Agility season is definitely into the full swing now, I have been going to an agility show every weekend this month, KC and UKA! I live up to my new name, agility addict! hahaha ...
We went to LAE (Lincoln Agility Enthusiasts) this weekend. It was a long way from home so Colin has to take a day off from work so we can travel up on Friday morning. We woke up at 5am and left home just before 6am. We were lucky that traffic wasn't too bad but we were slow towing as there were a lot more road works that I expected and we also got stuck behind some big lorries most of the journey! We got to the showground around 11:30am, we did have an hour break on the service station though.
Lincoln people make all of us feel so welcome, this is my 2nd time at this show. My first time was 2008. I love the showground, the ground was very good to run on, flat, no bumpy lumpy and it is HUGE. We had a massive secure exercise area for the dogs to run around.
I need to say a BIG THANK YOU to Lincoln especially Trevor with his PLATINUM SERVICE who helped us with the caravan. I usually charged up the battery when we got back from a show so we are ready for the next camping trip. Unfortunately, we think the charger has gone his best date, so we had a FLAT battery! Anything battery operated is not working!! Arrrrggghhh ... Colin and I are quite an easy person, we don't fuss about luxury when we go camping. We always use the minimum from our caravan. We have never use the toilet, we use the toilet as a storage for doggie stuff. Now, it didn't get dark until 8:15pm, so we can still sit outside in the warmish weather until 9pm before going to bed. The only inconvenience bit is we cannot trigger the water pump! I need water especially when it is hot. Trevor was very kind to lend me his spare battery and took my battery away to charge, we got all the lights and ignition to work but not the water! I had a good check up on the caravan yesterday, everything is working fine, hopefully it behaves his normal self this weekend.
Saturday was lovely at Lincoln, beautiful blue sky and sunny weather, I've got sun burn almost straightaway! We also have a free entertainment from the Red Arrows! There were two red arrows practicing and they kept drawing a heart on the sky, at one point I was so distracted that I nearly miss my run!
Sizzle had four runs each day and he pop out from the last weave pole in three classes per day, the one that he didn't miss, he either win it or got placed. Homework this week is WEAVE! I tried to watch the videos over and over again but I can't quite see why, I have a feeling it was me and my body language. I remembered when Sing used to pop the last weave, it was me being IMPATIENT and wanted to rush to the next obstacle. That's me! I am always in the RUSH, I need to learn to be PATIENT.
Sizzle was on fire this weekend, especially on Saturday. I have not seen him running in full speed for a long time. He woke me up at 6am with his energetic self, he wanted to play. He brought me his toys, I ignored him and he kept bringing me more toys! His first run (Graded 4,5 Agility) was very powerful, he was so eager to go. Unfortunately he pop the last weave and I didn't swing him back to redo the weave, then we went off course as I lost my momentum. Our 2nd run was the Graded 4, 5 Jumping, again he did that beautifully and pop the last weave! I asked the judge permission to redo the weave. Our 3rd run was the Combined 4,5 Agility. It was a Jump to See-Saw to start with, I knew his see-saw is still not perfect, so I tried to lead out and hope to catch him and he knew what my plan was so he hesitate to go all the way, so he has a very slow see-saw. After that, he flew the course, got his weave but we got faulted on the A Frame!!!! To me, he GOT his contact but maybe I did the blind turn (which wasn't the way I walked the course) he hit higher than usual, so the judge raised his hand. It was a shamed but hey ho, this is the game. You need to play with the judge's rule! To me, it was a very good round from Sizzle. The last run of Saturday was the Combined 4,5 Jumping, judging by the same judge. Sizzle had a wide turn, you can hear me shouting "left left left", that cost him the 2nd place. We were so very close to the winner!
this is Sizzle's combined 4,5 Agility run:
this is Sizzle's Combined 4,5 Jumping run:
The weatherman said it would the hottest day of the year so far on Sunday but we got RAIN instead! I woke up at 6am to let the dogs out and by 6:20, I can hear the rhythm of the rain falling on top of our caravan roof! Where is the hottest weather they have promised? I thought I won't be able to run on Sunday as I hate running in the wet condition. I can't have another injured dog.
The judging started at 8:30, luckily by then, the rain has stopped but the shower/drizzle been on and off all day on Sunday. I was very lucky that each time when I ran my dog, the rain stops. Sizzle's first run was the Graded 4,5 Agility. He started off well, it was jump-DW-weave to start the sequence. I don't really like this course as all the contacts are off angle especially from the AF to the SS. I was very worried that the dog will slip off the SS as it was very wet on the ground and the contacts. I was very happy Sizzle got his weave entry as it was a right turn into the weave, with running contact, you ran all the way down from the DW in speed, I am worry that he won't be able to pick the entry but he managed the entry and pop the last pole again! I should have ask him to redo the weave but I didn't again! Then, we went off course! I decided to take a longer route to do the AF (have him on my right) to give him better run up and then do another front cross on the SS (but I didn't get that). I saw a few dogs having trouble on the SS due to the angle, especially those fast dogs. Slow dogs were alright.
Then, in our 2nd run, Combined 4,5 Jumping, he pop the last weave pole again and I make sure I redo it. In our 3rd run, it was the Combined 4,5 Agility. Rosie Pearson's course. She set up an interesting handling course, there is an obstacle discrimination. We did very well until the jump before the obstacle discrimination. I pulled him away too hard that he missed the jump he supposed to jump, then we went off course! His last run was the Graded 4,5 Jumping. I really do not know what to expect but I tried my best to make sure he stays in the weave and he did and he won that class!
Well, Saturn and I only managed one clear round this weekend. All his runs were eliminated! I did ran him in the Agility though, he was kinda good and bad. He didn't miss his contacts but at one class, he hesitate on the DW into the position. I think we are slowly getting there. We just need more practice!
Here is a little good note about Sing. I have not train him, compete with him after Crufts. He has a complete rest and at one point, I thought I never get to run him again. He has some good times and bad times but I continuously give him massage and swimming with the help of Back on Track coat , Catrophen jab and Yumega ... anything you name it we have tried most of it.
When I started the season without him, I was very emotional. He is my first agility dog, we started everything together. I have never assume I will go to an agility show and not running him. I remembered we went to Downlands in March, I cannot run him, he was winding and crying each time I took Sizzle or Saturn to run. I can even hear him crying when I was inside the arena (we parked very close to the arena). It broke my heart!
He does agility to please me and he want to please me!
Last week, he was full of bean. I trained him at club for 10 minutes. We did some low jumps and weave and tunnels, he flew around, until we did the DW, he was so fast that he fell off the DW, on his bad shoulder! Ouch! That hurt! I gave him arnica straightaway! He didn't look bad at all. When we got to Lincoln, he ran around like a lunatic in the exercise area. I thought I will give him a run on Saturday to see how he copes. This was his last entry. I have withdrawn all his future entries but I can't cancel Lincoln as it was already closed by the time I decided not to run him. Since this was the last entry, and he was looking good, so I picked to run the Graded 6,7 Agility.
I just wanted Sing to go out and enjoy to be with me, I knew he loves to run with his mummy. We both ran our heart out and went clear. I then put him away and didn't even bother to check his time. There were some good dogs competing in the same Grade and I never dream of getting a place with him. Later, I met one of our fellow competitors, he told me Sing has won the class! What? You must be kidding? I can't believe it. I ran to the score tent to check but they have taken the result away. I was left hanging in the air guessing was it really Sing has won that class? Later at the presentation proved that Sing has actually WON that class! WooHoo for my cripple boy! I want to cry and I did cry! How many times over the last couple of years I said I want to retire him? He isn't giving up yet, you know?
I have not yet decide when to run him again, maybe not for a long time but for now, he continues with his massage and swimming to get him fit, oh yes, he needs to loose weight if he is going to do agility again! Hahaha ...
We got to meet up with Tig-let again, Sally was there competing with her Border Collies on Sunday. I managed to take a quick photo of her with her mummy and daddy. She has her daddy's smile, didn't she? The season has started, I will get to see some of the puppies! Yeah!
I missed my last Jumping run with Saturn on Sunday, we wanted to go home at 3pm but I was still running Sizzle until 4pm! We managed to leave at 5pm and got home at 9pm without stopping. It was tiring but good weekend.