The newest UKC club in our region, United Dog Sports of Northern New England, held it's fabulous inaugural event this Sept. in Scarborough, ME at Wassamki Springs. It was a wonderful turnout and a lovely venue to boot. UDSNNE offered Conformation shows, as well as both Rally & Obedience over the weekend.
I had a seminar planned that was cancelled, so I decided to do a day of show entry on Sunday. I never intended to get into UKC Obedience, but I figured what the heck. Go for one more title, and if we're lucky, Total Dog while we're at it. And of course it's good practice for our other trials. Plus entering conformation now and then let's me put to use what I've learned in workshops, etc. Well... at least TRY to. LOL If nothing else it keeps my handling "skills" from getting totally rusty!
AKC Obedience Trials, Aug. 30-31
Merrimack Valley Kennel Club
Judges: Lynda Moore (Sat. Graduate Novice, Sun. Pre-Open)
Linda Ferrullo (Sat. Pre-Open)
James Ashton (Sun. Graduate Novice)
This appears to be our new Labor Day weekend tradition - Obedience trials in Amherst. Well, you can't pick the show dates, you gotta take what they give you. Not that I mind one bit, of course... as if there's something better to do over a holiday? ;-)
Saturday Tripp did wonderfully. I wish the battery in my camera had held out, unfortunately I only got part of his first ring time and missed the rest. But you can see how well he did - not absolutely perfect, but upbeat, relatively attentive, and only a few of his typical minor positioning faults. He was like that all day! :-) What a bummer when he NQed in Grad. Nov. during the dumbbell recall. But how funny too - he sneezed the dumbbell out! It was just a little sneeze, but enough to make him drop the bell... poor boy wasn't sure what to do, so he continued coming to front as I had told him. Well, it wasn't a bad choice on his part. It wouldn't have made any difference anyway if he had picked up the bell and finished the retrieve, we still wouldn't have qualified. Oh well. Stuff happens, and it was pretty darn cute I must say! Every other exercise in the class was done beautifully - heeling patterns, drop on recall, recall over high & broad jumps, long down - our final score would have been in the 190's if we'd Qed... considering we're limited on practice, that's nothing to sneeze at. hehehe
Later in Pre-Open class (which is the same as regular Open, but without the group exercises, and lower jump heights) Tripp gave a repeat performance. This time his retrieves were solid, heeling & recall were even better than before, but for some reason he missed the broad jump (stepped on the first board). So yet another NQ on what would've been another high score.
Sunday Tripp became the most ironic dog at the trial. His performance was a stark contrast to the day before's. He was extremely sloppy, distracted, and even moody both in and out of the ring. Not like him at all (time to see the chiropractor again!) But even though he was as horrible as I've ever seen him behave, he qualified in both classes! I hardly think he deserved it, but obviously I will take it, and be thankful the weekend wasn't a total loss.
In Pre-Open we somehow managed to earn a 191 & 1st place, despite Tripp's fault-ridden performance. I think the judge was being generous (although she's not known as lenient, so maybe I'm being hard on ourselves as usual.) He just wasn't nearly as good as on Saturday. I would've expected to score that well in Rally, perhaps, but not in traditional, precision Obedience.
Things only got worse from there. In Grad. Nov. Tripp was an absolute mess. That's not nitpicking either. At one point I actually expected to get kicked out of the ring he was so bad. Seriously! But miracle of all miracles, he squeaked by with a 185.5, and as no other team Qed, we even got a default blue ribbon. Okay, whatever. Take the leg and run, I say.
I guess a 50% passing rate isn't too bad in these increasingly harder levels... but can I credit his wins to Saturday's performance instead? ;-) haha