Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Show Day!

Judging started about 9 am on Saturday morning. Since there were about 40 Fuzzies entered in youth and 140 in open, we didn't need to hurry. Kevin Stanford, AZ, started off with the youth rabbits.

While Allen Mesick, CA, examined and placed the open Fuzzy Lops.
The set-up of the show room was great so that it was very easy to watch both the youth and open judging at the same time. Results of the youth show are below:

BOB Karli Zwade, broken jr doe
BOSB Matthew Holliday, solid sr buck

BOV --Karli Zwade, jr doe
BOSV--Matthew Holliday, sr buck

SSB -- M Holliday
SSD -- Sarah Hardy
SJB -- M Holliday
SJD -- K Zwade

BOV -- K Zwade, jr doe
BOSV -- K Zwade, sr buck

BSB -- K Zwade
BSD -- Theresa Walker
BJB -- M Holliday
BJD -- K Zwade


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Colorado is Cool!

First off, sorry I didn't get blow by blow reports on the blog during the weekend.  I carried my computer to Colorado but either didn't have an internet connection when I had time to blog or no time when I had a connection.  So here is the "late report" of the AFLRC National show.

The show was held in the state fair grounds and the picture above is the show room.  The building had a dirt floor so there was plenty of dust for the weekend!  But that was more than made up for by the huge amount of space and the wonderful coops permanently installed in the building.

Muriel K, Paula G, and Lisa B were busy on Friday setting up the coops with cards and checking in exhibitors.  I arrived late afternoon and nearly everyone else was checking in about that time too.  

Rob G had "airport duty" to pick up the judges and it turned out to be quite a chore.  He was to meet Allen M from California, Kevin S from Arizona and Josh U from South Dakota.  All were to arrive relatively close in time so it would be a simple thing to pick them up and deliver them to the hotel for a good night's sleep.  HA!  Best laid plans and all of that.  The weather chose to interfere and Josh never got out of SD.  A foot of fresh snow stopped air travel in his area.  He felt terrible, but Muriel talked him through how to get the airlines to let him save the ticket; he'll fly in to judge some other time.  We all just hoped he made in home from the airport in the terrible weather.

Of course, there were a few moments of panic since Josh was slated to be the open judge for Nationals but your AFLRC officers are flexible, spontaneous and creative under pressure (or was that crumbling under pressure?).  We decided that Allen M would judge open Fuzzies; he knows just a "bit" about the breed since he raised AFL for years and won BOB at 2 ARBA Conventions!  Then Kevin S would judge youth Fuzzies.  Whew....problem solved.

Continued tomorrow...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Air Anxiety

I have done a lot of air travel since my first flight when I was 20 years old from Louisville, KY to Fort Wayne, IN. That flight took off, climbed to cruising altitude, and immediately descended. I am not kidding--15 min or so in the air. I loved it! I loved the feeling as the plane lifted off the ground, the jostling in the air, and the bouncing of the plane as it reconnected with the ground. For many years, I looked forward to every flight--not only because of the great places I got to see by flying but simply because I loved being in the air.

But much of the joy of flying has been sucked out in the last few years. Now planning for a trip that involves flying brings images of long lines to have my shoes scanned and full body searches. You should have seen the intense scrutiny I received when I forgot to put my liquids in a zip lock bag recently. The TSA agent clearly thought I intended to bring the plane down with 2 oz of eye drops! And if flying for business or pleasure by myself is tough, imagine the layers of complication added by flying with rabbits.

It isn't at all impossible to bring rabbits by air to a show. It does require quite a bit of advance planning to improve the odds of things going well. But isn't that true even if you are driving? I have flown many times now to Nationals and ARBA Conventions, since it is rare that these events are within driving distance from my home in California. In fact, in the past 10 years, I have driven to 2 ARBA Conventions and 3 AFLRC National shows; the rest of the times (and I attended all of them), I had to fly. So that makes me something of an expert I guess. I have almost exclusively flown on Delta and brought the rabbits as "excess baggage". The cost for the excess baggage has increased in the past 10 years from $75/crate to $200/crate per direction. Frankly, I'm not surprised. The low price was probably quite a bargain considering the extra attention a crate of rabbits requires compared to a suitcase. I have never had a rabbit die during air travel. In fact, they generally seem much better off than they do after a car ride of similar length. I have had flights delayed by weather and had to stay in a hotel room with 24 Fuzzy Lops. I have had my rabbits arrive home a day later than I did. Fuzzies and I have missed connections, traveled through snow, argued with agents about whether rabbits can stand 30 degree temperatures. Yep, my Fuzzies and I have been through a lot together!

Tomorrow morning we leave for Colorado bright and early. My plane leaves ~9:30 am but I plan to be at the airport around 6:30 am. Wish us luck......

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We are getting ready

There is a lot to do before Nationals. Muriel is sorting out the show paperwork. If you did not enter the specialty show on Sunday, but you still want to enter, there is time.
Give Muriel your entries for the Sunday specialty on Friday night. She has to have all ear tattoo changes and show entries by the time the show room closes Friday. Otherwise she will be cranky and believe me, we don't want that! At least I don't want it; I'm sharing a hotel room with her.

Also some of you entered Nationals but did not order a banquet ticket. You can also pay for your banquet ticket once you get to the show but don't forget to do it. The banquet is a wonderful time to relax, enjoy friends, and collect those awards.

So what have I been doing? Well last night I bought a new snazzy laptop computer, , but that doesn't have much to do with Nationals since I probably won't receive it before I leave. I also took photos of a few Fuzzies that I am bringing to sell. I have seen discussion on some of our lists on how to take good pictures of rabbits. It is a challenge! My first rule is, if at all possible, take photos outside. Natural lighting works the best. For these pictures, it was a bit darker than I like, but I used Photoshop to improve the lighting and color of the pictures. There is a perfect time for pictures outside, in mid-morning or mid-afternoon. You want to avoid too many shadows as well as dull lighting and colors.

Next question is how to you make the rabbits sit still. You don't! Just take lots and lots of shots until you get a good one. I wish I had the magic answer--sometimes blowing on their faces helps or picking the rabbit up and then setting it down, focus and hit the shutter release QUICK.

Broken junior buck, AK's Boomer. Nationals will be his first show, but he's ready!

How about a head shot? This is another broken junior buck, AK's Deacon

AK's Aimee knows how to show her stuff! She's a broken senior doe, who will be going home to Utah with Nate B.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Boston Terrorist

Muriel and Tom traveled south from Oregon a couple of weeks ago and joined us in California for a weekend of shows (at the Cow Palace, remember that post?). I like to think they came to see all of us who live in the Golden State, but the photo below shows true reason for their visit. They came to pick up a "sweet innocent" puppy from Allen, named Oliver (Ollie for short). Ollie is the son of Allen's Boster Terrier, Cali, and he was the hit of the show.

Apparently Ollie has made a great adjustment to his new home in Portland. Muriel reports that he came in and took over. It seems that he isn't so much a Boston Terrier as a Boston Terrorist!

Ollie says "Please let me out. I promise not to bite and pull the Basset Hounds' ears again or at least not very often."

National show update

Here are the unofficial numbers of entries for the National Show on Saturday. Total entered: 141 (open) and 40 (youth). The show may be smaller than some but quality and fun will be high. I love National shows.

SSB 20
SJB 14
SSD 20
BJB 12
BSD 26
BJD 16
Wool 25

Wool 16

Monday, April 21, 2008

Countdown to Nationals...five days to go

With only five days to go to Nationals, I've decided to let you into my brain and life, to see what I do to get ready. My goal is to post at least once every day until the show. Plus I am taking my laptop with me to Colorado so will post something Saturday night on the winners. I hope you are reading!

The show is being held in Pueblo, CO. I know little about the city so looked it up on the web (,_Colorado). It is the home of Colorado's largest single event, the state fair. I'm surprised to hear that the state fair is the largest event in Colorao, since in so many states the fair is taking a back seat to so many other things. Pueblo has a past filled with Apaches, Presidents, and steel.

What have I been doing to get ready for Nationals this past weekend? You can probably guess--grooming, making lists, and worrying. One thing that might surprise you is that I have been breeding does. For the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to get all my does bred so that I'll have juniors of ideal age for the ARBA Convention in October. Does that will be shown in Pueblo were bred this past weekend. There's still time; if you are planning to attend the ARBA Convention in Louisville go out and make some litters today.

More later--Carol

Monday, April 14, 2008

Steers, Rabbits, Cowboys--OH MY!

The past two weekends there were rabbits at a historic site in South San Francisco. The Cow Palace is well known for many events but one of the most long standing is the Grand National Rodeo and Livestock show. The first weekend of the show was devoted to the rodeo and standard livestock show. I judged the single fryers and meat pens so had a great time.
The second weekend there were two all breed rabbit shows, and now is when it gets interesting for the Fuzzy Lop folks. The big news is that out of four shows, Jennifer Henderson and her gorgeous solid senior buck, Waffles, took Best in Show for the youth two out of four times.
Congratulations to Jenny and Waffles!
I'm posing with the Reserve Champion

Winner of the Champion meat pen!

Jennifer and Waffles with their lovely new carrier.

Friday, April 11, 2008

It is time....AFLRC National Show Entries are Due

Are you planning to go to this year's AFLRC National show in Pueblo, CO on April 26? Well its time to get those entries in! Entries must be postmarked by April 12. The entry forms and details are in Fuzzy Tales (members should have just received the Spring 2008 issue) or on our club web site (link is in the sidebar). We have a great show planned, so enter now! See you in Colorado.

Below are a few photos from past National shows.

Junior Fuzzy Lop enjoying the outdoors in Troy, OH.

Are we having fun yet? Dazed and exhausted in California 2007.
Molly Covert judging in Kalamazoo, MI National show.
Judging in California in 2007.

Now start grooming and packing for 2008.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pretty bunnies

Recently there was a fun show in Stockton, CA. Fuzzies were judged three times, twice for the all breed show and once in a specialty show. Here are the winners. Hope you enjoy the very pretty Fuzzy Lops. Congratulations to the winners.
PFF/AK's Pizazz, BOSB Show B (R Stacy, judge)
Owned by Christina Gillett

PFF's Spencer, BOB Show B (R Stacy, judge)

Owned by Christina Gillett

PFF/AK's Regan, BOS in Show A (A Mesick) & BOB in specialty (C Zemny)

Owned by Adam & Carol Green

PFF Charlie Brown, BOB Show A (A Mesick) & BOS in specialty (C Zemny)
Owned by Christina GillettIts time to look at Fuzzy Lops, enough with the puppies and other distractions! Recently there were three Fuzzy Lop shows in Stockton, CA (2 all breed and 1 specialty) and a beautiful set of Fuzzy Lops took the honors. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Black and white and slobbery all over

If there is one truth about those of us who are in the rabbit hobby, it's that we love all animals. Rabbits are just one among many. We have cats, or birds, or horses, or dogs.

Muriel K is no exception. She is getting a new puppy! He's a Boston Terrier. Name is yet to be determined but Ollie and Avery are in the running.

Look at these photos and just feel the puppy kisses!