My 5th year attending the annual NRA Convention with Cabela’s and it was another wonderful success. I had been on the road for over a week attending a retriever symposium in Tennessee (see article next month) and then 3 awesome days of training with another professional dog training kennel. I arrived on the outskirts of Atlanta on Wednesday April 26th. I had 5 dogs on the road with me and we checked into a very nice Townhouse Suite by Marriot that Cabela’s had found for us. Dog friendly of course! On Thursday I drove into the hustling city of Atlanta to meet up with my husband Jason and two dear friends who all flew in to assist me. We met up and got our bearings to find our parking area, where we needed to be, and then located the Cabela’s booth. With over 15 acres of guns and gear in the Georgia World Congress Center and 80,000 people attending, it was best to get our ‘ducks in a row’ before the even started!
I managed to pull off another parking story miracle. For those of you who really know me, I WILL NOT just park my dog truck anywhere. My beloved canine cargo must be safe! Cabela’s had me in a vendor lot, in the sun and over a half mile away from my booth. Wasn’t gonna work! I went straight to the parking guru, explained my story, my cargo, and how every year the NRA takes care of me and my dogs by giving us preferred parking with the police units. In Indianapolis I had guards at my truck in VIP parking, in Nashville there was an officer stationed just to watch my truck as well as keep it in a parking bay abutting the convention, shaded and safe. In Louisville during the election year I was parked with the mounted police, SWAT and all the military units. This year topped them all off! The parking leader guru offered me my own huge building to park in. YAY! The next morning when we showed up, turns out it was not my building, it was the hub for ALL of the police and military since President Trump was speaking that day. Honestly, in ‘my’ private parking garage there must have been over 200 police cars, tanks, armored cars, trucks and under cover vehicles. SO, another year, my furry kids and my truck and gear were pretty safe. The police were awesome to us!
This year Cabela’s brought a sound system for me right in the retail booth. I spent several hours over the 3 day convention doing demos with the 5 dogs that I brought. This year 8 year old Lab Treat and nearly 11 year old GSP Elsie showed off their skills for the 4th time at the event. They were crowd pleasers and gave great teaching opportunities. Elsie’s 2 pups, both a year and a half year old now also put on a fun show. This was Doozy’s 2nd NRA show and Timber’s first. These pups love the crowds and were quite the little clowns. The odd man out was a 2 year old standard poodle named George that I picked up unexpectedly in Tennessee to bring back to CT for training. George’s fun loving personality rocked it when I used him for the classroom demonstrations and teachings. He loved all of the attention.
Overall, the Atlanta NRA Convention was another fantastic event. Thanks to Cabela’s for the VIP 5th row Hank Williams Jr concert tickets! We all worked hard lugging gear and shuttling dogs over the 3 day convention but the Cabela’s booth always attracts some of the biggest crowds when I start to show of the dog work. The crowds are so into watching the dogs perform and people are amazed with my teachings and training advice during these constant impromptu shows. Thank you to Cabela’s and NRA for being such loyal supporters of me and Quinebaug Kennels! See you next year in Dallas, TX!