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Friday, July 25, 2008

EO Day 2: Practice and Opening Ceremony

So the EO trip continues on the second day. Friday was meant to be the practice day and the opening ceremony.

Dennis took his car to the venue to start setting up the tent. There was alot of confusion as to where exactly the British team was to set up. According to management we had an "shaded" area set aside for us. Not being very trusting; Lisa, Dennis and I decided to bring Tony's beer gazebo with us...just in case.

This turned out to be a good idea as what our team ended up with was 2 pop-up ez-up tents for 30 dogs and handlers and grooms! A little crowded it would be and luckily the Welsh contingent thought as we did and brought another tent. So between us we had 4 pop-up gazebos for 30 dogs and handlers and grooms and management!

Here was our little set up. Considering how much it rained; it was a god-send that we had this! Dennis had the tent set up by the time we arrived in the coach. We were very glad that this was just the practice day as it took us 2.5 hours to find the venue!!!!! Yes, I said two and one-half hours! The movies Dumb and Dumber and Road trip all come time mind......

And Dennis liked this part of the venue. Bratwurst cooked on the grill! I think he survived the entire weekend on Bratwurst and beer.

Again there was a little confusion at first as no one had ever experienced the EO before. Immediately we were told to get into queues for our books (KC books and pets passports) to be checked. There was even a little panicking as some people were worried they would be measured. Luckily this didn't happen and they just took the measurements in the books.

It was weird having them take the books as we do not do that in the UK. But I remembered this from when we have competed abroad (Germany and Denmark) before. The dogs all were scanned for their microchips and these were compared to the books. The 3rd queue was the good one where we each got a free EO polo-shirt. Yes, I like FREE!

I think being so late did not help us in the practice arena as all we were allowed was 25 minutes. I think that was all the space that was available that late but am not sure. Either way, 25 minutes for 30 dog/handler teams was not enough. I do not need to work my dog for 25minutes but do need a chance to work her properly. All we got were 2 tries on jumping/weave sequence (set up by Andy) while the large dogs worked on the contacts section with ALL the contacts. By the time we swapped over; the smalls and mediums started on the contact portion and we were not able to get thru all the dogs. Just as I was about to go (last dog!) I was blocked by a big guy in the next group as we were now in "their" time slot. Fair enough on their part; but a real shame for us! I think I yelled at Greg to do something about this big guy in my way but he just yelled back run past him! haha So I did but my time on the contacts were not quite relaxed!

Here are some candid shots from around the practice ring.

Sonia being a great groom and keeping Hex quiet and relaxed for me. There is only one way to keep Hex quiet while agility is going on: hold her on her back in your lap. Yes I admit: I AM A BAD DOG TRAINER! and I should have a dog that can be quiet while agility is going on. Oh well, just shoot me! HaHa She won a bronze individual medal so I guess we aren't too shabby after all!

Well massage is the big new thing lately. Everyone is doing it now! Sometimes I do it just to fit in. Other times I forget; I am a bad dog trainer....hahaha I will soon try and get more serious.

Finally the opening ceremony. We all paraded in with our dogs on their new matching Snuggle Pet harnesses and leads and I think we all looked pretty darn good! I was very proud to be walking with the team again and this time with my little cutie Hex.

We looked good but not as good as the supporters! They were awesome. Small in number but not small in enthusiasm.

Finally we tried to get a photo of EVERYONE in front of the Snugglepet Booth to thank them for their donations of leads and harnesses for all the dogs. This was hard as you can imagine. Yet again the British have NO idea how to pose for photos! Good try though!


Paula said...

Think that was an exceptionally good try for the team photo, nice one of Debbie ;)

Shetla said...

Hi Bernadette!

Am really enjoying your tales. Very entertaining style of writing.