Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Anubi and I finished #2 National Owner Handled Series (NOHS) Azawakh in 2019. It was so exciting to make a small piece of history. I suspected I would finish top 10 from about April onward and also knew that I had some upcoming expenses and didn't intend to attend. My parents surprised me with an early Christmas gift and paid for our trip from Washington state to Orlando.
The show was massive, the biggest in history. The venue is indoors, the rings are carpeted in the famous blue and red. Every dog was well mannered (I'm sure there were exceptions but I didn't see them) and it was a welcome change from the poorly socialized, nervous dogs we frequently get in for training. Don't get me wrong, I do love all dogs, but there is something so restful about being around hundreds and hundreds of well bred dogs.
After a gaffe at the rental car we arrived very late the night before we showed in the owner handled finals. On Friday morning I set up Anubi's crate in the Meet the Breed booth and then headed to the ring. Anubi, usually my perfect one, had gotten into the cats' and puppy's food the morning before the flight which had majorly upset his stomach. I fasted him for 24 hours for his flight. But his digestive upset returned right outside the ring, less than ten minutes before ring time. Thankfully all worked out.
I showed against Vicki Harrison Williams' Nuri (CH Knightwinds Nuriyah). We had a lovely judge and Anubi showed steadily, though it was his first show since a judge had been physically rough with him 5 months before (a story for another day). I has happy to take Best of Opposite Sex to Nuri, who is a such a lovely girl. It's so fun to compete with friends.
The next day we showed bright and early again. There were a record breaking ten azawakh entered (are we a low entry breed or what). Anubi went Reserve Winner's Dog and it was fascinating watching various lines in the ring. I certainly know what I like and what I don't and this was only cemented more by seeing the dogs in person.
The rest of the weekend was spent with azawakh friends at the Meet the Breed booth. We had six dogs from several different lines at the booth on Saturday and five on Sunday. The public overall was much more educated than I'd ever seen before. After watching my friend and her Podengo Medio take Best of Breed in Miscellaneous, I arrived back at the booth and Vicki surprised me by telling me to grab Anubi because I was doing an interview with National Purebred Dog Day. https://www.facebook.com/NationalPurebredDogDay/videos/767657480385013/?fref=mentions&__xts__=68.ARAEP0fKl7Ndb8O42d98edp2awQ_cnugbY8bBE9rh6-H77G6pIGzw0v4cvAXfDOZ7_UHxTccgMlumZB3XKePmdIwH4h4WKBkcU4yChoi4a51_XUJWFFwrQwUrmehtE9-0FFDPF4xB4sse8vT6pUI84swuXzb9BuN67FcrZLrR7AN_J-lp8Z74k2n5_q0WD8O4RfOERMqpT7lUKHwJGGBE-nKjrKbjMnV2Y_A-RRHe0Qjh0PUKbrmveC7h7UmOJBL0aPPOzRB4Hsk_6lAok8itxXfct8kSuMPt5vexrE9lXUSCOZsz1csPKZWn1DqvWHLIo9txKkROE-UaxanJQmKJM923HhO6Q&__tn__=K-R
It was a lot of fun and we covered some ground I don't always get to cover when doing education. We had 20+ judges stop by over the weekend and we spend a long time talking about the breed, their unique structure, and overall temperament. In general, judges were astounded by the accepting nature of our azawakh and I truly that speaks to breeders who have worked hard socializing their puppies and breeding even-tempered dogs.
Anubi spent probably 6+ hours each day out on a table, greeting the public, allowing people to pet him and examine him. I gaited him numerous times so people could see the unique breed movement. He was overall the best dog I could ever ask for. That being said, we also took frequent breaks back behind the xpen. Even a well adjusted guard dog still needs breaks afterall. ;-)
It was such a lovely experience overall and I hope that I'll get to repeat it again one day.