On the road with my dog and my knitting

Good morning from East Brunswick, New Jersey, and happy Saturday! Just an FYI, this post is more about my dog than knitting or spinning.

I’m here with Halo for a weekend of dog shows at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison. Getting involved with the crazy world of dog shows was never something I thought I would be doing. Have you seen the movie Best in Show? It’s a brilliant comedy directed by Christopher Guest, but I’m starting to look at is as more documentary. Maybe it needs its own classification, like docu-comedy.

I have met or at least encountered each and every one of the characters in this movie at every dog show I have been to. Some of the portrayals in the movie may be a little over the top, but believe me it’s not by much, especially the people with dogs that require a lot of grooming. I’m so glad I don’t have to obsess about that with Halo. As a single coated, short haired breed there isn’t much grooming I need to do except to keep her nails trimmed. Our weekly trips to the groomer for her “pawdicure” are so much easier now than when we first started that routine. She hated those visits at first, and it often required two people in the grooming salon to accomplish a simple nail trimming. Actually, they use a Dremel instead of clippers, and Halo has gotten so used to it now that it only requires one person.

Traveling with Halo is not the major ordeal I worried that it might be. She’s an absolute angel in the backseat on short trips around town and on longer trips, I fold the seats down in the back to fit her crate, which I take apart and nest the top piece inside the bottom. It looks like she’s riding around in a big laundry basket in the back of my car, and she’s quite content to sleep the entire time. Most of our trips are short enough that neither of us needs to stop for a potty break, but when we do, she’s very good about getting out, doing what she needs to do, and going right back in the car to continue napping.

Keeping Halo entertained in our hotel room is important.

The crate comes in handy in our hotel room too. This is where we spend most of our time when we’re not actually at the show. If I need to step out without her for any reason, just like at home, she goes into her crate. I do try to make sure we have everything we’ll need during our stay so that the majority of the trips we make outside are for her potty breaks. We have a small suite with a little kitchenette on this trip, so I packed a bag of groceries for myself in addition to food, treat, and toys for Halo. When we’re not at the show, our favorite thing to do is retire to our hotel room to lounge around, nap, watch crappy TV shows, and eat junk.

Halo gets some coaching from her handler at her first dog show in Springfield, MA.

I have learned long ago to never leave home without my knitting, and I did bring a couple of projects with me on the trip. There is often a lot of downtime at the dog show when we are not in the ring, especially when you have a dog that doesn’t require a lot of grooming. During that downtime Halo has a crate in the area where her breeder sets up, and with so much going on, she’s quite content to nap in her crate. I brought a sock to work on during my downtime. Socks are the ultimate travel project for me. They are small, simple, and easy to put down and pick back up again without forgetting what comes next in the pattern.

Halo at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia

Back in our hotel room, I have the pinwheel blanket/color challenge project to work on while we watch crappy TV shows and eat junk. I wasn’t sure how much I would be able to get done on this project while we are here, and I probably brought more yarn than I needed. However, whatever the project is, it’s always better to have more yarn than you need than to risk not having enough. Just like at home, I keep my knitting well out of Halo’s reach when I’m not working on it. She’s a mischievous little girl, and mischievous is basically a standard trait for her breed. Halo has a history of stealing and ruining skeins of yarn, knitting in progress, a pair of hand knit socks, and even a wool sweater that I purchased, so I’m careful to stash this project well out of her reach should I need to use the bathroom, step outside, or take a nap.

Almost half done!

We’re due in the ring this morning at 8AM, so it’s time I got myself and my sweet girl ready for the day. Wish us luck!

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