A Day in the Life of a Circuit Judge

The following is with tongue firmly in cheek, and thanks to the U.K. Whippet and English Setter versions …

Today is my big day. I am awarding Challenge Certificates for the first time, and only six years since I bought my first Lakeland. What a stroke of luck that I chose a Phyxmekwik bitch as the foundation for my Getrich line. One more cup of coffee, and then I’ll pack the whiskey for the show secretary and wait for my lift to the showground.

What a coincidence that we managed to park beside all those Lakeland Terrier cars.

It was interesting to see who had brought what, but I was worried when I didn’t spot Ch. Beatemall with the rest of his kennelmates. Now who is going to win the dog CC?

Hope the bar’s open early so I can have a quick one to steady my nerves. I didn’t expect over a hundred entries, and I’ve only judged a few shows, and as they were all in my locality I knew most of the winning dogs. I really should have read the standard last night instead of going to the Phyxmekwik’s party. Still, it was a touch of genius to get Mr. Tipthewink to steward for me. He knows all the current winners. I am sure I saw Mrs. Bigwig with her Topboy on my way to the ring, he’s wanting his third. That and the double brandy from Mrs. Creep makes me feel a lot better.

Minor Puppy Dog: Only eight entries, and they all look the same. Tip says that there is a super dark-red pup winning everything, but he’s not here – so what do I do? All judged. don’t like any of them; let’s see who I know.

Puppy Dog: Ten new ones, and there’s a very dark red pup, so that must be Superpup. Right, put him first … but why the groan from ringside? Tip doesn’t look happy – oh, dear, the dark red belongs to those people up the road, and it’s their daughter handling it. I didn’t realize who it belonged to until she came rushing into the ring to congratulate her. She kissed me – says it is the first time she has ever won.

Junior: A very large class. and these look better. Some nice ones among these – but look, Tip is chatting up the pretty blonde with that overweight exhibit, he’s congratulatit1g her on its Junior Warrant. It looks awful, but I’d better give it this class.

Post Graduate: Hmm, interesting. Fancy Mr. Stayaway coming all this way, although I did tell him when he used my dog that I like his old boy. If I put him up he will probably use my dog again. Mrs. Seeneverywhere is standing first and expects to win the class. Well, she put my dog second when she judged, so I will put her third – that will show her.

Limit: I’d better be careful and ask Tip to give me the nod as to the CC winner, as I’m not sure about some of the owners.

Open: Only four! Now I’ve got problems, as I will have to place them all. There he is – Topboy – but doesn’t he look awful. There is a lovely grizzle that looks fantastic, but who is it? I’ve never seen the handler before. He makes Topboy look like a bitch, and he moves and shows like a dream – it’s more a nightmare for me. But first to Topboy, second to the one I like, and third to the stunning grizzle and tan.

Right, my big moment. I can award the CC. Tip has got it ready for me, so I’ll just have to sign it and hand it out. Five dogs in the challenge – they all look so different. The CC is easy, but who wins the Reserve CC? Give it to Mr. Stayway – he’s come a long way. and I hear he is on the committee of one of the top all-breed shows, so I might get another championship show judging assignment. Oh, dear, l never called in the second in Open for the Reserve CC. She looks very cross, and I did like her dog. Tip says, “Too bad, and anyway, he’s already got 10 CCs and didn ‘t come for second. She’s got a pretty bitch puppy, though.”

Off to lunch, should be able to sneak a peek at the catalog.

Minor Puppy Bitch: Twelve to judge. My head feels funny, and the sun is very hot. Won’t keep them out in this heat longer than is necessary, so a quick move around and a pat on the head and place those people I know – after all, it is only minor puppy, and everyone says it’s a lottery these days.

Puppy Bitch: Tip was right. The lady with the second-place in Open dog has got a pretty bitch, so she can win Best Puppy – that’ll keep her sweet.

]unior: This is the class that Mr. Scratchmebak wants to win, but he can’t get away from work and l have to look for his daughter. She’ll be wearing white-leather thigh boots – doesn’t she look stupid when it is 90 in the shade! Still, I can’t miss her.

Postgraduate: My best friend, who brought me to the show hasn’t qualified his pet bitch and he so wants to go to Crufts, so I’ll fix it for him. That should give me a free lift to the show as well.

Limit: Nine in this class. I know that Open is not a strong class today, but there arc three bitches with two CCs in this class, so if I place all three I can’t go wrong. Miss Dousafavor is judging next month and my bitch is by her dog, so if l give her this class and the CC with Petal, that will make her stud dog the top dog of the year.

Open: The last time l saw Mrs. Trisohard’s lovely bitch she was overweight – however has she managed to get her looking so good so quickly? She is an easy winner of this class, and a popular one by the sound of the applause. I think the ringside thinks I am going to give her the third CC she so justly deserves. Hope she doesn’t cry when she wins her 1Oth Reserve CC.

Best of Breed: The bitch is so much nicer than the dog, but I reckon I could make Petal up later if I give it to the dog – Ivor Thickskin.

— Pat Rock, AKC Gazette Breed Columnist · hollybriar@widomaker.com

© AKC Gazette, November 2013 · Lakeland Terrier Breed Column · Reprinted with permission