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Old 08-21-2014, 12:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The long road to the UD

Lily and I finished the CDX in December 2012. At that time I hadn't done too much training of the utility exercises although I had started everything. I sure didn't think I would find myself still hoping to even get a leg almost two years later. Utility is very different than novice and open. Instead of depending on the dog's ability to stay at heel or to return to you, utility is all about having the dog go away or stay away from you to succeed with the principal part of the exercises. Since we all know how much poodles like to be close to their people you can understand how hard it has been to convince Lily it is ok to be away from me.

I have entered utility a few times with the expectation that we are really just having an expensive match that will let me see what needs work. Lily has shown flashes of brilliance, but we have always NQ'd at least two exercises with the go out for the jumps and the drop signal to start the signal exercise being the hardest things for her. We have worked very hard on both of those things this summer and I think we are finally really at a point where we can qualify.

We are entered for two trials this weekend (Saturday and Sunday). I am hopeful, but not as sure as I would like to be about how we will do. This trial was supposed to be at a venue that we train at occasionally and where Lily has done well before. The facility suffered roof damage during the heavy rain in the northeast last week and so the event is moved to our obedience club where we do most of our training. While I have the home court advantage so to speak, this is also a place where Lily feels perhaps a bit too comfortable about doing things like looking for dropped food on the floor. The floor will be steam cleaned tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully she won't be tempted.

Hopefully my next post here will be good news. Marguerite if you see this, thanks for your good wishes. I started here so as not to hijack your celebratory news for Neely.
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Lily AKC: CGC CD HIT CDX, RN RA RE RAE...RAE8 Multiple Rally High Combined, NA NAJ; APDT: RL-1; CPE: CL1-R, CL1-H, CL1-F, CL1-S, CL1
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can do it Lily! YES! (No pressure, with a Yale admission and all...). Best wishes to an unbeatable team. Crush it!
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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GO LILY!!! Me and Molly will be keeping all fingers, toes, and paws crossed, with a few prayers, and pennies in the wishing well, that you accomplish your goal!!!!!!
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can do it! Remember, you're a CONTENDER! (Top 10 in Front and Finish!)
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Best wishes for success and a great time!
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Good luck, Lily! You will be awesome!
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We had our final practice today (at the site where the trial will be). I didn't do the scent discrimination since I didn't want to take a chance on messing up my articles right before the trial. Lily's scent work is really solid anyway, so I am not too concerned about that part. I made sure I wore a shirt in the style of what I will wear over the weekend to show Lily what she will be looking for on the signal exercises. Out walls are light in color so I wear a shirt with long sleeves and dark in color for contrast in trial. For proofing in training I wear light colors so she has to work harder. She did good signal work. the moving stand and gloves were good too. She was a little weak in the directed jumping in the practice routing, but I had the chance to do some more with it later and it improved. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed! Keep your positive vibes headed our way sometime between 10:30 and noon tomorrow. We are the last entry in utility B.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Rooting for you two!
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well we didn't qualify today, but we came pretty darn close!

The order was directed retrieve, signals, directed jumping, moving stand for exam and scent discrimination. Lily took the correct glove but dropped it in front of me instead of holding it. This is a big point deduction but qualifies. Her heeling up to the moving stand was decent (not fabulous) she stayed where I left her, but then didn't drop all the way (didn't put her elbows down). I gave her an extra signal to try to get her to put her her elbows down and she decided to come in to me without the other parts of the exercise. This has been one of the hardest things for her to learn to do, so as long as she recovered from being worried (which she did) I am happy with it all. She did beautiful go outs and took both jumps on my orders with no problem. Her fronts were a bit crooked, but otherwise very nice. I was thrilled with the go outs (this also has been very hard for her to learn). The moving stand was very good and the scent discrimination was also very good. We NQ'd the first article because I had to give her a 2nd order to go to the pile, but she got the right article and worked the pile nicely. I had to do a bit of work to collect her to set up for the 2nd article. The steward hadn't been paying close enough attention and thought we were finished after the first article. He came in with the leash. Lily knows the man and also has a big thing about seeing her leash and wanting to take it so getting her back to do that 2nd article was a big thing.

I am most happy that she went into the ring nice and relaxed and she came out really happy. I am optimistic for tomorrow. It is the same judge.
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Lily AKC: CGC CD HIT CDX, RN RA RE RAE...RAE8 Multiple Rally High Combined, NA NAJ; APDT: RL-1; CPE: CL1-R, CL1-H, CL1-F, CL1-S, CL1
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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"Futility" is no joke! Good luck!

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