'/> The PR Gang: December 2007

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Holidays

The end of 2007 has come barreling to a close. Way too fast for all of us and I have been negligent about keeping up. Note to self: keep blog updated in 2008.
That said, we would like to wish
all of you a Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year. Bring it on 2008!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Excel Bleau's Rock Star RN

Roxy has her first title!! The RN after her name stands for Rally Novice. Novice is the first level of Rally Obedience and 3 qualifying runs(legs) are necessary for the title.
We got our second and third qualifying legs at the Ponce Kennel Club show on first weekend of December. We're thrilled to say the least!
The first day I was feeling quite nervous on the way to the show. We got there quite early as I wasn't sure where the parking would be and where I was going to set up. I ended up going in to the ring nearly 4 hours later! Roxy was not a happy camper. She was tired, hot and bored. I had done a bit of warm up several times during the lead up to our class and in between let her lie down in her kennel or on a blanket near the car. Even though this is theoretically resting, it's really not since a show environment is still quite new to Roxy.
I helped set up several of the Rally courses and was even permitted to walk the Advanced course just to get a feel for what's to come. After walking the novice course, I felt ready and Roxy was paying attention to me although still on high alert for anything "scary". We were the last to go in our class.
The course started with the serpentine which I thought was great for us. Interesting, because you're moving but not in a straight line. Everything was going fine until we got to the "call front, 1,2,3 steps back". She came to the front but was more interested in the dogs sitting behind us so she was not well prepared for the steps. I decided to take a re-try which she flubbed and on my second re-try she decided, after I called her name quite sternly, that I must have REALLY wanted her attention so she stood up and put her paws on my shoulders. UHG! I thought that was it. I looked at the judge because I thought I was going to be excused. All she said was, "Continue on", so on we went. We finished the rest of the course with no major incidents but Roxy's mind was not on the job. She was extremely slow to respond but I kept at it and tried to smile and encourage her. We ended up qualifying with a score of 83. I was happy for a "Q" but I knew she could do much better.
The following day I wanted to arrive later so we didn't have to hang around so long. It was a photo-finish in all senses. They were already on my class when I arrived and went to the ring to check on the progress of the day. I ran back to the car to change clothes really fast. I grabbed a few treats, slipped Roxy's leash on and we ran over to the ring. We were up next!! I tried to be calm as I did a few quick sits and finishes, quickly looked at a few numbers on the stations and dumped the rest of my treats on the ground next to some spare jumps. We qualified again with a score of 85. It was not a beautiful run but Roxy was paying attention much better than the day before and she did seem to be thinking.
That was it, three qualifying scores, we had our first title!! I certainly won't arrive that late again but I have learned that Roxy is a "Get it done" kind of dog.