After we got to Manteca, I found out from Mum that the real actual reason was that we were there for a big dog show. My half-brother Ruffian was being handstripped by Mum for this particular show, and we were there to give support, and Mum wanted to learn how to prepare an Airedale for show. For a few days, we woke up early at 4am to be ready for the drive to Sacramento to get ready for the shows. My littermate sister Roxxi had just earned her CH but she was also going to be shown at this big show. It was sort of a big reunion for me with my family, other Blackheath dogs.
This is an example of what goes behind the shows. All the winning dogs get to pose in front of a cloth with the judge and their handler. They get positioned really nicely with all their ribbons and trophys so that they have a memory keepsake of the wins.
A lot of people fuss over the dog and make sure all the furnishings have been puffed up nicely and every hair must be combed in place. It must ALL be perfect. Then a guy at the side throws a squeaky toy and gets the dog's attention while everyone smiles at the camera. This is all so showy, glitz and glam. Thank God my own Mum doesn't show me in the ring. I don't know how I'll cope with the stress of strutting my stuff around like a pageant queen. Ruffian can do it, he's got the attitude, but I don't. I prefer lazing in my Mum's lap.
Mum was there to learn and work, but I was just there to give love, support my Sister Roxxi and also my half-brother Ruffian. It was a real treat to be surrounded by 35 other primed and brushed out Airedales. Because I've been fixed, I don't have the edgy attitude that many of the un-neutered males have. Mum was very glad about that, because this meant, she could take me practically everywhere, and I'd be no problem at all.
People were commenting that I was the most mellow Airedale they had ever seen. Well, that's true, I am a laid back fellow. But I'm not a pushover either. Try humping me and being rude to me, and you'll see me disagree in an instant. Mum was very proud of my good behavior. I ignored the dogs that were showing me the 'stink eye'. And I did my best to stay mostly quiet, although I could sense the tension in the other dogs during the show.
Most of the time, I stay very close to Mum's side. Or better yet, lay right between her legs. Its the safest place in the world. Mum's my refuge, and my shelter of strength. I trust Mum because she's my alpha, and as long as I'm with her, I will be just fine.
While the dogs are in the ring, prancing and trotting around beautifully, I lay down peacefully outside the ring, watching them. They strut their stuff, and stack nicely so the judge sees the square structure of their bodies. And they walk also to show the judge the placement of their feet and if they adhere to the breed standards.
I just lay very nicely and enjoy the show from the front row. This is the best view of course. Some of the dogs inside the ring are stacked close to me, and they give me the stink eye but I ignore them and look away. That helps them a lot to stay calm. Mum says it wouldn't be cool if they start charging at me, so I listen to her when she says to me, to stay calm.
Hey Mum look, that's Roxxi in there being stacked. Go Roxxi!!
More about Ruffian to come....