When I decided to sign up for the AKC trial I was very hopeful that there would be a photographer there. I've gotten a handful of decent photos of Dahlia from previous trials but I always want more. And not only that, but she's looking faster and more excited. I wanted to see what she looked like.
Lucky for me, the good folks at Pet Proof Photography were there taking photos. Our first run was in the pouring rain and while I saw them out there, I suspect they didn't take many photos of our runs. Bad luck for me!
They did, however, take several photos of our second (FAST) run and I was so pleased with them, I bought downloads of three of the photos.
This first two are of Dahlia actually taking the send! As I mentioned in my last post this was huge for us. Absolutely huge. Dahlia is a "Velcro Dog" (she reminds me a bit of Needy Dög) and it amazed me that she got the confidence up to take a jump that I couldn't get within 6 feet or so of. This may not be a huge deal to most folks, but it sure was for us!
You can probably figure out exactly where I was by following her gaze! For the record, she did indeed take the tunnel that followed this but only after heading toward me and then going back out to it. It was still an impressive feat for my girl!
The last photo is of Dahlia's first time ever taking a panel jump (they have none where we train). I'll let you look at it for just a moment. I hope it makes you laugh.
Just how high did she jump anyway? Here's the thing: she jumped huge to make it over the jump (compare her jumping in the one above). Not long ago this dog would have simply gone around it. The first several times she saw wing jumps she went around them. So here she was in a trial situation taking a jump she had never seen before and she did it.
It was a beautiful run. Had I just kept moving forward and taken the last two jumps, we would have gotten our first AKC Q. But because I'm a green handler (who cannot count) I made a stupid mistake and cost us 6 points in overtime, putting us down to 45, 5 points below what we needed to Q.
It's ok though. She still looked great! And these trials are not about winning for me. They're about having fun with my dog. And they're an assessment of our training. Here I learned to trust my dog and to not second guess myself! I hope it helps at our next outing later this month!