What a long weekend! We had Rally trials scheduled at the club on both Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday was a small trial, which was good. Louie came to my house at 8 or so and after a brief stint of what I like to call intestinal revolt (I thought I was going to die), the Pepto Bismol kicked in and we headed to the training hall. She stayed in her crate with Louie while I walked the course. There were literally only 10 or 15 dogs in the class, so we didn't have to wait around long at all.
Here is our run Saturday. It was good enough for a 209/210, a qualifying score and first place in the Novice A class.
They offered a second trial on Saturday, but I didn't want to push it. So, Louie and I spent the rest of the day together, mostly sleeping (who knew Rally could be so tiring?).
Today, I wound up having to go to the trial by myself. As it turns out, the club decided to offer a second trial that day, too, under a different judge. (You need to have 3 Q's under at least 2 different judges to get your RL1 title.) So, after running the course successfully in the morning - a perfect 210 and another first place! - I decided that I may as well go for the title.
Marge and I went home for a while. I wasn't about to keep her there for hours waiting for the other levels to finish up. She played with the toy that she had won as a prize in her first run.
A little while later, we headed back. Marge had to wait around for about two hours before she went back in the ring. She did REALLY well with this - didn't give a peep out of her crate about it, and was very sociable when I had her out on her leash. I could tell she was starting to get antsy/tired, so I was really surprised at how well she held it together.
Before we ran, I was warming Marge up in the room adjacent to the main room, and went over near the doorway. A dog was in the ring and saw Marge (who was just looking around, not making noise), and he started growling and got all upset. I felt SO bad. They still wound up Q'ing, and I don't think I really did anything wrong, but since Marge can be kind of funny with that kind of stuff, too, I felt bad.
The third run was just the same course as in the morning. This run was actually pretty good in terms of attention. She looked like she was enjoying herself. Her turns were nice (she doesn't always like to do nice right turns) and she seemed to be paying attention to me. We hit some trouble when she decided that she wanted to go straight to heel position when I called her front on one of the signs. We had to re-do that one twice. I thought we NQ'ed, but we managed a score of 201. We got our Rally Level 1 title! We were first place again, but that was only because we were the lone team in the Level 1 A class.
We were the second to last dog to run, so we left pretty quickly thereafter. Here, Marge poses with her loot from the weekend (we're missing a first place ribbon because my club ran out).
Over all, I'm totally happy with our success this weekend. I'm glad I waited as long as I did to be absolutely sure that she'd excel at Rally when we got in to the ring. Our next Rally trial is in July, but we'll be practicing before then, too. I think we're going to go ahead with Level 2, which is off leash!