Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michele Montana had never been to the annual Australian Shepherd National Dog Show (aka Nationals). She had no idea what to expect. But when Montana, along with friends and obedience instructors, packed up a rented 31-foot motor home with more dog food, clothing, exercise pens, dog crates, grooming tables, dog treats, toys than she thought could possibly fit, Montana began to get an idea of what she might be in for and what it took to get three women and six dogs to Texas and provide for them for two weeks.
Two weeks and more than a dozen times in the show ring later they all returned to Phoenix, tired but with bunches of ribbons and awards. Montana's Aussies, Phoebe and Amy, qualified in all but one of the events they were entered in.
"The show site was so chaotic and noisy. In Arizona we're used to showing outdoors in a park," Montana said. "In Texas we were in a huge fairgrounds building with lots of congestion, noise and echoes. We worked hard but had a wonderful time."
When asked if she would do it again, Montana responded: "I don't know if I'd go to Texas again, it's so far, but if it's closer, I'm definitely going."
Jean Burton is co-owner of Desert Dog Obedience in Ahwatukee Foothills.