As you’re reading this, I’m probably either getting patted down by a TSA agent or winging my way over the country on my way to Orlando. (By the way, no one tell my kids that Orlando is the home of DisneyWorld. I’m already in enough trouble as it is with them.) But I’m not going to see Mickey or the Harry Potter park (though trust me, it’s tempting) because I already have enough to keep me busy with the AKC/Eukanuba show to fill an average 36 hour day.
I printed out all the events that are taking place and I ran out of ink. It’s that big.
And it’s not just a conformation show, what you typically think of when you think “dog show”. That is a big part of it too, but there are two other national AKC events taking place at the same time:
AKC Agility Invitational
This is the fifth iteration of the AKC Agility invitational, with dogs from Great Danes to chihuahuas bobbing and weaving their way through the course. I am actually fascinated to see a Great Dane run an agility course. How the heck do they manage to work that huge frame through the obstacles? It’s a mechanical miracle.
This is also the first year All-American Dogs (ie portmanteaus, ie mutts) have been invited to compete. I know this is a controversial decision, but I’m excited to see it, personally. Agility is such a cool sport, and it’s nice that anyone who wants to compete at this level, can. There are 592 dogs competing in this competition, nine of them the aforementioned All Americans.
This is ALSO the inaugural AKC Juniors Agility Competition, where accomplished kids from all over the country make me bemoan how behind I am on parenting my kids into more substantial accomplishments than “fished a grape out from under the couch before Brody found it.”
If any readers out there do agility and would like to do a guest post on the process, I’d love to have you. I love watching these dogs weave through the poles. Especially the little guys, who look like millipedes when they run.
AKC National Obedience Invitational
These guys kill me. They are SO GOOD. Obedience training starts (and stops, for most of us) at the novice level, with basic commands: heel, come, sit/stay. When dogs graduate to Open class, retrieving and jumping challenges are added. And then at the Utility Class, additional challenges include scent discrimination, directed retrieves, jumping and silent signal exercises. All under the pressure of being in a ring with a multitude of distractions. Seriously, the first time Brody did a sit/stay in a class with five other dogs there I almost died of pride. I can’t imagine working at this level.
There will be 146 dogs out there making my training look woefully inadequate. As with agility, this competition allows All-American Dogs (there are 6 competing in obedience) and will also have a separate event for the junior handlers.
No, really, I need to clone myself
This is what happens when I get overwhelmed with data. I obsess over shoes, because shoes are small, and I understand them. I have 35 e-mails from Jen at Eukanuba with information about this bacchanalia, hence my last post about shoes. On top of the conformation event and the agility event and the obedience event and the separate junior event, THERE’S MORE.
Eukanuba World Challenge: A separate show from the AKC/National Championship, the World Challenge is a joint effort between AKC, Eukanuba, and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. 42 dogs from around the globe are invited to compete in both this competition and the National Championship.
I, for one, am hoping the guy from Belgium is back this year, because he was wearing the most amazing suit I have ever laid eyes on and I need a picture.
Dock Diving Competition
Law Enforcement and Military K9 Detection Competition (last year the cops took pride in letting us know their demo boxes contained actual drugs, because who would be stupid enough to try and take them from the armed K9 unit?)
My life is pretty straightforward. I get up, I have specific tasks to do and places to be at specific times. It is an orderly, linear process. I quickly find myself overwhelmed with inertia when there are too many choices, just like those parents who make the mistake of taking their kid to 31 Flavors and ask them to choose one instead of saying, “strawberry or chocolate?”
So you see my dilemma: Almost all this stuff is going on simultaneously. If I don’t pick, I’ll end up sitting in the concessions area all day fretting over all the things I’m not doing. So I’ll ask you guys, because you were really helpful in helping me narrow my field with Meet the Breeds- is there a specific event of those listed above that you think sounds SUPER AWESOME that I should write about? Or should I just break into a vendor booth and hide under a Golden Retriever blanket all day? I need your help!