From the ADAA Chair … June 2010

CathyMay was a mammoth month for Australian Agility. Not only did we have a team of competitors (and supporters) in the UK competing at the IFCS World Agility Championships, but on Australian shores there were a couple of our own WAC Down Under events.

At the IFCS World Agility Championships our Team members entered the ring to chants of “Aussie Aussie Aussie”. Not just the first time, it was every time. What a fabulous bunch of supporters we had (Marion, Neville & Tandy Allen, Mike & Sharon Dungey, Del Aravandino, Frank Fitzpatrick, Gillian Self, Anne Lacy-Herbert, Wayne Stutz, Jenny Elms, Nicola & Steve Thompson, Michael & Kym Warren, Michelle Weston, Judy Cumming, David Kirkwood, Justine & Dijannah Bartels, Andrew & Ben Ford – I hope I didn’t miss anyone). You guys absolutely rocked!! In addition I would like to thank Allison Britton for her support of the team – she was absolutely phenomenal and her efforts appreciated by everyone. The Aussie team, led by our Coach Maria Thiry, did exceptionally well and they all deserve huge accolades – Kate Bartels, Siegfried Clever, Denise Crook, Kriszty Cumming, Nic Ford, Tracey Harrison-Hill, Lisa Henshaw, Nat Kirkwood, Jo Lewohl, Elsina Meyer, Sharyn Palmer and Ian Weston. A separate report, including courses and some photo’s, will be available on the ADAA website shortly. For the WAC Down Under, congratulations to everyone who participated and the winners of the inaugural Challenge – Ronnalyn Shawyer and Spiderman (International Maxi), Nicola Read and Coogee (International Midi), Amin Awad and Bella (International Mini), Linda Tunbridge and Tim (International Toy), Ronnalyn Shawyer and Jak the Yipper (Regular Maxi), Jeanette Durante and Monte Starr (Regular Midi), Sue Crawford and Jonah (Regular Mini) and Stacy Richards and Bella (Regular Toy). I hope that all members of ADAA enjoyed all of the events and excitement associated with the Worlds.

Maggie Hankinson has kindly allowed me to including the following posting that she made to the WAClick email group on 29 January 2010….Well you hear stories about dogs strangling each other with their collars, very nearly happened to my two young Labradors on Wednesday! I was getting ready to go training, put the girls’ collars on and chucked them outside while I got their training treats and my keys when I hear a bit of an odd noise. Go out to find that Eva doing her usual jump on Spirits collar and drag her around with it trick has managed to get her bottom jaw stuck under the collar and in her efforts to get free has done a full twist around her jaw, is stuck fast and strangling Spirit. Unfortunately Spirits soft collar got chewed a couple of months ago so have been using a spare leather buckle collar which I can’t undo because there is now no slack in the collar. I try to untwist Eva, but just allow Spirit enough air to go into blind panic and grab my wrist. Ouch time for plan B. Get scissors, wrap towel around arm to stop bleeding, cut collar off. Not sure if Spirit’s still breathing, grab nose and blow hard several times and pump on chest, tongues a bit blue, but yes she’s breathing. Phone vet for advice. Cancel training and phone a friend who takes me off for a tetanus shot and antibiotics. Thanks Jean. Everybody okay, but bit close for comfort. Maggie’s moral of the story – always use quick release collars.

Congratulations to our members who did an Agility demonstration at the World Cup Eventing Qualifier at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre in May during the Friday night dressage. Julia Barnett Marion Bland, Andrea Gibney, Jim Hull, Katie Jones, Nicola Read, Stacy Richards, Linda Tunbridge, Michelle Tunbridge and Mal Williams. It was so well received that they have been invited back in August! Great job everyone.

The other “good news” story is Natalie Kirkwood’s Bearded Collie, Spaghetti’s, being found after having escaped from her yard, for more than a week, while she was away on holidays after the WAC. There are many important lessons for us all. Firstly, make sure our dogs are identifiable if they go astray (collar, ear tattoo, microchip) and that the information is up to date and relevant (eg microchips are on the appropriate national database), spooked dogs may not recognise well known figures (Spaghetti ultimately came to the sound of Nat’s other dog Sonic barking, not her own calls and it wasn’t until he was very close, ie within a few feet, that he even recognised Nat) and your dog can move long distances in short time periods (for instance Tracey Harrison-Hill’s sheltie, Billy, was found more than 200 km from when he went missing). Most importantly, huge praise to the wonderful Agility community that came to Natalie and Spaghetti’s support – what a fabulous effort.

The ADAA Grand Prix (1-4 October 2010) is being held under cover in Tamworth this year. The schedule has been released and early entries close 12 July 2010. So get the benefit of the discounted fees and be a part of making this the biggest and best Grand Prix ever. If you have decided not to camp at the venue, then don’t delay in booking your accommodation as there are local events in town that weekend. Don’t forget that we are also looking for non-competing volunteers to help out (those who help on all four days will be paid $200).

The other event coming up is a One Day Training Camp to be held at Brisbane Agility Dog Club grounds at Carina on 22 August 2010. The day will have sessions to suit most members, so we encourage you to reserve the date in your calendar pending the release of the details.

Finally, there has been the recent passing of a number of “ADAA” dogs. Usually we learn of an older dog that has passed on from time to time. Over the past month many of us have sadly read about Scary Williams (AAC GD SD MAAD6 R-MAAD7 R-AAGD2), Roxy Thiry (AAC GD SD MAAD10) and Roxy Jeffries (AAD R-AAD2). Certainly all dogs loved by everyone who knew them and who bring a smile of joy as we remember special times. So for those of you whom have suffered a loss of your pet in recent times, I thought it appropriate to including Rainbow Bridge in my Chair report this month.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown

May you cherish your time and enjoy your training with your dog and achieve your goals.

Cathy Slot
ADAA Chair