We had a fantastic weekend at the ASCA conformation/obedience trial. Since I hadn't had time to work with Kaylie & Conor in obedience, and people were trying to make majors in the Altered class, I decided to enter Conor to help build that major. I hadn't shown him in conformation in well over a year, as we'd been busy over the past year working towards qualifying for the obedience Finals. But he's such a good little doggie, doing exactly what is asked of him. I don't know how he knows things, but he just does. Amazing. Anyway, we had two shows each day. In the first show on Saturday, in a class of 4, he placed 4th. That's where I expected to be all weekend, to be honest. But at the second show on Saturday, he actually placed 2nd! I was pretty excited about that - as we then would have had a chance to go back in for Reserve if the Open Blue dog went Winners Dog. But another dog won, so no second chance. Oh well. As I was leaving for the show Sunday morning, Kaylie just looked so sad that I was leaving her home again. I couldn't stand it, so I decided to bring her along and then enter her in the afternoon show just for fun. I always enjoy showing her in conformation - she knows how to bring it on. Sunday morning, Conor placed 3rd in his class. I started thinking about it, and he had placed 2nd, 3rd & 4th. All he needed was 1st. I decided to show him a little differently, kind of like I would show Kaylie - let him stand on his own and do his own stuff instead of trying to micromanage everything. Well, it paid off, because he actually won his class!! Yay! A 1st place! I was pretty happy with that. But then we had to go back in for Winners Dog. Again - I just let him do his own thing. I know his down and backs aren't the greatest, but he's got a beautiful side gait, so I made sure I used the full back side of the ring to show off the side gait, and what do you know - the judge must have noticed and pulled him up to the second position, behind a nice red dog. She had us go around again, and again, I used that full length of the back of the ring. The judge then put is in the front and had us go around one more time, and this time she left it at that, giving us Winners Dog!! I was in shock! His first points. But then I had to make a really hard decision. Since Kaylie was entered as a Special for Best of Breed, I had to find someone to take either Kaylie in or Conor back into the ring. I asked Clarissa, Kaylie & Conor's breeder, and she agreed she'd take whoever I chose, if she didn't win Winners Bitch. I then found someone as a backup to Clarissa. Luckily Clarissa's dog didn't win, so I handed Kaylie to her. I figured Conor was too new and such a momma's boy, he wouldn't show well for someone else, especially with me being in the ring with him, and plus Kaylie loves Clarissa. So we all went around the ring a few times, did the down and back, and then the judge pulled Kaylie to the front. Way cool!!! I was so excited to see her up there, but really wished it was me. But then the judge pulled Conor to the second position!!! Wow!!! I didn't know exactly what it all meant, but I knew it had to be good. Kaylie ended up winning Best of Breed, and Conor won Best Opposite Sex and Best of Winners. The major actually broke for the dogs, because one of the dogs finished, and then one of the other people didn't enter their dog, because they found out it was a major in Bitches. So by winning Best of Winners, Conor also got a major! Woo hooo!! His first points, with a major to boot! I was so very proud of my puppies. A really funny part of all this was having to borrow a conformation lead and chain, because I only have one!! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd have two dogs in the ring at the same time.
At our last DOCNA (Dogs on Course in North America) agility trial in Prescott, Kaylie did fantastic! We are trying to be the first team to earn the MEX (Merit of Excellence) who started in the Beginner level. We are getting VERY close. All the other teams that have earned the MEX were grandfathered in at higher levels. Kaylie was just starting her agility career when DOCNA was created, so we had no choice but to start at the beginning. And as it is, I believe there are under 20 teams that have even earned the MEX to this point.
Well, going into the trial at Prescott, we needed 2 Specialist Gamblers legs and 2 Specialist Standard legs. In DOCNA, there are two types of Gamblers runs -- Traditional and Strategic Timed Gamblers. Unfortunately, we have only earned 3 Traditional Gamblers legs -- one from the Beginner class, one from the Intern class and one from the Specialist class. All the other Gamblers legs have come from the Strategic Time Gamblers. So, I knew going in that the chance of getting that Traditional Gamblers leg on Saturday was slim. We walked into the ring, and I knew Kaylie was on fire and ready to go. The Gamblers class is usually the first class of the trial, and Kaylie is usually absolutely wild in the first run. Well, this was no different. She was incredibly fast, and I was not -- I kept getting in her way, and things just fell apart. At 30 seconds, the buzzer rang, which meant I had to get to the gamble portion of the course. I sent her over the jump to the tunnel -- she took the wrong end of the tunnel, then came right back to me over the wrong jump and that was the end of that. No MEX for us this weekend. BUT, she did qualify in the two Standard runs she needed, getting First place both times, and she got her Strategic Timed Gamblers leg on Sunday, earning a Second place. Wooo hooo Kaylie!!! Out of 10 runs over the weekend, we qualified in 8 of them, placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in all but one run -- our Jumpers run on Sunday. I got lost on the course and just got confused. Luckily, Kaylie can read the numbers on the cones (that's the only explanation I can come up with) because she ran the right course despite my mess ups! Hence the name "Wonder Dog." So we still Q'd, but got 6th place. Still, not too bad!!
So, our next DOCNA trial will be in Pinetop the end of August. Hopefully we'll get our MEX there! Just one Gambler leg to go.
I'm just an Arizona girl who enjoys dog sports like agility, obedience and rally obedience. I'm also an avid photographer and scrapbooker, and combining dogs, picture taking and scrapbook making -- life can't get any better!
In April, Kaylie, Conor and I headed north to Greeley, Colorado to show in the AKC Aussie Nationals. We had so much fun! Kaylie finished her Rally Advanced Excellent title, with a 95 in the Excellent class and 3rd place, and a 97 in the Advanced class and 1st place. She also finished her Master Jumpers title in agility, with a 3rd place!
Kaylie is the best Rally dog. Here she is going over the high jump -- of course looking right at me to see what's coming next.
At the Nationals, Conor earned his first Rally Excellent leg with a 2nd place, and his first AKC Novice obedience leg with a score of 191. That wasn't good enough to place, but I still thought it was a fantastic score!
Conor in perfect heel position.
Conor has the cutest flip finish!
What a finish. He should have had points added on for being so darn stinking cute!
Can't Forget About Takara!
I can't forget about Takara! Takara is the dog that got me into the crazy world of dog sports. I started her in conformation, where she was the Reserve Queen -- never getting those elusive Winners points. Oh well. She was destined for better things. We started showing in obedience, where she earned her CD. Then on to the CDX. Boy, this dog was awesome . . . in practice. We actually got our first 2 CDX legs quite easily. Then came that last leg. It just never happened. We tried for many, many years to get it, but it just wasn't meant to be. So I started her in agility, where she just shined. Except when it came to the teeter. I didn't start training her for agility until she was 6 years old, and by that time, she was quite sure that the ground is never to be moving. She HATED the teeter. So, we stuck to just doing Jumpers courses, and in NADAC, she also did the Tunnelers courses. She loved the Jumpers courses though. This is Takara after earning her AKC Excellent Jumpers title, with a 1st Place to boot. She is 11 years old in this photo. For an old gal, she did fantastic. She is now retired from agility, and enjoys harassing Conor, stealing food off the counter and napping.
Takara turns 13!!
Takara turned 13 on May 4, 2008. It was impossible to get a picture of her by herself, because the two spotted beasts kept getting in the way, so I had to include them too. Heaven forbid should they be left out of anything!