I haven't been to a dog show in awhile, and I'm beginning to miss it. Dog shows have a funny way of making a horrible weekend into something to remember fondly - even though everyone can agree that the weekend still sucked. Today, as I travel down memory lane, I'd like to share one of the best pit stops along the way.
The Rock Island IL Show, 2010
My friend Aryn and I were driving to Rock Island for yet another dog show. Aryn was showing her dog Rocket, and I was showing a young Doberman named Spartacus. We left very early in the morning, as it was a three hour trip and our ring time was at 8am. I do not recommend doing this - but in this case it was unavoidable. When you're tired, bad things happen. This is a Rule of the Universe, and there are no exceptions.
It all started with Aryn getting a call from her husband about 45 minutes into the drive, asking if she needed the blue gym bag he'd found sitting next to their front door. Aryn let out a shriek and screamed that YES, the DID need that bag but it was too late to turn back now. That bag contained everything - show clothes, non-show clothes, toiletries... everything. Even shoes. All Aryn had were the clothes on her back, which consisted of a pair of pajama pants, a dress, a light jacket and a pair of fuzzy clogs.
We decided we needed to stop at Target, or else Aryn would have no shoes for the show and no toothbrush for the entire weekend. Unfortunately, it was so early in the morning that none of the Targets we passed were open yet. Our best bet would be to get to Rock Island and look for Target close to the show site.
Moline Illinois ended up providing us with a Target store. Aryn ran in and bought shoes, figuring we'd go shopping again once the dog show was over. Our next step was to make it to the show site. We got lost. Amidst our rage and hysterics, we made some bad decisions.
I yelled, "your dog is FAT!" at someone walking a morbidly obese cockapoo, only to realize that the car windows were open. Aryn yelled profanity about the whole "forgetting the gym bag" situation and also forgot the windows were open, so she ended up scaring the people (including the small children) in the car next to us. When we got to the show site, the lot attendant said there was no parking so we'd have to park off-site and use the public bus system. Aryn was not pleased, and accidentally voiced what she was thinking to the lot attendant. Attendant got mad, and we had to park illegally in a city lot. There was no way the city bus was going to let us board with an 80lb Doberman, so we had to lug all our gear to the site.... 5 blocks away.
The actual dog show went fine, aside from when our dogs' breeder yelled at me for not coming to the show dressed in show attire and when the show photographer yelled at Aryn. And no, for the record I did not wear jeans and an Art Club shirt in the ring. I wore normal show clothes.
We had a really bad lunch. Not only was the food terrible, but the credit card machine stopped working.
When it was time to leave the show, we argued with our dogs' breeder about Target. She insisted there wasn't a Target in the area. We insisted that there was, because we'd been there that same morning! Eventually we made it to the mythical Target and bought essentials. Then we drove to the breeder's house to spend the night.
We all went out to dinner, and Aryn and I had too much to drink... it was slightly embarrassing but hilarious. The worst part was that it wasn't just us - there were puppy buyers at dinner! We made fools of herself in front of puppy buyers! (Okay, I made a fool out of myself. Aryn had the good graces to shut up and play with her margarita glass.... though she did stumble/skip out to the van afterwards, laughing like a maniac.
Early the next morning we woke up at the crack of dawn... I was not happy about that. We then proceeded to do "dog chores" for three hours. We casually mentioned that Aryn's car needed fuel in order to get back to the show. Again, the breeder thought we were joking.
Me: Aryn's car needs gas, we'll meet you there.
Breeder: What? You need gas to get to the show?
Aryn: (speechless, eyes wide and mouth hanging open)
Me: Nooo, the car runs on fairy dust and kitten farts!
As you can see, I had lost my ability to filter my words. I think the breeder was a bit shocked that I talked back to her like that.
We showed. Nothing remarkable happened. On the way home I realized I'd accidentally left my purse and camera at the breeder's house, so we had to backtrack an hour to retrieve them. Then Rocket peed on Aryn's leg. At this point, it felt as if we'd fallen into some parallel universe where everything was out to get us. We weren't sure which option was better - laughing until we peed our pants, going on a murderous rampage... or killing ourselves.
The car ride home wasn't easy either. In fact, it was so choc-full of adventure and disaster that I feel compelled to make a list:
1. Two weird guys in a white van followed us and kept waving at us. Creepy.
2. Two fat pugs on Flexi leads attacked Aryn's car, leaving scratches on her front bumper.
3. We saw a really weird deer by the side of the road. We think it was either pooping, giving birth or badly injured, because it was squatting like a dog does when it poops. But I don't think deer poop that way, so your guess is as good as mine. We pondered over that deer for a good thirty minutes.
4. A big SUV full of guys pulled up alongside us, waving a sign that read, "Boobs for world peace?" We nearly drove off the road laughing. What really got me was the question mark.... why on earth did they pose it as a question?
5. The McDonalds drive-thru attendant spilled a huge cup of sweet tea all over Aryn. No joke, it was a huge cup of tea.
Welcome to the world of dog shows, folks. It's never dull. And every time Aryn wears her "emergency outfit" she bought that weekend, I chuckle.
Proof that the weekend wasn't a total waste - at least I put two points on Spartacus!