Bad Santa: Or, how I blew a dog’s chance at the National Obedience Title

I recorded my homecoming on Monday. I really did. I wanted to document the joyous reunion between me and my loving dogs. It went a little something like this:

Opening: My hand on the doorknob. Whining behind the door.



dogs running amuk


Me: I missed you SOO much! *looks up*


And scene.ย 

ย Derailed Christmas train.

I don’t even know what this is. Coal in the stocking, is what it is.

Brody is not exactly the Golden Goodwill ambassador of gentrification. I’ll come back to this.

I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed watching the obedience trials at the AKC/Eukanuba show. I had never really watched one before. I guess it appeals to my sense of order. I tell you what to do, and you do it, and everyone wins.

I suppose the fact that a good 50% of the dogs competing there were Goldens might have had something to do with my enjoyment.

I watched this for a good amount of time, wandering quietly around the rings as the dogs focused with laserlike intent on their owners. I strolled around to a row of bleachers, sat down in the front, and watched an adorable chihuahua undergo her trial.


I was sitting quietly as a mouse, admiring her. I surreptitiously snapped a photo. Our eyes met.



The dog plopped down and stared at me. I froze. The owner, walking away, did not see this happening until the judge said, “Get your dog, ma’am.” (This happens around me a lot.)

The dog looked at her, looked at me, then squeezed under the fence and jumped on me. Immediate disqualification. And this is a dog at a national obedience championship. I swear I didn’t encourage this, but I was so mortified I got up and left anyway.

There is only one logical explanation for this, for Surfer Girl sitting on the stacking line, for Brody being the world’s most insane Golden Retriever, for that one incident on the radio I never discuss in public. It’s not them, it’s me.

I inspire misbehavior in others. It is my secret talent. I didn’t realize it until now, but suddenly my college years make so much more sense. Me, I’m as pure as new fallen snow, but those around me: miscreants, the whole lot. And it was all my fault this whole time.

So, I can’t blame Brody for not falling within normal Golden Retriever parameters, ready to perform on demand:

xmas goldies

Two seconds after this photo was taken, the Golden jumped off the table, peed on the guy on the right’s shoes, and then pantsed Santa. Kidding. But let’s just say I wouldn’t have been terribly surprised.

Here, by the way, is the National Obedience Champion,ย OTCH Spiritโ€™s Zim Zam Zoom UDX6 OM4, who was fortunate enough to be outside my sphere of influence during the demonstration in front of a national audience. That would have been disastrous.

Brody and Koa, all is forgiven. You can’t help it. You have simply fallen into my Dr V Vortex of Shenanigans and Tomfoolery.

A very happy holiday to you all and may your pets stay far away from me during this well behaved holiday! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Vonny

    Dr.V, I imagine dogs misbehave at shows often, but it would not be spoken of much. Dogs know a dog lover when they see one…and maybe you had treats in your pocket?Did the chihuahua’s owner say anything to you?

    This post was hilarious, and it explained the look on Brody’s face in previous post.

    Give yourself a break; doggies act like doggies, no matter how well trained and no matter what you do, bless their pantry-robbing, butt-sniffing, inappropriately pooing and peeing, undie-robbing hearts. Gotta love them.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • No treats. I didn’t speak to the owner because I booked it out of there before I had a chance, which probably didn’t make me look less guilty. She seemed more resigned than angry. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • GoldenzRdaBest

        If it helps….looking at the first picture and then the second- it doesn’t appear that the dog was focused on the handler. Obedience dogs should be able to ignore that kind of stimulus – heck, I have a golden I show in obedience – I proof for kids sitting next to the ring holding out hotdogs into the ring!!!! The thing with the invitational is that the top X dogs from each breed are invited – statistically there are more goldens than Chihuahuas competing in obedience – the goldens have to be a lot better than the average obedience Chi to get an invite.

        It’s a similar story in agility – getting into the top 5 (in agility it’s the top five in each breed that scores an invitation to Eukanuba) in say border collies or goldens is basically a full time job – I know the #1 agility golden and she’s out trialing every single weekend 50 weekends a year, 2-4 day trials – it’s hard to get up there in the breed rankings and its really hard to stay there. Contrast that with (lets say as an example) the number one AKC agility Chinook (whom I also know) who went to maybe half a dozen trials (3-4 weekends) last year. My point is that the top golden has to be so much more consistent when there are thousands of that breed competing than when there are perhaps 10 dogs of that breed that ever compete in that venue in a given year.

        Is it the same to train (say) a golden and a chinook? Heck no – that’s my point…bred for different purposes altogether – goldens were bred (most of them anyway) to work for and with their people. There’s an expectation of a biddable dog. Chinooks were bred to work as a team with other critters pulling a sled – Biddability isn’t really an important component of RUN and PULL!!!

        Anyway, don’t feel bad – truly wasn’t your fault.

        • That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for making me feel better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hilarious! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous

    That dog is SMILING in the picture with you! How cute! And hilarious story, by the way!

    • I didn’t realize it until I saw the picture how adorable that dog was. Plotting mayhem, no doubt.

  • Amy

    Thank you for the smiles and Happiest of Holidays to all! (two and four legs)

    • To you as well! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Anonymous

    OMG, the Chi pic. What a moment that was. BTW, we have been contacted by the owner. JUST KIDDING!

    • OMG heart attack. I DID NOTHING! LOL!

  • While I can understand you being upset at the dogs for the mess when you got home, my first reaction was where was Mr. Dr. V to clean this mess up? Who precisley was watching the hooligans while you were gone cause they’ve got some ‘splaining to do.
    And your snowy pure self must suck all the goodness out of those around you so they are left with all the mischief and trouble making parts that you would normally have. It certainly seems like a good excuse to use if I’m ever around you, I plan to use it.

    (The picture of the Golden with the antlers killed me. Such perfection!)

    • I like your way of thinking, Michelle. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • This is hilarious! But I don’t believe for a minute the pure as snow line. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Actually, it makes me feel better that the same craziness goes on in your house as in mine. If the magnificent Dr. V is also dealing with chewed up Christmas decorations, then maybe my wacky dog isn’t so bad after all!

    • Crazy does not begin to describe my house. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Finn says you project a “I must smooch and scritch you NOW” vibe. Quite irresistible. The Chi just had it easier since he fit through the fence.

    • Aw, thank you Finn. He is quite correct, that is my usual thought process.

  • Angelique

    At our house, I blame those types of incidents on our lone boxer rather than the goldens! lol Thanks for sharing this great story, I have a feeling that the next event might have a poster of you with a caption saying: if you see this women, contact security immediately.

    • There may very well have been a poster to that extent by the time I left.

  • Anonymous

    LOL, maybe this is my problem. Kol is bad, he’s just cursed by my constant presence? …Nah! He’ just a little psychopath. I would have been MORTIFIED if that little dog had jumped in my lap and absolutely flying off the handle if I came hoe to a derailed Christmas train!

    • It was a scene, let me tell you! lol

  • Tamara

    And is there something wrong with being the apple of every dog’s eye? I think not! I think you have a gift Dr. V, and the doggies all recognize it. Your title of V-E-T doesn’t even deter them, and that’s a lot for a dog to handle. May we all be so blessed ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Aww, thank you Tamara! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Oh, my dog! The Chihuahua pic is priceless! AND, what GoldenzRdaBest said… not your fault. Dogs should be proofed for distractions and it’s ALWAYS the handler’s fault anyway! The handler was probably too busy blaming herself while you slinked out of the room. haha!

    • Oh, and slink is just the word for it too. ๐Ÿ™‚