We had the best possible holiday in Sweden and Norway. After EO, we spent just one day at home, and then headed off to Sweden, where we met with Siw and Brie and Nina with Zulu and together we had training with Jenny Damm. I really love training with her, her philosophy really suits me plus the trainings with her are really fun and really motivational. It was Brego's first ever serious training and I was really pleased with him - the foudations seem to be in place, he was focused and fast and I'm pretty sure he's going to get even crazier and faster in the future. Siw with Brie were also doing great - Brie hasn't changed a bit, he is still the same happy, a bit naughty and tremendously fun boy he used to be. I really enjoyed watching him work with Siw, they have wonderful relationship and he has great focus and knows lots of things already. Roman was working with Flaszek and Evo - and Flaszek also did great and was quite as fast as he is at home, which was good sign. In the evening we went for an "After Beach Competition" in Falkenberg - Brava was 2nd and Evo 3rd in jumping :).
Next day we started our Norwegian adventure - first, we were running at a competition in Nes. Evo was a bit sore after training and competition in Sweden, so Roman decided not to compete with him and focus on Flaszek. Flaszek was ABSOLUTELY amazing. There were two rings and quite a lot of people and dogs around - so not really Flaszek's favourite conditions. Outside the ring he looked a bit stressed, but once he entered the ring he was focused on his job only and ran really well. The organizers rewarded a percentage of dogs from each run, so it was always about 10 in large category out of more than 70 dogs - and Flaszek was always on this big podium! He finished all his runs, most of them clean!!! I'm starting to feel he would never cease to amaze us :).
Here are some of his runs from the weekend:
Brava was her pyrfect self again - she won all 5 runs she run in, most of them with quite an advantage. There was a prize of 1000 Norwegian crowns for
fastest clean runs - just one prize for all the competitors and on Sunday morning it was apparent that we're strong candidates for winning. I told everyone I don't want to think about it, cause it stresses me out. The A3 course looked quite difficult and not really our type of course as there was a jump 4 meters straight after the dogwalk, which you weren't supposed to take and sharp turn into the tunnel instead. But I remembered what I read on Jenny's website just a couple of days ago. She wrote it about winning WC in 2001, but I think it applies just as well to any important runs:
"I had learned that I couldn’t hold back. I had to give all. I also understood that I must believe in myself and that the contacts had to be perfect."
So I decided to try it with the running contacts and directional command after dogwalk - I practised directionals on warm-up jumps a bit, recalling her in the last moment from the jump - and it worked just as I intended. We won that run and after that, jumping could only be easy :). So all in all, Brava won the money prize :).
Next stage of our journey was just a wonderful holiday with Siw - Norway is really breathtakingly beautiful and we had a great time, walking the dogs, admiring the views and eating delicious food every evening :). I think that part of the story is better told with pictures, so here's the selection of them:
After this wonderful holiday it was time to meet with old and new friends at agility seminar. Some of the teams I've already seen last year and it was great to see their progress. We run some fun courses greatly inspired by Tamas and Veronika's courses from EO :). I must say I've met many great shelties in Norway, very friendly and courageous, as well as some other cool dogs. Nevertheless I must say that I was surprised both on competition and on seminar how many dogs in Sweden and Norway were overweight - most of them need to loose at least a couple of kilos for my taste...
After the seminar it was time to go home - luckily this time our journey back was uneventful, no hurricanes or other problems :), so Norway trip was only positive experiences this time. Looking forward to going back there!