Welcome to the October Medina Swarm CPE Trial! This was my view for much of the day. Oy, we must have gotten up really early to get good ringside seats.
Here I am at the judges briefing....this is what you do before you have to run the course. I paid close attention, and my good friend Jenn explained the big words that I didn't understand. She is really experienced in the ring and really boosted my confidence!
After the briefing, I found my friend Riot the Border Collie. He's much to young to compete yet, but when his time comes - watch out world! He gave me a great pep talk and calmed me down a little. We did some breathing exercises to help me focus. He told me that his mom, Amanda M. would be there for me if I needed her during my run.
Then it was time for my run! I LOVE the tunnel! 3-D Brutus has NOTHING on my tunnel skills...look at the energy and fervor with which I'm exiting the tunnel. Bring it on Baby!
Next were the weave poles, and let me tell you....this is no territory for beginners. I've been working for months on perfecting my technique. Smooooooth like butter!
Then I headed to the dog walk. Note the precision on my contact with my feet in the yellow paint. A definite must in terms of safety and qualifying! Thank goodness Amanda P. was there to tell me to go easy. I don't see yellow so well (being color-blind and all).
Then it was just a mad dash to the tire followed by the finish line. I was out of breath, my muscles were trembling, but the end was in sight. Riot was right, without Amanda M. there to cheer me on, I don't know if I would have made it!
Once my run was complete, I was a bundle of nerves. I didn't knock any bars down - it was a nice smooth run. But, was my time good enough to Q? Then, the results were in....I rushed over to the computer to view them myself - the anticipation was killing me - I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest....
YES!!!!!! Hip Hip Hoooooooraaaaaaay! A qualifying run and a 1st place finish! Blue and a Q....LIFE IS GOOD!!!!!
After so much physical exertion, it's very important to regroup. That starts with a healthy, well-rounded lunch. Smelled delicious, and tasted even better. (Don't worry mom, I got all 4 food groups covered: cheese, turkey, donuts and carrots with dip!)
Even tho' my run was over, Courtney told me that we still had lots ahead of us. Fizzer looked awfully darn comfy in this chair, so I thought I'd join her for a little snooze. Had to recharge my batteries for a big afternoon! By the way, Fizz is a very excellent snuggle buddy, and never takes up too much room!
After a little shut-eye, I decided to check out what else there was to see at the Trial. A favorite of mine were these awesome tuggie toys handmade by my friend Jean. She is the owner of 3 Jacks Bakery and she makes OUT OF THIS WORLD Puppy Treats!
Then I went for a visit with my good friend George. He is a beautiful yellow lab, and he sure does have a lot to say! He also has a gorgeous smile (he must brush a lot, right mom?). I made sure to thank George for letting me borrow his mom, Amanda P., during my agility run. It was his first time too this weekend, and he rocked!
Next, it was on to my duties as a worker. Here, my new friend Amanda E. (sheesh, there sure are a lot of Amandas to keep track of around here) is teaching me how to be a "Gate-keeper." I had to let all of the dogs and their people know when it was their turn, and I had to tell the workers when to raise the bars as the dogs got taller. Good thing I'm a good reader with a big Bark!
Amanda said that I did such a good job I could fly solo as the "Gate-keeper". Wonder if I get a badge for this?
Next, it was back with the Amandas for some seriously important jobs. First, Amanda P. taught me how to time. It wasn't easy to work the stopwatch without opposable digits, but I soon figured it out. Gosh were some of those dogs fast!
Once I mastered timing, it was on to learn how to scribe with Amanda M. This is a little tricky....you have to watch the judge and listen, as you record the faults during a run. I didn't like that so much, I think everybody should get Q's! Then I had to write down all of those lightning fast times.
Here I am, back at the computer...this time I'm helping Julie and her dog Blitz score. We take the scribe sheets, enter all of the data, and then the computer does it's magic and spits out the results. Again, I tried to tell Julie that I was watching, I think everyone should Q, but, she explained that life isn't fair, and sometimes you Q and sometimes you don't. I told her that I would give her lots of chocolate if that meant everyone could Q.....and she said "Hmmmmmmm, let me think about that!"
After all of the hard work, and given that it is flu season and all, it's very important to remember to sanitize your paws periodically.
And then...oh, then.....my favorite part of the day......the Howl-o-ween Costume Contest!!!
This is my new friend Abbey in her very festive T-shirt. It had ghosties and the word BOO all over it! Everyone kept telling her she had nice "Boo's"....then they would laugh, so I did too.
Here we are getting our costumes on.....That's Sadie Lou in the white, and Fizzer in the black.
And of course, there was me in all of my fabulous-ness....can you guess what we were???
A FLOCK OF SHEEP! Complete with our Border Colloe Riot to watch over us - I'm right in front of Sadie (in case you couldn't see me). We seemed to have a shedding issue with our costumes, but no worries....we won 1st Prize. That's two big wins for me today!!! Wooo-hooooo go ME!!!
As a reward for all of my hard work and good behavior, I was allowed to choose a treat from the candy dish....that took longer than anything else that I did all day. So many choices, so many choices. (Don't worry mom, I brushed extra long before bed that night.)
And there you have it! My big agility weekend.....I feel so good about my debut, and can't wait to do it again in November! I worked hard, played hard, ate well, volunteered a lot and met lots of great new human and doggie friends!
For more information on Medina Swarm Agility or Jean's delicious 3 Jacks Bakery Treats, please see the links to the left (and NO, I'm not a paid spokes-dog, just super appreciative of all that I was able to enjoy this weekend!)
This is an exhausted Flat Brutus, signing off.....until next time!