I write this post about a significant accomplishment exactly one week late because I’ve been insanely busy. Yet I’m pleased to announce that my five-year-old Rottweiler, Busta, who has been in retirement and who hasn’t competed in an obedience trial since 2007 won the Novice obedience class on Saturday, October 23. He won “high in trial” too with a perfect score.
The decision to enter the dog came from a place of desperation. Earlier I had made the rather sad decision to retire my white German Shepherd bitch who showed a great deal of promise in obedience. But, I needed a goal, something that would keep me working with my dogs, and I needed a dog that might, just might, progress through the various classes and earn an obedience title. I hauled Busta out of retirement.
He had learned all the novice exercises when he was a puppy, but it was many years since I worked him. Despite my best intentions to prepare him for the upcoming show, our work together was sporadic at best. Three weeks prior to the show I did no work with him. We were entering on a wing and a prayer. Yet, we managed to impress the judge. Busta remained focused in the ring and did everything asked of him quickly and enthusiastically.
Now I scramble to find time to prepare him for the Beginner’s Class on November 20. It’s tough when there are so many other things clamoring for my time. A fellow competitor who used to enter multiple dogs in obedience while working full time told me that she’d wake up early and train during the 5:00am hour, working each dog with one exercise for a total of three minutes. I will have to try that.
We need to work on the one-minute stand-stay, and the high and long jump. Busta proved many years ago that he is not a jumper. He is the only one of my dogs who has never shown any inclination to jump on furniture. With the Jamaica Kennel Club’s recent decision to lower the jump heights for competition obedience, I just might be able to entice Busta to perform the jumps. We’ll see….