The dog show kicks off with the team event, four dogs over the same jumping course, two doing it clockwise, two anticlockwise. Mayhem. A truce is called by my team and we run in the prearranged order, the illogical one. Which is inexperienced dogs first through to the most experience dog last. I was thinking roughly the opposite because it could all be over on the first run.
Only afterwards, when we’re out and our best, most experienced dog is faced with a course where around half the jumps are on the floor and subsequently goes wrong, betraying its status as best dog, do the others say that perhaps we should have ran in the order I suggested. Which was most experience dogs first, so that the jumps stay up longer and therefore everybody actually gets a course to jump. Hmmm I have done these things before you know.
As it happens, the most inexperienced dog on the team, MD, ran first and put in a better showing than any of his team mates. He only has one pole down before dog two demolishes most of the course.
MD was running in a team that we put together ‘just for fun’, a strange concept that I had to get someone to explain to me before I grudgingly decided to hide it from my competitive nature, well, on this occasion. Doggo also runs in a team and his team are doing it slightly more seriously, I hope. He puts in a faultless round, unfortunately the rest of his team do not. I rush off to run his first individual course, a real toughie, perfect for us. I get him round the hardest bits then for some reason he misses a relatively easy tunnel. So that’s us out of that as well. The course is so hard there are only two clear rounds. It should have been three and at least a third place trophy for us. Opportunity missed.
I have no time to dwell on this failure as we are called back to the team ring, to rerun. A timing failure means that our first attempt didn’t count. Lucky escape really, it wasn’t pretty, Doggo apart. In the rerun, Doggo again goes clear and the rest of the team are much better this time but still we don’t get among the places.
Then it’s back to MD and some good runs from him cumulating in a simply brilliant clear round on the jumping course. It was nervy stuff though as I got half way round the course with no poles down and then started praying he’d do the rest ok. Then we had to negotiate the weaves three from home but he did the lot perfectly, bless him. Clear. That’s only his second clear round at a full Kennel Club show and unlike his first one this one was quick. In fact we go into 4th, only .6 off the lead. Wow. The effect is slightly spoilt when one more dog beats him and takes the lead by three full seconds but we hang on to 5th. I’m so proud of him.
Meanwhile Doggo’s having a bad day, I suppose he didn’t get his Chinese last night. We bag another elimination and then he has the first jump down on his final course, the rest of it isn’t bad though. Not bad at all as it happens, again very few clears and we come 8th even with 5 faults. So a rosette for each dog today. Though MD has first bragging rights tonight.
(Sunday 11th July)