Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday......
Alrighty, I'm going to try and sum up Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so that I'm closer to being caught up!! My itinerary for Tuesday was watch obedience from 8-9am. Go back to watching the futurity and the breeder's education ringside mentoring, peformance dane seminar, and then go watch the parades. Busy, busy, busy!!
Obedience was great. For the little time that I was there I did get to see some very well trained danes! Again, the lighting wasn't good for pictures and I felt weird taking video of dogs that weren't mine and of people who I didn't really know. So I unfortunately don't have any pictures from that event.
After obedience, I ran back to the conformation building for the ringside mentoring. Tuesday I had a different mentor who also does a fair amount of performance events with her danes. That was really interesting being able to talk to her about how the different conformation faults effect how a dog is able to perform in agility and obedience.
After the ringside mentoring from 9-11am (I also got a cute certificate for completing it!), I continued to watch the futurity. Tuesday it was the bitches.
If you would like to see some other candids by another photographer, go here.:) After the futurity was over I jetted off to the performance dane seminar. Originally when I signed up for the seminar it was billed as an all around performance seminar to focus on motivational issues in agility, obedience, tracking, etc. When I got here, it was written down as an obedience seminar. I have a feeling that the majority of the people signed up for the seminar wanted to focus on obedience issues (they sent out an email survery to see what questions people wanted answered) and that's why the focus was turned more towards that. However, I was able to pick some things out of the three hour seminar that I think would be good to incorporate into my training and competing regime. The people who organized the seminar went through a lot of time and effort arranging this and getting someone to talk at this event and I have to give them props for that! Unfortunately, there were a few methods the speaker talked about using that I was really uncomfortable with. A lot of it focused on negative reinforcement and I just don't want to do that with my dogs. Granted I haven't attempted training for upper levels of obedience (never mind the novice levels, LOL), but there has got to be a better way to train positively for it.
I think that most of my disappointment in the seminar stemmed from the fact that it was at the same time as the GDCA general meeting. The general meeting time had been changed shortly before the national got under way and they offered everyone planning on attending the seminar their money back if they wanted to attend the meeting. I was really looking forward to the seminar so I just planned on attending it any how. But I found out later that there was a geneticist who came and spoke about the most recent findings with regards to the harl gene. The great dane's coat color genetics are really fascinating to me! The harlequin color family has a lot of interesting genetics that go into why the color combinations come out the way that they do. I am VERY thankful that the fawn family genetics are so simple! And that I have a breeder mentor to help me out!:) In addition to the genetics talk at the meeting, they also discussed some proposed changes to the breed standard. All of this would have been really neat to be hear and be a part of. Next year!
After the seminar, we regrouped, grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed off to watch the Parade of Title Holders!! The parades are for dogs who have an AKC title. On the way we passed an RV that was all decorated for Halloween!!
For each individual dog's parade, they're allowed to do a little "skit" with music. I can't remember what the time limit is for each "routine," but it's definitely long enough to do a fun little jig around the ring. Sometimes people will just take their dog around the ring and gait and stack them. It's all up to the person entering the dog. I was able to snap a few pictures of some of the different dogs entered.
And yes, I am already starting to plan Bess' parade for next year. I think I've finally gotten her breeder convinced that I can do a nationals appropriate routine to "Baby Got Back!:>:o)
Wednesday was a "free" day meaning that there was no conformation scheduled. But there was agility!! My friend Chris gave me a ride out to the trial site. It was about 40 min. from the host hotel. Unfortunately there wasn't anything suitable that was closer. Since I was going to "just watch" and didn't have any dogs entered, I volunteered to be the gate steward. It was a ton of fun to be at an agility trial where the only breed that I saw were other great danes!! The theme of the day was zoomies! And you really can't blame these dogs. Many of whom had a multiple day drive in a car. Then they get to the host hotel and they get cooped up in a hotel room and crates throughout the day for the first two days. Most did obedience on Mon. and Tue., but that's not a very good cardiovascular workout. So needless to say, most of the dogs were feeling their oats and enjoying their sudden off leash freedom! There were some good runs and a couple of 10 year old danes who were stilling running!
After I got back from the trial I got washed up and ready for the Top 20 dinner and competition. These are the danes who are the Top 20 in the United States. Unfortunately, I misunderstood the announcement they made at the beginning of the event and didn't get any pictures. They had said no FLASH photography, not NO photography during the competition. At any rate, it was really awesome to see these dogs that I've only seen pictures of for the most part! I did manage to take a couple of pictures from the Top 20 dinner!
Thursday started the non-futurity part of the conformation competition. All of the age classes that were below 6 months old were therefore cut out. I took a ton of pictures, but I'm not going to upload every single one of them because that would take FOREVER! I'll upload a cross section of the different colors. Enjoy!
I also snapped a few more pictures from around the hotel during the lunch break.:)
Thursday evening was the auction. We didn't attend the auction dinner and just sort of popped in to check things out after the auction had already started.
Phew! And that's pretty much sums it all up through last night! Georgia had to catch her flight this morning at 5:35am, so she had to get up super early. Now it's just Ray and I hanging out in the hotel room and resting up for tomorrow's competitions. I believe that my flight leaves tomorrow at 4:30pm, so I will be missing a chunk of the breed competition unfortunately. But at least I'll be able to watch some of it!