It pays to be optimistic. Today's show was much better than yesterday. Let me give you the details.
Rugby hasn't been in the ring since May. Why did I expect him to come back where he left off? Not sure. I'll blame it on optimism. He made two BIG mistakes yesterday in Utility. One was not taking the bar jump during directed jumping. The other was visiting with the judge on the moving stand exercise. Moving stand = socialization? I think not. His other mistake was picking up the wrong article and dropping it before finding the correct one. I don't consider this a big mistake, but it did cost him 3 points which is more than his moving stand mistake.
We did absolutely nothing in between yesterday's trial and today's trial to better prepare him for or fix those mistakes. I think he really was just re-figuring out the whole trial scene. I did NOT crate him at all today, since he seemed uncomfortable and stressed in there yesterday. Instead I brought his Sturdibag and saved some space on my lap for Rugby to sleep all day. He was much happier with this set up.
Open B was first. He was a nutcase. I used those high-in-fat treats before hand. They worked. They almost worked too well. His individual performance was improved by a whole two points from yesterday. HOWEVER, during stays, when the A/C came on... he had to bark at it. Three times. And he lost a point for each one. The worst thing a judge has ever said to me? "Your dog was tied for first place, but he barked at the A/C and lost a few points for that." Gah! No placement, but he still scored a respectable 193/200.
Utility B was last. He didn't make any of the mistakes he made yesterday. Not one. He scored a 197/200, was 3rd place and earned 1 OTCH point.
Since he qualified in both class, Rugby earned his first ever UDX leg. What a relief. I though it would never happen! I tried uploading videos but the hotel internet is not cooperating.
We have two very big goals for next year. They never made it onto the blog because I was starting to doubt that they were even possible. After today, I am hopeful. I added a "Points and Progress" page to help us keep track of those goals.
One more day left. Keep crossing your fingers.