Last Thursday, after chores, Chris kindly drove me to the airport so I could fly to Georgia for the Atlanta Pet Fair. I've been attending the fair as a speaker for something like 12 years, and as a vendor for 8. It is fun to fly south this time of year. Even if the weather is not stunning, I am sure to see a few flowering trees, and pansies are planted in vast beds everywhere, their bright faces promising that warm weather will be coming soon.
I always see lots of people I know, many who have become friends over the years. The energy and excitement is contagious, and many groomers refer to this show as "spring break."
This year I agreed to give three brand new lectures. I spend hours preparing new classes, and this year was no different. They all went well, especially the one I was most worried about, "Stupid Daryl Stories." I told tales of goof ups, mistakes and general hilarity of the sort that comes from a lifetime of working with unpredictable animals and the humans on the other end of the leash. I was worried that maybe, perhaps, no one would laugh. My worries were unfounded. The audience roared a few times. It was all very gratifying.
I worked each day at the German Red Clipper booth with Erich, my friend from Germany. He is such pleasant company. Sam and Cynthia Kohl (grooming industry icons) were at the next booth, so we had some pleasant time to visit and chat. Here is a picture of Sam, me and Erich, with Templeton the delightful mini Poodle.
Traveling from here is a bit tiring... there is all the preparation for a normal trip, plus planning animal care and making sure there is enough feed and hay and shavings and all to last while I am gone. It is a two hour drive to and from the airport, and getting a non stop ticket anywhere from Portland, ME is a neat trick. So I find that today I am not much use at all. I've been sitting like a lump, and enjoying it.
As my parents used to say, "Good to go away, better to come home again." The dogs snuggled up to me seem to agree.