In summary, Ein got his Rally Excellent title. YAY, EIN!
In detail, Ein was happy and confident in warm up, and that is always a good thing. The course was not easy peasy, and judge was very tough. The B class handlers went first and the first three of them NQ'd, the judge was ticking off 10 points at a time for anything done incorrectly on a sign. That was enough to make me, an A class handler with a spazzy dog, a bit uneasy. Even worse, the ring was on grass that is close to the training building that is used in the winter time - more than likely heavy with potty smells.
As soon as we hit the ring Ein did his "don't wanna STEP THERE." thing and got rattled. We worked through that.
The second sign was Send Over Jump-Handler Passes By and Ein slammed into a stop in front of the jump and began sniffing it. Thoroughly. I asked him two more times to jump it and he finally did.
We sludged through the course with total disconnect (I remembered to NOT clap!). There was the Halt-180 Degree Pivot Left-Halt, and we managed to not lose points there.
We went over the jump again, this time with no trouble and right into the Moving Back Up sign (no trouble.)
Then was the Stand-Leave Dog-Down Dog-Call Dog Front-Finish. In the walk through the judge reminded us that we are to PAUSE, tell the dog to Stand and THEN leave. I knew we were sunk. If I pause at all, Ein will sit. I have a hard enough time getting him to Stand or do a moving stand (I had actually erroneously thought this sign WAS a moving stand.) I tried my best to pause and get away from Ein before he sat, but that wouldn't matter because he crept out of his Stand-Stay before he would Down. Anxiety at play.
Ein and I got an abysmal 71/100 but that is STILL A Q, and 1st place by default! We made it!
I asked to see my score sheet. We lost 7 points for lagging. 2 points for me "pausing too long" on Halt-2 steps-Call Dog to Heel. 10 points for "something on the jump" (the judge could not remember what exactly we had done wrong there - I did check the rules of that sign and it says that the handler may not stop at the jump, and I did stop to encourage Ein over the jump. So that must have been the issue.) and 10 points for the Stand-Leave Dog-Etc. sign.
Such a contrast to last week where Ein was happy, confident and blasting around the ring with me. Ah well.
I had trial steward duties since we were trialing for home base, and that filled the time gap between Ein's Rally leg and Perri's Beginner Novice leg.
Perri's heel pattern was okay. Some sniffing, some tight lead, some working with me. A mixed bag.
The figure 8 was also okay. She did sniff the stewards keys as we passed by them, sigh.
Sit for Exam was fine.
The Sit-Stay was good. Uneventful.
The Recall. Oh, the recall. Our achilles heel? I left Perri, turned around and stared at the sky out behind her. I recalled her. No hesitation THIS time. She blasted towards me with much enthusiasm...and did not front! The steward table was behind me, you see, and that was Very Exciting. She did not linger there, but the distraction was just enough to pull her from fronting properly. I can see that we need to practice the recall with something exciting BEHIND me in the future.
Perri qualified with (another!) 191/200 and 3rd place!
And guess what? Perri gets to do another Beginner Novice entry tomorrow, and INDOORS. Yay!