by Patti McDowell, originally posted to Newf-l 3/16/01, reprinted with permission
What I'm packing for the National:
• AAA card.
• Map to show.
• Map showing alternate route in case of natural disaster.
• Down coat.
• Spare down coat in case it rains and first down coat now weighs 475 pounds.
• Third down coat to rent to friends (price based on temperature, anything below 10 degrees F and we go to competitive bidding.. after all, this is LL Bean head to toe, guaranteed toasty down to 20 below zero).
Boots - mountain (they said its a hike to the rings)
• Boots (my knee high "gonna wash some dogs today" boots)
• Boots (spare knee high "gonna wash some dogs today" boots in case some unsuspecting person says "Can I give you a hand with the dogs tomorrow?"
• 2 piece Rain suit for dog washing
• 2 piece Rain suit (for same unsuspecting person as above)
• Umbrellas (minimum 3 - will leave at least 2 ringside and never see them again)
• More sweaters.
• Turtlenecks for under sweaters.
• Insulated underwear for under sweaters and turtlenecks.
• Flannel lined jeans.
• More insulated underwear.
• Socks. Can't have enough socks.
• Footwarmers and handwarmers.
• Clothes for the hotel.. the *real* clothes..you remember.. the kind people wear who AREN'T washing dogs!....to include at least one pair of comfortable shoes for dancing in the bar (There WILL be dancing this year, won't there???)
• Portable radio for dancing in my room if no dancing in bar.
• Alarm clock so you can join other lunatics at 5am to wash dogs in the dark (never trust hotel wake-up calls)
• PJ's, slipper, and warm robe (yes, I DO wander the halls and walk the dogs in my pajamas and robe)
• Flashlight for those midnight walks...
• Lawn chairs and sun block (forehead peeled for three weeks after Maryland..or was it Rhode Island...?)
• Lap blankets (you people think I'm kidding, right? Wrong.)
• Thermos and case of hot chocolate
• Carry bag for catalogs, glasses, etc. at ringside (waterproof)
• Spare camera (will lose one)
• Bottle of alcoholic beverage. This item made the list after the National in St. Louis where 5 of our 7 dogs got shooting diarrhea on day ONE, which lasted for 5 days necessitating a total of 23 baths. A bottle of Chivas might have made that bearable, or at least forgettable.
That's for me.
This year I promise to also pack for Louie. (He still reminds me of the year we went to a two day water test and I said after arriving "You didn't pack a suitcase????") Being Italian, Louie will need 60% less clothing and layers.
For dogs: (groaning as I think of it)
• Crates. One per dog for hotel room.
• Spare crates for grooming area.
• Spare crates for van.
• Plastic tarps for hotel room floor (we cover carpet almost from wall to wall)
• Crate rugs and pads, plus spares in case of excessive mud conditions or sick dog
• Cooler for bait
• Grooming tables (2)
• Circuiteer II dryer • extension cords
• Duct tape and electrical tape
• Shampoo Buckets and sponges
• Drool cloths
• Tack Box with grooming "stuff"
• Medical box
• Spare leashes (lose a few of those each trip). Some may remember me on the last day in Rhode Island walking Lexus with the belt from my pink bathrobe tied to her collar as all leashes had somehow "disappeared."
• Food, bowls, water buckets, and 10 gallons of water from home. Dozen lemons to cut and squeeze into water from hotel if we run out.. I honestly don't know if this works or not but Marg Willmott told me to always do it, so I do.
• Fan, shade cloth and reflective tarp for possible heat wave.
• Paper towels.
• Garbage bags
• Poop-pick-up bags (rule is always have one in your pocket, even if you aren't walking a dog)
• small bottle of bleach (for washing crate pans should nightmare at the Ozarks ever happen again)
Gee, I know I must have forgotten something...