I was really looking forward to Thames and was missing the DARL Rescue League Final which Stitch qualified for, to attend. The weather forecast was good, there were birthdays to celebrate and a Champ to get stuck into.
But the wind was higher than forecast and from the moment I unsuccessfully tried to set my 'garden' up, the show lost it's feel good vibe. Pat and Martin saved the day, helping me with the bits Mum usually did, this was my first camping show by myself in over a year and I was SO grateful for their help after what had been a long day teaching followed by the drive up there.
Hex was an ABSOLUTE nightmare. Usually Mum takes her while I queue, she takes her out of sight from the rings and keeps her calm, without Mum there and with the rings set up so that I had nowhere to take her away from any agility without losing sight of the ring myself, I had to queue with her. I very, very rarely pull my dog out of a course, I believe you should always end on a positive and that there is always something positive to take from a run, HOWEVER, out of Hex's 5 runs I pulled her out of 3! She had gotten herself in such a state queuing that she trashed most of one course, flew a seesaw and took an unsafe approach to a tyre in another and punctured my arm in the last. For her own safety (and mine!) I removed her from these runs before I had finished them. What a shambles!
There was also a mishap where I missed my Crufts qualifier with her because the ring party were calling 'anything' all day! Argh! Total pet peeve of mine. I didn't want to queue for any length of time with her because of the troubles we were having and because of the heat and yet every time I looked at that ring - huge queue and 'taking anything' - what is the point of running orders then?! When I figured the class must be nearing the end, I asked what they were calling to, hoping they'd say 'the end'.... 'O, we're taking anything'..... 'Grrr, I know but how many dogs do you have left to run?', ' We have Loooooaaads' was the response as she flicked through a giant pad of remaining tickets. 'Okay, I really don't want to join that queue as it is, I'll come back after I've had a cuppa and some cake'.
Next thing I know just as I'm getting myself together to get Hex out the tannoy comes on 'Ring whatever, calling to the end of the class...no wait, sorry, that's class CLOSED'.
What?! They never called to the end, how ANNOYING!
For the first time EVER, Stitch got E'd in a Champ Class - not happy as it was totally my fault. I put him back on the A-Frame in the Crufts Singles (obstacle 2), only to finish the rest of the course with a blinding run - whoops. He was a sod in the Olympia qualifier, barely touching the contacts and going wide off them thinking I was going to put him back on, but then did a beauty of a run in the Agility later that day and coming 2nd - the place we needed in the Olympia class. So many frustrations.
The highlight of the whole weekend was the BBQ we had at Pat's, great food, great company and a dog party to finish which I brought Hex too.
Stitch - 2nd, G6-7 Agility
Stitch - 5th, 6-7 Agility
Stitch - 6th, C1-7 Olympia Qualifier