Monday, November 19, 2007

GoodDog Competition Weekend

The GoodDog Agility Club had a competition last weekend. There were lots of dogs, lots of ribbons, and lots of Q's! I am finally learning some of this dog agility lingo and am meeting a lot of fun people who love their dogs and whose dogs love being athletes. Like Deuce, the budding young athlete pictured here. Little Deuce is a one year old jack russel terrier. He's still too young to compete (U.S. Dog Agility Association rules stipulate a dog must be at least 18 months), but is already learning the importance of hitting his contacts. Deuce was so cute as he crouched down on his yellow practice board, all intense. He may be a puppy, but he's serious about his sport! Baloo could learn a thing or two from Deuce, she tends to sail right over her contacts.

For the weekend events, I had the job of chief ring steward. That's a fancy title, my job was to make sure all the jobs in my ring were covered by the show volunteers. It takes a lot of effort by a lot of people to run an agility competition. Simple things like taking the dog leash from the start line where it is dropped by the handler to the spot where they finish; keeping score as the judge calls out points or signals faults; someone to make sure each competing dog checks in and is at the start line ready to go; and several people to reset jumps when needed. Watching the other dogs all weekend made me really want to get in on the fun. Although Baloo is not ready for the "standards" competition - the competition that involves all of the obstacles - I do plan to spend the next month preparing her for the "jumpers" and "gamblers" competitions. Jumpers involves lots of jumps, weave poles and tunnels (no contacts or teeter totters - where we need to improve) and the gambler competition is a course where the handler decides which obstacles to do (therefore we can avoid those obstacles that we may have problems with). Next show is in early January, can't wait!

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