On Friday Violet debuted in Utility. I was bracing myself for the utter humiliation of showing a dog that had not had enough training. I could picture her on the articles just sitting there staring at me too afraid to move or deciding that she didn't know what a go out was.
Despite my fears Violet did a wonderful job. In fact the only thing we didn't qualify on was the first article(Brought back the wrong one). Even then she only hesitated for a second before going to the pile. It wasn't a perfect performance but to my great relief I was in no way humiliated.
It helped that I kept a genuinely upbeat attitude the entire time.
On Saturday I showed Charlie in Novice. He hadn't been to a dog show since this time last year so I wanted to get there an hour early. A little before 10am I walked in and went to get my number. The steward informed me that I was next. Chuck and I went in cold.
This heel pattern was the result
I could not have been happier. He usually shuts down at shows and his heel falls apart. I think that fact that I didn't have time to warm up and stress him out helped a lot. He did blow the recall when he got to me though. No front sit and he tried to check out the people behind me.
I spent the duration of the stays holding my breath and praying to what ever god would listen. I just knew that after a year off he wouldn't hold it. To ad to my fears there was a small boy throwing a tantrum right out side the ring not even 3 feet from Charlie.
He held both stays and qualified with a 191 1/2. I lack the words to express just how proud of him I am.
He is now
Plake's Sir Charles of Allston CD RN CGC
On Sunday Violet showed in Utility again. It was a much worse run but still not totally humiliating seeing as most of the other Utility A exhibitors where having just as hard a time. The judge loved V though and kept saying "Look how cute she is. Look at that face. She just absolutely loves you!".
My friend Trish and her dog Grace also earned their RA on Sunday with a first place! Now I'm hoping to get her into regular obedience too ;-)
All through out the weekend I also got to see Phlox's siblings Dot and Dylan and their owners. I enjoyed getting together and talking about our dogs and the breed in general. His siblings are both beautiful and I hope to see more of them in the future.
Looking back at the weekend gives me renewed hope that Violet is still young enough and enjoying Obedience enough to continue. I made huge improvements on my attitude and have a new commitment to train year round and not just right before a show.