European Adventure
Piika and Miki on European Adventure

Standing in the ring like as thunderstruck.
The judge is shaking hands with Pasi for Miki's BOB title,
but I don't get it. Are we number two?
Does this mean my little bitch is the best bitch,
or am I totally misled...
At last the prize in my hand it strikes to me - this is it,
a dog-show abroad!

In January I was thinking aloud to Orvokki the breeder:
-Why don't you ever go abroad to dog-shows.
So we could come along and see the fuzz,
what's it like abroad.
She told- The owner of Miki has had the same plans.

The very first plans were to go to Denmark in the summer.
But Easter would be nice time to travel somewhere.
While there are three shows near each other in the Riviera
during the Easter, why not going there.
Monaco, Nice/France, San Remo/Italy that's something.
the flight cancelled
no dog-place for flights
no registering papers in time
and leaving Finland...
because of many troubles we missed the flight
But... with help of many friends and strangers
we left for France one day later.

Arrival at 00.00 midnight, the customs officer asked
"Cest Pit-Bull terrier?"
It's not allowed to bring them to France.
The men only laughed to our answer- Australian terriers.
Must be joking.
At last at 02.00 I found a bed- z-z-z-sleep.


Thursday morning 06.00 we shut the alarm and slept on.
No hurry to San Remo and Italy.
Four hours later, sun was shining and we headed towards
the park with dogs. At the gate sign forbid dogs,
but no-one seemed to take any notice.
In France, the rules aren't laws, but merely "a suggestion".
Breakfast near the beach, Promenade des Anglais,
costs 110 fr! But I still remember those huge filled sandwiches.
We bought tickets to Monaco.
In every street-corner, there are dogs. Mainly looking like Yorkies.


On Good Friday we went to railway station,
only to hear: you're tickets were valid only yesterday.
Let's buy new ones.

In Monaco we were wandering around and being just tourists.
The country itself was the right size for walking with dogs.
Narrow streets near the Palace of Prince Rainier were worth seeing.
Little shops, restaurants and people.

One lady rushes out of her shop and shows us a well.
With gestures she tells: water is drinkable, give it to dogs.
How kind of her!


We find the "tent" where the show will take place tomorrow.
Really, a tent is underestimation.
It's used for circus, horse events etc. When returning to
the train we ran into some Swedish and other Finnish terrier-people.
They told us about the show in Italy.
Finnish Aussie has been number 3 in groups.
All the evening washing the dogs and trying to have everything
in trim for tomorrow. In the end,
a glimpse to a mirror, scream-How do I look like!
Then some trimming for the owner, too.


Saturday wake-up early At 7 we are already waiting for the train to
Monaco. Really in good time in Monaco, finding place for boxes and
necessary chairs near the ring. Around us the air is filled with
hair-fixing sprays.
I can't breath-Fresh air !
The judge and secretary start at 9.00 and late in the afternoon
it's our turn. And after us, there are coming 26 dogs more
to the same judge! Will they be ready before group ring?

Anyway it was nice to make friends with other terrier-people
from Sweden with Bedligton terriers,
Norway with Wheaten terriers,
a family from Italy with Fox terrier and a judge from Australia.
When I showed Piika, there was also one Aussie
with winner of the junior handler contest.
The judge writes her judgement.
(Yes, she did write it herself!)
The secretary brings them to handlers, except us.
We stay waiting for the best male dog and in the end
there are Avocation Skywalker(Miki) and Avocation Lucille Ball (Piika).
Miki gets cacib and the BOB title. Piika gets cacib
and cacs of Monaco and is the best bitch.
UNBELIEVABLE what a start!
Must call Orvokki in Finland. She asks misbelieving
-What did you say???
In groups they place only one dog, a Yorkshire terrier.

Sunday morning someone from our hotel advices
-just let your dogs go to the lawn.
You mean were-where the no dogs-sign is? Yes-yes-right there! France!
In the restaurant we get lemonade and dogs their own bowl of
water under the table. Lazy, sunny day.


Monday morning early wake-up again. Being early was wise.
We had no trouble to get help with missing papers,
but at 9.00 there was a crowd. No chance of taking dogs out,
just "Bibi-boxes" =dog toilets. Which they refused to use
and many owners didn't mind to use. Long rows of cages for dogs,
but safer to stay with "mummy". Imagine all that barking!
The judge was thorough and worked with no hurry,
but he was also kind to dogs. The day ended with
Miki being once more BOB dog and a huge trophy.
Terrier group winner is Russian Black terrier.
In Finland not at all in terrier group.
Good to have a big box- there is space for all the prices!


On Tuesday morning we sit on the suitcases
trying to shut them up. Bye-bye France and Nice.
We'll meet again!
In the airport by-passing policeman asks: Pit-Bull?

What did we get? Memories for home, new friends, experiences...
Friend's advice: believe in yourself. You were right.
All that was missing were pink sneakers.
That's how BIS is earned!
Thank you Orvokki for all your help and advice and for this lovely
girl-Piika, with whom I lived this through. Thanks for your company
Pasi and Miki and thanks to all friends and strangers
who helped with our journey.


Anne Paivarinta and Avocation Lucille Ball "Piika"
And along was travelling: Pasi Roytta and Avocation Skywalker "Miki"