In April, not long after our return from the road trip out west, Mia and I traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a whole weekend of AKC trials and doggy fun. This was a really big venue, much bigger than any other event we signed up for in the past. The trials were held at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds inside a big expo hall that was divided into two parts: one for the Obedience and Rally rings, the other for Conformation. The event also had a big pool right outside where dogs were competing in Dock Diving.
The building was huge and packed with more dogs and handlers than I've ever seen at any AKC event before. The competition was numerous and fierce but Mia still managed to steal a couple of first-place ribbons. She qualified in all the trials entered earning her AKC Rally Excellent title that weekend and, in our last trial, we got to move up and compete in the Master class which was much more challenging but a lot of fun.
The quality of Mia's performance went down a bit from Saturday to Sunday and I just blamed it on the stress of competing in a more challenging environment than she was normally used to, but I was wrong. When we got home on Sunday evening, I realized that Mia went into heat, a whole month earlier than she was due.
We trained for this trial for months and I can't believe we came this close to having to withdraw from the competition. A couple of days sooner and Mia's unexpected heat would have destroyed all our plans. However, despite her odd PMS mood, we managed to bring that title home and add a few more ribbons to our growing collection.
Congratulations Mia on your Excellent title! Rally Master, here we come!