Archive for October, 2010

Road Trip!

October 28, 2010

Amelia was entered in Advanced and Excellent Rally, and Professor was entered in Breed, for the three-day cluster of Laurel Highlands and Upper Potomac Valley in Cumberland, MD. Turns out rally started at 8:30 in the morning each day; Professor showed at 1 on Friday, 2 on Sunday, and… 8:30 am on Saturday. I planned (what WAS I thinking) to get up at 0’dark-thirty on Friday and drive the 2 hours to show. I am definitely too old for that, so I blew off the rally on Friday and drove up that afternoon in time for Professor’s class.

He was WD/BOW, for another point, making 8 in all. All the girls are in season, and he was definitely more interested in them than in showing. But he did well. Breed was held outside under a pavilion, on a sort of gravelly/bluestone type footing. Very dusty.

We stayed at a Red Roof Inn, and Professor met his first elevator. Nonevent, he just rode up and down with the rest of us. We were on the third floor, and that’s just too far to try to baby blind Joey up and down steps. It was a decent room, not too expensive, and only about 10 minutes from the show site. Only problem was that there was no coffee-maker in the room; you had to go downstairs to their little breakfast bar area and get the world’s worst coffee out of a machine. Ah, the trials and tribulations of the dog-showing life! The room did have a fridge and microwave, which was good. Kept the guys’ yogurt and bait nice and chilly.

Saturday we were at the show early. The rally judge was very nice about the conflict, and moved Amelia down in the order. So Professor and I ran out to the pavilion. And he went Best of Breed! again! still as a 9-month old puppy!!!! Two more points, only 5 points and a major yet to go. He was still way more interested in the gurrrrrrlllls!! than anything else, but he showed nicely. There’ll be another show shot coming soon!

So I take my ribbon and, grinning all over my face, run to the car to drop off Professor and take Amelia in for rally. This could be her RAE, she only needs one leg. We get to watch a couple of dogs go, which was good since I hadn’t walked the course, being in the other ring at the time. I went in, we set up, the judge took my leash, asked me if I was ready (I was), and there was a loud clunk and all the lights went out. They were vapor lights, so it took about 10 minutes altogether to fix the problem and let the lights warm up again. We started over, and Amelia was completely out of it. She wandered, she sniffed, she laid down and rolled on the mats. It was a disaster, and I pulled her. I did run her in advanced, just to get her back into the ring, and she did very well with that. I don’t know if she was picking up on my nerves, because of not walking the course, or the short warm-up, because I was watching the other dogs run to get an idea of the course, or the lights going off and the long delay after the set up, or if she was just having a basenji moment. Oh well, we had another chance on Sunday.

Then it was time for groups. Hounds were next to last, but I took Professor in early. Groups were held in the building, and I wanted him to get used to it. Turns out, I took him in way TOO early; by the time we went in he was tired and bored and generally uninterested in showing. We survived the group, which took a lot longer than the one at Old Dominion, and now I know that I need to just get him out, let him pee, and go in. And carry a chewy in my show bag for when he gets bored.

Sunday morning it was back to rally. This time, since basenjis didn’t show ’til the afternoon, I only had Amelia to think about. I walked the course, got her out, warmed up the way we usually do… and made a stupid mistake on the course that almost, but not quite, NQ’d us. BUT, we survived Excellent, and even beat out a sheltie for 4th place! Advanced went much more smoothly; her score was almost 20 points higher, but she was 1 point out of the ribbons. BUT, she’s now an RAE!! There’ll be a show shot of that, too, pretty soon. I’m very proud of this girl, who now has well over 30 performance titles, including the RAE in AKC rally, an ARCH-EX in APDT rally, an FC and an FCH in lure coursing, and agility titles in AKC, UKC, NADAC, and CPE. The girl’s a star!

Just to prove that dog shows are a crap shoot, Professor was reserve of two dogs in the afternoon. He didn’t show well at all. Don’t know if he was tired, or just p.o.’d about not being allowed to get matey with the girls, or what. Fortunately, there’s always another show down the road.

Everybody was happy to get home and nap on the couch. It’s a nice drive, through the mountains, although the fall colors aren’t as bright this year as they were a couple of years ago when Amelia finished her RN at these shows.

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Show Shot!

October 22, 2010

I got the digital copy of Professor’s BoB win shot:

Professor and Liza with Judge Nelson Huber at Old Dominion

I’m so proud of this boy! And now we’re off on a road trip; I’m showing Professor in breed and Amelia in Advanced and Excellent Rally at the Laurel Highlands and Upper Potomac Valley shows. The only problem day is Saturday, when I’m scheduled to be in Ring 4 and Ring 5 at the exact same time. I’m hoping the judge will let me move Amelia down the run list in Rally, but if not I’ll have to scratch her. Hopefully, she’ll finish her RAE (she only needs one more leg) and Professor will pick up some points.

And Joey will nap in the car.

Where, Oh Where …

October 9, 2010

is the handler trade-in center? Amelia wonders. She did a perfectly nice run in Rally Excellent at Capitol Dog Training Club, including a perfect honor sit, only to be NQ’d because her doofus handler walked right past sign 4. AND, it was back up three steps, a sign she excels at. Last year, she got a first place in Excellent at this trial. This year, she got an nq. ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH. Totally not her fault. So I pulled her from Advanced, since she needs both classes to get an RAE leg. And this would have been her 10th leg, and her title. Ah well, she’s entered for three days on the 22, 23, and 24, so hopefully she’ll finish at one of those trials. It’ll be the first time for me to show Amelia in rally and Professor in breed at the same show; should be an interesting experience if nothing else.

Professor’s big weekend

October 5, 2010

Professor went to the dogs this weekend. We showed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Warrenton Kennel Club and Old Dominion Kennel Club shows.

Friday, he went WD and BOW for his fourth point. He showed very nicely, especially considering that it was his very first outdoor show. I thought he was going to go straight through the gates to the gyro stand on the down-and-back, but he turned nicely and gaited back with me.

Best part of the day, though, was that Damara told me I handled him well! Whoo hooo!

Saturday, he won his class (he was the only entry) but finished his 6-9 month puppy career with nothing more. But he showed ok, and you can’t win ’em all.

Sunday he began his 9-12 month puppy career. We were scheduled at 8:30 am (arrrrgggggghhhhhh). Got there in time, got organized. One of the other handlers was fussed that the judge was wearing a hat and glasses. Hadn’t occurred to me to worry about such, and in the event I was right; Professor took hat and glasses completely in stride. Won his class and WD, for two points. Then we went back in for BOB. He was lined up between a bitch special and WB, so his brains were totally absent. I would get him to stand up straight, and he’d suddenly lunge toward the bitch special. I’d get him to straighten up again, and he’d twist around toward WB. Judge had us gait around one at a time, and Professor really stepped out (he was trying to get to the “woooommmmmaaaannnnn!”). And at the end, the judge pointed to US for Best of Breed! Professor’s first Best of Breed! and because he beat three specials, it was a three-point major! Professor’s first major win! Way to celebrate a nine-month birthday!

I missed the first photo op because I was taking Professor for a walk. I still don’t have a feel for the rhythm of conformation shows. But that gave us an opportunity to let Professor explore the photo area, and check out the decorations (there was a very suspicious gourd that needed to be investigated carefully) before we took the photo.

He did nothing in group, and was obviously the only puppy there. It was good experience for both of us.

Then we went to our pre-agility class Monday night. And for a nickel I’d have sold you a basenji puppy and given change. He was totally out of it. All he wanted to do was lunge toward the other dogs, and run toward the other dogs, and try to get to the other dogs. I ended up sitting outside the ring with him, working on offered attention. Then I stood up and we did attention work again. Then I took a step closer to the ring and we did attention work… and so on. He does get excited about other dogs, but this was ridiculous. I’m hoping he was just tired from the weekend and will have a working brain cell by next week.