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Well, that was a wasted morning.
There is a curse on Ina's attempts to get Draco working in agility competition: I'm convinced of it. She entered one in Cambridgeshire, but it was blowing a gale and pouring that morning, so we cried off.

Today she had entered another competition at Redhill. Yes, it looked as if it was going to rain, and Draco does not do rain but, hell, it wasn't that bad, and we set out. As soon as we reached the sports field where it was being held, it started raining. It continued either to rain or to pour with rain for the next three hours. Draco attempted one run, did a few jumps and went over the dog walk, then thought, "Sod this for a game of soldiers" and hid under the A-frame. Retired, wet and annoyed.

I'd given Bren a short walk, but then he went back in his cage in the car. It's a bit small for him now, and we have bought a super-duper harness for him so he can sit on the back seat. However, he really needs to put on a couple more kilos before it's the right size (that'll take him two or three weeks, tops) and, anyway, it's something you work up to.

It continued to pour. Then it got worse. Cathy who, she say, never lets the weather stop her, was talking of packing up and going home simply because the footing was so bad and Pippa, who would be a dream in these conditions, had been sick in the night, Teasle hated the conditions, and she did not dare run Peggy because she is coming back after two bad injuries. The person who parked next to us took one look and wondered aloud whether she was out of her mind for turning up. The caravans started pulling out of the camping area.

Ina also decided to "Sod this for a game of soldiers" and made her apologies.

We headed for home. In pouring rain. With water standing on most of the roads. And the Dartford tunnel flooded.

Hermione, our satnav, kept telling us new 'faster' ways home. Ina had already decided on the A20, A2, Blackwall Tunnel, A12 - and Hermione agreed. At least that tunnel wasn't flooded. And we got home in time for the start of the Grand Prix. Where it is dry and sunny.

So it goes.

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BB has started agility work with Eska, but she's only 9 months old so still playing at it, really. She's OK with the tunnels and the A frame but not sure about the seesaw yet. She was OK with the plank until the clunking of the seesaw scared her and now she doesn't trust planks either. Plenty of time yet. She's not really old enough (developmentally) to do the bigger jumps. They'll have to wait for her first birthday


We've had Bren (at five months) go through a straight tunnel and stand on the contact points of the dog walk so that he knows what they feel like from an early age and isn't scared of them, but we'll wait until he's nine months to start (and then on micro-dog height jumps.) The KC won't let dogs under 18 months compete...

Eska's been doing it for a couple of months now, a bit at a time, and getting on quite well with most of the obstacles, but today was her first encounter with the seesaw. It wasn't the movement, but the noise she didn't like. She loves the A-frame and the tunnels. In the meantime BB has built some obstacles at home for playtime which she really enjoys.

Oh, you probably don't want to know this, but I know two very large black dogs who do agility. One, who I met yesterday, is an expert at just running round the ring ignoring his mistress. The other, Max, a lab/GSD cross, is infamous. It has taken him around twelve years to go from "runs straight out of the ring and across country because he's seen something more interesting" to "high standard competitor who only ignores his owner sometimes."

Said owner kept looking at Draco and muttering about "Max has been worse than that -- for about ten years."

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