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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why does no one learn? EO 2008 con't with RANT

I am really proud to be able to represent my "adopted" country and really grateful to have someone (the Kennel Club) fund my trip abroad with my dog. How lucky am I? So I do not want any of my blog to sound ungrateful or too moaney (is that a word?)

At the end of the day; I just want to run my dog and run well; potentially bringing home a medal and showing the world just how good the British Agility dogs are! We are very very lucky to have a Kennel Club that supports agility as our KC does. They put alot of money into these international competitions and they do not HAVE to do this. This year they even listened to the agility world and supported a competition that is open to ALL dogs (pedigree or not). So for this I am so very grateful. Thank you to the KC!

Unfortunately the organization of this trip was really the biggest issue. If you look back at our trip to the World Champs in Norway last year; you will see a theme developing. This trip continued along the same lines: Long days in coaches, hotels way too far from the venue and coach drivers who are inept and downright dangerous.

How can anyone expect a team (dog/handler) to perform at their best when they have to eat dinner everynight at 11 pm, get up every morning at 4:30 am and drive for 1.5-2 hours to even get to the venue? Then compete all day and drive back another 1.5 hours back to a hotel? Do this for 3 days in a row and see how you feel! This adds to the stress everyone already feels; the pressure to try and do well is stress enough. The travel should be made easy and comfortable; not stressful and long!

This coach company was the same coach company that took us to Norway. They are the same coach company that booked a hotel 1 hour from the venue in Norway. The organizers KNEW that this was not acceptable last year; why was the same thing repeated this year?? Actually it was even worse as the darn coach drivers could not seem to find anything; the venue or the hotel day after day! AND they had sat nav!

OK the Biggest rant coming up!

I will finish by describing the final straw for me. On our drive back on Monday to Calais I switched seats with Helen so that I could stretch my legs out for a few minutes. She was sitting in the first row of seats by herself. While I was sitting there I could now see out the front window and could see the driver as well. Gradually I noticed the driver talking alot with his fellow off-duty driver (who was sitting next to him). Shockingly the off-duty driver kept showing the driver (who was driving a freaking bus!) some paperwork and the driver kept taking his eyes off the road to read it. To make the matter worse; he then took the paperwork and placed it on his steering wheel to read....was that bad enough? No he still had trouble reading it; so he took the time to take out his reading glasses and continue to read the paper!!! He was not just glancing at the paper; he was reading and studying it! WHILE DRIVING A FREAKING BUS WITH ME IN IT!

After my brain started working, I pointed this out to the "tour organizer" who was also sitting in the front seat on the other side. He proceeded to look down at the driver, shrug his shoulders and say "this trip is just not going well" and then sat back down without saying a word! At that point I jumped up and yelled at the driver "Could you please NOT read while driving!" and then I went back to my former seat and put my seat belt on! I did not want to end up thru the front window. I think I might have said something else like f***ing h*** but I cannot remember!

Am I just crazy or does anyone else see a problem here?


Anonymous said...

It is crazy, absolutely agree with your comments. KC is totally great for sending, and its enthusiam for agility is wonderful but the organisational logistics is crazy mad and insane. And it does not improve, same issues each year. Perhaps Kate Howard should be in charge, the supporters seem far more organised and get sleep?

Chi (Obay Truly Focused) said...

Here! Here! I agree with you & anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Phew! Totally agreed with you on the insane drivers..it's far too dangerous!!

It's great that your KC is so supportive of agility & even funding for your trip.

My friends & I are trying hard to get some sponsorship for our USDAA trip this year all the way from Singapore...tried to get some fundings & support from our government but alas, they are not keen on dog sports. So sad...