Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where to Start?

I've been back from Ontario a week now.  I've wanted to blog but just didn't know where to start.
How much (or not) to say about my time away.  Just know that my sister and her four kids will be okay, it will just take time to learn and accept what the new normal is.  My brother-in-law was a well loved man, heavily involved in his community, and will be greatly missed by many many people.  The turnout for the wake and funeral was huge.  The food delivered to my sister's house was unbelievable.  Another father and husband leaving his family too soon.  My sister was 26 when our dad died.  Her eldest child has now lost his dad at the same age.  The reason for all this sadness...ruptured aortic disection.

Two  Farmer's market weekends came and went while I was gone.  Larry and Meredith went to the markets.  They were very successful weekends. Unfortunately I couldn't convince either of them to make jam in my absence:),  so after the second weekend, there wasn't a whole lot left.  I had three days when I got back, to play catch-up. Nineteen batches of jam made (about 250 cups).  

The BC/Yukon Dog Agility Regionals were held last weekend.  Larry and Meredith did the markets again.  I had been undecided for the longest time as whether to enter.  Finally I decided that I did want to be part of the party.  I entered Jake an hour or two before the entries closed.  Figured one dog would help to keep it more relaxed, and since Jake was the oldest, made sense to take him.  Of course at that point I didn't know how things were going to change so suddenly.  When I got back from Ontario, I was really wishing that I hadn't entered, as I just wasn't 'into' going when I got back.  But since I'd paid my money, and it wasn't cheap, I was determined to go.  I purposely hadn't entered any of the warm up games held on Friday, so was able to just show up Saturday morning and start walking the courses.  I had asked Donna if I could share her shade tent, so didn't have that to set up either. Was sure glad it worked out that way, as it was fun to have the companionship and another dog for Jake to hang out with.

I wasn't expecting much from the weekend, as the last trial I had taken Jake in, back in February, was a bit of a disaster.  We weren't working as a team, and there wasn't a clean run to be had.  We continued on with our fairly regular Monday night club practices, the last one being the 13th of May.  The next Monday was a holiday, and the two Mondays after that, I was in Ontario.  So I was prepared for things to go very, very wrong.  Instead, they went very, very right.  All three of Saturday's runs were clean, and of decent speed, so lots of bonus points collected.  At Regionals the scoring is done differently, and a clean run will give you bonus points if you did the course in less time than was allowed.  There was only one weird thing on Saturday.  It was in the Gamblers class.  In this class, you make up your own course, collecting points from different obstacles.  Some obstacles are worth more than others, and you can only do an obstacle twice for points.  At the 40 second mark, a buzzer goes, you run to a part of the course that has a line on the ground.  You have to stay behind that line and send your dog over or through 4 or 5 obstacles in a given order, before the next buzzer goes.  This is called the Gamble.  If the dog does it successfully, it is worth 35 points.  I thought the Gamble in this class was relatively easy.  The dog went into a tunnel that made a 90 degree turn to the left.  They then had to go out to a jump that would have been the obstacle the farthest distance from the handler.  No problem for Jake, except he couldn't seem to see the jump.  He was looking for it, bouncing around out there, head up, searching.  Finally he got it figured out, went over the jump, and laid down.  What the...?   Seem to take forever to get him moving again, and up and over the A-frame and out the other way to the last jump, but he actually did it with time to spare.

The event was held at Thunderbird Show Park, a world class horse facility only ten minutes from home. The footing was some kind of sand, with felt pieces added to it.  It packed nicely and was great, although quite bright to look at when the sun came out.

When I got there on Sunday morning, my friend Donna said she had been to look at the scores, (she and Breeze were in the same division as Jake and I) and did I want to know how we stood.  I said sure, and she told me Jake was in second place in his division.  (The divisions are based on a dog's height and age).  OMG.  Of course, I did know that he had done decently on Saturday, but wasn't quite expecting to be in second place.  So then I felt a bit of pressure to try maintain that placing.  Three more clean runs on Sunday.  I was really nervous before the last run, but we pulled it off just fine.  And when the results were added up....
~Drum roll~

It was a very tight race though.  Jake ended up with 607.70 points.  There were only 2.20 points separating first and third place.  Wow.

Up to this point Jake didn't know Larry was even on the grounds.  Larry had come by after the market and had been standing behind the podium area. When Jake and I went up there,  he caught wind of Larry, and kept looking in that direction.


Donna coming over to share a hug.  She was thrilled to finish in 4th place with Breeze.  She didn't think she had a chance of finishing in the top 6, because she had a not so great first run.  The rest after that were clean.  Unfortunately she didn't have Breeze with her at the award ceremony.


Love you, little red dog!



  1. I am sorry ti hear of your families loss .
    Oh WOW ! That's awesome Congrats to you and Jake well done WOOHOO ! Jake is such a handsome boy Lovely photos . Have a good day !

  2. Ruptured aortic hope for survival after deadly and such a silent killer. My sympathy to all. I am so glad you could go and be with your sister and her children.
    You and Jake did great! I love his Champ collar! Perhaps he likes a more relaxed approach to the competitions..and doesn't need to practice.
    I am sure you have had tons to do since you got home:)

    1. Jake's 'Champ' collar was actually part of his prize when he won a different division two years ago:)
      I had tons to do before I left home, so I'm hoping to get caught up by October, and that's only because the weeds will have stopped growing by then, ha ha!

  3. Congratulations Karen & Jake!
    Very happy for your Agility Championship win - way to go!
    Larry pointed to all the new jam at Market indicating you were back
    & he had missed you.

  4. The dogs seem to know, don't they? Way to go little red dog! Your Mom needed some happiness to soften the grief. Congratulations.
    So sorry about your sister's husband. Main artery gone bad...not a good outcome. I'm glad you were there to help. And, now I'm glad you are home making jam again!
    Much love from blogger to blogger :0)

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  6. Mixed emotions, I am so sad about your brother-in-law. I am sure you were a comfort to them during your visit.
    But on the flip side Hurray for you and Jake! What a great accomplishment and so unexpected for you. Our dogs really come through for us when we need them most!


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