Tag Archives: dog rally

There’s no people like dog people

Last Saturday I (Hope) was at the AKC National Championship Dog Show. Among the people we know, there’s a saying: “A bad day at a dog show is better than a good day at work.”

I’m not entirely sure about that since I love what I do, but it was a great time. There was something for everyone who loves dogs: conformation (the beauty pageant part), Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, and Dock Diving, “Meet the Breeds,” and shopping. Lots and lots of shopping.

Let’s go to a show!

If you’ve never been to a dog show, take advantage if you see one in your area. It’s a world unto itself, with its own language, customs, rules, and etiquette. The most important rule is never try to engage someone who’s about to compete with their dog. They’ll be nervous, and probably seem rude. But if you wait until they come out of the ring and start by saying how much you admire their dog, your reception will be much warmer. No one can resist a complement for their “kids!”

Technically, the Agility part, where I spent most of my time, was the Invitational – the top five dogs (and one “preferred” dog) in each breed are invited to compete. The top finisher in each breed is awarded the breed medallion. 

You may know that my breed is French Bulldogs. And through the years I’ve gotten to know many other French Bulldog owners. Our dogs aren’t renowned as one of the most athletic breeds, or one of the smartest, but those of us who choose to play sports with our Frenchies have become a rather tight group. 

Cheer squad

5 dog people holding french bulldogs

There were six Frenchies slated to compete, but one, unfortunately, was unable to come at the last minute. All the rest, all five, were there for every single for everyone. Cheering, recording, sympathizing, supporting. And that’s why I love being part of dog sports. 

I was there as “kennel help.” Another Frenchie person actually brought an entire entourage of four. Two had no one helping them – except for their Frenchie “peeps” who stepped up and were there.

Meet more dog people

We’ve said it many times and will repeat it forever – dog people are among the finest on the planet. And a welcoming community as well. If you’re ever feeling the need for a home away from home – get involved with a dog club or group. 

You can start with taking a class at a local club. Finding one may be as easy as saying “Okay, Google!” Or “Hey, Siri!” Resolve to spend your time doing things you’ll enjoy with like-minded people. Resolve to have some fun with two- and four-legged friends. 

Booker at the Boston Terrier Specialty Show

Fran on Friday

Booker the Boston Terrier at the Boston Terrier National Performance SpecialtyI did it again. I subjected myself to embarrassment and ridicule and entered a dog show. Not just any show – no. I entered the Boston Terrier National Performance Specialty shows. 9 trials in 3 days. 3 agility, 3 obedience and 3 rally. In the agility trials, I entered 3 runs each. So that’s a total of 15 runs. I knew it was a lot when I sent in my entries, but I wanted to support the Boston Terrier Club of America. I would have been happy with one ribbon, because I know that my Booker is a wild man.

The first day was all agility – 2 trials, 6 runs. Booker did really well! He qualified in both novice standard runs (with contact obstacles), one open jumpers run (a more advanced class – don’t ask me how we got past novice jumpers with weaves!) and 1 Time to Beat run! Time to Beat is a modest course showcasing speed. All levels compete on the same course.

The second day was everything! 1 agility trial, an obedience trial and a rally trial. Again Booker qualified in standard and Time to Beat. I honestly don’t know what happened on the jumpers run. It felt good, but I must have missed something. The obedience trial was interesting. Let’s just say that Booker and I have had better moments. But we qualified in Rally!

The third day was obedience and rally (2 trials of each). I was happy that Booker’s performance in obedience improved with each trial! And Booker got his Novice Rally title!

As good as Booker was, and I’m so proud of him, I have to say that the best part of going to the Nationals was getting to meet other people who love this breed.