This photo just makes me laugh.
The adventure started out on Thursday morning when Zen and I met up with Nicky, Dave and Sharon to begin our journey to Arnhem, Holland. I was very lucky to be able to catch a ride with Dave and Sharon as Dennis had to stay home with Neil/Vinnie as I just could not ask someone to watch such a baby puppy.
Dave and Sharon drive a huge comfortable van and there was loads of room for all three little dogs. Each dog had it's own condo...you couldn't even call it a cage! Notice the little poodle, Libby, sitting in the top bunk next to Indy; you can hardly see her!
The trip to Holland went so smoothly and we were checked into the hotel and having a nice meal before we knew it. The hotel was great and only 10 minutes (depending on how your sat-nav behaved-haha) from the venue. What a difference from last year! The hotel had great walking for the dogs and really good food.
Our team practice was on Friday afternoon and gave us a good chance to try out the equipment and get the dogs acclimated to the rubber surface. Burns (our dog food sponsor) gave our medium team some extra shirts and caps to wish us luck and Becky Parks made us all matching red/white/blue fleecy leads. The medium team rocked! I love how how our team was made up of 4 different breeds (sheltie, border collie, staffie and cocker)
The equipment at this EO was so much better than last year. Proper jump cups, nice breakaway tyre and, even better, rubber contacts! The rubber contacts are great; you don't worry about the dog's entry onto the contacts and you do not hear them scrabbling to hold on.
As for the competition days they just flew by. I was so proud of Zen as she just took everything in her stride and performed great. Our first run in individual agility has a little "miscommunication" when she headed with great force for an off course tunnel but she called off in time and we just lost a few seconds off our time. Her individual jumping run felt so good! Unfortunately we were just off the podium at 4th place but I was so thrilled with the 4th place that I had to take a photo of the results!
The finals went by so quickly. Again she was a dream to run and I felt that it went so smoothly. She went into the lead after she ran (9th from the end) but got knocked into 5th place by some fantastic dogs. 5th out of 65 dogs from all over the world is pretty damn good!
As usual most of the photos taken of Zen by the photographers on site were blurry! They can never seem to get in focus photos of Zen which is quite funny. But I bought two photos anyway as they were cute. As usual Zen had lots to say to me when I wanted her to turn.
I do not have too many photos yet; hopefully some will be coming from other people. Nor do I have any video! But luckily a helpful blog-reader sent me this link in which you can watch Zen's finals run! It was great as it was the first time I saw one of her EO runs!
Zen in EO Finals
Thanks to Katja for sending me that link; it meant alot for me to see it. Sometimes I watch videos afterwards and think...Oh I could have done better...but this time I was so happy to see that the run looked as good as it felt. Zen is just smooth as silk to run and she just keeps getting better with age. How lucky am I?
More EO news and a Neil/Vinny update soon!