Not many things will get me out of bed in time to see a sunrise. I'm all about sunsets, sunrises are to be slept through. Except when I get an invitation to a dog show......
The Pond's invited us to join them at the Wine Country Dog Show held this weekend at Sampson State Park, about 1 1/2 hours east of us. To take the sting out of getting up that early we stopped at Dunkin Donut for coffee and you know whats.
The drive along route 5&20 took us past farm fields of corn, soybeans and cabbage, up and down low, rolling hills and past the ends of Canandaigua and Seneca Lakes (two of the finger lakes).
The corn is being harvested for winter feed, the soybeans are browning in the fields, ready to combine and the cabbage heads are fairly bursting. In another few weeks, after the cabbage are all picked, these fields won't smell very good! The left over leaves begin to rot in the damp fall fields and the smell of cabbage permeates the air until the farmers finally plow them under.
Today was the third day of a three day dog show, so there were not as many entries as during the first few days, but the five of us thoroughly enjoyed our day. We'd packed a lunch and ate together on chairs in front of the agility ring. Agility classes are basically obstacle courses run by a single dog and its handler, judged on speed and accuracy. The dog works at the handler's direction and for the sheer joy of running, jumping and weaving. Dogs of all kinds and sizes compete and its a real hoot to watch. Some dogs race at breakneck speed, obeying their owner's every command. Others take their time and carefully negotiate each obstacle. And some just don't feel like doing it right now, they sniff, they stroll, they saunter and some simply leave.
|a small poodle negotiates a jump -|
behind her are weave poles and a tunnel
The breed rings, the rings where dogs are judged for their conformation, their beauty, and not on their performance are held on either side of long white tents. We walked around, stopping to watch breeds we were interested in and breeds we don't get to see often. We checked out all the vendors selling dog related wares. We made a few purchases....
|a hot Great Dane|
|two beautiful Afghan Hounds|
|an Afghan's distinctive tail|
|dogue de bordeaux|
|two shy chinese crested dogs|
|wouldn't Lewis hate this hair cut?|
|a portuguese water dog like Pam and Vic's sweet Jetta!|
At first glance the parking lots surrounding the show look like campgrounds. The dog show people and professional handlers drive motorhomes, vans, and pull trailers loaded not with camping supplies, or granite countertops and queen size beds, but with crates and crates of dogs, grooming tables, exercise pens and all the other necessary accoutrements for dog show life on the road.
|four crates of Shetland Sheepdogs move smoothly from motorhome to ring|
|6 very patient Goldens await their turn in the ring|