Showing Your Way and Shadow Boxing
Not everyone who shows dogs is in a race to get to the top. Some exhibitors are happy just to enter a couple of shows each month. Master Blogger Billy Wheeler brings you a schedule today with the average exhibitor in mind. Find out that it’s still possible to enjoy the sport without stretching yourself – and your budget – too thin.
In My Favorite Things, I tell you about the shadow box where I display some of my most treasured dog show memories. When my collection of awards grew to a respectable size, I decided I wanted to celebrate my dog and the road we’d been traveling together. I found a way to honor that legacy by designing a display case and enlisting my grandfather to build it. Now, whenever I look at those rosettes and ribbons, I’m reminded not only of my dog show family, but of the man in my own family whose life and work meant so much to me.
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Showing, My Way
By Billy Wheeler
I like to think I represent the everyman in the dog show world. Part of that persona depends on me stepping into the show ring now and then. During the past 40 years, I have tried many different approaches to showing.
In the early years when I had fewer responsibilities and more energy, I would show every other weekend. I had the advantage of living in New York and could get to shows easily. In 1976 we moved to the San Francisco Bay area where we had our first child. A combination of increased family pressures, a new job’s demands, and the increased distances in California forced me into a somewhat reduced schedule. Anxious to keep my hand in, I bought a dog and placed him with a handler on the East Coast. more
Few certainties exist when it comes to showing dogs. Among the things exhibitors can reliably count on are early morning ring times, broken majors and less than healthy lunch fare.
For those with a quality dog and a willingness to travel far and wide, the odds of competing successfully in the conformation ring do improve. Afternoon ring times and three-course boxed lunches are a welcome relief, and those coveted majors eventually hold. By the time the title “champion” is awarded, dog and handler have become a proven team, and very likely have amassed an impressive collection of ribbons, rosettes and rhinestone tchotchkes. more