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

14 July 2013

Juno is my Rally champ

We just had an awesome weekend in Carmel at the Del Monte Kennel Club Dog Show! Dad and Kaline accompanied me and Juno, though they weren't allowed to be around while we were prepping and competing (Juno will book it out of the ring to go to my dad).

After walks on Friday, we loaded up the dogs and all our crap in the car and headed to Carmel. We stayed in this really adorable dog-friendly hotel, which kindly didn't charge us pet fees for even one dog (which they totally could have, since only Kaline was working this weekend). It was Kaline's first time since babyhood sleeping out of the crate at night, and it was wonderful snuggling with him. If only I had a queen bed he'd sleep on in my room at home! Juno slept with Dad, although during the rest of the weekend it became clear she wasn't above sleeping on the same bed as Kaline, as long as he behaved himself. Much snuggly cuteness.

We got up ridiculously early Saturday to get to Carmel Middle School by 7:30 (Excellent check-in was at 8:00; I like to watch them). It was crazy cold and foggy, and the Rally ring, regular OB rings, and the Rottweiler ring were all on the grass within the school track. Literally everyone not only had a crate for their dog(s), but also these huge shade tents (i.e. not the kind of tent you camp in) to put them under. And big plastic tarps to protect everything from the damp grass. And here came Juno and I, with our one folding chair and roll-up mat.

The cold was actually good, because Juno is peppier in the cold. A nice lady set up a high jump and broad jump and said anyone could practice on them, so thank goodness, we were able to warm up jumping before going in the ring. Cause, yeah, we don't actually have a jump at home to practice on.

Right before we were set to do our Advanced B run, the sun came out and all of a sudden it was hot. Juno started panting, I was freaking out a little inside, etc. I tried to keep her shaded and did stationary practice to keep her amped in some kind of controlled way. The run went pretty well, though at the jump, I was so focused on not leaving Juno room to go around it that I actually clanged into it myself. There was no figure eight or broad jump, so hurrah! We ended up getting a 96, and earned a fourth-place ribbon! Not to mention our third leg and thus our title! It was super exciting, because I never thought that competing in B-level anything I'd ever get a ribbon.
Fourth-place ribbon!
Once our Rally stuff was done, Juno and I trundled over to conformation with our rollie to find Dad and Kaline. I was on the phone with Dad, about to tell him that oh my goodness, there was another Doberman SD at the show, when I realized it was my Doberman. Heehee. We ran into our Dobie friends and got to chat with them a bit; I had missed the Dobie breed judging, but oh well. I managed to resist the vendors, just got some gelato. Kaline did fairly well; he still looks at other dogs for too long, but it's not terribly hard to get his focus back. No one gave us crap about his prong collar either.

After a cuddly nap, we took the dogs to a baseball field that wasn't in use. Kaline got to have a blowout run and work a bit on recalls, while Juno and I practiced exercises for Excellent. I pulled up the regs on my phone and had Dad call out all the different exercises to us. Except for the jump, we practiced all of them until I was satisfied Juno was solid on them. 

For dinner, that was the one time Juno went vested; I worked both dogs for the first time in ever. We met one of my mom's friends at a place called the Forge, which was so dog-friendly it had a dog menu.

I was really glad we were inside, because outside were show people with their dogs including a Rhodesian Ridgeback bitch who was in heat. Yeah, don't need my intact teenage male around bitches in heat! Plus, even inside, Kay was cold. He was snuggled up as tight as possible to Juno. He was a bit overly antsy, but when I felt how cold his mat was when I was rolling it up, I couldn't blame him.

Hardly slept Saturday night, due to Tim Lincecum pitching a no-hitter for the Giants, and when I did sleep, I had nightmares. I woke up from a really terrifying one with Kaline curled up into a tight ball, pressed into my stomach. I love my puppy so much, even though he's going through a lot of teenage brattiness right now.

Today, we had our first run in Excellent, and that's just what Juno was. Everything worked in our favor: we went in the first group, so it stayed cold; the course was full of things Juno is good at, and lacked pretty much all our major weak points; and Juno was just freaking on. The practice jumps were out again, and I think our little run-throughs really helped—we not only practiced jumping but also all the turns that preceded and followed the two course jumps. In the ring, I kept both my hands up like I was holding a treat, and just tried not to rush and to do things right instead of fast. Juno was staring up at me all the time, which she doesn't usually do. She was freaking awesome, I was so proud of her! And we got a 98—ended up being good enough for first! There was a nice photographer ringside, and hopefully I can get a print of this one photo he got, where Juno is flying over the jump with her eyes locked on my face. I am so proud of my wonderful girl!
Blue ribbon girl!
Kaline and Dad came over to meet us after awards, and we watched Kristin and Ben run (perfect 100 to earn their Advanced title!) and also got to see Sue Korp run her fantastic Dobe bitch with All The Titles in Utility. What an amazing working Doberman! She was just unbelievable. Kaline was a bit less focused today, probably tired from the day before. But no big issues; I think it's really good for him to have this exposure to tons of dogs. We saw another service dog team, a big gorgeous Leonberger, which was pretty cool. And I gave in and ordered myself a beautiful leash I don't need, as my reward for the first place.

Juno's reward for first place? A hamburger and gelato and later, some french fries! She liked that a lot better than she would've liked a leash, haha.

We went to lunch at a burger place and had both dogs outside and off-duty. Juno flopped down in the shade, while Kaline switched back and forth between snuggling with his oddly permissive sister and coming next to me to be a solar panel. And then we drove home. We were very tired when we arrived, as you might imagine!
Which brings me to last weekend, which was also really fun. Dad and I took the pups to Crissy Field for a blowout run, intending to eat Let's Be Frank hot dogs there. No hot dogs, but the dogs had an absolute blast—even Juno ran around like a maniac!

We headed to Pier 39, with Juno on-duty because I needed the momentum pull pretty bad after Crissy Field.

We found a lovely Italian place, but they had just closed the outdoor seating. Nonetheless, the sweet hostess said that since Kay was a SDIT, it'd be fine to take both of them in. They were impeccably behaved (it helped that Kaline was exhausted) and we had a wonderful time. And then on Sunday Kaline did really good work in his morning PA, and then we met up with Marissa and Macro for a run at the grove, and a little PA at Stanford. I was really proud of my wee man, he was such a pro, for the day.

Lest this sound overly gleeful, let it be known that Kaline has definitely hit his Doberteens. Sometimes it's like his brain has fallen out. We're working through it, I'm not freaking out, but it does suck a little. I can't wait for his brain to come back, you know? Sometimes he will just look at me like, “Make me.” This too, however, shall pass. We're not having any huge behavior problems, just annoying stubbornness and hardheaded-ness. And of course my champ Juno provides a much-needed break from all that, whenever I need it. Grin.

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