This was the 4th time I've gone to the CWCCA's National Specialty. While the convenience of the Gettysburg, Pa, location just couldn't be beat (barely an hour from my house!), this one, at the Sawmill Creek Resort was by far the nicest location yet! The place was huge! It had lovely grounds, a nice golf course, and it's own marina on Lake Erie. It even had a neat old barn/mill converted to shops if you wanted some non-dog retail therapy. The week before the Cardigans arrived, it was the Whippet specialty. They had set up these huge turn-out pens with snow-fencing for the dogs to run in. These were left up for us. It was wonderful having a place where all the Cardis could get out their yahoos off-leash. Also, with the large property of the resort, there was plenty of on-leash walking available, too. The indoor decor in the lounging areas was in a lodge theme. There were fireplaces everywhere, and with the nasty cold snap we had at the beginning of the week, they really upped the ambiance. The staff was extremely pleasant as well.
One of the things I really love about going to the Specialties is the chance to meet Cardi-folk I only know from online, or only see at the big shows. This time, it was great to meet Merinda , Penni , Susan , Heather , and Carol . I am sure my middle-age brain is forgetting someone, so please don't be offended if I omitted any names! And it was great to see Janet , Laura , and Marla again! I regret not getting more time to visit with everyone! I so wanted to get a picture of Wilson with his brother Spencer, but the timing didn't work out. Also, Wilson's nearly 17 year old father was there, and I didn't get a chance to see him either. We checked out on Wednesday morning, and I ran around for awhile, looking for friends, saying goodbye, but just didn't catch up to everyone.
This was definitely my last National Specialty for a long time. 2013 is being held in Tuscon, AZ, so despite a lovely location, it's WAY too far away......Same for 2014 at Purina Farms in Missouri. That's about a 15 hour drive, not gonna happen......2015's location isn't selected yet, so that one's a maybe. Do you think I will have Jimmy's table issues fixed by then?
The really weird thing is I took almost no photographs at all. The cold, windy weather kept my camera indoors on the agility days (and my focus(or lack there of based on my dismal results) was elsewhere anyway), and despite the pretty location, I just wasn't snapping shots. It really was a lovely place for a specialty and I thank the organizers for a job very well done.
One other thought, completely unrelated to any of this dog show stuff.....Just a few miles down the road from Huron, is a town called Lorain, also on the lake. My father grew up there, and when I was a kid (yes, dinosaurs were still roaming the area!) , my dad would drive my sister and me out there every summer for a visit with his dad. My grandfather would always take us to Cedar Point amusement park. (I could see that park from the resort's lake front, albeit a tiny dot on the horizon.) My grandfather died sometime in the early 80's, my dad died in '94, so I never thought I'd come this close to those childhood memories again.
I'll leave you with one of the only pictures I took. This was on Wednesday as we were packed and ready to roll out. The weather was of course now gorgeous. This is down at the marina, the boys posing by Lake Erie.