We got back from the WDG late Monday night. Overall, it was an interesting experience. Certainly a lot different to anything I have experienced with agility before! We ran in ACER arena, in front of 5,000 people each day. The dogs were running on basically long astro turf,with a strip of flyball anti-fatigue matting thrown in for good measure. All the dogs were quite tentative initially, Terra included, in fact she really slowed right down which made me worry..
Thursday and Friday were check in and dress rehearsal. We got to watch the other dogs taking part, and as I have never seen either Disc Dogs or dock diving (except on TV) that was quite interesting. I could definitely never do Disc, that requires way too much accuracy in throwing! The Dock Diving looked fun though, I think Jess would enjoy that as she already loves leaping into the pool from the side. And BOY can those flyball dogs run! And BOY are they noisy! Anyone who complains at the noise at an agility trial should try going to flyball..picture teams of dogs barking at the top of their voices, handlers yelling to get the dogs to return fast and the competing dog SCREAMING down a line of jumps, grabbing the ball and SCREAMING back, only to be passed by another ridiculously fast dog so intent on getting that ball they run at top speed right past each other. Fantastic!
Saturday and Sunday were performance days, and unfortunately they had decided to cut us down from 2 runs a day to one..we went all the way to Sydney for ONE MINUTE of agility! Anyway, on Saturday Terra was a little overwhelmed by everything, the people, having to run inside on astro turf and having TV cameras in her face all the time. She ran quite hesitantly but went round clear, going into 1st place.
By Sunday she had well and truly worked out what we were there for and ran at her normal super fast speed, unfortunately we had a slight miscommunication at the 3rd last jump and she brought the bar down, and that along with a judging call left her narrowly in 2nd place (the $10,000 bar!)
I was very pleased with how she handled the whole event, the WA dogs (Terra and Jasper) were the youngest there by far (all the rest being 8+) and they both coped like real troopers. I am also very glad we don't live in Syndey! Homebush was lovely, super facilities, but the rest of Sydney is so busy and everything from parking to getting places to walking the dog, was such a hassle! Overall, as I said, an interesting experience.
At the end of November Lea Smart is coming over from QLD to teach me how to do Bowen therapy. This is a intensive course that will qualify me to perform Bowen therapy on my own and clients animals. I'm really looking forward to it, its an area I would like to move into as I think the musculoskeletal health of our canine atheletes is paramount, and an area that we probably don't pay enough attention to in Australia. After I become proficient at it I will be offering Bowen therapy both at home and at trials to performance dogs, and pets with specific problems (arthritis, hip dysplasia and so on). I have heard lots of good things about Bowen Therapy and am looking forward to learning about it first hand!
And finally..some very exciting news..we are getting a puppy! Puppy arrives this weekend, she is the 'Squiggle' of Sam Weaver's latest litter. Go to: nabudiboys.blogspot.com to see lots of great photos! She is out of Tess by Tom, and hopefully the combination of Tess's athleticism and high drive with Tom's lovely structure and biddibility (from his Daddy Fred) should make for a lovely agility dog! Pup (still nameless, suggestions??) is very closely related to Jule's Mac's DiscoDiva and Graeme's Mac's Maverick, both great agility dogs so if she is anything like them I will be very happy! Photos very soon and yes she will be coming to the trial on saturday night to meet everyone!