Monday, December 20, 2010

Rally Novice - Willamette Toy Dog Fanciers

I'm a little late in updating this. Leo was entered into Rally Novice A two afternoons a bit earlier this month. I would have loved for him to get into the Toy show in the morning but I was unable to get off work for the entire day. So, Vegas, Leo, and I headed up to the Clark County Fairgrounds about 12:30 both Thursday and Friday the 9th and 10th. It was pouring down torrential rains and stinkin' miserable to set up but thankfully the building was warm and the show was indoors - not in the dirt. I really struggle at events when both dogs are there. Leo has such a fit when I walk away with Vegas and, in this instance, I brought the soft crate for Vegas and she couldn't be left alone in it. Thank goodness Lindsay was there and willing to help hold Vegas when needed.

Here is Thursday's course:
The judge was relaxed and even going and basically said that he'd happily take our dogs if we didn't treat them right. Too bad I didn't get to enjoy it. Vegas went first and was terrible for me so poor Leo got me tense and frustrated a few dogs later. I'm not sure what's with him but he tends to be nervous about walking into the ring. He always looks at the gate/fencing like he's nervous about it. We did get in and immediately something went wrong. I started without being told I could. Damn! Talk about amping up my nerves!

Leo wasn't doing great. He wasn't healing with me; instead he was pulling out toward the end of the leash and looking, sniffing, and generally acting stressed. The moving down was supposed to be more of a pause, down, walk but we'd never practiced that and it wasn't happening. We made our way to the down and walk around and that's where all hell broke loose. Our ring butted up against the obedience ring. A couple of stewards were doing something and someone dropped a stack of the wooden jump slats right next to us. They were literally within two feet and the only thing separating us was the white, slatted fencing used at dog shows. Can we say freaked out? Poor Leo! Of all the things to happen when I needed to be building his confidence!

I tried to pull it together. The judge said we could restart the exercise without penalty. We did and got it mostly, but the next thing was impossible. Leo couldn't stop looking at the other ring and I couldn't hold it together any more. I couldn't get him back and I lost my composure, said "thank you," and left the ring. We never looked back other than to assure myself I was not suited to obedience.

Long story short, I decided to come back Friday.

Vegas went first again but I had more time between dogs so I could work with him, play, spend time, and get him more comfortable by being near the ring. Leo was more comfortable right off the bat this day versus the previous although he did look around a bit. Perhaps a big part of it was just spending time near the ring. I also felt more comfortable and that had to help.

We pulled it off and Leo scored a 92! His first Rally Novice leg!
I just sent Leo's next entry in today. He'll have two opportunities for his remaining novice legs at the 2011 Rose City Classic.

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