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As you know from some of my previous posts I have competed in dog shows with my mom. And even earned some placements and titles! My mom and I both enjoy the training and preparation for going to a show.

If you missed these posts or want a refresher you can go check them out. Dog show fun! and Another dog show and new titles!

This photo is from last year at our first show!

My plan, or maybe I should say my mom’s plan, was to compete in the next level of Rally this year. Our hope was to go to some shows here in Maine this past spring and then again this fall. 

But like so many things that got changed this year the shows were canceled due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. This was not only here in Maine but all across the country.

Some of the different organizations that organize and oversee dog shows decided that offering virtual events might be possible. They gathered together info and set up different options for competitors.

My mom and I have mostly competed in events sponsored by the American Kennel Club. Often referred to as the AKC. So this was the organization we were watching to see what they would offer. And they came through with some virtual options! 

Last year I completed my Rally Novice title. Often shortened to RN. So initially AKC was only offering the virtual option for this class.

But after seeing the fun and success people were having with the Rally Novice they added the next level. Which is Rally Intermediate. I hadn’t competed at this level yet so my mom and I could join in on the fun of the virtual titling options!

Our friend Denise offered us a Gold spot in the Rally Courses class at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. This would mean that my mom could submit videos and get feedback.

You probably remember me talking about the many classes we have taken at FDSA. But most always we do them at the Bronze level. For this level, you get all of the class material but not the individualized feedback from the instructor. So it was a real treat to take a class at the Gold level this time!

Boy was my mom glad to have this opportunity! The courses were much harder to set up than she expected. And the first few runs she made lots of mistakes! And I made a few, too. But my mom did make more mistakes than me! So we wouldn’t have even qualified if she had submitted these videos to AKC. 

Throughout the six weeks of our class, my mom was grateful for the feedback and advice from the instructor. And especially appreciated her encouraging words when my mom felt a little discouraged with the challenges of getting the courses set up.

There were five different courses available for the virtual Rally Intermediate. We had to choose three of the five to video and submit to AKC. My mom decided to do course #1, course #2, and course #3.

The three courses we did for our virtual Rally Intermediate!

My mom will submit these videos this week. And then we will wait to hear if we got qualifying scores in each of our three videos!

They will be reviewed by judges and scores will be given for each run. To receive the RI title or any other obedience or rally title that AKC offers you need three qualifying scores. 

My mom and I had a lot of fun with the FDSA Rally class and running the courses. My mom said setting up the courses wasn’t so much fun but a great learning opportunity for her! She has a new appreciation for those who set up the courses at trials!