“Kick Me”

I hope it goes away soon, but I am living through one of those periods where I feel like the universe had taped a big “Kick Me” sign to my back that everyone else can see but me…

Lets just say we had a rough weekend. I’ll skim over acts one and two (Friday involved me unearthing shady stuff goings on by a colleague of mine, and Saturday was my grandfathers wake, which was as fine as it could have been but was still a funeral), and focus on act three as it is the most pertinent to my writings here.

As I mentioned recently, I have been thinking about possibly getting a purebred dog next time around. So, being the Obsessive Compulsive researcher that I am, I have hunted down and been corresponding with a Manchester Terrier breeder. She was polite when I reached out to her inquiring about her dogs and making it clear I am not in the market for a puppy now but that I am doing prelim research a few years down the road. She and I have been trying for a few weeks to schedule some time to meet—she has a litter of puppies (all spoken for) that she wanted me to meet before they went, so time was of the essence. After much back and forth we finally settled on this weekend to meet. She would be in Lompoc for a dog show with the sire, dam and all the puppies. I was excited.

I left directly from the family event last night and pointed it north on the 101 towards Lompoc. Since I waited til the last minute there were no cheap hotel rooms in town left so I had to book a room about a half hour outside of town. I always have a little sense of adventure when staying at roadside motels—its a total crapshoot whether they are cute and quaint or total dives. I got in around 11:30, and unfortunately for me, this place was a D.U.M.P. Whatever, I have stayed in worse and lets just say I was motivated to get out of bed in the morning. I headed back towards Lompoc, found a Starbucks and the showgrounds without incident. I was feeling good, on my little solo adventure.

I had confirmed with the breeder her show time and the ring she would be in. So I got there about a half hour early, found the ring and set up my chair, drank my coffee. Chatted with another lady who was there to watch her Australian Terrier (have you ever seen one of those? eeek!!). She shared her schedule with me and I was indeed at the right time at the right place. When the Standard Manchesters came on, there was only one dog. I assumed it was who I was looking for as they had assured me they would be there. After he did his little go round and left the ring, I approached him and asked him if he was “Bob Smith”.


“Bob of Smith Kennels?”

“Hah! No!”

Beginning to stammer… “Uh, erm, okay. Um, well do you know Bob Smith? Is he here?” (I was under the impression that all these people knew each other and maybe even might be friendly with one another…)

“He must have got tired of me beating him! Har har.”

….what the… I tried to pull myself together. I stumbled around and looked at the sky for about thirty seconds before figuring maybe the ring steward could maybe help me. I asked her if she did have Bob Smith Kennels as due to be in that class, she said yes, they were a no show. They were here yesterday, but dont know where they are today! Oh, I said. I drove up all the way from far away to meet them… I mumbled.

She at least tried to be sympathetic but by then I was too far gone. I honestly didnt know what to do. I had given her my phone number, but she never offered hers in return. I figured if she said she’d be there…

She also had mentioned she would be at another ring later on for the toy Manchesters (though they don’t breed the Toys so I was somewhat confused by that). I hemmed and hawed about whether tp stay or leave… Thankfully at least this was a sighthound specialty show, so I watched the greyhounds and borzois do their bit and also wandered around in the booths. I found and bought a nice sighthound-style collar for a good price which I have been wanting to get for Forest. Regardless, I was still pretty agitated and upset.

I managed to hang on ’til the toys went, though I really wanted to just bolt. After my earlier experience with the Standard ring D-bag I was gun shy to talk to anyone. I perched myself just outside of the ring almost right on top of the four people showing their toy MTs, watching and listening for anyone that could have been from or related to Bob Smith Kennels. I got especially annoyed watching one women whose dog was unable to walk on all four legs in a straight line. I was growling to myself internally at this point; Jesus H Christ lady, get a clicker, its not that hard!!!

That combined with the sudden feeling I was at a toddler beauty pagent started making me feel sick. I half-heartedly sidled up to the competitors post-class but they didnt want to seem to have anything to do with anyone else and at that moment I had had enough. It was weird and icky and I was over it, big time.

I got in the car and drove 4 hours home. I was very, very glad to see my quiet old house and my mutty-mutt gorgeous happy dogs. Maybe this is the universe’s way of telling me I don’t need a purebred dog. I don’t know. But, I am in no hurry and things will sort themselves out. Chalk this one up as another experience in the life of a crazy dog lady. Forever the learning experience I guess, huh?

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