Monday, January 26, 2009

Gerbil Show?

Yes, gerbil show. This past weekend I attended the 8th Annual World of Pets Expo in Timonium, Maryland. The American Gerbil Society, of which I am a member, was one of the exhibiting groups and held a sanctioned gerbil show on Saturday. For those of you who don't know--almost all of you, I'm guessing--a gerbil show is run in similar fashion to a dog or cat show. The gerbils are divided into various categories, most of which are determined by colors/markings. They are then scrutinized by trained judges who evaluate body condition, temperament, and how well they adhere to the standards of the class. The winner of each class is a candidate for the Best in Show prize.

Judge Kelly Johnson of Wisconsin working on the "Other" class

The show tables

This was my first time attending a gerbil show, which I'm sure was more than obvious to all of the seasoned pros in attendance, but everyone was very nice and helpful. I entered the maximum number of gerbils I could because, whether your gerbil placed or not, every entrant got a very nice comment card from the judge detailing the gerbil's strengths and weaknesses. The whole experience was very educational.

Judge Judi Poirier sits by the blue-ribbon females during the long wait for the Best in Show decision

I had a lot of fun talking to the Expo attendees--answering a lot of questions about gerbils and correcting a few misconceptions, most of which began with, "Look at the rats!" The children were the most fun to talk to. I had to snap a picture of this one cutie in particular as she peeped in on the pups I had brought with me.

I was proud of my little gerbil clan. They got second and third place ribbons in the pup class (the fact that my pups made up nearly the whole group only dims my happiness slightly). My big granddaddy, Jet, took third in the senior class. His sweet wife, Wren (bred by Rebecca Ward), captured a blue ribbon in the spotted class. Their lovely daughter, Violet, took a blue ribbon in the pied class as well as winning the People's Choice award for favorite gerbil in the show.

Pretty Violet--photo by Lorien


  1. I feel an affinity for Violet. I love her name, and she is definitely pretty! :) Congrats to her and to you.

  2. Sounds like you did well. I too love that name - Violet. Congrats!

  3. Okay...seriously I so love you! I can barely get my children to their required Dr visits and YOU not only are breeding those wild beasts :) but they are now winning all kinds of prizes. You are impressive!

  4. Thanks, guys! I do love the name Violet, too, obviously.

    Chris, there's a big difference between taking your children to the doctor and sitting all day in a room full of animals waiting to see what the judges will have to say . . . never mind, there's no difference. ;-)

  5. You do have some cute little gerbils. The last time I was at your house I enjoyed watching them. I have considered getting one or two hoping it would relieve my children’s desire for a dog or cat. Turtles are just not very cuddly.

  6. What fun! I went to my first gerbil show in October in Broken Arrow and it was SO much fun. I was only able to show three gerbils (that's all I had at the time) but I also took home a couple ribbons and it sure was exciting!

    I love seeing the pictures! Thanks for sharing.

    Angela <><