Bam! Another one off the bucket list.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany, many years ago I heard a person say, “Do what you want to do if it is neither illegal nor dangerous.” I embodied that message, and for me, a dog show falls in that category. I’ve always wanted to go to one. I don’t know why. This was one of those wants that wasn’t a high priority but was always there niggling in the back of my head.

A dog show falls into, “Oh, that’s different” category. I mean, who goes to dog shows? Exactly.

When a family has so many options for weekend activities, a dog show could end up being too piddling of a niggle to ever come to fruition.

The funniest dog show our family has ever stumbled on was years ago at the Minnesota State Fair when we chanced upon an agility contest in the round barn. Agility is the ultimate game for a dog and its handler. I’ve always hoped that lucky accident would repeat itself, but it never happened again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJody has been interested in participating in dog agility shows. But, the closest we have come to being a contender is Jody teaching the dog to roll over and to shake hands. All my research shows that this does not make us a contender.

As you can tell already the ‘dog show sport’ only interests me as an observer and if I was ever going to get to a dog show, I would need to be purposeful.

In the Sunday paper I saw the advertisement: Land O’Lakes Kennel Club presents its annual dog show at Saint Paul RiverCentre from Friday – Sunday, January 3-5.

I could take care of a niggling want once and for all!

More than 2,000 purebred canines – from big to small, hunting to herding, working and terrier, and even lap dogs – would compete for American Kennel Club (AKC) awards.

It sounded exciting. I probed the Internet to see if I could find the schedule so the day could actually be a planned outing.

A schedule was not to be found.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStill, I planned, I even dealt in a little subterfuge with Jody, and we kept our outing from Antonio and Crystel until we were on our way to St. Paul. The only thing they could get out of me was that it was spelled d. o. g.

Now that the event is over, I need to tell you that the excitement was not the dog show itself but our clandestine approach to the event, the traveling in the car to St. Paul, parking in the RiverCentre parking ramp, and cartwheeling our way to the show.

A dog show is one of those things that you don’t have to do again. I kept wanting a bit more. But, a bit more was not to be had. You could say that it was all fluff and prettiness. None of the dirt and grit that I love.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat was most interesting about the dog show is that I saw two other writers who were checking out the show. That’s who go to dog shows? Writers? I made the most of it and introduced  my family to Stephanie Wilbur Ash and Geoff Herbach. Every opportunity I have I point out to Antonio and Crystel that real people write books. “Can you believe it,” I said, “You are standing next to I’M WITH STUPID and STUPID FAST?”

This year, if your want isn’t illegal or dangerous, go for it! Just make sure you enjoy the ride. That might be your take-away.

This entry was posted in Bucket List, Family, Raising children, Writing and tagged , , , , , by Elizabeth di Grazia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.

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