Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jenny's big day

Today I took Jenny to her first AKC rally match. Our very first rally match actually. I started with AKC because that was the class I took recently and those are the signs I have been practicing. There was also an APDT rally match today but it was farther away. (at Finish Forward Dogs which I look forward to visiting in the future) I don't know all of the APDT signs yet so I figured this match would be an easier way to dip our toes in the pool so to speak. Plus it was less travel time and gas. Jenny had never been to a dog show type event before and I didn't know how she would do so closer to home made more sense to me for her first one.

The car ride produced a bit of whining but it wasn't to bad. She isn't used to long rides as I am a bit of a home body. She did fine at the site. I kept her busy in her soft crate with chewies and having gotten her used to that crate previously helped I'm sure. What I absolutely hated was the waiting. Novice A goes in the ring DEAD LAST so I had plenty of time for ring nerves. HOURS actually. It is silly considering it was only a match, practice for the real thing, but I did get plenty nervous. I guess it is good to watch the other classes first, you learn alot and seeing others mess up certainly takes pressure off for anything perfect. But it still sucks. While waiting I doubted I would ever do this again. I even texted my husband "This is supposed to be fun??"

It was a SUPER windy day. If you look close you can see the pieces of a long jump holding the ring gates up in this photo above. Ironicly we have never practiced our Rally on a windy day because keeping the signs from blowing away is a huge pain. That will teach me! I didn't take many pics because I was to nervous. You can't tell from these pics but it was VERY well attended. It started at 10:30 and we got in the ring at about 1:45. (and it was just a rally ring -regular obededience was in another ring)
Thankfully it only bothered Jenny a little. She got spooked near the moving gate (from wind) once but other than that she did pretty well. Her nose was to the ground a bit to much but once I got her attention off the ground she did great. I messed up two stations so had two retries. We qualified with a score of an 87 (out of 100) and got a third place ribbon. (out of 4 in the class) Yay! Driving home I thought, of course I'll do it again! It was fun! What a difference before the ring and after the ring thoughts are! LOL I wasn't nervous IN the ring during our turn, just during our wait. I just hope I get over that in future events. That part wasn't much fun at all.

She looks so impressed right? I wish I had asked someone to tape it for us but I didn't know many people there to begin with and the ones I did know left before we went into the ring. I did get over my shyness to ask a steward to take this photo for me. I couldn't NOT get a photo of us at our first match after all! I've also learned I don't have any dog show friends on speed dial! Thanks to Jen for letting me interupt her at work to tell her our good news. I had to share with SOMEONE that understood! (my husband while always supportive wasn't as excited as I needed at that moment)

So we survived our first match and foray into the rally ring. I plan on doing an APDT rally match in July at Wag It. That one is a bit closer to home which will be nice. I cannot stress how much I hate traveling. (for anything) I know these are just match ribbons and no points are awarded but I don't care. I am PROUD of Jenny and want to show them off so here they are.

I've learned the hard way that you never know what tomorrow will bring so in THIS moment I am very excited. We did it!


Katie said...

Yay! Congratulations!

I have found that with time and experience, my ring nerves have gotten better. It also gets to be more fun as you get to know more people.

Be careful though-- it's also addictive! :)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Great job!

Jen said...

Congrats! How awesome for you!!

Mary said...

Congratulations to you and Jenny! I am so glad you decided to go to a match and happy you had fun - eventually. Give her a big scratch for me!

Marie said...

Thanks everyone. I guess if my ring nerves were that bad I wouldn't have sent in my entry for the next trial as soon I got home. VBG I DO hope they lessen over time though.