The countdown has begun. There’s less than a week to go before the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America National Specialty in Frankenmuth, Mich.
But the packing has been ongoing for weeks.
It’s a skill I perfected traveling the world alone as a USA TODAY staff photographer.
Now I travel with Bernese Mountain Dogs (Teddy, 3 1/2 years old, and Ziva, 6 months), instead of cases of photo gear.
A list-maker to top all list-makers
I’m a serial list maker, especially when packing. I have so many lists. I have lists of my lists.
But it appears I’ve been outdone in the list-making department.
Maria Crifasi, who is getting ready to leave for her 12th National Specialty, has the best packing list of all – and it’s hysterical.
Maria, a Berner owner since 1999, has graciously allowed me to share her list with you.
So I’ve ditched my list for hers. Enjoy!
Maria Crifasi’s Packing List
for the BMDCA National
- your dog/s
- crate dolly
- crate fan
- cool pad for crate
- cool coat for dog (hot weather)
- regular crate pad
- x-pen with ground cover
- reflective blanket & clips
- dog toys
- bitch pants for the girls in season
- rolls of paper towels
- vanilla extract (for nose of sex-crazed male dogs)
- frozen water – provides air-conditioning and cool water to drink – from home in case Berner may be sensitive to different water
- cooler with ice and drinks/food for you (fruit, crackers, snacks, drinks)
- bowls for food and water
- ample dog food, supplements, medication PLUS a few days extra
- can opener and spoon for canned dog food
- MORE WINE
- first aid kit (for dog and for human)
- tissues for human
- lint brush
- extra collar and leash
- show collar and leash – obedience collar
- auto harness
- license tag, ID, health certificates, proof of vaccinations (one vet insists on not only tags but receipts), microchip number.
- treats & special bait for the ring
- the Premium List and your tickets!
- road maps
- camera – charger! computer + charger, Ipad + charger (you get the idea).
- grooming supplies: comb, brush, nail clippers, shampoo, towels, scissors, cut stop, mist bottle, dryer, grooming table, ear cleaner, cotton balls, Q-tips, eye drops, dental supplies, no-rinse shampoo (for muddy feet)
- carpet/upholstery cleaner
- recent photograph and a written description including name, breed, height, weight, coloring, distinctive markings, your vet’s phone number for emergency contact, microchip number; tattoo number. This info will make an instant flyer
- folding chair or seat cushion if there are bleachers
- sheet or blanket for hotel bed so that your Berner doesn’t get the bedspread dirty
- sunscreen and sun hat for human. Optional for Berner + other fun dog wear
- clothes lint brush
- umbrella? raincoat? boots? gloves? CHECK WEATHER!
- Breath mints to camouflage flood of terror-induced adrenalin in show ring
- poop bags (easier than trying to find the public shovel) & flashlight for night
- hand wipes (in case you bought cheap poop bags)
- LOTS of money for the vendors
- cell phone so you can tell your friends about your wins and phone CHARGER
And last but not least: A corkscrew AND WINE glass charms!