I like to find out how we are doing by going to fun matches before I spend $27 to enter a show. So this morning the two boy baddogs and I packed up appropriate leashes and treats. We went to the Golden Retriever Fun Match at the park that is 10 minutes from our house (how very convenient!).
I had pre-entered Holmes in conformation and Chase in Novice B obedience. My friend Bonnie was supposed to show Holmes (since she agreed to show him at the May cluster), but she didn’t appear. So, I arranged to be last into the Novice ring while I showed the baby. Holmes was so very good, and looked ever so nice. He won the Puppy Herding Group and was in contention for Best in Match against a Newfie — talk about contrast. We were there for the practice, so not winning wasn’t an issue at all. However afterward, the judge came to find me at the Obedience ring to tell me that Holmes was the winner, but the man with the Newfie had never been in conformation before and she wanted to encourage him. She said she could tell I’d been showing a long time, but wanted me to know that she thought little Holmes was a beautiful puppy. It was nice of her to go out of her way to track me down. It turns out we’ve had a handler in common, so had a nice chat.
Then she stayed ringside at obedience and watched Chase earn a qualifying score. It was REALLY HARD for him. You know he thinks with the end that has no ears, so the smells on the grass were amazing. On the recall, he came galloping straight in — until he realized the judge next door was one of our friends. He made a detour to stick his nose through the ring gates to goose her, and then finished the recall. On the heel free, he was doing way too much sniffing and had to run to get back in position at about turns. He did the stand for exam with only minor front foot movement. Absolutely solid sits and downs, lagged a little on the figure-8 outside position.
We are entered in another match next Sunday (at the same nearby park). If we can survive the grass to qualify in obedience at the matches, I think we’ll be fine at the indoor trials. Holmes — well, he doesn’t care — let’s go, mom, let’s say hi to the nice people. I can just stand here and look pretty. Do you like my pretty teeth? What an easy baby.
. . . now it’s clouding up, but I don’t care because we are home.