There were herding lessons this past weekend - finally, after being postponed a couple of times because of bad weather. We didn't go herding because I entered Bosley in Rally at the Alberta Kennel Club show in Calgary.
When the entries for the show opened, I had already decided that I wasn't going to enter Bosley. I had been doing very little work with him and with all the snow and cold weather, we hadn't been out to train in a distracting environment for a long time. At the very last minute (about an hour before the entries closed) I changed my mind and entered him. I mostly wanted to go to the show to see some of my friends that were entered in conformation. Well, I missed seeing everyone show because all the conformation was early in the morning and Rally wasn't until later in the afternoon. So, not only did I miss most of the conformation that I wanted to see (I did get to see Amanda and Pixel in the group ring), but Bosley and I had a terrible showing in Rally. It was so awful, that I can't even believe that I am writing about it.
When I saw the course being set up for Saturday's run, I laughed. There was an off-set figure 8, which is usually set up with food bowls for distractions. Well, not this time. The judge had two fluffy, fun stuffed toys set out. I just knew that Bosley wouldn't be able to resist. I was right. He started out OK and then when we turned towards the figure 8, his eyes got big, like he couldn't believe his good fortune to see stuffed toys in the ring. Off he went to poke each of them with his big nose. I called him back and we redid the station successfully the second time. Then, it was all downhill from there. He was total unfocused and sniffed the signs, looked out at the crowd and generally ignored me. We came up the last line of signs and when he saw the exit gate - he left. Yup, walked right out of the ring with me about 20 paces behind him and 2 stations left to complete. NQ. I put him back on his leash and walked him down the hallway, where he pooped - he couldn't even make it outside. I guess he really had to go, and I am glad that he left the ring instead of relieving himself right there.
Sunday we drove back to Calgary for round 2. I was sure that he couldn't do as bad as he did Saturday. I was nervous on Sunday and usually I don't get too nervous showing Bosley because he is quite consistent. I did some warming up with him and when we warmed up in our benching area where it was nice and quiet, he did great. As soon as I took him out where it was busier, it took a lot to keep his attention on me. Oh boy - I was getting really nervous at that point. It was one dog until our turn and I was just thinking about getting Bosley out for his last warm up. We were #117 and #116 was at the gate waiting to go in the ring. Suddenly, her dog started to act distracted and she asked if she could get moved to the end of the line. So I hear "#117 - you are up!" Yikes! I was flustered, not expecting to go in just yet. Nervous and flustered - not a good combination. Bosley was not very focused (but better than Saturday) and I seemed to have lost lots of points because of handling errors. The short of the whole run is - we were pretty awful and ended up with a "lovely" score of 68. I think I would rather NQ than have such a sad score. (BTW - dog #116 ended up NQing).
Wow, we really need to work on attention in distracting places. I have never seen Bosley so unfocused. He is usually such a mama's boy, that I don't even worry about focus with him.
We should have went herding.