We are just back from the Ephrata-Moses Lake Kennel Club Open Shows in Moses Lake, WA. Braam is coming home having been awarded Best In Miscellaneous/Best of Breed twice, and Casper Best In Miscellaneous/BOB once, proceeding to Best In Open Show! We would like to thank the EMLKC for offering these three shows in conjunction with their all-breed shows, and to the Peruvian Inca Orchid club for sponsoring and donating a trophy. As Kooikers were approved to move to the AKC’s Sporting Group as of January 1, 2018, these are potentially our last Open Shows, so while I’m not too much of a conformation person, I wanted to put up a good entry. One thing I will miss from the Open Shows is the camaraderie of them – I feel like rare breed people stick together, since they don’t have enough folks around to form a group of their own breed. Everyone is supportive, excited to see and welcome new breeds, and happy to pitch in if help is needed.
On Saturday I entered Casper in Rally. Unfortunately we had a devil of a ring conflict and I’m afraid we irritated the judges and stewards in both rings who were trying to accommodate us. Sometimes I think I’m very much like a Kooiker in that I shut down when I know or sense someone is not thrilled with me! However, we somehow managed to (literally) run across the fairgrounds between rings, switch collars and mentalities on the fly, and hop right into the next ring. I had not completed the course walkthrough nor watched any fellow competitors in the Rally ring when we arrived, jumped right in, and derped our way through the course to an 86, a 4th place, and Casper’s completed RN title! Casper was tired and laggy by this point and I felt bad because he was not engaged or enjoying it at all, until about the third to last sign when he perked up and decided he wanted to work again. We completed the course and ran (again, literally) back out to alert our fellow ring-conflict-er with an Appenzeller Sennenhund that she was up next!
Overall though, I don’t feel great about the shows. Maybe it’s because of the ruffled feathers caused by the ring conflicts, or the misunderstanding I had with a friend that left some feelings hurt, or the fact that the results didn’t quite turn out as planned (how can I be a sore loser about my own dog winning? That makes no sense!), but I feel that I handled terribly and am not going home with a great feeling about it, despite our successes on paper. A lot if it is that neither me nor Casper loves conformation and rally, although Braam likes showing. We were both of the mind that we just wanted to get it over with, and then I feel rotten for forcing my little trooper through it.
But on a happier note… I never posted about Casper’s first Flyball tournament! On the first weekend of April, we drove up to Abbotsford, BC (Casper is an international competitor!) and Casper ran his first official tournament on Sunday. Now this is something that he is way more excited about! In his very first run, he bobbled the ball a little on the box and had to re-run, which confused him at first but then was happy for the opportunity to run again, and we still got a decent time. Even though he ran half the races so as to share with the other newbies, he still managed to rack up enough points (186) to finish his FD, and then his FDX, title! He ran in the low 6s with a best time of 5.781 seconds – not bad for a first-timer! I was extra proud of him because we walk into a noisy, echoing building chock full of strangers and barking dogs, with electronic start/timekeeping systems, line and box judges sitting next to the courses, and all sorts of weird stuff we’ve never trained on – and he still was unfazed and knew exactly what to do! He was so solid the judges both commented on how well he was doing – one of them came over to shake my hand!