Sunday, September 5, 2010
A Dream Realized
Today, I accomplished a goal that seemed like an impossible dream early in Gryffin's life. I think it was my dear departed friend Leslie Reichard who first planted the seed... CH OTCH MH. I poo-pooed the idea. I think she even suggested that before Gryff had his JH. I had done the first two titles with 3 other dogs. But an MH? Naw, too far fetched. Leslie was nuts! I couldn't possibly. I'd never even earned a JH on a dog, let alone anything higher.
Back in January this year, we reached the pinnacle of obedience, and my jolly boy completed the requirements to become my 5th OTCh dog. So, I set my sights on reaching that impossible dream. We had earned 2 of the 5 passes required for the title in 2009. Could we get three more? It became my #1 goal for 2010. We earned leg #3 at the FCRSA Specialty. We failed our next test, but I learned a critical lesson. At $70-75 an entry for a Master test, believe me, you remember the lesson when you do something dumb! We earned leg #4 in July. Last weekend, we failed again. Granted, it was on the toughest test we'd been in, but still... Add to that Ty's failure in Senior, and we had our 1st double flunko weekend. I was SO disappointed Sunday. I thought a lot about an essay I wrote early in 2009 about dealing with disappointment. Although we still had several more tests we could enter this fall, I wasn't sure I could maintain the training schedule. I pushed myself to train this past week,
and we had a lot of up and down sessions, especially for Ty. Friday, I tried to remind myself to concentrate on Gryff's successes instead of dwelling on Ty's poor work.
Gryff got through the first series yesterday without having to handle on one of the marks that many people DID have to handle on. While his blind wasn't 1st class, it was okay. The 2nd series had me nervous. He again did the two marks (a double with the very close 2nd bird a 'wiper bird', i.e., one thrown across the line to the 1st one to wipe out the dog's memory) without any handling from me (the generally preferred method), but the 2nd half of the 1st water blind was not very good. Okay, it stunk! The 2nd one was very nice, though.
So we went home exhausted late last night with no real idea of whether or not we'd passed. I arrived back at Omega about as the 2nd series was wrapping up, hoping we hadn't made the trip in vain. And we made it through to the 3rd series!!! Yippee, another chance!
The final series was a water triple on a pond on which we had failed two 3rd series last year. We've trained on it a lot this year, which has it's good points and bad. He got the left go bird promptly, but had a looooong hunt for the right bird that was thrown on the right end of an island. To his credit, he stayed tight in the area of the fall, but geeze, did it give me a racing heart, trying to make sure I was ready to help him if he got too far off! I had my whistle in my mouth, but having seen several handlers need to handle on the long middle mark, I didn't want to use it up on the right bird. When I took delivery of that right bird, he looked out up the middle, and locked on the spot where the middle bird had landed. I gave him a loud GRYFFIN to send him and he rocketed out and almost immediately snatched up that bird. Oh how sweet it was!
So my dear, wonderful, jolly, goofy boy is now:
Ch OTCh Grousemoor Gryffindor UDX RE MH WCX
Thanks, Leslie, for planting that seed so many years ago. I sure wish you could have been here to see it realized, but somehow, I think you know.
Adele & Gryffin CH OTCH MH