Wednesday, August 4, 2010

State Fair Week

As part of the Ohio 4-H Dog Committee, I've been helping out at the State 4-H dog show every day.

Day 1: Showmanship, "Dog care" [discussion/knowledge/care of dog evaluation), rally, skillathon [knowledge of breeds/parasites/body parts].
Day 2: SubNovice and Novice obed, skillathon, rally, dog care, service dogs, team obed.
Day 3: All higher levels of obed, advanced team, brace, rally, freestyle.
Day 4: Drill team, ? ? ? ? Agility fun

The first day I stewarded for a few hours, getting kids in the right order to go in the ring for the group/gaiting parts. It was fun to talk to the kids while they were waiting. Then I got rushed off to run CGC tests. I grabbed one of our campers and wrangled her into helping. We did about 20 tests in 3 hours with a few slow periods. We had a system down! She would help people fill out the papers and then get them to a clipboard, I"d run the test, call her over with her helper dog for the "friendly dog" portion. And then my crowd (two parents, assigned to help us!) would do their thing and then they would hold the dog while we got set up for the next kid. Pass rate was only about 50%. More on that later.

Second day, I stewarded for the Novice B ring. Great view of my kids when they were in the Novice A ring nearby! In the afternoon I got a different set of campers to help. We only did five tests in two hours... no one came over. But it was great to spend time with the campers!

Today: I helped move ring gating and set up between classes. I ran a "training ring" for kids to come over and get training help... but with the 100* temps and high humidity and low turnout (not a lot of kids in advanced levels!)...there was a super low turnout.

Tomorrow I'll probably take a dog to demo with. At times like this I really wish I was more caught up on training everyone even if I don't intend to compete! Maybe this will motivate me to do more.

Things I've thought about:
- I SO wish I did more when I was in 4-H. I'm very jealous of all the kids!
- Our campers are the best. SO helpful and encouraging and helping others. I love them!
- I want to better help 4-H'ers!
- I need to find ways to help our club members enjoy obedience more and work harder and be more successful.
- The program overall is good, but we can improve it ("make the best better").
- CGC failures were almost all due to dogs not being able to sit without a collar pop. Why were kids trying to take the test if they knew their dogs couldnt sit without that?!

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