Yesterday was our obedience club's annual trial (North Shore Dog Training Club). If you've never been to one and you love dogs, you've really got to go! Fran, Emily and I were all stewards (helper-outers) in different rings, watching some of the top obedience teams in the country do their thing. It was a joy to watch. Above the dogs in Open B are performing a three-minute "Sit/Stay" while their owners are out of sight.
That's Emily on the left and me on the right being "posts" for the dog-and-handler team doing a heeling Figure-8. The judge has her back to the camera in this shot. Going to a trial is always inspirational for me - makes me want to run home and work with my own dogs. So I do!
The oddest conversation I had during the day was when a couple of women came into the trial to watch and one of them, looking at the dogs in the top picture, asked me "Are all of these dogs owned? Like are any of them available?"
I was completely taken aback, but tried to remember that most people aren't at all familiar with our rather esoteric hobby and asking questions is the way to learn. I explained to the woman that all the dogs in the trial do have homes, families, and are actually teammates of their owners. And that the performances she was watching were the results of hundreds and thousands of hours of training and competition.
I think she thought we were all a bit crazy, but she and her friend stayed to watch and learn.