Level Two. Best in Show.

Level Two. Best in Show.

By Michelle Lloyd.

Lana, was a lovely dog and she had been claimed to be the loveliest dog EVER. It was accepted but not believed, that everybody entering the best pet competition, thought that their animal companion was the loveliest and New One was not averse to secretly having his own idea on this particular subject.

Arriving at the competition arena had been…well, overwhelming. This was the second attempt at doing a show like this and once again, everywhere there had been displays of animal awesomeness, dogs in their doggy finery beaming out at the judges, cats causing some confusion as they sort of lined up along the perimeter of the cat’s cradle acrobatics and then there were the racing rabbits who were all looking as eager…as well as racing rabbits could be, fluffed, puffed and focused on the prize.

Last time New One took one look at the competition and decided to pull Lana out in the other direction. He had been super confident a few minutes ago back in the car but having got into the actual arena and his legs had turned to jelly. Poor Lana did not know if she was coming or going, she was in one door and out the other.

Trying to get back into the car, New One decided to put his humiliation aside and face the shame of it. His dad managed to catch up to him just as his mum who had been unpacking Lana’s accessories, of which she seemed to have several hundred, out of the boot.

New One’s dad asked him what was going on and Lana too had a half bemused and half quizzical expression in situ. It was all getting a bit much for poor New One, who was torn between trying to explain and not wanting to say a word. In the end, he plumped for saying a quick sorry to Lana and getting into the car himself.

The quiet in the inside of the car appeared to placate New One. He took a few deep breaths and having closed his eyes, opened them slowly to see what he knew awaited him… three faces staring in at him from the outside.

Gulp. Time for talking and that time was now. Having gotten the back door open and with doggy accessories falling all over the place, mum, dad and Lana, all piled in next to New One. It certainly made for cosy conversation, and the three of them talked about what had made New One run for the hills or at least the comfort of their car.

New One confessed that having seen the numerous and slightly threatening competition, he had decided not to put Lana through it. She was his winner and he did not want to have to relinquish this title to anybody else. Competitions could certainly be daunting and New One was told in no uncertain terms that his parents understood this, backed up by a few rather challenging childhood memories to attest to that very fact, stage fright and last minute nerves were no mean feat to overcome! However even in taking part, New One’s parents explained, that a lot could be achieved. It was best to go straight in and not worry about what anybody else was doing. They agreed that Lana deserved an opportunity to enter the competition and at that, her press of a paw on her squeaky toy marked her approval.

Having decided to go back in for the competition, this time the family took a different approach. New One let Lana take the lead and her sense of fun for the occasion infected them all. They went in for the category Lana had been entered for and gave it the best that they could but they laughed and smiled and barked as they did, and when it came to the judging, third place was not half bad at all and especially not when there had been such tough competition.

As the family was loading ALL of Lana’s many accessories back into the car, along with her addition of a third prize trophy, everybody felt that nobody had enjoyed the day more than the winner herself.

It had been an important lesson to take to heart, one which stood him in good stead for this encounter with the animal focused competition. New One proudly stood and with Lana at his side, they collected the first place prize of pet vouchers and treats. They had learnt that having fun was the best part of collating in such a widely entered environment. The memories and hilarity of many experiences at the events that day were firmly ensconced in their minds and hearts. Lana nearly tripping up on her own tail had been a near miss for one of the shows they had competed in but finally they stood together, with happiness and pride visible in their faces and the first place prizes. It was the bonus that taught persistence and awareness of a journey, no matter how intimidating, could bestow a reward greater than either of them had ever known possible.