‘Tis the season for national-level shows and I thought it would be nice to put together a list of items needed to be fully prepared when you travel to that rabbit show of your dreams!
1. Complete Extra Set of Clothes. At no point should you assume that your normally sweet and docile rabbit actually wants the day to go well. In fact, that charming dear you’ve been feeding Black Oil Sunflower Seeds to and brushing on a regular basis is actually planning your humiliation. At the first opportunity it will pee all over you. No warning, no apology. Just pee. Everywhere. The prepared show goer will expect this evil trick and pack an extra set of clothes… just in case.
2. Bucket of Cold Water. While this is a useful tool for keeping your lagomorphs hydrated, the true usefulness of the bucket of ice water comes when your rabbit gets the scent and wants to make some whoopie on the show table. Or that tarp you toted into the showroom so your carriers can’t scrape the finish off the floor. Yes, shows are an exciting time. And no one is more excited than the Flemish Giant buck who just caught sight of that Lionheaded beauty. If you have a desire to stop the shenanigans of horny rabbits, nothing will be more handy than a bucket of cold water.
3. Rabbit-adorned Attire, Head Gear, and Hand Bags. Nothing speaks obsession louder than a lady wearing bunny ears bedazzled with blinking LED lights toting a bag emblazoned with Netherland Dwarfs. Granted, all of us at the show are obsessed with rabbits – but only a select few can take that fascination and enjoy it to the hilt… and those people literally wear rabbits. Silk screen, tapestry, you name it. If it has a rabbit on it, it belongs at the show!
4. Handlers. Only a few can con enough people into traveling to a show with them to justify a job opening for a “handler.” But if you can swing it, do it! A handler offers you someone to wipe down bunny paws and another set of ears for when you’re standing at the Champagne d’Argent table and the call goes out for Britanna Petites! Plus, clapping your hands and yelling, “Handler!” gives a certain Hollywood-esque glamour to the whole rabbit show process… which is especially important if you happen to be covered in urine. (See suggestion #1)
Perhaps I should take my tongue out of my cheek and mention a few things that are actually useful if you’re attending your first show.
1. A Chair. I was surprised by the amount of down time at a triple show. Having a camp chair was a wonderful help when it came to taking a breather.
2. Cash. Bring some cash with you to enjoy the concession stand, enter the rabbit raffle, or find a bun you just have to bring home with you! Cash is a wonderful tool and the currency of choice at the show.
3. Hearing Aids. There’s no doubt everyone takes care of one another and the person with the megaphone tries their best to be heard… but man, oh man! It’s hard to hear when it’s your turn to show! Being prepared to be an attentive listener is very important.
4. Great Attitude. When we went to our first show I was NOT expecting to enjoy the process. I felt more like a person preparing for a day of people-watching at a mall. Little did I know I would find it a fantastic experience! I love the cross section of type of people at shows, and the animals are incredibly beautiful! Attending the show with the expectation of learning what a judge things and values, plus the time to enjoy meeting new friends… that’s the fun of the show. (And it’s pretty cool when your rabbit is recognized for being awesome, I’m not going to lie!)