The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

20 January 2013

Second time in Rally Novice A: First leg!

Juno and her qualifying ribbon. If you look really close you can see the long string of drool hanging out of her mouth!
We did much better today! I remembered to keep my leash loose and to pat my leg excessively, and Juno was a very good girl! So good, in fact, that she got second place with 95 points! (A perfect score is 100.) The dog who got first got 97 and was a Border collie. Yay Juno!

There were a lot fewer dogs today and the trial was in the morning, so it was just more ... reasonable than yesterday. I made a point to go watch some regular obedience in addition to the rally stuff, and we were treated to the sight of a Papillon doing Utility! Her dumbbells for the scent discrimination task were so tiny. It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. I will admit I am sometimes prejudiced against little dogs in the world generally, but it is such great fun to see them shine at obedience and agility. And of course service dog work! Little dogs are dogs, and it is refreshing to see them treated as such.

We made friends with a Sheltie and her family near us, and had fun watching the various rally competitors. One lady near us had three Goldens of varying ages, all in multiple competitions. She was running around like crazy, as you can imagine! My head would explode if I tried something like that.

The course we got for today was much more straightforward than yesterday's, and I quickly identified the exercises Juno and I would probably have more difficulty with—a 360-degree right turn, the figure eight, and the finish right. I botched the finish right a little in the ring, telling her “around” instead of “park,” but thankfully she cares a lot more about what hand signal she sees rather than the words coming out of my mouth.

She was super into retrieving today as well. Anytime I dropped something, she picked it up immediately and presented it to me with great satisfaction. Or sometimes she'd see something on the ground and decide I needed it, and present that also. She's so damn cute. She successfully begged food off several people too. 

One of the best parts of our spectating was seeing some rather unconventional dogs shine at rally. This included a little pug, who got third place in Rally Advanced, and a beautiful black-and-tan Coonhound. You expect to see Goldens, Labs, Border collies, German Shepherds and now Shelties at obedience, but you don't really expect to see pugs or most hounds. There was also a Shar-pei competing in the regular obedience and two Shiba Inus!

Our little group, Rally Novice A, included a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback and this sweet little Whippet. We were last, of course, so I had plenty of time both to practice sporadically with Juno, inside and outside, and to get hella nervous. Our performance passed in kind of a blur; all I could think was KEEP THE LEASH LOOSE. And hey, it worked! I wasn't sure how we did, because the judge said nothing to me after we finished (yesterday, the judge quickly told me I NQ'ed). Then she called all the qualifiers back in the ring and I didn't know if I was supposed to go or not.

Finally someone told me we qualified and I was super, super happy. We went in with the Ridgeback, the Border collie and one other dog, so I knew we'd get some kind of ribbon. I was shocked when we got second place! And a whopping prize of $15, woohoo. It was such a great finish to the weekend.

We came home and found the parents in the middle of the street with Kaline, using a Flexi so they could do super long recalls with him. The Flexi was actually attached to the end loop of his leather leash, which I thought was a good idea. Juno and I hopped out and Juno schmoozed with Mom while I did recalls with Kaline. He was not bad! With my parents he'd crash into their legs and/or leap on them, but with me he only did one drive-by in several tries. Mom and I let Juno crash with Dad, and took Kaline with us to drop off my chair at the storage unit and go to BK for lunch.

Mom had expressed disbelief that Kaline would be good at lunch, so I was extra gratified when he was basically perfect. He did a little sniffing, but that was it. Curled up very nicely on his mat under the table, and snoozed until we were ready to go.

I was exhausted, so I basically slept away the afternoon. Kaline snuggled a little in my bed, then leapt off to go sleep in his own bed in his crate with the door open. Such a good little boy.

But as of now, Juno is the No. 1 Champion in this house! Two more legs to go ... I gotta actually find rally trials around here now!

My cutie pie champ!

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