I should begin this story with what happened last night. I went to some friends for dinner and when I got home there was, what at one time was full, an almost empty ten pound bag of dog cookies. I couldn't tell which one of the pups was the culprit. I always assume it is Sara. So I go about my business thinking there could be multiple awakenings during the night for doggy walks. Well, to my surprise, it did not happen. I got the dogs up early to feed, water and walk before Dixy's run. Everyone had eaten and gone for their potty walks. No problems, digestive tracts seemed to be normal. A few hours later, I am preparing for Dixy's run. The main goal was to get through cleanly with her. I take her to the starting line and, let's just say it wasn't pretty. I now know who ate the bulk if not all the cookies. I am thinking, this may not work out so well. To my surprise, Dixy did a wonderful job on her bird work. She was steady as a rock. Now I am under no illusions that Dixy is a field champion in the making but do enjoy the occasional run with the field trial fanatics. I always enjoy the way Dixy runs even if it she isn't a huge running dog. I go about my business knowing Dixy did a good job but also knowing there are 17 days entered and many of them multiple placement winners. After all the dogs in the stake had finished running only 7 came through cleanly. Now this is where the roller coaster of emotions begins. Before knowing this, I was content with the performance not expecting a call back. The judges sent word there were 4 dogs called back. Dixy wasn't one of them. Okay, expected that but a little disappointed none-the-less. I gather my dogs to take them for a run. I head out about a mile from the call back location. I am just about ready to set off in the fields with the dogs when the chairman of the events comes up and informs me Dixy was selected as an alternate. I was happy to be recognize (it is 5th out of 17 dogs) but don't expect the first four to not be selected. I watched the performances of the first two dogs. They do excellent. Looks like we will just be honored to be the alternate. The third dog goes into the ring. The bird flies away, gunners shoot, gunners miss. The handler doesn't realize the bird wasn't shot and sends the dog for the retrieve. Not a good idea. There is no bird. No bird, no retrieve, no ribbon. Okay, looks like Dixy is going for a ribbon. The fourth dog does a decent job. Now it is Dixy's turn. She finds the bird, she points the bird. I try to make the bird fly, not happening. I chased the bird all over, looking ridiculous along the way. The bird runs, and runs, and runs. Dixy is rock solid. Finally the gunners shoot the bird on the ground. It is about 70 feet away. I am thinking, here is where our hard retrieving training will come in. Well, it didn't go as plan. I was crushed. She did retrieve it to me but not as cleanly as she had been and she needed coaxing. I left the field thinking we blew our chance at a ribbon. I again took the dogs for a walk. It was short. I went back to the clubhouse and much to my surprise, we were presented with a ribbon. Crazy.
2 days ago