PBGVCA 2016We just returned home from a 2 week road trip to the PBGV national specialty in Indianapolis. This was the first year that the club has offered a triathlon, where handlers are encouraged to try to qualify in three or more events with the same dog during the week. This challenge sounded perfect for us, so I entered all 7 adult PBGVs in triathlon. 
This year’s show had the benefit of being just a one day drive from home, but we broke up the drive by stopping in Ohio for 3 days of agility. Chili and CC had perfect weekends and Salsa had some really fast runs, so we were feeling really encouraged as we headed to Indy. 

We arrived at the host hotel in Monday morning and settled in. It was a pretty nice place, although the abundance of republican presidential candidates and protection trained German Shepherds kind of made it feel like we were vacationing in enemy territory. I was disappointed to discover that Muse had come into season, which meant she wouldn’t be able to compete in any events. 
Tuesday was agility. The site was great- nice turf and air conditioning. Both the regional and national trials were held the same day, which meant that even without Muse I would be doing 26 runs. Overall the pack had a great day and earned 17 Qs. This was Wally’s debut trial and he did really well. It’s taken me a while to feel like he is ready to compete, but I think waiting was the right choice. Salsa ended up winning the national High in Trial by 0.26 yards per second for her standard run- not an easy feat since she was running at full height and had to compete with some really fast preferred dogs. This trial was a great example of just how good PBGVs can be at agility. The qualifying rate for the day was 50%, which is much higher than you would see at an all breed trial. 

Wednesday was a day off, but we woke up to discover that the generator wasn’t working. Luckily the repair was covered under warranty, but we were without power for 2 days while it was fixed. We did slip away to see the racetrack on Wednesday morning. 
Thursday was the regional obedience and rally trial. I was worried about how the boys would work, since they were living in tight quarters with Muse, but they did a great job in obedience. Wally got his first CD leg with a fourth place and Gromit placed first in a large beginner novice class. 

In rally, the boys were trying for legs towards Wally’s excellent title and Gromit’s advanced, but I also had Chili and Maya entered so they would have a third event towards triathlon. The older girls hadn’t done rally in about 8 years, but they humored me. Chili would have liked more jumping and less sitting, but Maya had fun and won Advanced B with 98. Wally’s rally Q officially made him the first dog to qualify as a triathlete. 

Spice was the only dog I entered in conformation. She ended up being the only baby puppy, but had a good experience in the ring. Watching the dogs in the ring made me feel good about the choice not to entered anyone else in breed. Show PBGVs just aren’t the rustic, casual breed that I fell in love with anymore. I’m not interested in turning my hounds into froofy show dogs who wouldn’t have the correct coat to protect them on the hunt field. Dogs being shown groomed according to the standard are becoming fewer and farther between, and judges seem happy to recognize dogs presented incorrectly. I find it especially frustrating when the owners of these dogs claim to have no control over how their handler grooms their dog. Sorry, but your handler works for you and if you pay their bill, you are giving your approval to how they prepare your dog for the ring. 

Friday was another day mostly off. The boys both passed their AKC Community Canine test and more importantly the generator got fixed so we could have coffee before walking dogs (and dodging German Shepherds) in the morning. 

Saturday was the national specialty. Wally didn’t keep it together for off lead heeling, but Gromit got another BN leg with a fourth place. Salsa and CC did rally today and ended up in a 3 way tie for first place in Excellent B. CC had the fastest time and won the class. 

On Sunday we headed to the hunt grounds. When we arrived, Muse decided she’d had enough of being cooped up and took off on an unauthorized romp, taking her easily corrupted mother Maya with her. After getting everyone (especially me) completely panicked, they came back when called. We got to have some open field time in the afternoon, which was especially nice for baby Spice and Juno the GBGV. 
Monday’s field was wooded and very large. The weather stayed cool and overcast, so the rabbits were active. All 6 dogs qualified, which officially qualified them as triathletes. Tuesday’s field was smaller with nice cover and a really treacherous hill. The weather was warmer and less rabbit friendly, so only one of my packs of three had success. 

After Tuesday’s hunt we started for home with some very tired hounds. Well, except for Muse who thinks this was the most boring road trip ever.