We did it! Maisy got her ARCH this weekend! This has been a long-term goal of mine, and one that I had feared would be unattainable. And yet… we did it!
The ARCH is a multi-level APDT/WCRL rally obedience championship title. In order to earn the ARCH, you must first earn the level 1 and level 2 titles. Then you must earn a Q in both level 1 and level 2 at the same trial. Each Q must have a score of 190 or higher. And you need to do this 5 times. While you are doing this, you have to earn points; you get 1 point for a score of 191, 2 points for a score of 192, and so on. You need 100 points, 30 from level 1, 30 from level 2, and the remainder from either class.
And we did it!
For a long time, I didn’t think it would be possible because getting the double-Q means you are at a trial for a long-ish period of time. In 2010, Maisy’s limit was about 2 hours; not enough time to earn the QQs. I finally pulled her from competition because she was getting worse at trials (behavior-wise, I mean; her scores were always decent), not better. We didn’t return to APDT rally until April of this year when we earned 2 QQs towards the ARCH.
I was hoping- but not expecting- to earn the ARCH on Saturday. To do so would require doing six rally runs for 3 QQs, and doing them well. It would require Maisy to do what I told her, and for me to cue her correctly. Oh, and I had to actually, you know, do all the signs (I seem to have a harder time with that than I should!).
But we did it!
It was a long day. We got to the trial site around 7:30am, and didn’t leave until 4:30 or so. After earning her first perfect 210 in the first run of the day (which yay!), her scores steadily went downhill. By the end of the day, she was T-I-R-E-D despite the naps she was able to take in the car between runs (it was mid-60s, a serious stroke of good luck for a July trial!). In fact, she was so tired that as we approached the sixth, and last, run of the day, I was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to score high enough in order to finish her ARCH.
|Best. Scoresheet. Ever.|
So I got out a secret weapon: sugar. There have been some recent studies showing that performance improves when a dog gets a glucose boost, so I went for it. I emptied two sugar packets into my hands, and she ate those suckers up. Fifteen minutes later we were back in the ring and…
We did it! A score of 206 (her second best of the day!), and her ARCH.
The final tally was six runs, scores ranging between 194 and 210, four 2nd places, one 3rd place, one 4th place, her ARCH, and she was the high-scoring mixed breed for the day! I am so, so, so, so proud of her.
Also, I'm bringing jelly beans instead of dog treats to trials from now on.