Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dog Show Weekend!

This weekend was regional specialities and supported entries at the Ocala dog show grounds for the Belgian Shepherds. Thanks to my wonderful friends Stacy, Shanna and John; I was able to attend both days this week-end. My first dog show week-end out since the accident. Hurrah!

The person setting in the walker with the pro-camera? Well, that's me. I've been putting together the puzzle pieces to get back into showing and photographing dogs with my changed circumstances. This week-end, I did a dry run test of the photography portion.

Here is a close up of my working rig. The walker is an Etac Avant. the bag hanging from the front of the walker is a Skip Hop Duo Double Diaper Bag. In the cane holder of the walker is a camera monopod.

There is nothing particularly innovative about my rig. Rather, I knew what I wanted to be able to do and knew that the walker I was sent home with wouldn't work. I proceeded to set about finding solutions that would work for me; to give me the flexibility and freedom to achieve my goals. Search Engines and the Internet were my advisers and friends!

I can barely walk with a walker, so I need a walker that provides me good, stable support; the walker needs to frame me. Further, my walker and I; along with one of my dogs, need to be able to travel about outdoors, and over rough terrain. Eventually, my walker, my dog, and my camera equipment will find a way to make it back to the dog show/trial circuit.

As I started looking for a walker; my initial set of requirements were: rugged, stable, big wheels, no cable brakes and the ability to turn on a dime for competition dog obedience. My search led me to the Etac Avant, and I couldn't be happier. By the way, I purchased my Etac walker from, and can highly recommend the service and pricing.

Next, I needed a way to carry around my dog gear and my professional camera equipment. Currently, backpacks are not an option due to my shoulder and collar bone injuries; I'm leery of waist belts or fanny packs due to my inherent instability and I don't yet have the strength and endurance to pull something behind me. That sort of left a walker bag, but all of the walker bags I had seen in medical supply catalogs were just too small.

Back to my friends the Internet and Search Engines. I discovered that baby stroller and bicycle accessories make fine and dandy walker and wheelchair accessories and usually cost less than medical supplies. I hunted around on the net for awhile, then telephoned Skip Hop and spoke with a representative. I ordered my Skip Hop Duo Double in a color scheme to match my walker, and can honestly say that it is working out wonderful. Even for day to day use, the bag is more useful than the wire basket which came standard with the walker.

Yes, things are looking up. Over the next week I'll go through the photos I took of the dogs in the ring, and work on my prep work and training for showing in AKC Obedience and Rally in Spring.

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
Dr. Seuss; Oh the Places You'll Go!

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