Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ringing the Bell for the Salvation Army

Today we rang the bell for the Salvation Army at WalMart. This is actually Prosper's second Christmas doing this Community Service....he did it last year as a baby puppy. This year he was learning how to take "Munny!" from folks and take it to the red bucket. Please notice the happy faces of the people who are watching all this. The temperature was in the high 20's, and the wind was blowing briskly, but it was a fun, exhilerating day for all of us. Rob came out and snapped pictures and filmed and even blew a few notes on his trumpet.
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Monday, December 8, 2008

A Good Day at the Dawg Show

Wellllll...our trek to Fayetteville, AR was wonderful and productive.

I woke up Sat am about 3:30 puking.....Virus or food poisoning, I don't know until Rob comes down with it.... :-)

So THAT got me off to a late start, and I arrived at the show site at 11:24. We showed in Obediene at 11:35....God provided me with a VERY close parking space (it HAD to be Him, because this is a very crowded show with limited parking and NO grooming space once the sun comes up), and James and I hurried in to pick up our number and make a quick stop at the bathroom :-(

James did Beautifully. Even his heeling was quite good! With little or no warmup (who neeeeds warm up, Mom! I'm getting to be a PRO at this!). However, instead of Drop on Recall, he Sat on Recall.....(he's never DONE this one before!). The ring is on red dirt, and I'm thinking he just didn't Like the idea of lying down in dirt. James is my "meticulous" one---always bypassing puddles, Never digging in the dirt (unlike his brothers Baden and Prosper), and being very particular about his "bathroom" habits.

So, the rest of the trial was No Pressure! And it was all very good. The out-of-sight sits (3 min)and downs (5 min) were Wonderful. He sat there like the movie star that he IS, and when I returned, I don't think I could have ever smiled any bigger. He is such a pretty sight amongst all those "other" breeds (pardon my snobbery). Ah, well. ANOTHER good Training Session.. Btw....NOone qualified in this group....It really is a very difficult place to show---one whole side of the ring is right next to a very busy, busy aisle w/kids sometimes hanging on the metal bars....

Prosper came into the show site trying to ski me down the aisles.....Sigh.....He was SOOOO Happy to BEEEE there! So many new people to meet and greet and so many doggies to sniff and play-bow to.....HOW does one tell an innocent that Life is not actually as we have "presented" it to them, and that they Could git dawg bit if they do not stay close to Mommy and let her do the leading???? Prosper doesn't Know that there is any "badness" in the world (except of course when I yell at him for chewing up the nativity figures).

Well, he did Rally Novice Obedience just fine (with Lots of "Prosper! Here!" and "woooo woooo woooo!" and "whaaaat a smart boy!"), pulling on the leash minimally....On the spiral, I got to talking so much, that I LOST my place, and re-did that. Didn't check the judge's sheet later, so don't know if I lost 10 pts on it or not. Best-in-Show ring was going on closeby, so there was a LOT of whooping and clapping down the way, and Prosper lost focus a bit, listening to all that fun that was going on. But we Q'd with a score of 79 (must have bet 70-100 to Qualify). And it wasn't the lowest score that day, either! At least we know that we can DO it....He's truly not ready---not like a focused, loose-leash walker, but he's getting there.

I bought a couple of crate pads (These were just really cool, and they are slick and won't hold dog hair), drank a Sprite (REAL, with sugar!), and headed to the motel, then Petsmart, then Wendy's for a baked potato. We all piled into the bed while Animal Planet played on TV (it ran all night--can't Believe that!). Got up at midnight again and threw up the potato.....

Back to the show site Sunday morning. Fluffed and puffed the liddle wolf cub and stuffed both boyz into crates and went for coffee and my armband numbers. Prosper showed in Breed at 10:50; James showed in Obedience at 11:30. (Arrruuughhh! WHAT was I Thinking???)
Prosper won his little class (12-18 mos), w/the judge (Garry Newton) laughing all the time. Prop actually did pretty good standing and running around, but when the judge "slicked his face back," he didn't like that a BIT. Plus, looking at the teeth was a bit wiggle-butt-ish...He did fine on the "up and back"....until he came back towards the judge, and he hopped. I truly DID think about stopping and going back, but figgered, what the heck....won't chg anything...But the judge grinned at me real big, and said, "Why don't you try it again?!" So we did, and Prosper straightened up, and stayed with me. For Prosper, it was actually a pretty good showing. I could actually see some seriousness on his face at some point. Not at all like the "fun" we were (not!) having in the Rally ring.

Okay, so NOW he has to go Back into the Breed ring again, at Some point! And I have to show Jamie in Obedience.... So, I asked a breeder from Indiana if she could help me out. One of her junior handlers took Prosper back in, and said, aside from his sitting in the ring a couple of times (omg!), he showed really well. Upon reflection, I realized that he was "offering behaviors," and trying to see what she wanted him to do in order to get that liver.....As a thankyou gift, I gave her Prosper's pretty white lead with the blue stars I had made.

James did Beautifully in Open Obedience! Beautifully! There were two little girls hanging on the fence right where we were starting out--with CAMERAS!!! I told them to Leave. (on the drop on recall, the judge even tries to wait a few seconds while the "traffic" subsides on that side---it's bad). Retrieve over the jump went well. James sailed over the jump. Got the dumbbell. Headed back for the jump....DROPPED the dumbbell....PICKED it UP....but...sigh.....was in a position away from the jump, so he went around it......Thatsa "No Qualification."

I cked the judges sheet later on.....IF James'd cleared that jump, we'd have Q'd scoring in the 190's (out of 200).....I couldn't be more proud!

One thing we DID do between exercises is we Danced! Yep! We actually Danced. Not just turning circles or prancing around, but we Danced. He turned backwards, spun around, backed up between my legs, then returned to heel, etc. It got him barking a bit (doesn't take Much), but it also made it fun and he got to show off how cute he is. Plus, it took away the seriousness of the whole scene. James gets serious, he shuts down.

We packed up and headed home (the Indiana breeder put in an order for a leash), and I stopped at Taco Bueno for my favorite Mexi-Dips and Chips.....I may regret that tomorrow.....

Boyz are dead in the floor, cuddled on blankets.....I don't think I realized how tiring this can all be...

And Now I am going to knit and contemplate my navel....