Monday, August 16, 2010

Rally On, Pup

We started off our day on Saturday with a nice, familiar, on-leash Level 1 run.  I haven't uploaded the video, but our score was a 209.  We lost one point, probably for a tight leash.  It earned us a 4th place in the competitive Level 1B class and 19 Championship Points (out of 100 necessary for the ARCH title).

Then came our debut in Level 2, which is off leash.  Marge did very well on this run, too.  We scored a 208 - we lost one point for me being too close to the jump, and another point for the sloppy left turn towards the end of the course.

There were two trials offered that day, but I had originally only entered the first one.  When I found out there were still a few runs available, I put in for one more Level 2 run.

It didn't turn out to be such a great run.  Marge was very distracted by the bustle on the sidelines, but didn't seem scared - just uninterested in working.  Couple this with the very exciting jump that was very early in the course, she got really excited and things got sloppy.  That's my take on it, anyway.

What does it look like to you?  Simply goofing off, not wanting to do anymore, stressing out, or too excited after that darn jump?

In retrospect, it might have been worth my while to NQ us and have a "cookie run" instead (which is what I had to do tonight at Rally class), where I feed Marge at every station.  At least, though, she came back to me EVERY single time I called her.  It still earned us a 1st place in the 2A class with a score of 198, our second RL2 leg!

The judge absolutely adored her.  She said "I'd love to take this home", called Marge a "really nice dog," and offered Marge some cookies while the courses were being changed.  We spoke a little bit and she agreed with me that Marge's silliness during the second Level 2 run might have been her way of saying she had had enough for the day! What a nice woman, and I really love how laid-back and friendly the APDT Rally atmosphere is.

And Marge was SUCH an attention hog, too - by the time the trial was over, I think every one knew her name.  No one was a stranger to her!   Between that, the ribbons, and just plain having fun in the ring, it was a very enjoyable day.

Now, we switch our focus back to agility (if the weather cooperates) - unbelievably, September is around the corner, and we have a trial just a few weeks away!


Sara August 16, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

Wow, congratulations, you two did great!

I think in your last round Marge simply looked "done". That's a lot of focusing for the dogs, and maybe she just had enough. I thought you did a great job keeping your voice peppy, which had her coming right back to you. Great job on keeping it stress free for Marge!

The Army of Four August 16, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

Ooooh! That was so great!!! I think you both deserve blue ribbons!
Personally ... errr... Siberianly speaking, I have to wonder if there was a cat sitting over there in the right hand side of the video pic. There was something that was REALLY interesting!
I loved your voice and liked listening to it! I think Marge really likes it, too. She didn't look stressed at all to us -- just excited and happy.

Martha August 16, 2010 at 3:48 PM  

Well done the two of you look great together - love the happy wagging tail of Marge and your encouraging voice.
Just great

AC August 16, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

Go Team Marge and Sam! (I think I might start referring to you as Team Smarge=) You guys did great! I think Marge looks loose and relaxed in both videos. I agree with Sara. Maybe Marge was just done for the day at the end. I couldn't imagine getting Miss Kona to focus for that long even once, so to make it through three runs sounds like quiet the accomplishment!

Sam August 16, 2010 at 3:57 PM  

Yeah, sorry guys, I forgot to warn you about my "Rally Voice".. I had to do some cheerleading with Marge, especially in that second run!

andrea August 16, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

Team Smarge rocked for sure :)
I can't see videos here but it sounds like a great day overall

Kathy Mocharnuk August 16, 2010 at 6:00 PM  

WOW, YOU GUYS HAVE JUST COME SO FAR, that is soooo awesome, you looked sooo good. I would like to do rally but I hope we could do that well. I wish we had apdt trials around here, they look fantastic.
I did not think Marge looked stressed, I thought she looked happy and like she knew that was not going to be a cookie run so she wanted to find some other more interesting stuff going on, LOL. It was probably just a long day for her, but wow, I would be so happy to see her even when she was leaving her tail was going and she looked loose and relaxed to me, you have done such a wonderful job together to be able to be that relaxed, and in the first run there were some loud noises, and Marge just seemed so OK, you have to be so proud of yourselves!!!

Muttsandaklutz August 16, 2010 at 6:46 PM  

Wow! You guys are making huge strides. Sounds like Marge will have her bigtime rally title in no time at all. Congrats on the great scores and great work from your girl!

Chris and Ricky August 16, 2010 at 8:07 PM  

Awesome job, Sam and Marge! I think you did great - Marge didn't seem stressed out at all to me - she might have been tired and lost a little focus but she looked relaxed and happy! I loved hearing your "rally" voice - I need cheerleading too and I think you do so well at keeping it all fun for Marge!

Crystal (Thompson) Barrera August 16, 2010 at 8:35 PM  

Congrats! I love APDT rally, too! :)

Dawn August 16, 2010 at 8:38 PM  

Wonderful! I think Marge was already distracted on the 2nd level 2 run before the jump. And I think she was thinking that she'd already done all this, and whatever was on the sideline was way more interesting. But I was impressed that she always came right back to you. I learned a lot listening to your voice. I'm going to try to be more upbeat with Katie. We have our second rally trial Sept 12 and I'm a bit nervous! Loved that Marge focused so much on you even not on leash!!

Never Say Never Greyhounds August 16, 2010 at 9:09 PM  

Nice job! Yes, I would just chalk the goofing off to goofing off. I don't think she was stressing or nervous. Just that something caught her attention or that she was just trying to get outside the ring sooner for the big reward.

Nellie, Yuchie, Calvert and Bailey August 16, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

Incredible job guys! You've done a great job with Marge, bravo to you and your patience.

It did seemed a bit noisy on that second run, a combo of her being tired and distracted from the noise might have caused her to lose focus for a second but she was right there with you when you called; that's gotta count for a lot.

It's obvious that she loves doing this with you; she looks so happy.

All the best with the agility and get use to all the attention, she is one beautiful girl.

Have a great week.

Mom to N&C

Kari in Alaska August 16, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

It looks to me a lot more like she was being silly than stressing out which is a good thing!

Don't forget, we moved to

Stella August 16, 2010 at 10:26 PM  

What I just love is how happy Marge looks when she is prancing along doing her stuff!

You have done a great job with her and more to come, I'm sure!

Jo and Stella

Lorenza August 16, 2010 at 11:21 PM  

You two form a pawesome team!
Kisses and hugs

tula monstah August 17, 2010 at 8:03 AM  

holy smoly! marge has skillz! looked like she just wanted to have some funballs on the second run. we give all the points-- ten paws up!

great recalls- IMPRESSIVE:)

tula & dee

George The Lad August 17, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

well done Marge, and good on you for all the training you have put in,you looked so happy on the videos. I mean the pair of you.
See Yea George xxx

Sue August 17, 2010 at 3:10 PM  

I agree. It looked like she just lost her concentration and wanted to play. Enough is enough, Mom.

She looks really good, paying close attention. It's quite different from the AKC course, isn't it?

mayziegal August 17, 2010 at 9:45 PM  

YAY! You both did GREAT! I luved watching both of 'em but the second one was the best cuz Marge was being SO silly! I'm glad you both had a good time. That's really all that counts, isn't it?

We didn't gets to do our Rally demonstration this weekend (I talked about it on my bloggie today), but I still did good. I was glad to watch your movies cuz I could see that not all the Rally competitions are in big, busy places. I think I could maybe compete if it was a quiet place like you were in.

Anyways, congratulations again!

Wiggles & Wags,

Anonymous August 18, 2010 at 5:08 AM  

What a great day for both of you!

I keep cheerin from the sidelines :)

KB August 18, 2010 at 8:15 AM  

You two did great!!! Marge looked upbeat and happy the whole time. I loved watching for her.

On the second run, did I hear a dog bark about halfway via the run? I thought that I did, and then I thought that Marge's distracted behavior started right after it.

K shows behavior just like that sometimes... and it usually corresponds to her being tired. She just kind of drifts away from me as if she "forgot" what I asked her to do. So, I can also see the argument for Marge being "done" for the day.

In any case, it's no big deal. It was just one run, and Marge has come leaps and bounds forward in her training this year!!

Amy / Layla the Malamute August 18, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

Wow, congratulations!! You guys did so great. I loved watching both videos.

As for the second run, I definitely don't think it was her just goofing off or not wanting to do it anymore. I don't know what she looks like when she's stressed, but in general, I don't think that was it either. She just looked very distracted by something over there, but it's awesome that she came back to you every time.

Congratulations on the new leg and the championship points!

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