Switzerland 2004

In the beginning of this year we received e-mail from one of our friends telling us that the Swiss toy club was going to organize a double show to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. It was going to be held at the end of June, and also an anniversary dinner was to be held on Saturday evening after the first day. Of course we became very excited since we had never been to Switzerland, and quite soon it was decided that we were going to this show. But we did have a problem though… Lene and I planned to go, but we had a hard time to decide which dogs to bring. Of course we were going to enter Kurt, but the bitch was a tougher decision to make. But when we had given it some thought we decided to enter Berit. Even if this lady was retired from the show ring for more than a year ago and has had a litter since, we thought she could give some hard competition. And finally all was decided! The entries were sent, and travel arrangements were paid for and we reserved a room at a nearby hotel. The months passed and finally it was time to go. On Saturday morning I took the train with Berit and Kurt, crossing the Öresund bridge, going to Copenhagen airport. I met Lene and Tommy there, and after a very long queue at the check-in Lene and I finally came on board the plane. The trip to Switzerland went fine and the dogs behaved brilliant. In Zürich a lady was going to meet us and drive us to the hotel where the show was to be held near by. The village was placed about one hour drive from Zürich. The lady who drove us bred chinese crested and yorkshire terriers. She had been to Argentina and had attended the World dog show when it was held there and she had some great results at that show. It was really nice to find out that there are more people that are as “crazy” as we are. We arrived to a wonderful little town called Wangen with small narrow alleys, old houses and a river just outside the town.
Before entering the town you had to drive on a small bridge with a roof above it, and it was only possible to drive in one lane, so the cars had to wait on the other side before crossing the river. When we came to the hotel we checked in and left all our things in the room. Then we took a walk with the dogs in the beautiful little town. It was 22 degrees and the sun was shining, so it was really nice there.
We made the dogs ready and then we went to the show, which was held a 4-minutes walk from the hotel. The show didn’t start until 1.30 so we had lots of time until it was our turn. Since we were in a new country and we didn’t know what was going to happen, we thought it was better to be there in good time. But there were no problems at all. We got so much help from the organisers and others.
There were lots of different breeds and people in the show ground, which was quite a large room. The house, in which the show was held, belonged to the town’s church. It was real nice to be there since it was a very old building and the walls were at least 2 meters broad and made of stone so it was very cool and nice in there. We did have some troubles though since we weren’t able to bring so much stuff on the plane. All we had were the bags we had the dogs in and a small bag with the most important stuff. So instead of a grooming table we put a couple of chairs together and used them in the same way. This worked out well and there were no problems at all. When the show began the chairman of the club went into the ring and held a short speech in German, and after that came another lady giving the same speech in French. Since this was an anniversary show many exhibitors had taken the chance to come and compete. There were participants from no less than 10 countries. Among those there were dogs from Holland, Italy, France and the US. The judges came from Austria and Germany. The first day we had a breed specialist, Andreas Schemel from Austria. Kurt was best male with CC and became BOB. Lene showed Berit and she became best bitch with CC and BOS. In the finals Kurt and Berit was BIS-couple. The finals went on one by one and finally it was time for the Best In Show. Judge for this competition was our breed judge, Andreas Schemel. He checked all the dogs and then he picked 3 finalists, and Kurt was one of them. When he had looked them through again, he pointed Kurt to in the first place, so Kurt became BIS. He won lots of trophies, prizes and a bottle of champagne. After a lot of hugs and congratulations it was time to go back to the hotel since we had to prepare ourselves for the anniversary dinner. It was held in a cellar and it was very nice. The evening started off with a welcome drink and then the chairman of the Swiss toy club held a speech in German, French and English. When it was time for the first dish a gentleman appeared and held a speech in German. We later found out that it was the chairman of the Swiss Kennel Club who had come to honour the club at its 100-year anniversary. We were all sitting around large round tables and everybody spoke with each other. After a wonderful salad dish it was time for the warm meal. The dinner was composed to show different Swiss specialties, and we got a wonderful potato au gratin and with this we were served veal with a smashing cream sauce with fresh mushrooms. As the last dish we had a summer dessert with different kind of berries and it was absolutely wonderful. At our table we had owners and breeders of king charles spaniel from Germany, Holland and Switzerland. It was really nice and we had a wonderful evening. Since we had been up early we were quite tired so we decided to walk the dogs and then go to the hotel. When we went outside we got the coolest summer breeze, and it was magnificent to see the beautiful mountains just a couple of kilometres away.
We took the dogs for a walk and then we went to the hotel and the warm bed.

Sunday morning was quite nervous since this was the “big” day. It was this day the anniversary show was held and it was also a larger show than the previous day. When we came to the show we found out that we had a judge we had never showed for before. We waited for our turn and when it was time to enter the ring a lady came to us and said it was rescheduled and the breed was being judge as the last one in the ring. Well, we went back to our seats and sat down and waited. After a bit of time we got a new message that two breeds were being judged before it was our turn, about 14 dogs. Since it was plenty of time we spoke to a couple of the exhibitors, saw how it went for our friends and congratulated them. Then we took the dogs for a walk and when we came in again the judge pointed and it was time to go into the ring. It was a switch of plans and she judged us first before the second breed. Since the dogs had already been groomed we only needed to comb them quickly and change to a show leash and then we went to the ring. Kurt became best male with CC and BOB. Lene showed Berit and she became best bitch with CC and BOS. When the judge heard that we were foreigners she dictated her critique in English, which was very nice of her. The hours passed and it became warmer and warmer. We found out that it was almost 30 degrees outside, and you really felt it when you went outside. It was a really nice and well-organized show and above the honour ring they had the Swiss flag. When it was time for the finals we had been informed during the day that since it was so few entered to couple and breeder classes, everybody had a chance to enter at the show. We had really trained Kurt and Berit in the couple since they had only walked together on the day before. When it was time to start the judging, it was no less than 7 participants in best couple class. The judge was Marta Heine from Germany and she went through all the competitors. She took out three finalists, and Berit and Kurt were BIS-couple. It was so nice to win Best couple the second day in a row, we were so happy. There were several groups to judge but finally it was time for the Best Iin Show. I don’t know how many dogs that entered the ring but it was quite a few. A japanese chin from Holland, a maltese from Italy and Kurt from Denmark/Sweden. One of the German judges was acting as a speaker and he did a nice job. The judge for Best In Show was Marta Heine. She went over all the dogs thoroughly and then watched them individual when moving. Kurt was in a good mood and he really showed off. She picked out three finalists, and Kurt was one of them. Then she asked us to walk one last time all together, Kurt was last in the row but when we had walked she picked Kurt for the first place, and he did it again. Kurt won Best In Show two days in a row!. Since this was a very special show we all; Kurt, the judges, and me had to pose for the photographers. It was truly wonderful and of course we were over the moon. Kurt won several trophies and a wonderful painting from 1886, which was a gift from one of the judges. When we had spoken and said goodbye to all our new and old friends, it was time to go to the airport. As always our friend had already arranged this and a wonderful family waited to drive us. They were happy with the day but they had not made it to the finals, so they had stayed all day just to drive us. We were of course very grateful for this. When we arrived at the airport in Zürich our driver didn’t want to get paid but we had at least some Swedish dog candy to give them. Hopefully their dog enjoy that. Since we had several hours until our flight would take off, Lene and I thought we should take the dogs for a walk around the airport.
There were a lot of shops, and we also found some grass for the dogs. We did have a problem though; one of the trophies was so big that we weren’t able to put it in any bag. My backpack was too small so it wasn’t possible to close it. Because of this everyone we met could see what Kurt and Berit had been up to. It was quite funny when we came to the security zone, and the staff looked at the monitor, and said: “Look, there is one and there is another one!” We didn’t have any guns but lots of trophies! We had a tremendous journey to Switzerland and even though we were quite tired when we arrived home late Sunday evening, we were very happy. Who knows, there might be a new trip since Lene and I have to say hi to our friends again…