We just did two days of Earthdog tests with the schnauzers. I had both dogs entered in Intro to Quarry (which is a non-titling event) and then when he did so well in practice, I entered Spenser also in Junior Earthdog.

Saturday Sassy went straight down her tunnel. Attacked the rat and then came right back out WAY too soon. They sent her down again and had DH come around and encourage her. With his help, she did her 30 seconds of work and they were hopeful for Sunday's run. Expecially when she really enjoyed the afternoon's game of Ratting For Ratings and really got into attacking the rat in the tube.
Sunday turned rainy (an understatement - see Spenser's account below) but Sassy did even better in the tunnel. Didn't come back out this time but still needed some encouragement to work for the full time. Very promising though.
Spenser, on Saturday, raced through his Intro tunnel - as we expected and passed that test. Half an hour later, he got to do the Junior tunnel. He raced through the tunnel and attacked the rat. Worked at him for the full
60 seconds required. The judge said "Come around and get your qualfyingschnauzer" (a cheer went up from the crowd - literally!) and when I got there and we lifted the lid, he was GONE! They have to come out of the tunnel by the rat. He gave up on us and backed out of the tunnel and came around.
I think the judge felt even worse than we did. And Spenser, of course, didn't care at all. The judge searched the rules for any possible loophole or technicality but couldn't find a way to give him his leg.

So we were very hopeful for Sunday. Saturday's Junior judge was doing the Intro course and Spenser was first on the line. We decided to let him work that rat for 60 seconds rather than 30, just to reinforce the longer time in his mind. No problem - another Pass and a ribbon.

By the time we ran in Juniors it was raining. No, that's not the word. It was a complete deluge. You could not see the length of the field through the downpour. We kept the dogs wrapped up in towels.but at 60 degrees, they were getting chilled. When I took Spenser up to the line, the judge was shifting paperwork - trying desperately to keep it dry - and we got even more soaked. I put Spenser down and he went straight through the tunnel. He worked the rat. Maybe ten seconds. And then it got quiet. The judge said "He's left the rat". At my end of the tunnel, there were two little beady eyes and the most pitiful looking schnauzer you ever saw. Very wet. Very muddy - those tunnels collect water when it rains. And getting cold.

He got a LOT of praise for even tryinig to do the silly things we humans ask them to do. And now we'll have to more seriously consider that next trial in late August - the one we had decided we did not have to do. Maybe now we do.
The judges we had were really encouraging. They were all really pleased to see two schnauzers there - and two who so obviously had the "right stuff". We heard over and over how wonderful it was to have schnauzers there and that they were doing incredibly well. We heard a lot of comments (judges too) that there were doubts when schnauzers were originally allowed in Earthdog but they were certainly proving their right to be there.

So it was, in spite of not meeting our high hopes, a good weekend. Lots of great people all having fun with their dogs. And even without the official qualifying score, we all know that SPENSER DID IT!

Now it's time for agility again!

~~Judy
When life gives you lemons, ask for tequila and salt.
We just did two days of Earthdog tests with the schnauzers.

Oh yeah, and while I felt so bad that we hadn't been able to end the weeekend on a positive note, the dogs found a way. They came home and killed the snake from my flowerbed.

~~Judy
When life gives you lemons, ask for tequila and salt.
So it was, in spite of not meeting our high hopes, a good weekend. Lotsof great people all having fun with their dogs. And even without theofficial qualifying score, we all know that SPENSER DID IT!

Doesn't need to be a Q to be a greatexperience! Congrats!

Melissa S. Frye
Skyrocket cockers www.mfrye.com/skyrocket/
Thanks! It really is fun. And it's such a different group of people - although the Westie people remind me of the Sheltie people at agility - self-contained by their sheer numbers. As much as people cheer each other on at agility, it's even more so at Earthdog. (Well, maybe not at Masters where they're actually competing against each other a little but we're a LONG way from that level.)
We decided that WE know he did it, HE knows he did it, the JUDGE knows he did it, and the crowd at the test knows he did it. The only ones who don't know it are the people at AKC - and they don't matter all that much.

It will happen.

~~Judy
When life gives you lemons, ask for tequila and salt.
Judy, look at it as getting closer each time!
Yeh, I'd heard about the weather (Marg's post to the breed list; dogs she's bred cleaned up or made good beginning tries).. the rain anyhow. She forgot to mention the temperature..

They look SO pathetic, even in warmer wet weather, when they come out soaked and filthy..
Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia
Yeh, I'd heard about the weather (Marg's post to the breed list; dogs she's bred cleaned up or made good beginning tries).. the rain anyhow. She forgot to mention the temperature..

Yup, Marg did clean up all weekend. Had some QQs on Saturday I know. And the Borders didn't seem to mind the weather quite as much as the schnauzers did. That's what happens when you take a dog with a nice protective coat and shave it off and then send them out in a cold rain.

The thunder (and lightning) did get a little close at one point - especially considering that the site is a field with just a few very large, very old trees in it. But we kept going!
And Marg picked out a new puppy Saturday night - did she mention that? I think it's another week or so before she gets to take it home.
~~Judy
When life gives you lemons, ask for tequila and salt.
Nope, Marg didn't mention the new pupplet. But I'll make a point of seeing it at specialty in August.. up in Mass. Got one I want to see from Rhode Island, too.. dad's one of our top dogs from the late 1980s-early '90s, one of my all time favorite BTs... frozen semen...

Yeh, I've just started this spring having Schroeder clippered, and I have to comb or slicker very day or he looks like a refugee from the orphanage.. Well, even with combing, he looks pitiful.. He's a blue and tan. When we were having daily rains, he came in soaked when the other guys just shook it off... Sad state of affairs...

Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia