I haven't been posting Murray's show results because they've been down in the bottom of the well. We had reached a point where we were NQing every exercise in the last 6 shows or so. Well after today, Murray's utility show season is over for this year (and bootcamp begins for the fall season) and it too was far from being productive.
We had 2 shows today...indoors. We've never shown indoors before...never even trained indoors. All I can say is what an "interesting" way to end the season.
Murray's attitude is back. Our last shows had been disasterous so anything would have been an improvement. Unfortunately his attitude now includes being the class clown.: Everyone loved his antics...except me.
First show we started heeling for the first time ever on a mat. Murray thought this was very interesting so he was checking out the tape and chalk marks the judge had placed on the mat and sniffing as we went along. Thankfully I got a really good correction when we had a left turn and Murray had his head down sniffing. He got my left foot right smack in the nose. "Oops, sorry was your nose there?" He didn't sniff after that.
Signals, gloves (#2), and moving stand were very good. Articles were a disaster. We lost 9 pts on the first article alone! We've never lost more than 1/2 pt before but we definitely deserved the 9 we lost today. I would have NQd us if I had been the judge. The mats ran length wise of the ring. The articles were sideways to that. As Murray went out he saw a hole in the mat and started sniffing. Then he noticed there were lines in the mats so he started sniffing lengthwise up and down, up and down, up and down for what seemed like an eternity. It was so bad I thought he was on a slot track or something. He was definitely "in the zone." I see a great tracking career in his future. The judge was very patient and waited him out. It felt like it took 30 min but people outside the ring said it was about 2 full minutes...still far too long when you are holding your breath. Murray finally worked his way close enough to the article pile that the light bulb went off in his little blonde head. He brought back the right article.
Go outs were a disaster as he went out, turned and started running back and forth across the end of the ring. I gave a 2nd command to sit and the judge said "I hope you know you just NQd yourself. You should have waited awhile longer." Like having the dog running back and forth wasn't going to NQ me? : He ended up never sitting even after a 3rd and 4th command and took the jump just like I knew he would. I heard someone laugh, clap, and cheer outside the ring. WTH? > I told the judge Murray only does this in a trial and I can't fix it. He said I could and would talk to me after the run. 2nd go out Murray didn't go out far enough. Afterward the judge said "when he doesn't sit in practice do this and that." I said "I told you he only does this in the ring, never in practice." He did give me a few more things to try though. As we went back to our set up this woman I've never seen before (a spectator, not a competitor) was sitting there and she said "I'm sorry I cheered out loud but he was being so cute." I said "it isn't cute when he does the same damn thing 20 shows in a row." I know that was probably mean to do but I was in no laughing mood. I heard someone else explain to her that I just spent $25 to NQ and she said "oh, I didn't know."
The 2nd show wasn't much better. The positives were he didn't sniff on the heeling. Signals, gloves (#3) and moving stand were good again. I was actually concerned about getting glove #3 after having #2 in the first show but Murray had no issue...straight out and back. ;D Articles, however, were a huge disaster again. He went out to the pile and played around sniffing/picking up/putting down/picking up/putting down article after article. He did eventually come back with the right one but he dropped it a foot or so in front of me to check out what I thought was a piece of food on the mat. I was able to reach the article though so we were ok. Afterwards I picked up the thing he was looking at before realizing it was a ROACH! ...and flicked it out of the ring. I still can't believe I picked up a roach with my bare hands. :-X Uggghhh...heebie geebies...YUK!!! Second article same thing only this time he brought back the leather article, laid down at my feet and started gnawing on it! AGGHHH!!! I was furious.> Thankfully the judge quickly yelled "Take it! Take it!! TAKE IT!!!" He walked over to me and said "I knew we needed to stop THAT behavior right away before he ruined the article." Go outs were 100% better. First one he went out, turned and sat. YEA! He took the bar jump as directed. Second go out, he went out, turn and sat. Double YEA! Then he took the bar jump AGAIN. Damn!
Afterwards the table steward, who happened to be the judge's wife, said I should consider getting larger articles for Murray. I had already been thinking that but now I know that's what I'm going to do. Even though they never mentioned it, I know this judge actually makes articles so I think they know what they are talking about. As I walked back to our set up another steward from the 1st ring, who just happens to be an AKC judge, said he had been watching us. He said he's sure Murray took the same jump the 2nd time because I ever so slightly leaned that direction as I raised my other arm to give the signal. That's an agility dog for you. He also thanked me and Murray for being the day's entertainment : (he was the steward for our first run so he had a front row seat).
Well, you know, I just love Murray. I know it's not fun when you're out there holding your breath and experiencing it. But damn, he just has such character!
We will be doing our first OUTDOOR trial at the end of this month. We have only competed on rubber mats, so I'm sure I'll get to experience some of the same feelings you just did.
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
I love too and after hearing of your futility exploits I am not sure I should have started agility with amber at a young age. I am even delaying Open till she matures a bit. And I did find out that showing inside is interesting too. We showed all 3 days before the NOI inside on rubber mats layed over crinklely plastic sheeting over carpet. The shows were actually in the hotels ballroom kinday thought i should have worn a tux..lol. Amber walked rather gingerly at first on the mats and I think the mats were really bothering her on the sits. It was still a great experience.
Kelly and Amber
Thank you so much for posting that, Lydia. I'm sorry you've been having such a rough time with Murray lately. But I have to say, you're post has given me hope. A lot of the things you posted sound just like Caleb. Granted, he's only 9 months old, but things like "Class Clown", nose glued to the floor, noticing the lines in the mats, etc, sound just like my little Stink Pot. Right down to the part about tracking. I'll keep my fingers crossed that "bootcamp" has the results you want!
Lydia - I feel so badly for you when Murray is not behaving as you know he can. Its not so much fun to be the "Entertainment" particularly when spectators don't appreciate how much effort has been put in to have your pup learn and then perfect the Utility exercises. Here in the Midwest most training is done inside and most shows are inside except in the summer. I have shown outside in Rally but not in Obedience or Agility. I am sure it is very different. Your description of what happened proves no matter what the change is from what you are used to, those labs will find a way to make it challenging and frustrating. I suspect Murray will have a tough bootcamp but in the fall, he'll be back and earning those green ribbons. Betsy
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
Oh, Lydia I so feel your pain and fustration ............ I am glad his attitude is back and hope that obedience boot camp can redirect that attitude to the qualifying ribbons. Hang in there, we're rooting for you!!
"In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden
Linda, Kona and Bo
Well, shucks! I'm sorry Murray is being a butthead (but I do enjoy hearing of the fulitiy exploits. I know I will experience the same thing in a year or two when Kodi and Hoss get to that level.
I hope boot camp straightens out the kinks that have developed in his performance
I so understand, as you know! Glad his attitude is back cause that is such an important part of the whole thing!
UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
LOL LOL ROFLMAO LOL LOL Oh sorry. I just couldn't help LOL LOL it. Your description is priceless. Sounds like he's been talking to Buddy.
Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
CDX, RE, WC, CGC, TDInc.
Oh, I'm sorry to laugh, Lydia, but I really think Theo and Murray are brothers from a previous life. EVERYTHING you described is something Theo would do, only Murray is at a much higher level of skill (which makes the buttheadedness that much more outrageous). We can't help but love them . . . (or can we? )