[ SHOWGSD-L ] Re: Thank-You For Teaching the Newbie

  • From: "Liane Fossland" <lfossland@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <thekooiet@xxxxxxxxx>, <showgsd-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2009 11:00:27 -0700

Thank you. That was a very interesting and informative post from the eyes and 
minds of newbies THAT YOU NO LONGER ARE!
WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SHOW DOGS AND THEIR â??ENTOURAGEâ??!

Lee F.

 

-----Original Message-----
From: showgsd-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:showgsd-l-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Jami Vander Kooi
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 10:36 AM
To: Showgsd-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [ SHOWGSD-L ] Thank-You For Teaching the Newbie

 

*Names have been changed to protect those involved. ;)

Coming into the dog show world in your late 20�s is like a flashback to 
the

high school class you dreaded the most (for me, that would have been

algebra.) Too much information results in severe cranial overload thus

causing cold sweats, glazing over, and eventually a total-body shut

down. Sure, I�m being overly dramatic, but seriously, as a newbie, it

really hurts the brain. Terms and numbers like gait, stack, dog number

216 (what? who?), agent, angulation, and names like 
ââ?¬Å?Ch.Twizzlemanââ?¬â?¢s

Confuse the Newbie of Winfredsue TC CDX LMNOP QRST,� etc are thrown

around in the assumption that it�s everyday table talk. People make

these strange noises with their mouths that sound like a snake during

CPR. There�s obnoxious cheering, and sometimes even occasional crying.

And then there�s the B word. Goodness gracious there�s so much 
foul

language at a dog show! ââ?¬Å?6-9 Puppy Bitches to the Ready Ring!ââ?¬Â? Quick

cover your children�s ears! After the first mention of the poor little

female puppies, the B word keeps flying around all afternoon. 

 

I

clearly remember the drive home and the aftermath of our first visit to

a dog show a few years back. My middle daughter, Ashley, who was 4 at

the time, had a knack for picking up peculiar statements and mannerisms

from other people in our life. In the 3 hour drive home, we had to

explain to her that the B word was not okay to say around other people

outside of dog shows. We thought we had everything thoroughly explained

in 4 year old language, until we heard that sweet little child

enthusiastically recapping the day to her grandma on the cell phone,

ââ?¬Å?Grandma we saw a bunch of bitches today!ââ?¬Â? 

 

The sights at a dog

show are as equally confusing, if not more, as the sounds. You see dogs

followed by a blur of a person running around square rings which is a

bewilderment in itself because we�ve always been taught that rings are

round. The people following the dog are wearing dress clothes with

tennis shoes! What a fashion faux pas! They have dog brushes and combs

in strange places which include the back pants pocket, dress coat

pocket, down the back back of their pants, and once I even saw a dog

comb resting the person�s own ponytail. Ick.

 

These people then set

the dogs in this position which reminds me of movie stars being

photographed at a premiere or a model on a runway. One foot out in

front of the other and a slight turn to the side makes the model or

star appear thinner; it�s their best pose. All the dogs must be feeling

fat in the rear that day because the front feet stay in a parallel

position, and the back feet strike the modelesque pose. These dogs are

very, very vogue. 

 

And finally, we get to the most confusing

part of the show. So, I understood Winners Dog and Winners (um, here

comes the B word again!) Bitch, but when they all get together in the

Winner�s Round, that�s above and beyond my metal capacity. If the

Winners Dog gets picked before the girl dog, then he is the Best of

Winners, and then she�s the Best Opposite, but if you throw a few dogs

in the end that have the little Ch. before there name in the catalog,

well, that really messes everything up. Best of Breed, Best of Winners,

and best Opposite are so confusing to the newbie. Let�s just stick with

the puppies, shall we? There�s only two of those that can be picked for

the titles Best Puppy and Best Opposite. What�s worse is the Reserve

Winners Dog or Reserve Winners Bitch. Isn�t that just a nice way of

saying ââ?¬Å?Always a Brideââ?¬â?¢s Maid, never a Bride?ââ?¬Â?

 

Every club needs

to have a graph, pie chart, or spread sheet ready to show the newbies

how the winning works. Personally, I prefer pie charts, but for this, a

normal boring chart works the best. However, please make it pretty

colors as it�s easier for an overloaded brain to digest. Talking it

through just does NOT work for most normal people. (More than 65% of

the population are visual learners.) So, please don�t even attempt a

verbal explanation to the newbie. It will truly be a waste of precious

breath. Break out the charts. Please. 

 

It�s funny for me to

look back at my first dog show experience. Now just 4 years later, it

almost all feels like second nature. I now know why those dog chasers

(aka handlers) have to wear tennis shoes. I can�t even imagine running

after dogs in heals in a grassy field. I�ve done it once on cement, and

it�s just not a smart idea. I understand most of the terminology. 
I�ve

read through the breed standard at least 100 times, and I can mostly

pick out correct movement and breed type. I know what happens to the

Winner�s Dog or Winners Bitch if they get beat out by a Special in the

end; the Special goes Best of Breed. I know why Reserve Winners is an

important title. Those reserve dogs will go on to win one day. I don�t

even know why I missed that years ago, but I know that I did. 

 

I

enjoy sitting by my new friends that I've made over the past few years, who are 
old hats at this sport, to

listen to running commentary about each dog as it goes around the ring.

My friends have made something so confusing something wonderful and

exciting. Thank-you, my dog show friends, for being patient and kind.

For showing me the ropes of this strange new world which is only

strange and new to people like me. Thank-you for teaching me the art of

the fancy. 

 

Jami Vander Kooi

Wolverine German Shepherd Dog Club of West Michigan 

Club Secretary

 

 

 

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POST is Copyrighted 2009.  All material remains the property of the original 
author and of GSD Communication, Inc. NO REPRODUCTIONS or FORWARDS of any kind 
are permitted without prior permission of the original author AND of the 
Showgsd-l Management. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 

ALL PERSONS ARE ON NOTICE THAT THE FORWARDING, REPRODUCTION OR USE IN ANY 
MANNER OF ANY MATERIAL WHICH APPEARS ON SHOWGSD-L WITHOUT THE EXPRESS 
PERMISSION OF ALL PARTIES TO THE POST AND THE LIST MANAGEMENT IS EXPRESSLY 
FORBIDDEN, AND IS A VIOLATION OF LAW. VIOLATORS OF THIS PROHIBITION WILL BE 
PROSECUTED. 

For assistance, please contact the List Management at admin@xxxxxxxxxxxx

VISIT OUR WEBSITE - http://showgsd.org
NATIONAL BLOG - http://gsdnational.blogspot.com/
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