Sunday, September 29, 2013

2 months?!? Time to update about the fair!

2 months?  Really?  How can it be that it has been 2 months since I last updated the blog?

Well, we have been really, really busy...it is going to take me a week or 2 to get caught up, but I do plan to do it.  I hope to get a few posts put on every day to get it caught up...but bear with me, 'cause a LOT has happened in 2 months around here - as usual, lol!

The first thing that kept us super busy was the fair...while the fair has kept us busy for years in August, this year, was ridiculously more difficult...because of the dogs!  Not only did we have all of our 'normal' fair stuff to do, organize, figure out how to display and get ready to go, but we also had the dogs to prep, and get ready, and a super busy/crazy schedule to keep up with.

This year, with 4 exhibitors, we had 128 projects.  From that, we pulled in 82 blue ribbons as a family, 24 red, 12 white and 12 special ribbons.  Everyone worked really hard, and saw some incredible rewards for their hard work!  (Though their dividend checks are still coming!)

Ashley showed Lady at the fair - a borrowed dog, who has been to fair several times, and with several handlers.  She enjoys being shown, and really did a great job!  She helped Ashley to win a blue in obedience, and red ribbons in both showmanship and agility!


Ashley getting ready for the obedience ring.





Ashley in the showmanship ring.




I know the lighting is bad in this picture, but I would say that Ashley cleans up pretty well!  She really loved getting to dress up for both of these events!


This is an award ceremony for Ashley's showmanship class.




As is typical for the youngest, Judah was very much just along for the ride.  This easy going little guy did a great job entertaining himself with all that was going on with whatever he could find.  He is such a laid back baby!



Bailey showed Forte.


Anna showed Maple.


Both twins worked incredibly hard.  They training almost daily.  They went to 4h to learn what to do and how to do it, and watched training videos online.  Anna was a bit concerned with how Maple would do because she tends to be a little stand offish, let's say towards strangers, and just plain doesn't like other dogs...

She got over both of those things very quickly!  By the end of the 2nd day at the fair, you wouldn't have even known she had an issue with either of those things.  But tragedy struck on the 3rd day...Forte went into heat.  Which meant the girls were out of luck for showing their dogs - at least for the most part!  They had to borrow dogs for showmanship, and they had to do their obedience with their dogs 'off campus' - which really wasn't.

First, they had to do obedience.  We were told to be at the fairgrounds at 8:30 with them, before the fair opened, to do their obedience on the side yard next to the gate.  The judge was late.  We didn't get started until 10 am...right when fair opened.  Maple and Forte are PUPPIES.  They are only 6 1/2 months old.  They had never been to fair before.  They are very easily distractable (like all puppies are!).  

We had people from the line calling the puppies over to them, patting their legs, making kissing noises, etc.  They were on a grassy area that some dogs were using as a potty stop for the previous 3 days.  We had a tractor finishing up grounds maintenance.  We had carnival game vendors calling the people over who were just getting to the fair.  We had the rides just starting up.  Announcements of the days events were being broadcast over the pa system.  The race cars were starting their practice rounds just on the other side of the fence.  A plane was taking off nearby...we were really right in the middle of all of the activity for the day!

And the puppies acted about like you would have expected...terribly!  Each time they look away or sniff the ground, or need to be told twice, the girls lose points...in the end, the twins did AWESOME!  They kept composure, they kept trying to bring the puppies back under control, and they held it together to the end.  The final score however is about how well they have trained the dogs to obey, so it was less than stellar.  There were more than a few tears from this...and they really had worked so hard - only to have to do this outside with every distraction possible!  The girls were very disappointed in their white ribbon standing for this event.



We had lots and LOTS of time at the fair this year...


And so did the dogs!  This is the youngest puppy in our group, a 3 month old austrailian shepherd named Cheyanne. 


This is a special award earned by the club for keeping our area neat and tidy, and talking with the public.



Maple did not start her estrous cycle until a week later.  She was allowed to come into the ring and do showmanship with Anna.  Bailey had to borrow a dog for this...she met a pug named Pugsley earlier in the day and used her...both of the girls pulled off red ribbons in the showmanship ring!

Here are the twins in the showmanship ring.





This is a little lamb that was born early one morning that we were at the fair.  The mom was very protective.  And the lamb was very curious and friendly towards all of the people coming by to see her, lol!



By the time agility came around, both dogs were in heat, and could not participate.  So the girls had to sit on the sidelines for the event they were most looking forward to!

Look for a video of Ashley doing her agility in the next day or two!  She had a dog who really loved the agility ring, so even though Ashley didn't have a clue as to what she was doing, Lady knew exactly what to do, and almost left Ashley behind, lol!

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