This weekend was our third and last away show for a while. Once again we loaded up the car and the show team and headed down to Dunedin, home to several thousand university students and Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street, for the Otago Kennel Association champ show.
The trip down was uneventful, as the whole trip should have been, except for a fateful and foolish decision we made before leaving home.
Our dogs are raw-fed and we could do a whole post just on the benefits of raw feeding, but when you’re travelling it’s a pain the butt. It means ice packs and chilly bins and is a whole lot of mucking about, which is something – after three weekends away on the trot – we decided we could well do without.
“Let just feed them kibble,” we said, optimistically. “It’s only an overnight trip. One meal? Of primo, Royal Canin Chihuahua kibble? What could possibly go wrong with that?”
So we left the raw food at home, packed the kibble and got to Dunedin nice and early. We dumped the show gear at the venue and claimed a great spot ringside and then settled into our very pet-friendly motel where we spent the rest of the day bingeing on episodes of Botched (gross surgical procedures – Tracey’s favourite) while the puppers chilled out with us, grazing on the aforementioned primo Royal Canin Chihuahua kibble, which Ava, in particular, really seemed to like.
We were up before dawn the following day because parking is at a premium at the Forrester Park venue at the best of times, and last week the Dunedin City Council, in its infinite wisdom, decided to dump several tonnes of gravel in huge piles… in the venue carpark. Because the OKA had warned everyone about this problem and posted pictures on Facebook of their gavel-filled carpark the week prior to the show, we were certain we would not be the only ones determined to snag one of the few available carparks near the venue, so arriving early was paramount.
We hit the road in the dark, the sky just turning red with the oncoming sunrise and had been in the car for less than 5 minutes when Ava started frantically scratching at the side of her travel crate. A sure sign she had unfinished business, we pulled over before we hit the motorway (where there would be no opportunity for stopping) and sure enough, she did the biggest poo, which should have given us some inkling of what was in store for us, but it wasn’t diarrhoea, just a big poo, half an hour after her last big poo, so we didn’t think much of it.
With Ava looking much relieved, we loaded up again and headed to the venue via McDonalds for breakfast - probably the most disgusting breakfast burgers we’ve ever had the misfortune to attempt eating – and arrived at 7:30 am to find what was left of the carpark was almost full. Despite this, we managed to find a good spot only metres from the entrance, checked in to our COVID zone and sat down to wait for the show to start.
And then Ava pooped again…
Still no actual diarrhoea, but there was a bit of a panic, because she was in the pen with Ben who is somewhat fascinated by poop so we had to snatch him clear before he rolled in it and Ava before she did the same. Ava showed no other signs of being unwell, by the way. She wasn’t off her food. She was just pooping. Every 30 freaking minutes…
And this proved to be our day. The times between poops stretched out to about an hour after a while, but it never stopped. Poop after poop after poop. We used a whole roll of poo bags. Nikita and Ben were fine, but Ava, whether because she had binged on the kibble at the motel and had a bellyful or the kibble just didn’t agree with her, had turned into this gross pooping machine that never ran out.
In between poops, Ava took Best of Breed, and Ben impressed the judges enough to take the Best Dog and Reserve Best of Breed, while Nikita - shown brilliantly by Junior Handler, Arvia Caldwell - continued her domination of the Neuter class in the Toy Ring and took Best Neuter of Group!
Best Neuter in Group: NZ Ch Eldivino Senorita Nikita
Best of Breed, Bitch CC & Best Intermediate of Breed: NZ Ch Kitaco Smashed Avacado
Reserve Best of Breed, Dog CC & Best Baby of Breed: Kitaco Ben de la Creme
Neuter Best of Breed, Best Neuter Bitch CC: NZ Ch Eldivino Senorita Nikita
Ava's poo-nami not withstanding, It was a great show, and the OKA committee is to be commended for managing the COVID number restrictions so well in such a difficult venue with the added complication of unwanted piles of gravel.
The trip home was… well… interrupted. A lot. It was drive, hear Ava scratching in her crate, stop, poop, carry on. We stopped in Palmerston and St Andrews and Ashburton and the Bunnings Airport Carpark in Christchurch before we finally got home.
Ava is fine, although she’s now on a green tripe diet and a Promax supplement for the next few days. Nikita and Ben are totally unaffected, but we should have known Ava might have a delicate tummy. Her father, Narci, is the same. Will eat absolutely anything you put in front of him, in enormous quantities, and then pay for it for the next few days – usually with no regrets because if it’s edible, it’s awesome!
And speaking of edible and awesome. Every cloud has a silver lining, even poopy ones. We discovered Tip Top Banoffee Pie Trumpets during one of our many stops, which is the most awesome ice-cream we’ve ever tasted, and had us thanking Ava for the interruption, because without her making us stop to poop, we would never have even learned they existed.