Kluane’s Adventure at the dog shows
January in Alaska. Kind of a blah month in the Great White North. Typically cold and still limited on daylight, January tends to be a time of stillness for the Galavanting crew.
Some Januarys, I love the stillness.
January of 2018, for example, that stillness was necessary… important, even, for my own health and well being.
But January 2019 tells a completely different story. This January, I was ready to hit the road!
Trips for rejuvenation looks different for different people. Some folks prefer a secluded getaway where peace and quiet surrounds them, day and night. While others tend to fill their cup of life with the bustle of people and the laughter of rarely seen friends.
For my rejuvenation, I prefer the latter.
Why? Well that’s an easy query to answer; because… for my every day life, my every day sense of peace… I prefer the quiet and seclusion of my precious cabin in the woods.
Every day, I live in my own beautiful Nirvana of stillness and quiet with my Galavanting Poodles and my favorite guy.
So when it comes to a trip for rejuvenation for me, it is ALL about the hustle and bustle with friends I only get to love, in person, a few times a year!
Dog shows, of course, meet all my needs for some precious connection time with my people. Folks who live and breathe dog talk. Humans who are accustomed to working their schedules around the needs of their dogs. People who understand a comment such as; “let’s do dinner at 9pm. I have to bath my dog, take her for a good walk and give her some play time before I eat.”
…these are the people who have my heart. Before I jumped into the world of dog shows and performance sports, I had no idea there was an entire community of people who **put their dogs first!**
These people are kinda awesome, I can’t lie.
A trip of rejuvenation, for me, means dog shows!
The month of January provides some pretty fantastic options, when it comes to dog shows Outside (of Alaska… _fun tip- when an Alaskan refers to a location as Outside, we mean to say; anywhere in the world, outside of Alaska
Palm Springs, California
These three cities are my go-to dog show clusters to visit in January. Some years I even do all three… which means about 15 shows in three weeks!!
This year, I opted to do the cluster in Puyallup, Washington and the cluster in Portland, Oregon. Two weeks of travel mixed with 9 different dog shows = loads of fun packed in to a very busy schedule!
Kluane’s first big trip to the dog shows.
I was bringing two of my Galavanting Poodles on this dog show trip. My gorgeous white girl, Pali, and my spicy blue girl, Kluane.
Pali was on the trip just to hang out and enjoy herself. She had a special grooming appointment with my sweet friend and mentor, Allison Foley. The rest of the trip for Pali was spent lounging. Pali is so easy to travel with, I love taking her with me, whether she’s showing or not.
My focus on this dog show adventure was on Kluane. My pretty and spirited little girl was about to get her first crash course in the big world of dog shows.
Complete with airplane rides, hotel stays, chilling with other dogs and lots of hands touching her… this trip was to be the biggest adventure for this girl, to date!
Prior to these January shows, Klu had only competed in 3 shows during the 2018 show season.
A note about pushing puppies into dog shows too soon…
Klu’s was still a puppy during 2018. Actually, according to the way I think of puppies, Klu is **still** a puppy! And I have strong convictions about taking dog shows too seriously with my puppies.
It only took me a single season doing dog shows with a puppy for me to decide that pushing puppies through shows was not my cup of tea. Bryce was my first puppy I pushed through a dog show season. And neither one of us had much fun that season.
Sure, I concede that there are loads of folks who enter their dogs as puppies and do really well! The owners, the handlers, even the puppies themselves, take the whole event in stride. No stress, just fun!
But… heh… let’s just say; I am not those kind of people ;)
Perhaps it’s because I only started handling my dogs in 2016… or maybe it’s because Poodles take quite a bit of grooming time, and I’m only one person… but more likely, the issue is that I just don’t like the pressure I put on myself when I have a hard deadline with a young dog.
You see, I **like** dog shows. I like hanging out in my grooming set up, listening to my audiobooks or music playlists on my Bose headphones (the noise cancelling ones, of course!). I like meandering through the vendors and shopping for things I need… and things I don’t! And I especially love visiting with my friends at the shows!! (And snuggling the other dogs… let’s be honest… dog snuggles is probably what I’m most known for)
But I especially like the freedom to enjoy the time with my puppy. After all, the camaraderie and bonding we share is the main reason I participate in dog shows. Dog shows are fun. They are fun for both human and dog… so, when I have a puppy, I like to remember that we are here for **fun** and not to earn our championship before a hard deadline, like graduating out of the puppy classes.
Hey- I’m a bit of an over-thinker. My mind tends to not do her best work when dealing with hard deadlines ;)
I kept all of this in mind as I packed up one small suitcase of clothes for me… one large storage tub, two medium suitcases and a carry-on of grooming supplies and dog show essentials for the girls. I joined up with my favorite man, we loaded the girls into the Poodle-van (aptly named IPOODLE, complete with matching vanity plates) and made the 2.5 hour trek from Galavanting Poodles’ little ranch to the airport to begin our trek.
Our adventure was about to begin!
check back in a few days for the next installment of Kuane’s Adventures at the Dog Shows!!