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Buzz and his winnings from last week. The key ribbons are green. The blue and red ones are placement ribbons.

As promised, following four days in a row traveling back and forth to Kalamazoo for four more dog shows, I am very proud to announce that Buzz now has eight of his needed 10 qualifying scores for a Master Rally title.

I’m so proud of this young dog and thank you to everyone who sent positive thoughts our way last week. It was a lot of driving and we’ve done a lot of dog shows in the first 12 days of November. Sunday’s drive there and back was dicey with slush coming from the skies. There was an accident at Kalmbach Road (surprise, surprise) but it was on the other side of the highway. There were salt trucks out and I never topped 55 mph as I figured if the trucks were going this slow, the roads were slick. I tucked in behind one and never passed a car the entire drive to the show site.

Fortunately, the closer I got to Kalamazoo, the more the temperatures climbed and the snow and freezing rain turned to all rain. I want to send a shout out to Golling Chrysler, Jeep for selling me an amazing used mini van that gave me a great deal of comfort on the roads.

I also want to give a huge atta boy to Buzz who gained confidence each time he walked into the ring despite my nervousness. He scored a 99, 100, 95 and 97 out of 100 points and won the Master class three times and was second in the other one. He also gained a fan club at the shows as everyone got close to the ring gates to watch the “cute little Toller” show. I think he felt all the well wishes. He was very fast on course and his tail never stopped wagging. Among the highlights were the kind gestures of complete strangers who were willing to hold him while I walked the course planning my strategies before I showed. The folks who show rally obedience are truly a wonderful group of people who encourage and help each other.

We have a few days break until we go for the title on Saturday in Toledo and during that time I’ll do a little training to remind Buzz about some of the skills needed to do the signs on course that we aren’t 100 percent on yet. Mostly, however, it’s up to me to remember which way is right and which way is left. Every time I stand up, I do the footwork for the signs that require me to go one way or the other.

So, please continue to think about us on Saturday. Send positive thoughts. We show once in the morning and then once more in the afternoon.

From what I’ve been able to ferret out, Buzz and I should be one of the first in the country to attain a Master Rally title WHEN we qualify twice on Saturday. There are several other folks who are close as well, so it all depends on when they are entered next.  (As an aside, I am also entered on Sunday just in case.)

We can do this.



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