All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. ~Walt Disney
Anyone who knows me knows my most very favorite thing is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It is the catalyst for me becoming St. Bernard enthusiast.
Eleven years ago I attended this show with my best friend for my 35th birthday (yes, do the math, take a moment to be amazed that I am not the 28 year old you all thought I was.) I have always loved dogs and watched dog shows on TV, so what better way to spend my birthday than in the BIG city with my bestie looking at dogs.
As expected, it was an amazing trip. Not even a record breaking snow storm was keeping us from attending. I can still remember the absolute high I felt walking into Madison Square Garden, seeing the green carpet and all the beautiful dogs on it. The benching area had an amazing buzz of excitement and I left that show knowing one day I was going to be there as an exhibitor.
I met my goal of showing a dog for my 40th birthday. Ch. Redoak’s Little Dude was the dog who took me there. The experience, to say the least, was unbelievable. The best part of the day, and the memory that still brings me to tears happened while I was resting with Dude in the crate. A mother and her non-verbal son came by our crate and asked if her son could say hello to Dude. I said sure and we both climbed out of the crate. Dude and her son laid down on the floor and her son spoke to Dude. This moment brought tears to his mother’s eyes, and of course no one cries alone when I am in the room.
What I have learned in my time thus far in showing dogs is while the ribbons are pretty, the people I have met, places I have been and memories I have accumulated have given me so much more than I could have imagined when I decided to be a dog show person.