This morning, I packed Sonny up and we drove to Albany. It was a long drive through the valley, which opens up just past Salem, into wide flat fields, all green and grey and ochre under the sunless sky. The mountains rim the distance like a plate. In some crop fields the legs of those irrigation walkers stretch like wire on wheels; from above they must look like pinwheels. We passed the halfway point between the equator ND THE NORTH POLE, AND THE SIGN THAT DELCALRED ALBANY THE GRASS SEED CAPITOL OF THE WORLD. It rained on and off and at one point I felt so tired, I wanted to turn around and go home to sleep. I had ideas of finding a place to pull of and take a nap, but I did neither and in about an hour we arrived at the Linn County Fairgrounds.
I wanted to get there by 1100 so we could see the Fields, and 12 so we could see the collies, but it was past noon when I paid the parking toll. I resigned myself to the single pleasure of the sheltie ring. And yet, as soon as shook off the rain and entered the hall, I spotted a large black spaniel in a snood. I pushed through the crowd to find the two FS entered in the show and was quite surprised to see how small the bitch was. Pretty brown girl. The owners were friendly, but on their way out, the dogs distracted, but not shy.
Shelties were in the program for 1230 so I headed over, bought a catalog and was about to find a chair when I spotted a sable collie, and on the other end of the lead, was Leslie Rappaport in a trademark velour sweat suit. I excused myself from the introductions with a woman who has a puppy I want to look at and went over. It took but a moment for her to recognize me. I told her I was looking for a dog to do the R.E.A.D program with, which rather excited her. She told me about Truly, who just had a litter of roughs a little while back, and her temperament that was rock solid and gentle. I voiced my concern about the safety of the papillons. Her opinion was that a collie would adopt the paps and care for them, and I don’t doubt it. But is this real, or another literary conceit???
She wanted me to fill out the application and mention a Truly puppy; I reiterated my idea about a half grown, beyond obnoxious puppy and after she thought a while, She mentioned that she had a fabulous BIG sable male named Winston who she would love to see do a program like that. I promised to write her this week.
I spotted her several more times over the course of the day and as we walked back out to the car park, and every time, there was a buzz. Collie buzz. Buzz.
After that, I almost felt I could leave, but I did really want to watch the Shelties, which we did, Sonny camped out on my lap insisting that as long as I scratched his chest, he would be OK and calm.
I was a little dismayed at how overdone some of the SS were, too much coat, not enough neck, straight shoulders and minpin movement. I saw a few dogs though I liked…and mostly they moved easily and with reach, were moderate in coat and waged thier tails.
The sire of one of the puppies I’m going to look at was there, Wintercreek. Flash. he did win WD. a solid looking little dog.
The Caledon bitch, Scotia Rose had nice movement and actually looked quite a bit to me like the puppy in the photo Barb sent me. I wished I’d stayed for BOB, realizing later that another Caledon dog was entered for BOB, but instead we trotted over to the OB ring where I introduced myself to Shelly Gilliland, whose orange cocker was in the Utility ring just as I entered the arena. I said hey to Marvin W and to Robin of the Goldens…. and then I had to go. I was tired, it was raining and Sonny doesn’t have a driver’s license.
So I saw them all today, including a pack of Bedlingtons.
-a liver FS bitch of moderate size
-a ring full of shelties including one from each of the 2 breeders I’m talking with.
-the EC in the Utility ring.
It was worth the trip.
On the way home, I only had thoughts for Winston, who I renamed Wallace in my head, and sometimes I veered back onto the sheltie when I imagined an 80lb rough collie in my house. And then back again when I imagined walking outside beside a lion for protection.
Oh the complications KV aroused last time we went there…the conflict of desire and livability. Is the sheltie a compromise? A logical choice? Or could it catch fire…
I need to sleep on this one.
the word is agile
I wonder if A will write and what she will say…