Feb 24th 2008

Hello from the land of Bluegrass and Exuberant Malinois!

I write in the blog because I want all the people who work to rescue these beautiful dogs that their work is appreciated. They are making a difference. And I write because I want people who are considering welcoming a Malinois into their forever home that these dogs have endless possibilites. Every day really is an adventure. Ella gives so much more than she takes. I cannot stand on my soap box long enough. Thank you ABMC Rescue.

Well we had our first sanctioned Rally Match and Ella was the true angel she has grown into. The match was in a warehouse and the echoes were booming. Ella was a little anxious but we walked around to get used to all the funny noises, smells and sounds. There were 23 dogs entered and she was several down the line, 15th.

This was my first official rally and I was mostly concerned that I would get lost. I walked the course a few times and as we were waiting I was going over the pattern in my head. After the initial excitement Ella settled down and fell asleep at my feet while I mumbled incomprehensible commands, come, come, come, heel….

We were on deck waiting our turn when the dog right before us experienced an ‘accident’. The clean up crew rushed in as the offender was whisked out. Before I knew it the judge was asking me if I was ready. I looked down at my dance partner and she wagged her tail in anticipation. Yes!

When I stepped off and started the pattern she was prancing right at my side her tail ticking back and forth with every step like a metronome. Not too fast, not too slow. I continued at a brisk pace from station to station and she never took her eyes off me, she popped every sit sharply with explosive exuberance. Unfortunately when we went over the wet spot, burning with chemical cleaners, she paused for a second like a princess not wanting to get her precious paws wet, and leapt to catch up. The other snag in our pattern was the come with a right finish. She has a fantastic left flip finish but her right finish was shaky and she ended up with a crooked sit. Not too shady for a first try. When we walked out everyone was congratulating us on an excellent run.

Outside the ring they post the scores after every entry and I was thrilled to see Ella scored a 98 out of a possible 100!!! They also time the runs and she had the fastest time of the day! We scored third place!! The best part was people were coming up to me and asking me questions and asking me if I knew any Malinois breeders in the area. This is a big step for a dog that has been snubbed and avoided at every function we have attended. People were shocked and amazed she was a rescue and I spread the word about all the great Mals available. One lady stated she wanted a puppy and I told her that they had some mal puppies too! Finally, Ella is the ambassador I knew she could be!

So now the big announcement, this Friday, March 7th Ella is entered in her first AKC show. She is making her debut in Tennessee, entered in the Novice Rally class. Keep your fingers crossed!