My newest favorite picture of the dude-man...
I learned a lot from Buzz at the trial on Saturday, February 24, 2007. I think the most important lesson I learned is how important the bond Buzz and I share is. Or I should say how much the time I spend away from him has changed it. He was interested when I had food, and he was really good for the first 3/4 of the course. Thinking back, I should have praised/pet/gotten overjoyed and left the ring with him after the 1, 2, 3 steps back because he was at attention perfectly like we'd practiced. I told him he was fabulous, but he needed and deserved more. In that exercise alone he gave me everything we've ever worked on. I couldn't read my dog as well as I should have been able to. We will probably have a lot of work to do before I'm comfortable showing him again and it won't be until at least middle of the summer. We need to work on our relationship again. He performed really well, right up until the last two exercises of his first Rally Advanced course. We had a "halt, 90* pivot right, halt" then a "slow" and the course finished with a "normal" well, we made it half way through the slow and he heard/smelled/decided the joy of running was better than me and tried to leave the ring. Instead of gallivanting around the ring, I reached for and caught him. This NQ'd us. We had only minor deductions previous to that exercise (one point for him hitting me during the "360* right turn" and a crooked sit at another sign). We're not out of the running. I plan to play in APDT Rally-O over the summer when the trials come to town again, and hopefully I'll be able to work with my dog again. I'm not going to say all problems will disappear when I can see and work with him more frequently, but I think that everything will be a lot easier. I just have to wait until May, then I'll be home for the summer and best of all, he'll be living with me up at school next year and hopefully he'll be with me the rest of his LONG life. Yes, he's my heart dog and I don't know what I'll do without him. I appreciate and love this dog more than anyone understands, and more than I ever thought I could, regardless of the tribulations that come our way on the way to our wonderful triumphs!
Since this is new, I'll fill everyone in on what has happened recently.
Of course I have some photo of this memorable christmas break... even though some aren't the best quality. (Someone *ahem* was playing with a new digital camera that wasn't a point and shoot! And that someone still hasn't figured out how to take action shots. But I'm not complaining *grin* really...)
I had a fun Christmas break planned with the doggies. I was confident in the foundation I layed for the dogs so I decided that some brushing up would get us in competing form.
With that in mind, we had three days planned for some fun competing!
Dec 30th- NADAC
*the Buzz-man ran in Jumpers, Touch N Go, and Chances... the amazing dogger he is Q'd in ALL THREE runs!
*Bailey, the dog who can't weave in public... DID! A total of 18 poles were weaved with enthusiasm and speed by that little girlie! I was SO proud and of COURSE there was a jackpot for a performance like that! Heck, I wasn't even planning on running the full course, we were gonna go play in tunnels, and she entered the weaves on her OWN!
Jan 6th- AKC
*Buzz was entered in Rally Novice. We only needed one leg to finish this boys FIRST title! Which we DID! He finished his RN with a 98! That was a very happy day! That's an accomplishment I'll NEVER forget. My boy and I had fun together and rocked it in a highly stressful environment, what a day to remember!
*Bailey played Jrs dog with her co-owner. We had a lot of fun grooming her and practicing with her. There was a huge delay so she was ready an hour and a half early. So, she was tired and hot by the time their ring time rolled around. We learned a lot that day though and as always, the kiddo and Bailey are improving as a team!
Jan 13th- APDT
*Buzz and I decided to give APDT Rally-O a try. Boy was that a lot of fun! It was hosted by some really good friends from the MN Mixed Breed Club so just being there was a blast. We only entered one run, but ended up with a 203 which is a qualifying score! He was fabulous and being able to give treats in the ring REALLY boosted his ring attitude! As a BONUS (hehe), he got ALL ten BONUS points! We will definitely be competing in APDT again!