Well we made it back and both dogs are alive and well.*
We had quite a good showing in Rally both days.* Meghan and Essy showed in Rally Nov A on Sat and took 4th place with a 93.* They would have had a 96 except they had to repeat at station because they had the Novice A walk thru at 11:10 but the class wasn't until 1:30 so Meghan forgot part of the course.* :. Stupid planning on their part to have the most novice of all handlers (Rally Nov A) wait 2 hrs between walk thru and competing (they ran Nov B then let the judge take lunch but didn't allow another walk thru).* >*
Meghan had really wanted to show in Advanced this weekend but I didn't know how Essy would handle all the distractions of this particular show (held in the courtyard of a hotel) so I made them stay in Nov on Sat.* I let her decide if she wanted me to move her up to Adv on Sun.* I told her all the pros/cons (mainly that if they Qd, they couldn't move back to Novice again) and she decided she wanted to go for it.* They did a wonderful job and finished with 3rd place and a 94 their first time out in Adv A. They had to repeat the offset F8 because Essy decided she REALLY liked one of the toys.* She only went to sniff it but Meghan wasn't sure if she should repeat the station or not so she did just to be safe.*They won a dog water bottle on Sat and a small carrying bag on Sun for their efforts. so Meghan was quite happy.* The judge on Sun was very pleased to see a junior do so well in his ring.* He made it a point to identify her as a jr handler taking the placement.* ;D* Here is a picture of her with the judge.
A writer for Front and Finish was at the trial and she wants to do an article on Meghan and Essy.* ;D* I'll let you know what issue it will be in.
I took Murray into 2 non regular Rally classes.* First we did the Rally Challenge.* They sequester the handlers in one of the hotel rooms, set up the course, then call the handlers out one by one to run it sight unseen...no maps, no walk thrus, nothing.* We scored 97 and took 1st place.* ;D The judge said he was very impressed with our performance.* He said everyone had a difficult time figuring out where to go on the course and I seemed to look like I knew exactly what I was doing for the most part.* I said "well, I was looking for the next sign as I was performing the current exercise."* I only got slightly confused once because it was a cone exercise set up at a diagonal.* I had a difficult time figuring out which cones were the ones for the exercise and which ones were the sign holders for other exercises.* It looked like a sea of orange cones out there.*
We also competed in a Rally Relay (teams of 3).* Our team consisted of Murray, Essy, and my friend's Rottie, Drew.* We walked the course and figured out who would do what.* My friend with Drew did the first 4 exercises, then Murray and I joined them to do exercise 5 together, then pass the baton.* Murray and I did exercise 6-9 then Essy and my daughter joined us for exercise 10 and I passed the baton to her.* They finished exercise 11-14.* We finished with a 97 and took 1st place again.* ;D
Utility was OK but not nearly as much fun.* Murray was lagging horribly all weekend.* His heart and head just aren't in this game right now and I don't know what to do about it.* He lacks confidence but how do I give him confidence? He's very confident in practice.* It's when we go into the ring setting that he suddenly thinks "oh my gosh I don't know what I'm doing." Do I just keep entering in hopes that he his practice confidence carrys over to the ring? I don't get nervous...never have, so I don't think it's anything I'm doing or not doing. I videotape our runs so I scrutinize every exercise and I can't see anything that I'm doing that would cause him to be concerned.
Sat the judge was standing in the shade to give the signals but the sun was coming up directly behind him (back lit him) so I couldn't see him...at all.* I missed his first 2-3 signals he gave for the down then I finally saw what I thought was some type of movement in the general area where the judge was standing and assumed it was a signal and downed Murray.* Next was the sit signal.* Again, I couldn't see it.* When I finally saw it, Murray was looking away.* I waited for him to look back and when he did he just lay there looking at me. NQ.* He did the recall though so I was happy.* The judge came over to me and apologized.* He said he didn't realize I couldn't see him until it was too late to fix it. He said next time I should take a step to the left or right to get a clearer view (I was thinking "yeah right then NQ for moving after I had stopped.* We have enough ways to NQ thank you very much."). Articles were good.* Gloves were humorous.* We got glove 3.* Murray took glove 3 but on the way back decided that glove 2 looked lonely.* :* He dropped 3, ran to 2 and brought it back to 3, then picked up both to bring to me. NQ* I told the judge "what do you expect from a retriever?"* He laughed.* Moving stand was great.* Get this...go outs were PERFECT!!!!!* Woohoo! Murray went out straight AND sat AND took the correct jump...both times!* I tell you I was walking on clouds at that point. Afterwards the judge told me we have all the pieces it will just take time for everything to gel.* I said thanks for the encouragement.* I was actually happy to hear that this judge thought we could do this.* I heard about a show earlier this year where the judge told everyone that the class was a waste of his time because no one was ready for utility.* :-\ No one Qd in our class this day but everyone said the judge was so supportive. He said "remember, it takes an average of 30 times to get a UD."* * I said "that didn't make me feel better."* He said he wanted me to keep my perspective since this was only our 5th time in the ring.
Sun Murray was really lagging again.* On the about turn before the stand, he decided it was a great time to stop and watch his Rottie buddy in the Rally ring (shared ring gates).* : I didn't realize he didn't follow me on the about turn (I usually watch the shadows on the ground to see where he is but we were in shade at the time).* I continued heeling halfway up the ring before he caught up.* The judge was wonderful.* She was waiting for him to catch up so she drew out the command "STTTAAANNNDDD* YOOOUUURRRR DOOOOGGGG."* ;D* He sat instead of downing so she let me give a 2nd command.* Sit and recall were good.* Articles were OK but we have a new issue.* He picked up the right article then set it back down in the pile to check the others a 2nd time on both articles.* >* He eventually brought in the correct article but geez. A friend said it is another confidence issue rearing it's ugly head.* Gloves were beautiful.* Thankfully we got glove 1 today and glove 2 didn't look like it needed company.* ;D* Moving stand was great.* First go out was great.* The judge said "HIGH" and I paused because I had to think "now which one is high?"* As I was thinking, Murray got bit by a bug and whipped his head around to his hip.* The judge said "...whenever he decides to look at you."* Finally he looked up but by that point he had a brain fart.* I signaled the high, he was heading for it then veered off at the last 2nd.* Grrr.* The next go out he didn't move when I sent him.* I had to give him 3 commands to go.* He finally went out to the corner nearest the high jump.* The judge said "take the high" but I wasn't really listening (I assumed...never assume anything) I signaled the bar which he took from across the ring.* She said "I was going to let you try the high again but whatever."* She was very nice.* She has Labs and really like Murray.* She asked how old he was and I said "around 5. He's a rescue so we don't know for sure."* She said "A rescue doing utility work?* I'm impressed."* ;D
The funniest thing (well not so funny then but funny when I think about it now) is Murray's finishes.* He has been auto finishing on the judges commands so we just innundated him with all sorts of commands this past week to break him of the habit. My friend would stand right on top of him and yell "finish, heel, good boy, hot dogs" etc to try to get Murray to finish.* He caught on pretty quick and learned that he shouldn't finish on the judges command.* Unfortunately, something we didn't realize is that he learned he shouldn't finish on ANY verbal command.* Every time I said "heel" this weekend he just looked up at me with those big brown eyes which said "uh uh, you aren't fooling me this time."* :* Once I figured out the problem, I started giving the hand signals to finish and he did fine.* Sometimes you just got to wonder what goes on in that little doggy brain at times. It's terrible when the dog is smarter than the handler.*
Congrats to all of you on the Rally runs and placements!! ;D Way to go!!! I feel for you in Utility ......... I felt like I was in the ring with you reading your summary. Hang in there. An average of 30 tries to get a UD?!? I'm going to be broke and probably crazier than I am now!! :P
"In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden
Linda, Kona and Bo
Oh, Lydia, I am so with you! My normally confident boy comes unglued in the Utility ring. Don't know if you saw my results but two more days of NQ runs. He just won't stay out there with the signals! I guess I'll be doing a lot more work in different places to work on that confidence!
Glad the Rally went well. That is neat that the writter for F&F wants to do an article on your daughter. That is exciting for her!
CONGRATULATIONS! I loved reading the summary. Still dont' understand parts, but I'm getting better. And your daughter! She's doing really well!
We already practice at 18 different locations with different people/dogs so I don't think going to more places is going to help us with confidence. I'm at a loss as to what to do. I decided not to enter the Tucson cluster in 2 weeks because I know we can NQ cheaper and closer to home. Our next show will be in 3 weeks at the same location as one of the previous shows. I'm hoping he will remember the location and feel safer there this time but I'm not holding my breath.Originally Posted by Yellow Boys Mom
I know it is hard, but if they feel we have given up they will more so. Remember they look to us as their pack leader and they look to us for confidence in situations they are not confident in. That is why I know one of my personal jobs is to work on my attitude.Originally Posted by rottnlabs
Lydia, it does sound like it's starting to come together for you guys. Keep at it, and it will come. 30 times, heh? OMG, we have a lot to look forward too, don't we
Fantastic about your daughter and the FF article. That's really cool!!!
You and Susan are making me really nervous for our first time out. Gosh, UD is HARD, but I think we are all capable of it. ;D It just may take us years and years to get there
Yes, I do believe we are all capable of it. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would have a UD!Originally Posted by raian
Lydia - Sounds like a wild weekend but how great for your daughter and Essy. Wish I would have had the opportunity to start with dogs at a younger age. I will have to tell my husband about the 30 times in Utility A to finish a UD. He showed Shamrock in the same trial as Yellow Boys Mom this past weekend. Both times Shamrock NQ'd because he didn't stay during the signal exercise. In practice - Shamrock is great with this exercise. And in the trial the weekend before last, this was not a problem - or at least not an NQ problem although there was a little bit of traveling after the stay command. On a positive note - Saturday he passed all of his other exercises under a judge that I thought was just looking for ways to NQ people so that was a big plus. Sunday - almost the same except that he missed an article. The Sunday judge was so strict about the heeling pattern that after a steward walked it, he walked it himself to show the handlers what he wanted. It was kind of funny and the steward has a good sense of humor - we laughed about how a person without a dog could NQ in heeling. I must say I have new appreciation for how hard Utility A really is. I do think our pups CAN do it and probably being labs want to because they know it will make us happy. Hang in there.
Kelleygreens Couer D'Or, CGC,CD, RAE2 - Doro - Nov. 21, 1995 to Jan. 14, 2010
Kelleygreens The Shamrock Kid, CGC, OM, UDX2, RE, NA, NAJ, AXP, AJP, ASCA CDX, - Shamrock
Kelleygreens The Few, The Proud, CGC, CDX, GN, NA - Recon
BETSY IT'S YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Had to read the signature!!!Originally Posted by 2yellowlabs
Actually the judging was not all that bad. We have become spoiled in this area. Taking lessons from a lady who is a judge/OTCh handler I ask about some of what I percieve to be sloppy stuff that the "B" people get away with. Judging is more strict on the west coast than what we see here. Yes there are judges who want to fail you and judges who want to pass you, but what I can say about the judging over the weekend was it was extrememly fair for everyone, which I have not seen in quite some time. Very consitant. They were much tougher on the "B" people but I have watched some of their handling and even antics in the ring and am glad there are judges out there to call them on it. In the Utility A class, some of the people did not qualify becasue they obviously did not know the rules. Example the gloves--handler is to pivot and face the glove. If they are off, as the one lady was, it is an NQ. Stated in the rule book. The arguing that the Utility A people did with the judge was terrible! Another lady trying to grab at the dog's ear. Come on!!!! I cannot tell you some of the terrible handling I have seen from people who should know better and I was rather glad to see some judges who were willing to call them on it.