Black Labrador Tallulah and chocolate Lab Nissa had a big day at the dog show and deserve to be sleeping it off back at home. Both girls made me proud with their performances at the Syracuse dog show on Friday. Tallulah got the early start by winning the first class of the day - Rally Excellent B, which she won with a score of 99 points. Once again I am obliged to admit the 1 point deduction was my handler error! I patted my leg once. It was totally unnecessary and I realized as soon as I had done it, but too late - it's not allowed at that level. I appreciate that Tallulah continues to put up with my mistakes as she rarely makes any in the show ring. She earned 1st place on all three of her RE legs with scores of 99 and 100. She so loves to show off and is sure that everyone in the building has come just to meet her! This leg finishes Tallulah's last AKC Rally title (first RN, next RA, last RE). She is now officially WhitSprgs OtterTail Tallulah, CD, RE. Conventionally we drop the lower level titles from the name as each more advanced title in the same discipline is earned. She has a RN and RA as well.
Chocolate Labrador Nissa was in the second class of the morning, Rally Excellent A. The "A" level is for dogs who have not yet earned other obedience titles or more advanced rally titles. Nissa won her class and I caught myself making another mistake for 3 points off. I think I will get better at this with experience! Later in the day Nissa was entered in a very competitive novice obedience class of 22. There were many wonderful routines with 17 dogs qualifying. Nissa earned 195 points out of 200 which was good enough to tie for fourth. I never like run-offs and I bumbled with poor footwork on this one, so we lost the tie due to my silly feet. It didn't matter to me. I was very proud of Nissa's good work. I am not one to ask my dogs to be perfect when I know I make many mistakes myself. Yet, we all work hard and have fun and, for me, that is the spirit intended for all performances when dogs and handlers work together.
Next stop - Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac Specialty Show where we plan to finish Nissa's RE and CD. It's a fabulous show - if you love labs, it's the place to be!!