Eleanor and I spent last week at the national specialty for Clumber spaniels. It was great to see so many dogs, though I didn't get to see them doing what they were bred to do at the hunt test, and so many good friends, but in general, a week of root canal would have been more pleasant.
The little one was a trooper, in spite of an interminable board meeting that at times was a lot like watching white, oil-based paint dry (surpassed only by the annual meeting of the parent club membership). It was clear as we approached midnight at the board meeting that some of us should have been at another event going on at the hotel (see photo). All too frequently it wasn't pretty and accomplished little that will benefit the breed.
Two years ago we hosted the show in Pittsburgh. It was six weeks after Oliver arrived (what was I thinking???) and I was responsible for coordinating the whole thing. Suzy came to help and I cannot imagine what it would have been like without her. Unfortunately, some club members were so awful to her, and to me within earshot, that she did not renew her membership. When some friends asked why she didn't come along this time I had the perfect response, at Suzy's suggestion: PTSD.