Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday's Work

January 11, 2014

Nickel City Cluster

Beginner Novice
Obedience Title

The blizzard that hit parts of Buffalo ended on Tuesday and the roads were cleared on Wednesday (there had been a driving ban) so we headed out first thing Thursday morning. Wow, we crossed the border into a sea of white. Route 5 runs along Lake Erie and as far as the eye could see the lake was ice and snow! 

Shortly after we arrived at the Nickel City Cluster, I passed my very first attempt at Beginner Novice Obedience (BN) with a score of 187.5/200. Several hours later, I earned my second Rally-O leg with a score of 93/100 (my first and only other AKC Rally-O run was way back in April 2012).  

Since the weather was co-operative, we drove home Thursday night and returned Friday morning (a very slushy drive). Very shortly after arriving at the venue, I earned my second BN leg with a score of 187. After more than 6 hours of waiting around, it was Rally-O time. Or NOT! Yep, my Achilles heel got the better of me, again. Two-thirds through the run came the "Sit-Down" station and I gave into temptation BIG TIME!!! Although, I started to "down",  it was my tongue that hit the floor and not my elbows. Up until then, it was a passing run. From that station on, it was a dismal fail. Oh, well.

The Saturday morning drive was a bit slow with slippery conditions here and there. Once over the border, we encountered a road closure on Route 5 due to flooding and had to take a detour which nearly made us late for my BN run. In spite of our hurried entrance into the building, I earned my third BN leg with a score of 191 and my first AKC Obedience title.

Had we known it was going to be a 7 hour wait until our Rally-O run, we would have gone home at noon. As we entered the ring, it was apparent that my focus was more on the mats than on the work, so Mom made the decision to keep the leash short and taut so as to not allow me to reach the mats with my nose or tongue! This decision caused us to NQ. Oh, well. Better an NQ with my head in the air than an NQ due to a repeat performance of "lick the mats". 

It's safe to say that most, if not all, of the marks lost were due to the lure of the mats. That being said, in my defence, I have not been in a group class of any kind since last March, only managed to squeeze in a couple of private lessons in the summer and only one drop-in Rally-O class in December. So, all in all, I did a spectacular job of working in the midst of the distractions of the crowd, the other dogs outside the ring and the activities in the other ring. If only the mats had not been so intoxicatingly calling my name...

Not quite the "clean sweep" I had in the conformation ring at last year's Nickel City Cluster BUT a very successful outing nonetheless. Everyone is very proud of my earning my Beginner Novice title in 3 straight runs.

The snow was piled so high that I could almost see the
racehorses practicing on the other side of the high fence.

Thanks to Judges Ted Leslie and Catherine Thompson and all the volunteers of the Kennel Club of Niagara Falls and the Kennel Club of Buffalo.


  1. Very cool to get that Beginner Novice title! and so fast! Woohoo!

    1. Thanks, Claire. Not sure which is more stress-inducing for the human: the AKC "solo sit-stay while handler walks around the perimeter of the ring" or the CKC "30sec group sit-stay".