When we last posted the Frenchies and I were getting Big Earl ready to spend a weekend at our first "away show". I'm happy to report that it was a great experience, and it's taken us until now to fully recover and post about it! As you can see from the look on Brutus' face below we have lots to smile about!
First I'd like to nominate Paul for "husband of the year" award for his support during the weekend. He drove Big Earl about and hour and a half out to Canfield last Wednesday (no Liz, I didn't suddenly get brave and do it myself, sorry to disappoint!) then came back out to get us again on Saturday. He had to go home in between and work (hey, somebody has to do it, right??), but was always eager to get updates on how we were doing, and check in to make sure we were all safe & sound out there.
This show is the biggest in our area, attracting exhibitors from all over the country. The large fairgrounds it is held at literally becomes a city of coaches and campers, hosting over 2,000 entries each day of a 4-day event.
We got to watch some amazing dogs in the conformation ring (some of who we recognized from televised shows such as Westminster), and I'm happy to say that some of the best were owner-handled by our friends!
As far as the mighty Team Frenchie, I had Brutus entered in rally for three days. We'd never shown outside before, so the night before the show we spent some time working around the ring to get used to the area. Thankfully the weather (which has a reputation for being either dreadfully hot or a monsoon) cooperated and we were able to get our runs in early in the day while it was very comfortable.
When all was said and done Brutus and I had two nice exercises to add to our list of Q's. The first earned us a 96, which won the class as well as our RA (Rally Advanced) title. The second was nice as well, but due to some handler errors (my brain fell out at a few of the stations) not as pretty of a score - but still it was good enough to win the "A" division of Excellent and our first RE (Rally Excellent) leg.
Our third day was not something to brag about, as Brutus told me definitively that two days of Rally in a row was more than enough. He warmed up nicely but as soon as we got in the ring and the steward took my leash, it was over. Not feeling it, period. Only completed a few stations then I thanked the judge excused us from the exercise - but not without some entertaining moments for the spectators first. As I've always said, if nothing else we'll always make people smile, and I have no doubt we managed to do that!
Hey, Carmen! No slobbering on my ribbons - I worked hard for those!!
Oh well, can't win 'em all, right? Guess I've learned my lesson to only enter 2 days in the future and quit while we're ahead - gotta play by the dog's rules sometimes when your teammate is a bulldog. Overall I'm still VERY happy with how Brutus showed over the weekend, especially considering he wouldn't even sit on grass (too scratchy, mom...) at the beginning of the summer, let alone complete a complicated Excellent course on it! He was one tired bulldog and deserves a nice long rest!
So before I make you all as tired as Brutus from reading a long post, think I better wrap it up. Tune in again to see how we still managed to end our weekend on a high note. I'll tempt you by saying that Carmen came through and saved the day, making me and a lot of other people smile. For now I better let the Frenchies get back to their naps, they've earned them!