Road Trip!

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.


One Response to “Road Trip!”

  1. robin sallie Says:

    Napping on the couch or heck anywhere is a great way to end any day.

    Wow! I knew that Ms. A had a title or two which is pretty great for a curly tailed devil dog but well over 30!

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