Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ellie the Trophy Dog

Trophy Bitch
As you will know from past posts, Jan and I have never been under any illusions over Ellie's looks. She's not the most gorgeous looking dog in the world, and is never going to rival those cute and cuddly classic Border Collies that you see all around. Though, she more than makes up for it in her ease of training, and in the sheer lack of problems she gives us.

Given the above, it came as some surprise to us when we learned from Dawn, Ellie's past foster-carer, that she had submitted a photo of Ellie into a local competition, organised by a dog rescue centre to help raise funds, and that Ellie had subsequently won the "Helen of Troy" (Prettiest Bitch) category.

Of course, never being ones to miss an opportunity to grab a photo, we're proud to show Ellie sporting her winners rosette. Doesn't she look proud? :)

In other news, the weather is finally changing around here. Hoorah! It's been a really miserable few weeks lately, with almost constant rain and drizzle, and cold temperatures. It sucks the motivation (and the opportunity) out of life when it's that way for such long periods.

We're hoping that the weather is going to hold out until the weekend as there's a large river that we used to live nearby, that we'd like to take Ellie to. She's really starting to love water now and so we want to make the most of that.
We still don't have a new date for the KC Good Citizen exam yet, and it's starting to irritate me a little that it seems to be taking so long. We'd always planned to get Ellie at least tested (and preferably passed) before she was twelve months of age, which is why we signed up so early, and why we've worked so damned hard to get her prepared. As it is, she's approaching eleven months of age in a few days, and not a sign of the test. It's extremely disappointing, to say the least.

Yes, you could argue that the "twelve months" is an arbitrary number and that it doesn't really matter if we go over that. However, that's not the point. The point is that we make plans for our dog, and we do our bit to adhere to them.

By 12 Months: Pass KCGC Bronze Exam
By 24 Months: Pass KCGC Silver Exam
By 36 Months: Pass KCGC Gold Exam
Around 3.5 years, start looking at competitive events.

The KCGC is extremely important to us as it gives dogs a really quite solid foundation. For me, it's like ensuring that children complete their education. You want to make sure that they always have that solid foundation to fall back on.

We attend training classes week in and week out, regardless of weather or temperature, because we want to achieve our objectives. We work with Ellie daily for the same reason. It just feels, to me, that we're being let down by the training classes failure to get the exam organised. As a result of this, we're having to adjust our plans and expectations based on that and not as it should be, on Ellie's performance or results.

I've already started looking for alternative classes, but it seems that our existing trainers are the only ones in our area. So now I'm wondering if it's possible to even get your dog tested privately. There must be some way that we can get things moving in a positive direction.


Xsara ... said...

What is the age limit for these exams if any?

Ellie's Owner said...

There isn't any age limit for them.

However, they must be completed in order, so you have to have completed and passed the Bronze before you can move on to the Silver, and so forth.

dawnie said...

Ah look at her so so proud, i'm sure it'll be the first of many and there could only have been one winner!x