Well, it finally came! After 16 months off from trialing, Maisy and I have returned to the world of competition! What's more, instead of doing rally, like we've done in the past, this was our very first time doing obedience. I chose CDSP for our venue because I knew it would be a small trial, relatively low-pressure, and because I could take treats in the ring in case things went horribly wrong.
In fact, they went very, very good. See for yourself:
The trial was a success in many way. First, as you can see above, her performance was very good. Although there were a few missteps here and there, she did well enough to score a very respectable 192 in the ring! This score, incidentally, was good enough to tie us for first place! As a result, we had to do a run-off:
Huge thanks to my friend Laura for getting video of the run-off. I did not expect to need to go in the ring a second time, so Maisy was in the car when we were called. In the midst of running to get her, I didn't even think about getting video. Laura did, though, and even uploaded it for me!
Anyway, we lost the run-off, but I can't say I'm too upset about that. I mean- look at her! She did really well for having absolutely no warm-up. I stuffed two cookies in her and went. Still- 2nd place at her very first obedience trial? NICE.
On top of that, she also ended up being the high-scoring mixed breed of the day as well as the high-scoring club member (I belong to the club that hosted the trial- the Minnesota Mixed Breed Club.)
The trial was also a success in terms of her attitude. We were connected throughout the majority of the run, and she just seemed happy to be out there with me. She was a bit stressed, too, to the point that I actually scratched her from the second run, but I did that more to prevent issues than because we were having them.
And I think the trial was successful for that reason, too. It is easy to push a dog too hard, especially on the heels of success. But when you're working with a reactive dog, it's important to avoid putting your dog in a situation she cannot handle. We were toeing that line today, and I am proud of myself for being able to recognize and act on that.
Anyway, it was an amazing day. I am so incredibly happy with how Maisy did. What an awesome little dog.