Jul 9, 2010

Life with Potion

Well Potion has been here a bit over a month now, and a very entertaining month it's been!

From a whirlwind trip to and from CT, to adjusting to having a puppy in the house again - let alone a very opinionated one. We've since attended 4 puppy matches, her first herding lesson/exposure, and two puppy classes.

The trip to and from CT felt a bit like Murphy's Law running amuck. My flight to Chicago almost having to turn back and return to Indianapolis do to extreme fog (which caused a very tight connection time when we were finally able to land - not much fun in an extremely confusing airport layout). Coming back I had just an hour in which to get through check-in, security, and get to my gate to prepare to board. Potion was less than impressed with the Sherpa idea which made getting through everything harder since whenever possible I was juggling puppy, Sherpa, paperwork, and my "purse" (which was large enough to be a carry-on and was used as such). We made it through just as they were boarding the plane, which she SCREAMED in her Sherpa until we were well into the air (and yes, that WAS with benedryl). We landed in Chicago, and I searched for a family restroom (single stall) to give Potion a chance to potty. Never did find one, but in my search I managed to wander out of security (when following the directions of an airport employee) which meant I had to abandon hope of finding a restroom for her and just try to get through Chicago security as quickly as possible (with only about 30 minutes until my plane was supposed to board). Needless to say we got to the gate just in time for boarding, and another tantrum-filled flight to Indianapolis. We located a family restroom in Indianapolis which gave Potion the opportunity to potty before our final hour-long trek home.

More pictures of Potion growing up here

At the first puppy match, I was surprised that we weren't the only Border Collie entered! The other entry was a nearly 5 month old male from Terbo Border Collies. Potion was just barely 12 weeks and could have probably walked under the other BC without hardly ducking. We took Best of Opposite to that dog (I believe his call name is Sherlock but I'm not sure on his registered name). See the video below :)

At the second puppy match only two weeks later, we ran into Sherlock again. This time we took Best of Breed over him and a Group 4! :) This was our first time showing on grass, so Potion was convinced I'd thoroughly lost it ;). I'm quite pleased considering this match was held with a cluster and had a much larger entry than the stand-alone match.

Two days later we made the trek up to Montpelier, OH for the two UKC shows. This time both Potion and Merlin showed. Merlin already has his Grand Championship in UKC, so there's nothing left for him point-wise. Potion is still too young to compete for points in UKC (it's the same minimum as AKC - 6 months) but UKC shows often host "puppy matches" for 3-6 month olds within their normal shows. Those 3-6 month olds then compete separately from any other puppies in that breed (which compete in the licensed classes) for Best Puppy In Breed and Best Puppy In Show.

Merlin was Best of Breed both shows and went on to a Group 3 and a Group 1. :) It was insanely humid (not his forte) so I'm pleased with how we did given the circumstances. Potion showed well and was Best Puppy In Breed both shows as well as BEST PUPPY IN SHOW both shows! :-D The second judge we had just raved about her both to me and to just about anyone that would listen :) I think UKC is so great for puppies - almost all the judges I've ever shown to in UKC make it such a total blast for puppies so they learn it's tons of fun.

Between the first and the second AKC matches, Potion went and was exposed to duck herding for the first time. The instructor considered it to be very age-appropriate work and I'm looking forward to doing more with her. I think as her confidence grows she's only going to get better at it :)

I also had the opportunity to herd with Merlin for the first time. All his previous herding had been handled by more knowledgeable people as I was told that if I were to attempt to learn with him I'd ruin him and he's far too talented to go to waste. Bit of a moot point now ;) and I intend to pursue it with him since he enjoys it more than any other activity we do.

Potion has also spent some time hanging out at agility lessons and her first trial, in addition to attending her first two puppy classes. We had to wait for the next start date of the puppy class, but after the first night I had concerns about the environment and curriculum so we withdrew from that class. I decided to give a class an hour away a try (not many local options) and after attending a session of that class I feel it'll be a great fit for us. The space is significantly larger (even though it's only a 2 car garage) and is a much calmer atmosphere and curriculum.

I hope to have much more frequent updates after this, but for now I think we should be pretty caught up. ;)

For now, here are some other cute videos of Potion - including a sample of what we're working on so far. :)

Potion June 7, 2010 from Jenn Stanley on Vimeo.

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