For some reason I’ve not been able to get any proper rest for days and days now. I sleep, but i wake up with my head already spinning with stuff and it feels like I need to go back to bed immediately. I’m convinced that a combination of this, the changing light and the fact I can grow hair just about anywhere (the first one to mention the top of my head gets a beating) is an indication that I may in fact be part bear. I’m not sure what the other part must be, but sadly it doesn’t seem to be shark, and I don’t feel 7000% deadly.
I attended the Freshers’ Fair yesterday at the college closest to my hopeful catchment area for my branch of the club, and it went as well as I’d hoped for. We were a bit out of the way, stuck up on the first floor in a small room with the NHS, a bank, the Samaritans and people like that (including a stand for a local nightclub with a girl in hotpants who really looked like she had no idea where she was, let alone what she was meant to be doing there), but the students seemed to come through in small herds. I’m pretty sure the collective noun for a group of students is a herd. What was nice was that most of the people who put their names on our sign-up sheet seemed genuinely interested. I’ve contacted them all now, just to let them know that a) I’m not some weirdo collecting peoples’ details (I’m not!), and b) that I’ll be in regular contact until the club opens. I’m indebted to those who came along to support me, I think if I was there on my own all day it would have been a bit more nerve-making, not to mention a lot less fun .
I’m hoping to have the club up and running in around four weeks, and with a venue that already seems likely I’m starting to get excited. I’m not starting until then as it gives me a chance to sort out all the things I’ll need to get going, and also gets the British Championships out of the way. I wouldn’t want to get everyone in for a lesson and then immediately lose the momentum by buggering off for a week. The British should be good fun though, I’m really keen to compete again, even if my nerves at the time will be jangling and my stomach doing somersaults. The good thing about being a Dan grade at these events is that I tend to have to help out with running the mats now it seems, which gives me less time to worry. There’s probably an argument to say it gives you less time to prepare too, but as far as I’m concerned all of the preparation will be between now and the day. Trying to go over forms too much on the day of a competition normally results in me forgetting the simplest of things, I work a lot better when I’m in automatic mode.
I feel like I should give Murphy a little shout out as he doesn’t get many column inches here these days, but he’s been an absolute little star at agility lately. He seems to have come on in leaps and bounds (oh the punnery!) over the last couple of months, and with the exception of some particularly smelly places on the field, nothing seems to distract him any more. When we started training there were a couple of small Cocker Spaniels who he was head-over-heels in love with, so much so that I had to change classes as he wasn’t getting anything done other than ignored by the focal points of his adoration. But now I think he’s just about ready to get officially measured (to see if he goes into small or medium classification) and entered in a competition. The only thing I’m not too convinced about is his entry into weaves. Dog agility has a lot of different obstacles: Jumps (including jump-through tyres), tunnels, A-Frame/dog-walks, see-saws and weave poles. Weave poles are quite easy once they’re in and going, but finding the entrance is the hard part. Your dog has to enter the very first pair from the right, anything else counts as a fault, and Murph has trouble finding that first pair at full speed or from an angle. Once we crack that though, look out world.
I say ‘world’, I mean the relatively small world of local dog agility.