10 people you’ll meet at a rabbit show

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Exhibitors wait for Dwarf Hotot judging to start in October 2013, during the 90th ARBA Convention.

More than 23,000 people throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad are registered members of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. The hobby is gaining popularity fast, especially as domestic rabbits become more common not only as livestock, but also as household pets. And yet, if you pull someone off the street and ask them about showing rabbits, they’ll probably look at you like you have a third eye. Or, you know, a barn full of rabbits. It tends to be the same look.

To the general public, this hobby is a little obscure … and it attracts a wide variety of people, all of which you’ll find in the showroom.

1. The Survivalist
This person comes to a one-day single show ready for the end times. They roll in four coolers of energy drinks, set up a table of warm dishes, surround the area with 12 chairs, and then start plugging computers, cameras, phones, and Gameboys (only rabbit people still have these) into the surrounding outlets. Their kids have backpacks with six changes of clothes and a rolled blanket strapped to the back. Just forget about setting up your own belongings anywhere near this area.

2. Not-So-Fasionably Late
Day of show entries were due by 8 a.m. This person tumbles in the door, pajama pants on and hair askew at 8:30 a.m., with four carts of ten carriers each. This person’s breed is always first on the table.

3. Ol’ Yeller
There is always a special individual who feels chosen by divine selection to screech call classes from across the showroom each time they change. Everyone can hear this person, but no one can understand what they’re saying.

4. The Spreader-Outer
At some point in his or her life, this person purchased stacked, side-door carriers. Today, they’re sitting in a single layer down the entire length of one table, with coffee-cup-sized spaces between them. That’s okay, I’ll just stack my top-opening carriers over here.

5. Unbridled Underwear-Unwearer
I realize some of us have been up since 3 a.m. Some of us traveled across three states to get here. Some of us are on our eighth cup of coffee. Some of us still need to wear a bra…

6. Apron Ambassador
Ain’t nobody from (custom embroidered rabbitry name right here) have time for furballs!

7. M.I.A.
Always last to the table. Always first off the table. Usually juggling six breeds; one unrecognized.

8. Nervous Narrators
“Senior bucks, senior bucks, senior bucks…that’s a doe…okay, SL6? And where is FT46? Broken blues…GOT IT!”

9. Hesitant Husband
If you see a man combing through aisles of carriers, strategically stepping over stray fecal matter and cringing at each sale sign, he’s probably not in attendance on his own free will. Look closely and you might see his frazzled woman frantically shuffling rabbits around and sprinting between tables.

10. Best friends
It’s true. You’ll meet all kinds of characters at rabbits shows, but among them are the people who always wear dark-colored shirts, yet never travel with lint rollers. The people who balance folding chairs on top of coolers and carriers and hay bales in the middle of the aisle, while reading a show catalog that clearly states “no chairs.” The people who spend more money on showing rabbits than the vehicle that carries them there. These people are your tribe. Embrace them, and let the fall show season begin!

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