The Dog Show **co-authored

18 Nov

Get ready for one of my favorite blog posts ever:

 

I wanted to take Collin on a Mystery Trip.  I love to plan them and I’d had the idea for this one back in August. Collin said yes.  We were going to go ON A MYSTERY ROADTRIP!!!

**Hey, Collin here. I’ve been told several times how much I like surprises. I’m still trying to figure that out. However I was completely willing to let Sammi book this Mystery Trip. How could I not? She’s the most well-traveled person I know and it’s good for me to get out of the house. That being said, I would have never expected what was in store for us. 

 

[On Friday, the two of us prepared by having a pre-mystery-trip photoshoot in the bathroom (naturally) with matching clothes (naturally), a hangout with Emily and Laura which included a snail-mail gift card sent to make up for slow service, and a Club Cafe show where Col needed a bouncer. **This is true. Thankfully, after about 20 minutes of verbal assault, one of the bouncers came back from his vape break and apathetically asked the gentleman and his loving wife to leave.]

 

The next day, the two of us packed up the car.  WHERE WERE WE GOING??? You might ask (and Collin did ask)… **I did ask. A lot. 

 

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Mystery Trip starter pack. 
**I mean how cute is this? Who wouldn’t want to travel with this angel

 

We left at 9:55am, at which time morale was high. But after several closed turnpikes and five hours of driving, the captain’s log read: “Delirium is setting in. Rations are low — we have consumed nothing but wasabi peas, grapes, and peanut butter whipped cream that was meant for the garbage.” 

 

**It’s hard to remember who said that. Was it me? Was it Sammi? Was it a voice in one of our heads? I do know that we were bordering full mutaney, and though I prefer not to stop often, it was necessary. We found the closest gas station, walked around for a bit, and remembered why we love each other. 

 

As we were getting close Col still wasn’t sure where we were going. Was I tricking him? 

**Sammi revealed that we were going to the National Dog Show. I didn’t believe her. I thought it was a false lead to shake me off the scent. This is a paranoia you can only get from watching too much Law and Order as a child. 

 

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THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW #WOOF 
**She was telling the truth

 

Spoiler alert:  They don’t film this ON Thanksgiving. **Thank God or we wouldn’t have gone.

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A Nederlandse Kooikerhondje – dare you to say that 5 times fast. 
**Heart. Melted

 

And even though I’d planned this trip, I was just as in awe as Collin. We wandered around to take in all the paws, tails, and ears as well as the side conversations like:

“Yeah, I got a new outfit. God forbid they actually judge the dogs.”

and

“My dog’s been getting a lot of thank yous– you know, best in group, best in breed, thank you.”

 

**The amount of drama and gossip we heard was unprecedented. Before this, I’d never seen a woman dressed like Jackie Kennedy, carrying a Dachshund, complaining about another dog’s attitude. This was an overload of stimulus. Like seeing the Vegas Strip for the first time, or Time Square. Truly awe inspiring.

 

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Who let the dogs out, amiright?
**Faces of two people happy to be out of the car

 

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First place for cuteness

 

We wandered for quite some time, not knowing exactly what was going on. After speaking with two (**extremely) unhelpful ushers, and a helpful man who worked the jumbotron, Col and I started to get the hang of things. **We were getting our paws under us, you could say.** We headed to the main event area where the judges were picking which hound dog was the best in group.

 

 

There were mounds of hounds (adorable). And Col and I were both introduced to dog breeds that we didn’t even know existed like the petit basset griffon vendéen (**imagine saying that when people asked). Then it was the working class dogs time to shine.  Go dogs, go, work the room!

 

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Line up dem pups

 

The event was fascinating, but it was crowded and they were obviously running behind schedule.  Col and I were famished so, after a little deliberation, we dipped out early to get a yummy burger and discuss what to do next. 

**At this point we felt pleased with what we saw. We had no hard intentions of returning, that night or ever again. 

 

Hours had passed.  Was the dog show still going on?  Should we jump on trampolines in a glow-in-the-dark environment (our other option)?  We had driven this far…”let’s check in at what’s going on at the dog show one more time.” Col dropped me off to peek inside and see if it was still happening.  It was after 8pm and I popped inside …and ran immediately outside with news. “BEST IN SHOW IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW!” I said exuberantly.  So many parking spots were open to us! Had people left?! We scandalously parked in the judges’ spot.

**I was thrilled just to be able to park near the front door. So I was happy to go back in. 

Col and I entered the arena and got good seats on the side we wanted when WE NOTICED THAT THE BEST IN SHOW HADN’T EVEN STARTED YET!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!

 

**The lack in communication and delay in the schedule were shocking for the prestige of this event. But it couldn’t have worked out better.  


As the realization dawned on us…the show was running 3 hours late and we were about to see the best part …we noticed that there were EVEN MORE SEATS OPEN THAN WE HAD FIRST THOUGHT!

We snuck up to the third row.  THE THIRD ROW!!!!!

 

“We are definitely going to be on TV.” Col whispered as I squeezed his hand. It was EXCITING. Honestly, this was living!  A Mystery Trip? A TV credit? Adventure? Love? Dogs? Am I the best girlfriend ever? 

 

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I’ll answer my last question with a photo.
**I’ll answer the last question with a yes. She is the best girlfriend ever.

 

The best in show event WAS THRILLING!! A week before it aired on “live” TV, Collin and I had the honor of watching Thor, the bulldog, win best in show for being the bulldoggiest bulldog out of all the other bulldogs (and other breeds).

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Celebrity sighting! Thor’s owner!
**He was not as flattered to get a picture with us as we had hoped

 

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The happiest duo watching the goodest pups.

 

The next day, we woke up still giddy.  How could we not?! And we hadn’t had enough!   We went to Day 2 of The National Dog Show. Where, ultimately, we finally left BEYOND satisfied — THRILLED with our weekend — and I still had one more thing planned … 

 

Indoor skydiving! **What a world we live in…

 

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Arms straight. Legs bent. Spit on my chin. Perfect form.
**A vision of pure beauty.

 

We got in the car for our long drive back home, grateful for a weekend away, a flexible travel schedule, something to look forward to, and forever memories. I may have even have found a new favorite dog – the Irish setter.  The Mystery Trip was an undeniable success.  

**I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you would’ve asked me before this, “Would you like to go to the National Dog Show?” I would’ve said, “Who are you?” But that’s what Sammi Travis does. She’s a creator of experiences. You don’t just go and see something with her, you live it. I have become almost unbearable now in the way I talk about dogs. I’m interested in their breed and gate and bone structure. Short of taking one of the dogs home, that is the best souvenir I could have. The memory of the National Dog Show and plans to go back. 

 

 

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Best in show
**I mean come on! Even in a red jumpsuit she looks stunning

 

Here’s to a new Thanksgiving tradition,
‘mi  **and Col

 

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