Halfway there

Wow.  Halo has proven to be a most amazing little show girl.  We initially only entered her in shows to try and prep her for Nationals; the Nationals ring is intense — huge ring, tons of clapping, huge video cameras, etc.  So we took her to Garden City, showed her one day at a local show, Terry-All, and hit a show one day on the way to Nationals.  That was to be it!  However, Jenny’s Mom is living in Albuquerque right now and there happened to be a show over Mothers’ Day weekend.  Since Grandma Carol has her own show dog, Mungo, we decided to go ahead and enter Halo there too.

And what a Mothers’ Day weekend it turned out to be!  On Saturday, Marc was excited that he and Halo were #12 — his favorite number…it turned out to be a good omen 🙂  [If you need an explaination on how the dog show stuff works, click here to read about it in our words.]  There were 4 class girls, and Marc and Halo were in the company of three professional handlers.  We had NO expectations.  Maybe another reserve win?  Halo seemed to move much better than 2 of the other girls, but you never know what the judge is looking for.  To our absolute delight, the judge, Mrs. Marion Lyons, pointed out Marc and Halo for Winners and 2 more points!  Then it was back in the ring for Breed.  And in spite of the professional handler on the Winners Dog, the judge pulled out Marc and Halo for Best of Winners!  As they exited the ring, Grandma Carol was beaming and gave Marc the biggest hug.  At that point another judge came over and asked if she was “the mom.”  She explained that she was the proud Grandma, and he proceeded to tell her that he knew the judge was going to give Halo Best of Winners.  He went on to say that it was the right thing to do because [our] puppy is exceptional — the nicest puppy he has seen in a long time, flawless in her movement.  How nice is that?!  It was so nice of him to go out of his way to give us such a nice compliment on our baby 🙂

Saturday night we were treated to dinner by Jenny’s parents at the Ranchers Club of New Mexico…mmmm, super yummy!  Then it was off to bed for an early ring time.

We got up early today to hit the dog park before Halo’s 8:00am ring time.  Albuquerque has a TON of dog parks.  Yesterday, we went to USS Bullhead Park, which had two different grassy fenced in areas, and then to Tom Bolack Urban Forest Park today.  They were both great…but Bolack worked better today because it is all wood chips, so we didn’t have to worry about muddy paws right before the show.  We got to the show and were surprised to see that one of the country’s top handlers (think wins Best in Show regularly) was showing one of the girls today, a switch from yesterday.  But apparently Marc and Halo can totally hold their own, because judge Marilyn Little gave them Winners AND Best of Winners again!  Two more points!

We celebrated with a yummy Mothers’ Day breakfast with Jenny’s parents before hitting the road to head home.  On the drive back, we reflected on Halo’s short and successful show career so far.  She has eight points, including a major, which takes her halfway to her championship.  She has walked out of the ring with Winners or Reserve every single time (excluding Nationals) that she competed.  *AND* she did all of this with her amateur/owner handler from the 6-9 month puppy class!

Our plan was to take a break on showing after Nationals.  While it would be cool to finish her Championship from the puppy class, it might also be cool get her remaining major and seven points from Specialty shows.  Or just wait to finish her once she has matured a bit and can go straight to competing as a special.  Things to consider…  But for now — yay Halo!  We are so proud of you!  And a huge thank you, to her breeder, Kathy Rust, for picking her out for us — she’s perfect!

Disclaimer:  We have no issue with professional handlers — we have used them with both Indy and Karma.  BUT it is cool to win over the Pros…think of it as winning a game of HORSE over a NBA player; total ego boost!  The pros are talented at making their client dog always look the best it can; being chosen in their company makes you feel like you are doing something right 🙂

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