Last weekend it was the top of the South Island, this weekend it was almost at the bottom for the 50th Anniversary Gore & Districts Kennel Assocition shows.
It's roughly the same distance from Gore to Brisbane as it is from Gore to the coast of Antarctica so heat waves are not really their thing and the last thing one expects so close to Antarctica. But of course, there was a dog show scheduled so Gore decided to try and break the record for their hottest day ever (33.4' C, set in 2018) with a scorching 32.6"!
The morning show on Saturday wasn't too bad, with Ben taking Reserve Best of Breed, Alice taking the Best Bitch CC and little Aodhan taking Best Baby Puppy of Breed.
The afternoon show was an entirely different matter.
We had seen the forecast by now and could feel what was coming. For a puppy barely 1 KG, we decided it would be unwise to subject Aodhan to that kind of heat, just for the chance of a ribbon. Older and larger pups would cope just fine, but we decided it wasn't worth the risk for a Chihuahua so small. Fortunately, we were staying across the road from the show grounds. We scratched Aodhan from the afternoon show and kept him cool and comfortable in the motel during the heat of the day with a puppy-sitter. He flaked out on the cool mat with the big force fan going and was as happy as a clam.
The show committee did a great job of providing shade in the rings as far as possible. The dogs were tabled under the gazebo (also useful the following day when the temperature dropped and it rained!), so the time spent in the unshaded ring was kept to a mimimun for all the dogs.
International All-Breeds judge, Ms Kazumi Kurata from Japan, judged the Toy Group and took a real shine to Ben. She gave him Best Dog and Best of Breed, and when it came to the Group judging, she dismissed all but 3 dogs from the ring - The Cav, the Pug, and... you guessed! Our Ben.
To be ranked in the top three of the Toy Group was such an honour, especially under an international judge as knowledgeable about Chihuahuas as Ms Kurata. The Group wins eventually went to the Cav and the Pug, but she awarded Ben the Best Junior of Group, which was absolutely wonderful.
Alice once again took Best Bitch, and the Bitch CC in her usual, unflappable manner, and was clearly glad to get back to the cool at the end of the day, as was everyone at the show, it has to be said.
On the Sunday, the temperature dropped by a good 10 degrees and it rained, so it was much cooler for everyone. Under International All-Breeds judge Ms Joyce O'Connor from Ireland, Ben took his second Best of Breed for the weekend, Alice took her 3rd Best Bitch CC and little Aodhan again took Best Baby Puppy of Breed, after many cuddles from the judge who thought he was adorable.
So, another great weekend where we only dropped 1 of the 6 CC's on offer, ranked 3rd in the Group line-up, took a Junior of Group, 2 out of the 3 Best of Breeds, 2 Best dogs and a Reserve Best Dog, 2 Dog CC's, 3 Best Bitches, 3 Best Bitch CC's and 2 Best Baby Puppy of Breeds.
Thanks so much to the Gore committee for some great shows with such impressive judges. Not bad for a little club half-way to Antarctica.