If this blog post doesn’t make a lick of sense, blame it on my fuzzy brain. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was the annual Bell County Kennel Club Obedience, Rally, and Agility show. It also marked the start of my asthma and allergy season, hence the drug filled haze I find myself under this morning. I promise I have sat here staring at the computer for a good five minutes, drawing a total and complete blank on what I should be saying. That isn’t like me, let me tell ya! In any case, I decided I would simply share my inability to concentrate with you, in hopes you will forgive my incoherence. Is that working? I’m not sure.
On to the dog show results!!
This was a three day show, starting on Friday the 4th and ending on the 6th of April, 2014. One totally awesome and special moment was having a long time Poodle club friend judging!! I had no idea she was attending this show until a few days before. I’m not one to pick a show based on a judge. I’m there to have fun with my dog, so I do not look to see who might be judging. Jazz doesn’t have issues with men or older people, so it isn’t something I watch for when selecting a show. Honestly, I’ve been out of the obedience show game for… oh my… ten years?? I probably wouldn’t remember who I showed under back then anyway. I’ve never been good with names unless the name belongs to a dog. In any case, I found out Carolyn Wray (Toy and Mini Poodle owner, fellow member of Versatility In Poodles) was judging Obedience and Rally at these shows. I’ve ‘known’ Carolyn via Poodle clubs for as long as I have been showing Poodles. I believe over ten years if I remember correctly. I was excited to finally meet someone I have interacted with all these long years. Ironically, she was not judging Beginner Novice until Sunday morning, so we really couldn’t hang out and chat until after she had judged our class.
Jazz and I arrive early Friday after dropping the kids off at school and grabbing a bite to eat. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to show within 15 minutes of my home. Rare and wonderful to say the least. I get the girly settled into her crate, plant myself next to one of my nose work classmates who also has their young dog entered in Beginner Novice and relax for a bit. JoAnn, my nose work buddy, pointed out the photographer’s on site and told me they would be taking photos of the dogs while working in the ring. If you show in Agility, you always have an opportunity to get great photos of your dogs competing. Obedience is a different matter. Rarely does a photography group come, must less focus on the subtle sport of Obedience. You can see a few of the photos I purchased below. They did an excellent job of capturing the teamwork involved in this event.
What made me happy was that in all the photos Jazz had her tail high, she was happy to be there, happy to be doing something with me. I have worked hard on making sure she understands “Yes, we are here to work, but we can do it and have a good time”. It is a very hard line to walk.
To keep this from going to much longer, I will cut to the chase. On Friday Jazz did amazing, it was her best day of the weekend. She pulled off a first place in Beginner Novice B with 6 dogs competing. On Saturday she had a small hiccup during the Figure 8 exercise. The dog must heel with you as you walk around 2 people standing a few feet apart. Jazz decided to check both of the people standing as our ‘post’ to make sure they were not hiding any treats in their pockets! Due to this slightly rude behavior and failing to sit on one of the halts, she ended up with a 4th placement out of 7 dogs. We already had qualified once in Beginner Novice last month and you only need 3 qualifying scores to gain a title. This means we did not need to show on Sunday. However, Carolyn was judging that show and if I moved Jazz up to the regular Novice class, I would not get to show under Carolyn. I decided to keep Jazz in the Beginning Novice class for practice. I’m glad I did. Her level of focus was far from her best. I had to use 2 of my 3 “Good Girl” praises allowed during Beginner Novice to keep her focused while heeling. Still it was a bit sloppy, but we did end up with 2nd place out of 4 dogs.
After class on Sunday, Carolyn and I were able to sit down and chat. Fast talking aside (I’m a half deaf southern girl, you fast talker kill my brain!!) it was a treat to finally chat in person. She and I have a lot in common. We both love so many different breeds, yet have settled into life with Poodles because our family’s health and husband’s love of the breed, which translates into us being able to have more dogs! She told me of the great dog training offered in Oregon, and I lamented the wasteland of dog training I live in, having to drive over an hour to find something halfway decent.
My only regret for the weekend was my asthma and allergies kept me from being able to pick up Melody and Lina and take them in for great puppy socialization. Thankfully we were close to the first dogs in the ring at 9AM, done by 10AM. I would pack up my dog, head home and sleep most of the day away. Speaking of… I think I could use a nap right now.
~Becky and Jazz (UKC CH RO1, Tintlet Rhapody In Blue RA, CA, BN, CGC) – jack of all trades, master of none!!!