This turned out to be our first shows of the year and I was itching to get back out there!
This is a new site for these shows. So new that if someone from one of my kennel clubs hadn’t mentioned it, I would have gone to the old fairgrounds. Somehow just putting new location in big bold print in the premium didn’t work for me. Maybe some sparkles or flashing lights might work.
This is a really nice site. If you’d ever been to the “old” Lake County Fairgrounds, the dog show was taking place in at least 3-4 different buildings. Must have been murder on some of the handlers or anyone with multiple breeds. One of my kennel clubs, Little Fort KC of Waukegan, uses the same site in June and I’m so happy that I won’t have to be practically comatose by the end of the day from heat exhaustion!
The building is quite large, enough to hold 9 good sized rings with the accompanying grooming/crating area. My one suggestion for set-up would be to move the rings over more to the middle of the building so that there is more space to watch from, or at least put some spaces between every 2 or 3 rings so you don’t have to walk around 8 rings to get to the other side. It just makes sense to me (and to my poor aching feet!). Wear really good and comfortable shoes to this site, most show floors are hard, but some are harder than others. Could also use a few more public x-pens (although there seemed to be plenty of space for private x-pens). There were many nice vendors available, which is new to the winter show.
Bathrooms are very nice and high tech. You don’t have to touch anything! I made the mistake of sticking my comb in the sink and it very nicely wet it down for me. I do like that the water was immediately warm and almost hot. No worries about the comb being wet because they had some really cool hand dryers that actually worked. Reminded me of the blowers we use on the dogs. However, the stalls were REALLY tight. Seriously small! The only stall anyone could possibly change clothes in (not that I do) would be the handicapped stall. I think the stall designer obviously picked the size for the parking spots outside too because one could barely fit between cars, but I digress… might have been nice to have the washrooms more centrally located in the building because if you were working on the wrong side, it was a LONG walk to the bathrooms.
Grade for Bathrooms: B (would have been an A if the stalls were 3 inches wider!)
Food: There was food available, this is where this venue does not beat the old one. At the “old” county fairgrounds they had a huge menu including (and this is VERY important to my hubby) FRENCH FRIES! The new menu is typical dog show fare, hot dogs, hamburgers, some popcorn, chips, canned soda and some wrapped muffins. I think the best deal was probably the chili, but I don’t like chili
Unfortunately there are not any close restaurants that you can get to without leaving your parking spot, although if you took a trip up Route 83 a little ways you could go to one of my favorite restaurants “That Pasta Place” (they catered our wedding) but they don’t open till 4 anyway.
Grade for Food: C
Parking: Was plentiful. Unfortunately they don’t allow dogs into the front entrance (why, I don’t know, although maybe all that yellow snow where they did let dogs in had something to do with it). We had to go unload the dogs at one entrance and then we could go park and use the front entrance (closest one to the parking lot) to walk in. This morning I just parked and walked Ryder in through the “dog” entrance and my fingers were just about frozen by the time I got in. You can be sure that I went and got the car to load back up. By that time we were all the way up a heat wave of 10 degrees! There were many people parked improperly and I heard them announcing tows were going to be done quite frequently. I say, spend less time announcing and more time towing and maybe they won’t do it next time. These weren’t mistakes, they were just folks that didn’t care parking in clearly marked “no parking” areas. And don’t get me started on the “little orange cones”. People … you don’t OWN a spot for the whole weekend! I can sorta understand with the larger vehicles that take up 2 spots because obviously they need to be together… but otherwise, it’s just not right.
Grade for Parking: B (maybe when it’s not sub zero I’ll be more charitable check back in June)
Overall Grade for Show: B+ (taking into consideration it’s only about 30 minutes from my house, the great bathrooms, abundant parking, one nice heated building)
Now on to the judges/results.
Yesterday we showed to Mr. Michael J. Dachel from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (isn’t that where Jack in “Titanic” was from? Sorry, I couldn’t resist LOL). I haven’t actually shown to Mr. Dachel since March of 2002 when he dumped Mickey to a class dog (well, not actually dumped since Mickey was in the Veteran Class). It was the first time in over a year he had not taken the breed and while I was hardly showing every weekend, he had won enough in 2001 to qualify for Eukanuba. I don’t hold a grudge, honestly! But I figured since he seems to be judging everywhere these days that I needed to give him a shot.
Ryder got the breed, no big surprise since he was the only shiba that actually showed up! I did find Mr. Dachel to be a pleasant judge, not heavy handed, very light touches to the dogs and that’s all you really need. His speed was good, not too fast, and not holding anyone up either. He had a nice sense of humor which was evident when the ring steward started calling the next breed in even though I was getting ready to enter the ring!
Chuck Winslow did the group and put up the Tibetan Terrier shown by Lynn Meyer … I don’t know which one, they’ve all pretty much looked alike for the last 13 years, only the names change
Lynn Perkins showing her new import Ootora Go Etchuu Wakasugisou during the National Specialty weekend in September 2008.
On Sunday we showed to Mr. Chuck Winslow of Monrovia, MD. There were five shibas present, Tammy Szabo had her BBE dog Jack and BBE bitch Gretchen, Gerilynn (but we call her Lynn) Perkins had her import dog in Open, and Jude Staniszewski (hope I spelled that right) had her new black and tan puppy bitch out (she goes back to Mickey, one of a handful of b/t’s I’ve ever seen that go back to him!). Lynn’s male was WD, then Jude’s bitch was WB. Lynn’s male then also went BOB, BW (over the special, Ryder) and Jude’s bitch was BOS. Mr. Winslow also had nice light hands on the dog, would have no hesitation to show an inexperienced dog to him. Pleasant to the handlers, with a big smile and “how are you doing today”. He stayed on time as far as I could tell, and I think I saw him take the extra time to talk to a junior about showing her dog during a break, but I can’t swear to it. I would show to him again, not sure if I would take Ryder back to him or not, but I will probably give him a shot with Jack later on. He wore some really cool ties
In any case I was able to get home to my sick husband, Jonathan, and write this review early today! I AM glad to get off the concrete (have I yet mentioned how HARD the floors are in this building). When I got up this morning, I could barely walk and apparently aggravated a plantar tendon injury I incurred in 1996 at the Stone City show taking in a malamute for Nancy Russell! I knew I should have sat down more while waiting for groups yesterday. I was fine by ring time this morning, just needed to walk on it for a bit, but I suspect it’s going to be stiff for a few mornings. And some people don’t think showing dogs is a sport!
Next week: it’s off to Packerland KC in Green Bay, Wisconsin ….. helloooooo cheeseheads!