Tony Alonso's Observations from my first dog show
Observations from my first dog show...
I know that these pieces of literary art (chuckles...) that I write are coming at you fast and furious, but I am planning to slow these down. The issue is that if I write all I am thinking, it may turn into 45- 50 pages a day, and truly, if it was me, I would not read them and consider them renderings of a “gas bag”. See, I have the span of attention of a Labrador puppy. Actually, after having seen Miracle last weekend, I believe that he as a better span of attention than I do. So I have chosen to break it down and promise to slow them down to once every two weeks or a month, so that Sandy doesn’t run out of space, and I don’t bore you with all my “gas-
A few days have passed since Sunday’s “miracle” at the IABCA, and I can't help but think back to last weekend. It was undoubtedly a very strange sight as we drove into the sight. My first thought, as I got there was: "hmmm, a dog show next to a gun show...interesting...". A dog show next to a gun show? How that is not funny??? All I remember from the first couple of minutes is seeing the Herzons sitting down, eating lunch, talking to Mary (Cher's owner) and a couple more people (I apologize if I don't remember your names, I was a "duh" state and didn't know whether to sit or stand), and we sat there to eat our lunch. Now let me get into lunch. One of the foods that I like most is BBQ pulled pork and there was lots of it there outside of the show. Great taste, very moist and the homemade sauce was outstanding. I also liked their T-Shirts. I asked her to sell me one and she looked at me as if I was from Mars. Then she started laughing when she noticed that I was joking and went ahead and gave me my food (I really wasn't joking, but there were guns, many guns, and I didn't want to upset those nice, armed people). As I thought, the pork ended up being yummy...one of the great surprises at the dog/gun show.
Later in the day, I went outside to buy my daughter a hot dog, and I made a long line. As I stood in line for the food I noticed how odd that line was. It was composed of men and women, old and young, speaking and having a good time. That demographic could basically form part of any line in Walt Disney World (Orlando, never been to Anaheim), so I didn't give you any new relevant information with that statement. Now, what I didn't tell you was that the dynamic was like this: two young ladies with arm bands (dog handlers), followed by two guys showing each other their handguns (I think one had a glock, however, I didn't want to make eye contact or gun contact, so I just looked down), a woman holding a little dog (don't ask me what breed, I don't care, it's a yappy dog), a motorcycle gang member talking to his girlfriend (who could easily beat me up...the girlfriend that is), a really strange looking guy with a shotgun hanging over his shoulder, followed by two judges from the dog show. Then there I was, scared to death of the yappy dog...actually, I'm kidding, I was very worried about the strange guy with the shotgun hanging from his shoulder. This was the kind of guy that looked like he could be sitting at a tall building with his shotgun, while taking people out. I am wondering how anyone sold this guy a gun.
I can tell you that when I first walked into the venue earlier in the morning, I was glad that the members of the Chambray family went up to us and said hello, letting some of the stress of being there wear off. Then Jessi came in and talked to us for a bit, and actually, a lot of my crazy thoughts had already began fading away. She told us how well Miracle had done and how she was handling him. From there the day actually flew...By the way, I really liked those chairs that my Chambray family had with the dog and Chambray name embroidered (Sandy, I WANT ONE!!!).
The dog show itself for me was odd. I guess I half expected something solemn, something very "serious", were people didn't say much, people didn't smile much, and in fact a place where people may give you the evil eye if your dog is somewhat good. I guess I was expecting Westminster Abbey, and I got Westminster Christian. In fact, what I saw was a group of people that love dogs all of kinds, sizes, colors. From Corsos to yappy dogs...all. There were undoubtedly odd balls in the show that really threw me off. Folks dressed funny, running funnier, all because they wanted to be sure that their dog won. It was strange to see a guy "prancing" with his dog. When I say prancing, I mean skipping along with his dog, a very large dog. Then I caught sight of the Herzons handling our dogs (Chambray dogs), and to tell you the truth, you don't need to prance or skip, or call any attention to yourself to have your dog win. I learned my first lesson of the day. You just need to handle the animal, and know exactly what you have to do to give your dogs, a chance to win. I guess, maybe the couple of prancers that were there were just oddballs, and not representative of what these shows are. Or maybe there's actually a large percentage of oddballs in these shows and I haven't been to enough shows to formulate an opinion.
Another funny occurrence during this show was how my son literally befriended every single dog there. Well, it seemed like every dog. It scared me because I didn't want him to antagonize anyone, or make the dogs restless. The funny thing is that he really didn't. He was actually very good with all the dogs he mingled with. I have started calling him the "Dog Whisperer", which he has no idea what it means, and he has already told Sandy (forty six times) that he will be a Junior Handler. Knowing how my son is, I am sure he will be the first pre-9 year old Junior Handler in the history of Dog Shows. How do I know this? Because he will talk the ear off someone to let him do it until he convinces that person. He's simply relentless. That's how he plays football, and how he will also succeed as a handler, Junior or regular handler, and I pray, the rest of his life...
Undoubtedly, in the last few days following the show, a lot of information has been thrown at us. All of this information is excellent, yet overwhelming. What Miracle achieved this weekend, is, as Sandy said to us, astonishing. We are filled with happiness, eagerness, adrenaline, and optimism. We want Miracle to be successful, not only for our sake, but also for that of Chambray Labradors’. We are team players to a fault and we want Miracle to get many accolades during his lifetime to simply help continue bringing the name, Chambray, to the forefront of the sport. I figure that If Miracle wins, the Chambray Team also wins. We also think ahead, and would love to hear people say: “hey, those are Miracle’s kids, I hope that they are just like their father”, like I hear them say about Bailey’s kids and Hogan’s kids. I want folks to say to the Herzons, years from now: “Hey, can I have one of Miracle’s babies?” While in back of my mind I will know full well where Miracle came from, the Chambray Labradors blood line, a very prestigious, nationally recognized blood line.
I never doubted Sandy's original assessment that Miracle is a show dog, and I guess I am realizing that Miracle is not such a doofus after all; in fact, maybe I am the doofus and he is the smart one in this relationship. As Famous Amos from Utah taught me this week in his wonderful work (keep them coming!!!), maybe Miracle is the one training me after all. I mean, he doesn't pick up his own poop, right? Who do you all think does??? Think about it....
Editors Note: I can just imagine the thoughts from the gun show enthusiast as they took a gander over at the dog show crowd. "What in hell blazes are all these strange people with all these mutts doing?" comes to mind readily.
Yes, it was a very surrealistic setting to say the least to have two such diverse groups of people meeting at the chuck wagon that serves as the only eatery inside the fairgrounds. You had people with dogs in tow and the flipside was other people walking around with guns a tote!
I had a fellow come ask me on Sunday if I was a preacher or something cause I was dressed in my show suit!!!!! Of course he wore cammies to the hilt........the whole regalia from top strap boots with leathering to the thigh.........................baggie 77 pocket pants...............................US Army grade jacket.............rebel flag cap and sporting an antique civil war era musket over his shoulder.
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