...where the 'FL' for "Finger Lakes" could just as easily stand for "Fun Loving"

Blast from the Past!

Elizabeth (Biz), former FLAOA student and then instructor extraordinaire,

and her rottie-mix, Lexi, The Princess among princesses,

who left us a little over two years ago for sunny Atlanta, recently took their first steps into the AKC trial rings of obedience and rally.  YAY!

They did both obedience and rally on Saturday and Sunday.  As fate would have it, they faced some pretty stiff competition -- on both days, among others, they were competing against another handler and her GSD, who have won national schutzhund competitions.  (That hardly seems fair!)  Not to be deterred, they came home with FOUR 2nd Places and $85 in prize money!!  (Second place only to the GSD, and only by one point in rally!)  Woohoo!!

They scored 186.5 and 184 in Novice A obedience, and 95 and 98 in rally. 
This translated into being High Scoring Mixed-Breed in both classes on both days!!!

(And we won't mention that most of the points lost in obedience were on handler errors, not the dog...)

Way to go, Girlies!!! 

You do FLAOA proud...and some of us are pretty certain that AKC started their Canine Partners program for mixes just for Lexi.  

We miss you; keep the updates coming! 

Four Brave Souls...Their First Match

On Sunday, May 30th, 2010, four brave students ventured out of the security of classes at the Pavilion and into the world of competition by attending their first match.  Three were participating in agility fun runs (their first runs of any sort outside the Pavilion's sawdust), and one was participating in conformation in the breed ring:
Yellow Lab, Tiara, and her handler, Jean
Labradoodle, Lucy Lou, and her handler, Marya
Doberman-mix, Serena, and her handler, Dani
Pug, Sasha, and her handler, Karen
All four did remarkably well for their first time off the farm, so to speak (or, should we more accurately say, out of the "barn" [Pavilion]), and especially so, given the intense, unseasonable heat of the day!  Kudos! 

Jean showed some nice handling and excellent control of her dog while on course --- they had very nice runs!

Marya's handling was superb, and Lucy was spot-on all day!

Dani's patience with Serena was unmatched and even received compliments from the judge!  Serena hung in there, despite the fact that the heat of the day was simply NOT her cup of tea.  Take note of Serena attempting to fake out the judge on the pause table...you can just hear her thinking, "So why hasn't he started counting?  After all, my elbows ARE touching the table."  (Serena believes herself to be a princess and thus sees no need to prove herself to anyone!)

Karen and Sasha made out like bandits, coming home with 4 ribbons for the day --- not a bad haul for a first attempt at the breed ring!

In between agility runs and puppy sweeps/breed ring competition, we had a lovely picnic, catered by The Witch of the East.  Thankfully, no one found any stewed toads or bat wings in the spread!

And, finally, just for the fun of it, here are a few bobbles that occurred in the rings.  Please note one very important thing:  Despite the bobbles, everyone is still smiling and having a grand time, simply enjoying the time spent with their dogs.  Wahoooo!  After all, that IS what this stuff is all about, right?!

FLAOA and our students would like to extend our sincere appreciation for today's judges, 
Rob Thompson in agility
Mike Zimmer in the breed ring,
as well as Sue Thompson and her ring crew of Dogs Gone Wild,
Susquehanna Valley Kennel Club of Sayre, Inc.
Endless Mountains Dog Obedience Club.
We could not have asked for a nicer group, putting on a lovely match, for the first time out for these newbies!  The only negative of the entire day was that they may have gone a bit overboard in arranging for some nice weather...temps in the 90's under bright sun.  When putting in their weather request, they could have toned it down a bit.   
In all seriousness, thanks, folks, for a grand time!