Back in August I managed to pull off my achievement of the season, I qualified for the Kennel Club Starters Cup Final! This weekend it happened:
Friday November 7:
Mum and I had a bit of a lay in before going out for a run around the fields, I had a hearty breakfast and then went to a local agility field for some last minute training,
I thought this was a great idea – until I got home!!! apparently dirty dogs don’t go to Earl’s Court 😦
So in the evening as with most competitions we drove off to Aunty Paulines where the usual ‘pre match’ preparations occurred, I played with Flic and Vinnie whilst Bandit and Buddy grumped at me and Mum and Pauline drank wine. Mum set the alarm for the early start and we settled down as best we could for the night (there were a few fireworks going off so I may have squeezed into bed with mum at some point during the night :-s)
Saturday November 8: So the alarm went off and Mum looked a very strange shade of green/grey/white. She’s not usually like this for competitions – all us dogs got ready with breakfast and a quick wee in the garden with strict instructions not to roll in anything; given the colour of Mum I felt it best to obey this order on this occasion!!! Then it was off out the door. Much to the confusion of all of us it became obvious I was the only one on 4 legs attending this competition – as the beginner of the pack this was not the expected outcome. I shared my back seat with a 2 legged supporter Jenny from Crouch Valley – she was also without her dog!
The drive through London was pretty smooth and uneventful, however as we drove into an indoor car park I realised today was going to be a bit different. I had to sit in a crate on a ‘bench’ and pee in a little sawdust area (all of which was highly humiliating). Mum took me for a warm up over a jump in the ring. Oh my there were lots of seats, and the surface was a bit slippy compared to the surface I practised on. I started understanding why mum looked that funny colour! We went back to the bench and settled in for the morning. This was bigger than I thought; Crouch Valley were there in force, along with Jenny were Simon, Melissa, Peter, Jenny, George, and Daisy, and apparently some more (Kay and Justin) were in the stands. Nan and Gramps Quinn even showed up, none of them had Dogs, for today I was their dog!!!
We spent the morning chatting to some of our friends and Mum seemed to chill a little bit, then came the briefing and delivery of the course plan, under strict instructions that Mum would only have 3 minutes to walk it, she studied hard. As we were 2nd in we weren’t going to be able to watch! That grey colour from the morning returned!!!
With the course walked, it was showtime. The seats were filling up and the commentators were studying their notes (not closely enough as they got my name wrong again!!!) I did as a was told and waited – on the ok command we were off. Now I think it’d be fair to say I was a little excited and there were a few things to look at on the way round, Mum’s handling was also far from her best, but I did everything Mum asked and as the crowd cheered and clapped I knew I’d done good – It wasn’t fast, flowing or pretty but it was a Clear Round!!!
Following our lap of honour having come 5th it was back to the crate. Mum looked a better colour though seemed to have quite wobbly legs and lots of people came to visit us all beaming at our success. What ever happened next we’d already had a great finish to the season. We had a spot of lunch and everyone seemed quite relaxed, then the agility course went up and it was back to studying! As we were placed 5th in the morning we would go 5th from the end.
The morning had been great but as we entered the ring there was something different! There were so many more people and the arena was buzzing, this was our final run of the season!!! I couldn’t contain myself. I broke my wait, but Mum coped well, over the A Frame – I heard the words ‘touch and wait’ screamed by Mum, but I was flying and she had more chance of stopping a 10 tonne truck with her bare hands. Luckily I caught the contact with my heels, then…. Mum’s forgotten the course, Mum Mum, Mum!!! ‘Through’ she screamed in the nick of time – Right ‘time to work together’ I thought – and we did! Again the crowd roared with approval and Mum made such a fuss I knew I’d pulled it out the bag!!!
We walked out the ring and Aunty Pauline was grinning ear to ear (think there may have been a tear but shhh!). All that was left to do was wait – something I’m not great at :-s. We were moved into Agility placing order 4th, I’d come 4th with another (All be it by the seat of our pants) clear! Into the ring we went while they announced the Final results. Overall we were 3rd! Can you believe it!! 3rd in the Kennel Club Starters Cup Final in our first season! Our Name was read out and will be in the record books for ever!! Another Lap of honour where I couldn’t help but have a fuss from a few kids in the crowd, (and a bit of their sandwich, shhh again!!!) Every one came back to the benches to congratulate us and Mum couldn’t quite find the words to thank everyone for their help and support.
It was a long drive home through the rain and fireworks but Mum managed it. If I’m honest I think i fell asleep as we left the car park! We stopped back at Aunty Paulines for some dinner and then did the final drive back to Ipswich where I settled down with my new santa toy (thanks Nan and Gramps!) and Mum had a little treat of her own.
A few days on: It’s taken a few days for things to sink in, life is back to normal and I’ve been informed I’m having a couple of weeks rest from agility. I’m sure Mum is already planning our route to success for next season in terms of qualifiers and weekends away. However, I will be regularly reminding her that she needs be to be enjoying it and singing from the same song sheet! For now I’m catching up on some fling and fetch time!!!