Friday, January 31, 2014

Farewell to (Rally) Novice A

Today Pongu finished his AKC Rally Novice title with a first-place finish in a class of 9 dogs and a perfect score of 100 at the Sand & Sea Kennel Club's trial in Wildwood NJ.

Going in, I was not overly optimistic about this trial, because it was part of a big multi-day conformation cluster in a convention center and I was all "hoo boy, scaredydog is not gonna like that one." But it was our last chance to finish Pongu's RN before spring, and I really didn't want to wait that long because I just don't have that much patience in my life.

And indeed Pongu did not like the convention center. He didn't like the conformation dogs' big noisy RVs, he didn't like their hair dryers, he didn't like the vacuums that their staff used to clean up loose hair from under their grooming tables, he basically did not like anything about the entire scenario at all. It was a shaky drooly sheddy dandruff wonderland of disaster and for a minute I seriously thought about scratching him and just going shopping instead.

But I figured I'd at least take him into the trial room and see how he did in there first. And once we got into the obedience room (which was in one of the convention center ballrooms and somewhat sheltered from the main event), where it was considerably quieter, he calmed down enough that I was like "COOL WE'RE GOING IN" and so we went in.

I actually practiced the AKC signs before the trial this time. It helped. We got three of the only-in-AKC signs on this run, but HAHA this time Pongu knew how to do them and they did not trip us up.

Sadly this trial didn't offer title ribbons, so we finished the day with just two little flats. Oh well.

If I hadn't screwed Pongu up on his first run, he would have completed his RN with a string of three consecutive first-place finishes. Oh well x 2. I'll add that to my list of deathbed regrets.

Afterwards Pongu ran around the beaches (which allow dogs in winter) and steadfastly refused to play with Ariella the pittie mix, who is Crookytail's friend but not Pongu's friend because Pongu is a giant nerdlinger and has no friends.

 Pongu is much more into digging giant holes in the sand than socializing with other dogs.

He will begrudgingly sit next to them for photos but that is it.

Anyhow, that concludes our run in AKC Rally Novice A. I will never ever get to have another Rally Novice A dog again for the rest of my life. That's it. You only get one. After this, every dog has to start in Novice B.

Your Novice A dog is special. I'm glad I got to share this moment with Pongu, and that he gets to be formally recognized as my Novice A dog in Rally. Because he is and will always be the one with whom It All Began. <3

p.s. And just for the record, the shopping was pretty sweet. I got a nice braided kangaroo leather slip lead for Crookytail's hypothetical future agility career, a bag of dried duck hearts, another bag of dried buffalo tripe, two beef tracheas (both since demolished by Dog Mob), and a squeaky toy to celebrate Ariella's CGC and CGCA, which were the product of many months of very hard work and dedication with her person.

1 comment:

  1. So I'm catching up and I don't know why I put off reading your blog because you are an excellent writer and this post literally made me LOL

    But on a more serious note, those A dogs are especially special, all of my dogs have taught me very important things but none had to deal with a complete lack of skill like my Novice A dog, and she is an RN too. ;)

    What's with AKC clubs being cheap on the ribbons...? same thing here. My MACH ribbons are all fairly small and not worthy of the $5K+ of money I sunk into those titles.