This week I heard from a very thrilled Brenda Bethell she wrote-: ‘My beautiful heart dog Freya is now a Triple Champion. She gained her Luxembourg title in March 2014 and her International title in November the same year, at that time she also had 3 of the 7 Green Stars needed for her Irish title. Due to various circumstances we had not shown outside of the UK since then, now we have moved to Ireland, Freya was able to complete her Irish title in August on the Munster Circuit, so can now be called Irish, Luxembourg &International Champion Arnscroft Glad Di Ola at Minforst’. Freya was Brenda’s first show dog so very special to her, she also wants to thank her friends and family that have supported her along the way, and breeder Di Stirling. For those of you who have not seen the Irish Championship Diploma, it is something special, very colourful with 2 Irish Wolfhounds at the top and below a list of the shows where the Green Stars were won.
For the last two weekends Fizz and I have joined Debbie and partner Richard at agility shows. October 6/7 saw us in the grounds of Banham Zoo Norfolk. It does not matter how many dogs there are on a caravan site, usually after 10pm until around 6.30am the dogs are quiet, but on the Saturday night I heard a dog barking, it puzzled me as although it was quite loud it did not seem to be coming from the caravan park. The next morning while talking to others who had heard it, I leant it was a sea lion barking! Just before midday on the Sunday it was announced that a certain class would be stopped for half an hour, we looked at the class number and realised it was a small dog agility class. The stoppage became clear when it was announced that the Zoo were flying birds of prey! It was a horrible damp cold day and we never saw any of them, but better safe than sorry, a small dog on top of an A frame could have looked like a meal. It brought back memories of an agility show held at Longleat Safari Park many years ago. Our caravan was parked near a field with a lake where Hippos grazed close to the fence and during the night you could hear the Lions roaring, it was like being on Safari without travelling. At the time Longleat had Shaun Ellis working for them to help them improve the life of their wolves; he gave talks in the evenings on his life with wolves, particularly his time with them in Yellowstone National Park. Debbie and I booked our places on one of the talks, it was getting dark as we walked up a hill above the wolf enclosure, Shaun showed us videos of the wolves he had worked with. To give the Longleat wolves more of a natural environment, he played recordings of the howls from other wolf packs and the Longleat wolves howled back, he knew all the pack and depending on how near or far away he played the recording different wolves would reply. The next day we were allowed to go in a secure bus to watch them being fed, the Alpha male and female eating the best bits first with the others waiting their turn. I do not remember much about the agility but always having been a great admirer of wolves, I remember that side of the show vividly. Shaun now runs The Wolf and Dog Development Centre.
Last weekend was the last our last agility show of the season and we had decided that now Fizz is eleven and half it should be his last show doing competitive agility, there are ‘Allsorts’ classes which he could take part in next year for young and veteran dogs, these have much lower height jumps. There are 5 agility warrant grades Bronze 200pts Silver 400pts Gold 800pts Platinum 1200pts Diamond 1600pts. Fizz did not really start to do much agility until he had his UK Ch title. Points are gained from clear rounds, jumping 1pt, agility 2pts and places up to 10th but there must be a rosette the dog cannot just be 10th. Debbie always competed him she has been doing agility for years and has 2 dogs at Championship level her PSD Asti has a RCC. I still remember the phone call from her when I was at WKC one year with Kiki, to say Fizz had gained enough points for his Bronze AW. He was never fast enough to beat the collie types as he had measured large and had to jump 2ft 1.6in, he was, however consistent in getting clear rounds with the odd placing if it was a technical course, as often the fast dogs would take the wrong course. The Silver AW came next could he get his Gold? He thought the sport was invented for him he loved it and with most weekends doing 2 or 3 classes a day the points added up. Then in Dec 2016 he had to have a major opp and we were not sure if he would do agility again, we entered with the intention of taking him out if he seemed unhappy. Well not only was he happy to be back doing what he loved, he was also placed in several classes, winning one where there were only 2 clear rounds this put him into Grade 4. The courses were then more technical with faster dogs but he still continued gaining clear rounds and some places, his Gold warrant followed. This had been the top warrant, but in Jan 2016 the KC brought in the Platinum & Diamond warrants but points could not be claimed from the past, the extra points had to be from that January, an extra 400pts for the Platinum. At the beginning of this year we thought it would be possible for him to gain his Platinum, he had a good start gaining a number of places. Then he was not well and after a scan the vet thought it showed he had a stomach tumour, there were some very stressful days before the Biopsy came back, showing it was an abscess not a tumour. Then the hot weather arrived and although he coped well, there were a number of shows where he did not compete, unless the class was first thing in the morning and he did not go to some shows at all. When we arrived last Saturday, he needed 12points, he was entered in 4 classes so the maximum he could get without places was 6 points! He had a clear on the Saturday morning in the jumping just missing out on a place, so one point. It was a lovely day but very windy, his last class of the day was Grade 4 agility he had a clear round well in the time. We went back to the caravan to have a cup of tea, when Richard looked at his phone (most results now go straight to your phone) and said Fizz was in 10th place, if he stayed there that would give him the 11 points he needed, but there were still several dogs to run. We have often known the last dog to run to knock the placings down, so it was a very tense half an hour till Debbie went down to the prize giving and came back with his 10th place rosette. The next day the wind had dropped but it was very wet and cold but to prove a point he had another clear round in agility, but the star of the day was Debbie’s young PSD who won his Grade 3 agility class by an amazing 8 secs, so going Grade 4 for next year. It had been a good show Richard’s Shadow his rescue collie x, had a 3rd in jumping and the other 3 dogs had all had several clear rounds, but by lunch time on the Sunday, we decided it really was so wet and cold that the best plan was to go home. We now know that there are only 166 dogs with their Platinum Warrant, so quite an achievement for an eleven and half year old Buhund, Ch/Bel Ch Tonylynn’s Charles Lafitte AW(P)RL2EX.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK