Sterling's first show (as well as Echo's) was Del Monte in Carmel Valley. I decided to get Andretti's CD the same show, so the weekend had potential to be very very good for the boys. With an ungodly show time of 8am both Saturday and Sunday and a 2 hour drive time, it was a pretty easy decision to stay in a hotel near Carmel. Carmel is such a nice place to visit, this was a weekend we were really looking forward to. The accomodations were fabulous at the Mariposa Inn in Monterey. Andretti's traditional hotel routine is to immediately jump up on the bed and bounce long and hard for little bit to prep it for our stay, of course Sterling was more than willing to help. We got video of this:
Saturday morning was perfect, the weather was wonderfuly cool and the dogs were relaxed and comfortable. Watching Sterling calmly accepting all the hustle and bustle of the dog show without blinking an eye justified every minute we spent walking around Berkeley, going to street fairs and busy parks and sitting at outside cafes desensitizing him to crowds and noise. I was even more pleased when he moved easily into the ring to be judged, stacked and held it, greeted the judge with a puppy smile, didn't flinch or move during examination and then gaited his way perfectly to Winners Dog, Best of Winners and Best Op. for a 3 point major!! He even held his stack (albeit briefly and not without a lot of fiddling and puppy-fidgiting) for his win photo! What an amazing way to start his show career!
After obedience with Andretti, and hanging out for Best Puppy In Show competition (which made for a very long day for the baby) we went out for a late lunch at Forge in the Forest with Sheila and her dog Treasure, and Helen and her kids. Andretti and Sterling were so exhausted, it wasn't hard to be well behaved. They mostly snoozed through lunch, occasionaly waking up to take cookies from one of the servers and of course to admire Sheila's Banana Cream pie. We all admired Sheila's banana cream pie, it was fabulous.
Sunday was a good day as well. Both Echo and Sterling got one point each and showed like puppy-pros. The handling classes Helen and I have been going to weekly paid off in spades this weekend. I also think that the constant and random stacking that Sterling and I do everyday is making it second nature for him. We still have a ways to go, but he just keeps impressing me more and more everyday!!!! Andretti got his CD on Sunday, complete with flopping over on his side and sleeping through the long down. And then promptly got stung by a bee going back into the ring for awards. He placed 4th in a group of 9 with a 187. Overall, a very very successful weekend! Thanks to the help of no less than a dozen dog show people, Andretti recovered quickly and Art the Husband came down for lunch and a trip to the beach after the show. Sterlings first trip to the beach was a blast! He played with other dogs and tried to drink the ocean.....this litter LOVES WATER!