The theme for Friday was holy freaking wind Batman! There was a high wind advisory warning for the area, to which I wanted to yell D'uh! at the weather people on the TV. All you had to do was try to step outside without the door getting ripped from your hand to realize that it was slightly gustier than normal.
Because we couldn't start setting up until 1pm, the dogs and I had a nice and leisurely morning. I had wanted to take them for a bit of a walk in the morning, but anything extended was ruled out because the only thing tethering me to the ground was my grip on the dogs leashes. Bess was also being a bit of a pain in the ass on leash. Pretty much acting like a puppy who hadn't be walked much. It was annoying and I couldn't figure out what the heck her deal was. She was also being a bit obnoxious in the room. Though she had been a super spooner during the night. All thing that really should have clued me in for what was to come. But I'll get to that.;0)
Once it was time I loaded the dogs into the truck and we headed to the show grounds, which are absolutely gorgeous! I don't have pictures right now, but I will try and steal someone else's lovely pictures of the drive in. This place is just beautiful! The temperatures were cool enough that even with the effort of putting up the tent and x-pens on my own, I kept a light jacket on the whole time. And did I mention that there was a wee bit of wind? Do you know how much fun it is to put up one of those pop-up type tents in ridiculous wind? I had to actually take the material part of the tent off in order to just get the frame up. Even with that the metal frame managed to get blown over once. As soon as that puppy was up, it got staked into the ground! I'll spare you all the details and much cursing on my part while I got everything figured out in order to afford the dogs the maximum among of shade and privacy (which took a freaking hour!). The above picture is the final product. The shade cloths rock! And the tarp was there to pull down so that Heffner could chill in his little cave. Everything has worked out well so far and I haven't had any issues with either dog getting hot.
Heffner actually did a lot better this year with regards to barking. There was barking any time there was an intact male around his x-pen yesterday, but that went way down today. Our neighbors actually were way worse than he was. And interestingly enough, he was only barky when I was near the x-pens. When I wasn't in our the vicinity of our set up, he was quiet. A little bit of the protector dog is obviously in effect when I'm around.
But back to Friday. Friday afternoon there was a conformation match as well as an obedience and rally match. I was definitely looking forward to the obedience match because it was going to be in the same ring that we would actually be competing in. First up, I took a cute little harl puppy bitch in for the conformation match. She was very sweet, but not terribly thrilled to have me on the other end of the leash. After that I took each dog over to the obedience match. First up was Heffner. With the crazy wind blowing about, a lot of the dogs were having a hard time focusing. And while we've done some work outside to sort of proof for outdoor trials, we just don't see wind like this in our area. Heffner was super distracted and our run was a bit distracting. Alrighty, I thought, lets try Bess. She too was really distracted and seemed to have forgotten how to sit. THAT should have been a red flag to me. Thankfully, we were practicing in an area where the actual trial ring was not going to be set up. Because I found out later that night that Bess HAD COME INTO SEASON! ARG!!! (and this is where I should also add that where the obedience ring had been set up for the match was not where it was set up for the trial the next day, so her sexy butt didn't contaminate the competition ring for the intact boys;0) )
She was looking a little bit swollen, but not like she normally does when she's in season. And she wasn't due in for another two weeks. But by about 10pm last night, there was some bloody discharge and she was definitely getting more swollen. Damn! No in season bitches competing at performance events. Which meant that I had to pull Bess from rally and obedience today. Double damn!
At least I still had Heffner. Well, sort of. Do you remember last year how I had some minor problems with Heffner at this venue? Yes, well, we sort of revisited that. I made sure he peed more than was necessary before our rally run. So we were good there. He was the first honor dog and our judge was awesome and had the dogs in a down. Something that I wasn't really thinking about with Heffner before we entered into Excellent is that he will have to hold the honor position for however long that dog and handler team take to complete the course. And not everyone is super speedy in finishing the course. And he's not terribly thrilled about holding a sit for an extended period of time. But he did awesome for his very first time honoring another dog! A few dogs later it was his turn. We started off well enough, but then he got really sniffy with the grass and the signs. I was a little paranoid that we were going to have a reenactment of the marking of the station sign, but we didn't. Instead he decided to drop a deuce in the ring. ARG!!! As soon as I saw it coming, I just threw my hand up and said that we were done. Because Heffner was slow getting into proper pooping position, the judge didn't at first realize why I had given up since the station we were at required a sit. Then the first turdlit came out and he got the picture.;0)
Alright, so rally didn't go the way that we had expected. I had been tempted to pull him from obedience because he was still fairly distracted, but damn if I wasn't going to try and salvage something out of our morning! Our heeling was rough. There was much lagging and going out of position and a total lack of halting. Our figure 8 wasn't too bad. He definitely has the idea of the speed changes, he just wasn't staying in position. But we did actually have sits on the halts. SWEET! Something we've been practicing has definitely made it through even in trying situations! The stand for exam went well, though I had meant to start him in a sit and he didn't really feel like it. Then we got set up for the heel off leash. As I was getting him into a sit, two people from the kennel walked two of the dogs to the exercise yard that next to the obedience ring. Just as we were about to start, they let the two dogs off leash to run and romp around. At which point Heffner went tearing across the ring and up the fencing to bark and growl at the two dogs. Awesome! I went running after him and got him by the collar. The judge tried to help me salvage something out of it by telling me to just call him back to me, but I already knew that wasn't going to work. I asked to be excused because there was no way that I was going to be able to get his attention back on me enough to finish a whole off leash heeling pattern. Sucky!!!!
So yeah, our morning of rally and obedience went right down the pooper. At least we still had parade of performance title holders to go! Heffner was first in and we got a lot of nice compliments on him as we were waiting to enter the ring. And we got a freaking huge ass ribbon with his name on it!
After a quick swap out, Bessy got her turn around the ring in which I amped her up just a wee bit much and in her excitement and want to play, she almost made me bite it. She also got a big ass ribbon with her name on it.:)
Bess was still entered in conformation since it doesn't matter if your bitch is in season or not for those classes. She ended up taking second out of three in that class. Not bad!
I did manage to take a little video of the breed ring, but I will have to post that after I get home because this post has already gotten very long and I still need to pack things up tonight so that we can check out tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed that we still have enough wind to keep the temperatures cool enough while we're at the show, but that the wind dies down once we're packed up and ready to leave. 'Cause I seriously don't feel like battling those winds for another 300+ miles on the drive north tomorrow afternoon!