Monday, April 22, 2013

Short adventure!

I have had a wonderful time away, stopping off in the Lake District on the way up to Scotland. We competed at the Kingdom of Fife Championship show, where Deece was more enthusiastic than accurate, but Zazzy did really well and won the championship reserve ticket :-)
Then we went on to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, where we only had one good day of weather sadly, but made the most of it! This is Loch Katrine viewed from Ben A'an.

 The wind then got up, gusting so hard it was hard to keep walking even halfway up the hills, and the rain came down in bucket loads. So we didn't get to the top of any more hills, instead headed for the beautiful west coast.....
 After a run on the beach, we made our way back through Glen Coe, which was awesomely beautiful

 The weather eased up enough for a lovely walk there

 We even had a rainbow.....
 Then two!! (Bit faint but you can just about make them out)
Despite lots of weather....
One thing I love about Deece is that he always makes the most of every situation, and even in the cold and pouring rain made me chuckle by his enthusiasm for a paddle in any puddle :-)
I am astonished that anyone can survive up there with just a bit of tartan to keep them warm! I can only say that the Highlanders must be an extremely hardy bunch!

At the end of the week I headed down to Lincoln for the British team try-outs, a weekend of tests set up to select eight of the very best large sized dogs with their handlers (plus 4 medium and 4 small sized dogs) to compete for Britain in the European Championships. It was a brilliant weekend, I really enjoyed the courses and skills tests, loved seeing some great agility, and loved the fab company! I really enjoyed immersing myself in agility for the weekend :-) There were some outstanding performances, there were some unlucky runs, and there were a couple of dogs for whom sadly it was just not their weekend at all! I am pretty sure we all know how that feels! A good agility run is exhilerating and can  make you feel on top of the world, but equally the next run can (and usually does) bring you right back down to Earth! Neither myself nor my two dogs really managed our best performances, however I absolutely loved the FCI style courses and the skills tests, learnt a lot, it was great to watch, and I got a good shot of motivation, so all in all a very worthwhile experience! Perhaps I shouldn't be too harsh on reflection, Zazzy was lying nineth until a tiny lapse of judgement on my part got her eliminated in the team run. The only fly in the ointment was that we had an FCI tyre as an obstacle in our last test course (having not seen one before, and as an owner of a particularly large sized, inexperienced young dog - the aperture they had to jump through looked tiny and surrounded by a metal frame and lots of tapes/ropes). This upset me for many reasons, safety of my dogs being top of the list, plus I thought it was not strictly necessary at this stage as it would only test who had trained on a FCI tyre before rather than speed and accuracy, and possibly even inappropriate to have it in the course because it belonged to one of the competitors. I felt it would not be fair to ask Deece to attempt it at speed so chose to miss it out, rather than take any risk of him hurting himself, even though this would get us disqualified. Under FCI rules stopping him to set him up to attempt the tyre more safely would also result in disqualification so I saw no point in attempting it at all. I only watched half the large dogs run this event but even so saw three dogs hit the tyre hard enough to break it, another five hit it not quite so hard, and one missed the tyre but jumped through the surrounding metal frame. Anyway here is Deece's run, missing out the tyre:

and here is his jumping run (Thanks to Becca for filming these!):

Although cold, the sun came out at last, horrah! and there were many sunburnt (and windburnt!) faces at the end of the weekend.
I would like to thank to some lovely people over the last couple of weekends, to Peter and Tricia Elms who were so kind, helpful and generally lovely up in Scotland (where everyone seems so nice!), and everyone at Lincoln for a great show and being such good company, we had loads of laughter and a really good time.
Finally, thank you to the 'gentleman' I passed on the trail at the top of Ben A'an, who certainly embodied the spirit of the current advert that says 'Visit Scotland..... Surprise yourself'. Well I certainly got one big surprise! I was chuckling all week following our encounter, which started with him saying 'Oh hello, I wasn't expecting to see anyone up here... I haven't got any clothes on....' It seems very strange to want to be in the cold and windy hills without any protection, but each to their own I guess!

1 comment:

  1. Well done at KOF! I was there too, always a very busy show. Pity about the weather, yip we are hardy :) Such a beautiful country. Great pictures. OMG can't believe that man was like that LOL!


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