Return of the Newbie

It’s said — mothers of small children will have to help me with this part — that after you give birth, you gradually forget about the pain you went through. Otherwise, every mother would have only one child. I’ve felt that way about finishing Dinah sometimes — but even through the fifteen gazillion broken majors, the terrible coffee, rain, snow, dark of night, and pre-dawn alarm clock settings, we’ve had ourselves some fun. Haven’t we?

This spring, I found myself with some time at home after completing a contract assignment at the end of February. It seemed like the perfect time to stay home and raise a puppy, soooooo… before I had really grasped what was happening, it was St. Paddy’s Day, and Val and I were squinting through a snowstorm as we drove past Erie, PA with no other company but the “Les Mis” soundtrack.


Meet Rowan (Burlesque Doing It Her Way)! She comes from our friend Laura, and was born at Laura’s mom’s house. I’ve been a fan of Rowan’s dad Bean since I saw his first show photos, and I’ve admired Rowan’s mom Leeza’s parents for ages. (Beanie also goes back to Dylan — Am/Can CH Breaksea Gone West — so he’s distantly related to Dinah and Badger.)

Rowan is currently 5 months old, and she’ll be making her ring debut in the 4-6 Month (Beginner) Puppy ring at our local cluster shows, the Southern Maine Coastal Classic. She becomes an honest-to-goodness class bitch at BCCME’s Regional Specialty on June 1, when she’ll be exactly 6 months and 4 days of age.

We’re currently practicing our ringcraft on Thursday nights with Penny Cary, the trainer and handler who helped finish Dinah’s CKC championship. We’re in good company over there; a number of my kennel-club compadres and their class dogs have joined in the fun.

Come by the show on May 19 and look for Rowan in the 4-6 Puppy ring! Auntie Val will show Rowan while I’m off playing at being Chief Steward.

About the New Newbie

We were waaaaay overdue for a move from Blogger and a site redesign. A thousand thanks go to cartoonist Michele Trifiro of Kabuki Cartoons for allowing us to use one of her hilarious works as our new site header.

If you’re on Facebook, you can visit Kabuki Cartoons’ Facebook page to see more of Michele’s works. Tell her Dog Show Newbie sent ya.

If you find that a particular cartoon really describes your dog-show experience, you can always visit Michele’s Zazzle store and order a copy of your very own, printed on apparel, drinkware or other goodies.

The #1 Authority on #2

Do you have a dog-related question? At a loss for what to do in a dog-related situation, or just curious about something on the subject of dogs? You can always turn to for advice that is both humorous and helpful. Her Web site design is certifiably Wicked Sharp as well.

Imagine my pleasure when I found an email from her in my inbox this afternoon. She had received a question from a reader on the subject of dogs eliminating during a dog show. It’s a timely query, considering that the takes place over the next two days, and the groups are broadcast on Monday and Tuesday evenings on the USA Network and CNBC. Best in Show takes place on Tuesday night immediately after group judging.

Belated Shout-Outs, Belated Everything

Whew! Where did the rest of 2007 go, and why didn’t I get anything done?!

Everybody’s probably sung this particular song at one time or another, but the end of this past year was probably the quickest one on record. When I was on the early side of my week’s vacation at the end of December, the possibilities stretched off into infinity. I could redo every room in the house, finish every knitting project for miles around, catch up on a decade’s worth of reading, and save the world — and all this before dinnertime on Monday.

Ah, the difference between theory and practice. I had great intentions of getting caught up with all of the writing work I planned to do on this blog, and got absolutely none of it done. Nada. Bupkus. Rien du tout.

Before I reach back into the past to finish off our tales of the dog show year, though, I really do need to shout out to a couple of people who have been kind enough to correspond, acknowledge, and/or say really sweet things to me. At the very least, I owe them each a wave and a message of thanks…

First of all, a very late, but no less heartfelt, holler to Barbara Rimoshytus and Rio the Papillon (Brookfield’s Slam Dunk). Barb has been a reader of this blog for a while, and we’ve exchanged some fun emails about rally-o, showing, and suchlike. Barb is getting back into the show ring again after some years away, and Rio is off to a terrific start. He took BOB at his very first show, with a Puppy Group 4 and WD on the second day of the show. We finally met at the Thanksgiving cluster in Springfield, and Rio gave me some very sweet Papillon kisses. I am delighted to report that Rio got his first 4-point major in Springfield that weekend. His breeder has a WABR page up for him at; I don’t know if you have to be a subscriber to see it. Congratulations, Barb and Rio!

One person I do wish I’d had a chance to meet — and will make a point of it if we’re both going to Bay Colony next year — is Monica the Dog Lady, of fame. Monica was the emcee for the Rescue Parade at the Saturday show, and I’m sure she’s just as hilariously articulate in person as she is on her Web site, or in her emails. , and I must admit I’m both pleased and blushing. Julie Dennehy introduced us to each other online after the shows and claimed we share a sense of humor — and she was right.

If you haven’t seen Ask Dog Lady, just ask yourself: What would you get if Dear Abby and Miss Manners got together and had a puppy? Yes, she’s that witty, and the site is that much fun to read. Go and enjoy!

Newbies on the Road!

Yes, I know I haven’t finished my post about Thanksgiving weekend, but I’m still not feeling too terribly thankful about it. I promise I’ll get there. Let’s just say that as season finales go, ours ranks down there with the last episode of “The Sopranos,” only Tony at least got some crummy onion rings before the lights went out.

Anyway… A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Julie Dennehy, the principal PR person for the . Turns out she reads this blog, and was wondering if I would like to attend the show and blog about it from the newbie’s-eye view. (Hi, Julie!) The resulting article will appear here on Dog Show Newbie, and there’ll be links to it from the Bay Colony Web site.

I thought about Julie’s invitation for a few minutes, and then fired back a reply: “Weather permitting, count me in!”. Julie mentioned that there would be a photojournalist from one of the South Shore papers down there taking candids, and that the members of the Ladies’ Dog Club (hosts of the Friday show, which is the one I chose to cover) were wonderful to work with. We swapped phone numbers and contact information, and we’re looking forward to meeting up down there at the club table.

(I might have mentioned that I’ve always had a soft spot in my shriveled little heart for the Ladies’ Dog Club, ever since my very first Beardie got his first placement at one of their shows when he was a puppy. Dinah and I had a great time at their shows in Wrentham this past year, too.)

The next thing I did was ping Kathy, who asked, “So do you think you’re going to do it?” I responded that I would, if Mother Nature made it possible.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to my very first blog post as a member of the (cough) press! If you go to the show, or if you just enjoy it vicariously through my blog post, please ping Julie and let her know. If she gets a positive response, this could be the start of a pretty nifty tradition!

Memory Lane

Talkin’ ’bout