9 February 2010

Phoenix Dog Shows & Rally Trials

From Thursday, Feb. 4 to Monday Feb. 8, I spent 5 days with my dogs participating in conformation and rally trials in Phoenix. There were 2 specialty shows hosted by the Sporting Dog Association and the Rio Salado Vizsla Club in addition to 4 all-breed shows.  And there were also 4 days of rally trials. All in all, it was great weekend for rally. Tyro earned his AKC Rally Excellent title so is now known as CH Varazs Napkelte Tyrone Am/Can RN, Am RA, Am RE. It was exactly one year to the date when he earned his AKC Rally Novice title at the same show along with his mother Nova who finished her RAE title (see photo  below of Tyro (L) and Nova (R). (More memories of Nova.)
Tyro's scores weren't great because we hadn't spent enough time practicing certain exercises like the 3-step backing up and moving stand so he lost a lot of points for those exercises which most judges like to put in. 

Miska also did well and earned 4 more RAE legs.  RAE means she has to pass both the Advanced and Excellent rally classes at the same trial. So each day she was doing 2 trials - and passing. She earned several placements (3rds and 4ths) but should have done better as she was hit with several 1 pt losses for being out of position. And one time I didn't run fast enough by the jump and she nicked it which cost her 3 pts. Without that deduction, she would have had a 99/100.  More practice, practice, practice!

And Diva was not to the judges' liking except for the very last day (Monday, Feb. 8). Several people had gone home and so there was no major in Vizslas (a major is a show with enough dogs of the same gender to make it a 3-pt win or higher).  However, when judge Robert Salsbury of Waterloo Iowa said to me as he examined Diva, "Congratulations on breeding a dog with a front!", I thought me might like her as none of the other dogs, including his Winners Dog, had a decent front. There were a lot of Vizslas there with straight shoulders. Anyway, he gave her Winners Bitch and then pulled Diva out first (and here I was thinking Best of Breed!! how exciting) but then he pulled a male champion out ahead of us. However, he did also award Diva Best of Winners of the Winners Dog. This didn't give her any more points (she ended up with 2) but at least it said he preferred her over the Dog.  So that finally gave Diva her first 2 points and ended out disappointing losses from the rest of the show weekend.  As the saying goes, "A different day, a different judge." which is sometimes a very good thing.

7 February 2010

Memories of Nova

I'll start off by writing that I'm a very sentimental and pretty emotional person.  I tear up even when singing the national anthem which is low on my emotional scale. So I knew that the shows and rally obedience trials in Phoenix AZ were going to be rough for me because they were the last that my beloved Nova participated in before she passed away.  She finished her AKC Rally Advanced-Excellent (RAE) title one year ago in Phoenix and was Best of Opposite Sex in the Veteran Sweepstakes and only female Veteran in the Rio Salado Vizsla Specialty Show. Little did I know that these would be the very last shows & trials that she would ever participate in.

When I returned to the same show site this year, I wasn't able to enter the building where I had crated the dogs for rally obedience. The memories of Nova are still too strong. I was glad that this year's rally ring was at the opposite end of the building so it felt different.   The Specialty Show, however, was in the same ring as last. So I tried to keep busy, staving off thoughts of her by volunteering to help the Vizsla club set up. That really helped.

But I guess the worst part was visiting the dog park where I took our four dogs last year. I thought I was ready and initially felt OK to go there.  After Sunday's shows & rally trials, I took Miska, Tyro & Diva for an outing because they needed to let off steam. I still have vivid memories and photos of Nova there.

Nova, 9.5 years old

Below: Nova (L) with Tyro (R rear) & Miska at the dog park
thought I could deal with being in the park although I have vivid memories and photos of Nova there.  Initially I was fine.  There was a 6-month old Vizsla there for my dogs to play with and talking to the owners took my mind off Nova. It wasn't until I got home that I broke down.  Then all the tears began.  Oh Nova, how I miss you sweetie!

2 February 2010

Groundhog Day litter turns 12!

I've never referred to the birth of our 4th litter as the Groundhog Day litter before now but it did happen that day, 12 years ago! Four puppies were born February 2, 1998 to our "Nekah" (Am/Can CH Maritza of Kezdet Nekah CD CGC), sired by "Rowdy" (Am CH Legacy's Rhythm N Blues). It was Nekah's last litter. Of those 4 puppies, three have outlived both parents and reached the age of 12 years today: Amber ( BPG CH Varazs On Point at Blackbullet), Bartok (Varazs Bartok Bluebeardscastle), and Otis (Varazs Betyar Otis).

Happy 12th Birthday!!

Birthday Clipart