Brady and Camm’s Excellent Canadian Adventure

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My house is eerily quiet today. I guess running 10 yards a second does that.

Okay, turns out that while that probably happens in real life with my crew, it really did not on this weekend’s tunnelers course due to a mathematical miscalculation, but running a course in 15.6 seconds (Brady) and 16 seconds (Camm) is still pretty decent.

I love running fast dogs. It can be so incredibly frustrating at times when I cannot get the information needed out to my dogs in time, but it is ever so rewarding when things click.

The first run of the weekend was “Touch ‘n Go.” The courses consist only of contact obstacles – the a-frame and the dogwalk, and tunnels. It’s one of my favorite courses to run and for all four of my dogs, my obvious love of the courses has translated and they’ve all liked it a lot too. I’ve joked for years that with Jasmine it was mostly “touch” and not so much “go.” With Youke, that changed to  very little “touch” and all “go.” Brady and Camm have given the game new meaning. They are both convinced the game should be all “go” and the “touch” part is relatively unimportant. That attitude has made touch ‘n go a hard one to qualify in for those two.

Both dogs ran the touch ‘n go course this weekend in 7 yards a second. As expected, Brady blew a contact, thus disqualifying him. Camm, due to her naturally gorgeous running contacts, actually qualified.

But wait! Camm doesn’t have running contacts. Camm does two on, two off.

Camm: “Pretty sure in Canada don’t have to do stoopid stopped contacts. Just go super fast.”

Me: “Not true Camm. You still have to do stopped contacts, even here in Canada.”

Thus, while Camm’s running contacts are very pretty and quite spectacular, I enforced the idea of two feet on the contact and two feet on the ground in her standard runs. All it took was showing her once. (Thank you NADAC for allowing training in the ring!) I went on to praise her lavishly for every stopped contact she did from then on at last weekend’s trial, which was every one.

Camm: “Nice to hear the nice things, but can we get back to running super fast now?”

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I took Camm and Brady to Vancouver Island this past weekend for an agility trial. One of my favorite clubs puts on one of my favorite trials there. They are an excellent group of people and a lot of fun and I like to support their trials, which are very small. I especially appreciate how supportive everyone is of each others’ runs and how there is so much praise and cheering and positive comments for every single run. To me, it’s really how every agility trial should be.

Youke and Jasmine got left home sadly. I felt Youke needed a break from trialing and Jasmine is now retired from agility. (Although I may make an occasional exception for a CPE trial.)

Turns out that The Living Room on Wheels is quite spacious when traveling with only two dogs.

Brady has been up to Canada and this weekend’s trial site several times now. However, it was only the second time Camm has gone. It was hard to tell if she even really remembered the first time since it was only her third trial at the time and she was berserk. This was also the first time that just she and Brady traveled together for a trial.

Me: “Hey guys! Look, we’re in Canada now!”

Camm: “I didn’t know we was going to another country! I could hardly see anything since I was in my box. Why you not tell me we go to Canada?”

Turns out there were no issues. Camm is equally as comfortable at a hotel in Canada as she is in the states. She’s also equally bossy of her brother.

Camm: “I get the whole bed.”

However, Brady, feeling a bit pent up from the drive to Vancouver and then the ferry trip, decided it’d be a great idea to bounce up and off the bed and engage Camm in a game of “king of the bed,” complete with loud barking.

This is always a super fun game at home, but not so appropriate for a hotel, especially at 10 pm at night.

So after we played agility all day Saturday, I took the two dogs to a park that’s right on the beach. One of the reasons I love going to Vancouver Island is all of the great places to take the dogs and the fact that much of those places are leash-free.

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This is why I’m not convinced Camm remembered going once before. She was beside herself with joy at this place.

Camm: “I love Canada! This place is so exciting.”

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She raced around, up and down the beach and through the pieces of driftwood, all the time keeping an eye on me and making sure I noticed her springing gleefully through the air. Truthfully, Brady wasn’t much different. He just distinctly remembered all the places I threw the Ball the last time I was there with him and Youke and made sure I noticed him asking me to throw a Ball on this trip too. Of course, I obliged.

We saw several other dogs. We even saw dogs that Brady normally is very leery of, such as a bouncy standard poodle and a very large and blocky golden retriever. Mr. Friendly though was the perfect American ambassador, responding to their greetings in a calm and civilized manner and even returning wags. I made sure that Camm kept a Ball in her mouth when seeing other dogs as I didn’t want to see any snippish behavior from her, but even she was at ease when the huge blocky golden retriever came right up to her.

One of the key differences I always notice though when I go to this spot is that the people don’t allow their dogs to linger. The dogs get a quick meet and greet and then everyone calmly, but with purpose, moves on.

I’m not gonna lie. I like when people think I have such lovely and well behaved dogs. Which of course I don’t.

After our beach outing, on top of a long agility day, the dogs were just done. I fed them their dinner when we got back to the hotel Saturday night at about 8 pm and they passed out. In fact, Camm and Brady barely moved until 6 am Sunday morning when I took them out for a bathroom break.

We played more agility Sunday – including those two super fast and furious tunnelers runs – before wrapping up the trial and heading out for the long trip home via ferry and Living Room.

It was a good trial for me and the dogs. It included the usual moments of brilliance and the going down in flames parts that I’ve come to expect. Camm did much better than I had expected and showed how much she has matured since my previous trip with her there some 18 months ago. I received many kind and wonderful remarks on my little blaze of glory. Brady was, as almost always, a breathless, thrill-filled adventure ride.

It was a short trip as I had to work both the Friday before and the Monday after the weekend, but we were able to cram a lot of fun in that short space of time. It was also a bit like a vacation to just travel with two dogs instead of the usual four.

Until next time Canada.

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