Thursday, May 31, 2007

What I Did On My UDC Vacation, Tuesday

The next day I audited the Butch Henderson seminar in obedience and protection. I opted to audit not because I don’t trust Butch Henderson, but because I just didn’t know him well. I’m very choosy about who gets to actively work my dog. Instead, I took notes in the notebook brought for that purpose. I had to make a quick break to run and watch Alena and Valenzia in obedience. (I hate that the obedience and conformation rings are always opposite the working seminar – I understand the need to compress events, but it’s a frustrating situation to me.)

It was hot and very windy; the wind destroyed Anne’s tent and the sun roasted us all. However, that wind was bringing a cold front, and an arriving thunderstorm interrupted the protection work and the temperament testing. We hid in cars and restrooms until the worst of it passed.

(Temperament testing, you ask? UDC rules require that all conformation entries enter a breed-specific temperament test, briefly covering acceptable behavior toward strangers and a proper Doberman reaction to a threat on the dog and handler. Dogs may enter the ring regardless of score, but only those who pass the test can earn championships.)

I skipped out early to go to the trial field and do some obedience with Laev. She’d had days off from training while I was gone, and I wanted to get her onto the trial field and do some review before her BH trial on Friday. Laev did quite well, working for toys and her supper. (All of her food for the week had been packaged in quarter pound chunks for easy training. No free lunch!) I was pleased.

Then we returned to the host hotel for a banquet and talk by trainer John Soares. I was in charge of tagging folks, circulating with my sticky nametags and markers and catching unmarked people like a game warden. I ate enough for three people, probably due to the last several days of convention and late nights.

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