One of the biggest dog events in Southeastern Michigan happened last weekend. Billed the Michigan Winter Dog Classic, it includes all breed shows hosted by the Livonia Kennel Club and Oakland County Kennel Club, Obedience and Rally Obedience trials, Agility trials, Barn Hunt trials, a flyball tournament, CGC and Trick Dog testing, dock diving, a duck herding exhibition, My Dog Can Do That! audience participation event, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed something in that list.
Lots of dog supplies and services vendors, including my friends at the Michigan Canine Resource Guide and Kitchen Dog. Booths also included several purebred rescue groups, including the Border Collies with some awesome hats!
This year, I stewarded (assisted conformation judges) for Donna Buxton on Thursday with a full load of 175 dogs and for Sharon Ann Redmer on Sunday with a “light” load of 120 on Sunday. We had mostly toy breeds on Thursday with one block of token “big” dogs in the middle, and then on Sunday, an assortment of herding breeds. I always enjoy watching judges and helping things run efficiently, although I will say in my effort to stay on top of keeping the people eligible for Owner Handler awards in the ring, it got a little tricky to get the Best of Breed level awards marked at the same time.
The show giving club provides lunch to show workers, and these clubs were a bit out of the ordinary in what they offer. Livonia had pizza and salad which my judge and I agreed was just plain weird, maybe you’d go out for pizza with your friends after a day at the show, but not something typically served to the esteemed judges and their stewards. There were cookies, but nothing else that could be construed as dessert. Oakland served a more conventional chicken breast in alfredo sauce with pasta, but no salad, no vegetables, just an entree. They did try to make up for this with cheesecake and brownies for dessert.
On Friday and Saturday, I entered Amy in her first Barn Hunt trials which were run by Scamper Detectives. Amy had very little if any interest in the Instinct course, which has 3 tubes out in the open. The dog is supposed to indicate the one with a rat, but apparently that is not enough of a challenge for her, so she roamed around looking for hidden rats, but there are none on an Instinct course. Friday, Amy found her rat on two different Novice courses, and with a successful tunnel and climb both times got two Novice legs. On Saturday, while she did uncover rats, she didn’t show enough interest for me to call them. Amy did have fun kicking straw bales all over the place while she hunted. More training required on both our parts!