And the winner is…

Greetings blog aficionados. Frodo here to report on the performance record of Team Shaggy. Who the judge yesterday erroneously referred to as “The Fluffies.” An honest mistake.

Where to begin. I suppose with Friday. While the drive up was good – we shared travel with our lovely Borzoi friend, Chloe – who we quite like – the rest of the day was less than stellar with regard to the actual competition. How does one report on performances where the handlers actually made some errors on their own – from a Figure 4 ( that’s what happens when you only do half of a Figure 8), to another episode of the “Whirling Warden” who got so dizzy on a spiral that she didn’t know where she was. Add to that an Imp who acted as if he had never seen a Rally Ring – and well, we DID still manage to place second. Out of three Teams. We were only slightly disappointed with our loss as the winning Team was made up of Labrador Retrievers – and this WAS a Labrador Specialty. In addition, the Labrador humans actually had t-shirts made up for the occasion- while our Team (dogs included) was attired rather simply in colorful bandannas. From the Dollar Store of course. I felt we were hardly dressed for success. We graciously conceded defeat to the waggy tailed, well-dressed wonders.

After that loss, our Team strategized into the wee hours of the morning, keeping a close eye on the weather forecast for Saturday. We KNOW yours truly is not overly fond of wet conditions. I do jest about the strategizing. We had none.

Early Saturday morning we heard from Jane that the forecast was not promising. She was already in the show site area because she quite intelligently stayed in the area overnight. The Warden said we would come up and if it was dismal, we wouldn’t enter.

Well thankfully, the rains held off. The competition began with Kwik, the more junior of the Pyr Shep half of our Team, and he performed wonderfully – a 99/100. He was followed by some stray Her Highness picked on the side of the highway. The Imp acted as if he had never met her before – and tried to top his disastrous performance of the day before. True – he has never competed outdoors- but warming up before he went in the ring, he actually looked like he KNEW what he was doing. Not so much when the competition began. The judge quickly learned his name because Her Highness must have said it 52 times. Thank GOODNESS he was on a leash. I could barely watch – it was painful. Somehow, despite the train wreck, he DID manage to pass with 86/100 points. The judge must have felt sorry for him.

Next came the experienced lovely Fidjit, who had a perfect score – a 100/100. Yours truly was the last to go in and had Her Highness not directed me to the left of the FINISH sign, I would have had a perfect score. I lost one point.

We waited and watched while two other teams competed for the coveted prize. The well-dressed Labrador group from the day before did not compete. I like to think we scared them off – but I believe they had other conflicts. There was another Labrador Team, and a Team of littles – made up of Papillons, a toy Manchester Terrier and… the last one I forget. The winning team is based on the cumulative scores of all the team members.

Drum roll please. Despite the performance or lack of performance of the Imp – the brilliant scores of the other three of us put us in the First Place spot. Yes – Team Shaggy (or the Fluffies) took home the ribbons and some lovely KONG stuffed toys. Team Shaggy won.

Today there is one more day of competition, but we have chosen to rest on our laurels. Besides, no point in putting the Imp in another ring right now – he CLEARLY needs more training. Was I that wild 10 years ago? I think not. We shall blame it on the pandemic. Why not.

It was a fun but tiring two days. Last night we attempted to convince Her Highness that it was time to go to bed at 8 PM. She convinced us to stay up until 8:30. That was it for me.

In closing I’d like to thank the Academy….that is my idea of a joke. I’d like to thank my Pyr Shep colleagues and Jane for allowing me and the untrained Imp to be a part of their Team. And I DO hope that we might do it again some day. I may be almost 12.9 – but as long as I’m having fun (which I was) , I’ll keep on trying . Besides, someone in our household needs to show the Imp how it’s done!

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

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