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Fun in Fribourg - A delightful double date

Having never been to Switzerland before, we decided to put plans in place to attend the double show at Fribourg on the weekend of 9th and 10th of February 2007. Fribourg is located about an hour or so north east from Geneva and about an hour from Bern. A busy town with the backdrop of what I assume is the Swiss Alps.

Our journey started on the Friday afternoon, we packed the truck and set off for the initial 3.5 hour drive to Chambery to visit Anne Bremond and her family. Anne had recently had a litter of pups with her young female Viro with my Bear as the sire. Although only 2 weeks old, we were keen to see the pups for ourselves. We weren't

disappointed by what we found, 8 beautiful and quite large pups, with 2 already over 2 kg's, 6 females and 2 males, all making that lovely puppy noise and smelling only like pups do. We spent the evening with Anne and her family, enjoyed dinner and a good chat and finally off to Bed. Anne had arranged for us to spend the night at a friends Gite which we found very comfortable and we were most grateful.

Up early for the 2 hour drive in to Switzerland and to our final destination of Forum Fribourg, a smallish exhibition centre on the edge of town. After setting off, we had a quick stop to pick up breakfast in the form of warm Pain au Chocolat and Pain au Raison from a bakery and by 9 am we were pulling in to the car park of the exhibition centre, ready for the day but in need of a coffee.

Almost immediately we bumped in to Nigel Halliday from the UK, Nigel was showing 2 of his dogs. It was great to see a friendly face and we chatted throughout the weekend. Nigel has a very nice dog called Zak from a Russian female and Finish male, a very sizable boy who is doing very well in the ring and establishing a presence in Europe.

It really is good to see UK dogs at these shows, I would encourage anyone to get a pet passport and come to Europe. The show scene is quite different at times and with cheap ferries and the tunnel, its a very easy thing to do. Most shows can be booked on-line so language is not really as issue. UK dogs have a lot to offer and as Nigel and I have proven in the last year or so, we can do well against the best Europe has to offer..

So in to the exhibition centre and time to set up camp in readiness for the days activity. Having erected the crate, bought drinks and nibbles we were ready for the ring. First up was Grissom, our 11 month old boy in Young Class. Only one other dog entered and after careful consideration by the Finish Judge, she placed Grissom 2nd with an Excellent grading and RCAC.

Bear was in next having seen the Open dogs compete, Nigel did well with Zak gaining a 1st place and a CAC. Bear was against 2 other Champions one of which is one of my favourite dogs, Unkas Lowe vom Osnig, father to my Grissom and a lovely dog. Unkas did well with a win in the Champions class and Bear a 3rd and Excellent, still limping unfortunately another appointment with vets looking likely, Maybe a rest for Bear would allow us to show Grissom and Nanna more and possibly see how Murphy gets on and maybe we'll see what Europe makes of Mac, who has never shown in the European ring.

With the males over, the females went in to the ring, Nanna was our first representative in the Intermediate Class, four other very nice young ladies to compete against and to our delight Nanna was placed first. Although out of coat (When is she ever in) Nanna takes a leaf out of her daddy's book and moves beautifully, in fact both judges from the two days commented on how well she moves and it is rare to see such a young girl move with such power and grace Along with the first place came a CAC and Excellent grade.

That concluded the day for us and it was time to go off to our hotel, in fact we had to find a hotel to start with. This we did via a trip to McDonalds and a quick burger and thanks to our Tom Tom Go and 6 hotels later we finally started to settle down for the evening. We feed and watered the dogs and took the opportunity to have 40 winks in the hotel room. The hotel was a very clean and

presentable venue, around 5km from the exhibition centre, Grissom came in to the hotel with us whilst Bear and Nanna spent the night in the truck. A good meal a couple of glasses of wine followed by a nightcap and off to bed. A good start to the weekend and the promise of tomorrow to come.

Sunday started early, well for a Sunday that is, in the exhibition centre for just after 8 am, fighting for a position around the ring to put the crate. Mutterings in foreign languages and looks of disgust as we "created" a space for ourselves and the dogs. A few cups of coffee and a bite to eat followed by some dog prep saw us ready for the ring. All being well, today would be at least as good as yesterday if not better, but under a Swiss Judge, who was known for being tough, who could tell.

Again Grissom in the ring first, this time in a class of 4. The dog that beat him yesterday had gone on to win Best of Breed, quite and achievement when you consider the competition. All thoughts considered a similar result to the previous day was a good goal, especially when the Judge told me all the things she didn't like about Grissom. I remember thinking, just place me 4th lady and be done, I didn't need humiliation to go with it, still, some people would pay for that kind of treatment...

At the moment of truth I was somewhat surprised and delighted to find Grissom placed 1st, although this time with a Very Good grade so no CAC.

Nanna she liked, a lot! again the same result from the previous day and a 1st place, a CAC and this time a RCACIB. OK, that's 2 out 2, both Grissom and Nanna had improved on their results from the previous day. Bear in the ring with the same 3 dogs and still the same result. He limped around the ring again and was duly placed. So in the circumstances he did well. Bear will now take out the next few months while we rest him and give him plenty of TLC. He won't go to Crufts or any other show for that matter, which is disappointing but that's just the way it goes. I'll keep you updated as he progresses

All done and dusted we started to think of the journey home, we loaded up and set the Tom Tom for home. Within 6 hours I would home sitting by the fire enjoying a nice cuppa and reflecting on the weekends activity. Nanna with her 2 CAC's makes us want to go back to Switzerland to see if we can get another 2, if we can, that would make her a Swiss Champion. So with that in mind, I guess we're off again to the Swiss Club Show in May and little more Toblerone along the way...