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My smart and sometimes goofy guy finished his AKC Preferred Utility title on Sunday under judge Cheryl Pratt.

I wasn't really counting on it, especially when I saw it was Order 2 and started with directed jumping, one of his weakest exercises. In addition to that, we were the last team in any of the three rings that weekend and everyone was chattering and packing up.

He also picked up two scores toward Graduate Open over the weekend--one more to go for that title. We're entered at the Winter Blast in Oakes, PA, on Thursday and Friday, so with luck, we can check that off the list too. Then begins the long slog toward PUDX and regular Utility, now that he's finished regular Open.

 

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Wow, wow, wow. That’s fabulous. I’m so proud of you and Neely
 
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Congratulations! Great pic of you and Neely and the judge. Best of luck as you move forward to more challenges.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the kind words!

We had no joy at Oakes--we'd never been there before and it was wide open and full of enticing distractions and smells. I hoped that it would feel more familiar on the second day. It did, maybe a little, but not enough to capture that last Q for Graduate Open.

The rings were set up end-to-end (in my view) rather than side-by-side. Even though there was about a 3-foot alley between the rings, you were still sending the dog toward another ring (and team) for the go-outs. Neely just isn't solid and focused enough to do that, and I always have to wonder if his having Addison's prevents him from adjusting to environments that are too exciting. (Addison's Disease means his adrenal glands are totally non-functioning, so he depends on prednisone to replace cortisol and a monthly, slow-release shot to replace adrenaline.)

We'll keep trying, but maybe stick to more familiar venues while he begins to really understand the job he has to do in Utility. We also have to practice the new variation on Open, with the stand-stay while the handler gets the leash.
 
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