|Knight, Winner's Dog for 2 points|
Friday was the Toy Specialty at Mercer County Park. This show is a special one, exactly 3 years ago Knight and I stepped into the show ring for the very first time. Since that day my relationship with conformation has consisted of a long string of ups and downs, but it sure felt like a whole lot of downs.
We've been at the lowest rungs of the conformation ladder. My whole demeanor was clouded with self doubt, I had lost the class before I even stepped into the ring. I was letting it beat me, letting myself feel disappointed. Things are different now. I've changed my attitude about the show ring, I've armed myself with knowledge, and I'm letting myself be PROUD of the beautiful teammates I get to show off. We're on a roller coaster that only goes up!
On Friday Knight showed beautifully for me! He was all attitude, he owned the ring. He's really starting to let his personality shine through when we're out there. He ended up taking 3rd out of 3 in the Open Dogs class, but I'm proud none the less!
Mia won her Open bitch class (out of 2), but did nothing in the Winners ring. It's still very exciting to feel things coming together with her. We still need to work on getting some more expression from her in ring, but she's comfortable on the table for me now and we're moving together nicely!
With Saturday came more "pretty dog" stuff. It also happen to be Star Wars Day, May the Forth be with you. The Force was strong with us! Knight went into the ring first for Open dogs and won his class (out of 3). I'm so so soooo proud of how well he moved! He kept his front together beautifully, his coat was dragging elegantly over the top of the grass. I'm a little biased, but I think he looked smashing!
Knight went back in for Winner's Dog against the winner from the puppy class. The judge pointed at me and said, "Right over here Miss Blazeless." I'm sure I grinned stupidly as I walked over to pick up our Winner's ribbon. Knight picked up two more points for his AKC Champion title!
When I walked over to get our picture taken the judge commented about how Knight was the first Blazeless papillon she has ever seen. That was another boost of pride for me. She's never seen one without a blaze before and she still put him up?! So awesome! Welcome to the dark side judge :)
Mia took second in her class for Open bitches (out of 2), we still have some work to do on our movement in grass. She was great on the table, but we had some Leaning Tower of Misa action going on during our down and back. Baby steps, progress is indeed being made!
I was already flying high on our conformation victory when we rolled up to our AKC Agility trial on Sunday. I started the day with Lilly's Master Standard run. Beautiful run, Lilly is giving me some fantastic stuff out there. I Nq'd us on the 3rd to last jump though. If I had been more proactive I could of saved her from back jumping the jump we were supposed to wrap. I'll keep that in mind next time around! Besides the handler not doing her job (bad Hillary!), the rest of the run was brilliant!
Lilly snatched up 19 more points with her Q in Master JWW. It was a really straight forward, fast course and she just ate it up! Beautiful rear cross on the flat on our way out, when I pushed for speed she happily pushed right back! It's been 4 years in the making, but we're finally finding our rhythm.
Poor Knight-man face planted on his way out of the chute in standard, but we laughed it off and brought home another QQ! His jump wraps are a work of art. He's such a special boy :) For those counting, this QQ was #7 out of 20 for his PACH. We now only need 3 more Qs and 123 more points until he is officially qualified for the 2014 PNAC!!!!! I am beyond thrilled. This is the event I've dreamed about attending ever since I first watched it on TV back in 2001. It's been a wild ride, but Knight and I are now in a groove. He is so happy at 4" and always covers my ass when I fumble with my handling. I love this little dude!
Mia also brought home both Qs! Finally finished off her OA title, so peace out Open Standard! So happy we won't be having any more conflicts there! I really need to work on rear crosses with her. Right now if I say "switch" she IMMEDIATELY shoots off in front of me for the rear cross. Which was perfect for jumpers, but not so much in our standard run. So some more things to smooth out in Standard before we start slaying course times in Masters.
I am so extremely proud of Mia in jumpers! She finished off her AXJ with another beautiful run that would of placed 3rd in the master's class. I even really pulled hard on her in the weaves, left her hanging while I did lateral distance, and she stuck with them like a pro! What a rock star! Now she'll be joining Knight and Lilly in the quest for points and Master Qs for Nationals!
Fantastic weekend spent with Fantastic dogs. Life is good.