Sadly Winnie was missing her partner in crime Whisky since his retirement, although he did come and queue with her just for old times sake. Winnie is my comfy pair of slippers when it comes to agility, we just seem to get each other and she makes me so proud. We managed 2 out of 3 clears including a 4th place, and I'm sure we'd have managed 3 out of 3 clears if Winnie's handler hadn't had a brain fart at obstacle number 17 and directed her over the wrong jump! Gertie was back on form after some time off with an injury and managed a 1st and 4th, it's great to have her back competing especially as she's nearly 9 years old now and I always worry that any injury might be an injury that she doesn't get over so I'm especially enjoying every mad, noisy run we have together.
Glen and Rufus are probably our most difficult dogs to run, not that they both aren't talented or good at agility, but they both seem to be the most unpredictable - each of them have been known to like throwing you a curve ball every so often, still at least they keep us on our toes and if we do manage to get them round a course clear it always feels well deserved if we end up gaining a placing with them. Sadly neither of them managed any clear rounds but they did work fantastic and Rufus even managed a 7th place with 5 faults.
I managed to leave the fitness app on my phone switched on all day while at the show and reached a new high as far as my daily step count was concerned, 22338 steps 16.02 km walked, no wonder I feel shattered when I get home from a show. So apologies to everyone in our classes on Sunday if we seemed a little weary.
We're really trying to make sure that you and your dog have a really solid set of foundation skills as far as agility is concerned, so excuse the fact that we keep nagging at all of you to get your commands right - that commands are clear and are said in a nice voice; to make sure your contacts are solid; that you don't use your dogs name all the way round the course but only when you need their attention and most importantly that you build that relationship with your dog - your agility partner, so when you step on that start line of a course your dog is working with you. You won't go clear on every single course but if your dog is working with you and having fun, then at least you haven't got to worry about whether your dog will stay with you in the ring or will they go chasing the dog in the next ring; will they sniff the floor looking for rabbit poo or will they go and investigate that nice smelling catering van just on the edge of the field. Your foundation skills are so important, there will always other skills and techniques to learn but if your foundations are solid they're what you will fall back on time and time again, the nuts and bolts of your agility. Some of our previous agility dogs had gaps in their foundation skills and we are really trying to make sure that you all don't have to battle with those gaps in your foundation skills too.