Well today was not our day...nor anyone else's as it turns out.
Utility was a complete disaster. No qualifiers out of 9. Every single dog was distracted by some smell that was about 10' diameter in the middle of the ring. Someone thought a dog might have pottied there (it is a public park after all) but I don't think so. The spot was too large and it was too enticing to too many dogs. Someone else thought it might be food or bait that someone dropped but I said I didn't think so because Murray DEFINITELY would have found food. We have no idea what it was. The judge tried his best to move the exercises around so we weren't in the middle of the smelly part but there was just nothing he could do on some things since the area was so large.
Murray's attitude was great today and his nice heeling is finally coming back so I'm very happy with today's run even though we NQd. He was heeling very nicely for most of the signal exercise until the about turn where he was laggy but quickly caught up. Yea! ;D
Signals: He had to stand in the middle of the smelly part. I gave the down signal. No response. I had to give a verbal. The judge was visibly disappointed as I watched him shake his head and write the NQ. I think he really liked Murray. I gave the sit signal. No response. I had to give a verbal. I gave the recall signal. No response. I had to give a verbal. I gave the finish signal. He finished! Yea! I told the judge "1 out of 4 we're on a roll now. ;D" The judge was so nice. We laughed and joked thru the entire routine after that.
Articles: The really smelly spot in the ring was between us and the articles. First article, we turn but Murray doesn't sit. I learned from our last time and sent him on. As he crossed over the smelly spot, his head immediately dropped and he started circling the smelly area sniffing as hard as he could. He never went to the pile even after 3 or 4 commands. > The judge told me to call him back. I tried but I had to go get him he was THAT distracted by this smell. Second article, we turn, Murray sits, then goes to the pile and...somebody starts testing all of the squeak toys in the vendor booth that is set up right outside our ring. > The judge is POd. Murray stops and stares at the booth while I hold my breath. I think he might leave the ring at this point even though we proof for this sort of thing. He loves squeak toys. He finally remembers what he's doing and returns with the correct article. Yea! We're on a roll again. The judge tells me "I know you've put a lot of training into him." I said "yeah and it looks like I'll get to do some more training today." We both laugh.
Gloves: We get glove #1. Murray gets it no problem although he really looked at #2 on the way back.
Moving Stand: Perfect.
Go outs: They have rebar and chain for the ring. They only put 4 posts for the end of the ring instead of 5 so none of them were in the middle for go outs. Every single dog went out to one of the posts that was off center. Both of Murray's go outs were very nice but off center. No problem. I'll take that with a green dog. I signaled the HJ and Murray was moving nicely for it. At the very last possible second, just as he was about to lift off for the jump, he suddenly veered to the center of the ring and started sniffing that nice smelly spot. The wind was blowing the scent toward that jump. > GRRR. Next go out was good but off center again but he took the BJ with no issue.
I have no idea WHAT was in the middle of the ring that was so attractive to the dogs but I sure hope we are in the other ring tomorrow.
"WE" had fun today. ;D I loved seeing the twinkle in Murray's eyes and watching him prance and wag his tail again. He was really enjoying himself and it really felt good to have my obedience dog back. ;D
Man, it would be interesting to know what on earth was there that smelt so good!
Sorry about the NQ but really glad to hear that his attitude is back! That is so important. I told Lew, I'll be happy next weekend if he just stays to do one signal without running into me right away!
UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
I am wondering what in the world the smelly spot was. Very odd. I'm glad you posted this as it makes me feel not so badly about Ruger now. Hopefully your next go will be in the other ring!!! I'll be looking for your post tomorrow.