We're headed to a dog show this coming weekend …. it's going to be a big one in Atlanta, Georgia (with 37? pugs entered in conformation!!) KK is entered in Rally Obedience 2 days and Lilly in Bred By Exhibitor 3 days. USUALLY, (almost always!) the conformation pugs are scheduled at 8 AM (ugh) pretty much every day. For some reason, pugs are later this year so conformation is going to conflict with rally. At least "on paper". So, we're hoping that the rally runs late or …. a miracle happens … since we can't be in 2 places at once. In hopes that we can make it work (perhaps Jeff will show Lilly and I'll handle KK)
In preparation for rally, KK worked on her sit stays last night. This has always been SO challenging for her because she is SO motivated and wants to please. Her focus is amazing and she doesn't want to take her eyes off me for a second! We tried out this new game we learned on www.robertcabral.com and it is so fun. Since I had sidewalk chalk in my piano studio, I added an "actual" clock on the ground to make it more fun (for me at least). I think I'll utilize this technic for some smaller circles for "tighter" 270 and 360 turns etc.
The clock is a BIG circle which made it very challenging for KK … I was pretty far away from her. Usually, when we practice "sit/down walk around dog" I'm right beside her … so close that I can keep my "stay" finger in front of her face. As a former show dog, she's GREAT at focusing on "bait hand" pointer finger, so we cheated a bit. That's the least I can do for her as she sacrificed her 1st 4 years of life doing conformation stuff and having puppies :)
That's one reason I love rally so much …. free to "design" commands as well as encourage the dog verbally. It's pug … and trainer friendly. I've never been one to follow rules rigidly. When I cook, for example, I hardly ever follow a recipe 100%. Just something about me. So, it's fun to "design" commands. The problem, however, is that I need to be more consistent with my physical and verbal commands for the dogs' sake. That's why we'll probably never be the best team out there headed to nationals and all … but we have lots of fun AND sometimes win some blue ribbons just because we're having fun.
If we can swing the rally AND conformation at the same time … somehow find a clone in the next 5 days … AND if KK receives a qualifying score..... she'll get another title and advance to a new level in Rally!
I really hope we can finish sweet Lilly this weekend. Here is a photo of her a year ago ... headed home after a show in Florida (where she took 2nd place to Miss Dior, as she usually did). She's about 18 months old now and of course finally "grew into" her ears and filled out. She truly is divine so cross fingers that another judge will recognize how exceptional she is.
She has all her points she needs for a championship and one major, (thank you judge Randy Garren)…..just needs one more major win. She is a gorgeous pug and SO sweet and SO smart. A "thoughtful" pug as the temperament evaluator described her. Not shy, but "thoughtful". (Love these euphemisms). Did I mention she has pigment to die for? Yet she still has a light coat as well with a nice trace. She's just not a natural show girl and would rather be the chess player and philosopher in the corner versus the chick behind the karaoke mike (who would be Miss Dior).
The puppies (our "keepers" from the July, 2019 litter out of KK and Bazinga) are almost 6 months old now and happy, healthy, and thriving praise the Lord! They will be coming to Atlanta for "socialization" and to experience the loud, smelly, and sometimes a bit overwhelming venue of the Atlanta Expo Center. Just to "hangout" and be loved. A tip from Robert Cabral: feed them there! So, since we'll be staying in the camper right outside the show building, I'll plan on feeding them dinner ... one at a time ... in the show arena. As well as yummy treats and toys as usual. :) Here they are, January 2020, almost 6 months old.
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Amy Aberg McLelland, co-owner Pickwick Pugs