Well, our week at the National Dog Show turned out nothing like we expected. We took our little stars all the way up to Auckland, Ava and Ben, thinking they should have a reasonable chance at winning something, and almost as an afterthought, entered Nikita as a neuter in the National Dog Show, the Ardmore Show and the Encore Show and as a Veteran in the Chihuahua Specialty Show.
Day one was the Toy Shows, and we started off well, with Ben taking Reserve Dog in a huge field which was pretty impressive for a puppy. Ava plodded around the ring, but that was problem, she was plodding and didn’t seem like her sparky little self, at all.
Show 2 was pretty much a non-event too, only now Ben didn’t want the judge looking at his teeth. He did well enough to take Puppy of Breed in both shows, while Ava was looking increasingly unenthusiastic.
She seemed to be reacting her show lead, so we took her off to the on-site physio, who discovered her neck was quite stiff, which would explain why our perky little button was plodding so half-heartedly around the ring.
Day two was the main event, starting with the Ardmore show. Ben decided he really didn’t want anybody looking at his teeth, and informed the judged of this state of affairs by barking at her. Tracey smiled, thanked the judge and high-tailed it out of the ring before he could express his displeasure any more forcefully.
Ava had perked up a little after her physio, but still wasn’t at her peak. She took 2nd in her class while Nikita was entered in the show as a Neuter. Lo and behold, our old girl took Best Neuter of Breed and then went on to take Reserve Best Neuter of Group.
On to the main event, the National Dog Show. Ben had made his feelings clear in the earlier show and we listen to our dogs, so we scratched him. Ava seemed to have perked up a bit so we let her show, but she again only scored 2nd in her class in a field she normally would have won.
And then it was Nikita’s turn in the Neuter Class. As if winning Best Bitch at Nationals 3 years running and a National Reserve Best of Breed as a Junior, wasn’t enough, Nikita walked away with the National Chihuahua Long Coat Best Neuter of Breed title!
We were so thrilled for our old girl, who marched around the ring like she owned it.
On then to the last show of the day, the Auckland Chihuahua Club specialty show under Chihuahua specialist, Niki Lane.
We decided to give Ben a go, given the judge was a Chihuahua expert, and he was much happier with someone who knew how to handle Chihuahuas. He only took 3rd in his class, but he was happy to let the judge handle him, and that, for us, was the win.
Ava again took 2nd in her class and then Nikita lined up for the Veteran Class. If we thought she was being sassy in the NDS, you should have seen our little madam strut around the ring for the specialty show.
She stunned us all by – at nearly 8 years old - winning the Best of Breed (Long Coat) over a field of 42 dogs, the largest field we’ve seen in NZ for half a decade or more. We are still buzzing about her win. She is such a star. She barked all the way around the ring to let everyone know who was in charge. She also won Best Veteran in Show.
After five shows in two days, however, and two-thirds of our team pulling up injured, Tracey flew home on Thursday night with Ben and Ava, leaving Jenny to show Nikita in the Encore Show, where she once again took both Best Neuter of Breed and Reserve Best Neuter of Group.
Tracey x-rayed Ava’s neck and spine when she got home and confirmed that she doesn’t have a serious injury so now she’s at the physio where massage, laser treatment and lots of treats have helped enormously. A few more physio sessions and she should be back to being Little Miss Perky.
Ben, it turns out, is teething, which explains why he was so touchy about his mouth. Hopefully that will settle in a few days and he’ll be back to his normal perky self, as well.
As for Nikita, well what can you say about a dog who just seems to get better with age. She is our foundation bitch and our shining star and we are so proud of her we are bursting.