Even though Laila was entered in the show, I was reluctant to give up another Saturday morning mountain bike ride with my friends. I had made the decision to skip the Saturday show and attend the one on Sunday morning at the campus of Cal Poly Pomona.
During the previous set of shows we had decided to be more selective when deciding which to enter. Shows featuring judges with a propensity for placing pied colored dogs, as well as those who had placed Leila’s father and half-siblings achieved high priority. In addition, we were going to look for “breeder judges,” those judges who had actually been breeders for the specific breed that they were judging. As it turned out, the woman that would be doing the French Bulldogs on Saturday met all of the above criteria.
The day started out somewhat inauspiciously. When I called for Laila to get into the car, she showed up like a wet seal. I quickly dried her off and started the trip to Pomona. Fifteen minutes later, I got a call from Linda informing me that Laila had decided to go for a swim in the Jacuzzi as evidenced by the telltale trail of water that she left behind. The almost calamity reminded me of the first day she was shown. On that occasion, en route to the show in Long Beach, Linda called to inform me that Laila had jumped up on the coffee table and consumed a whole bowl of candy! Wondering what effect it would have on her, I finally found out late in the competition. While she was competing for the best puppy in the Non Sporting Group, she took the time to answer nature’s call right in the middle of the ring! It must have been good luck as she was awarded first place.
I got to the show grounds early and no sooner had I dropped Laila off with her handler, Pam, when I encountered a fellow French Bulldog owner (and owner of a half-sister to Laila) who informed me that she was so disgusted with the judge for the show that she hadn’t bothered to enter her bitch today. “If that judge placed my dog,” she said derisively, “I would worry that the dog had some major defect.” Hardly an affirmation of our reasons for wanting to show under this judge!
I wandered away from the area where Laila was kept, as I have been told that I am a distraction to her when she is getting ready to be shown. I eventually came to the ring where the English Bulldogs were being shown with the thought that the Frenchies were being exhibited in Ring 6 at 10:30 that morning. From my vantage point I could see across the field to Ring 6, and was ecstatic about the improvement in my vision resulting from the cataract surgery that I had had a month earlier. As the English Bulldog judging wound down, I noticed that there was no action in Ring 6 even though the time was 10:35! Very unusual I thought, as my experience had been that the shows run on schedule.
I ran back to where the cluster of French Bulldog people were and asked, “What’s happening? When are they going to start?” I was met by an enthusiastic chorus of, “It’s over!! You won!!!” I was flabbergasted!! The competition had taken place in Ring 1 at ten o’clock! “What did she win?” I asked. Maybe I shouldn’t even show up at the competitions, I thought superstitiously.
It turned out that Laila had won the Best of Winners Prize. At a dog show the males and females are initially judged separately in different subgroups. After a winner is picked in each subgroup, they compete against each other for the title of Winner’s Dog (male) and Winner’s Bitch. These two winners then compete against the champions that are in attendance. From this group, Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex and Best of Winners are awarded.
And that’s how Laila got the point—the first point in the quest for the fifteen that are needed to attain her championship. And a week later I got two glossy 8 by 11 photos which captured the moment that I had missed.
For more pictures of the darling girl and her family, click the Laila & Parents and Frenchie Dog Pix buttons!
On a different note, Laila Tov becomes a Mommy!!!
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