Terry Southard and “Dazzle” – 2016 GRCA National High in Trial, Triathlon Award & new CCA, WC
DATE/LOCATION: October 9, 2016, at GRCA National Specialty, Corning, CA
Dazzle gave me pretty much a dream National, giving her all in everything I asked of her on the journey to our Triathlon Award. This was my first Triathlon too – what a wild ride to get it! We started the week by winning the large Novice B class, earning High in Trial and High Tracking along with it, then followed up with our first Rally Novice leg with a perfect score and 3rd place out of a class of 53 dogs…our performance qualification was safely checked off. Next we passed the conformation requirement by earning Dazzle’s CCA with nice compliments from the evaluators. Finally we faced our last and biggest challenge…the field requirement. Ironic since Dazzle loves field work, especially swimming, but due to circumstances beyond her control she has not been able to participate in field training as she would like. We had exactly 6 training sessions to learn what she needed to pass the WC – how to do a cold double, retrieve real (dead) birds out of the water, and to retrieve a shot flier pheasant. Thanks to Debbie Tandoc, Cheryl Baca, Susan Osborn Stratton, and my local training buddies for providing those sessions, including the all-important shot flyer training day on pheasants that she got to attend a couple of weeks before the National. However, the WC was the first time she had ever had a shot flyer duck. Hers landed out of my sight in a patch of water vegetation and kept pecking and diving when she tried to reach for it. I couldn’t see that – just looked to me like she was telling it off as she kept barking and batting at it for what seemed like forever to me, but she stuck it out and brought it in to hand. I had no idea she had been through all that until some friends who were sitting off to the side and could see all the action told me how impressed they were with Dazzle’s heart and perseverance. Go Dazzle – new WC title and Triathlon Award under our wings! Yes, bad pun but very good dog!
So proud of my little girl for pulling off all she did at our National and very grateful to our friends and training buddies who helped us get there. I am also quite proud of our club members for their impressive list of accomplishments at this National. Most of us are well aware of how many host club members go into a National over-worked, over-tired, over-stressed, and way under-trained for the events we all enter with our own dogs. We were laughing about it at that pheasant training day…watching where we were all at with our WC/WCX training it wasn’t looking too promising for NORCAL club members heading into the National – dogs were doing some excellent work but just hadn’t had enough work time. Yet despite fraying nerves and the usual round of last minute panics to solve, everyone pulled together and got it done with more success than we dared hope. Congratulations to all who got new titles, placements, and their own Triathlon Awards!