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Event Report: Monadnock Humane Society "Summer Silliness" World Cynosport Rally Trial

Handlers had some silly fun while winning ribbons and titles at this recent competition. By Amee Abel

After the long New Hampshire winter, we were ready for some summer silliness, so the May 31-June 1 World Cynosport Rally Limited (WCRL) trials at Monadnock Humane Society (MHS) in Swanzey, New Hampshire, featured some special events to augment our weekend. Each of the four trials included a "Special Summer Silliness" award. Competitors were invited to display their ability to coordinate clothes with their dog (Saturday, trial one), retrieve the most unique object (Saturday, trial two), wear the craziest shoes (Sunday, trial one), or wear the most bling (Sunday, trial two). We were delighted by the enthusiasm our WCRL competitors had for "putting on the dog."

MHS good friends Gary and Joanne McKenny dressed to match their titled Dalmatians, Bentley and Lady.

Below you can see some of the breathtaking costumes we watched parade around the ring. From a training perspective, it was delightful to see that the dogs didn't care how bizarre the clothing was; they performed beautifully (as attested to by the numbers of new titles earned this past weekend.)

It's all in the feet! This slipper and dog match-up caught the judge's eye and earned Susan Nowak and Milo the award for best coordination between dog and handler.Sorry we didn't capture a great shot of these shoes as Laurel Flax and her Alaskan Malamute B-Bear walked their way into our judge's heart for the Coolest Shoes award, but this photo does give you the idea of just how silly we all got.  

Summer Silliness Awards:
Best Coordination between Dog & Handler: Susan Novak & Milo
Most Unique Retrieve Object: Laurel Flax & B-Bear
Coolest Shoes: Laurel Flax & B-Bear
Best Bling: Kate Simmington & Keeta

This photo doesn't do justice to the flashing lights that blinged out award-winning Kate Simmington and Keeta's leash and hat as they dazzled our judge on their way around the course.

We were especially excited to note a number of young dogs completing their rally championship titles (the ARCH), and to have a Level 3 class with 5 "A" level competitors. It's thrilling to see so many teams stepping up to the challenges of Level 3. 

Judge Charlene Swainamer and her young partner Gabriel (2013's first place Top 20 Nationals List dog) inspired us with their beautiful teamwork as they completed their ARCHMX3 (APDT Rally Master Champion title for the third time)! Thank you, Charlene, for sharing your angel dog with us. 

It's not about the ribbons; it's about the teamwork these ribbons signify. I'm honored to pre


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