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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Great levellers these dogs of ours :-)

Lansdown was a bit of a change from last year. No bogs and torrential rain, with tractors bombing around towing everyone to safety, but a warm pleasant dry weekend. The Olympia qualifiers were both very different courses. A lovely flowing one from Barrie and a very weird, horrible one from the other judge. Twiggy was in Barries and George in the other. We didnt qualify, in fact both dogs were eliminated, but the 2 things I was more thrilled with were that Twiggy did a start line wait!!! and George was so fast and powerful I just couldnt get in position for one important move. Always take the positives :-)
Lily didnt seem to be firing on all cylinders on the Saturday so with a few bad runs I decided to leave her and not run her Sunday. Olli was meant to be running in the ABC qualifier but after a disastrous demolition derby in the grade 6 jumping, the final decision was made and he officially retired from competing at Grade 6. I was sad about them both, but the dogs and their welfare are my priority.
Cove was on hit & miss form, but pulled one out the bag to win the Grade 7 agility! 4 clears, 3 of which were wins in 2 weeks. Cracking rounds too, and then George managed a 7th in jumping, followed by a 3rd and Twiggy had 2 clears. I was a bit down on the Sunday worrying about Lily & Olli, and the youngsters picked up on that, and worked steady. No setting the world on fire that weekend.

Last weekend and probably the nicest, and one of the biggest shows of the summer. Tuffley, which this year was amalgamated with Prestbury Park. It was a scorcher!! 28 degrees when we arrived Friday lunchtime, and it stayed that way for the whole weekend. Its the first weekend for a long time that we havent won a trophy between us, with Georges 5th place being the closest to it all weekend. However after my sadness and worry about Lily & Olli the previous weekend, Tuffley totally changed my mood. Olli spanner was entered in his first anysize jumping classes, and he had a blast!! Charging around a course of low jumps, with no weaves or contacts to worry about, and he was so happy!!! The other bonus was that Tuffley has a river right next to the rings, and Olli looooooves water, so he went swimming and playing in the river with numerous other dogs of all shapes and sizes, and was in his element. Happy happy spaniel :-) Lily also went into the ring on Saturday with a sparkle in her eyes, and before we knew it she had 2 clear rounds! the second resulting in an 18th place out of over 200 combined grade 6/7 dogs and I was very happy with that. Not ready to retire yet! Sunday was so much hotter and she isnt keen on the heat so I didnt run her. She doesnt need to be competing on hard ground against top young dogs when she is hot and bothered. We can be choosy, but at least I know she is happy and fit for now.

1 clear round unplaced for Cove, and no clears at all for Twiggy. Brought down to earth with a bump after our recent winning streak, but then these dogs are only "human". I still saw people, including some top handlers, treat their dogs very unfairly over the last few weekends, and have heard about some really harsh handling, which if its true will upset me not just because of the dogs but because I have always had a lot of respect for the person allegedly involved. There is no excuse for it. I am not saying I havent been firm sometimes with a couple of my strong willed dogs, but there is a difference between firm controlled correction, a reminder maybe to focus back with the handler, and the yanking, bullying, shouting that I see. Good grief its the handler and the training that are to blame 99.9% of the time for the dogs so called bad behaviour, or mistakes in the ring. A shame more people dont remember that.
Off to Rugby Champ show this weekend, and its a first for us. Too blooming far for a weekend but its Ferns first season in Champ so we are off early Friday. Looks like the weather set to stay hot so need to get the Air Con fixed on Roxy, and buy a new paddling pool( as we broke ours last weekend) and plenty of cider in the fridge. It will be a great weekend as Rog coming too and we are camped with the best crowd :-) people who have fun and remember what life is about and how lucky we are to have such wonderful dogs :-)

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