June 28, 2013

FTCH "Meg"

A giant CONGRATS goes out to NEW FTCH Elmingo's Prime Suspect.

"Meg" is from the Prime x Darbi breeding of 2008.

Way to go Jill and way to go Meg!!!!  These moments are so fun as a breeder.

And a good luck to the two Elmingo dogs running in the Canadian National Amateur starting next week:
Elmingo's Violence on Request (Prime x Darbi)
NMH GMH Elmingo's Pacific Eider (Shaq x Miikka)

June 18, 2013

Blue x 2

We are up in Canada.


I love it when we come "home".  I do not dislike the USA by any means...but I am a very proud Canadian.

We ran the trial in Lethbridge, Alberta this past week-end.  I used to live in Lethbridge and the Rocky Mountain Sporting Dog Club was my home club for a lot of years.

I always enjoy coming up to see old friends, help out at my old club and just have a good time.

Elmingo's With One Twist (Mattie) WINS the Qualifying and Elmingos Controlled Power Play (Gordy) WINS the Derby.  Pretty good week-end for Miikka kids.  Above is a pic of Mattie, her owner/handler/trainer Tim and myself.  Mattie is a gorgeous dog and has Miikka's fabulous personality.

I judged the Amateur at the trial and Luckiest Man Alive judged the Qualifying.  Pros can judge in Canada...something we can't do in the US.  I find judging fun, but stressful.  I always root for the dogs and hate to see someone go out in the last series when they've have a great trial, or pick up on the water blind when they had the best work coming in.  Firstly I know how it feels...it sucks, and secondly, like I say, I am always cheering for the dogs to do well.

It's a hard game...and I'm a bit of a softie, so I hate to be the one responsible for someone's bad week-end or day.  But it is what it is.  This is why when I have a bad day, like I did on Sunday running dogs, I keep a good attitude.  It's not the judge's fault...it's not the test's fault...it's not anyone's fault...even if I made an error, or the dog makes a mistake.  But I do find it nice to be on the other side of the line once in a while to remind me what it is like to be in a judge's shoes.  No matter if I think their test is great or horse-poopy, I will always thank them for their time and have a smile on my face.  It's not an easy job...and it's usually thankless except for the one very happy person at the end of the day.

Thank you to everyone that judges.

June 10, 2013

Me next please...and other musings

Popcorn night at our house.

Can you tell??

Miss Libby is now a (mostly) full time house dog.

Her and I were having "relationship" issues.  EVERY owner and their dog has relationship issues.  Every.Single.One.  If you say you don't...then have a nice trip down the River Denial.

I see it day in and day out in my line of work now.

Dogs act differently for their pros then for their owners.  There doesn't seem to be an emotional undercurrent with the dogs and us that they have with their owners.  If they fail a test in training...we don't care...we just chalk it up to a good lesson.  If they haven't finished a few trials in a row...we don't panic...we just practice "normal training" and recognize every dog has highs and lows.  We don't try to make dogs anything they're not.  We don't put pressure on the dog to perform at a higher level then they are capable, nor do we settle for less than their best effort because it makes us feel good as a handler.

Darbi marked better for me than for Kenny because she was loosey-goosey, but she got OFF the point on a water blind for him way better than for me.  A different level of respect.

Well, Libby and I were having our own relationship issues.  BE AN OPEN DOG NOW I said to her every day without even knowing it.  THE CLOCK IS TICKING...DARBI IS GETTING OLD...HURRY UP!!!  Geez, she's just a baby and she's doing great, Kenny would say.  Be patient, Kenny would say.  What's the hurry, Kenny would say.

So much pressure on the poor little dog.  So much pressure on me.

Then I started looking.  I looked at EntryExpress pages of dogs I know.  Dogs I love and dogs I would love Libby to grow up into.  Hey, looky there...this dog never finished an Open until it was almost 4 and now it has over 100 points.  This 200 point, multi National Finalist dog didn't have a WIN in an AA stake until she was 4 1/2.  Hey, this dog didn't have much of a Derby career, did just okay in the Qual, struggled as a 3 year old in the AA stakes and is now Super Dog.  Wow.  What an eye opener.

And then Kenny brought Libby in the house.  She's ready, he said.  She knows the work is the most important part of her day and this won't hurt her, he said.  This will be good for Marcy and Libby is what he didn't say.

I didn't want her in there.  I was pining for my Darbi.  I wanted my Darbi with a young body.  I wanted a do-over.  I held it against Libby.  I wouldn't give her a chance.

Look at me Mom, Libby would say.  Look how hard I'm trying, Libby would say.

But you can't finish a Field Trial, I would say.  Darbi can do that test, I would say.  When are you going to finish an Open, I would ask.

Kenny ran her in three Opens in the past 6 months.  He got to the fourth series in all 3 and was 4th place in his most recent one.

Doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see what was going on.  It was simple. He believed in her. She trusted him. He wasn't resentful she wasn't Darbi. He was happy she was Libby. 

Love her for who she is.  Train her for where she's at.  Stop with the pressure and the pining and the whining.  It'll come.  It takes time.

Libby and I finished our first Open together last week-end.  The start of something wonderful, I say. 

June 6, 2013

Uh Oh

Looks like Hattie has been hanging out with Miikka too much.