Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Tip your steward, we'll be here all weekend

Random thoughts from a day spent stewarding Utility - noticing the good, the bad and the adorable article bags.

What’s the first jump height? 24? Got it. The jumps are set. No. Wait. Someone moved? Now it’s 18? Okay, on it. No. Wait. Someone else moved? We’re back to 24? Fine.

This is a super cute article bag.

I do not need another article bag.

I can’t find the gloves. Oh. They’re hidden away in a top secret pocket.

Next jump height is 18, right? No? Still 24? What happened to the 18 who moved up? Oh. She moved down. 

The ring sheet is starting to look like a road map with lots of squiggly arrows. There are only 15 dogs in the class and it seems like every one of them has a conflict.

This bar jump is a pain in the butt to set.

Hey, another cool article bag. Wonder where she got it?

What is wrong with this bar jump? Seriously, did someone throw it off a truck?

Neat gloves. They’ve have sparkly cuffs and embroidery. Maybe Banner needs bling-y gloves. Phoenix could never have anything this nice. They would have gotten shredded.

Whoa. These are teeny tiny little gloves.

Gloves, gloves, gloves, gloves. My life is gloves.

Give me a hammer and stand back. I'm going to fix this jump for once and for all.

Seriously whoa. These gloves need washed. Like last year. Are they supposed to be stiff?

Other end of the spectrum: some exhibitors are a little OCD about their articles and gloves. I think if they could bring them to the ring in a hermetically sealed bag, they would.

We’ve gone from 24 inches to 20 inches back to 24 inches down to 16 inches and back up to 18 inches. Yeah, how's that jump height order working out?

How many dogs do we have left?

Shouldn’t have asked.

Thank you, Miss PITA Exhibitor, for the condescending lecture on how to take articles out of a bag with tongs. Wow, you sure know how to make a steward feel appreciated.

I probably should have apologized for that WTF look. I didn't.

Another super cute bag made with adorable fabric. Article bags are an art form these days.

Waiting for a dog and handler to set up so I can drop the first glove. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. This is Utility. Why is walking into the ring and setting up so hard? I really want to know - I'm not any better at it.

Some gloves fall with a solid clunk.

Others float to the ground like leaves.

I’m standing here, being the invisible steward after dropping the gloves and it’s been at least a minute since I heard the handler say, “Take it.” Now the exhibitor is laughing. The judge is laughing. The dog is laughing. And the gloves are not at all where I put them.

Gah! Another set of crusty gloves. They have chunks of mud on them! 

OMG, am I becoming one of those OCD handlers who wants everything perfectly clean? Pretty soon I'll be lecturing stewards on how to take articles out of my bag.

No. No, I won't.

This bar jump is a complete pain in the ass. I don’t think this superintendent has bought new obedience jumps since 1978.

Holy cow. These gloves look like welder’s mitts. At least they’re clean.

“Are you ready?” is not supposed to be a rhetorical question.

Oh look! A vintage wooden article box, the kind with the sliding pegboard closure and dumbbell handle on top. You don’t see those any more.

This bag has all kinds of pockets and pouches. I feel like I’m searching someone’s purse to find the gloves.

Put the gloves out. Pick the gloves up. Reset the jump. Put the gloves out. Pick up the gloves up. Reset the jump. Wonder how many steps I’m getting in today?

Sometimes the judge says, “Exercise finished” with more enthusiasm than others.

Always good when exhibitors smile and thank us when they leave the ring. It's a warm fuzzy feeling that's even better than the free lunch.

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