Root Beer Posted September 9, 2007 Report Share Posted September 9, 2007 I took Speedy to a Freestyle competition yesterday. The competition was being held in a parking garage in conjunction with a big grooming exposition. I had been there the day before with Dean and I was sure that Speedy was going to have a problem even walking into the garage because there were dogs crated near the entrance and he has a phobia of dogs barking from crates. I knew he'd be fine in the actual dance area, but I had to get him through the difficult area first. Although I was prepared to carry him in, if necessary, I let him try getting in on his own. He walked right in. No problem. I was thrilled. Had he done nothing else the entire day, that would have been enough to make me very proud of him. We were early in the program, which is always good for him. But there was a discrepancy with the competitor before us and there was an odd long delay before we could go in. A lot of people were very concerned that Speedy would burn out waiting for his turn. He and I sat on the floor near the ring entrance and he was completely relaxed. I sit with him on the floor waiting for stuff to happen at training class all the time. Neither of us had any trouble with that. Had he done nothing else all day, that would have been excellent in my estimation. Then we did our routine and he was wonderful! Full of spirit - he hit almost every one of his moves. Had he done nothing more than that, I would have been beyond pleased with him. Then I got our score sheet and saw we had qualified!!!!! Now I was beyond thrilled! It's not easy to qualify in Novice freestyle. Out of eight - ten competitors in the end only four qualified. I didn't think I could be happier. And then I mosied by the posted results and had the shock of the day when I saw our names at the top of the list!!! We earned first place with that performance!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was stunned! Remember - this is the dog I would have been satisfied with for walking into the place!!!! We've never taken first place in Freestyle! We only did it once in Rally. With a dog like Speedy, first place is not even something I shoot for! So, just when I thought things couldn't get any better at the very end, after collecting our qualifying ribbon and first place medal, they announced the 10 teams selected for the Invitational that night! And we were chosen!!!! The invitational is held at the big dinner for the grooming expo and it's an "anything goes" contest. Just being chosen for that was incredible! I knew we didn't have a shot at the prize. I was one of only two novice teams - the rest were all much more advanced, but I was thrilled to go! So, Speedy and I ran home to let my other dogs out and he played a game of ball with Dean. Then we went back. The hardest part of the whole thing for me was leaving him in a crate in the hallway while we ate dinner. But he did OK. So, after dinner, it was time. The invitational was in this HUGE ballroom with hundreds of people! They were participants of the grooming expo - groomers, corporate executives from Petsmart and other places that do groomig. And there was a camera and each team's performance was shown on a HUGE screen at the front of the room!! I couldn't believe we were going to get to dance there! This was the dog, remember, that I was thrilled with for walking into the parking garage!! When our turn came, Speedy was interested in this huge room full of people. But he came out onto the big dance floor and sat down by the cane and we did our routine. He was WONDERFUL! We were very obviously nebies. Quite a few of his treats went flying out of my hand! But we had a BLAST and the audience really loved him. It was one of those performances where Speedy and I were totally in synch with each other. I was grinning the whole time because he was having so much fun. And when the applause thundered at the end of it, his eyes sparkled and he had a big smile on his face. After that, we sat and watched the others. We didn't win, but that didn't matter at all. That was a once in a lifetime experience!!!! After all of that, the fact that he walked in on his own still would have been enough. But what an amazing experience!!!!! Nobody in those hundreds of people had a clue that Speedy was anything other than a normal, happy, exuberant Border Collie. And in the end, that's why I love dancing with him so much!! Thanks for listening. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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