What I can say about this Westminster journey is that it is a group effort! First, I am not going alone - as this is something that needs to be experienced with someone. So, my good friend Denise will be going with as well as her dog Mick. Nope, Mick is not entered, he is just along for the ride. He is also a great traveler and like a true berner, wants to be with his person all the time. Since he needs fairly close monitoring for medical reasons, he won the lotto and got the extra seat in the car to come with :) While Mick is not my dog, he and I have had a really deep connection from the day I met him and whenever I see him I get his "happy dance" and am only 1 of three people that he readily "dances" for. And the dance includes vocals as well.
So that is the "group" that will be going with me. But this trip would not have been possible on any level if it wasn't for the help and support of so many friends. People that must believe in Delsin and me... as they have helped out on many levels. And there was even a fund raiser to help get Delsin and I there. What friends...what great friends I have. I would be so selfish in saying that it is only Delsin and I going to the show.... as so many people have helped us to this level and I carry them with as I head to the big apple. truly, going Westminster has been a group effort! So if you see us run around the ring either on TV or the internet, do know that there are a lot of people that helped me get there and they might as well be out there running too :)
Today was Delsin's last visit to the acupuncture-chiropractor vet before we head out. Del has regular "tune-ups" every 6-8 weeks, just to keep him at his best and feeling wonderful. That changed though when he was missing - as when I got him back he was visibly sore. The vet - Heather - and I will never really know what happened to him but I feel we are pretty certain two events happened to put him in the condition he was in when I bailed him out of the pound: Surely he marked and marked and marked as he wandered about sniffing everything. Massive amounts of "legs lifts" if you will. Heather said he was very sore and tight in the pelvis and we pegged that on the leg lifting. Next Delsin's back and shoulders were really sore and "out of whack". While his back generally needs regular work, his shoulders are never out or sore. It would only be speculation - but he was caught in a fence so tightly when he was lost, that animal control had to lift him up and over the top of a 4 foot fence. Then he would have had to be put into the impound truck - and again that is a high lift or shove or pull or???? Getting him out of the truck - my guess would be that they did not do what I do and take most of his front weight in my hands and guide him to the ground, but rather forced him from a higher height to jump out of the truck and onto cement. I do understand they they did not know my dog, did not know if they would be bitten, and I realize he is 100+ pounds and that is a lot of dog to handle, let alone if he would lash out. But my guess is that the handling of him of whatever sort it was, caused the large amount of soreness he had.
So, Delsin has gone every week since his wanderings. Both to get him back in shape for Westminster, but mostly to get him back to the level of health he had prior to his disappearance. And thankfully -THANKFULLY - Heather announced today when she saw him that he is indeed feeling very good chiropractically. She did some minor adjustments and then the acupuncture - just to make sure he remains good.
And did I mention, that from the dogs point of view - they think Heather has the "best hands" out there? Her adjusting technique is very calm and without force. Dogs love it. And their bodies respond. Heather can find areas many would miss - she is GREAT. Locally, most of the performance type people go to her with their dogs. Or at least try. Her waiting list to get in as a client is somewhere between 2-3 years.....
I knew Delsin was doing much better before we even went in. After 6 weeks in the cities and in circumstances that had stress, both Delsin and I felt it in our bodies. I finally got to go home for 5 days.... and what a difference that made for both of us. He ran and rolled and ran and dug and ran and ran. All the dogs did. I could see each time we went for a walk that his body came together more and the tightness I saw melted away. The fluid movement he normally possesses came back. It took almost 5 weeks to get him back to "health" since his "lost" status, but I am relieved and delighted to see him smile and feel great again.
Other prep today includes making up the check list for leaving, buying the last of the "little things" and starting to set aside the day to days clothes. Time is running short...