Monday, December 1, 2008

Lansing, MI

This was the weekend of the long-awaited Lansing, MI shows.  I say long-awaited because they were connected to the Thanksgiving holiday - we entered mainly because we were going to be in the area over the holiday weekend.  Over the last week, I have been pondering my blessings and am thankful for my wonderful husband & dogs, a terrific family and many friends.  I am especially grateful for good friends who believe in helping out the dogs as much as Michael & I do!  (Thanks, Sue!!)

I had spent Tuesday evening at a conformation run near Milwaukee in preparation for the weekend.  Michael prepped the truck w/ the car topper while I was gone.

Wednesday evening, after a very long day, we spent dealing with some last-minute issues getting a rescue dog settled before the holiday.  

So it was Thursday - VERY early - before we got on the road.  Luckily, there was no Chicago traffic.  I think I set a new record going through the City: less than half an hour from the Des Plaines toll plaza to the Skyway toll plaza!  This was a pleasant surprise.  We picked up Michael's mom in good time to make it to my folks' in Lansing for the big turkey dinner.  I think we were all a bit surprised my parents hadn't invited any friends to join us this year - much quieter than I'm used to for the holiday, but also relaxing.

We enjoyed a quiet day on Friday, until it was time to head to the puppy match.  First, there was the drama of getting directions to the show site.  Once we made it there, we had to find grooming space.  Since there wasn't any, we ended up "borrowing" someone's reserved space.  (He showed up just as I put Gibson up on the table to comb him out but let us use the space until we went ringside...then he move our table to the side & set up his gear. )  

Then there was much waiting...This was a large puppy match because it was attached to the 3-day weekend, and they judged in alpha order, so "Spaniel, field" was near the end of a good-sized sporting group.  Poor Mom & Patti waited like troopers (at least they had chairs!).  I thought Gibson showed really well, especially for such a little guy who had been waiting at ringside for so long!  He was the only Field spaniel, so he took the Breed, but unfortunately, the judge put up mostly retrievers in her sporting group.  Well, good learning experience for Baby Gibson!

Friday night and Saturday morning were long as we got Watson prepped for the ring, only to be broadsided by a substitute judge who has recently put the competition up for a BIS (not that we had a warm & fuzzy feeling about the scheduled judge, but still...).  We had a good time anyway, though.  I enjoyed showing Roe's girl Tess.  Didn't win in the classes either but really enjoyed the opportunity to show!

Saturday afternoon we toured the Van Andel Research Institute with the family and with Roe and Gordie.  What a fascinating opportunity!  They are doing exciting work that hopefully will benefit the dogs as well as people!! 

Getting dumped again on Sunday provided the chance to get an early start for home.  We would have loved to stay around and enjoy a meal with some friends - it was fun seeing Roe & Gordie, Nancy, Jim & Shirley, Kassie and Monica - but the weather in Lansing presaged an unpleasant drive back to Madison.  Fortunately, it wasn't as bad as it might have been, but it was still good we started out when we did!

We enjoyed our weekend in Lansing and would have loved to stay longer to enjoy more time with family but are also glad to be home.  Madison greeted us with a fresh coat of snow on the ground - and more today.  Hopefully not the start of another winter like last year...

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