My black Lab, Tallulah, and her best buddy chocolate Labrador, Nissa, had a big weekend working toward Rally Advanced titles. We were entered 3 days with great expectations for our first try at this level of rally. These 2 girls and I are learning the Rally ropes together - as usual, I think they are getting it better than I am.
The first morning brought us a wet, cold start, but everyone seemed positive at the show and our judge was very pleasant. Tallulah went first in Rally Advanced B since she already has her Companion Dog obedience title. She did a perfect job and I was most proud of her, but as I exited the ring the judge told me I had made a mistake on one sign by having her sit at heel when no sit was called for. Opps!! That is a 10-point handler error. So we received a score of 90 points out of 100 and Tallulah was jipped out of winning the class. Bad Mommy, good Tallulah. Nissa went a short time later in the Rally Advanced A class and I had a chance to redeem myself. She was perfect too and won her class with a 100 point routine. We got home just in time for the torrential rains to start -- and on they went all night.
Day 2 brought drier air, but mud mud everywhere. My girls made me proud again, both winning their classes. Tallulah got the perfect 100 point score she deserved the day before and Nissa won with 99 points. Tallulah decided she will keep me.
Day 3 was cold, but pleasant. Tallulah was great once again, placing 2nd in her class and finishing her RA title. Way to go, Tallulah Bear!! Many dogs did not show up, probably due to the site conditions. That left me running with only 1 dog between my 2 and foolishly I did not take the time I needed to help my Nissa get ready. She started out great, but faltered mid-test at the jump. It's not like her to refuse and I did not make good use of the handling that is allowed in rally. We took a second try, but without success. We were allowed to complete the run and the rest was perfect. The judge and stewards asked me why it happened and after explaining I thought it was due to my hurrying and no proper warm-up the judge scolded me for not asking for a few minutes before my run. As I told her, I didn't know I could do that. Live and learn. So, Nissa will have to try for one more leg another time and I hope I will be the better handler that she deserves!