Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coming Attraction...

I know it's only Tuesday but I'm half packed for the weekend again.  This time we are heading to Hutchinson, MN for a two day, 4 show International Show hosted by IABCA.  Sahra and John will be coming up and we'll all get to spend some time with Peppi, Brian and Amy.  Despite what I have read on another blog, posted their by an obviously uninformed person, the International Championship title is truly a title of worth.  The dogs are judged based on the country of their origin by judges who are required to give a written critique of each part of the dog as per the breed standard.  The UCI has been in existence for over 30 years not only in the US but multiple foreign countries as well. There are a large number of UCI judges that are also AKC judges.  For each critique the dog receives a rating number of how well the dog conforms to the UCI breed standard.  Not every dog that is judged receives a rating high enough to qualify for a UCICB which is the rating required for the international championship.  Three UCICB's are required to earn the title.  At the last IABCA show there were many dogs that were disqualified and excused from the competition.  This is not a situation of "pay us the $ and here is your title certificate".  The UCI's titling program follows closely the FCI's titling program which is how exhibitors overseas earn both their National (country) Championships and their International Championships.  This is why you see approximately 20% of breeds showing at the IABCA shows that are not AKC recognized breeds.  It certainly does not mean they are not truly a breed of dog, there are more breeds of dogs overseas that are not recognized by the AKC than one might believe.  After all that's why each year the AKC has new breeds being brought into their program.  Since your dog is judged against the breed standard and not against other dogs (until Best of Breed, etc), you can complete a title without competition.  But you can also receive a non-passing certificate or be disqualified for lack of merit.  I hope that his may educate some about the validity of other venues for earning titles.  I don't even want to go into the UKC Championships, they are also a worthy title, but I am not educated in their titling requirements as of yet.  I do have dogs registered with the UKC and look forward to not only more performance, but also some conformation shows in the near future.
On a personal note, I enjoy doing different things with my dogs and not all of them involve AKC events.  Should everyone do as I do?  No.  We all choose our paths and do what we enjoy.  My only request is to educate yourselves and not make inaccurate statements that may prevent others from enjoying an activity.  To overtly slander a particular activity is just poor sportsmanship.  Or is it a case of "those who can, do" and those who can't, bitch about it?
Until next time...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The End of the Rally Weekend

It was an entirely awesome way to end the weekend.  Trace qualified with a 94 for his first U-RO1 leg.  Jam qualified with a 96 for his second U-RO1 leg.  And Harold was spot on with a 97 for his final leg and his U-RO1 title!  No class placements today as there were four perfect 100 scores.  Harold also got a medal for finishing his U-RO1 title.  I am so proud of my boys--they were terrific this weekend and I couldn't have asked for anything more out of them.  Now I have to determine how to get all the items into the trailblazer for next weekend's run to Minnesota and the International shows.  I think this calls for some celebratory chocolate!
Until next time...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

UKC Rally Day Two

It's hard to believe that day two could be better than day one, but it was!  Poor Trace, another NQ due to the stand.  UKC standards for judging seem to be much sterner than AKC and because I had to place him in the stand and not do just a signal and/or a light touch, he NQ'd.  The judge was so nice, she went over all the dogs score sheets with me after to offer advice and said it was a shame because he only lost 2 points on the rest of the course.  We will try again tomorrow.  Harold had another good run and ended the day with a 94 and 4th place for his 2nd leg!  Jam redeemed his handler and today pulled a 97 with a 2nd place!  I was so proud of my boys, especially Harold who hasn't been worked seriously in 6 months.  Of course it's always especially sweet when Jam pulls out a good performance.  I love that boy.  Did I mention the placement rosettes?  Yea I'm a ribbon slut, so what? ;-)
I also won a wonderful basket full of goodies in the raffle, so it was definitely a great day at the dog show!
Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 5, 2010

UKC Rally Day One

The knee survived, but then again we didn't even have a "Fast" sign to do, which was great considering my status.  I got there way early as I wasn't sure of how many obedience entries were before rally and got to see some very nice obedience runs.  The High In Trial dog had a 198.5 in Utility and it was a gorgeous run.  One of the true joys of UKC for me is that they allow altered mixed breed dogs to compete in performance events.  The High In Trial rally dog was out of Level 2 and was a sweet mixed breed girl with a 100! 
Our day was good overall.  Trace was hindered by his handlers inability to read a sign correctly and also her lack of knowledge on the stand requirements for UKC (which I am re-reading tonight) and he NQ'd a run that should have been nice.  Bad, bad handler.  Spice had a pretty pathetic performance and NQ'd--apparently her sit was broken today.  Jam had a beautiful 1st half run and then I must have tightened up because he reverted to his "I'm not having fun" signals, so no sits and an NQ.  Harold redeemed us today.  This was the dog I was actually concerned about and he pulled out a 95 and 1st place!  The club gives out rosettes for class placements and a toy--so both Harold and I were really happy. :-)
On to tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I think we may need to start a prayer circle for my knee and various other disfunctional, worn out body parts.  The next three weeks will be riding on just how well the knee brace works and the size of the ibuprofen bottle.  Herding lessons continue on Mondays which beats me up the most but is by far one of my favorite activities.  I traded training Bejing in herding for John Jola and he is going to show Spice for me in conformation, Spice and Declan will continue their herding and next Monday, Harold will be going for a shot at it.  Declan and Lolly will be starting obedience classes on Tues. nights beginning 11/16.  And of course we have the semi-daily agility foundation work with Spice. 
The weekends will be the most fun, or not, depending on the drive :-)   This weekend we have the local UKC rally and obedience trials in Cedar Rapids.  Jam, Harold, Spice and Trace are all entered in rally level one.  I just hope there are more dogs entered so I don't have to do them all back to back.  Then we head out on 11/13 and 11/14 for the International show in Hutchinson, MN with Spice, Trace and Lolly.  That's 4 shows in 2 days and I'm sure will be loads of fun but totally exhausting.  Apparently I love Minnesota waaaaayyy too much as we head back up again to Shakopee for the next weekend with Declan in conformation.  I had some plans to enter the Des Moines obedience trials after Thanksgiving but decided it was time for a break as December looks a bit busier than I had originally thought.
Yep, I'm nuts, but then everyone knew that already!  Until next time...

Monday, November 1, 2010


By day 3 I almost didn't give a crap anymore.  I was exhausted, my knee felt like it was on fire and detaching itself from the rest of my leg one fiber at a time and the coffee with the extra expresso shot DID NOT WORK to keep me awake.  The day ended up really great in the end.  Amy and Brian came to the show and did the walk in and wipe up scenario going Winners Bitch and Winners Dog in Smooth Collies and Winners Bitch in Rough Collies-all for majors.  Jean's Ebbie was Winner's Bitch for a 4 point major to finish her Championship!  I think all three of them are ribbon sluts--(insert hilarious laughter here) ;-)
Spice sucked it up and let me take her into the rally ring again.  Apparently she is not going to trade me in for a better handler, at least as of today.  I redeemed myself and relaxed and didn't freak out too much and she qualified for her 2nd RN leg with another placement, this time a 3rd place.  I think she might be a ribbon slut too....
The dogs and I came home this afternoon after a good nights sleep at Jean's.  We are all happy to be home again and I am just positive that the elves will appear this evening and unpack the trailblazer by the morning.  What? No elves? Okay, how about fairies?  I'll take fairies to unpack.  No fairies either?  Hmmm...dogs don't have opposable thumbs and Jam would probably organize some type of protest if he was asked to unload the vehicle.  Shoot...guess I have to do it myself.
Until next time...


What?  It's morning already?  What the heck happened to sleep?  After another round of coffee at the Kum and Go, off we went.  Day 2 was great!  Again I played support staff.  Did I mention that John and Sahra let me groom Bejing on Friday and Saturday?  It felt wonderful to be grooming a smoothie again.  Poor Bejing, he took it like a man and stood for all my fussing around.  I did see him look at John more than a few times with that "save me from this fool" look. 
It was a great day for my dogs too.  Spice had another run at Novice obedience and cleaned up her stand with a perfect performance.  No feet moving at all!  Yea!  She had another fun day too.  Better performance on the on leash performance but worse on off leash today.  Good recall, but again no sit in front, no finish.  It was my fault on the finish because instead of telling her to swing, I gave the signal.  Bad, bad handler.  She did her long sit until about 15 seconds to go and then laid down.  And on the long down made it halfway thru and then came to me.  I was happy that Dan Herald was our judge because he has at the very least a good sense of humor.  When we didn't qualify he looked at me and I said, well at least we both had a good time.  He laughed and told me that "yes, it was a good fun match" to which I replied, "yes, but an expensive one".  Rally Novice B went much better, but I wasn't sure Mr. Herald would laugh or cry when he saw me again.  Spice was hindered by an overanxious, uptight, idiot of a handler and still managed to qualify with a 94 and 4th place.  In all honesty, I was not happy with the score--I felt it was high.  I would have given her a low 80's.  Apparently the judge knew the dog could do it and gave her the benefit of that knowledge.  I'm sure if he could have scored me seperately he would have NQ'd the handler. :-) 
Trace qualified for his 3rd leg and RN title with a 98 and a 3rd place!  I was proud of Trace, he did it in three shows and although his first 2 legs were prettier, he tried his best and once again outshined his handler.
After a short shopping trip around the vendors we headed back to Jean's for a yummy supper of turkey and taters.  By now I needed a caffeine i.v.
Onward to day 3...


Three day shows are awesome!  Three day shows are exhausting.  Which just proves that a glass can be both half full and half empty.  Jean and I went over to the show site on Thursday to set up and grab a big chunk of grooming space.  That went really well and the weather was perfect.  Smooth Collies thad the dubious honor of showing at 8 am all three days so I was glad that the areas were almost all together by the time we arrived on Friday a.m.  Since I was entered in obedience and rally only for the weekend I was happy to play support staff.  Truly, it is one of my favorite jobs and it's incredibly relaxing.  The only bad part of the entire weekend was my knee.  Thanks to good friends I had a good knee brace to wear and between that and a large bottle of ibuprofen my walk only slightly resembled that of the tin man.
Spice was fabulous in novice obedience with points lost mainly due to her handlers ineptitude on the on leash heeling and failing to keep the leash from tangling all over the place.  Her stand was shakey on my return with some foot movements (which the judge NQ'd her on and I thought was excessive, just my opinion).  Her off leash heel was pretty good and her recall was fast and straight, but with no sit in front and no finish.  She broke the sit stay too.  I was still really pleased because she had such a good time!  Considering we practice alone and she's never done any classes or done any sit stays with other dogs, yea I'll take the NQ proudly. 
The bummer of the day was that Jean had a terrible reaction to her flu shot and ended up sick at the show on Friday and could hardly walk by the evening.  So we all missed her company for the rest of the weekend. 
And the drumroll moment of the day was the eyecheck on Reid....he is NORMAL EYED!  Yippee!!  Dr. Betts about gave us heart failure when he said "there is something wrong with this Collie"..."he is normal eyed".  A lesser person would have decked him for that, but since he shared his cookie with Reid it was pretty hard to be mad at him.  :-)
Onto day 2...