For those curious, here is the video of her WAE
Only 11 dogs entered. 6 passed which is better than average but only slightly more than half.
Aside from Nadia, the dogs who earned their WAC were:
Sioul's The Devil Inside
Cape Secure Gold Mine
Melrae's Motive Played
Soulstorm’s n Cassel Dark Phoenix
Congrats to them and their owners, breeders and handlers!
I had QUITE the crazy 24 hours leading up to the WAE. As of Sunday I was still in Cape Cod. Made a day trip with some loved ones from upper Cape where I stay to Provincetown for the very first time - which was meaningful to me as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and it being the end of Carnival week. On went Nadia's rainbow collar and we were off! It was pretty crowded more than my people expected but Nadia acted as a wonderful ambassador for the breed. In spite of being off duty she acted almost exactly as she would had she been wearing her SD vest. And she certainly did not go unnoticed! The amount of people who wanted to come up to us, talk to us, ask if they could pet her was very flattering. From a small child about the same height as her, to a retired police canine handler who wanted to admire her - and everyone in between, she made so many people's day! I had a couple who came up to me and both guys said they had grown up with dobermans - currently had a pittie but couldn't resist asking if they could say hi to Nadia. Had a couple with two Min Pins who wanted to take pictures with her. One girl apologised for staring but explained a Doberman was her dream dog - I ended up asking her if she wanted to give Nadia a treat in exchange for OB commands and I could definitely see her face lighting up.
And I could put her in a down stay in a crowded store go and shop come back and she'd be waiting there patiently. We practiced some OB with the millions of distractions too. All in all she made me so proud and I really believe she was a good ambassador for the breed by showing her obedient disposition and her even, stable temperament.
Now keep this in mind, we were there for several hours, then drove back 2 hours later... she was fed I started packing, loaded up the car and then I lingered with my people until about half past midnight. Set my alarm for 1:30 am. Probably slept for 45 minutes before waking up 6 minutes to my alarm. Nadia willingly hopped up in her crate and we set off on a 7:30 hour drive towards Long Sault Ontario, to make it on time for the 9 am WAC. Didn't stop to pee or eat, only stopped once for gas and Nadia remained patiently in her crate (again without a peep or a complaint).
We made good time, the border crossing went smoothly - the agent was surprised when I said I had a dog he asked where, I said in her crate and he was like "wow she's really quiet", I smiled and said "with all the driving we've been doing she knows the drill by now!"... and then about 40 minutes away from Long Sault, I hear this gut churning noise all of a sudden and feel my car veer sharply. I stopped within seconds - at this point I'm sleep deprived, I've got about 6:30 hours of driving and I haven't eaten. You can imagine how I felt when I hopped out of the car and saw my right front tire was flat!
If you didn't already know how this story ends, you might think what terrible luck or might think I would've given up - ah but don't put dirt on my grave just yet! Instead of having a meltdown, perhaps the adrenaline was active but I call CAA, and they say they will give me high priority given I'm on the highway. Meanwhile, the owner of Nadia's littermate who is a good friend and who shot the video was already at the show site. I call her and ask if she can let the organisers know what's happening. Luckily for me, they weren't running on schedule.
Little note here - I check in the back and see Nadia soundly asleep in her crate in spite of the cars wooshing by so fast the car shakes every time, and in spite of the horrible noise the flat made initially along with the sudden stop. How lucky am I to have such a good girl? She stayed quiet until roadside assistance showed up, and then she lit up when he started messing with the car - again, good girl! Especially as she calmed down when I told her to cool it and showed her it was ok.
Spare tire goes on, and I'm back on the road having to go 50 mph/80 km/h. I made it to the show site just as they were walking the course with the judge. Hallelujah! And in the end as you can see by the video, it was all worth it. Nadia was an absolute Rockstar! She even surprised me - I was concerned she'd show no interest in the friendly stranger as she is by nature aloof and desinterested of most friendly strangers we encounter (but tolerant) however it made a difference that we were allowed to speak to the friendly stranger and expected to act excited to see them. I was also concerned about the umbrella - that was the only step that really worried me to be honest... Because she had a bad experience with an umbrella popping open in her face during a critical fear period. For a while I couldn't lift a black umbrella without her wanting to leave the room. She's since gotten over it, I can open umbrellas around her, above her, she doesn't care about people walking by with them etc. etc. But I hadn't tried popping one open in her face again. So I wasn't surprised when she startled the way she did but so proud that she recovered so quickly and immediately investigated.
And of course she was perfect for the gun shot as I knew she would, and she was my fierce defender. Really glad I decided to hold the lead around me, even then you can see she was pulling me to go and bite the bad guy! Based on his comments, I think Mr Schoeneman liked her hehe.
As a side note I found it so interesting - it was as fun participating as it was watching the other dogs take the test. You can learn a lot about the dog's personality as well as their relationship to the handler by observing. For sure I think Nadia's personality is partly visible in that video, especially her signature joie de vivre, her general chill, her devotion to me and her fierceness!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words... more photos later!