Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Falling Down on the Blog

It has been a whole month since I've blogged. I can't believe that Barbara has not been able to help me in all that time. Of course she has many excuses. Keeping her training business going, her responsibilities to the APDT, training Ambrose (who takes ridiculous amount of work) blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! Of course we were also getting ready for my very first Canine Freestyle Federation competition.

I am waiting my turn to practice. All of our freestyle friends were so helpful giving us advice and helping us train.

We worked really hard on our routine. Now competition is different than training. You will be shocked to learn that there are no treats or toys allowed in the performance space!!! Your person can give you treats before and after but they can't use treats in the ring or even have any in their pockets. This is very difficult but we practiced a lot.

Then Barbara worried about what she would wear to the competition. I, of course, planned to wear my lovely black and tan fur. And I don't know why she was worried about her outfit since everyone would be looking at me! Unfortunately she felt that I needed to spend a lot of time on the dog grooming torture table and have a bath before we went to Tennessee.

It was a long drive to Chattanooga, TN but I am very good in the dog-crate-on-wheels. We stopped a lot so I could stretch my legs. Many people at the rest stops admired me. I like staying in motels. There are lots of good smells and interesting noises. One morning I heard a noise at 6:00 AM and woke everyone up by barking very loudly.

On Saturday morning Barbara was a little nervous because it was my first competition ever, I was going to be off leash in the ring and of course there is no food allowed. I have to admit that I didn't do very well. I was quite distracted by the location, the floor and the audience. About 1/3 of the way through I left Barbara to visit the music steward! She called me back and we continued but I went visiting again so Barbara asked to be excused so I wouldn't practice running away. She wasn't mad at me and still gave me lots of treats, just a bit disappointed since we had worked very hard.

On Sunday she stopped at Burger King to get me 2 sausage biscuits, my most favorite treat. During warmup I got some bits of it and I was really primed and focused. We did great!!! Everyone said that we did a good job and our routine was very enjoyable. I was into it and Barbara was so pleased. We got good scores and I came away with a first place medallion and toys! After my routine I got to eat a whole sausage biscuit which was the best.

Barbara gave her camera to someone to take pictures of the awards ceremony but they forgot to do it so there are no pictures of me getting my awards. Bummer. Here I am at home with two of the toys I got. I am guarding the yellow dragon from Ambrose who covets it (Ambrose went to K9 Kindercare while we were in TN).

Since we didn't get any pictures of the awards ceremony at the trial, I thought that I would model it for you here at home.

A close up of the medal.

While we were in Chattanooga, Barbara and some of her friends took the opportunity to visit the Aquarium. That is a big place with lots of fish. I am very sorry that I didn't get to visit the Aquarium. I love to eat fish.

These spotted flat things are freshwater rays. I wonder what they taste like.

Jelly fish.

A coral reef.

I promise to make sure that Barbara helps me with my blog more often. When we get the video of the competition, I will try to post the routine. I also have some pictures of Ambrose to post - he is huge! I'll be visiting all your blogs in the next few days to catch up with all your activities. I've missed you.


Lorenza said...

Hi, Niamh!
I was worried! But thankfully everything is ok and sure you had a pawesome time!
Kisses and hugs

Mango said...

I don't really understand the point of doggie dancing without foodables. I say, why bother? But I guess the humans like to do it.

Wonder what those music people had that smelled so good anyway.

You are still the champ!


Anonymous said...

Hi Niamh!! We're so glad you're back and blogging!!! :)

Looks like you had a brilliant time at the competition!! Well done on your super medal. We can't wait for the video.

Have you seen Honey's blog? She is a great dane who does the doggy dancing too, in New Zealand! She just did her first competition without treats too!

Luv Scotty xx

Pedro said...


Congratulations on your win! I love the medal with the music paw notes! That's great! My mom said she's never seen fresh water rays before and didn't even know they existed so thanks for sharing the picture!


Stanislaw said...

Blue goes fabulously with your black and tan get-up. It sure suits you.

As does that yellow dragon. I'd say that he makes the most flattering of chin rests.

Can't wait to see beast-man Ambrose all large and manly-like!

Pamela, said...

Woooo! Congrats on doing such a great job with your first competition, I know it is so hard working in the ring without treats! It is very difficult for me, although I do not do free style, just obedience. Next time post a video of your routine, I would love to see it!
-Kira The Beawootiful

Agatha and Archie said...

OH we were just thinkig of you yesterday!! We knew that you were very busy....CONGRATULATIONS!! I mean really who could do anything without the old food in the treat bag? BUT YOU DID! Our hero!! We can not wait to see the video!!!! You had better guard that medal from you know who..he will have to eanr his own..and good job hiding the stuffie under your head...Love A+A

Tom, Tama-Chan and Sei-Chan said...

Well done, Niamh! We're very proud of you!

Fred said...

Congratulations on your medal! Great job! Meanwhile, I completely agree about motels--they are great fun, and I'm glad more are welcoming pups like us these days.

Life With Dogs said...

You had some serious catching up to do! Love to see you properly decorated! :)

Amber-Mae said...

Hey Niamh! Well, atleast you guys enjoyed yourselves. That's the most important thing. To succeed, you have to fail. That's just how it is. We hope you do better next time.

Please come over to my blog & vote for the short film I acted in called FLASHES!!!! Thank you!

"Famous" Solid Gold Actress

Clive said...

Well done Niamh!

Take care

GoldenSamantha said...

So glad you are back! Wow! What a great job you did! Congratulations on winning such a pawsome medal - I know how hard you have been working! Good job!
Hugs xo

Hero said...

Congrats on winning your medallion and your toys!! We're all so very proud of you! I can't wait to see the video of your winning routine.

That looked like one ginormous jelly fish. The hoomans on my island get freaked out by all the little ones so I can't even imagine how they'd be if one of those big ones washed up.

Deefor said...

Looks like you have been working really hard. That's a really nice medal. And I really like your outfit.


Maggie and Mitch said...

What a beautiful medal! Great job, Niamh!
It's so nice to see you back and blogging!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oooh, Niamh - SO nice to have you back!! You really must have SERIOUS words with your human about updating your blog more often!!!

And CONGRATULATIONS on the medallion! Woohoo!! Am so proud of you! Trust me, I know just how hard it is dance without treats!! Hee! Hee!

I REALLY CAN'T WAIT to see your video of your routine - PLEASE post it soon!

Honey the Great Dane
ps. we didn't know there are freshwater rays too...how interesting!

Ludo van Doggy said...

Hi Niamh! Welcome back!
Very many congratulations to you on your medal, we casnot wait to see your routine!
~lickies, Ludo

Fenway said...

Wow...it's nice to know you can go visiting a bit and then resume the routine and STILL get ribbons, stuffies and even sausage biscuits.

I need to show Ms. Alpha this post. She is too hard on me!

You're looking lovely!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

Congrads on your award. You are a Star.

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie...

Samantha ~ Holly and Zac ~ said...

Congratulations Niamh.

We look forward to seeing your video.

Holly & Zac...XX

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