Dog show

Lisa and I went to a dog show in Puyallup on Friday night. We thought, What better way to find a breeder who could tell us about how to get a Bichon Frisé puppy? Well, apparently the right answer was, “Lots of better ways.”

But not to get too far ahead of the story. The dog show was being held in the Puyallup fair grounds, about thirty miles south of where we live, to the east of SeaTac. This means that on a Friday afternoon at 4 pm, it was about seventy minutes away. We got there at about 5:45. The papers we had said the show, which included the meeting of the Puget Sound Bichon Frisé club, would go until 10 pm. Plenty of time, we thought.

We walked into the first building, which looked like a preparatory area—dogs in crates, on grooming tables, being watched by twelve-year-old kids—but with no apparent breeders in site and only a small crowd in the far end of the building. We saw another building to the right and walked through. Immediately we were hit with a miasma of dog. More dog crates and pens, stalls selling liver treats and grooming implements—all shuttered. We looked at each other and said, “Uh-oh.” Then we saw chairs at the far end of the next room set up in a ring and heard an announcer’s voice. Finally, I thought, we’ve found it. And a Bichon was on the judging table. We drew closer and realized that this was a general judging of “non-sporting” breeds, not the Bichon Frisé club judging. And there were only about fifty people there. The ones who weren’t handlers in the ring were waiting for their turn to go on. We watched the Bichon take third place and talked to the lady at the AKC desk, only to find out that the Bichon club was meeting in the building we had first been in. We walked back to find most everyone cleared out.

We went away without having talked to a breeder. But we have some addresses and phone numbers, and we’ll press ahead.