Kemosabe ponders a world where horses crash dog shows...

Dog Shows and Horse Shows: Kemosabe Compares

I went to my first dog show this past weekend. I was a spectator dog because I was there to give Buckaroo some moral support, since he was going in the confirmation ring.

Obviously there are no horses at dog shows, which in a way is a pity, because there are always plenty of dogs at horse shows. There’s always a Jack Russell Terrier who runs through the jumping arena, or a Corgi who decides to take a short cut through the dressage arena while a rider is doing her test. I think having some horses around at dog shows, maybe one getting loose in the agility ring, would make the dog shows more exciting.

Buckaroo is more nervous about elevators than dog shows.

Buckaroo ready for the ring.

I always thought that in terms of paraphernalia, equipment and accoutrement, horse people were right up there with rock bands…  Now I can add show dog people to the list. There are assorted collars, leads, grooming products, hair and coat trimming tools, brushes, combs, and lots and lots of fussing. Dogs stand on grooming tables while the humans brush and fluff and stand back and brush again. Not really different from horses being groomed in wash stalls — except no one was picking up the dogs’ feet and cleaning them with a hoof pick.

Normally at horse shows, I’m on a leash walking around with my human, or when she was horse showing, I’d be in the tack stall. At dog shows, all dogs are in cages — what’s called crated.

...but even annoying puppies dig dog shows.

The annoying puppy.

I had to be crated at this dog show and frankly I didn’t much care for it…not to mention the fact that I was crated next to the new puppy, whose consciousness is barely that of a fly and just as annoying. Oh the things I have to put up with.

At this dog show there was a confirmation ring where the dogs trot around, get inspected by the judge, and pose. There’s also the performance ring where Rally and Obedience are held, and next to it, the Agility ring.

I liked watching the Rally dogs work; it’s a lot like a dressage test where certain movements or directives have to be performed by the dog at certain places around the ring. The handlers can talk to their dogs during the test, unlike a dressage test where riders have to be mute in the arena. At the more advanced levels of Rally there are also little jumps, like in Agility and Show Jumping. What would make Rally really awesome is if they added squirrel chasing to it.

One of the best parts about this dog show was that we got to stay in a nice hotel: The Hilton; in fact it was pretty swank with marble floors and bell- hops. When we walked into the lobby, boy I strutted my stuff and the people said, “Ohhhh look at the lovely dogs”, and I just puffed up even more.

This was Buckaroo’s first time on an elevator and he was nervous, but I told him it was like a time machine and it would transport us to the room. He tried to bolt out of the elevator when the doors started to close, but our human managed to catch him before he exited stage left.

We’re going to another dog show at the end of this month. This time I’m going to compete in Novice Rally and so is Buckaroo. I hope we get to stay at the Hilton again; if I do well in Rally maybe I can convince my human to order up some squirrel from room service.

Kemosabe is a three year old Australian shepherd who, when he’s not on the road with Tigger, likes to hang out at BioStar — taste-testing products and herding the FedEx delivery guys.

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