Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ohio Freestyle Competition Results

Well, we're back from Ohio and we had a GREAT weekend. This has always been a good show for us, and I'm glad we had the opportunity to attend once again. It was even more fun this year having another Oklahoma team along for the ride, as our friends Pam & Nike were able to travel with us.

I couldn't be happier with how the dogs did. Pixie, Shelby, and Roxie all did their best. At the end of the weekend - we Q each routine with a 1st place finish (four routines each day). Pixie finished her Novice MF and her Beginner HTM titles. Shelby & Pixie finished their Beginner Brace title. Shelby & Roxie finished their Intermediate Brace title, and Roxie picked up two legs towards her Senior Championship title.

I was very please with Pixie. I sometimes don't always give her enough credit, but this little dog has come a LONG way in the last year. This was a big weekend for her - 15 hours in the car plus two nights in a hotel before we even started the competition. Then she performed two routines each day. We have typically seen a drop in performance on the second day - most likely just not enough physical and/or mental stamina.

However, this weekend - while I could see it was harder for her, I actually think her routine on Sunday was better than Saturday's performance. At the least, it was equal which is a huge improvement for her. I think it is starting to click what this is all about.

I was also very proud of Roxie. She did a great job on her tango routine, and really tried hard on their brace routine. I haven't asked her to do brace for over a year. The last time we performed the routine in competition (in the same building, with the same music, with the same partner) she had a seizure during the routine on the first day and on the second day showed some real anxiety for performing.

I'm not sure if it is the music, the building, or having Shelby there (or a combination of all three) - but Saturday she did show some anxiousness about it, but did a very nice job. On Sunday, I could see it even more and she really did not want to do the routine. The judge was kind to us and did give us a qualifying score (which I was not expecting).

This was a big achievement as they are now only the second team to achieve an intermediate level title in brace. To date, no one has achieved a championship. I am going to re-evaluate this to see what our next step is. I have a new song picked out and we will perform in a different location if we keep up with the brace routine. I will also provide LOTS of reinforcement for working with Shelby to see if we can figure out a way to make her feel more secure about the routine. Or we may just retire from that division and be proud of what we have been able to achieve.

Earning this title qualified them to enter the ProStars competition, so we did send in a video of the routine to enter. The video was actually quite a good performance for them, so it felt good to be able to enter.

So, now it is time to reflect and decide what our next competition will be. Roxie needs one more leg to finish her Senior Championship. We've entered the video competition, but she just does not show well on video - so we'll have to maybe consider a live event.

But first, this week will be about sleeping!