Well we went to Crufts. Zephyr gets a full weekend of me giving him attention, not sure he appreciates it but there you go. He helped me pack the bags:
He was a great travelling companion for B and I….
The good thing about Zeph is, he will travel anywhere and make himself at home:
I did tell him we had to be up early the next morning, so he kicked me out of bed at 4am!
Despite all this preparation, he did not have a good time at Crufts on the day. It is probably hugely down to me. I get a bit stressed out, there’s a lot of dogs, people and I’m not really happy about shoving my big boy into a cage on a bench in that environment (Why do I go I hear you ask!, I’ll get to this in the next post). Zeph decided he wasn’t happy at one point with a husky, who’s owner I thankfully have spoken to before. The dog didn’t even look at him but testosterone took over and he went crazy at the end of the lead. I had a good hold of him, but even other rotti owners stepped away from him because he was, hysterical. Hysterical is the right word I think for his reaction. You wouldn’t believe it looking at the nice pics I have above. He had his halti on so I went to grab it to turn his head to force him to look away from the dog but managed to get my hand in the way of his snapping teeth. Fortunately, he was doing what a lot of dogs do in that situation: He was snapping as a warning to the other dog, a show of, I’m this big and look at my big teeth and jaws, stay away from me. It meant I got three swift chomps of my thumb but he didn’t break the skin. At this point I was starting to realise, “is this worth it”. Ben convinced me that since we had driven all the way there, that I should still go in the ring, but that he would stay close by. Well, did the bugger not try to warn off another husky (no idea where this sudden hatred of huskys has come from, he has a ‘girlfriend’ husky in the neighbourhood and he loves her!), and again I ended up on the wrong end of his teeth. I’m normally pretty good at handling my dogs even at their worst but I was constantly in the wrong place. If he ever was going to bite though, I’d rather it was me and not anyone else but still! I have a nice bruise on my arm from him. Despite all this, believe it or not, I still went in the ring with him (on a show lead now, not even a halti). There were 19 dogs, essentially all teenage boy stage, in the tiny arena and Zeph was so hyped up. I kept my distance from the other dogs to try and help him calm, and he was doing a great job, until the B***h behind me (sorry I don’t often call people that but she really was), deliberately came up behind Zeph and shoved him and let her dog mount him, what people will do to win a dog show eh!?. So a small squabble ensues and I very nearly left the ring but I was hemmed in. I managed to get Zeph some space again and he did lie down for a little bit and calm down. He managed to show ok, but I was a little disappointed. He can look amazing outside of a show ring, so much so he should be able to challenge some of the bigger males but it was not to be this year. I did manage to get some nice pictures, but you can tell that neither of us is really enjoying it.
Not bad photos considering all the drama round about!! He did his best considering the circumstances and stress etc. So I don’t blame him at all for the days events. If I had perhaps been calmer and more confident he wouldn’t have reacted quite to the same extent. And I want to make it clear that although I was disappointed that we didn’t get placed, the ring was full of beautiful dogs and the winners were deserving of their rosettes.