Superdogs that is! That's right, my dud puppy Beezer was invited to apprentice and eventually join the Superdogs at the PNE this year. From Aug 31- Sept 5th we spent approximately 12 hours at the PNE, learning, training, cheering, sweating, smiling and having a blast.
Most Apprentices aren't expected to bring their dogs the first 3 days, but we (Auntie Emma and I) were asked to bring our dogs along to practice before and after the shows. There were 3 shows a day. Noon, 2 and 6. We got to practice before 10:30 am and after 9:30pm. During the shows we helped cheer on the crowd, help the other staff with whatever they needed, and of course, look awesome in our sparkly jackets.
Much to our surprise and delight, 7 and Beezer were added into the show very quickly! We did the boardwalk opening and did the angular puissauncs (which is a fancy name for jumping in a half circle).
Beezer isn't built to jump, so we mostly stuck with 4 and 5 bars.
6 bars was a wee bit much for us. He did it, but just as he was going over the jump, he'd back kick and shoot the bars behind him. Funny.
Even more surprising, the boys were added to a relay race! We were told that new dogs don't get added to the relays for many reasons, but our boys are special.
Beezer did AWESOME. No problems with the lights, music and cheering crowds. He ran his little heart out and loved it. So very proud of him.
All this would have pleased me, but Beezer wasn't done yet. After every show all the Superdogs do what's called a "Pat n' Chat." Basically it's where the dogs are on a Superdog podium and a mob of men, women and children descend upon them. Not Beezer's niche. This dog doesn't like being handled by people he knows, let along strangers. But we had to try. So I armed myself with treats and out we went. Ummm no. That didn't last too long. I took him out pretty quickly, he just wasn't comfortable.
The second try was much more successful. Once he realized that these people hand fed him turkey meatballs and cheese, he was enjoying himself! I was shocked. My mom was shocked. Everybody was shocked to see this head shy dog mauled by hundreds of people a day. And he wasn't just tolerating it, he enjoyed it! Whenever we were on the stage, he would leap from podium to podium. I think he liked everyone telling him how handsome he was:)
Even Reckon got a few chances to do the Pat n' Chats. I knew he'd be great with everyone, but I was a little concerned about him mouthing someone. Well, I didn't need to be concerned. He was a superstar! He took treats gently, and loved EVERYBODY. He adored being fawned over.
I also practiced his recall and some jump grind thingys with him in the evenings. He excelled there too:)
Overall I was beyond pleased with my boys over the week. Above and beyond what I expected of them. Even though it was exhausting, I do hope we get invited back next year. We'll keep practicing:) Maybe Reckon will be added into a show next year...
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