Yay Panda! It wouldn't be the Hav puppy class without at least a little naughtiness
Glad to see she is enjoying herself!
Was this just a one off ringside pick up situation, or will he be at every show with her? (I know almost nothing about using a handler...clueless owner-handler here :P)
No, we went down to meet him and see his (home) kennel a few weeks ago. He also has a Winnebago all set up for traveling with the show dogs. The couch has been removed, and there are banks of crates in place of the couch. Everything was nice and neat, and smelled clean, both in the kennel and the Winnebago. The dogs that were staying with him were quiet and peaceful when we looked in through the window of the kennel, each in their own run, with nice beds, toys and water readily available. He also has several outdoor "paddocks" where the dogs take turns running around and playing. He did admit that if we went in, they'd all start barking, but since that happens at my house too, I know that's perfectly normal when a stranger walks in!
Some dogs stay with him for the whole show season, and go to a different show every weekend. That's actually not uncommon. But that's not what I wanted for Panda. She needs to learn the ropes in the show ring, and a professional will be able to teach her that MUCH better than I can. I have GREAT trainers around here for sports, but not really for conformation showing. And the problem with the drop-in handling classes available is that there are often very large dogs. The Havanese start at the end of the line when they are gaiting around the ring, but the big dogs have such a much longer stride that they quickly catch up, and then you have a big dog on your tail. I don't want her to get scared by that. Havanese are Toy Group dogs, so unless she ended up in the position of going in for Best of Show, she would never be in the ring with large dogs. I would like to "finish" her (get her championship, which I know you know, but for other people reading...) but it's unlikely that she will keep showing in conformation beyond that. I just have other plans for her!
Geoff worked with her a TINY bit when we visited him at his kennel, then I dropped her off to him at the show when I was there trailing Kodi. So they only had 24 hours together before he showed her the next day. I have to be away for a week later in July, so I'm hoping he can take her that week, then show her the following weekend.
After that, unless we decided that there's a show that's good for her that I can't attend, I will probably just meet him at the show and have him handle her there. I'm really happy that he's willing to be so flexible with us!