Monday, November 19, 2012

ASCA Nationals 2012

A passenger checks out the teeming metropolis of Seligman, AZ on the trip west.
ASCA Nationals 2012 is now in the books and it was an eventful 3 weeks in many ways.  I traveled out to Bakersfield California with Maria Neff in my E150 cargo van, towing a trailer for all the show gear and equipment, because the van was loaded with 12 occupied crates. I took Thumper and his mother Ribbon and the other 10 dogs were paying passengers for the trip out and back (and several of them were also handling clients of Maria's).

The drive out was utterly uneventful, no precipitation, no traffic tie-ups, no problems with any passengers, until 25 miles before our destination when the rookie trucker (ME) overheated the brakes going down the final looooong grade from Tehachapi into Bakersfield, As I did not know at the time that the brakes were just overheated we ended up being towed the final stretch to the hotel (we had to have the trailer available to us). All ended up fine after a check at a shop recommended by a trusted local friend-of-a-friend.

At the show we had a very busy schedule considering Maria had no class animals as client dogs, just 2 altered Specials and 2 intact specials; but for the pre-shows there was significant overlap between those very 2 groups of animals and a significant distance between the rings ). Anyway in the end we didn't have any major timing conflicts, only one close call.

Ribbon in the ring
So results: Maria handled Ribbon to a Premier Bitch win under judge Kerry Kirtley at the Peninsula ASA preshow;

Maria moves Ribbon; I doubt she looks this pretty when I move her.
And Thumper had a very good week as well.  At both the Delta and the Cascade club preshows Thumper was a Premier Dog (in fact under Glenda Stevenson he was Premier One),

In the BOB ring at one of the preshows

In the ring for the National BOB class

I didn't notice him looking over at me when I shot this but had to keep the shot
Thumper was also in the invitational for the Top 30 Merit finals, and under the 3 judges he was #5 Merit Finals,making me very proud indeed..   In the National show itself Thumper went Premier another time to wrap up a good week for him regarding ribbons.  So last Saturday we packed up right after Best of Breed and took our dozen dogs and left.
We ended up only doing a hotel stay one night on the way home, having wearied of carrying 10 crates into a motel and then back out, every night of the drives. So the first and thrid nights we drove overnight and spelled one another to get to OH at noon on Wednesday. There I unhitched the trailer and we emptied it, and I loaded everything that has to proceed with me back into the van.

On a very somber note, the day before the show ended word came out that a puppy on the faigrounds was being treated for Parvovirus and another was being evaluated. Ultimately, as of today (8 days after the end of the show and our departure), there were 2 puppy deaths (6 mo and a 13 week old) and 2 or 3 more being treated. In all cases as far as has been reported, the puppies were vaccinated to date. By the timing it is believed these puppies got the disease from the environment at the fairgrounds. It also became known that some cases of parvo were showing up in association with a pet expo up in Puyallup (and rumors of some cases associated with an AKC event somewhere else on the west coast, but I haven't seen clear confirmation on that).

As a result of this disease cluster all dogs that were in attendance at the nationals are to be under basic home quarantine, not in contact with outside animals to ensure a buffer between the potentially infected dogs and the rest of the population. Thumper was entered at Columbus OH shows Thurs-Sunday and actually showed Thurs and Friday after negative Idexx  snap tests and clearance from the AKC rep but subsequently word came down from all sides that home quarantine was mandated, so Thumper was pulled from the rest of the weekend's shows.

So, this means Thumper and Ribbon get no playdates outside the family until December 10; and since this also means no dog shows for the quarantine period, I went to Ohio today and picked up Thumper for a stay here. Dog show rules also include dogs in the same household to be considered infected, so my plans to show Satin in AKC this weekend are shelved. So we'll have to wait for another show early in the new year.  Thumper will return to the ring in the Florida shows leading up to and including Eukanuba.

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