conditions than others, showing a few breeds in a downpour may not even be worth the hassle in the long run.

As I mentioned, my little Beagles seemed to enjoy themselves even in the rain. Beagles plus rain, however, are nothing compared to the aftermath of wet weather and some of the heavily coated breeds, like Maltese and Bichons. Now if only dogs could wear their rain gear in the ring as well.

No matter the weather, let’s face it: we are all diehards when it comes to showing our dogs. If that means preparing a beautiful Poodle or Afghan only to have to carry them over our backs in order to reach the ring, those two minutes of dry beauty are worth it!

Have you ever experienced bad weather while in the show ring? If you have, share your story with everyone with a comment below.

Rain or shine, Dogs Freakin’ Rule!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"
  • Joe Rosenberg May 28, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    The Colorado Springs Kennel Club held an outdoor show the first weekend of June, 1973. I drove down from Denver the morning of the show to discover it had snowed
    6 inches overnight. The sun did come out about 10 AM, and we were all showing in
    ankle deep slush. It was not too bad for my standard poodles, but the toy breeds did not stand a chance!
    And in 1980 I was in Connecticul for a group of specialty shows and it was pouring rain. The inventive peke judge had two long dining tables put under the tent and moved the pekes on the tables! They never set one foot on the ground.

    • Dan Sayers
      Dan Sayers May 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      What a clever way to solve a difficult dilemma for the Pekes. Now how do you suppose the judge managed the Komondorok!?

  • Susan Chaney
    Susan Chaney May 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    After reading this blog, Kayla, I felt like I’d been out in the rain at the show with you. Thanks for “taking me there.”

  • Dan Sayers
    Dan Sayers May 28, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Irish Water Spaniels and showing in the rain is a match made in heaven!

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