Caroline and Nicholas' Adventure in Rally
Ch. FirstJoy Time to Celebrate, RN (Nicholas) and I have worked in obedience, agility, and conformation since he was 12 weeks old. Nick is now a three-year-old English Springer Spaniel. For the first two years of Nicholas’ life I just concentrated on competing in breed and junior showmanship, where we were very successful. We finished his breed championship at 15 months, and in 2005, Nick and I were finalists in Junior Showmanship at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.
This year I wanted to get ready for competitions in obedience and agility, but I had some performance anxiety. I heard about this new obedience competition that the AKC was starting called Rally. Rally is a brand new AKC performance event that combines the agility system using obedience moves. It was created to make obedience more appealing and more fun for owner and dog. Several people in my all breed club, Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club, were competing. They were having a blast and were very successful in competition.
After researching a little bit more about rally, I decided that Nicholas and I could master all of the elements required. First, we needed to know what the signs meant and how to perform them correctly. My mother and I decided that we could do this together and that it would be a good first step in my quest for performance titles. We signed up for the novice level class at our club. We had great teachers, and I enjoyed seeing the adults attempt to figure out some of the signs that took a little bit of coordination. Sometimes being the junior is an advantage, and I found that I could easily do some of the maneuvering that the adults had difficulty doing.