Obedience was never my forte, and it will never be. I love and appreciate a dog with higher obedience titles, and I know the amount of work that went into getting them. But I was a lousy trainer and I would stress beyond belief at trials that I dont do for Rally or Agility.
I had the bright idea of going right into obedience with Priscilla after getting her RE title (Rally Excellent). How hard can it be?
Very. Im a verbal person with my dogs I talk to them a lot. So now I cant talk to them - it was hard. Priscilla liked Rally because I could and did talk to her. But she was not the easiest dog to trial. She was too smart and figured it out right quick what she felt was "acceptable" in her world.
We got our first leg in our first attempt at Novice A...then it all went downhill...a year and a half before our second leg. Most people would have given up. I did, actually. I am a member of a local dog training club that hosts a summer indoor trial. I was working the trial all day this past July so I figured what the heck I'll enter Priscilla. She wont Q and we can really give up this obedience stuff. Well...she qualified. I can't let 2 legs dangle like that. Darn it.
I entered her in a trial in January. NQ - broke on the down. I saw an "All Novice" trial - 2 trials, one day at Port Chester Obedience Training Club. Ok, whats to lose - we have 2 shots.
First trial - Broke on the long sit. Ok, second trial. She sat, and then stayed on the down...I almost fainted. I returned to my dog...and the judge said our number was one of the 4 qualifiers for that day. I fell on Priscilla and hugged her tight and told her what a great awesome girl she was and cried.
We did it. It feels like I won a Best In Show. Our score was shit, but it was a qualifying score. We placed 4th out of the 4 qualifiers (9 entered, 7 showed and 4 qualified) but we got a Rosette, a new title Rosette, a Qualifying Rosette and a patch that says CD and a goody bag of treats.
Priscilla is my heart dog and is 7 now. I told her she can retire once we get a CD...and she is done. Its bittersweet. I love her beyond words. It took 3 years...3 years in which I gave up and got back in and tried again thanks to a kick in the ass from my friends and trainers.
Thank you for being my partner P.