Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Good Times

Sorry for absenteeism from blog.

I'm struggling to know what to right about without bragging as everything is going brilliantly.

Club is amazing as usual and everyone is gaining much success at shows and making big steps at training too.

There has been countless move ups and people qualifying for finals already and the show season is just starting.

The UpAndOver crowd are always very friendly, helpful and positive. 

We don't always get to see them at shows. Luckily we do have other good friends to be with that are competing at the same level as us. It is good to have like minded people to discuss KC issues, the course, running contacts etc etc with. Although, there are a few people in the top level that we avoid talking to in the queue because we want to avoid being negative or focussing on the problem areas of the course so our minds don't absorb their worries. Outside the ring we can chat with them as much as we like :)  There are really only one or two that continually moan about all things that we avoid totally. 

We got sucked into the BGT voting for the first time to support Ashleigh & Pudsey although we did only vote once LOL.

At work people voiced an opinion that although they thought she was good that is wasn't really a talent. Well I suppose it isn't like the usual acts but I thought X factor was for singers. A bit harsh really but surely singing is just something you can or can't do whereas Ashleigh had to take time to train another animal to perform so surely it takes a bit more effort so is worthy of more acknowledgement.

The other acts will still get on and have a career in performing anyway whereas we all know dog training is not the easiest way to make a living.

Anyway we wish them loads of luck and hope they have a great time.

Meanwhile on my stage ie the agility circuit I glad my pupils and dogs are making the most out of their talents and winning big at their own level :)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Nemo me impune lacessit

"No one provokes me with impunity" likewise  "touch not the cat bot a glove"  (my clans motto)

What brings on this quoting of mottos you may ask - the KC Festival Nations Cup's ruling that the country you have to choose to run for is the one of your residence is what.

The first 2 KC Festivals I attended I proudly noted on the entry form to run for Scotland. My life has been in England but my parentage on both sides, my birth place, my upbringing, my heritage and my heart are all Scottish so although it may seem rude to not want to run for England V Scotland there really is no other choice for me.

I totally underestimated the pride of wearing my Scottish Bib and on the second occasion Flint and I did Scotland proud. We did the round of our lives to help Scotland gain 2nd in the Agility and 3rd overall :)

I can be very naive at times and did not fully understand that people that had travelled down from Scotland but were not in the team would not support this southern spoken sassenach and would not understand where my heart lay. I do believe that Flint and I were the right choice to gain Scotland a podium place and in my eyes I was running for MY country.

In order to not cause any bad feeling again I chose not to attend the KC Festival for a couple of years and luckily the dog I have now is not a consistent clear round dog so would not get in the team on points anyway so we have been able to go in the last couple of years. 

To be in the rules now I would have no choice and would have to select to run for England. As mentioned I have lived in England since I was a toddler so it is hard for even myself to understand why that is so totally the wrong thing for me to be doing when there is a Scottish Team :(

Other friends face similar problems and one has decided not to go this year and has been quite upset about it. She does have a French accent and gets teased endlessly for being French and now she can't even run for her country of birth at her beloved agility.

I do understand that in the past there have maybe been some dubious country choices and in other International Events some people have run for countries that they were in no way connected to. Rules are made to encourage fair play so a strict residence policy is clear to administer if unfair advantages are the reason for country choices. For me amongst others it is NOT a choice it is a feeling.

I wonder if there is some middle ground where for example the top 10 places get together with their countrymen and THEY then decide the Team they want to run for them. The Team Captain could either be the top place or someone elected from these ten. Possibly they could even chose different dogs for the agility than the jumping making it a true team competition with tactics involved. 

If this had been in place the years I ran Flint I am confident Flint would still have been chosen as he is a very special team dog and my fellow countrymen would have known I was running for our country pride. Or possibly being the meek person I am I would have been happy to stand aside to give my place to somebody who had travelled further to get the chance to represent their country than I had.

I know this is a very emotive issue for some people and I hope some happy compromise can be reached.

What ever happens going forward nobody can ever take away the incredible day I had flying my country's flag and making my Dad so very very proud :)

I'll just finish with a little notice one of my FB friends sent me :)