Friday, August 16, 2013

....and With that Win....A Reflection...

I'm happy to announce that Vivian is now a Grand Champion!!! 

Back in June, on a quiet Thursday morning, Vivian went Select Bitch at the Cambridge show which--in a very uncermoniously fashion--gave her her Grand Champion title.

Last June when Vivian got her Championship title, it was such a urphoric feeling that I couldn't stop smiling for WEEKS!!  Friends cheered for us ringside when it happened because they knew she just needed that last win!  There were hoops, hollers, & tears!  It was what I had been working so hard for.  It was amazing!!

However, the Grand Championship title was bittersweet.  There wasn't any cheering, there wasn't any big fan fare, hell no one but me even knew she got her Grand Championship.  It seems it's just the peril of this title.  While I'm still very proud of it, of all the work we've done in her show career, the Grand Championship really allowed me to show her for another year....which I'm very grateful for as I loved every second of it!!
This win meant, after showing her for 4 years, we were done.  She's retired from the conformation ring.  No more 430am wake ups for a 2 hour road trip, for a 2 minute prance around the ring.  I know it doesn't sound like fun, but it is...err...was.
While I've only been showing for 5 years (I showed Doc for a bit first), showing, or bulldogs have been such a big part of my life.  I've made great friends from all across the country, I've seen the best in people & the worst in people.  I've learned I DO have a competetivie side--even if I didn't like how it made me feel at times (when we lost).  Hahaha  I've learned so much about the breed, the breed standard, what I like in some bulldogs, what I don't like in others. 

I've learned this "hobby" of mine totally sucks you in and has so many impacts....

-Planning your (non-dog show) vacations--"ummm I can't go then, it's our specialty."

-Wedding RSVP's--"ooh yeah, I won't make it, it's a dog show weekend."

-Friendships--"to fellow dog show friends: are you going to Duluth, Des Moines, Fargo (aka any "dog show town")"--to non-dog show friends: "ummm yeah, that's the weekend I'll be in Duluth, Des Moines, Fargo, etc"
-Shoe & Clothing Purchases--"can I bend over, stack, & kneel in that?" Or "I can't wear white, it will clash with my dog."  Or "oh this is my dog show blazer....I don't get THIS dressed up for work."
Heck!  Showing bulldogs is how my passion for sewing started!  If it wasn't for Vivi going into heat & needing panties...well...I don't know that I'd have an entire room dedicated to my sewing!  Sewing panties, grew into cool collars, cool jackets & belly bands!  Quickly I found out I had a talent for sewing & added many items to my "line" of goodies!  It's so cool because of Vivi, bulldoggers & non-bulldoggers across the country have items I've sewn!!  That's crazy to me!!
I have no doubt I'll be back in the conformation ring some day--whether helping friends or with a dog of my own.  I also have no doubt I'll be able to take some time (to sleep in on the weekends) & get Vivi and Howie into some obedience for real Steve, I will.

With all this being said, I couldn't help be think of how much of my life dog shows have been in one aspect or another.  Obviously, I couldn't have continued on this path without the support of Steve--Vivi's biggest cheerleader!  My parents, in-laws & non-dog show friends who have supported me, wanted to learn about the shows, were there for my biggest wins & losses--I couldn't have done any of this without you!  My dog show friends--you have been such a big part of my life for the last 4 years...without your mentoring, shopping (Hobby Lobby anyone?), laughs & of course understanding of this love...I would not have a Grand Champion--all points put on her by me by the way--on my couch! 
Lastly, to those of you who have read my blog or visited my site--when I was posting often & even when I haven't--reading about my dog show adventures & enjoying the photos have been so awesome!  Thank you for taking the time to include my stories in your life!

So thank you!  Thank you all so much! 

With Love-
Vivi & her momma


  1. OH! I'm not sure if I should give you congrats or condolences.

    How about a huge peanut buttery filled Congrats to Vivi on her Grand Champion title. and a big hug filled condolence for momma, who will really miss the shows.

    Aren't there other shows where you are competing for something else?

    Haven't seen too much from you, but thinking of you :)

  2. Kim, Otis and StellaOctober 15, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Hi Jen! Its Kim! I am working a 12 hour day today and had time to surf the net and catch up on your life! Sad to hear you are going to "retire" but happy for you that you will continue to find new endeavors and adventures, hopefully including bulldogs! I have enjoyed following your passion and fun to see how your love of bulldogs lead to other new and exciting things. Congrats to Vivi on her acomplishments. That's awesome for you guys!

  3. Congratulations Jenn and Vivi..