Happy Birthday Haku!

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By a happy coincidence Haku’s 8th birthday also happens to be a special Haku weekend at the obedience trial. Haku enjoys his one-on-one time more than the other dogs, whom he tolerates, but you can tell he’s always thought they were beneath him. I think Fenwick was the only dog he ever really respected. He likes Bright well enough, but even then, he totally looks down at her.

Can’t believe Haku is 8! Such a special puppy he was, and still so special now. Such an easy and unique bond we’ve had, since day one. Didn’t make training easy, still doesn’t, but when it comes to being totally comfortable with each other, that’s my Haku. And the things he will do for me, he would move the moon if he could.

Certainly Haku has no trouble with crazy environments, trial was at the expo center today, and while I heard that this trial was less busy than the Rose City Cluster, I didn’t find that to be true at all. We very much enjoyed the a/c though, got up to 95 today – summer is here. So clean, indoor, air conditioned fun is much appreciated.

As expected, Haku was pretty goofy for our first go in the ring, Utility early in the morning. Stopping short on his go-outs, not even trying fronts, coming to straight to heel on his recall signal, and messing up his articles. And more! But he was having fun, he likes the busy environment. Things went better for Open, I had a lot more dog – probably helped we played at the practice ring inbetween. I’ll be curious to see if his go-outs are better tomorrow after our practice.

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We even got to do a run-off for first place! Which was another great opportunity to reward nice heeling immediately after. We really should go to some fun matches, I know that trialing is eroding his behaviors – but I haven’t been inspired. Obedience has been fun to train, but it’s not my passion. I love having something to do with Haku, but we have just been enjoying the journey. Now we’re actually supposed to just go DO IT. You know, reasonably well and consistently.

Bright and Haku are in the same place, they’re SUPPOSED to be trained at this point, and we’re supposed to be, well, just doing it. Bright and her MACH (I think she needs 8 more double Qs?), Haku and his PUDX (needs 7 more obedience double Qs). Ah, the AKC consistency quest – proof that you can do the same thing over and over again.

I don’t really care if they get either one. I love just running agility (and so does Bright!), so I imagine at some point Bright will get her MACH (I find it funny that many dogs are at MACH 10 by her age). I don’t love obedience though, I like the training, but let me say I am not excited to get up in the morning and go to an obedience trial. I don’t hate it, I mean, I get to go play with my dog and do things together – we like that part. Obedience is an excuse to do that, I suppose. I like having something special that Haku and I do together, but we already did the things I wanted to see if we could do in obedience. I have no grand ambitions to be GOOD at obedience, because you have to have a passion for it, not just hanging out with your dog.

Still, Haku won preferred high in trial today! I had to figure out what that was, as we biffed Utility I was a bit confused. But I guess we had the highest score out of the performance qualifiers today with our Open score. Funny how I continue to be baffled by obedience traditions. So they had both high in trial, and high in trial combined – is that normal? I don’t know – as far as I can tell they just make up random categories depending on the trial. They like to give you a lot of ribbons in obedience. And they get cranky if you’re not there to get your ribbons. I’ll have to say, I love the preferred classes, I feel right at home.

And, look, I got multiple views of our Open run today – bonus of being at a busy trial, no lack of videographers!  I’ll give you a hint, the highlight is at the end where I have to fight Haku for the dumbbell. This was actually a pretty mild argument, compared to some down and dirty wrestling matches we’ve had in competition. Not Haku’s best dumbbell performance, but he’s most definitely been worse.

And look what I found at the trial today!

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Doesn’t that sign just look like it was made for Fizban? So cool!

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