Today we showed at a local obedience club trial. This is a fun trial because it is all obedience/rally, no agility, no conformation, etc to distract handlers. They offer a lot of the non-regular classes and tons of awards/trophies for breeds, groups, specific handlers, etc.
This was Meghan and Essy's Novice A debut and Meghan was the only jr handler in any class today. Their were 14 Nov A teams. Who says obedience is dead? Unfortunately Meghan has been very sick all week with what I thought was the flu but turned out to be a sinus & respiratory infection so they haven't worked together since Tues and had only limited practice time prior to that due to Essy being in heat and Meghan's sprained ankle. :-\ Up until 6:30 this morning, I thought I was going to pull them but Meghan heard me getting ready and begged me to let her go even though she still felt crappy. I finally agreed with the plan to bring her pillow and blanket so she could sleep in the car before/after showing. In honor of her foray into obedience, I presented her with a sterling silver Lab necklace. She loved it. ;D
They started off strong. On lead and F8 were very nice. Unfortunately I made the decision to have Meghan use her 3' lead instead of a 6' lead because I wanted her to get some early corrections (Essy couldn't get more than 3' out of position) in the on lead heeling part in hopes of helping with the off lead heeling part. It didn't work as planned. They lost 7 pts for on lead/F8 for tight lead. : Off lead was a disaster. Essy saw no point in heeling...at all. She's not been acting herself lately...enough to worry me into getting a blood work up which of course came back clear so I guess we chalk it up hormones.
During the briefing, the judge told the handlers they could give 2 extra commands while heeling and still qualify. I strategized with Meghan and we decided to save them for off lead and discussed specifically where to use them (on the fast and after the about following the slow). Meghan was brilliant. She did exactly what she was supposed to but unfortunately the damage was done and they NQd off lead heeling.
It didn't help that Meghan decided to say "Essy! Heel! Let's go!" as her 2nd command. : The judge made a questionable call on the recall. She NQd them because Essy wasn't sitting nose to belly button. She was definitely sitting close enough to Q but the judge only viewed them from directly behind and across the ring...never going to the side or moving close enough to see that Essy was well within front position. I was directly across from them and could see they were in position. Sits/downs went well with no points lost.
As bad as it was, we knew off lead was going to be challenge and we've been working on getting the fronts closer but we just haven't had the training time necessary to get ready for this trial. Meghan was a little upset at the NQs (more so about the recall than the off lead) but she pulled it together enough to go back and cheer all the qualifiers and congratulate a classmate who got her first Q. I am allowing them to show tomorrow but I've decided to pull them from obedience at next weekend's trial. That show is the largest in AZ and is basically a 25+ ring circus. It's going to be too overwhelming for them at this stage (had planned to have 2 other shows under their belt by this time but that didn't work out). They will still compete in agility though. We worked on off lead stuff several times today so we'll see what tomorrow brings. If they do well, I'll have to decide if we will travel to some of the upcoming shows in Tucson or hold them out for another year.
Murray was entered in Utility A. There were 19 entries and 4 qualifiers with only 2 pts separating the placements. We were one of the qualifiers. We finally have our 2nd UD leg. ;D We scored a 180 1/2 and took 4th place with 1st place scoring 182 1/2. We lost 6 pts !!!! on the leather article because Murray decided to gnaw on it so hard I could hear it crunching as he was fronting. He was off center. He dropped it. Picked it up. Dropped it again and decided not to pick it up again. I could have freakin killed him right there. >
We lost most of our points for fronts and auto finishes which have been plaguing us since we started in Utility. Damn there are a lot of fronts and finishes in Utility. :-\ Really everything looked pretty good otherwise. When we got down to the very last go out, the photographer was in the ring next to us squeaking a toy just as I was telling Murray to sit. Murray turned, looked in the direction of the toy and completely forgot what he was doing...just stood there staring at the toy. I held my breath and willed the judge to call the jump because I knew Murray wasn't going to sit and I wasn't positive he was going to stay much longer. She finally called it, I signaled it and I held my breath as Murray sailed over the jump and fronted. In my head I'm screaming "WE DID IT!" (and I knew my buddies outside the ring were holding their breath) but I was trying to remain calm and wait until the finish and the judge called exercise finished. I've had several people tell me they blew Qs by celebrating too early and I wasn't about to lose this one. I was very proud of my boy today.
Now I have to decide if I'm superstitous. I wanted Murray to be relaxed today so I wore jeans, tennis shoes and my sunglasses like I do in training (this is also what I did when Murray was having a confidence issue when we first started in Utility). Usually when I show I dress up, wear dress shoes, and wear my regular glasses so he can see my eyes. So the question is...did he Q because he finally figured this stuff out or did he Q because he felt relaxed by my appearance? Or because the stars and moon aligned? Or...
[color=blue]YEAH MURRAY AND LYDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SECOND LEG AND ONE TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![color]
Sorry about Meghan and Essy. Bet that necklace sure helped with things! What a lovely gift for her first time in the obedience ring. What a great Mom!
UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN
What would happen if you dressed up for training? (I think you might be onto something with that observation)
Essy and Megan are young - it will come!
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure
Congratulations! That is sooo cool!
Congratulations to you and Murray!!!!
I am so excited for you!! Sorry that Meghan's debut didn't end in a Q but it sounds as if she will be a great trainer and has her head on right. It is so hard to think on your feet!
"In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden
Linda, Kona and Bo
Congrats to you and Murray..Hope today is good
Congrats on your 2nd Q in Utility. One more to go!!! Good job!!!
Murray is such an all around great dog. Congrats! You must be so proud of your daughter she really seems to have confidence and poise in the obedience and agility rings.