I’m not sure a full English would do L much good pre-race, so the boys have hers instead. We’ll find out if its good agility food or not in due course. It's a later start time today for the team event, so no bolting down breakfast and no problem getting there on time. Although first I drop L in Fleetwood, to make sure she gets there and isn’t at the mercy of the hour long bus journey. Then I hot foot it back to the dog show.
The heatwave appears to be over and now it’s raining. Thankfully I’m indoors; L though isn’t going to be so lucky with her participation in the Twin Piers Blackpool to Fleetwood 10 miler. Having picked up her number from Fleetwood, she has to get the provided coach back to Blackpool from where the race runs mainly along the seafront back to Fleetwood.
The format of the team event is an agility course and a jumping course with the scores from both added together for each dog, with the top four from each club counting. Disaster number one - only 4 of members of our 8 weak team turn up. Great. Dog wise, this means that a 13 dog team is now down to a team of 5, with, as I’ve just mentioned, the top 4 to count. So we might as well go home now.
On the plus side Doggo and MD both record clears on the agility section, whilst another dog records a clear on the jumping section. Good start. Then a fourth dog gets eliminated on both. So 4 from 4 now then. Our fifth dog gets five faults on the agility but goes clear on the jumping. Promising. (Are you keeping up?) Then Doggo goes clear in the jumping, it’s an easy course, so he was always likely to. For the same reason MD probably won’t, he’ll just go too fast and fell everything but so far, team wise, things aren’t looking too bad. Five clears, and one five faults with two to run. We won’t win but at least it’ll be respectable.
Then as I queue up for the jumping with MD, thinking it’s all up to us, I’m told our teenager, whose excellent dog should have coped easily with the agility, has forgotten to do his run. Thereby taking down any remaining hopes for the team with him. He shrugs it off in the way that teenagers do. Hundreds of miles travelled and much money spent to get here and he misses his run. Then again at least he’s here.
There’s not much need to be clear now with MD so we might as well go for the win but 2 poles down puts paid to that. His earlier agility run though was excellent, so we should at least get a rosette. I head off to Fleetwood to collect L, who’s sitting in a bus shelter... in her words ‘looking like wino’, planning to get back in time for the presentations.
A drenched L has run almost a recent best for 10 miles in the race, bravo, and she’s not even fit. I feel kind of guilty for abandoning her, although she seems happy enough, still grinning from ear to ear after her good time and it is probably quite dry in the bus shelter.
We return to the dog show just as they’re doing the results for MD’s grade in the agility. As they work their way through the top ten down to the trophies for the top three there’s no mention of us and I’m about to go complain because surely there must be some mistake because we were easily quick enough to get a top ten placing. Then suddenly they announce my name and MD’s. We’ve won, wow, wasn’t expecting that.
Not such good news for the team though, who come 11th or to give it its proper term, last.
Time to hit the M6 again, hopefully a little less busy this time. Which it is but not by that much. Still we’re home in time for one or two in the local before closing time.
(Sunday 2nd October)
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