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A Whole Lot of Incredible

Most of you DFR readers know by now that I am definitely a conformation girl, but over the last year my dog world slowly expanded into a love of performance.

Honestly, I hadn’t been able to experience much because of a lack of knowledge in that area, but, with the help of a few great people, I was soon on my way. All I knew was that I was interested and eager to learn and experience more. Thankfully I can now say that this love is going to start growing faster and stronger.

Just a few weekends ago, I was able to attend my first performance event with only my camera to keep me company. The Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge, let me tell you, was nothing short of incredible. In all aspects!

A view of the PPIDC Incredible Dog Challenge set-up for dock diving.

I knew going into the event that I would enjoy it, I just had one of those feelings. But I never imagined just how great it would actually be. Not only were the dogs incredibly talented, but so were the handlers, event staff, and everyone from the photographers to the people helping with production. More importantly though, every single person was flat-out happy to be there.

You could tell these handlers loved what they do and love their dogs. The support for each other was like nothing I’ve seen before.

Handler Keith and his boy Cisco were overwhelmed with happiness after taking the top prize in the weave pole race.

Now don’t get me wrong, this event was, as I mentioned before, quite incredible. From a personal standpoint though, I was, let’s say a little nervous to attend. OK, not to attend, but to be shooting (as in photos) at an all-performance event. When I have free time at conformation shows, I try to make a point to catch some agility or whatever else is going on, but when it comes to taking pictures I haven’t had much experience. I have to admit though, with the help of a fellow photographer and a few pointers, I really got into the swing of things and got some nice shots. Plus, challenging yourself is fun, right?

One of my favorite shots from the whole weekend.

Let’s just say, this will not be my last performance event!

See, I told you, Dogs Freakin’ Rule!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"
Comments
  • Susan Chaney
    Susan Chaney March 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Although I wasn’t able to attend the Incredible Dog Challenge, I feel like I was there, Kayla, thanks to your photos and enthusiastic blog about it!

  • lori c-c
    Lori Chapek-Carleton March 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Nothing beats a good “action” photo — I love seeing photos of dogs “at work” showing off their athleticism!

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