Don’t let a question about how to enter an event prevent you from getting your entry in on time! After missing my first opportunity to enter RFE Musical Freestyle Worldwide Event in November, I finally got a chance to enter not one, but 2 video events that came up in Feb 2015. For one, I submitted “Our 1st Routine” attempt that is posted on the site. For the 2nd entry, I was ready to try another attempt. Turns out, I’ve learned a lot in the last 4 months! Because the choreography I chose wasn’t as supportive of my little girl as it should be, I redesigned it on the fly. Not only that, I haven’t practiced one of the difficult skills: sitting up at a distance after backing away from me (while I simultaneously back away from her (counter-motion is really counter-intuitive for dogs and requires great confidence)) because I’ve been working on marching and building my next routine. Well, I pulled it off, with the entire second half reworked.

Following that video attempt, that left me again humbled by how hard this sport is (when done well), I started thinking about how this sport and I may just be destined for each other. And I decided to, at literally the very last minute, join another Freestyle organization and enter a live competition coming up in a month. They also have quarterly video competitions, so, I got to work videoing for that. By a half a week later, I got a pretty decent video, especially when you consider that it is pretty raw. Unfortunately, I can’t share that video with you because it is against the rules of their organization (part of my hesitation in joining them).

Before the Freestyle bug bit me hard enough to convince me to invest the time in competing, I’d settled on the idea to surprise and delight the public with demos instead, and hopefully attract students who want to have fun with their dog. So these video tries (and believe me, there were some bomb attempts!) ended up being very handy to get us tuned and and aware of how much preparation we needed for upcoming live events. Although I’ve been working this pup in tough environments and gaining the skills to perform in public, under pressure, around all sorts of distractions, that alone wasn’t enough. An attempt at a video could go horribly wrong without any pressure, in a familiar environment. So, we really are invested in proofing and learning and doing what we can to equip ourselves for this demanding task. And I’m proud to say, I think we’re ready…I wouldn’t bring a dog out if I didn’t do everything I could to help her be. Here’s how it went:

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