Our First Year At Potomac Together…..
Cyrus and I flew back east to Maryland to exhibit at The Labrador Retriever Club of The Potomac 2014 Specialty, which is our breeds most prestigious Specialty in the World consisting of an entry of 1,050 dogs and bitches from all over the world.
Best of Breed Competition:
The journey began with individual presentations to the audience. This was when I began to feel just how nervous I really was. After individual presentations we we were all assigned a group number . This is when we would go back in the ring for the judges exam and after going over all of the dogs, judge Mrs. Susan Huntzinger would then select the dogs she wanted to continue on in the competition. For those of you not familiar with confirmation this is called the “CUT”. As Mrs. Huntzinger walked down the line she pulled this beautiful dog, and that beautiful dog, and another, and another. She walks towards us and my heart sank when she continued on to the dog behind me. Not that I expected much with a young dog at this show, but we all want to at least be able to say “ I made the first cut and got my pair of scissors.” Then, just as I was telling Cyrus “It’s ok buddy! You showed great and I love regardless”, Mrs. Huntzinger walked back to us and pointed for us to make that trip to the middle of the ring!! WhooHoo!! I did it! I made the first cut!
After Mrs. Huntzinger examined all the “Champion Dogs” we were all called back in for a second cut. It was now getting hot. Cyrus, being the dog that he is, set himself up four square every time with his tail wagging left and right, left and right like a metronome. I could have played a tune to it.
We were called to the middle one more time. Back to the edge of the ring “Mrs. Huntzinger says”, “I need to make my cut smaller”. “Yikes” I think to myself, but before I could think much more she pointed to us one more time, and asked to move to the middle. WE MADE IT AGAIN!! WhooHoo!! Cyrus and I bounced like two little kids towards the middle of the ring joined the ranks of some of the top male champions in the world. What an honor to be among so many fabulous dogs.
After hours and hours of judging we finally were all called back in for what I call …
“The Grand Finale”
Who would be named Best of Breed for 2014?
The pressure was on! This is were I rise to the occasion, and for some reason so does Cyrus. It was hot, the black dogs even hotter, but Cyrus never stopped wagging that tail. He never stopped giving me ears! Now it was the final cut. We were pulled to the middle, my adrenaline rising. I never imagined getting this far, and now that I was here…I was going to give it everything I had! We each were called to move around the ring, two dogs at a time…..Here it is…..we are down to the final moments.
I’m getting anxious. I still cannot believe I am out here! My nerves must have been showing. How could they not be?
Here she comes, ribbon in hand….
And the award goes to …….SCRUBS! Best of Breed from the Veteran’s class, expertly handled by Rusty Howard!! What an amazing dog! Huge congratulations to Scrubs!
Next came the awards for Best of Winners, and Best of Opposite Sex. Blackwing Labradors cleaned up in this one.
The next award was for Select Dog and Select Bitch. For those of you that do not know what this is, the easiest way to describe it is a “Runner Up”.
As Mrs Huntzinger walked towards us my heart skip a beat, and a small tear ran down my cheek. “SHOCK” is the only word I can use to describe this feeling. All I could do was hug my dog and tell him how much I loved him! Cyrus happily repaid me with several licks to my face, which I am sure is his way of saying “I love you to, Mom”
THE REALITY OF IT!
WOW!! Select Dog at the Potomac with my 19 month old puppy competing against some of the top winning dogs and bitches in the world. 2014 Potomac was an experience I will never forget! I am not a sappy person, but all the support from everybody before during and after turned me into a big sappy , teary eyed baby..LOL!! I guess it means more when the dog you are winning with is….as everybody says….”Your Heart Dog”
I received some wonderful videos and photos to remember this special time, so please feel free to browse and view. Thank you Kathy Devito for the video, Stacey Greene and Valerie Deprat for the photos.
Until Next Year….