As some of you noticed from last week's posts, Julie Poole's Whippet girl, Dot, was in Brooksville, FL to try to finish her Championship (just needs 1 point). I've been covering the Brooksville shows for the past 2 weeks so I was looking forward to not only photographing Dot, but actually meeting Julie face-to-face.
Julie had told me that she hides when Dot shows so I knew we wouldn't actually see her until after Dot had been in the ring. Linda and I (and Rowdy) sat ringside and watched the boys show and then the girls until, finally, Open Bitch went into the ring. I recognized Dot and her handler from some of the images that Julie has posted so I had no difficulty getting into position for some shots. These are kinda in chronological order: it was a large Open class so the judge lined the girls up along one side to take an intial look at them. Here is Dot being set up by her handler before the initial go-around.
The judge then examines each dog individually and watches them coming & going and then going around. Here's a shot of Dot on the go-around. BTW, this shows you why Dot only needs 1 point to finish -- this is perfect movement.
BTW, that light pink spot on Dot's left rear leg is not a marking. It's actually the light shining through a very thin patch of skin that Whippets have in their rear legs.
While in the ring, Dot stopped by to visit with a friend who was watching from outside the ring: a 7-month old Papillon. I thought this was a lovely interaction.
And then, finally, the judge lines them up and makes her choices for 1st through 4th. Here's how Dot looked on that final review. She finished 2nd in her class on Saturday. Not what we had hoped but very good given the level of competition.
I don't know how Dot did today because we were shooting Toy Poodles and I couldn't get over to the Whippet ring but I'm hoping to hear from Julie that she won.
Oh, and for those who are curious just what Julie Poole is like: she's exactly what you would expect from her posts on the forum. Julie is a charming, attractive young woman who you immediately feel that you've known your entire life. She's bubbly, outgoing, a little scatter-brained (forgot her cell phone when in hiding so I couldn't reach her) and simply a joy to spend time with. Rowdy gives her two paws up (doesn't have thumbs) and now that we've met, I'll be able to read her posts in her own melodious Southern drawl.
It's nice to know that the relationships we form on this forum translate into the "real world" of actually being with each other. Linda, Rowdy and I enjoyed the opportunity and hope to have it again in the near future.