Friday, September 10, 2010

North Central Region Schutzhund Championship

Last weekend my schutzhund club hosted the North Central Region Championship.  The above link is to the web site that I created to share information about that event, and includes my post-trial report.

I am exceptionally proud of the members of my club.  They stepped up and worked very hard to make this event a success.  We have a wonderful group of people who work well together and support each other.  They all displayed good sportsmanship, which is a critical element of the sport, in my opinion.

Four of our club members competed in this trial.  Linda Hupf with her black German Shepherd, Otto, and Tom Smith with his German Shorthaired Pointer, Schatzie, entered for their BH.  I have worked with Tom and Schatzie, who are a talented team and so much fun to watch together.  Schatzie is all girl and absolutely prances in her obedience.  I was surprised when she was very distracted and then left Tom, but discovered that she had not pottied before going on the field and nature called.  I'm sure Tom was disappointed as well, as we were all excited to see a German Shorthair earning her BH that day, but he promised to give it another go in the future. 

Linda Hupf and her black German Shepherd, Otto, were successful in earning their BH and demonstrated obedience that put some of the more advanced dogs to shame!  This is all the more impressive when you learn that Linda is relatively new to the sport, and has only worked with Otto for six months!  She became a dedicated handler, working hard on her lessons, and it paid off!  I told her I would be using her as the example of what can be accomplished for some time to come!

Linda is also a Community Columnist and writes for the local newspaper.  She wrote a wonderfully humorous and touching column about her upcoming BH:

Lisa Boerst and Ozzie, a Belgian Malinois and the niece of my favorite girl, Jinxy, absolutely earn the Most Dedicated to Earning a Title Award.  They are a joy to watch in heeling, working in harmony; so many people complimented about how beautiful they look working together.  Unfortunately, they did not earn sufficient points in tracking to allow them to pass.  The fact that Lisa went on to compete with such grace on Sunday, after failing tracking, is a testament to good sportsmanship.

Sam Leinweber and Pre, another of our great malinois entries, came away with High SchH1, High Obedience and High in Trial for their performance.  Sam has trained Pre from a puppy and done an excellent job with him.  It is hard to imagine this highly skilled trainer as the young man who came to our club in search of a dog sport to participate in with his new dog, just a few years ago!

We are a very small club. This event took all our effort.  Tom Krsnich and Kurt Vandekolk were our tracklayers; Chuck Johnson and his family prepared and served all the meals; Denise Wittman was our trial secretary; Sue Hatcher-Jaffe not only used her dog, Urik, as a demo dog for the BH's and also for helper try-outs and assisted with trial paperwork; Kari Leuthold Petitt and Heather Himmler were in charge of selling shirts and raffle tickets; Lisa Boerst, Tom Smith, Linda Hupf and Sam Leinweber were entered in the event with their dogs; Tammy Tondu helped with the group.  For every step, members stepped in to get things done and I am so incredibly proud of them.