First thing...you already know that Radar did well in his agility competition...guess what...there's now even better news...he actually came FIRST in his group! Well done Radar...you clever boy!! Plus...he's now moved up to jumping FULL height...way to go Radarski!!
If you look at the red jump in the foreground you can see the, at the moment, empty notch at the top...that's where the bar will be raised to & how high Radar's having to jump now!!
Next thing...on Tuesday 3rd August, Radar spent the day with our friends, Andy & Tracey & their two collies (Lizzie & Charlie) - apparently, he was incredibly well behaved doing everything he was told to do...including 100% recall, playing nicely with Lizzie & Charlie & getting on Andys lap for a BIG cuddle!! Isn't it great when you can leave your boy with friends & know they're going to be so good?!!
So why did we leave Radar for the day...well, young Rio was competing in his first "proper" show - the Paignton & District Championship Show at Exeter.
I can't begin to tell you how nervous I was at the prospect of trying to put all our ringcraft training into practice...my stomach started churning about two days before & I'm not sure that I had much sleep either! On the day itself, we left home at about 6:15 a.m. - the "boys" were a bit surprised that they had to get out from under their duvets SO early!
Having dropped Radar off with Andy & Tracey, Rio & me headed west to the Westpoint Show Ground just outside Exeter. Thankfully, we arrived in plenty of time so we/I had a chance to try to relax & unwind before Rio's first class at 9:30! Well, I say relax...I think I'd have rather have had my head cut off with a spoon...& Rio...well he was just overwhelmed by all the people & dogs...particularly all the vizzies! He thought he was in "dog heaven"...all those potential red-dog playmates! Poor puppy...he didn't realise he was there to "work"!
Anyway, 9:30 came round all too fast & we found ourselves in the ring for the Minor Puppy Dog class. Despite all our practicing & the ringcraft lessons, I went into a serious "senior moment" & my brain turned to mush!! Thankfully, the judge quickly realised that I was a complete "greenhorn" & explained what we needed to do in words of one syllable!
First task..."stand" Rio - yeah right...he just wanted to go & play with all the other ginger ninjas! Eventually, after wriggling around like a bag full of ferrets, Rio did a beautiful "stand"...front legs straight, rear legs stretched back, head/tail/ears up etc etc! The "stand" probably lasted for all of a nano-second! Then came the moment when the judge wanted to feel him all over! Rio didn't mind that at all (even when the judge felt his "boy bits!) but then it came to the teeth checking bit - easy...Rio opened his mouth to show off his lovely, new, white teeth...the problem was that the judge was leaning over him...what else could Rio do except...LICK HIM ALL OVER!!!! At this stage I probably looked like a complete blithering idiot...need I say more?!!!! Then we had to "trot" in a triangle - have you ever seen bucking bronchos...?!
By now my nerves were completely shot to pieces & I was praying that the ground would open up & swallow us both for ever!!
However, Rio did eventually settle down (& so did I...well things couldn't get any worse could they!?) & did a beautiful "trot" followed by a reasonable "stand".
Then came the moment of truth...i.e. being told the "placings"! I was already planning Rio's new "career" as a sled-dog...well they don't have to stand still do they?!! But...guess what...Rio was awarded SECOND place...wow...what a clever puppy! Then, in his next class which was "Puppy Dog" he managed to get "Very Highly Commended" & that was against puppies that were nearly 1 year old! Here are his certificates:
Do you know what is really scary...the 2nd place qualifies Rio for Crufts 2011!!
Next thing...on Friday, 6th August (having left Radar at home with John) Rio & I headed north for Worcestershire...! We were staying the night with Rio's Dad (Digby) & his Mum & Dad (Lynn & Roy). Here's some photos of Digby...isn't he a handsome boy?!
We were staying with Lynn & Roy because the next day Rio was entering his next show - the National Gundog Association Championship Show! It was so lovely staying with Lynn & Roy...I got the chance to relax & also to do a bit of, much needed, ringcraft practice with the experts guiding me! Rio had a brilliant time playing with Digby, Rosie (his Grandmother), his Aunty Easle & his sister (Tango)...plus he had lots of cuddles from Roy & Lynn!!
Saturday morning saw Lynn, me, Tango & Rio heading to the 3 Counties Show Ground near Malvern. We arrived with plenty of time to do a bit more practicing before Rio's "Puppy Dog" class. Lynn also made sure to introduce me to loads of the other Vizsla owners many of whom I'd heard of but never met before....isn't it lovely being able to put faces to names!
When Rio's class came round I was very nervous (again!) but Rio certainly "performed" better than at Exeter - he trotted beautifully & did some reasonable "stands" though he still needs to learn to stand still for a bit longer! Once again, the judge was really kind to me & gentle with Rio...obviously realising that we were newbies at the showing game! So what was the end result...Rio was given another Very Highly Commended...well done puppy! Here's a picture of his certificate:
I have to admit that, for the first time, I really enjoyed the Malvern show - not only was it great to meet so many lovely people but I also got loads more tips on how to "handle" Rio...thank you to everyone for being so supportive particularly Lynn & Cath (Harris). Please keep "watching this space" for more of our showing antics!!!!