Well I said I'd try and update this blog at some point to let people know how we are going..
We made it safely through that LONG flight, very relieved to get here!
We are staying at a nice Inn, havent seen any other agility people here yet.
On Saturday we went to an agility trial, specifically for small dogs (we gathered that when we couldnt see any border collies and finally asked where they were!)
We were VERY impressed with the standard of the small dogs..they really had a LOT of cracking dogs, running contacts, FAST, very motivated and they just looked like a blast to run! Quite a few small spaniels, and lots of nice shelties with the odd nice poodle. Really high standard at that trial. 2 of our team members had runs with their borrowed dogs, little Echo who is a yorkie cross- she's tiny! The jumps are FAR higher than her but she happily ran around..and then Fudge, the owners other dog she kindly lent us. She was reserve for the British team and she is a FABULOUS little sheltie, FAST, really well trained and a real point and shoot. She was very happy to run with our small dog handlers so that went well
The next day we drove 4 hours away to another trial, to meet the dog I am running. His name is Shaka, and he is a handsome tri coloured boy, lovely temperament off the agility field (much like Terra). He is handled VERY differently to how I handle my girls though, and the first time I ran him he spent the whole time barking and spinning and yelling at me to get out of the way! We have had a few training sessions now and his turns have improved but he still has a VERY unnerving habit of blind crossing me and just disappearing- one second you have him, the next second (really I mean 1/2 second as he is fast), he's gone!! Will be interesting to see how we get around a full course..hahaha. He's such a sweet boy though and he tries very hard. He's a pleasure to live with (I have him in my room) and his owner was so generous to let me have him for the week.
There a couple of lovely dogs running in our large team, Meg is beautifully trained and a very talented dog, Robert is a lovely boy running at Champ level over here and Sox is a really nice jumper..unfortunately he has ripped his nail so poor Nat wont have much training time with him at all.
All the UK people are being very friendly..I'm sitting typing this in the bar and people keep coming up asking me how I like the UK. The weather apart from the 1st day has been great- cold but sunny and I have applied sunscreen, much to the amusement of the brits!
The Canadians were practicing on the field after us today, we asked if we could stay and spy but Cathy said no haha :P
We have an off afternoon now, and tommorow and thursday we are training at the venue- I'm curious to see what running on sand/vaseline feels like! Apparently Shaka amps up even more for full courses then he does for short sequences..wish me luck!!
Picture by Nat Kirkwood