Wednesday 31st August we ventured into Austria on our way to our next destination but were only in there for a short time.  This part of our trip was to visit the Fairytale Castle of King Lugwig II known as Neuschwanstein Castle.  This castle is not completed as King Ludwig died at age 40 and the building of the castle ceased when he died.  The tour comprised of only the completed sections but this was breathtaking.  The workmanship is unbelievable.  Within the castle we had plenty of exercise as there was one instance where we had to climb 163 steps to get to the next section.  This was only on the way up, we still had to get back down so you wouldnít want to venture up if you were not feeling energetic.  The smallest number of steps from one section to another was 33 but it certainly was worth it.

Thursday 1st September we traveled to Ulm (Lyn and Don being chauffeurs as usual) and then the fun began.  We went there the day before the show started to buy our tickets and catalogues and have a look around and some of the market tents were up and selling already.  Well, it was like letting a kid loose in a candy store.  I had a ball (as did all of us) buying heaps of collars and leads and fun things.  The best part about doing some shopping on the Thursday was that it was pretty quiet.  Mind you that didnít mean that this was the only day I shopped.  Towards the end I was being known as blinkers because I had to put blinkers on to stop going in to a shop.  My goodness, I had to get back home with all this stuff.  Mind you, I was not alone in the shopping department as we all had to make trips back to the hotel at some stage to drop off what we had already bought so we could go and buy some more.

The first day of the show saw the protection work done for the open classes in the main stadium while the younger classes were being judged in a different area.  There was so much going on that no-one could possibly see it all.  It was a case of having to try and work out what you wanted to watch which off course meant you missed a lot.  They never seem to bother if their dogs are pacing, it is not an issue over there.  The dogs are not penalized for it and there is no pulling the dogs up to try and get them into the gaiting mode, if they pace they are allowed to do it.

There was some absolutely magnificent animals come into the ring and fail the protection work for one reason or another.  Either they went in too early or they didnít hang on or they didnít want to let go.  This off course meant they could not participate in the rest of the show so it must have been devastating for the owners/handlers of these animals after getting them to this stage and not being able to go any further.

Even in the younger classes, the quality was unbelievable.  In saying that, some of our animals over here are nicer than some of their animals so even the home land of the German Shepherd has some mediocre dogs. 

meeting one of the locals (Atlas von Wizards Hof V1)


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