Monterey was so tiring! I had lots of fun, and there are so many good stories to share, but I figured I should share the one about my qualifying in Novice Obedience. Yes, I did.
In Vallejo last week, there was so much to sniff in the ring, so I did. I sniffed. And I wandered off from Mom. By the time I figured out what was going on, it was too late. The judge had already decided I didn’t qualified (NQ’d).
I know Mom knows I *can* heel while looking at her, so I thought I probably couldn’t continue to get away with pretending I didn’t know how. At the specialty, Mom was pretty sure I would sniff my way through the ring, AND we had a judge who had a reputation for being very precise in his scoring.
As it turns out, the judge was VERY nice. He told Mom and all the other dog parents that they should pretend it was a training session, not a real competition. In practice, I nearly always do well, so that was it. Practice. I *had* to do well. But I *do* like to sniff. Tough call.
Before we went into the ring, Mom gave me a piece of hamburger that my brother Dante’s mother had given her to give me. It was so good! I was pretty sure she probably had more, but it was ring time. We started out with the on-leash heeling pattern. I kept watching Mom thinking there might be more hamburger, and before I knew it, I had finished the whole pattern. I did it. We were not NQ’d yet.
Next I had to do the figure 8. I watched Mom around the first “post,” but then I saw some interesting stuff outside the ring, so I got a little distracted. I remembered I was with her and sat when I was supposed to. I did the same thing the second time around the “posts.”
Next was the stand for exam. Mom made me stand and told me to stay. The judge came over to touch me, and I really, really, really wanted to lift my feet and lean on him, but I didn’t. I was still passing!
The next thing was the HARDEST part. I had to heel with Mom OFF-LEASH! There was stuff to sniff. LOTS of it. So we started, and when we got to the first “halt,” I had an itch, so I scratched for a bit. Then Mom started going again, so I went with her. I got a little distracted, so Mom called “heel” again, and I snapped back into reality and caught up with her. We were STILL qualifying!
Next was the recall. I LOVE running. LOVE. IT. So when Mom called, I ran right to her. Fast. Everyone laughed at how fast I came to Mom, and I was looking around to see what was so funny, so I was a little distracted and forgot when I walked around her that I needed to sit.
The nice judge said we were QUALIFYING going into the sits and downs, so I had to go relax in my kennel for a little while until it was time. Finally the time came, and we had to go back into the ring. I was first, and then there were a lot of other dogs in there with me. I was sitting where I could see out the window, so there was a lot to watch. All the dog parents told us to sit and stay, and then they walked across the ring to watch us for a whole minute. Two of the dogs decided to lie down, but I knew I was supposed to sit there, so I didn’t move. I was STILL qualifying.
The last thing was the downs/stays. That goes on for three whole minutes. It seemed like three years. We all did our downs. I was watching Mom and looking out the window and thinking about the smells in the ring. It occurred to me that I could get up, but I looked at Mom, and she was smiling at me and giving me that “you are my favorite Berner” look, so I decided to stay. The whole time. I stayed. And then the time was up. Mom came back, and the judge said we had done it. We qualified! I had my first Novice Obedience leg.
Mom was so excited that she even asked the judge to take a picture with us to commemorate the event.
So there it is. I am awesome, and Mom knows I can go through the ring and not sniff. It will be tough to get away with sniffing at the Sacramento show in two weeks. Maybe I shouldn’t have been quite as good. Sometimes my awesomeness is just too hard to hide.