Wow. Where to begin?
OK, to bring you up to speed: We went to Chattanooga this weekend. Angus was two legs short of his Rally Advanced title, and Simon needed only one. My hope was that Simon would Q on Saturday and move up to Excellent, so I wouldn't have to show them both in the same class, both days. There are only minutes between dogs, and it's just kind of a lot for a novice handler like myself.
So: We were supposed to be in the ring at about 9:45 on Saturday, so we decided to drive down Friday night and stay over. Got up early on Saturday and headed out.
We got there about 9:00, so it was just about perfect timing. Just enough time to get crates set up and checked in, do the walk through, and go in.
I had (subtlely) requested that Angus go first, and the club was kind enough to oblige. My reasoning was to do the more difficult dog first, as Simon wouldn't need as much time to warm up. But when I got there I decided not to take Angus out as early as I have before. I waited until there was one dog left, then he came out and got pumped up with chicken. (Chicken is the new Hot Dogs, btw). We also gave him only a light breakfast, hoping that if he was a little bit hungry he would be even more interested in chicken.
He was warming up GREAT! YES, he DID want the chicken, and he was willing to do pretty much anything to get it! I had also decided that another thing I've done wrong is to sit with him "on deck" and wait for the dog ahead of us. So I said to myself, "I am not even going near the ring gate until they call our number."
I stuck to the plan, and when they called us I had one last piece of chicken in my mouth, so I shot it at him. But, the bad thing about chicken is, it doesn't *necessarily* maintain its shape if held in your mouth for long periods of time. So, instead of spitting out one nice, clean piece, I sort of spewed pureed chicken out of my mouth all over the general vicinity.
Of course Angus begins vacuuming the floor immediately, because he is very courteous this way. Remember, our number has just been called, and I have a Hoover to attend to now. I'm thinking, "Oh boy, I have really blown it." Literally. :
Finally Angus is satisfied that the floor is clean enough to proceed, and we walk in the ring. The judge says, "Ready?" I say, "Ready!" And when I do I spew a little more chicken that was apparently sticking to my teeth, waiting for just the right moment to make a break for it. Angus' head goes down again, and I'm thinking OH. NO. But we go forward.
And guess what? He's doing it. Oh, he's pretty bouncy, because he is very jazzed that some more chicken might pop out of my mouth at any moment. But this results in FANTASTIC heads-up attention. He gets slightly out of heel position a time or two, but leaps back in on command. He even goes over the jump, something I was sweating as he hasn't done one in a while. We finish the course!
Now it's time for Simon. I have to BOLT back to the crates and get Angus in his, and Simon out of his.
Simon had been acting like a complete monkey from the moment we arrived. Lots of whining, jumping all around and trying to play with other dogs. He is not doing much better in warm ups, and I'm thinking we are in big trouble.
I was right.
We "sort of" made it through the first part of the course. His performance was generously punctuated with high-pitched barks, and impromptu demonstrations of how high he can jump. : Then came the jump.
We were jumping towards the entrance of the ring. Simon took the jump, looked very proud of himself and excited, looked left, looked right, to make sure everyone saw this, then he took off out of the ring. I am staying cool and trying everything I can think of to get him back: "SIMON, COME!" "SIMON, HEEL!" Nah ah. Nothing. He leaves. I look apologetically at the judge and she is very kind, just saying, "Well, he was just a little too happy today." Yes indeed. :
Simon was the last dog, so I go up to the ring stewards to see what kind of score Angus and I got. There were seven dogs, and Angus got: a 98! AND! FIRST PLACE!
To say I was happy would be a huge understatement:
Good dogs get squeeze cheese
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
Connie! Good thing I didn't have anything in MY mouth when I read that, or I'd have blown it, too! That really did make me laugh out loud.Originally Posted by AngusFangus
WTG, Angus! Congratulations to you both.
Don't worry, Simon. Maybe you'll get the chicken shooters next time.
Toby and Chamois say: GO STEELERS!
Way to go! Good job Angus! Simon, don't be such a monkey next time.
Brenda, Sam & Bodie
Great job,Angus! I'm not sure if this tops the Great Hotdog Caper but it made for wonderful mental pics.
Rusty, Blaze & Buster Brown
BJ - 3/9/2007 - 2/6/12 - miss you everyday
Boomer - ? - 3/15/12 - always in my heart
WOO HOOOOO Angus !!! WAY to go Connie ! Way to go !! Maybe Simon will be better next time...... congrats on the FIRST place !!!!!!!
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
That made me LOL literally. ;D
Oh! HAHAHAHAHA!!!! What a terrific story. Congratulations, Connie and Angus! You guys did great!Originally Posted by AngusFangus
P.S. Remind me to put a tarp down when I invite you over for dinner.
Well done to you both!
My thoughts EXACTLY!Originally Posted by TobysTrix
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
Connie your descriptions are just priceless.
Blackie and Ranger ...............................Reggie: 1996-2010 "Fly Reggie Fly"