Well everything after Crufts seems a bit of an anti-climax. But of course you soon get back into it and Mary had one or two nice appointments to look forward to. The first was on the Friday evening just after Crufts, Nuneaton DTC had asked Mary to go across and give an evening talk to all their trainers. It must be one of the oldest clubs in the Midlands and they have got a great venue, a smashing club house, separate toilet block/storage etc and enough grass to run a small open obedience show! I always say it is situated in the middle of a roundabout but in actual fact it is in an area in the midst of a one way traffic system. Anyway, it seems to have been there forever. It was a really good night for Mary and all the trainers in fact after 11pm I had to say to her that we really needed to go because they would have been there to the early hours. If you know Mary, you will know what I mean about her talking about her favourite subject; dogs!
On the Saturday night 19th March we were invited to a renewal of wedding vows being held at a very posh country house hotel in Buckinghamshire, and the couple involved were Alan and Jayne Bray. They were celebrating 10 years, perhaps a little early for a renewal of vows but as Jayne has suffered a prolonged period of ill health and was about to start some experimental treatment it was understandable why they did it now. It was a great afternoon and evening and there were over 200 people at the evening party and they couldn’t have wished for a better celebration.
Mary had her usual Monday training day at the end of March which unfortunately folks is still full and has a waiting list. And on the 26th March Mary had a Heelwork to Music training day concentrating on choreography for the Golden Dancers. They are a HTM group that meet regularly at Prospect Village Hall, Cannock. Another nice group of people and Mary likes going to work with them for the day.
It was about this time that Mary had been booked to train a Helen Skelton a presenter from Blue Peter with the Blue Peter dog a rescue called Barney. They were going to come up to our barn at Rugby and put together a simple two minute routine which was going to be performed live at the London Pet Show at Olympia in May. Unfortunately, as it turned out, they couldn’t make the London Pet Show so in actual fact all the training was cancelled. So that was a shame really as I’m sure it would have been good fun.
On the 15th April Mary was booked for an evening at the Corn Exchange, Witney in Oxfordshire. It was a bit like a Town Hall with a big stage and tiered seating for 200 people. It was a fund raiser for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We got caught in Friday evening traffic and obviously didn’t allow enough time so it was all a bit of a panic when we got there. They laid some carpet on the stage where Mary was to perform, she had to take a little care so the dogs didn’t fall off the edge but the downside was there just wasn’t enough room for Mary to perform her Crufts routine which was a big disappointment for the audience. The upside was, I don’t know why but I took my projector and screen with me and we managed to find the switches to turn the lights off and we did show them the version that was filmed live in the main ring at Crufts. It must sound boring when I keep saying it but it was a really good night and we had lots and lots of emails over the following few days from folks telling us how much they enjoyed the evening.
The other major thing we did whilst we were there was that I had the whole evening professionally filmed. The good news is that the sound and the picture look absolutely excellent, the bad news is that I have got nearly 3 hours of footage and I’m supposed to be editing that down to about 90 minutes and I don’t think I can! It could be that we’re going to put 2 DVD’s out. The existing Evening with Mary DVD is a little dated now so watch this space a new Cabaret night DVD showing all the latest tricks of the trade will be coming out in the next few months.
The next big event for us was the obedience shows over Easter. We went away in the caravan, a huge distance, all the way to Measham in Leicestershire and it took us all of 45 minutes to get there but it is a nice spot to stay in the caravan.
Mary had a great weekend competing:
Midland Border Collie Championship Show Champ C Bitch 5th place with Foxy
Open C Dog 2nd place with Levi
B Dog 3rd place with Ozzie
Champ C Dog 4th place with Levi
Midland Border Collie Club Open Show Open C Dog 1st place with Levi Open C Bitch 2nd place with Foxy
Ashfield Open Obedience Show B Dog 3rd place with Ozzie Open C Dog 2nd place with Levi Open C Bitch 3rd place with Foxy
We followed this up by the Rugby Championship show the following weekend but as usual, Mary is too busy being Show Secretary to really concentrate working her own dogs but she did get a 4th place with Ozzie in B Dog.
The second weekend in May we’d been asked by the Kennel Club to help them run a demonstration arena at the London Pet Show which was held at the Olympia Exhibition Centre. Mary was to perform her Crufts routine three times a day plus two training demonstrations. I had organised some of the other demonstrations and I was MC for the weekend too. I was a bit concerned when I got there and saw just how small an arena 9m x 15m actually was especially as we had to do an agility demo in it but we coped. The thing that was staggering about the whole event was how many people came through the door as it was absolutely swamped especially with lots of families attending. What a great promotion for dogs it was and that was the main thrust of what you can do with your dog and where you can do it. The Kennel Club stands were flooded with enquiries.
You may have noticed we are selling our caravan, well maybe !!, we are not going to be doing much agility this year as Mary has a bad knee so we thought a motor home would suit us better, We waiting to see a new model out in June as its supposed to have the biggest garage available for the dogs and its on a Ford rear wheel drive chassis so less chance of getting bogged down in a muddy field, so if anyone is interested it will be July at the earliest if we sell at all !!.
This will be the first year Mary has not competed in Agility for ….. 32 years, I think that just leaves John Gilbert as the earliest competitor still running.
STOP PRESS A bit later getting the update on so another obedience weekend this time at Loughborough, some great results but unfortunately not a ticket win:
Open C Dog 1st with Levi ( Sat ) Open C Dog 1st with Levi ( Sun) Special Open C Dog 1st with Levi Open C Bitch 2nd with Foxy ( Sat) Open C Bitch 1st with Foxy ( Sun) Championship Bitch 3rd with Foxy Class B Dog 5th with Ozzy
STOP STOP PRESS
At the end of May Mary had been booked for an evening at a riding school just outside Tenterden in Kent, this was arranged by Di & Sue Collino as a fund raising night for some local dog rescue organisations.
Do & Sue arranged some carpet to make a working area on the school surface and a good job they had as it was soft and sticky !!
Another great night with lots of complimentary comments by e-mail afterwards.