Welcome to The OBay Shelties blog! Our blog is an honest diary of our life with our dogs along with news from Obay shelties around the world.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our World Agility Championships 2009

Well I had loads of thoughts to put down in the blog about the World Championships but they have left my head. I have just returned from a quick trip back to NY and we have too much going on! So all organized thoughts of the World Champs have gone. I wish I could be organized and efficient like some bloggers and put the thoughts down immediately. This could have been done if we actually had internet access but that never seems to be the case.

What can I say except we had a great time and Zen was my little star. Whether I go again next year will depend on alot of things but I do enjoy the experience each and every time. I have been so fortunate to be on Team GB five times with two dogs and it does get easier each time. We all deal with nerves differently and it is so interesting to "people watch" at the World Championships. I have heard a few times about how "cool" I am on the start line and that makes me smile. It has taken a long time to feel that way and I am so glad that I can enjoy stepping to the line instead of being nervous. I attended my first World Championships as a spectator back in 2002 in Dortmund and then 2003 in Leiven and 2004 in Italy. I made a vow back then to eventually get there myself and to be as cool as Nicola Garrett when I enter the arena. While I will never be as cool as Nicky when I run I just pretend as I step to the line! ha!

I would suggest any agility fanatics think about going at least once in their lives. It is an experience not to be missed. AND the support means so much to the team. I greatly appreciated each and eveyone who came each year that I have run even if I do not know them personally. To step onto that line and hear the cheering is a once in a life time experience that I have been lucky to experience more than once!

So no long winded course analysis or deep thoughts. Enjoy some photos that were taken during the weekend.

This photo was taken after our warm up practice which consisted of a few of our dogs (yes Zen too!) running into cardboard tunnels that were supposed to be barriers between the practice rings! She even mother-flickered away from me into one and that should have clued me into a later mother-flicker that got us E'd! Darn Austrian cardboard tunnels! haha

I love Zen's tongue in this photo. And how about the sign above our heads!

You know how everyone talks about getting on the "world team" as if it is so prestigious and exciting. Well check out our prestigious and classy locker room! They were metal caging covered in plastic sheeting! hahaha It felt as if we were either in a crazy room in a mental instituion or that they expected some bloodshed.

By the way that is my bum in the photo as my team-mates and I warmed up before our runs. One of my teammates is a serious excercise freak and the other is a very young agile 20-something....hmmm guess who really needed the warmup! me!

Alan continues his warm-ups in our fancy locker room. Indy thinks he is crazy but then again Indy spends alot of time with Nicky (not big into our warm-up routine were you Nicky?) But please notice the carpet on our locker room floor! It was "borrowed" (read stolen) by our fearless assistant coach who shall be nameless. When he brought it into the locker room he said "Just don't ask"....so we didn't.

I was very proud to have been asked to hold the flag during the opening ceromony and tried not to cry when walking in. The flag did get heavy though and I handed it to my team mate Alan during the speeches!

The team was given fleecy pompom toys for the dogs by a very nice lady who I have forgotten to thank (thanks to the lady who breeds the borderstorm border collies!). But the team used them instead as cheerleader's pompoms to wave around! Here is Alan shaking his pom-poms. I must say that Alan is the best team-mate to have around. Thanks Alan for all your support and your cheerfullness and your positive attitude.

Here is our medium team. Yes we had two medium border collies on our team; just get over it world!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Ohh dear Roger.

Zen and I know how to pose for our photos! Please note donated fleecy pom pom AND Snugglepet Fleece Harness and Leads donated by SNUGGLEPET the best bestest ever harness makers!

Unlike Team GB who just really cannot totally get it together for any photo. In this shot the small dog handlers refused to pick their dogs up because their feet would get their shirts dirty. Make the Large dog handlers pick up their dogs for once! Small dogs rule!

What is Lee thinking? World domination...running contacts.....tight turns....
But I can make fun of him because he never ever reads blogs so please don't any of you tell him!

Natasha won the world championships with one hand tied behind her back and while being sick and almost slept through her last run! Ok I lied about the one hand behind her back but she was sick all weekend AND she almost slept through her last run!

And this one is just funny. This is Dennis after I ask him ONE MORE TIME if Zen has had a pee/poo.

Until the next time!

More OBay Shelties at the World Agility Championships 2009

As usual I was very proud of the other OBay shelties competing at the World Championships.

Nicky and Indy were lying 3rd after the individual jumping but a miscommunication in the individual agility meant no podium this year. Suzanne and Unique had an error in the small individual jumping but placed 3rd in the Individual Agility. Both Nicky and Suzanne are such great handlers and trainers and they have done so well with both boys. Too bad Indy and Unique couldn't combine forces and we could have had an OBay world champion! How cool that Indy, Unique and Zen all come from the same mom. Mom True (Ch. Linden 'Tis True) produced the best puppies.

I like the acceleration of both Suzanne and Unique in this photo.

Indy has the greatest ability to turn on a dime. Nicky has trained him so well.

We did not get videos of all the runs but here is one of Nicky and Indy in the Team Agility.

Zen is 5th in the World! World Agility Championships 2009

Well it is over for another year. Alot of time effort and money has been spent and on the long ride home I wonder if it has all been worth it?

This year, for me, it was definitely important that I went. It was important for me and for Zen. After one of the worst years in my life, when I was not even sure I wanted to continue in agility, running at the Worlds with Zen has given me that little boost. I was so lucky to have Zen at my side for each run as my thoughts were not always on her. Those mixed emotions again... Yet each time Zen gave me her all and her sheer joy of running agility is infectious.

I know I can pick apart each run and add up time lost to realize that my dog could have been on the podium. But honestly that does not matter anymore. I mean, my God, my little sheltie came 5th in the World Championships! She loves to play this game with me and helps me to enjoy every second of our run together. And most importantly she is here by my side, sleeping on my bed at my feet every night. What more can I ask?

I hope to write more about our time in Austria and add more videos of other OBay Shelties running but that will have to wait as I have two little pups to train today!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

More Scotland and off to the World Championships

We really enjoyed our week in Scotland. It was so relaxing and at the same time great for the dogs. I have already booked a cottage holiday next May in Wales. The cottage is dog friendly and I can bring all 5 dogs!

Here are two happy wet puppies!

Dennis and his girls.

Now that I am back home my attention is now on the World Agility Championships coming up in 2 weeks. My feelings about this world champs has been mixed. I am looking forward to it and know that Zen and I will do our best. Yet this month is a difficult one for me as it will be 1 year since I lost my beloved Hex.

These feelings have been brought out even more after hearing about one of the young dogs on the USA team passing away suddenly this week during training. It should make me say how unimportant these big events really are; yet it is our training and competing with our dogs that makes our relationships so strong. I think about how much fun Zen and I had together over the past 6 years and I feel like these events are just a culmination of our relationship. I look at Pax who turns 13 this month and, although she has been retired for 4 years, it is that working relationship that still resonates between us. Zaz and Itzy are already giving me so much; making me laugh and making me marvel already at their keenness to play this game with me.

The blog will be quiet now until I return from Austria. I am so happy that Zen and I are allowed to play this agility game amongst the best in the world. We are so psyched we cannot wait!

And to make me laugh; here is Itzy who loves to blow bubbles in the water!

And Zaz who has her mum Zen's smiling face.