Our class at Placer Dog started out as a bunch of misfits. Arnie and I fit in right away - we're a motley crew of seasoned handlers with brand-new dogs & brand-new handlers with brand-new dogs.
Our first classes were a comedy of errors. Our dogs were distracted & prone to errors. The handlers were busy learning to run these fast dogs while working on our handling skills. The newbies were learning new skills, and the old-timers were un-learning bad habits and replacing them with better skills.
Over the years (yes, years), our handling has tightened up, our dogs have become more focused, and trials are being entered. Overall, we're more successful than not. Regardless of the Q or score or time, our class is usually the one's standing at ringside cheering on our classmates. We celebrate the victories, sympathize with the defeats, and offer advice on what to try.
Last weekend, one of our classmates got their first MACH points - the first points for the class. A brand-new handler with a brand-new dog, they have been the stars of the class since the first day. The handling is smooth, the dog is eager and willing, and they truly work as a team. They blazed through Novice, Open and Excellent, and are now working on their MACH.
Great job, Kim & Toby!!!!!