A lot of water has passed under the bridge since I last used my blog. The pictures need changing, as the dogs I now have are not the same…. or rather are the same with a few additions. I’m changing to English to keep my hand in as I nowadays have very little opportunity to use this language.

To get back to the dogs, Hektor is still going strong at fifteen and a half. Rocket is now fourteen and a half. Both are deaf and don’t see that clearly. Phoenix is soon twelve and Hubert ten and a half.

Competing I have Merry whom has just turned seven and Yoga, who is six months younger. Merry is obedience and agility champion and needing one more certificate for the jumping title. Yoga has one of three results for her obedience title and has also one agility certificate.

Busy is a Miniature American Shepherd with her nose in everything. Very energetic dog but not very bright. Luckily the energy level compensates for the lack of intelligence. She turns two in March. I got her measured for agility in October, not really expecting her to be small before her second birthday, but she was. We’re a bit behind on the training, because I thought there would be at least six more months before, she was eligible for the small class. In the meantime we have trained obedience and she has her Class 1 plus a qualification to the Danish Championships 2020.

Lastly I have Swift, Merry’s daughter with Even, an Austrian born, German agility dog. She is now seven months old and looking very promising in every way. She too is being trained to do both agility and obedience.

And here I am, sitting in Norway quite dogless and thinking about my plans for 2020. Actually I have considered going for a place on the national team with Merry and then again…? I’m not sure.

Getting older and with an inevitable deterioration of the body doesn’t really go hand in hand with the courses we see nowadays, where you need to run like the wind. Not that I don’t think the courses are fabulous. I love a challenge and especially when my only goal with my training is to learn and get better. The worry is probably because of the change of goal. When I go to a competition and have my own learning process as a goal, it doesn’t matter how well we do, if I take something home, that I can train and through that get better. If my goal has something to do with a result, I’m opening up for coming home disappointed. Do I really want to do that? Do I really want my dogs to have that handler? Am I a big enough person to not fall in the disappointment and frustration trap? I’m not so sure…

I’m going to apply, mainly because working with the pressure is also a learning process. I’d like a spot at EO next year, because Natalie can qualify for this and much of the fun of competing is due to being with my daughters and sharing our interest. It’s a bit like traveling on your own – I might as well just look at the pictures of the place, if I don’t have anyone to share the experience with.

So the plan is also qualification for the Danish agility championships. They are the same day as the obedience ones and luckily the same place in 2020. I worked out that I can do both, if the team agility event is in the morning as it usually is.

I’m doing mainly DKK competitions next year and just a few DcH. I’ve taken a year off from judging, but had enquired about becoming a DKK judge. Apparently I don’t have to do the courses, but I bet that those on the courses are recognized judges before I am!

Obedience wise I’m hoping to get Yogas champion title in 2020. The plan with Busy is to take each class one year at a time, as I doubt very much that she has the brain capacity to come further than Class 3. So no more competitions for her until after the Championships and then a Class 2. We are well on the way with our training.

Swift is my obedience and agility hope for the future. She is incredibly intelligent and not just because I compare with Busy. She is inexhaustible and very fast and it’s going to take a long time to train her up, as I’m paying particular attention to detail to a degree I haven’t since I lived in England. I’ve had lots of really good dogs, but Swift could well be my once in a lifetime dog…. if I play my cards right.