The lights were on and there was excitement in the air. You could see everything in its place. The crowd of people in the stands were talking back and forth about their favorite. Some were happy and some were not. It was the 49th annual dog show of that state.
In the back, owners, trainers, vets and groomers were fussing around like bees in a honeycomb. This was the final night and everything had to be just right. Everything has to be just right for Jamie Bridges, a bright and beautiful co-owner/handler of
Queen Mist, a beautiful Pekeingese that had been on the show ring, she has about stolen every show and has been in many competitions.
Jamie Bridges shows Queen Mist and she has been happily doing it for about 5 years now. Something is changing that even a canine companion can tell. Jamie is 17 and to be 17 in 1965 is a hard thing. Jamie is brushing Queen Mist when her family comes up. Her mother, Donna Bridges, is in a fashionable white dress of those times. Her dad, Frank Bridges, is in a straight suit and tie and her little sister, June Bridges is in a cute dress that her mom picked out. Mom has a camera hanging around her neck and takes a picture of Jamie grooming her dog and it doesn't make Jamie happy.
Donna brings up the camera and freezes the moment of Jamie fluffing her dog's hair and Jamie says, "Mom!" Her mother puts the camera down and asks, "What? I just wanted to get a picture of you and Queen to finish this roll."
Jamie feels like throwing the brush down, but she feels eyes on her. The next handler over is looking at her with pricks of ice in her eyes. Jamie knows then not to throw that brush, so she just eases it down. She turns around and with ice in her voice, states, "I don't like pictures of myself without me knowing."
Her mother gently walks up and tries to touch her daughter on the arm. In a mother's soft voice she questions, "Jamie? Is something wrong? Lately something....."
Jamie tears her arm away and she just says in a gruff voice, "Nothing is wrong, I just don't like having my picture taken." She turns back to Queen Mist to get a hair out of the little dog's eyes, then turns around and shouts out, "Why am I the only one grooming this dog?!"
Jamie sees her neighbor's again out of the corner of her eye. She knows she made a mistake, but she just goes on. Donna says, "Honey, you always insisted on doing it yourself since the start." Jamie turns and grabs Queen Mist's leash and says, "Well, things need to change...." She takes a few more steps before whisking around to say, "More things need to change"
Donna and Frank look at each other. Donna asks, "Like what?"
Jamie considers her words, then says, "I'm tired of going out there and doing this."
Donna asks, "What?"
Jamie looks around the room and says, "This going....on out there and....winning"
Donna softly whispers, "Honey...."
Jamie just waves her away and says, "Never mind...it's just all so....artificial."
This time Frank tries to console her, "Honey...."
Jamie just turns to leave to go into the show ring and leaves her confused mother, father and baby sister.