Tallulah, Nissa and I enjoyed our trip to the Mid-Jersey Labrador Retriever specialty show. There were 2 days of showing with 2 separate rally trials and obedience trials. I am proud to say my girls both won both of their rally classes; four tries, four blue ribbons. Tallulah was wonderful getting us going for our first time in Rally Excellent. She did it all easily, winning with 100 points and a fast time the first day and 99 points the second day. Nissa had me a bit nervous after refusing to jump at our last trial. She needed one more leg to earn her Rally Advanced title. Approaching tentatively, she started to by-pass the jump on Thursday, but in Rally you are allowed a second chance and, after a moment of bonding eye-contact, she jumped with gusto. Hurrah!! That left her eligible to move up to Rally Excellent for Friday. With little time to warm up between dogs I gave her a quick pep talk and off we went. No issue this time, she jumped both jumps on the course with confidence and enthusiasm. It was a great way to start the Excellent level. We'll take the winter off and aim to finish those titles in 2011.
Unfortunately, Nissa made up a new issue for the obedience ring. She had good scores going both days (190.5 and 195 out of 200), but she failed to come on the first call - an automatic NQ. She came beautifully and did a perfect finish on my second call both times. You could see her lean forward as if to start, then correct herself back into a sit, waiting to be sure I really had called. First day I thought it had something to do with the leaf blower I was shouting over, but in retrospect I think it is because I had corrected her for breaking a WAIT when practicing rally a few days before and, being the sensitive sort, that was on her mind. I know it is my fault one way or another when they are working so well and make a mistake, so I'll fix it and we will get her Companion Dog title next year. Still proud of you, Nissa. And Tallulah, it is always a joy to go into the ring with such a show-off!