As Lesley is always blogging about her shows I (Gail) thought it only right that I did the same for this show (especially as I ventured alone AND stole her dog) I have to admit that it was with the excitement of a giddy schoolgirl that I headed off to bed on Saturday evening...you know the feeling ..the realization that you won’t need an alarm clock as you are going to be fidgeting and fussing and generally packing your bag, your van and your (in my case) stash of pain medication in your head and that wobbly feeling in the pit of your stomach is going to have you heading along the landing in the wee (no pun intended) small hours ...well it’s something to do as you toss and turn through the night.
Anyway all packed and prepared I headed off down the motorway to Junction 26 with Hex and Stitch in tow...The seeds of doubt were appearing already in the mind of Hex as to where I had put her mummy but she seemed happy enough to join me in my car (we would surely meet up with her at the ringside) Stitch on the other hand was bouncing around and giving it his best wakey wakey whines and barks...like you really need that in your ear at the crack of dawn.
Once there I walked my first course..Stitch in the 4-7 Medium Jumping. I phoned Lesley before I ran him for a quick confidence boost. It was horrendous!! There were weird angles tight turns traps and you weaved twice. The sort of course I LOVED in my heydays but not with my little guy at his 3rd ever show. I can’t remember her words of wisdom but they must have worked as he careered around it like a mad thing and it was only when I didn’t hear the Judge clap that I realized something was up...He had missed the last pole of the weaves the 1st time through them and I hadn’t noticed...but I didn’t care he had done all the tough stuff.
Next run was “fire pants” herself.. the gobby redhead who answers to Hex...well she could answer to it if she wasn’t barking so darn LOUD!! I will never forget queuing with her...she was SO confident as we moved down the line that Lesley was going to turn up at the last moment. She fixed her eyes and her radar ears on the door and had that quizzical “Mummy??” look in her face right up until the moment I slipped her lead off and she just went “Ok you’ll do”. It was exactly the same course as Stitch’s but the angles and spacing for the larger dogs made things tighter and trappier but she fired around it beautifully and I knew if I am honest that she was unlikely to be beaten. It felt amazing. The score sheet provided conformation. She had indeed won. She had made my day already ..anything after that would just be icing on the cake.
Next run was the Large 4 & 5 Agility. For this I had my orders...hold her contacts and make her wait for the release word. It’s a toughie for me that one for, as a rule, I cannot keep my “competitive edge” in check. But it is to my credit (even though I do say so myself) that I not only managed to do it for Hex but also for my little Stitch too. Ok, so I mucked up the SAME snake of jumps with both of them TOO but on the whole I was still very proud of myself as it was very much a 1st for my competitive “inner demon”.
Lastly was the “Fun Jumping” which was the same for all sizes of the 4-7 dogs. It was a sheer BLAST. Both Stitch and Hex thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They both went clear...Stitch being lucky enough to win his Medium class and Hex coming 5th against some pretty fast Grade 6-7 dogs so I was thrilled. What a fabulous end to the day. Two firsts. Unbelievable.