Yesterday we spent a good chunk of the day meandering through the Butler County Fairgrounds, taking in all the sights of the Kennel Club's Autumn Classic Dog Show. I was truly in heaven. Dogs of every size, shape, color, and coat were there--great multitudes of them. I couldn't have been happier if I was surrounded by as much mountains of chocolate. This was pure joy for me!
As soon as we parked and got out of the car, the first trailer we passed had a couple adorable Boston Terriers and two or three French Bulldogs. I grew up with a Boston and they're such great dogs, full to bursting with personality in their formal black and white tuxedo attire. Frenchies just kick it up a notch if your a Boston fan. They're fat little tanks of dog, almost toad-ish in a way--a very cute toad-ish way, if I need to clear that up (I like toads...fat and squishy, big bug eyes...definitely love....) Yeah, I'm also a Pug fan, and there were plenty of those around, too, yesterday. Just something about that squashed in face, bulbous, bulging eyes, next to nothing nubby tails, and happy, squiggly, squirmy, super excited snorts--I can't resist!! So much fun squished into these smooshed face pups--complete joy!
We met quite a few Bassett people and shared stories of our Sweet Pea. I'm awed by the show standards massive paws on these dogs, and the piles of wrinkles! And the freckles!! Bill and I both are suckers for freckles! Bassetts have to be some of the squishiest dogs ever born. I think they must have some extra layer of velvety fat beneath all those piles of wrinkles, silken ears, and sad, droopy eyes. They're so soft and your hands almost sink into them when you give one a good hug and a scruff around the cheeks.
The Mastiffs! There were two gianormous Mastiffs-one named Sherlock (I can't remember the other's name! Shame!) But Sherlock's head was easily bigger than a basketball and just as round. He oozed slobber all over you...LOTS of slobber. Ewww...not so much a slobber fan, but I do love these monster dogs. The sheer size alone blows your mind--huge! Massive, impressive and no one will mess with you if you're in the company of one of these guys! No one!
Poodles and Cockers and Vizslas and Coonhounds...some incredibly beautiful Newfies were there. Baby doll little Malteses, Chihuahuas, a whole slew of Shelties, an Italian Mastiff-also called the Cane Corso, Bill's favorite-Spinoni's. I realized I no longer want a Chinese Crested. They're so pretty to look at but feel really, really weird to pet since they have no fur. Definitely gonna pass on those little guys! I could go on forever! Just about every breed imaginable was there. I saw a beautiful tri-color Collie that reminded me so much of my old Digby that I had years ago, I broke into tears...how much I loved that dog! But there were two breeds I wanted to see more than any other yesterday: Belgian Turvurens and the Leonburgers. I'd never seen either of those in person before (you don't realize how many breeds you've never seen in person before until you step into a dog show!) and there were two each of these wonderful, beautiful dogs. The Turvurens were much, much smaller than I thought they'd be. Gorgeous black and rust rough coats with incredibly intelligent eyes peering at you under sharp upright pointed ears. Almost reserved and elegant, unless you had food and they were just as excited and playful as any puppy! Then...after combing the entire show ground and seeing literally hundreds of dogs, I'd almost given up on seeing the Leonburger. But all of a sudden, there he was right in front of me and I just melted! Now, these dogs are every bit as big as you think they're going to be, for sure-and then some! And incredible lush, thick coats your hands just get lost in! Dozer was getting ready to head into the show ring while his brother, Gibbs, was on the outside, observing and cheering his beautiful brother on. We got to sit with Gibbs and his owner while the judges looked over the working group entries: a Great Dane, a Great Pyrennees, the most striking black and white Akita, a Boxer, an Alaskan Malamute, the Cane Corso, a gorgeous Bernese Mountain Dog, a Dobe, a Schnauzer, a Rott and a Mastiff all took their turn sitting and then running for the judge. Dozer took fourth in his class and we all cheered. The Malamute won the group, though most of us thought the Akita should've taken it. Ah well...they were all more than worthy.
We made our way back home, covered in fur, slobber, and mud from sitting on the ground playing with frisky, friendly pups all day. There was no way we'd be able to hide where we'd been from our three waiting at home for us--we all reeked of dog by the time we were done. A beautiful smell after an incredibly beautiful day. I can't wait to do that again some time! We've watched so many dog shows on TV but it's so much more fun getting to meet all the dogs in person! Best day ever!!