Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The venue was a nice indoor riding arena. It was a nice place; good footing for the dogs and an nice area to sit and watch. There was only one problem...or should I say there were many noisy little problems called Shelties! HAHA!
We kept our dogs in the car where they could relax and sleep and only take them into the venue when they are ready to run. The Europeans, on the other hand, are used to brining crates and puppy pens into the venues and keep the dogs in the venue all day. Uhhhhh, you know shelties bark? Well these shelties barked ALL day long! You could not really hold a conversation and you definitely could not hear any announcements! This was basically my only complaint about the entire tournament. Other than that it was great fun and very relaxing. A nice touch was the tee-shirt they gave out to every competitor.
For lunch (yes food is very important to me!) they had a tent set up outside with guys barbequing local sausages and hamburgers and super pork cutlets. In addition they had a large pot of mulled wine which is called Gluhwein. Yummy!
We only had two runs per dog each day. I had to get myself psyched up to run as I was feeling a bit too relaxed! After the World Champs; this seemed like...well...fun! hahaha!
They did have Grade one, two and three classes at this show although most of the competitors were in Grade 3. This was the Grade 3 agility course as posted on their website but I think there were a few tweaks to the course. as it didn't quite run like this. Zen did her usual saunter around the course and won it by 1.4 seconds! Hex and Chi had the exact same problem which caused their eliminations! Chi and Lisa ran before Hex and I so you WOULD think I learned from their mistake? No, I went and did the exact same thing and got Hex eliminated! Basically instead of going up the see-saw they both took the back of the wall jump #7. Actually it is funny, I think Hex and Chi run more alike than Zen does.
Our second run was Grade 3 jumping. Again the course ran a little different than this course shows but it will give you an idea. Zen ran clear and ended up in second behind a little girl and her sheltie by 6/100th of a second.
I am so proud of Zen. I wish we could have done this at the Worlds; but she was just showing me that she has it in her! She won a lovely glass trophy for her first place in agility. And what did she win for her 2nd in jumping....a yellow ball. Yes, we drove to Luxembourg to win a yellow dog ball! Zen was happy! We have popped up with start line issues again with Zen; I think this was compounded by the noise and excitement. Some work for the winter!
Here is the video of Zen's two runs on Saturday. Dennis was being sentimental and picked the song!
As for Hex and Chi...again in the jumping they decided to be very much alike and drop a bar! Actually the jumps were so different than what we are used to; the bars are very light and the jump cups virtually non-existant. So basically the bars are just resting on the jump cups which make them very easy to knock over. GIVE ME fat Premier Jump bars and cups anyday! Even with the knocked bars I was impressed with both Chi and Hex. Without the knocked bars, Chi would have been the fastest Medium and Hex would have been the fastest small! Actually little Hex was faster than both Zen AND Chi! You coulda knocked me over with a feather; my slow girl keeps surprising me! I think we will work on some jumping excersizes for Hex as her winter project; she need to learn to keep the bars up even when I get in her way!
The other difference in the equipment was in the contact obstacles and the weave poles. The Contacts were really cool! They were made from an aluminum frame and the surface is not sand coated wood but is a rubberized coating. It felt really soft and cushy for the dogs and you didn't hear them scratching or scrabbling. I think they enjoyed the footing. The weave poles are wider apart so the dogs seem to go thru easier with less strain. The equipment was made by Smart-99.
After going to bed with a full belly on Thursday night, we awoke to our free breakfast at the hotel. We figured it would just be bread and cold meat but were pleasantly surprised by fantastic toasted bread, homemade jams, meat, cheese and eggs cooked to order! They even filled our Thermos with free coffee for our day out. Dennis was enamored with this one particular homemade jam. It turned out to be quince jam and the lady went into a discussion about quince jam and the different types of quince. I don't know if Dennis understood but he was sure to get that SAME jar of jam each morning!
We drove into Luxembourg City and spent the day there. We went on a local walking tour which is something I like to do in new cities. It is nice to have someone direct you around and explain details of things that you would normally just bypass. This tour was VERY thorough and lasted 3 hours! It took longer because the tour guide had to say everything twice. Once in German for the Germans and Dutch and second in English for us and one French bloke. It turns out that Luxembourg has quite an interesting city. Out of everything what sticks in my head the most? The fact that the city is free from PIGEON POOP as they feed the pigeons little pellets that make them sterile! So all their statues and nice fountains are clean!
By the end of the tour we were very cold and very hungry (what else is new?). We took the dogs for a walk in the city park and then drove out to the show venue to meet Han and Adele and Zen's baby Whizz. Han and Adele drove their little caravan from The Netherlands and were camping at the venue. We are very spoiled in the UK with our camping areas! The camping for the caravans and Motorhomes was tiny and they squeezed the caravans so tightly together. There would be no way you could get out in an emergency!
We had a lovely dinner with Han and Adele. I am glad we took the time to go out the first night! We went to a restaurant that was also a Beer Brewery and Dennis had to buy some beer to take home. I had a fantastic dinner which was called a "fondue". But really it was beef cut into cubes that you dip into a hot vat of oil to cook yourself. Ohhhhh is was so good; the steak just melted in my mouth! Dennis had the cold meat specialty platter and was a happy boy. Lisa had.....well....I was told not to say what she ate, so you have to ask her!
It was so nice to speak with Han and Adele. Adele is so passionate about her training and I am so excited to see how she gets on with little Whizz in the future. If Whizz is as fast as Chilka I know they will do great!
Little did I know that anymore conversation would be very difficult at the sheltie show......more about that later! bark bark bark bark
The dogs could spread out as there was only three of them.
We arrived at our hotel (HOTEL DIRENDALL)by 3pm and settled in. Our first impression of the hotel was good; although the hotel lady came out to "see" the dogs. She told us that they don't always allow dogs as they have had problems in the past. She told us of one person brought three large smelly dogs and left them in the hotel room all day to stink up the room! And another let their dogs bark and annoy the other guests. It is a shame that people can't take more care. We are so extra careful when we bring our dogs to hotels so that we leave a good impression. This hotel was family run; it was basic yet clean and had a nice atmosphere unlike another hotel in another country that I would hate to mention again (The Shining Hotel!)
Lisa did a great job in finding this hotel. I wasn't thrilled with the hotels the show secretary recommended because they were all within town centres and there did not seem to be good places to walk the dogs. So Lisa did some internet surfing and found this hotel. It was only 20 minutes to the show site; yet it was in a nicely tucked away location. Quiet and peaceful with loads of walking for the dogs. It was surrounded by forest and with the trees changing colours it was so beautiful! After getting settled in the hotel we headed out into the forest to walk the dogs and explore. Uhhh, no one thought to ask for a map......
We went out and were blown away by the colours of the trees and the great trails to walk. They dogs had an absolute ball and barked their fool heads off for the first 10 minutes! Freedom! We walked and walked and walked and thought we were headed on a circular path.....NOT! So after about 1 1/2 hours had to backtrack to find our way out since it was getting dark and cold and my ankle was complaining. We were wondering if they would send out a search party if we never made it back!
Where are we?
After getting cleaned up we went out in search for a restaurant as we were famished after that walk! The first place we went to had a sign out about a PRI FIX menu for 25 Euro. So we went in and got a table. It turned out that the Price fix was only for lunch (well we really can't read french that well!) and the dinners were WAY expensive. So after a few minutes of "Hmmm what should we do?" we embarrassingly left the restaurant. Especially embarrassing as we were the only guests there. Ha!
Luckily just down the road we found this amazing restaurant called Brideler Stuff. It had traditional Luxembourgy food. Yum YUM and I am now very fat again! The Luxembourgy are big on sausages and cold meats and pork. Really really tasty food! Although I was told I shouldn't be telling the truth (can you believe someone wants to CENSOR my blog??); here is the proof that SOMEONE ate.......COW HEAD! Even the waiter asked her twice "Are you sure" when she asked for this dish! In her defense she did ask if there would be eyes staring at her and he said "No, there would be no eyes on the plate".
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Here is the Dutch way of handling the tunnel.......Brilliant! Well done to Roger for being such a good sport with his dog!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Really gross; but cool that she uses shelties:
Bed Bug Hunting Shelties
(or try main page http://www.wftv.com/iwitness/index.html and click on either video or slide show as the video took awhile to load on my computer.
Then check out the great story of a sheltie used as an epilespsy seizure detection dog:
Sheltie as a Service Dog
Monday, October 22, 2007
So I saw some good courses on another blog ( http://brisbeethewhite.livejournal.com/ ) and what I enjoy about that blog is that I can see the courses run on video and then try and copy the course. Even better her videos download full screen (none of this blurry You tube stuff!) so you can really see the run. ( I must figure out how to do this with my videos)This time it was even better as she posted the course map! As we know course maps are not always exact; so after watching the run we tweaked it a little and then set the course up to run. This sounds easy but it takes us (Lisa and I) ages to do! Luckily I can leave the course up and use it for training during the week.
Annyway, here is the course.
And this is how it looked in my back garden. Note we switched the collapsed tunnel and the pipe tunnel around. This was because my garden is slightly narrow and we didn't want them running thru the collapsed tunnel into the Oak tree! This actually make it a bit harder I think. Also the course is upside down in my garden so in the photos you are seeing the dog walk to see saw combination that I found difficult (#1 - #11)
Here is the link to the video of Brisbeethewhite running the course with her border collie.
The trouble I had was along the back and to the see-saw. If I left the dogs on the dog walk and ran laterally before I released them I COULD get to the left wing of #8 on the landing side to push thru the gap to #9. But JUST barely! Zen and Hex run so tight to the jumps that it was really hard! Then the difficulty was trying to push to the seesaw and of course the evil opposite arm flew up to try and save it. It wasn't pretty; I tried it a few ways and some worked and others didn't. Eventually the dogs just KNEW it was the see saw and saved me! hehehe But the back of #17 and the two pipe tunnel entrances were taken a few times along the way. This is a very clever course; it doesn't look so tough but it was!
Lisa and Chi did alot better and I think they got it on the first try! Woot! (see Lisa I can talk computer geek stuff too)
So I was happy to get some work in with Hex on Monday morning because......Monday afternoon I slipped and sprained my ankle! Just in time to head out to Luxembourg for the International Sheltie Agility Tournament! BUGGER! Luckily it has not swollen up; it just hurts! So maybe, just maybe, I can brace it and still run the dogs. Although I might be a bit optimistic! I won't push it as I want to be OK for Olympia in December. So if you thought I run slow normally; I hate to think how slow I will be running in Luxembourg! Arghhhh!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
15 Sept 1996 - 11 Oct 2007
I just recieved the news this weekend that little Drummer passed away. Drummer was one of Joy's babies and Pax's litter brother. He was the cutest tiniest puppy I have ever had; he only 3.5 ounces when he was born. I remember my Mom seeing him as a puppy just a few days old and crying because he was so small. I kept telling her that he was small but he was just perfectly healthy. Even so she kept putting him back on Joy to nurse even though he had a belly full already!
Drummer was always full of himself and thought he was alot bigger than he was. I think he was only about 5-6 weeks old when he started to lift his leg like a full grown male dog! He was a gorgeous bright red sable ball of fluff; just everything was in miniature.
I had brought him with me to an Obedience trial because someone from out of state was interested in one of the pups. The lady decided she liked Drummer but he was too small for obedience. She really wanted Pax; but that was certainly not an option! So there was no puppy for her and I was really suprised that she turned down Drummer. It turns out that was an act of God because at the same show was the Scappichio family. The family was there because their mother competes in obedience. Little 5 year old Lindsey saw the pups and started playing with them and ,of course, she fell in love with Drummer. I really hesistated selling a puppy to a 5 year old! But I knew her mother and I thought it was worth a chance.
It was a very good choice because Lindsey and Drummer made the cutest team together. She learned how to train him and she handled him all by herself in obedience and agility. I have come to the point in my dog career that titles don't mean a whole lot to me anymore. But each obedience title and agility title that Drummer got was special because it was earned by a dog and his child. I think I started tearing up everytime I saw Drummer work with Lindsey.
I haven't seen Drummer for a few years now. Unfortunately it turns out that he developed Cushings disease and this is what eventually caused his death. My heart breaks for Lindsey losing her first dog and her buddy way too young. Drummer just turned 11 years old.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Johanna had way too much time on her hands tonight and did this! I am sure more videos will be added.....Enjoy!
Friday, October 19, 2007
So what has this got to do with dogs (well after all this is a sheltie blog)? I found out that there was a local agility club right around the corner from Helene's hospital! So one morning we left early and stopped by the SKYLINE AGILITY CLUB to see my mate Mary-Anne and her shelties Bryce and Jayda. I haven't seen Mary-Anne in ages and it was good to see her even for just a short visit. Here is a cute photo of Bryce.
Skyline classes are held indoors. The flooring is rubber horse stall matting. The room is on the second floor and is fairly long and narrow with the occassional steel column in the way. The advantage for this club is that it is indoors and out of the elements; so they can train year round in the brutal New York weather.
You can see from the outdoor photos that Skyline is located in a group of old industrial buildings. There is a river running right thru the group of buildings which I guess used to provide some energy. Skyline rents the upper floor of one of the buildings and the other buildings are used for various things. This is certainly a unique opportunity for a dog club to have a facility like this! They were very lucky and quite clever to get this place.
These type of old industrial buildings are often converted to luxury apartments in more up and coming areas. I wouldn't doubt that this could happen here in years to come.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
So I am leaving my dogs again! Boo-hoo! Luckily Lisa is around and will be taking good care of them. Although I think Pax wants to go back to her special home with Tim and Marion! For the first time in her life she was an only dog and I think she enjoyed herself thoroughly.
Good luck to Lisa at the Supadogs Finals this weekend! You go girl!
Sunday night after the closing ceremonies and the podium standing; I finally got to go out to dinner with Lisa and my sister Terry. It was a nice meal although it started out weird with Lisa asking the waitress for "whale steak".....don't ask!
We arrived back to the hotel in time to share in a glass or two of champagne with the rest of the team. The entertainment this night was Lee Windy demonstrating the "Power OF SILAS" and the new agility moves that will soon be sweeping the UK. Ask Lee about "The Spinning Blind" and "The Samurai". And specifically ask for Greg to play the dog; who needs entertainment when you have that?
The next day all the adrenalin was now gone and the reality of another long coach journey set in. I won't talk too much about it just to say that poor Zen was in her crate on the coach for almost another 48 hours straight with only stops of about 1/2 hour each. This was made worse because we slept for two nights on ferries. So while we slept cozy in the cabins; they slept in their crates on the bus.
It was a great experience overall; but I would never subject my dog to that kind of travel again. Next year (if they send a team) I will want to know the exact travel plans first before I try out.
I couldn't have done as well as I did without everyone's support! Thanks to everyone who sent good luck messages and good luck pressies! And to everyone who watched the rest of the OBay shelties while we were away. And thank to Dennis, Terry,Lisa and Johanna for being there with me. You all made the whole experience extra special.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Dawn was the only small left with anything to play for. She ended up running 10th from the end. She put in a fantastic agility run but the 10th in jumping and 7th in agility put her in 7th overall. So close!
Then it was the Large dogs turns. Sue Rolf had nothing to lose; she went for every tight turn and put in a fantastic clear. She must have been thrilled. She was 9th in the Large individual agility!
Dave put in a clear with Spice but I don't think his heart was in it. Spice's ears were certainly working overtime in this photo!
Greg went in guns blazing with GT; he was running like mad! He almost send GT over a wrong course but corrected himself! He was really going for it and had the fastest split time up to that point. Then when GT dropped a bar you could just see Greg physically slow down and he just trained his A-frame and sauntered off the course! It was a great run to watch!
This photo of Greg and GT cracks me up. It is right after he gets lost on course and you can see him laughing!There were only three dogs and handlers who were playing for a podium place. Lauren and Popi were looking so good until a brick came out of the wall. Damn! Then Lee and Shy put in a really good round; just not fast enough. A 32nd in Jumping and a 23rd in agility put them 13th overall. Not too bad!
Finally it was down to Toni and Kite. She was lying in 6th going into the agility; so she could definitely do it! She put in such a tight opening and then disaster; a wrong end of a tunnel. This is the part where just a little luck would have helped! But luckily Toni, Greg and Lee were still getting their Bronze medal in team.
So that was it except for the closing ceremony and the prize givings! I got Zen brushed up (well as much as I could considering she was bald) and brushed my hair and we were off to the closing ceremony! First they paraded us in by country and then they did some crazy Norwegian dancing and music; again cute but would have rather enjoyed a doggy type activity. Then they did the prize giving. Enjoy the photos!
please notice how neat the Americans and their dogs and the danish and their dogs are standing. sigh.....can't get these brits to pose!
Then it was our turn!
We pose better than the large handlers!
I will NEVER complain about trophies again! I am so thrilled to win a SILVER MEDAL....uhhhhh........not quite. This was my "silver medal"!
OK stop laughing! Yes it is a wooden Aframe; about the size of my hand. Oh well I did this for the glory not the trophy....HA!
I will post more photos later and tell all about the loooooong journey home! At least we had something to celebrate!
The rest of this blog post is shameless bragging and a video of Zen; so feel free to skip if you don't want to read that sort of stuff! I will resume with more reporting on everyone else later!
Individual Medium Agility was first thing in the morning. Since Zen and I were eliminated on Friday; we were running pretty early in the running order. Much more like I am used to! The course was interesting and had a nice amount of difficulty; so I was really looking forward to running it and showing what Zen could do. Other than over handling the weaves (but still got applause!) I think we did really well. Again, it felt effortless and before I knew it we were over that last jump and the World Champs were over for us. Boo-hoo!
- Team Agility: 3rd fastest dog out of all medium team dogs from all countries
- Team Jumping: 2nd fastest dog out of all medium team dogs from all countries
- Individual Agility: 3rd fastest dog out of all medium individual agility runs.
- OVERALL FASTEST double clear out of all Medium Team dogs from all countries!
OBay Shelties results:
- Unique (OBay Truly Unique) was 1st in Small team jumping out of all countries!
- Indy (OBay Truly Driven) was 2nd in Small team jumping!
- Unique was 2nd in Small team agility which made him OVERALL FASTEST double clear out of all small team dogs from all countries!
All three OBay shelties competing looked great! With Zen and Unique only just 4 years old and Indy only 2 years old; I am sure we will see some of them on the podium in years to come!Here is Zen's final run. Yes I know she broke her stay but I was ready for it! haha!
Sunday, October 07, 2007
The number bibs we were made to wear produced lots of funny moments as you have seen with Dave A. and Alan G. wearing their bibs. Meanwhile Steve and Gwynn (see I can spell it correctly) had to wear their "team leader" and "Team Coach" bibs also. Obviously they did not fit them either and neither one had a wife with them to re-sew them....
Anyway Steve wore his usually tucked into the side of his trousers; but at some point he made a promise to wear it as a miniskirt if someone won Gold.....well this is what happened on Saturday night.......
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Team GB supporters in full cheer!
Team GB couldn't rest on Saturday after our Medium team silver! We still had the Large dogs to run their team jumping last thing on Saturday. They went into the last run lying in 4th place due to an unusual mistake from Kite and Toni on the pause table in Agility. Could they move up into the medals?
I think Greg was worried!
And I think Steve was worried!
Toni doing some awesome handling! This move has puzzled me a bit; I must ask Toni to explain!
The large dog jumping course was great for our Large team. It required those tight turns that Lee, Toni and Greg are known for! The team Large ran and they put in three great clears; but they required someone from another team to make a mistake!
I love this photo of Steve after the last GB dog ran clear.
Team USA ran third from the end and put in three fast clears that moved them into first. OK now we really needed someone to make a mistake! Thankfully a dog from Team Russia got three refusals and made themselves eliminated! Team GB was guaranteed the bronze!
Then we watched Team Denmark run; they did not put a foot wrong and put in the three fast clears that guaranteed them the gold. Denmark Gold, USA Silver and Great Britain Bronze! My three favorite countries would be on the same podium! I think Johanna was happy!
Team GB Management was happy! I hope Steve was signalling TWO medals and not something rude!
Again the running around the stadium is always the best! Great time for candid photo; but these large team members just do NOT know how to pose! And couldn't they have removed their numbers? ha! I made sure to brush my hair and put on lipstick before my photos!
I wrapped Toni in the flag to hide her number bib!
And following that FINALLY was the dancing! (Check out Lisa and Chi's blog for a rendition of our favorite Gnome song; it always plays at the WCs and I cannot hear it without getting goose bumps!)
It was so damn funny to see Dave Alderson dancing his little socks off. Now I know why Sharon calls him "laughing boy"! We had to finally drag Dave off the floor as we wanted to go back to the hotel and eat.