Saturday, April 2, 2011

DeWitt trial, Day 1

Thanks, everyone, for your good luck wishes and positive thoughts. They worked. 


I am so wonderfully proud of the Skinny Little Dog!

First exercise was the Directed Retrieve, Glove #2. This is a pretty good glove for us, no tricky turn. Phoenix did a great job, ran out, clean pick up, straight back, good front and finish.

Next was the Signal Exercise. It's always so hard for me to judge my own heeling but it felt pretty good. And he did a super job on the signals, looked confident and focussed. It helped that the judge heeled us almost up to the jumps before having us stand!

After that was the Directed Jumping. I set him up and marked him to his spot. Wasn't sure he'd actually marked it, so marked him to it again. And off he went! Yee-haw! No! Wait! Come back! Judge gave me the hairy eyeball and I tried to look repentant. Phoenix did not look repentant. His go-outs were AWESOME! I am so proud of this dog! Fronts and finishes were a little sloppy but ask me if I cared!

Then the Open A folks went back into the ring next to us for awards. People were screaming and clapping. The judge asked me if I'd like to wait until they were done. It's not fair that your dog has to work through it and no one else dog had to, he said. What a thoughtful guy. I said okay, let's wait. BAD DECISION even though it seemed like a good one at the time.

We stood there and Phoenix totally deflated. I tried getting him to do some little tricks but he wasn't having any part of it. Hindsight being what it is, I should have just worked him through it. He would have thought the applause was for him anyway.

So off we went in a funk to do the Moving Stand. The heeling, stand and exam were rock solid but he walked in on the return. Yikes. That was ugly.

Last exercise was Scent Discrimination. I tried marking him to the pile. He didn't want to look at it. He didn't want to look at me. Not sure what was going on in his little brain. I figured when I sent him he wouldn't have a clue what he was doing  . . . but I was wrong. Again. He did a lovely job with both articles, although he spit the first one out on my feet, then picked it up again.

So we got our first UD leg with a score of 191, 6 points off for the two major errors (walk in and dropped article.)

I am so proud of him I could just burst! He showed me exactly what I needed to see. He understands the concepts of each exercise. He can do them in a brand new place. (This was a lovely site for a green Utility dog, not too congested or busy.) But he is a little lacking in confidence. I saw some hesitation and unsureness. The only solution for that is lots of training in new places to build him up. And of course, the eternal fine tuning and polishing that never ends.

Here's the report for the rest of the crew:

Carrie and Addie got their 1st CD leg with a 196 to win Novice A. AWESOME!

SueAnn and Willow got their 1st CDX leg!

Becky and Ninya got leg #3 to finish their CD!

Michelle and Cider were rather crazed in Utility. For a minute, it looked like she was showing Cougar. They got out of the ring without breaking anything.

Sharon and Rudy got UDX leg #1!

Johnette and Rufus gave it the ol' college try in Open A. Pam and Chance and Mary and Rowdy gave it the ol' college try in Utility A. They got all their bugs out today and will rock tomorrow.

And the pecan pie from the concession stand was awesome.


  1. CONGRATULATIONS!! What an awesome day for you guys! I'm so, so happy for you, and I'm so glad that it was a good experience for both you and Phoenix. Layla would've been the same way, thinking the applause was for her. She woo-woos every time people clap at a dog show or agility trial, convinced it's all for her.

  2. YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Good boy Phoenix!!!!! Did he get a piece of pie???

    Thanks for the report - more tomorrow please and good luck to all of you!!!

  3. That's great Melinda. Marcia beat me to the pie comment - but we were obviously thinking the same thing - pie or maybe a kitty. Can't wait to watch you work next week-end. I'm stewarding but promise will have all treats out of my pockets! Hoping today is going great for you as well.

  4. FANTASTIC!!!! So thrilled for you guys!! CONGRATS!!

  5. Wow that is fantastic! What a good boy you must be bursting with pride and even with his minor deflation after the wait that is a great score! Congrats!!!!

  6. Many congratulations to you!!

  7. Congrats. At least with one leg you know he can do it, even the next day wasn't so good!