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My SO and I decided to kidnap our favorite 15 year old (our honorary niece and another dog lover) and drive down to San Fransisco for the dog show. The ride took 5 hours instead of the usual 4 because we were getting the only snow we've seen for weeks, but it was worth it.

Here are just a few random thoughts on the show...

There were LOTS more people than I'd expected. It was great to see all of the excited people. The kids were the best.

The show people were very nice and were very happy to talk to you about their dogs and to let you pet them. I hadn't been to a big show before, only collie specialties. It's a completely different atmosphere.

There was an interesting mix of dogs. There were (of course) a ton of Labs and Goldens. But there were also about 10 Flat Coated Retrievers and even more Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. The Duck Tollers had a fairly large representation as well. I'd never seen either of these up close before. The Flat Coats were more slender and taller than I'd expected. They are definitely not just a "black Golden". The Duck Tollers were much smaller than the labs and Goldens.

There were a lot of beautiful Rotties, with VERY enthusiastic owners. I spent a bunch of time loving on some of them and chatting with their people.

Surprisingly, there were about 10 Pharoah Hounds... but only 4 collies (one of them was an ADORABLE sable smooth girl).

Borzoi, up close, are much taller than I thought. The ones I met were also total love bugs. One dragged his handler over to me so he could get his butt scratched.

The Irish Wolfhounds stole my heart. I don't know what it was about them... their regal attitude, I think... either way, I'm in love.

The toy group had a good contingent, too. There were lots of pugs, chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and papillons.

We watched some of the group judging, but got tired and left after the working group. We knew we still had a 5 hour ride home, so it was better to leave early than to risk a wreck because the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

They had 2 rings set up. First they did the adults in Ring 1, with an announcer. Then the did the puppies for the first group, without an announcer, in Ring 2 while the next group showed in Ring 1.

The handler for the puppy Duck Toller couldn't have been over 6 years old herself. She did a great job, too. All of the people in our section were rooting for the judge to pull her out in the first cut. He did... sort of as an afterthought... but he did pull her out. The crowd went crazy when he did it. She didn't place, but what a great day for this little girl!

At the very end, my SO bought me an enamel collie pin for my birthday, and we headed home. A wonderful time was had by all. Maybe next year we'll go to Westminster... ;)
 

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Did you meet a young Flatcoat puppy boy named Gunner??? If so, that is my Viggo's son, and a littermate to Lefty and Spike. He would most likely have had more bone and substance than many of the other Flatcoats...
 

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Did you meet a young Flatcoat puppy boy named Gunner??? If so, that is my Viggo's son, and a littermate to Lefty and Spike. He would most likely have had more bone and substance than many of the other Flatcoats...
Unfortunately, when I got to them, the Flatcoat people were getting ready to show, so I didn't get to talk to them very much. I do believe that the Flatcoat got a group placement, but I don't know which dog it was.
 
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