Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday April 10th - Lebanon Kennel Club

I'm going to ignore everything else in the world and focus on how well my dogs did :)

First, Rah's hair is growing back. I need to go find some wood in this hotel room and knock on it, but there is definite hair regrowth. Thank you whatever divine intervention has shined down upon us...

Arrived at the show site yesterday at about 9:30 - loaded up the crate dolly with three dobe crates, two training bags, two chairs, the cooler, and other assorted crap... get 75% of the way to the obedience ring (we parked probably about half a mile away - its a HUGE venue) and the damn dolly breaks. Thank you to the kind stranger that helped Lydia and I by carrying the chair and the broken dolly - I ended up loading all the bags into Berlin's VariKennel and carrying it in on my head!!!!

Found our own little corner of the room to crate in - I love this venue because obedience has its own hall devoted just to obedience - separate from the breed rings, and plenty of room to warm up and crate and we are NOT sitting on each others laps!!! It's really a great venue - very big and busy, but good...

And so the wait began... I had calculated out that Novice A logistically should have started at 11:00 or so... and then noon rolled around and the class wasn't starting, Utility was still going on. And Before the class would even consider starting, the judge needed to take lunch, the class would start at 12:45. Meanwhile, Berlin is supposed to be in the ring at 1:30, and both Rah and Mercury (who is in the novice ring right after Rah) have to be in rally as well soon. needless to say, that was 45 minutes of pure hell waiting...

Finally the judge came back from lunch and debriefed us, we all got ready to start, and I was first in the ring. im prepping rah, got him going, threw the db to get him psychotically into this, im doing his "ready????????" game, and all of a sudden as i am ready to go in.. i head "tell #7 she's not going to be first anymore... WHAT? two other people ended up going first because of conflicts . YUCK. break rah out and run back to the crate.

finally my turn... rewarm him up and heel him into the ring and set him up. he glanced down during the setup, but the set up went well. his first one was crooked, so i had to do a second one and that's where i got the glance away towards the judge, but he came right back and i still had him on a "ready? lets go!" so he was jazzed and staring at me intently. i never took my eyes off him and the judge told us to go and we were OFF... first halt i could tell he was too far behind me, so we probably lost half a point there. cant tell if he was crooked because he was too far back. his left turns were pretty good, no bumping. his slow was nice, his about turn supurb, his right was nice, his fast he stayed with me and DIDN"T CHEW ON THE LEASH (but i think his butt came out on this one!) and a normal immediately into another about turn (rah loved this one and into the halt - he was a little behind on this halt as well, but he was straight for this one.

went to set up for the figure 8 and i got lost setting him up and ended up making two turns to set up up and he was crooked - she asked if i was ready and i said no and set him up straight (im proud of that!) and he still had rapt attention on me. he dropped his head a bit on the left on the first inner post and he did bump me once, but he brought it up and his right outer post was spectacular, his first halt was crooked, his second inner post wasn't half bad and his last halt was better. i think we lost most points here - not bad considering they were NOWHERE near 8 feet apart - closer to 6, and i know because i worked figure 8's like no other this past week! took the leash off and handed it to the steward while he kissed my face, and then broke him out of the sit, turned him, and had him get close. asked him to stand and for a heartbreaking 2 seconds, he didn't stand - but then he popped up into a lovely kickback stand that DIDN"T swing his butt out, and i left him, she did her exam, and i returned.

kept him up and heeled him over to the off lead start, and set him up - again the first set up wasn't straight, and in trying to fix it he got lost behind me - i played the "Get it get it" game and he came right into set up. And the heeling started - off leash was better (and FELT better) than on - he was with me in perfect position, our halts were good, he never left me or dropped his head once that i ever noticed, and his slows and fasts were great. his last halt again he was a little behind me, but i was so pleased at this point- at the exercised finished i reached down and rubbed his chest, then heeled him over to the recall.

at this point the judge is talking to me, and she's telling me what a lovely job he is doing, and she's telling me that he did an amazing job heeling. while i appreciate it (YAY RAH!!!!) this is exactly the place I lost rah at nationals, so I just said thank you, and kept talking to rah. I got to the recall, and again the first set up was a no-go - he dropped his head and didn't look at me, but the second one worked THANK GOD and he was there and staring at me with his lovely eyes in perfect heel position. I gave him that wait and just PRAYED he stayed and I got to the end of the ring and turned and his eyes were staring back at me. I called him and he came at me (a little crooked, but he mostly fixed it in the front - he was the tiniest hair crooked) - and then finished him and his finish was straight and she said those lovely two words EXERCISE FINISHED and i broke that bad blue dog out of that sit and let him jump up on me and she turned to me and said "what an amazing job!" and i said thank you and I got my leash and put rah back on and let him tug himself out of the ring.

get to stays, and we're going in catalog order, which means thankfully rah is next to the ring gate and mercury. but the ring gate he is next to is next to the rally ring going on behind him, uhoh....

i put him in a sit, give him a little tension on his sit, and leave him. walk across the ring, cross my arms, and start counting in my head ... and SHIT - one dog is up... SHIT SHIT SHIT another dog is up and rah is staring at them... im not staring rah down, but he's looking at them and looking at me... and he decides to stay, GOOD DOG. i pray heavily until i hear the other most magical words "return to your dog". we get back to our dogs and the judge walks over to the other dogs being excused from the ring and talks to things handlers for another minute, explaining what is going on. then she comes over to us and starts talking about the down... finally i interrupt her and tell her politely - "excuse me, but you haven't told us exercise finished yet!" - she laughs and finally ends the longest novice sit on earth!!!!!

rah at this point has been bumping my hand going "HEY MOM WHERES THE COOKIE", so i break him out, turn him, and set him back up, reassure him we've got one more thing to do before i give him all the cookies... and put him in the down. walk across the ring and start counting. while my sit count was accurate, by my down count, we did a four minute down - the longest down on earth, i swear to god. she tells us to return and at this point im praying DOWN DOWN DOWN since rah's fave time to break is at exercise finished on the long down... and she says it and i GRAB HIM and WE"RE DONE!!!!!!!!

she tells us who qualified, and we get back in the ring and...

RAH TAKES FIRST PLACE WITH A 195.5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
for his first CD leg!!!!!!!!!


Marie said...

Congrats on the new leg!!! I just found your blog and i love it! (and read all the back posts) I am always looking at the dogs on the DRU website. Dobies are one of my fav breeds. Rah is georgous. I have to ask though, were you in the Marines?

doberkim said...

hi marie --- thanks for the congrats!
I love the DRU website and hope to go back to DRU for my next rescue when I am able to take in another one (hopefully another senior dobe, they steal my heart!)

I am not, and have not been, in the marines, but my brother is currently enlisted. Rah is sorta named after him - I'll try to post a picture of them together in my next post!

workindogged said...

Big congrats to you and Rah!!!