Bloggers Stakes 2: In It To Win It

As you might remember, I spent a week in Orlando last month at the Celebrate Dogs event for the AKC/Eukanuba National Dog Show, which will air on ABC on February 2. There’s a ton of events that comprise the show, but for me personally, the most fun I get to have is on Saturday night, when the invited bloggers go onto the main floor of the arena during the evening sound check to have our very own pretend-but-still-majorly-intense dog show, otherwise known as the Bloggers Stakes.

If you weren’t around last year, this post isn’t going to make any sense unless you read last year’s post about my inaugural dog competition first. Go on, I’ll wait.

If you’ll recall, I left last year’s Bloggers Stakes with a sour taste in my mouth. That metallic tang, that salty taste that might be blood- it was defeat. And I didn’t like it. So when I heard this year there was to be another iteration of the Bloggers Stakes, well, I was determined to put in a better performance than the year before. Especially when I heard Jen and Vicki from Eukanuba whispering in the back room about some sort of Major Award. I wanted the major award. I didn’t even know what it was. Pride demanded it.

I did lots of things to prepare. I asked my friend Susi, a dog show veteran, for handling advice. Jimmy Moses critiqued my outfit (an experience I won’t soon forget, but don’t worry, we got that on video.) Clint Livingston told me how to walk and suggested I ditch the heels. If you don’t know the dog world, don’t worry, I didn’t either, but that would be the equivalent of me saying I showed up in a locker room and got Tom Brady to show me how to throw a football. Those guys are a Big Deal.

So this year, yeah. I wanted it. I wanted it SO much I even borrowed a pair of Toms from Susi so I would have appropriate flats, because as we all know I don’t own any on my own.

And there was just one last thing I needed in order to have this thing in my pocket: the right dog. I had no idea if I would be stuck with the same judge again, but just in case, I had already figured out the guy had a thing against retrievers (I know, right? Don’t get me started) so I would need something else. Hmmm, I mused, how about an Afghan hound?

They always do well in these shows, those elegant, hairy sighthounds. Something about their fur flowing in the breeze seems to irresistible to a certain type of person, so I figured, well, that’s as good a dog as any here. With a little help from the Eukanuba elves, I secured the services of Dustin, a beautiful beige and grey pup with just the right amount of mischief in his eyes and the perfect Tim Burton-y curlique of a tail.

I was lucky. His breeder Jennifer showed up with him early enough for us to bond. It is very important that my dog and I have a good rapport. She was even kind enough to give me some tips on proper running technique, which with an Afghan is absolutely essential. If you don’t look like a Pantene commercial out there, forget it.

And I was ready. I had my flats, I had my sedate outfit, and I had, what I hoped, was the perfect dog. Now all I needed was a judge who agreed for victory to be mine.

As we headed out onto the floor of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship for the evening soundcheck, I was admittedly nervous. The competition would be stiff.

And then I had my first wrinkle in my finely laid plans.

Oh, great. This guy again. The surly judge from last year was putting in another term as our official judge. My worst nightmare was coming to fruition.

Be cool, I said to myself. You have a Jimmy-Moses approved outfit and an entirely different dog this year. Maybe things will go better.

So we did our bit, you know, running around in circles and all that jazz. Dustin, true to form, ran like the wind, so all I had to do was keep up. And seriously, he was a glorious dog:

I actually prefer running with the big dogs to walking with the small dogs, because you get this canter going and you kick up a little breeze zipping around the arena. It’s actually pretty fun. And then we presented ourselves for judgment.

Dustin was the perfect schmoozer, leaning into the judge and putting on his best suck-up face. I was worried the effort would be a little too obvious, but it seemed the judge was in a better mood this year and didn’t seem to mind. He glared at me only once, but then he reached down and petted Dustin on the head, a strangely jovial move on his part.

We had done our best. There was nothing to do now but watch the rest of the competitors.

It was time for the first cut. I held my breath. Surely, the judge must realize the specimen before him.

We made the first cut.

We ran around the ring again.

Within short order, it was down to just two: Dustin, and Preston from Preston Speaks. I knew this one would be down to the wire. He’s got the heart of a lion, that one. Tenacious. But then again, so am I.

We ran around the ring again. By now I was getting tired, running on adrenaline and the sweet crisp scent of victory just beyond the edge of my grasp. We were close, so close.

The judge stood there. He pondered. He hemmed and hawed for a moment. “Ask to win,” Susi had suggested at one point, and I’m pretty sure I did. I might have even said directly, “I want to win.”

And guess what.

What you see up there in my left hand is the massive pink rosette we won, Dustin and I. By that point I’m already clutching it hungrily to my chest like Carrie Bradshaw at a Jimmy Choo sample sale. MINE! HA HA! Victory is mine! And it was all achieved through hard work and dedication!

What was being said up there is not something I’m going to get into, because it’s not in any way relevant, but the judge and I have patched up our differences, I think. For the most part, though I still take offense to his opinion on retrievers.

I had but a few moments to savor my victory with Dustin before Jennifer, the lovely woman who bred him, came back to retrive him. I thanked her, and she smiled and said she had a lot of fun. As she and Dustin strode off into the afternoon, I thought perhaps I saw her linked arm in arm with a person who looked suspiciously like the judge, but then I put it out of my mind.

Wouldn’t that have been a funny coincidence.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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I too have a tri color pit or rotti/pit mix i dont…

I too have a tri color pit or rotti/pit mix i dont care what she is i got her because the craigslist ad said pit bull mix :) and the girl didnt even have much info on her background due to her being found in a box on the side of The road :( i just want To know what she is for my own knowledge she doesnt have any rotti features other than the color … i dont care what anyone has to say or what looks i Get shes an amazing companion and best friend to My little family … <3

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How to Make Brigadeiro – Brazil’s Favorite Party Treat

Blog Post and Full Recipe: Brigadeiro is a soft chocolate sweet made with condensed milk and cocoa. It is present in every Brazilian birthday party. Every Brazilian knows brigadeiro, and everyone who tries it likes it. It is easy to make brigadeiros, but it can be tricky to get the perfect consistency. Luckily, Street Smart Brazil professora Betânia has a few personal tricks that she is sharing with you in the video.

I taught my cute guinea pigs to ring a bell when they want a treat. They also learned the phrase, “Ring Your Bell” and ring it when I say it. Enjoy! Please join us at You will find the kindest and most caring people who love all types of animals. We would LOVE to have you! Come join the fun! Chrissy :-)

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How To Choose A Quality Miami Roofing Company

When you are dealing with the structural integrity of a building, nothing is more vital than having a stable roofing system. A quality roof will allow the rest of your building to stay structurally sounds for a long period of time. Neglecting issues with a roofing system can have devastating consequences for building owners. That [...]

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Remembering The Recall: A Reading List

As this unpleasant anniversary approaches, a friend suggested I focus on the season as a new beginning – appropriate advice for spring. Kisses will always have a special place in our hearts, and the two cats who joined our family after her death are unique, irreplaceable gifts. Her legacy includes the information I gathered while working with our wonderful vet to prolong her life.
Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

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Cookie Eating Greenies Out of the Bag

My cat Cookie loves eating her Feline Greenies Treats

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Just wanted to comment that my daughter recently f…

Just wanted to comment that my daughter recently found a pit bull puppy literally at the side of the road. She was 7 weeks old, skin-and-bones, and of course, full of worms. I already had two other dogs (rescues, as well), and when my daughter brought this sweet puppy home to me, what could I say? She had already named her "Lola" by the time she walked in the door. Lola is now 6 1/2 months old and doing fantastically well. We love her and she is just another member of our family! Kudos to this Pit Bull Foundation and to the hard work that you put into saving these lovely animals.
Cindy T. – Beaufort, SC

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The Importance Of Knowing A Quality Locksmith In Miami

There is absolutely no more aggravating time than locking yourself out of your automobile. It always seems to happen at the most inconvenient possible time and takes what seems like forever to deal with. After unsuccessful attempts to gain access to your car on your own, you may need to call upon a locksmith. Most [...]

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I Love Broccoli!

Who doesn’t? ;) You can put broccoli in just about any meal, and it is one of the most nutritious veggies you can eat! This is the first year I have attempted to grow broccoli, and I have had great success so far, other than Turk taking a bite off a few leaves here and there. :p  Today I prepped one of my broccoli plants for harvest. To prevent the broccoli head from going all rangy, you have to tie a string or place a rubber band around the leaves to keep the growing head of broccoli in an organized and tight grouping, which will make harvesting easier as well as your broccoli looking prettier ;) I am going to try to get the head of broccoli as big as I can before harvesting. As soon as any of it starts to yellow, that means the plant is going to seed and you have to harvest ASAP. I have two pants growing so far, one is still pretty small, so I won’t be prepping that one for another few weeks. Take a look!

The head of broccoli is growing bigger each day.

Here is the rubber band I placed just under the leaves.

The plant is tied and ready for harvesting soon!

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Hearn Academy Teacher Wins the Husband and Wife Law Team?s Monthly Teacher Appreciation Award Along With a $250 for Classroom Supplies and a Party from Peter Piper Pizza!

(PRWEB) December 28, 2012

Who couldn?t use some good news and encouragement? For teachers, parents, and students, it couldn?t come at a better time.

Mark Breyer surprised Ms. Ehnes in front of her class with a $ 250 gift card to use towards classroom supplies along with a classroom pizza party provided by Peter Piper Pizza. Ms. Ehnes who has been teaching since 1987, currently teaches a blended 1st grade AP and 2nd grade class. Along with teaching, she also coaches cheerleading and dodgeball.

The Breyers? website was flooded with nominations this month from parents and peers alike for Ms. Ehnes. One parent boasted, ?My daughter comes home everyday with a smile on her face, excited about what she has learned that day.? Another parent?s glowing recommendation praised Ms. Ehens for ?matching each child with where they are at, challenging them, keeping them engaged and loving them.?

Teaching is Ms. Ehnes life work and passion. She showed attorney Mark Breyer a photo of the very first class that she ever taught. Mark Breyer commented, ?[Ms. Ehnes] knew what each child is doing now, 25 years later. A veterinarian, a doctor, a journalist?she knew each one to this day. What an outstanding teacher and person!?

Out of Their Own Hearts and Pockets

Numerous studies conducted over the years have found that educators spend considerable amounts of their own money to supplement their classrooms with supplies, books, and other teaching materials.

In fact, the most recent study conducted by the National School Supply and Equipment Association found teachers spend over $ 1.3 billion dollars annually to help provide for their classrooms.

Thank Your Teacher Today

The Husband and Wife Law Team?s Teacher Appreciation Program continually accepts nominations through the website at

Each month a teacher is chosen to win a $ 250 gift card for classroom supplies, and a pizza party for his or her class provided by Peter Piper Pizza. Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers in Arizona are eligible to win. School principals and administrators are also encouraged to participate in nominating teachers who go above and beyond for their students.

Every person has had at least one, if not many, teachers who left a positive impact on them for the rest of their lives. Thank your favorite teacher today by nominating him or her for this program!

Local Law Team on Your Side

Mark Breyer is a certified specialist in personal injury law by the State Bar of Arizona, and has been named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer along with a Top 5 Arizona injury attorney two years in a row by North Valley magazine. The Breyers? have also been spotlighted as Attorneys of the Month in Attorney at Law magazine.

Mark and Alexis Breyer have been focusing their law practice solely on serious injury and wrongful death law since 1996. The Breyers? law firm handles all serious injury cases including; auto, semi-truck, motorcycle, construction site, dog bites, premises liability, and other injuries caused by another?s negligence.

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