I’m Mummy’s little slug in Agility; at trials we make
a clean run (no mistakes) and then disqualify for being over the time limit.
Mummy can’t run a whole lot faster anyway, so I take my time to make her look
better. People say I’m cute as I bounce along with my red barrette pinning up
my fall. Mummy says she doesn’t want to have to wait for me. She would like to
get out of breath. I showed her once at training last week how it feels when I
am quick. I thought she would need an oxygen tent. The other members of our
group applauded and Trainer Annika praised me up and down. I had done the
course more quickly than ever, including the weave poles, where I even bounced
Rally Obedience is where I excel. Though I always botch up our local club’s monthly just-for-fun competition (actually they are
Mummy’s mistakes), we have had five official trials this summer, where I got
90, 92, 93, 96 and 99 points out of 100 and „excellent“ each time. The 90
should have been 95 but Mummy put me from sit into lie too quickly; boom!
points gone! The other 5 errors were mine: sitting slightly crooked or
hesitating before carrying out a command. That’s fair: five points for each of
us. After this course I heard the scribe say, „I wonder which of the two is
English“. We are exotic because Mummy speaks only English to me. After all, she
has been a dog owner for over 50 years, since before she knew any German. And I’m
Irish even if I was born in Germany. Daddy only speaks English with me, too,
and the neighbor kids learn English through my commands.
The judge who gave us the 99 points asked if she
hadn't seen us before. Yes, in Lohne in April, my 2nd trials. "I thought so. I love watching you working together. I get tears in my eyes. I love how you give her information." She had heard Mummy ask, "ready?"
before a station where I needed to pay special attention, praise me a lot, and
warn me about left and right, like in the slalom. She said the one point she
took off was a borderline crooked sit; she could have let it go. We got 2nd
place; first place was also 99 points but 14 seconds faster than we. Both the
dog and the handler had considerably longer legs than we and Mummy wasted time
digging treats out of her pants pocket. The judge said what a patient girl I am;
her dog would have jumped on her if she hadn't forked over the treats right
away. Don’t give me any ideas! By the new rules we are allowed to get a treat
after stationary stations, where the dog is sitting, lying or standing at the
end of the exercise, though Mummy only treats a few, just to humor me. My godmother
Uschi gave Mummy a vest so that she can get the Leberkäse cubes out of her
pocket faster in future.
We could have moved up from Beginners to Class 1 after
any one of these results of 90 or more, but Mummy said she wanted to have more
than one „excellent“ so that it’s clear it isn’t a fluke. Now we can’t move up
because she has applied to compete in the Lower Saxony (state) Rally Obedience
Championship and you can’t change classes after August 15th. Better safe in
Beginners than sorry in Class 1 anyway. We get our thrills at training with
exercises from Beginner to Class 3. Two weeks ago we had our local club’s
Grinsekopp competition. Trainer Ela had just said, „Looks like a 100-pointer!“
when at the very last station Mummy turned right instead of left and left
instead of right. Bummer! That convinced her that we don’t want to drive to
Wesel for the DSV nationals. One wrong turn and it was all for nothing.
Today we had trials in Oldenburg, less than an hour’s
drive. I was so good when we practised that Mummy went to the start with a good
feeling. It couldn’t be worse than 90. She was careful with left and right this
time and remembered to wait 2 seconds between sit and lie, etc. We came off the
course for the discussion with the judge, who said, „100 points!
Congratulations!“ Mummy asked if she
was allowed to hug the judge, who said, „gladly!“ Now we’re off to Hannover for
the state championships and then we’re moving up to class 1. Enough of this
beginner stuff. I need a challenge.
I’m glad I bragged about our 100 points 2 weeks ago.Today didn’t go so well in Hannover at NIROC
(Niedersächsisches Rally Obedience Championat = Rally championships for
the states of Lower Saxony and Bremen). In front of the preparation area there were slippery
tiles covered with slippery wet leaves and Mummy nearly lost her footing. I got
bored waiting and sat down. In the preparation area I made Mummy feel safe,
doing all she asked of me enthusiastically. When it was our turn, we went onto
the course and at the first sign I whipped around in circles. Mummy couldn’t
imagine why I was spinning like a top. Two signs later I was wiggling again.
One of those pesky leaves had stuck to my butt and was pricking me when I had
to sit on it. Here I finally shook it off. Then everything was OK and we
finished the course in peace. But we lost 6 points for my dance steps, one for
a crooked sit and one for hesitating to sit. 92 is still
„excellent“ but only
6th place. Mummy will check my butt next time. Then I’ll have a hair in my eye
or my beard in my mouth ;-)
My partner Jo-Jo (Yo-Yo) from chapter 14’s exam and my
friend Buddy were there, too, and with the only day of perfect fall weather
between cold rainy days, we had a good day together in our
tents. Next year we’ll all be in Class 1.
Season over. Now we just have a weekend at the pet
fair representing my breed (chapter 16 last year) and we don’t have to be good
at anything for a change!