Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ella at the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational

Since Ella didn't get much of a mention in the previous post.....and a friend took some wonderful pictures of her......She shined and showed really well under all the excitement.

Ella at the Long Beach Kennel Club show (Friday)

Ella at the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational

~Melissa & Pretty Little Ella ;-) - who had a blast in Long Beach !

Friday, December 10, 2010

AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

Josie, Ella, Mary Getman and I flew out to Long Beach, CA Last Thursday evening (12/2) for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. The dogs were excellent travelers, Josie is an old pro but this was Ella’s first plane trip, she was awesome. I did do my homework, played crate games with the Sherpa bag, Ella Loves her Sherpa. Checking into the hotel about 2am MN time, Melissa and Mary ready for lights out – Josie not so much ;-) Thankfully we did not have to be to the show site until late AM.
Arrived for agility check in about 11:30am, crating space are pre-assigned in the agility area, most of the MN exhibitors elected to crate together – made for a great team atmosphere.

small section of the agility crating area;

Josie was first dog in for the warm up FAST class at 2pm……I am pretty sure no one actually ran it as a FAST class, just a chance to get out and familiar with the equipment and footing. My goal was to get Josie through the weaves and on the teeter twice, she gave a very nice run.
After Josie’s warm up, it was off to change for the conformation ring. Ella was due in the ring at 2:50 after 15 dog so about 3:15-3:30. She was fabulous, went into the ring and showed like the special she is…..received Select Bitch, but only beat the class dog….
The afternoon seemed to fly by…….

Saturday, Josie’s first run was scheduled about 10am, with my walk through at 9:35am
1st course;

It was a fun course with a couple of tricky spots, the one that got the most teams was 9-11, you had to pull enough so the dog wouldn’t take #4 backwards but not so much you pulled them to the wrong end of the tunnel – Josie ran it like a pro, the serpentine at the end (16-19) was really fun and Josie ran it great with nice and tight lines.

Once again it was off to the conformation ring, change and groom Ella. Ella was really good, showed wonderfully- didn’t get anything but it was worth the trip.

And back to the Agility ring for round 2; the most tricky spot was weaves to 15, 16, 17, had to make sure the front cross after the weaves was not to soon as to pull her out and make sure as you headed to 17 you had her attention, for some reason lots of dogs missed jump 18.
Done for the day - Josie stood in 12th place Whoohoo, top 12 make it to the finals.

Saturday evening, Mary went and watched groups, I went to the agility banquet -good food, fun people (sat at the MN table). In bed relatively early - needed to be at the show by 7 am.

Sunday; Ella's day off. First course walk about 8:30, will run about 10:30am, course walked better than it looked on paper, trickiest spot; getting the front cross in between 12 & 13 and making sure to support the broad jump, then getting slightly ahead for 14-16, ft cross send to 17 and RUN. Josie handled it perfectly!

Still in the top 12.......Josie relaxed in her crate while I wandered around, shopped, watched dock dogs and some conformation.

Course walk for round 4 about 2pm, Josie to run about 3pm;

2 tricky spots on this course; 4 to 5, the A-frame/tunnel discrimination, now Josie prefers the A-frame, but the tunnel was right next to it, no space, I made sure to call her name after jump 4, angle my shoulders slightly away from the tunnel and tell her "up" (A-Frame command) there was no hesitation up she went ;-)... the other spot was the front cross weaves 18 to jump 17, the timing had to be just right..... once again Josie was spot on, good girl.....

AND we made it to the FINALS – WOW !!!!!!
I did not like the start....very demotivating, but the rest was pretty straight forward. Our only mistake was the weave entrance......bummer....I should have supported it a little more, I think I was to far ahead of her....

Great Dane Photos took lots of photos of Josie, see them here;

Stay tuned for the videos of all of Josie runs..... not her best run, but not to bad- the finals can be found on AKC's website..It has all the final runs.

To say Josie had a successful trip would be putting it mildly;-) The little Pooh has come along way. Not only did Josie run in the finals and place 10th in the 8” class, but over all heights, she was also 9th in the Non-Sporting group (the only 8” dog in the top 20) after all 4 rounds 10th in High Conformation Dog (1 of only 2 dogs from the 8” class to make it into the top 20), and won the Medallion for high in breed.
She was a SUPERSTAR !!

~Melissa & Josie the Superstar ;-)