Open Mouth, Insert...

Pup and Circumstance

Ah, to sleep a weekend away! Okay, so I didn't sleep off the entire weekend, but it felt like it. Of course, since my sinuses are doing a not-so-little timpani dance on my brain pan I still feel like sleeping, but that's another point entirely. So, what did I do with my weekend besides sleeping? I'm glad you asked...

I was able to drag myself out of bed at around 9:30 Saturday morning, as my parents had convinced me to accompany them to the Durham Kennel Club to go to a dog show that day. To backtrack, it's been nearly four months that their last dog, Sneakers, was put to sleep, and they were starting to get the itch to own another dog. Sneakers, a mix of Miniature Schnauzer, Maltese and Lhasa Apso, was a cute enough dog but was as ornery as a dog could get without being downright spiteful. With that in mind (especially with a granddaughter that would interact with the new dog) my parents researched a breed that would be naturally friendly. Their search led them to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and as luck would have it, the Central Carolina Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club (breathe!) was holding an "obedience match" at the Durham Kennel Club. So, my parents got me to join them in seeing what the dogs were like.

I had never seen a Cavalier and recognized it as such before, but at first glance the breed has a fru-fru look that's second only to the poodles. That's only at first glance though. These are extremely friendly and happy dogs by nature and won't give a second thought to getting up close and personal to check you out, especially if it meant a good-natured scritch behind the ears or a snuggle. I discovered that after the dog that belonged to the couple who sat next to me (and was only there to check out other dogs of the breed) decided that I needed a friend!

What I saw of the show itself was more entertaining than I thought it was going to be as well. Maybe it was because we weren't looking at the high levels of competition that's normally seen on television, but while these dogs were well behaved, there were enough little gaffes here and there to make The one I remember most was the one I couldn't see. One of the obedience tests involved all of the dogs in the test lying down at their owner's feet, then seeing if they could stay in that spot for a period of close to five minutes after the owner walked off, taking a position at the opposite end of the "stage." There was much snickering over the dog whose owner was right in front of me (it wasn't an elevated stage); apparently, the dog stood up, walked about half a length, sat down, laid back down, then started to inch across the stage until stopping after another full length, all with this "why have you abandoned me?" look on its face. It would have been more adorable if I had only been able to see it. It was fun nonetheless, and we would have stayed longer, but I was starting to feel a nap coming on, so we left. The next day, I heard that my parents had put in a bid for a Cav at one of the local breeders (okay, South Carolina isn't exactly local), so they were apparently impressed. So was I.

Sunday saw me covering for a friend's laundry emergency (i.e., my dryer worked and his didn't). I was handsomely repayed for my generosity, not only with lunch but also with the opportunity to check out the first four episodes of Haibane Renmei and to make a copies of the first two soundtracks to .hack//SIGN. Of the latter, the music is a pleasant mix of New Age and World Beat elements (as if there's much difference), and they make for a nice end-to-end listen without too many highs or lows. As for Haibane Renmei, all I can say it that it's intelligent and gorgeous, which is all I need to get me hooked on a project. I need more!

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