The centrepiece at lunch today. Apologies for the blurred photo – it’s hard to surreptitiously take a photo of the centrepiece. And even harder to hold a phone with a 2MP camera still enough to take a close-up shot…
I spent my morning being a steward at a dog obedience trial. This was a new experience for me. Pooka has never been in a trial and, well, it’s not something that I would think to go to otherwise. But the club needed people to help and I had nothing better to do.
So I really had no idea what to expect. Reading the job description of a ring steward gave me the impression that there was little room for error and I feared that I would spend the whole time getting in trouble for rule infractions. And who knew that a dog show judge demands even greater deference than an old-school cardiologist*?!
At any rate, I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere. Although I found some of the dog owners to be a bit trying… reminiscent of some overly keen medical students actually. The judge for my ring came straight over to our er… gazebo, thereby breaking protocol. We were meant to fetch her from the registration area.
Before the trials kicked off we were summoned for raisin toast and hot drinks in the club house. Those with an eye for detail may notice that an awful lot of eating breaks were scheduled for the day.
There were no catastrophes in my ring. There were a lot of no-shows – probably because it was raining a bit. Of the dogs that were there, quite a few were disqualified. Pooka would have been at an advantage because she is not troubled in the slightest by rain and will happily lie down on wet ground. Technically she is able to do everything that was tested, however I had a revelation while I was being a pole (two stewards are required to be poles for dogs to do figure-of-eights around) that the trials are obedience trials, not skillz trials. So on some days Pooka would pass with flying colours. On other days, she would be absolutely dreadful. I did learn that she wouldn’t lose points for wagging her tail while standing (otherwise) still for examination by the judge.
Morning tea was served after about 8 dogs had done their individual activities. Homemade scones with jam and (aerosol) cream, tea and coffee. Then the rest of the dogs did their individual bits. Then it was time for the 3 minutes of angst. The dogs that passed the first section progressed to the “1 minute sit stay” and “2 minutes down stay” part.
That concluded festivities in the “novice” ring and I went to watch the “lower than novice” ring (same exercises but on-leash whereas mine was off-leash) where my mother was being a pole. There I spotted a blogger who may or may not read this blog. She and her dog did very well indeed.
Then it was time for lunch. We were promised an excellent lunch and it certainly met expectations. The centrepieces went beyond expectations.
* Largely unrelated anecdote: when I was a med student doing an OSCE (exam that’s a bit like the show “Thank God You’re Here” – multiple stations with strict time-limits where you get scenarios and have to demonstrate physical examinations, history-taking, procedural skills etc) I was very surprised to walk into a room with a CPR scenario and find one of the most senior cardiologists in the Mothership Hospital ready to assess my skillz with ResusciAnnie. So surprised that I forgot the two rescue breaths and failed the station. Oh well.