13 December 2016
Our gorgeous Fox Red Labrador Amber, with a face that melts your heart and a nose and constitution to rival Dyson has had an excellent year with her forays into showing. Her early years of training with Steven stand her in good stead in any public place and her love of all things edible make her easy to handle in a show ring. Though there is some conflict between the gun dog method of 'sit the minute your handler stops', to the show method 'no please stand and wag your tail for the judge to properly see you'. It takes until after first class of a show day before she seems to get the hang of it.
Luckily her first showing of the season was done at the Yorkshire Game Fair held nr Bedale, with proper classes specifically for each breed, with particular attention paid to actively working dogs.
After Stevens appearance carrying his gun back from the Clay pigeon contest, we only managed a few respectable seconds. From then on Amber only had eyes for her 'Dad' and had really lost interest in the boring showing when the possibility of some excitement was afoot.
Interestingly we met one of Ambers litter mates that day and the likeness was incredible, though as it was her bigger brother the gorgeous face had a much more masculine look and on the whole, he was a bigger dog than Amber. He had the same wonderful temperament and though just a pet was equally well behaved as he waited while his owners chatted to us.
On to Picton Show where we hope, Amber retains her Dog racing credentials from the year before. In a chaotic field of people shouting, waving toys and dogs running amok; the ability to sit Amber at the start line and then head to the other end of the race track was not lost on many watching. As the flag dropped a single burst on the Acme whistle was all it took to bring her flying back for her biscuit, merely feet behind the Jack Russell that was given a 15-foot head start! So second again, we’ll be back next year for our bit of fun.
September brought the challenge of the RDA dog show at the Unicorn Centre in Hemlington. Run by one of our caravan owners Joan, it is always a delight to be able to support a worthy cause. Amber gets another day out with lots of attention and biscuits so it's definitely a win-win situation.
To add to the day I invited one of my young Violin pupils Pypre, to come and do the showing honours. Pypre would dearly love a dog but there just isn’t time in the families busy lives to do one justice and having Amber for a day is a nice reward for a years violin practise.
Better still, there are lots of classes for her to get to grips with the excitement of showing and pretty rosettes to vie for. At the end of the day, we had a rosette in every colour, bags of biscuits and then having won the 'dog with the waggiest tail' they were eligible for the Championship.
At this Amber finally got the hang of standing throughout the class (though not unfortunately for the photographs at the end) and Pypre really got the hang of running her out and at last Amber was able to really show off her elastic movement. The judge said, her Champion for the day was a dog who smiled and wagged her tail ALL DAY, throughout every class, who had glorious bone structure and movement as best befits and active working breed. Well, we couldn’t argue with that!
A lovely day was had with canines and friends, raising money for a good cause and who could want more from a weekend than that?
Amber very much enjoyed all the treats and biscuits, kindly donated for her prize, she did, of course, share her bounty with her friends back home.
A girl has a figure to maintain don’t you know!!
Perhaps we’ll see you out on show days next year, we certainly have fun and it's lovely to celebrate the relation between man and his truly Best Friend.