Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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And on the 4th of July, we rested

I mean, sure, my parents came over for dinner, but none of us are that interested in fireworks these years, and I, at least, was really tired and perfectly happy that it rained most of the day (it did clear up later for those who wanted to go see fireworks).

But my weekend was pretty darn busy, so Monday was a recovery day.

On Saturday, I showed three dogs in Rally, twice — Ish in Excellent, at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM, and the puppies — Chloe and Jos — in Novice at 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Then I drove home in the rain.

On Sunday, I showed them again, Ish at 8:00 AM and the puppies at 10:00. Then I was caught in a traffic jam for an hour on the way home. You know, there is NO WAY to get off 44 and get into the city — nothing else crosses the Meramec River. I should have turned around and gone west and taken this weird complicated backroads route, but, well, who knew it would take a whole hour to get through to 141?

Whew! Looong days, especially considering an hour and a half drive each way (not counting the traffic jam).

But it paid off pretty well!

Here is Chloe waiting to go in the ring. She earned her Rally Novice title with scores of 86, 97 (third place), and 70 (she deserved much, much better; I was too mad to ask the judge what the hell she was taking points off for, but I did make a note of the judge’s name so I can avoid her in the future.)

Chloe

Here are Jos and Ish, glad to be home. Jos also got his Rally Novice titles, with scores of 96, 86, and 77 — again the judge scored my baby too low, imo. I know she must have taken ten points off for that extra sit, which was not very generous scoring, but I have no idea what else she was taking points off for. Ugh.

And Ish earned two legs of his Excellent title. It was my mistakes that NQ’d us the first time — well, it’s been years since I took a dog into the Excellent ring! I was really nervous.

Ish and Jos

Ish was juuuust barely adequate, with scores in the eighties for both Q’s. I thought that one judge was too generous to Ish — she gave him an 86, if I recall correctly — which is weird because she really was way too strict with the puppies. But there you go.

I’ve only taught Ish the Excellent stuff in the past couple weeks. All the pivots and turns and what have you are fine, and he now has an amazing moving stand, but his moving down has crept out over other things. I mean, I taught him this new down signal so we could do a moving down and a kind of distance-signal exercise, and he learned the new signal super fast (literally under a minute) but then he started to volunteer downs for all kinds of things. You could just see him thinking: OH I KNOW THIS MUST BE A DOWN TOO! I AM WONDERFUL! GIVE ME A COOKIE! And he is wonderful, but this issue complicated training last week.

Well, by September I’m sure Ish and I will have sorted out the Excellent exercises, and the puppies should be MUCH more steady, and then we’ll see. I certainly do not want to leave Ish’s Excellent title hanging, so I will at least finish that this year. In the meantime:

index

The ribbons hanging on the stand are the new title ribbons my guys have earned this year so far.

And then on the 4th, we were all quite content to just hang around and write the rest of chapter 20 (me) and grump about the rain (them). And then we had a nice dinner with my parents — the dogs all got tidbits of bratwurst, too — and went to bed to the sound of distant fireworks.

I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July, too — however you spent the day, and whether you’re American or not.

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