Sunday, June 03, 2007

Slightly used, mentally challenged agility dog for sale or trade

This weekend was the 2007 BC / Yukon AAC Agility Regional Competition and it marked Tweed's Three Time Qualifying experience, which means he has qualified for the Nationals competition for the third year in a row. I would like to tell you that I was blown away by his stellar performance, speed, and rock steady abilities but that would be a lie because overall, Tweed was a butthead; his usual m.o., to be sure, but none too impressive in a major competition. In fact, one of my classmates noted that he was pulling some "Tweedisms" on the course, further proof that my hard work is completely unappreciated by the Butthead.

To truly understand my bitching, the following agility commands have been generously translated into Tweed-speak by his irritated/sunburned*/broke handler:

  • "Hit it" - in usual circumstances, this means follow the contact obstacle down into the yellow painted zone and touch the ground with your front feet while your back feet remain on the obstacle and wait there for further instructions. In Tweedspeak this means: "What? Did you say some thing? Holy SHIT! Look at all this yellow paint, better jump over it altogether." FIVE FAULTS
  • "Get out, hup" - in usual circumstances, this means follow the direction my hand is pointing and execute a jump of any kind, provided it is the one I am pointing at that is at some distance from me. In Tweedspeak this means: "What? Did you say something? Why aren't there any jumps in front of or beside me, or anywhere in this ring? The best thing to do is run in tight circles while barking very very loudly so as to drown out the annoying repetition of "get out, hup." MISSES THE GAMBLE, LOSES 35 POINTS
  • "WEAVE!" - in usual circumstances, this means weave quickly through the entire set of 12 weave poles. In Tweedspeak this means: "What? Did you say something? Pop out of the 11th pole and run around in circles barking like a maniac you say? Okey dokey!" FIVE FAULTS.
Etc. I think you get the picture. In the end, Tweed qualified for Nationals with 376 points, which is 76 points more than he needs ... 74 points less than we were aiming for and 35 points less than he has achieved in better days. To be fair, I did get lost on a Jumpers course he might otherwise have run clean, but this was one brain fart from me versus about 47 brain farts from him.

*I need to reference this sunburn. Almost every year at Regionals - which is in a different place and on a different weekend every year - the weather suddenly shoots into record breaking temperatures and a blazing hot sun throbs atop us all. Every year, as a result, my sunblock-impervious Scottish heritage skin suffers a sun burn of epic proportions. (Even last year, when weather broke with tradition and was mostly cloudy, I managed to get a sunburn.) And then the following day and/or as soon as the competition ends, it rains. It's raining right now. I don't know why the weather gods screw with agility people, but apparently we piss them off.

Anyway, enough word-things. Onto some photos.

The slightly used and extremely bad Three Time Nationals Qualifier himself (going cheap. seriously. send me an offer)
There are no photos of him running because I cannot run and take photos of myself at the same time, but rumour has it someone else got a nice one of us. If I ever see it, I will post it. Maybe you'll get to see my sunburn!

Ruedi and Nobu, who have adopted three dogs from TDBCR, generously invited me to stay at their home almost-on-the-water for the weekend, so we had a lovely retreat from the maddening crowds a short ten minute drive from the trial sight.

The view from their garden:

Ruedi was a major player in the Regionals Organizing committee and thanks to his, and other volunteers' hard work, the aggregate scores are already posted on the website. Phenomenal stuff guys!!

Ruedi and Nobu have 5 dogs. Their oldest dog, Sasha, is a lovely Akita X Shepherd (maybe) and was adopted from their local SPCA. I have no photos of her runs because she was in a different group, but I hear this nine year old gal got third place in the 16" Veterans class, with a whopping 554 points (are you reading this Tweed????) Congratulations Sasha and Ruedi!!

Speaking of no photos, I hardly took any photos and got even fewer good ones. I always think I will have more free time to take pictures, but the socializing is so good/heavy at Regionals that I barely take out the camera. So here are just a few photos I managed to get of some TDBCR dogs who were running.

Seamus, handled by Ruedi's partner Nobu. Nobu has been handling Seamus for only a few weeks and my heart goes out to Nobu as Seamus suffers from the same deficiencies as Tweed - at least, according to the barking/spinning I saw. But they still managed to qualify with 335 points in the 16" Specials Class. Congrats you two!

Maggie May (no photo) has had some really amazing runs at Regionals past but this year had her own thing going on. She still qualified with 348 points in the 16" Specials Class. Hurray Maggie May! A local shelter was going to euthanize Maggie for being "aggressive" but Ruedi and Nobu turned her right 'round when we pulled her and placed her with them.

Heidi, a border collie X basenji. Heidi is the world's cutest little dog. She qualified with 359 points in the 16" regular class - her mum was suffering from a pulled calf muscle, and they still did it! Way to go guys!

Wicked missed qualifying this year due to some as-yet-unexplained aversion to contact obstacles that has recently sprung up, but came very very close with 298 points. Wicked dropped 11 puppies in my lap 13 hours after I got her out of a shelter, so she has a special place in my heart.

Rumour another BC X Aussie that may be the exception that proves the rule, kicked my BC X Aussie's ass with a whopping 464 points. I should point out that he is also much better looking than Tweed.

Tempus the borderjack, had a really stellar Jumpers run today that placed him fourth overall in Jumpers, and also helped him to qualify with 316 points. Considering he received a zero on one course thanks to the scary "go" voice that caused him to run quivering out of the ring (don't ask) this was very impressive. Way to come back Temmy!!

I tried to get some photos of Tem running a course but when I suggested it, he did this, so I put the camera away and backed slowly out of the shade tent.

Some other photos:

This is Spyder. She has nothing to do with TDBCR at all, but she is so ... hairy. And cute!

This is Sophie. Her mum Dana has adopted a dog from TDBCR who is not ready to compete yet. I call this photo "Barking All The Way"

This is Mick, who belongs to one of our foster homes, Dove. Mick is epileptic, but he still likes to play agility a lot!

This is Chico. He is just a damn cute puppy. I could just eat him up!

Back at the Ruedi/Nobu ranch, my dogs enjoyed the luxury of having a garden.

Mr. Woo / Crazy Eyes rolls in something on the driveway

Piper watches in amazement as Red Dog goes Medieval on the soccer ball
And so another Regionals ends with me scorched by the sun and burned by my damn dog. Next year Piper is going to kick some ass!!

Looking forward, I should mention that Mr. Woo is going to be in a commercial for Kohl's department store. At least one of these hairy ignoramuses is going to start earning their keep! Perhaps I can buy a new camera lens. Or, you know, a new agility dog.


Anonymous said...

the woo fans will be pleased!!

hornblower said...

Congrats Tweed & handler!

Anonymous said...

the question is... would you trade the dog for the right camera lense?

love the photos and the stories.

The Border Collies said...

I would trade the dog for the WRONG camera lens!!!

Anonymous said...

Are you trying to suggest that my dog is perhaps a bit vocal when she does agility? If we had less woowooing (apologies to Mr. Woo but she wooed before he was born, never mind named ;) ) and more running she might Q more often!