Thursday, 18 February 2010

Chapter Two!

If you are not interested in agility I shouldn't’t bother reading this post!
It's an Agility overload!

Anyway Chapter 2

What a journey, we’ve all learnt such a lot along the way and hopefully improved “agility” wise!
Red’s career has been amazing and I wouldn’t have changed anything, the tears of joy and frustration had to happen for me to learn and grow!

So this is a post of random and I mean Random “RED agility” Remembering moments!
A few “tears” to start with, as that seems so fresh in my mind!

The biggest one being at Rugby Agility summer show having not long won into Novice, our first year competing, well now come to think about it, Supa dogs that year was only her third show, so that’s how young at agility we where, elementary to novice in 5 shows, same year as foot and mouth…….anyway back to the Rugby show, we had had 15 plus straight E’s before this show, Red was wild and I had trouble containing any of that sheer excitement!
Those where the days when Ian came to the shows and he would watch from the side lines, before Elaine suggested someone else held Red out of the queue, poor dog by the time both of us had reached the start line, we where both stressed, she screamed and launched at anyone that got too close, people or dogs, she would have not passed the queuing test, we learnt pretty quick, how to help this and Ian would often be seen standing away from the queue, waiting for me to wave at him, to return her! 10 years on she can queue if needed but I can also lie her down out of the queue and she will just stay in the down and watch.
….Anyway I lined her up for a jumping round, I was happy with the course, Ian had held her out of the queue and brought her to me and put her in a down, took off her lead and she was gone, she had never broken her wait up till then! Another E after the 2nd jump, she came back I put the lead on and we left the ring, I handed her to Ian and we walk back to the camper, as we where walking back into the camping area, there was a camper parked close to the edge of the field and I stood behind it and burst into tears, Ian took Red back to the camper, whilst I balled my eyes out with frustration in not knowing what to do, how to handle this manic high drive dog! Once I had stopped crying, I came out from behind the camper only to see this poor bloke sat in the driver seat, trying not to notice me behind his camper crying! I Haven’t a clue who he was to this day……
Elaine ran her in the next class, she managed a wait from her, Red always listened to Elaine and would instantly calm her antics down. Yes, I do think I let her get away with a lot, but after having Cass who you had to be so very soft with, who used to leave the ring at any chance she could get, when we look back at the videos of Cass, she really didn’t enjoy it at all and I wish to God that someone had the guts to come and tell me, but then maybe I wouldn’t be here now!........So how lucky for me to have a dog like Red for my second agility dog (although she was Ian’s to start with, he did all the training and club nights, but he handed her over, just before she started competing, actually it was Valentine’s day, best Valentine’s day I’ve ever had.)

We learnt over time, that doing 3 classes a day sent her over the edge in excitement. Elaine or Andy where often called in to run her third run! She loved running with Andy because he could run and she loved to chase him most of the time, although if Andy wasn’t quick enough to get her attention she was off down a tunnel somewhere, oh yes tunnel mad she was, we even did a course once that the tunnel was right over the other side of the ring but she had spotted it on the start line and did three jumps and veered off to do it on three occasions on the same course! Poor judge I got my monies worth on that run!

Then there was the time she had finished a course and Ian wasn’t ready to catch her at the end and the dog in the next ring was screaming it’s way round and Red caught sight of it, she off around the course with it…..…yes I said “sorry” and "no" I don’t remember who it was and no doubt it would have been this dogs winning round!

Elaine and I tried to do pairs with Red and Laddy ONCE, but we soon realized, it wasn’t to be, Laddy’s barking just sent her way over the edge, if we could have controlled their excitement, we would have a great pairing, it was just too much for both of them, so Leaping Leo of Valgray became Red’s pairs partner, we had great fun with those two Leo loved Reds excitement and Leo would often be seen bouncing up and down with sheer joy of doing a pairs run.

Ian and I did a pairs once with, Red and Buzz, now that was a hoot (“Hoot” love that name for a dog) Buzz had finished his round and Ian had caught him and I was off with Red at screaming pitch, which was just a little too much for Buzz and Ian was left standing in the box with a handful of scruff hair in his hand (in the days no collars where allowed) I managed to work them both all the way around to the weaves and got them both in the weaves Red in front Buzz behind, Red finished the weaves, buzz missed the last weave….I was laughing so much, Poor Ian was mortified, whether that was the last straw for Ian working his dog, I’m not sure, but I loved it……………Ha ha.
See, I will only do pairs with people I know don’t mind if it goes belly up, whether it be me or them, I just don’t take it seriously… So don’t ask me to do pairs with you unless you just want to have FUN!

Red wasn’t used much as a team dog, she would have had to have been the last dog, catching her was always a struggle! And the 3rd dog had to make sure they where facing the other way etc etc……

Young Bethany (Elaine and Andy’s daughter, 10 years old at the time) thought she would have ago at running Red in Junior class’s, boy where they both natural at it, they looked like they put in hours of work together, but it was really down to the fact Bethany was a natural dog handler and knew what to do even at 10 years old, mind you Beth had been running dogs for many years before Red came on the seen, she even ran Auntie Freda, when Freda was taller than she was. Red’s first run with Bethany, was a tricky course up at Holt farm (Golden Valley) she had a beautifully lie down wait and Bethany released her with an “okay”, but Red just stayed there, I started to laugh, Elaine was laughing, Red looked back at us and back at Bethany, Bethany repeated the Okay, by which time Red’s bum was in the air in anticipation of her release command, so I had to shout at Bethany to say it with a grown up voice, Bethany stuck her chin into her chest and said “OK” and they where off, so we had to train her release command so Red understood her and that was the start of their FUN junior career.

I remember Neil and Charlotte picking us up at our house at “far too early O’clock” in the morning! Taking Red, Buzz and I all the way down to Cornwall for a day show 3.5 hours each way, Charlotte and I slept most of it, waking up just in time, for us to get excited, I used to think I got excited but Charlotte could teach you all a thing about excitement, I thought she was going explode at one point, I realize now how hard that must have been driving us “Girlys” 7 hours, for us to run our dogs for a minute worth of agility with each of our dogs.
That was Buzz and mines first show (we got a clear, remember that and thinking what a great career we both had in front us, little did I know Buzz had other ideas!)
Can’t remember what Charlotte did with her two woofers that day but I remember her saying to me “I looked good” not quite like that, but I knew what she meant (well I had just lost 3.5 stones in weight and had bought some new agility gear) funny what things we remember from conversations with people…………

I really haven’t a clue why I telling you all this, I just felt the need! So what the heck your all family and friends RIGHT!.....May be I wont tell you everything though!!!

Tear alert-Well for me……
I can’t remember my Dad taking me to any horse shows when I was younger, Mum always did and I’m sure I never said THANK YOU enough, if at all. So thanks Mum, for getting up at silly O’clock and helping me get my horse ready, driving me there and home again……..actually I cant remember Dad coming to watch me at any of the shows, Did he come to any Mum? But I do remember a photo of Dad and Brother Adrian standing next to our horse box at a show, so maybe he did come along …….

Back to Red and Agility

Do you remember the agility show which started at 9 - 9.30, any more than 2 rings was huge and more than 5 was unheard off, thumb timing (stop watch) was the norm and elementary rounds where courses, that you could run all the way around with the dog on the left!

Do you remember your “best” runs?
with Red, there are so many, that I would be boring you all to death, it’s not necessary a clear round or a win, we had some stonking E’s.
I remember runs, where I couldn't’t have done any more, smooth and easy and they where the ones we won, those people that run dogs will know what I mean.
I remember runs where, I blew it for her, my handling was dreadful and she would be so frustrated at the end of it, she would turn in mid air over the finish jump and bite my arm! Still have the scars!
I remember lots of runs, where I saw her sailing over jumps and thinking, wow she looks beautiful against the dark sky line, oh bugger that’s the wrong jump! Ha ha.

We had a great run last week, at Aly’s, we had set up a big circle on any size height, she looked so beautiful and loved every minute, well 13 seconds actually and I think if Aly had spoken to me I’d burst into tears – AGAIN

Red was a real escape artist, I remember the time that we where at a prize giving, Gary Woodham was doing the presentation and we where waiting for Andy's presentation, he had just won an agility class with the lovely, Odd Todd of Valgray, (Lesley Olden was 2nd) taking him into Senior, when Gary said, who owns a red and white collie, Ian and I looked up to see Red wandering along the crowds looking for us, she had climbed out through the back of the motor home, in between the bikerike and the window, breaking the fly screen in the process!
Her second big escape was at Longleat, (God I so wanted one of those "Lions") Ian was looking after her and I went to walk the courses, when over the loud speaker came the announcement that there was a collie running through the rings and could every one check they had their dogs, she did find me, she managed to run through three rings and find me at the fourth one………
Bless her.

I remember Barrie James (I didn’t know that’s who it was, until Elaine told me, once you meet him, you'll never forget him) coming up to me after a “wild Red Run” and saying, “that was cracking, your going to be a cracking team” wow what a feeling! when someone says that to you. What a lovely thing to say to someone you don’t know, that one statement, has made me on numerous occasions go and say the same to someone else, whether they where clear or not, G1 or G7….…..

So thank you Barrie.

....and on that note, I'll stop!

...and here's the "Girl" her self, learning a new trick, "slam that door!"

1 comment:

Hudsondoglets said...

I for one enjoyed reading your recollections. Brings back so many wonderful memories of my own so thank you :o)