After I do a final health check I put all the ratties into their travel cages (with a bit of apple for moisture), wake up the kids, eat breakfast, load up the final things and we are OFF! The drive takes an hour, we go to the wrong building oops! a rummage sale - no time to find rattie treasures, but I sure was tempted. Finally find location through the maze of buildings and roads on the fairgrounds. The girls were all ready to unload the car but WAIT we have to pass health check first.
- HEALTH CHECK - This isn't as scary as it actually felt for us during the weeks prior to show. We know we don't have bugs (good ol' Revolution) We also used a stethoscope on each rattie right before putting them into their travel cages to make sure no funny sounds. Not so much worried about us bringing a virus to show, more concerned that any could have a mycoflare-up which would lower their immunity. We have some wonderful rescue boys but they seem to always be 'snoggie' in the nose, so we didn't bring them to show even though my daughter wanted to enter them so bad. We were 3rd there to go through the health check, so we only had to wait about 20 minutes. They first moved the ratties' hair looking for scabs or other obvious signs of bugs. They then looked at eyes and ears feeling over the whole body of the rat. Last they held them up to their ear to listen for obvious sounds of chest congestion. It was nice to hear how soft all of our ratties' coats were. We received the "All Clear", time to unload the car.
- TABLE SET UP - This is why I was so glad we set everything up at home to make sure it all fit. We had a great location next to the speakers so we didn't have to leave the table to listen. Here is a link to our table picture. Yes a FULL table with lots of information, we wanted to not only entertain / educate the spectators but also sell a few toys and hammocks.
- KITTENS FIRST - Kittens? Wait, I thought we were at a rat show?? I know the babies are called kittens but we still love calling them our lil pips (queaks). We were told that when judging begins the babies needed to be on the judging tables. There were two tables one for solids and one for marked. The doors are about to open to the public. We put OCRA Llyra and OCRA Freya's Monet on the solids table and OCRA Falcon on the marked. Oh the wait was killing us. It was hard not to watch the judges at first open our containers. Soon we were so busy with people visiting our table we didn't have a chance to watch and worry. Over the intercom we soon hear that OCRA Llyra of Our Crazy Rat Adventure received "Best of Show" honors for kittens' class. Not knowing what that actually meant, it was not until another breeder came up and congratulated us, did we realize that our sweet, petite dilute did very well for our first show. Her sister OCRA Freya's Monet, actually did really well and would have tied with her sister if not for four white feet on our precious agouti. OCRA Falcon lost a few points for his markings and silvering but received comments on his score card the he had a "Beautiful Body Shape".
- SPEAKERS - Love that the show had speakers. The first was one was, Vet Talk with Dr. Melinda Surrency: 7 Common Misconceptions About Owning Rats. Fantastic speaker. The other speaker, later that day was a fellow RatsPacNW Breeder Lynn Rosskamp: Everything you never knew you wanted to know about rat genetics explained with cartoons. Great talk which even my children understood and enjoyed.
- DUMBOS - We entered the rest of our ratties in Dumbos. We put OCRA Beast on the solids table & Joey of OCRA, OCRA Aurora, OCRA CRUS Artemis & CRUS Celtic Rose on the marked table. We entered all these specific ones to see how they would do and to learn a few things about their their bodies for future breeding. We soon heard the announcement that OCRA Beast of Our Crazy Rat Adventure won "Best of Variety" for the Dumbos. He lost a point for a tail too short (this is from a terrible accident this summer involving our DCN door and his tip) and a point for his 1 pointy ear. It was so awesome to know that we picked a good sire for our Fall 2015 Marvel Litter. We also heard an announcement that CRUS Celtic Rose (the dam from our Fall 2015 Marvel Litter) won "Best in Section" for low white markings. She was docked for things like, pot belly (never got her girlish figure back from her litter 9 weeks ago), she also lost points for her large size and a 'scaly tail'. Scaly tail....WHAT IS THAT? I am so glad we are members of an awesome groups on fb so I could ask what that was. Apparently, tooth scrubbing isn't enough when you have a rattie with a pink tail. If you look closely, you will see bits of yellow fish like scales. We actually need to pick these off. Ewwww, I had no idea and now really want to only show ratties with black tails. Of course that won't happen because I love our pinkies, they will just a bit more TLC. Another thing we were docked off was for nails not being trimmed on several ratties. Do you remember in (Part 1) we spend a while doing this. Well, it was not enough. I now know that they need their nails trimmed a couple times prior to show to get the quick further back so they are even shorter.
- PET CONTEST - in (Part 3)