I get asked occasionally by friends who have “pet only” dogs why I got into showing purebred dogs when I am an incredibly staunch rescue and spay/neuter advocate. Truthfully, I have no real heroic, save-canine-kind answers. I honestly just wanted to. It’s a rather selfish reason but it is my reasoning. I wanted for myself and I vowed that I would never become one of the people who gave purebred ownership (and breeding) such a derogatory name and feeling amongst the rescue community.
Getting into the dog show community was the easy part. I attended a few shows and talked to people for a few months before the puppy search began. Most of the people I was blessed to speak with were friendly, down-to-earth and realistic about the work that lay ahead of me. (I did meet a few not-so-nice people, but they were definitely the minority!) I knew and fully expected the work (and the rewards that went with it!) ahead of me but these kind individuals really put it into perspective and helped me make my first baby steps into the conformation ring just a tiny bit less frightening.
Once I had my questions on what to expect when I finally found the “dog of my dreams,” the search began for just such a mythical puppy. It took nearly two long years of breeder hunting, researching, asking questions and pulling out wads of hair in frustration to find my first real show dog but it was well worth the wait (though I could have gone well past the puppy messes, chewed furniture and lost sleep!).
The tale doesn’t end here, though. This is just the tip of the iceberg that set my experience and time in the conformation ring across three registries.