You know those American beauty pageant mums (or moms for my American friends)? The mums who are dreadfully competitive and doll up their kids in makeup, tiaras and fancy dresses – hoping they’ll win Miss Middle Class America or whatever the title is. Well, I’ve turned into one of these mums. Sort of.

No, I don’t have some secret five-year old little princess that I’m entering into beauty pageants. I have two English Pointers. And I’ve discovered the Dog Show World. Yeegads people! If you had told me one year ago that I would be entering Zeph and Zsa Zsa in a dog show and secretly hoping that they’d both take out titles – I would have dissed you for sure. But there I was, just a couple of weekends ago, in a pavilion full of proud dog owners spraying hairspray on their poodle or brushing the fluffy tail of a border collie, whilst trying not to look as though they are sizing up the canine competition.

Our breeder shows Zeph’s sister, Cha, and I’ve been curious about this dog show business. Zeph and Cha look so alike, I thought if Cha could take out awards, so could Zeph. They were in a dog show recently but this was more of a practice show and our breeder decided to enter them in a real show. She admitted to us later that she was a tad worried because our Pointers are pets, not professional show dogs. She thought it would be a dog circus.

But Zeph, ZZ and I put in the hard yards of practice. I bought some show leads and we ran around the front yard in circles looking like idiots. We adopted the Pointer position – well they did. I tried not to trip over myself as I ran around in circles with them. But on the day of the show, I handed over the showing to the breeder’s daughter. She knew exactly what to do and how to make Zeph and ZZ look their best in the Pointer position.

I’m such a proud mother. Zeph took out Best Puppy in Group. He beat his sister, Cha, in another class. ZZ nearly took out Best Bitch but Cha got in her way (she is a gorgeous dog I must say). ZZ came in second and beat her own mother. Zeph took out a number of other classes and amassed ribbons and prizes, including dog food and plastic containers for keeping treats in. I began to daydream dear reader. Zeph as New Zealand Champion. Grand Champion. Grand Wizard. Grand Poobah. Global Canine Champion (is there such a thing?). Who cares! I was dreaming it.

Zeph actually made it through to compete in Best in Show but was beaten by some piece of fluff (ie a small dog that I refer to as a Breakfast Dog because larger dogs would eat it up for breakfast). The owner of this piece of fluff told our breeder later that the only dog she was worried about was Zeph. Apparently, the piece of fluff is super-expensive and the owner is a very experienced handler. According to our breeder, we were “out-handled”.

But our breeder declared she was amazed they did so well and is cooking up plans to enter them in a show in July. And like some competitive pageant mum, I’m thinking of what collars I can buy them so they’ll look stunning; what I need to do to make their coats sparkle. I was contemplating hairspray until I got hold of myself and realised their coat is too short. I still think ZZ would look cute in a tiara but am restraining myself.

Don’t worry dear reader, I’ve now returned to some semblance of sanity and have decided they can be in the dog shows for as long as they enjoy them. And if they win, good. If not, also good. Just so long as they are socialising with other dogs and loving it.

Actually, the whole day was quite enjoyable. Our breeder and other Pointer people hung around together, sipping some wine, nibbling on chips and dips. The dogs relaxed in their crates or met other dogs and socialised. I can see how this could become addictive.

Zsa Zsa practicing the Pointer position.

Zsa Zsa's parents came along. Feck is the father (orange colour) and a champion Pointer.

Zeph practicing the Pointer Position. Front legs are too far out.

Zeph with his handler.

The judge checking out Zeph - poor Zeph was probably thinking "What the heck is that human doing?".

Zeph and his handler in action.

Zsa Zsa in action. So funny to see a little puppy run around the ring.

Zsa Zsa being stacked (which means showing off the dog to its best advantage).

Too cute!! Zeph looks back to see that Zsa Zsa is okay in the show ring.

Zeph being judged for Best Puppy.

And he took out First Prize: Best Puppy in Group (Gundogs).

Zeph goes out to compete against Feck (Zsa Zsa's father and a champion Pointer).

Zsa Zsa (far right) competing for Best Bitch. Zeph's sister, Cha, took out 1st Prize (middle dog). But ZZ beat her mother, on far left.

Zeph and Cha, his sister. Zeph is on the right. They look soooooo alike!

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