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The hounds and I went camping at a dog show this weekend.

Friday was uneventful, Sailor was a bit unsure of himself and wouldn't put his tail up in the ring so he didn't win anything.

Saturday started out well enough, the weather was pleasant and after their walks the hounds spent the morning hanging out in the ex-pens. I had a shade canopy over them, which was bungeed to the pens because there was a fairly strong breeze.

As we got close to show time, I packed four dogs into crates in the van (leaving doors and windows open), put six dogs into crates in the tent (again, left all doors and windows open) and left Lucy in the ex-pen, since she's content to stay there and doesn't try to get out. I took Sailor to ringside early to try to settle him down.

Sailor showed beautifully and won 4th in group. As we were waiting for our ribbon, the wind started to pick up and it started to rain a bit. I asked the lady with the wolfhound, who was set up next to our camp, to close up the van so the dogs wouldn't get wet.

We recieved our ribbon and were heading out of the ring when a big gust of wind blew the judge's book off the table. I ran after it, and just as I got hold of it the wind suddenly got much stronger and blew the show tent down! It also started to pour rain. We were lucky to be at the edge, so although it fell on us we were able to get out easily. A bunch of us held the edges up so the people inside could get out. Then I dashed over to the secretary's table to give her the judges book.

By this time it was hailing, and the wind was so strong that the hail was coming horizontally. I heard later on the news that what we were experiencing is called a "microburst", which is not quite a tornado. The wind comes straight down and then blasts along the ground. Wind speeds were recorded at up to 150km (apx 95 MPH).

Worried about Lucy out in the ex-pen, Sailor and I headed straight into the wind and hail towards the campsite. I saw people lying down next to cars for shelter. Just as we got to the edge of the rings I found my plastic colander, which I grabbed. About halfway to the campsite I encountered one on my big vari-kennels, which had had the door torn off from all the tumbling. I grabbed that too. Nearer to the camp I also collected a couple of our metal food bowls. I popped them into the crate.

By the time we got to the site, things had started to die down a bit. The tent was down, with a pole broken. The canopy was simply gone, and it had knocked down the ex-pens when it went. The neighbor with the wolfhounds had caught Lucy and put her in the van. The whole thing lasted less than ten minutes.

I retrieved the rest of the hounds from the tent and put them in the van, then went looking for the canopy which I found down in the ravine. It was so firmly tangled in the trees that the only way to get it out was to dismantle it. Three poles and three plastic connectors are broken. There was another canopy down there, three times the size of mine, also broken. All over the campground were broken tents, awnings and canopies. Actually, I'm surprised that any stayed up.

I thought we would have to go home, but one of my puppy people (a teenager) was doing pooper scooper duties that weekend and her mother and another lady working the show were girl scout leaders, so they offered me the loan of a scout tent and some tarps to cover the pens.

Amazingly, no one was hurt, although a lady was killed at a nearby campground when a tree fell on her trailer.
 

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:!: raaarrgh! :shock:

we get microbursts here fairly frequently, and it's my opinion they're worse than most tornados, in that they cause havoc more often than tornadoes do.

how odd you all would have one up there. ?. i always thought it took certain kind of weather to create one, esp. a collision of sorts between very hot warm air and dry cool air --- and i didn't realize you all get those kinds of conditions.

in any case, glad you all are okay.
 

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Yikes! :shock: Sorry you lost some of your show stuff, but very relieved that everyone, man and beast, is safe and sound. :D
 

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Actually, the dogs were pretty blase, except the next day (it was still pretty windy) Sailor kept looking up at the show tent and wouldn't put his tail up.

Tornadoes aren't common around here, but we do get them occasionally.
 

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That sounds awful!! :shock: We've been getting some pretty violent storms this week but nothing like that- I'm glad you and the dogs are OK-
 

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Oh,WOW!!! So glad you and your hounds are OK. We had a microburst come through Mitchell about four years ago and it did major damage to west side of town. Keep us posted on your next dog show adventure and we hope tails are up and ribbon collection grows.
Aroooos from Bogie!!
 

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Glad you are ok, and the hounds, also. I've never been to a dog show quite that exciting (and that's just fine with me).
Sharon Hall
 
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I'm glad y'all are ok! I would have been freaking out. Amazing how something like that can just come out of nowhere!!
 

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So glad nobody got hurt! And congratulations on the group 4th! Your poster finally got mailed. You should be getting it soon. See you at Nationals! Belinda.
 

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what's the big deal!!! we have this happening all the time to us at field trials!!!!!!!! :p
 
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