Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy Dogmany!

It's 2013. All I can say is "wow." We had a very good New Year's Eve, celebrating in a local pub that looks out on to the water. There was a band playing, good food, even better company and a really relaxed yet festive atmosphere. It really was an enjoyable evening, even if I did wear five inch heels and walked all of the way there and back. Oh the things we do for fashion.
In my defense, they are the prettiest red heels ever!
Anyway, the point is, it was a very good night.
But what is this "Dogmany" you may be asking.
In the UK, or at least in Scotland, New Year's Eve is called Hogmany. It's a huge deal here with fireworks being fired off from the castle every hour and a gigantic street party. Apparently, this year's Hogmany street celebration pulled in somewhere around 75 thousand people. This still doesn't explain Dogmany right? I'm getting there.
Dogmany is a fun day spent in one of the city's larger parks where sled dogs race and the general public are encouraged to bring their dogs. It's held on New Year's Day and as I'm sure you can guess, we went. There's no way there is going to be a massive gathering of dogs and me not be there.
My parents and I hopped a cab downtown and brought Hermione and Otis along for the day. Mr. K was not feeling well-no, it wasn't from drinking too much the night before-and so Roscoe stayed home with him. We met a couple of our friends at the park and spent some time watching the sled dogs racing. There were races between teams of three and then races between teams of two. In one of the races with teams of three, a kid of about ten won the heat. It was pretty exciting to watch. There were so many different types of sled dogs around I hardly knew what to do with myself. It was amazing. Of course there were plenty of pet dogs about and I spent a lot of time petting other people's dogs and having photos taken of mine. There was even a novelty dog show set up and I entered both dogs.
Hermione was to be shown in the "Waggiest Tail" category and Otis was entered in to the "Prettiest Eyes" class. There was some time to kill before the show so we wandered around a bit more, getting stopped about every fifteen feet for someone to pet/stroke/hold/take a photo of Otis. Hermione was admired as well, but it was a different kind of dog person who appreciated her. It was actually interesting to take notice of the people who were drawn to each dog. Otis, for example, drew in families, young couples and just your average dog lover. Hermione on the other paw, drew in people who were breed experts, serious gun dog handlers and people who are a bit more serious about their dogs. Of course little girls were smitten with her too because of her fluffy ears and feathery tail. She truly is a princess.
When it came time for Hermione's class to be shown, I missed the call for us to enter the ring. It was really noisy, Otis was being kidnapped by a small child and I was honestly distracted by a fourteen month old Dog DaBordo who weighed 3 and a quarter stone. For those of you who don't know "stones" that is, in my opinion, weight measurement for bloody huge. I was disappointed she didn't get to go in the ring, but Otis was up next and he was a hit.
The "judge" had us all enter the ring and line up. Then she went around looking at each dog and squeaking a small squeak toy at them. This was to get the dogs to look at her so she could judge who had the prettiest eyes. The funny thing was even though it was fun and we were joking around, waiting for her judgment was actually tense and I got a bit excited. The judgment came back that a gorgeous Springer Spaniel had the prettiest eyes since he/she sat perfectly still staring at the judge during the squeakathon. Otis, my little charmer, won second prize and a mixed breed of some sort won third. When the winners were announced we all lined up to receive our prizes and the dogs were given medals and a certificate. A goodie bag with a few treats was also part of the loot. Then, the dogs, and owners I suppose, got to strut their stuff around the ring to show off for the crowd. It probably was one of the most fun things I've done with my pet dogs and to be honest, it's kind of addictive.
A lot of novelty dog shows are run in the name of charity in Edinburgh and I've thought of entering my dogs into more just for the fun of it. It would give me a reason to work with them on their obedience, a way to meet new people, give to a good cause and have fun while I'm at it.
By the end of Otis's victory lap, my feet were frozen and I think my parents had turned into snow people, or at least frost people, as well. We said our good-byes to our friends and found a cab to take us home.
It was a warm shower and a hot cup of tea for me and a well deserved treat, courtesy of Otis's winnings, for the puppies. We all spent the rest of the evening curled up on the couch just relaxing as it had been quite an eventful previous evening and next day. I think it was the perfect start to 2013.
Happy 2013 to all of you and wishing you the best in 2013.
hugs from Jess, Hermione, Otis, Roscoe, Mr. K, Hamish and Lola

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