The Infamous Holly Tales
The Obedience Trial From Hell
Holly goes into the obedience ring and does one of two things. Either she qualifies in a spectacular manner, or she fails in an even more spectacular manner. Every trip into that ring is an adventure into the unknown.
Holly and I were entered in the obedience trial at the Kennel Club of Palm Springs Show. This was a lovely event, and as a bonus the AMCA specialty was being held. This gave me a good excuse to make a weekend and a mini vacation of it, but as it turns out I should have left Holly at home. We ended up due in the ring at the same time Mal's were being judged on both Saturday and Sunday so I only got to watch on Friday (some folks will remember seeing Holly ringside). On top of that Holly chose this weekend to live up to the breeds' reputation for dis-obedience. I got to truly experience the "joys" of braving the obedience ring with a Mal.
This show was held on the grounds of the Empire Equestrian and Polo Field. The obedience rings were set up with a large field to their left, and vendors to their right and in front of them. The field to the left was more or less the length of a football field. It ended with a line of motor homes and a very tall fence made of chain link and shrubbery which could not be seen through. As the dog before us in the ring started it's off lead work Holly suddenly alerted to something at the end of this left side field. I thought she had spotted a bird, so we went to the other side of the rings and did some heeling to get her attention back. It worked...or so I though.
She went in the ring and really was doing beautifully, right up until that recall anyway. I guess she just couldn't resist...half way across the ring Holly made a sharp left turn, sailed over the ring rope, and away she went. I said some less than lady-like things and sprinted off following her, figuring at least the fence would stop her. I got to the motor homes totally out of breath and looked behind, to find no dog in sight. What I did spot was a lovely Malamute size hole in the fence.
With great trepidation I peered through and there was my wonderful obedience dog streaking towards all the horses out in the field playing polo. Trust a Malamute to be the only dog at the show that realized a polo game was going on next door. Naturally, being a Malamute, she had to join in. I just about had a heart attack right then and there. The polo player weren't at all pleased to have their game interrupted, and I was totally mortified. Holly thought this was great fun and developed a bad case of selective hearing so catching her was a chore. By the time I got my hands on her the polo folks had taken pity on me and offered us a ride back to the fence on their golf cart. I think they were afraid I was either going to pass out in the middle of their field or kill my dog.
I later heard that the polo match was televised. I've never tried to see if I could locate the footage, truthfully I'd rather not see it.
As I'm getting close to attempting Holly's CDX, I think back on this day. I think back on it and wonder if I've lost my mind. I'll say one thing, showing Holly is never dull.