Friday, February 3, 2012

AKC/Eukanuba Blogger Stakes: Show handling tips and a "surprise" ending!

We had the opportunity to attend the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show as a Eukanuba VIP Blogger, and one of our favorite events was the Blogger Stakes. Our group of bloggers got to see just what it's like to show a dog in the big Best in Show ring, complete with bright lights and plenty of photographers! 

Most of the bloggers were provided with dogs, straight from the AKC show ring, like Billy Wheeler at Dog Show Poop and Kathleen Riley-Daniels, who is a Dogs Examiner and creator of the website Outlaw Chinooks!

But I had to have a Havanese, so I went straight to the Havanese Meet the Breeds booth and found none other than... 

... Cosmo Havanese! Yep, this is the OTHER Cosmo Havanese!  My Cosmo and I knew THIS Cosmo from Facebook and I was so excited to meet him in pawson at the dog show! This Cosmo is a Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T.) dog and a champion in the show ring too! He's from Fort Lauderdale and his parents Anna and Mitch were kind enough to let me borrow him for the Blogger Stakes!   

Shaggy Dog Photography
Before we went into the show ring, Cosmo and I had a little bonding time and discussed strategy.

It was a formidable line-up of bloggers and pooches. Here's Wendy and Charlie from Petside, Jessica (a.k.a. Dr. V)  from Pawcurious, Billy from Dog Show Poop, Pam from Pet Blogs United and Cosmo and me way down on the end.  You'll notice my focus and attention on Cosmo's position... Show Handling Tip #1: Keep your eye on your dog and the judge. You never know when he'll be looking at you and you always want to show your best side! 

Shaggy Dog Photography
Some of us had some show handling experience, and some had none! I'll admit I've been in the show ring before with my Cosmo, but it's been many years and it's not like we ever went to a dog show of this enormity! Here, I dust off my stacking skills and ... Show Handling Tip #2: I chat up the judge so he knows a little more about the handsome Cosmo Havanese! The judge for the day was Eukanuba's Jason Taylor.

Cosmo's mom Anna took this video of us in the ring! I could use a little practice lifting Cosmo off the table gracefully! Show Handling Tip #3: It's not as easy as it looks! Practice, practice practice! And Show Handling Tip #4: Take time to neatly gather up your show lead and make sure you're ready to walk up and back. Then, stop with plenty of room for the judge to admire your dog!

Shaggy Dog Photography
Shaggy Dog Photography

It's time for the final cut! Show Handling Tip # 5: Keep your eye on the judge and "ask for the win"! Looks to me like Kathleen and I are the only ones keeping our eye on the prize, though I suspect Billy glanced down only for a second. The others, well, I'll let Jessica tell you her side of the story
Shaggy Dog Photography
Cosmo and I take one more lap around, and the winner is.......

.... Cosmo Havanese!! Look at the huge trophy we won! Can you imagine taking that home on the plane? Ok, just kidding. This trophy went to the new AKC/Eukanuba National Champion, London, the Standard Poodle.

We had loads of fun at the show and, as luck would have it, the telecast of the show is being aired on ABC this weekend! Check your local listings for times, but it's scheduled for 2 p.m. ET in my neck of the woods.

And, hop on over to Twitter or Facebook while you're watching the show and join the online conversation with all of us!  Here are the details for the online viewing party.

See you at the show!


  1. A ha! The truth comes out! No wonder you were such a pro. ;) Well, congratulations on a well deserved win, and I am furiously taking notes so I do better next time. :D :D

    1. Next year I'll give you all the tips I know!! I took one show handling class, which hardly makes me an expert, but the experience did help, I'm sure. AND I had a fab dog with a fab name!

  2. Looks like a great show. Cosmo looked lovely.

  3. What an opportunity for you all to be there LIVE! So glad that you had a great time! Cosmo is adorable!!! We are your newest followers!
    Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

  4. That is such a cool event... congrats to Cosmo! :)

  5. Wow, Diane! What an opportunity! You really got the VIP treatment! You should have been in the Best In Show ring.
    Tina & Bogie

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