Editor's Page: Road Trip!
A weeks ago I embarked on a 2,200-mile round trip, with dogs, to York, Pa., to attend the Celtic Classic all-breed shows and the Potomac Afghan Hound Club specialty. It’s been a few decades since I’ve done a road trip quite that ambitious.
Allan Reznik |
Posted: May 19, 2014 10 a.m. PST
Remember those madcap Road movies (to Morocco, Bali, etc.) of the 1940s and ‘50s starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour? If those classic comedies were before your time you may be more familiar with National Lampoon’s Vacation pictures featuring a harried Chevy Chase. All those zany movies came to mind a few weeks ago when I embarked on a 2,200-mile round trip, with dogs, to York, Pa., to attend the Celtic Classic all-breed shows and the Potomac Afghan Hound Club specialty. It’s been a few decades since I’ve done a road trip quite that ambitious.
Planning the adventure began last fall when Karen Wagner of Pahlavi Afghan Hound fame phoned Charles Milner to ask if he’d come to Pennsylvania to cook the post-specialty dinner. I was asked to give a presentation on "Advertising Your Show Dog.” Well, how do you go to the specialty and not enter a few dogs to support the club? Done! Commitments made. In time, our friend and fellow Afghan exhibitor Jarnell Carter in the St. Louis area expressed interest in going, and so the three amigos, and three dogs, had a game plan.
When the invitation was first issued, a week of mid-March shows back East seemed like a wonderful harbinger of spring. Enter The Winter That Would Not End. As snowstorms seemed to hit the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard on a weekly basis, the prospect of driving to Pennsylvania became less and less appealing. Sure enough, there was another blizzard predicted, brewing in the South and heading north, for the Sunday we were scheduled to head back home. Amazingly, we dodged that bullet, although exhibitors traveling home through Virginia and D.C. did not. The only snow we saw on the trip was sitting atop the Pennsylvania mountains. Roads were mercifully dry.
The five shows were a delight for so many reasons. All the specialty-giving clubs were set up in a separate building so we were blessed with ample parking, big rings, clean restrooms and a well-stocked food concession. Lots of Northeastern friends who hadn’t ventured to New York for Westminster entered the Celtic Classic, so there were memorable reunions. I spent time with Canadians I hadn’t seen in forever, like talented Samoyed breeder-exhibitor Judi Elford. Treasured Facebook pals introduced themselves and became flesh-and-blood people. Karen Steinrock, who has been a valued contributing writer to Dogs in Review for many years, was there for the Newfoundland specialty so we got to meet, in person, for the very first time.
At a time when Afghan Hound entries are sadly in the single digits all over the country, the Potomac specialty drew an impressive entry of 54. Hound judges and sighthound specialists on the panel all five days certainly helped. To see longtime breeder-exhibitors like Duane Butherus, and Helen and Bob Stein in the ring — yes, Bob too! — felt like the clock had been turned back 40 years and speaks volumes about lifelong dedication to one’s breed. The dinner party at Karen Wagner’s home was a roaring success, with good food and drink, and probably upwards of 50 guests renewing friendships and forging new ones.
If you can’t remember your last major road trip, it may be time to plan one!
From the May 2014 issue of Dogs in Review magazine.
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