Saturday, November 28, 2015

Beginning Variable Surface Training

     On Rigby's first week of tracking after her TDX I decided to keep it easy, make it fun, but introduce some new things, as well.

      I laid her a track on the other side of the road from the fields where we usually track, in an area that has more traffic and some different surfaces for us to work on.  Her track was mostly on grass, but also went through some mulch, under a swing set; across an asphalt road; through a 20-foot creek and straight across a parking lot.  To keep it easy I only aged it a half an hour and left plenty of hot dogs for her to find.

     She ran the track well, figuring out out each of the different surfaces and found the article I left, an Altoid's tin, a plastic vitamin bottle, a cloth pouch and a cloth glove.  She had fun and seemed to handle it well.

     Week 2 I put her track mostly in the fields where she was used to tracking over the years, but brought it down the horse path to exit the field, crossed the road and finished the track on the more contaminated grass where more people and dogs walk, including crossing the asphalt walking trail.  I let her track age about an hour and a half before running it.

     She did quite well with the track in the fields, although she didn't recognize a plastic article as an article, but when encouraged to pick it up, she readily retrieved it to me.  She had little trouble on the horse path and crossed the road easily.  The tough part was the shorter grass where lots of dogs and people walk and play.  She did work through the challenge and found the glove.  I reminded myself that I need to put the tougher challenges earlier in the track so that she's fresher to work on the harder areas of the track.

     Week 3 was Thanksgiving week and I chose to track her on Thanksgiving day when stores were closed and parking lots available without traffic.  I went to a local strip mall area where there were many types of surfaces available in one place -- this is a newly developed area and has a lot of rough area with little to no grass with lots of remnants of construction still existing.

     Her track started on a short patch of grass and, after about 35 yards, crossed an asphalt entrance to the parking lot and then across an area of very hard dirt and stone with no vegetation, and a sock article left along the way.  The track then crossed another asphalt entrance to the parking lot and went into an area of mulch and some decorative plantings.  About 30 yards into the mulch there was a left turn to cross a 2-lane road and into a field that, again, was very hard and had some weeds here and there, a right turn and then a right turn back across the road and into the parking lot where after about 60 yards there was a left turn on the asphalt.  On the second asphalt leg there was an article, a small change purse, and then a curb to a field and an immediate right turn to go across that field.  This was the longest leg, around 180 yards and was a mixture of stone, weeds and long hay-type grass that was mostly dead.  About midway through the field I left a cloth article.  At the end of that field there was a right turn to nice green grass, a crossing of an asphalt entrance to the parking lot to another 50 yards of grass and the glove.

     We ran the track at about 45 minutes old and Rigby handled the various surfaces quite well.  She had hardly any trouble on the first stone lot and found the article.  At first the mulch threw her, but once she actually started tracking she did well and found the turn.  The field with weeds was harder for her and I had to hold her at the turns till she worked at it and found the turn.  The second turn in that field was much easier for her.  

     The asphalt parking lot with the turn was the hardest for her -- she doesn't understand yet that she needs to actually track on the asphalt, she thinks she just crosses it, as she has the roads to this point, but she'll catch on in time.  She stopped at the turn point and did make the turn, but I think she was air scenting the hot dog that was a ways down that leg, rather than following my scent.

     The long leg across the stone field with the grassy weeds she did well and she found the article with no trouble.  She easily made the turn at the end and tracked the lusher green grass easily, crossed the asphalt and then found the glove.

     I was pleased with her performance and could see some things we need to work on, including slowing her down on the tougher surfaces to make sure she doesn't miss the turns.  I think once she catches on to the idea of scent on the asphalt, concrete, etc., she will quickly learn to follow those tracks.

Next week we'll go back to grass and the woods and add some age to her track to keep her sharp and happy.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

OUR TDX ADVENTURE, Thank goodness for happy endings!

I haven't posted very much lately on Facebook or on my blog about tracking, but Rigby and I have continued to work and train consistently. 

I quit reporting on our tracking because I made the decision to enter Rigby in a TDX test.  Wasn't sure if she was ready, but knew she could do all the aspects of a TDX.  Thought it was time to get our feet wet and try our first test.  I knew our only weakness was experience, and I felt that even if we entered a test and didn't pass that we could learn valuable lessons and see what we needed to concentrate on in the future.

First I entered the Mt. Nittany tracking test.  We ended up 2nd alternate and Dan and I drove over with Rigby the day of the test in case someone backed out or didn't show.  The 1st alternate would get the backup track if it wasn't needed to replace another track and so we were just one dog away from a having a testing track.  But it was not to be for us that day, everyone showed up and we sadly watched all 6 dogs fail.

So I entered the Buckeye Tracking Club test and anxiously awaited the closing date and the draw.  Lo and behold, we got chosen first in the draw and were in our first TDX test!  I was happy that one of the judges was Ken Barna, a judge for Rigby's TD and one of our club's judges last year, so I knew I'd see at least one familiar face.

With the Mt. Nittany test one weekend and my local club's test the following weekend, Rigby didn't get to track for 2 weeks.  One of my tracking buddies was kind enough to go out with me on Monday, November 2nd, and lay a track for Rigby to give her a chance to stay sharp.  Rigby ran that 2-hour track beautifully and gave me hope for the weekend test.

This morning we headed out at 7:30, a 2 and a half hour drive, an 11:30 draw time.  The test was held at the Notre Dame Education Center, in Chardon, Ohio.  The location is a school and a convent (the premium mentioned that we might have a nun walk across our tracks).  It's a lovely site with a pond, orchards, a creek, mowed grass and higher cover in some areas.

When we came upon the test site we missed the driveway to the pre-school across the road where the test headquarters was located, so we drove a bit up the road, through a light and I found a driveway to turn around in.  I put on my blinker and started turning when I heard screeching of tires and then that dreaded thud and wondered how we could be hit, we were driving slowly and I had used my blinker.  Well, two young men on the way to the Buffalo Bills game decided we were going too slowly and proceeded to pass us on a double yellow line.

We quickly checked on Rigby -- she seemed fine -- and Dan walked her to a quiet area in front of the car while I exchanged insurance information with the driver.  When I asked the driver and his passenger if they were all right, I got an odd reply -- What do you mean, have we been drinking?  Well, perhaps they had, who knows, but I didn't have time to deal with that, so I explained that I was inquiring about their well-being since we had just been in an accident.  (They were in a hurry, as the accident happened at about 10:15 and the game started at 1:00 and I believe they had at least a 3-hour drive to get to Buffalo, then get to the stadium.)

Rigby had no trouble jumping back into the car, she seemed no worse for the wear, and we got turned around and made it to the test headquarters.

The four TDX entrants all gathered in the parking lot and we passed the time talking and getting to know one another.  The time flew and it gave me a chance to settle down from the shock of the accident and I was actually relaxed when it came time for the draw.

The dogs in the TDX were a German Shepherd Dog, a German Shorthaired Pointer, a Smooth Collie and, of course, a Weimaraner.

I drew first to find our track number and I was quite pleased to draw Track 2.  The German Shorthaired Pointer ended up with Track 1, the GSD with Track 3 and the Collie had Track 4.

We formed a caravan with our vehicles and followed the judges as they drove across the road and entered the grounds of the education center, parked and prepared to watch the GSP on her track.  

The two and a half year old GSP seemed to start nicely on short grass and made it to the field, where the grass was higher and I figured the dog would really start making time.  The owner had told me her dog could be a bit timid, but I was not prepared for what we saw.  They must have started their track at about 11:45 and finished about 12:45.  There was someone using a chain saw in the area of the track and the dog was quite put off and frightened.  She'd track 10 or 15 yards and then she would run back to her handler.  This produced a very slow track.  On top of that they had a 410 yard leg and I think that played some head games with the handler.

On the next to the last leg, when the dog got far enough away from the chain saw noise, she really started tracking and it was a beautiful sight.  They made the last turn and found the glove!!  The first TDX pass of the day.

Watching and waiting took a bit of a toll on me.  I could only think how old our track was getting and wondered how Rigby would handle that.  The couple times I had checked on Rigby in the car, I heard her whine and I knew she was anxious to get out and go tracking, a very good sign.

As soon as the GSP passed her test I got Rigby and I ready to go and we met the judges at the area of my flag.  They asked if I had any questions and I said, Yes, how old is it?  We all laughed and they assured me it was a legal track.

I put Rigby's harness on, told her the track was a bit old and we'd do the best we could and that I'd go as far as she would, we'd give it our best.

She literally jumped to the flag, checked out the start article and immediately started down the first leg -- what a trooper!!

At the first turn, she seemed to be playing, I didn't realize it was the turn and I told her to get to tracking.  So she went straight, instead of turning.  I quickly realized our mistake and we backed up, she found the turn to the left and off we went (the first leg was 80 yards).  

We went 80 yards on the second leg and had to cross a two-lane road. 

Another 65 yards and we had our first set of cross tracks as we entered an apple orchard.  She barely indicated the cross tracks and we went on to a right turn to the third leg, 245 yards of straight tracking.  55 yards down the third leg we crossed the other set of cross tracks and she was really moving out now, tracking with confidence.

But then I happened to look up towards where we were going and my confidence was shattered!  There in front of us was a tracking flag and I could see a start article laying at the bottom of the flag.  I waited for the whistle, they'd have to blow us off before we ruined someone else's track, right?  No whistle, no whistle.  I didn't want to ruin another entrant's track, but Rigby wanted to keep going, so I was now totally upset.

I called to the judges and said that there was a flag.  No answer.  Again, I said, there's a flag, and the answer was, SO WHAT.  So forward we went.  Rigby picked up the start article and when I didn't call her to me she put it back down and we tracked on.  My mind was screaming, no track is to be within 50 yards of another track.  How could this happen??

We came to a change of cover and Rigby dove in with no hesitation to some brown, rough weedy grass.  She made a right turn, another change of cover to short grass, 25 yards to another change of cover back to the brown growth and at the end of that 85 yard leg she made another right turn and back to the short grass on a 95 yard leg where we found an article, a knit hat.  I took the time to give Rigby some water and then she was off again.  

35 yards after the article Rigby made a left turn.  She tracked a nice 105 yards and we encountered the road again.  This time there was a car coming and I had to hold Rigby back and wait for the car to go past.

She had a nice restart and crossed the road and made a left turn following the curve of the road, but very close to the road.  Another car came towards us and I inadvertently pulled Rigby off the track when I shortened the tracking line to be sure she didn't dart into the road.  Since she didn't seem sure, I thought we had gone the wrong way, and we backed up again.

Rigby did not seem sure at all at this point and this is where we almost failed.  She ended up choosing to go into some woods and it went immediately downhill and the tracking line became tangled.  I tried to give her water to buy some time, but my nerves and my hands wouldn't cooperate and I couldn't get the water bottle open.  

My mind was really working now and I realized that we needed to get back out of the woods.  We were able to work backwards and then she started out and I was able to turn around and follow her out.

Now is when my little bit of tracking knowledge really paid off.  When we came out of the woods I saw that the judges were just on the other side of the road. They wouldn't be that close unless we had been right and on the track at some point.  I realized we need to go back down along the road to the left, but I needed Rigby to show me.  I pulled out one of the articles I had and rescented Rigby, told her to find her track.  I held the tracking line above my head to make sure that I didn't guide her in any way, but as soon as she started to go to the left I went with her.  

It was a very short 45 yards to where we found the final article, THE GLOVE.

We must have been so close to the glove the first time we headed down that leg and we had drawn the judges close to see the end of our track.

The judges started clapping, signifying a pass, but I turned toward them and shook my head.  I was asked, How many articles do you have, and I replied, We're one short, we only have 3.  Then they explained that we left the other article at the flag, but they knew we had found it so we were being credited for that article since the tracklayer had inadverently left the flag when she walked the track and the article was not a START article, but our article.

Oh, my, lessons learned even in a pass!!

What a happy day this was, to see my Rigby work so hard and do such a great job and to have Dan there to witness it was even nicer.  Together we took Rigby back to the car where we gave her steak and salmon as special treats, well-deserved treats!

The only photos I took today were of the damage to the vehicles at our car accident, but one of the judges was taking photos and so I'm hoping soon to have some photos of Rigby tracking that I can share and add to this post.

Tracks are awarded randomly at the test to the dogs who were lucky enough to be entered.  For the draw for tracks each handler, in order of catalog listing, chose a Kong key chain with a folded piece of paper with a track number -- we got Track 2.
 For passing the TDX we were awarded the green ribbon and a TDX patch.

Oh, and the answer to my question of the judges about how old the track was?   3 hours and 45 minutes!

Rigby has passed both her tests in Ohio and these are the handmade key chain/crate decorations she has received from each club.  Love the purple TDX one for my purple girl!

Our trip home was uneventful and we're happy to be home and have a new TDX dog at our house!!!

Here are the stats on our track:
Total Yards:  815
Articles:  Sock, Bandana, Hat, Glove
Obstacles:  Road, Change of cover, Change of cover, Road
Started track at 12:53 p.m.
Finished track at 1:18 p.m.
Track laid at 9:05 a.m.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Anything's Fair When It's Saturday Tracking

Tracking practice days for the group I track with take place on Saturday mornings, most every Saturday morning -- usually it's only frigid cold or dangerous road conditions that will keep us from meeting up at the park.

Since most tracking tests take place on Sundays (with plotting days on Saturday) there's always been a saying amongst the tracking group that anything is fair on Saturday, meaning if the track you put in for someone would not exactly be considered legal for a test track it's all good, this is training, not testing and we accept deviations, such as short legs, an article close to a turn, etc.

The past couple months most Saturdays have consisted of just Phil and I tracking together.  Phil is known for putting in rugged, challenging tracks and, because he's been doing this for a while and is very familiar with the park, all tracks he lays are blind -- no markers to indicate where there are turns or articles.  So having Phil lay your tracks is a great way to learn to really read your dog, because the dog is all you've got to find your way.

Quite often when we meet back at the cars after putting in tracks for each other's dogs Phil will say to me, "Remember, it's not personal, it's just training." 

On those days I know I'm in for a wild ride, probably lots of woods and steep, slippery hillsides in the woods.  Over time I've found it fun to put in similar tracks for him and before we run his dog on the track I remind him that it's not personal.

Yesterday when I finally made it back to the cars, taking almost an hour to put in a track for Como, Phil's Dalmatian who is working towards a TDX, I told Phil there was a new name for tracking with me -- Track with Nina and see the world.  

Phil chuckled and said, "Oh, you went to some new places today.  So did I."

So what happened, you might ask, that takes someone an hour to basically walk 800 to 1,000 yards?  Well, sometimes you can get caught in a place where there's no way out and, unless you want to ruin a perfectly good track (at least to that point) you can't turn around and go out the way you came in, you have to find a way through whatever is blocking your path.

I started Phil's track in an open field and all went great for the first 3 legs of the track. I gave him two blind turns and took the track through a short tree line into the next field and then, after the third leg, turned into the woods at the back of that field.  The woods were open, not thick with growth, and I made my way deeper into the woods than we usually go, but it was so green and pretty and spring-like that I was just enjoying the scenery. 

Part way in I left the first article for Como to find, a small faux-leather change purse, with some chicken inside as a treat.  When I got about 20 yards from the article drop I really looked around to see where to head next and that's when I realized that all of a sudden the growth had gotten very thick with lots of thorny growth and I was stuck in the middle of the woods with two choices -- either ruin a really nice track in the woods or blaze a new trail to get back to the fields to finsh the track.  Thank goodness I had brought my clippers with me, I knew what I had to do.

I looked up at the tops of the trees and tried to figure out which way was the shortest way out of the woods.  I decided to go to my left and started clipping thorny branches and forcing my way through the dense undergrowth, forging a new path, battling my way to freedom -- I know, a little dramatic, but, well, it kind of felt that way!  It took a lot of time, because it was so thick, but in time I finally made it back to a path we usually use for tracking and then I was out of the woods in no time.

I then took the track back through the cut at a point further along the field and was again in the field where the track started.  The track then went across the field to the bottom, turned to follow the line of the woods on the far side of the field and then another turn towards the front of the field where I had started the track -- I left the second article on that leg that was about a hundred yards long.  I put in two more short legs and left the glove at the end of the track.

All in all my measurement of the track was close to 800 yards, shorter than I usually put in for Phil, but long enough because of the time spent in the woods and the difficulty there might be for Phil and Como to navigate the close quarters getting through the woods.

The track was aged for 2 1/2 hours before it was run, but Como did a great job.  She found her way to the first article in the woods and then I reminded Phil that he was going to need to use the two words EASY and WAIT a lot before we left the woods, as the dogs can always make it through the brush so much quicker than we humans can, as we're sometimes forcing our way through the thickets and stepping over logs or avoiding vines.  I had marked the path through the woods heavily with clothes pins with pink surveyors tape tied to them so that Phil knew exactly where the track went, and I was so relieved when we were all out of the woods and back to field tracking!

Como continued on the track back to the first field, made the turns, found the second article and then went on to the glove!

As for Rigby's track, she had a very nice start on a track that was aged about 2 hours.  She made the first turn and headed diagonally uphill across the field.  

She was moving at a good pace on this second leg when I heard Phil tell me to stop that there should be an article right about where I was, that Rigby had passed up. Missing an article is quite odd for Rigby, I always feel really confident in her ability to find and retrieve articles -- but not this time.  I looked around and just to my right I saw a small, black article.  It was a business card holder made of faux leather.  

I stopped Rigby's forward progression and I backed up and called her to me, giving her another chance to find the article.  She still didn't find it.  I told her to "find it" and she started circling and circling, going right over the article, but still never indicating it.  Finally I picked it up and showed it to her and threw it a few times for her to fetch and bring to me before I gave her her usual treat of canned salmon for finding an article.  Phil told me Rigby and I would be seeing a lot more of that business card holder article in the future, so I'm sure she'll get better at finding it!

Then we continued on her track up to some piney woods that split that field from the upper field.  She did well in the woods, came out turned left and tracked parallel to the woods, to the next right turn that went uphill further into the field.  Another right turn and Rigby found the second article, a leather wallet, which she retrieved to me (and I gave a sigh of relief that her article finding skills were still intact.)  After celebrating the article find with another small container of salmon we were off again and there was another right turn heading us back downhill.

A left turn took us into the woods to the side of the hill and I shortened up my line and slowed Rigby down as much as I could.  Phil had opened up a new path for us and it was mostly downhill, through woods, over logs -- a challenge to keep my footing while holding a tracking line and watching where I was going, let alone keeping track of Rigby and constantly slowing her down.  The slowing her down worked wonders for her tracking and she followed Phil's winding track trough the woods with amazing accuracy and found the final glove resting on the forest floor.  

We must have done at least 75 yards in that stretch of woods alone.  My handling in the woods has gotten better, as the line never got tangled as it has in the past and I was able to keep Rigby from moving at her usual breakneck speeds!

As a reward, and to save me from being dragged through the rest of the woods back to the cars, I let Rigby have some off leash time as we all made our way down a deer trail and across the creek to the edge of the woods.

It was a fun day tracking, as usual, with new trails blazed and happy dogs at the end.

Friday, April 24, 2015


One of my favorite things about this blog is that it's a great way for me to keep track of Rigby's show career and record everything in one place where I can find it so easily.  I'll admit that I write this blog for myself, but I do enjoy sharing it with those who care to read it.

Rigby and I first entered the rally ring in September of 2014 and the obedience ring in February of 2015.  The purpose of this post is to record our experiences in the ring, our successes, our failures, our scores and placements.  Periodically I'll do updated posts in an effort to keep a history of Rigby's advancement in her obedience and rally career.

Our first time in the ring was a total disaster!  We entered Rally Novice B at the rally trial put on by the local German Shepherd club on Sunday, September 14, 2014.  

Rigby was all excited and hyped up and I had little to no attention.  She pulled at the end of the leash and for most of our time in the ring was almost out of control.  I was careful not to pull on her and it was obvious to the judge, Jeff Showman, that the tight lead was due to Rigby's antics and so we were not excused and did make it through all the excercies, but NQ'ed due to the deductions for tight lead, out of position, etc.  

This photo was taken at the GSD rally trial, our first time in the rally ring.  That nice attention didn't last long and we NQ'ed this time, but learned some very important lessons!

It was a bit of an embarassing performance, but I learned that Rigby needs to be crated for several hours at the show site before she is ready to go in the ring -- I had crated her in the car that day and only brought her into the building shortly before going in the ring.

September 19, 2014 Rigby was entered in Rally Novice B in two trials on the same day at Clarion Canine Obedience Club.  Learning from our earlier experience, we arrived early at the show site and I set up the crate and sat with Rigby through the Excellent and Advanced classes, giving her time to settle in and get used to the environment.

Our first time in the ring that day was quite an improvement from the first time, but Rigby was happy to see the judge, Karen Schroeder, and did several leaps here and there resulting in too many tight leads and, once again, an NQ.

Back in the crate Rigby went to await her second time in the ring that day. Shortly before her class I took her outside and worked with her, trying to get her attention on me, reminding her of why we were there.   

Then it was time to go back in the building and give it another try.  Waiting to go in the ring I got a feeling that there was a change in Rigby, she seemed to be remembering that we were a team, she was actually listening to me and giving me attention.  We scored an 80 and got our first Rally Novice leg!  She would have had a 90, except that I messed up on the second sign and didn't have her sit!

Our final entry into the rally ring in 2014 was at the WCOTC trials in Delmont on Friday, September 26th. Once again that time in her crate at the show site seemed to work for Rigby and she got her second Rally Novice leg with a great score of 94!

February 1st of 2015 was Rigby's debut in the obedience ring.  The local Sheltie specialty was being held at the Washington County Fairgrounds, just a few miles from our home.  Although the rally trials were Sheltie only, the obedience trials allowed other breeds to enter and compete, so I entered Rigby in Beginner Novice B.

We attended the Obedience B match on Friday night at the show site to give Rigby a chance to see the building and acclimate to the venue.  On Sunday I showed her in Beg. Novice and she did a very nice job, earning a score of 193.5 and getting 1st place.  A nice start to her obedience career!

Rigby's winnings from her first time in the obedience ring, a 1st place and $5.00!

Rigby and the toy she won in Beg. Novice.

Just a slight deviation from the show ring, on Saturday, April 28th Rigby got her CGC title at a testing held at Golden Triangle Obedience Training Club.

Rigby earned her CGC title on April 28th, 2015.

Taken at the CGC testing, waiting for our turn.

Rigby anxiously waits for me to return from the out-of-sight portion of the CGC test.

I decided that Rigby's next show would be at the Youngstown All-Breed Club Training Club trials, two rally trials in one day, two chances to get her Rally Novice title.

Three weeks before the trials there were run-thrus held at the YABTC training building and Rigby and I drove to Ohio and spent the day doing run thrus in Novice Obedience and Rally Novice.  It was a long day, but well worth the trip, another good day of training for Rigby.

This video is from Rigby's Rally Novice titling leg at the YABTC rally trials!

On Good Friday, April 3, 2015, Rigby earned her Rally Novice title at the first trial of the day at Youngstown with a score of 97.  Then in the second trial she did just a bit better and got a 98 and a 3rd place!

Rigby earned her Rally Novice title at the YABTC trials on  April 3, 2015.

Ribbons from YABTC on April 3, 2015, new title, two qualifying rosettes, a third place ribbon and toy!

Because Rigby was not ready to compete off leash I decided I would continue to show her in Rally Novice B for a while longer as we also continued to work towards her Beg. Novice title.

Friday, April 24, 2015, Rigby and I traveled to Morgantown, West Virginia to show in Beginner Novice and Rally Novice.  This was Rigby's first time to be shown at an all-breed conformation show run in conjuction with the companion sport events and there was a lot more activity in this building than Rigby had ever been exposed to before.

We were fourth in the ring for Beg. Novice and my nerves were pretty much shot, I allowed too many little circumstances to bother me and get me upset -- a good lesson to learn, concentrate on me and my dog and let the other things go, stay in the moment with my dog and our journey!

Rigby earned her second Beginner Novice leg with another nice score of 192, but she actually lost a point on the recall when she hesitated in coming to me when called -- quite a diference from her usual performance where she streaks across the room into a perfect front.  I really think that my nerves affected her to the point that she just wasn't sure she wanted to come running to me!

Things went a bit better in Rally Novice and we got a 95 and 1st place in the class!

I have Rigby entered in a trial in May where I hope she will complete her Beginner Novice title.  She will also be competing in a Sub Novice class which is like the old Pre Novice class, everything on a 6-foot lead, including a one-minute sit stay and a three-minute down stay.

Plans are for a possible debut in Novice 
obedience in the fall, depending on how our training goes between now and then.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Golden Triangle Obedience Training Club Monday Night Puppy Kindergarten Class

Congratulations to the 10 puppies and puppy owners from the GTOTC Monday evening Puppy Kindergarten class, who all graduated with honors on Monday, March 23, 2015!

Here are some group photos and a photo of each of the puppies with their diploma. 

You were a great class, lots of fun, wonderful puppies and great owners.  I wish you all the best of luck with your pups in the future and hope each of you continues on with your training!