A collection of words that have affected me in some manner.
I believe you'll enjoy them too.


The Perfect Show Site

Imagine you’re going to hold a dog show in your own backyard. You'd want to emulate all those big name dog shows you’ve gone to over the years, right? Follow along with me now as I share details of how I'd go about throwing a dog show that would have the ‘feel’ of some shows I’ve attended in my life:

First, I'm going to plant a tree in the middle of the show ring. I’m going to let it grow nice and big and a week before the show, I’ll yank it out of the ground, roots and all. The resultant hole will be sodded over so that exhibitors won’t know of its existence until they step into it during a ring pattern, preferably at high speed. Expert grounds men will be on hand to rappel down into the hole to recover exhibitors and their dogs.

Each ring will include tent stakes and rope extending 16 feet into the ring -- well in the path of any ring pattern. Though at present, I’m unsure of what type of rope to use, I’m leaning towards something that is exceedingly difficult to see and has enough ‘give’ in it to THWACK exhibitors on their behinds as they fall over it.

Since I don’t anticipate rain, I won’t bother with an actual tent, but in order to recreate the inevitable drenching that occurs when a tent collects rainwater and leaks prodigious amounts of it, expert grounds men will be standing ringside with buckets to drench exhibitors and their dogs with water at appropriate moments. Every effort will be made to direct the most water at the OES, Puli’s, Poodles, Beardies, Afghans and Bichons while scarcely a drop will touch the Salukis, Pointers, Labs or Beagles.

And since the show site IS at my house, I’d like to be in charge of scheduling to ensure quality control. This means that heavily coated black dogs will show at high noon under a relentless sun and the Chinese Crested Hairless, MinPins and other nekkid dogs can count on an early judging time of, say, 4:00 am.

I’m scheduling all white and long haired dogs to show on a dirt surface. Every effort will be made to dredge up enough clay soil to duplicate a consistency of dirt that won't wash out, blow out or brush out. When hit with water, it will resemble brown glue and will be as hard to remove. A dusting of ultra fine soil with the texture of cornstarch will cover aisle floors. Particle size is extremely important and every attention will be given to soil that becomes airborne easily and works its way into exhibitors’ nasal and auditory passages with ease. Success will be measured by how brown Kleenex becomes when blown into by a runny nose.

I'm inviting all local families with small children to spectate. Strollers and sticky candy will be distributed at the door. Bright red Kool-aid will be free and plentiful and toddlers will be encouraged to circulate among the dogs.

My old vegetable garden will be set aside for the grooming area and each exhibitor will be assigned a space measuring approximately 3' x 4', or about the size of a clothes closet. Since X-pens won't be allowed, crates must be stacked; High Chinook winds that sometimes blow through my property dictate that there be a height restriction on stacked crates of 60' (or 42 crates set atop each other). Expert grounds men will be on hand with Cherry Pickers to extract dogs from the highest crates. I might advise everyone to keep a "heads up" while in the grooming area, and let’s be good neighbors here by keeping an eye out for swaying towers of crates. Several feet in either direction might warrant a friendly warning.

We're going to need show catalogs and while I think $19 per catalog sounds about right, we need to make sure that the typeface is exceedingly small and filled with errors that provide comic relief: To wit, the dog whose name is "Kennel Name Great Balls of Fire" would actually be listed as "Kennel Name Great Balls On Fire."

No show site would be complete without a bright blue Porta-Potty. Clean and mobile, one unit will be available to all show participants, 2.7 miles away from the show site. Coincidentally, this is also where show photographs will be taken.

I'm pretty excited about the concessions stand. Unrefrigerated hot dogs and Pepsi One will be available first thing in the morning, while coffee and jalapeno donuts should be ready by lunch. One trash can filled to capacity will be set up conveniently close by, which, as it turns out, is also where the show photographs will be taken.

Parking will be plentiful -- just use my neighbors' driveways. Expert grounds men will be on hand to break up disputes and offer vague directions to the show ring. Though the main route to the show rings is gravelly and bumpy, it IS long and arduous. Exhibitors will be encouraged to use their wheels on this same route, as will show committee members who will speed by effortlessly in their golf carts as they ferry judges to their destinations.

Poop-scooping kids will be hired to toss 12 cubic yards of sawdust onto a puddle left behind by an excitable Chihuahua puppy. Did I mention that the exercise area is also the only access long coated dogs have to get to the rings?

There will be electricity! One outlet will be available to 2400 exhibitors.

I'm so sure that my show will be a success, that I'm considering plans to add obedience and agility rings next year. Input from complete novices will be welcomed!

by S.E. Szeremy


  • are a special breed not usually recognized by the AKC

  • think everyone has dog crates in their living room

  • have messy houses yet their kennels are spotless

  • can always find a show catalogue from somewhere within arm's reach

  • have kids who know more about the "birds and the bees" when they're five, than most people know when they are 40

  • drive trucks, vans, and station wagons especially equipped to haul dog crates

  • can never be reached on a weekend, they're usually at a dog show.

  • will drive 400 miles, spend $100 on gas, $200 on a motel and $150 for meals to bring home a 35 cent ribbon

  • have kids who regard "bitch" as just another household word

  • have lush, green, beautiful back yards and they've never bought a bag of fertilizer

  • get up at 6 AM to walk the dogs, can be at ringside dressed to kill at 8 AM, but have trouble getting to work on time

  • will usually give up the $150,000 home in the suburbs to move to a shack on 10 acres so they can have a $150,000 kennel

  • never miss a closing date for entry fees, but pay the mortgage 10 days late

  • had rather be audited by the IRS than investigated by the AKC

  • use dog food bags for trash cans and 30 gal trash cans for dog food

  • talk for hours on the phone to another dog person in a language known only to dog people

  • have parents who think they've lost their minds

  • have dog friends who think they are terrific

  • are crazy

Puppy Story

I am a Puppy, This means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child. 
I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world.
Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not. 
I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1-2 hours. 
I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out.
I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have "bladder and bowel control" until 6-9 months.
Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle.
It is your fault.
As a Puppy it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, Playing, Drinking and around every 2-3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 7 or 8pm. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me. 

I am a puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn. 

I am a Puppy, I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzzballs, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it's what I do. 
Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high-energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me. 
If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get to rough simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy. 

I am Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beaten. Instead, please guide me with encouragement, and wisdom. (For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, "No chew!" and hand me a toy I CAN chew) better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes. 

I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings, and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be. 

I am a puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I Love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviors and caring for me from your Veterinarian, books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it's "characteristics" - it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I 
do the things I do. Please teach me with love, and patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together. 

I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another's language, body signals, wants and needs. Some day I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you. 


Your Puppy.

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