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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Judge's Gifts - continued

The discussion on judge's gifts has been interesting and I've had comments both here and on Facebook.

Before I continue on with this topic, I want to make it very clear that I believe gifts are optional and should only be given if heartfelt. In my opinion, no one should ever feel obligated to give a judge's gift (or any gift for that matter).

But, I have had several people inquire about judge's gift ideas and ask what some of my favorites were, so this blog is dedicated to those who are looking for ideas. However, since a well run trial is the best thing a judge can ask for, my next post will be dedicated to tidbits on making that happen.

One of the gifts I appreciate most is bottled water in my room upon check-in. I know this sounds goofy, but with security being so tight, you can't bring water, buying it at the airport is not always convenient and purchasing it at the hotel requires loads of change and it's expensive! It's always a treat to have a 'care package' with water, a few snacks, chapstick, handwarmers or cooling scarves (in extreme weather). But, mainly bottled water.
Over the last few years, gift cards or gift certificates have been hot items. The increased security and charges for checking bags have definitely moved things in that direction. I have to say, I certainly don't mind, especially since Dan and I both judge which often means we get 2 gift certificates for the same place.

Gift Certificates/Gift Cards & What We Purchased:

* Clean Run - thanks to these great gift certificates I have a portable dog crate, the latest and greatest training books and/or DVDs and waterproof gloves. The last few years I saved my certificates up and bought myself an a-frame mover. This was a splurge since I would have never bought it for myself.

* LL Bean - I've gotten this a few times over the last decade and each time I've bought myself a wonderful set of flannel sheets. Another splurge and so cozy on cold nights! Gift Cards

* VISA Gift Cards - Boy have I come to appreciate these! On a recent trip, Dan and I hit an amazing specialty store and Dan got to spend his gift on exotic cigars - a real treat for him. This past weekend, I went to Bath & Body Works and took full advantage of a buy 1 get 1 free sale and stocked up on lots of girly scents for summer. We also used VISA gift cards to jump start our front porch project, something we enjoy daily!

Some of the other gifts we've received or I've heard of are handmade items. Usually there is a club member who specializes in a particular hobby or they have a particular vendor. Items pictured:
* the handmade clock featuring a Dalmatian was my first judge's gift.
* the Dalmatian print was another great gift
* the handmade ceramic cup was actually made for me by one of my students and I just love it. You can tell it was made from the heart.
* the moose tile was a gift from Alaska, very fitting!
* the beautiful multi-colored glass bowl was actually a wedding gift. Isn't it amazing?
* Breed Specialties often give neat gifts. The Newfoundland's gave me a pewter dish, the Weims a crystal wine stopper and the Dobermans a Dobe coin.
* from the southwest a pottery item with paw prints and Dan received the Chocolate Lab tile box.

Other gifts received:
* stained glass agility picture
* agility frame
* gift certificate to one of the show vendors
* personalized coffee cup
* painted ceramic plate of our dog in the weave poles
* personal lunch cooler
* personalized soft briefcase
* personalized travel blanket
* handmade travel pillow
* club coins
* gifts for our dogs (stuffed animals, leashes, collars, etc.)

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