Of Dying Vans, Discriminatory Hotels, and Silkens…Lots of Silkens

By R. Lynn Shell  Oct, 09, 2016   Posted in dogshow, featured, gallery, general, specialties

The Sprinter van was officially declared dead Friday morning. The motor mounts had rusted and/or broken and the engine had shifted. The catalytic converter was also shot. It was a 2003 model and had over 319,000 miles on it – we had worked it hard, but it was still sad to bid adieu. Since I was headed down to Magnolia for a Silken Windhound specialty, near a friend of our’s dealership, and they actually had some vans available there that were not a sterile white, it was determined that Victor could ride down with me and the Silken crew, then drive the new van back home to tend to the rest of our canine crew.

our new van for the dogs

Our new van for the dogs – a 2014 Chevy Express 3500

While wrapping things up at the dealership, I got a call from Vicki telling me she felt she had to leave the Motel 6 we had originally made reservations at. Apparently the little Indian man that owned the establishment was lurking about while she was exercising her puppies in a pen outside and was having palpitations that she had more than one dog accompanying her. Never mind that Motel 6 has a deal with the AKC and are presumably 100% pet friendly. He sent out his front desk attendant to do his dirty work. She was very apologetic and said she didn’t mind dealing with the show folk because as a rule they were very careful with their dogs. Vicki started having “flashbacks” to a hotel we stayed at some years prior that tried to bilk her extra charges after they discovered we had several dogs (who were clean and tidy, and we even swept up the room). So she went back up to the front desk, as she hadn’t unloaded anything yet, having taken care of the puppies first, and requested a refund. Thankfully the poor woman sent out to her earlier happily obliged, and Vicki drove to our new lodging, the La Quinta in Magnolia, which sported a friendlier environment, albeit 3 times the price, and hardly a blade of grass to be had, except by the very busy road. Dog showers beware – and avoid the Motel 6 at 820 Interstate 45 S in Conroe, TX.

So on to the specialty! I was ready for a nap by the time we got the EZ Ups and pens set up and the dogs pottied. Smooches provided some excitement by uncovering a nest of 2 cottontails and carrying one around in her mouth while we attempted to gather it from her. Another baby was found on the other side of the gate by their potty pen, which was promptly moved over so she could not dig up more furry treats. Only 10 months old and so keen! She is a little pistol!

The first show began with Siren winning her first Altered Champion major, then Best Opposite Sex Altered!

Siren showing at the SWTT show in Altered


In the boys, Walker managed to win the Bred By class. I asked Vicki to show Quinni as the heat was already taking its toll on me. He took 4th in his class, leaving me scratching my head, but hey, it’s a dog show! Walker then was awarded Reserve Winners Dog.

Reserve Winners Dog at Silken WIndhound Texas Tapestry

                                                     Walker, Reserve Winners Dog

Then came the girls. First up was bunny hunter Smooches. She had it easy, being the only one in her class, although she earned a “this is a really nice puppy” comment from the judge while he was going over her. Puddin’ was in Bred by Exhibitor and although I think she is super-promising, I fully expected Vicki’s lovely girl Raven to take the class. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground when Puddin’ was pinned first! At this point, the vicious cycle of drinking copious amounts of fluid and then needing to visit the facilities began in earnest. Lydia had been kind enough to offer her services after seeing me lumber around the ring-and I took her up on it! First she showed Jules in the Open class, who came away with 4th. She showed really well, and Jules really seemed to take to Lydia. In Winners, Puddin’ was pulled for consideration, along with the eventual WB and RWB. Close but no cigar! I was proud of her anyway since she was showing really well, wagging her tail like her daddy.

Deuce and Lydia showing in BOB

                                    A smiling Deuce and Lydia

Lydia also showed Deuce for me in Best of Breed. He worked really well for her and came away with the first Award of Merit. Smooch then took Best Opposite Puppy and Puddin’ was awarded Best Bred by Exhibitor!

We broke for lunch, and I went and collected my sandwich box and brought it back to the setup, and just stared at it. It was just too hot, and I shut down in the heat. Even though I knew I needed something, I could not bring myself to open up my sandwich. I ate a couple bites of beef jerky to at least get something in me.

Vicki got stuck showing Siren in the second Altered show. She came in second, which was better than I thought she would. I figured she would have to be drug around the ring, it was so hot and she is not exactly a spring chicken!

Walker took second this time around in BBE. The judge said he seemed a little off in the rear and wondered if he had picked up a sticker, at which point we inspected his rear feet. Quinni this time around the ring took 3rd, with Vicki again at the helm. Smooches and Puddin’ gave repeat performances and placements, and Jules picked up 3rd this time around. In Winners Puddin’ came away with the Reserve ribbon!

So then came Breed in the second specialty of the day. Deuce really put on the shine for Lydia and came away with Best in Specialty, with a ribbon the size of a dinner plate! Although I am in the photo, I totally have Lydia to thank for piloting Deuce around the ring for this win. I couldn’t find her when it came time for the photo. He also got a wonderful patchwork denim dog bed that we made use of in the van’s passenger seat since he had to ride shotgun.

Deuce goes BISS at the Silken Windhound Texas Tapestry specialty

Smooches then was awarded her third Best Puppy in Specialty win. I wish I hadn’t been so dead tired and wilted from the heat, and gotten a picture of her win. I also did not get a photo of Siren’s Best of Opposite Altered win, nor Deuce’s AOM in the first show.

Puddin’ was again awarded Best Bred by Exhibitor – and we did manage a picture for that accomplishment, featuring both judges, although I completely forgot her Reserve ribbon.

Puddin - double Best Bred by Exhibitor


There were some great prizes offered as well! RTic tumblers, a metal dog bowl for Best Opp Puppy, a picture frame for something (?), then the dog bed. So many goodies!

Then came the “fun” of tearing everything down and re-loading the van. Oh the agony! Thankfully a young man helped me load the pens back into the van, and Vicki helped with the ring standards that had been broken down. Despite the unkind balmy weather, we all enjoyed each other’s company and catching up again. The Tarvers (Walker and Tawny’s brother’s owners) were also there with their new puppy from Lynn Wall. So it was nice to see them again, after they had come out to SilkenFest. They brought Finch with them, and he has matured into a lovely young male.

After the specialty I drive over to Dad’s to visit for a bit, making this an even more pleasant visit than it already was. I see a nap in my future!

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