Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Let Battle Commence

So it’s the big day out at Crufts. I’ve had lots of good luck texts, there are a fair few supporters here in the flesh and to my surprise quite a few watching via Crufts TV over the internet. I have given the Crufts TV link to everyone I can think of, just in case there’s nothing on proper TV, but I didn’t think many people would actually watch. Apparently the whole of my office are sat around a PC with breath’s communally bated, so don’t ring them up with any computer problems, apparently they’re not answering. So no pressure then...

We have a new kit, well t-shirts, although not terribly impressive ones and they are not a success. My white t-shirt is so massive that L says it looked like a dress. In fact half the team refuse to wear theirs.

We did ok last year, coming 6th, but hopefully we can do a little better this time. It would be nice to make the afternoon final, which will be in front of an almost full arena unlike the sparse crowd who are here for the morning’s qualifying round.

There are eight teams with the best four to go through to the final. We run seventh and when it comes to our turn, the team currently in third have fifteen faults. So if we better that we will be through, whatever the last team to run does.

Naturally they make Doggo and I run first again. I’ve made sure that Doggo knows his fan club are all here, so there’s no chance of him embarrassing me by going to say ‘hi’ to my father, as he did at a show the other week, plus luckily the seating is too high up here for him to be able to spot anyone. I hope.

It goes well. We do our usual solid but unspectacular clear round, nice and steady. It’s a no risk strategy, that’s all Doggo’s idea, he simply refuses to rush his agility, but I admit it’s very effective. I was worried about a tricky set of weaves but he coped, although I held my breath throughout that bit. So we go clear and hand over to dog number two who is a bit too eager, goes off like a rocket, misses a jump and picks up five faults for that. Other than that it’s a good round for a dog in its last ever performance before retirement, until she picks up another five by clipping the long jump. So ten faults for the round.

Dog three does a terrific run although he may have missed the dog walk contact but if he did, he got away with it. So that’s an excellent clear round for us, meaning we’re in the hunt, still on ten faults with just the last dog to run. Unfortunately she immediately fells a pole and then has an awful A frame which unfortunately gets us eliminated. So that's that, dream over, again, for another year. The rest of that last round is quite horrible, not that it mattered by then.

So a bit gutted, again, and my phone is going mad. Hot on the heels of the good luck texts beforehand are a spate offering commiseration. Which is nice, I guess. It is suggested that perhaps I should consider a transfer... hmmmm. A bit unfair, we weren’t too far away until that last run.

We fetch MD from the car, to sample the atmosphere and hit the shopping halls to see if we can buy a replacement dog sock for him, to replace the one that got inexplicably chewed the other day. Surprisingly this doesn’t prove possible despite the huge number of stalls.

After watching the final, that we’re not in, we head home. I might have a commiseratory drink later.

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